I am afraid that I don’t have any additional pictures to show you on the new project just yet. Yesterday was a day that I had to do errands and other things that took up the majority of the day. But that is OK though. I am finally getting the snow I like so much and we are well-prepared to bunk it in here for the weekend. I should make good progress the next couple of days.
One of the things that I did accomplish yesterday was that I found a great company right here in Canada that I could order crystal rhinestones from Those of you who read often know how I love adding a bit of “bling” to my projects, and I know that many of you are just like me. Finding a place that could supply things that I could use in my designs that my customers can order from too is not always easy to do. Especially here in Canada. But in looking for a mail order company to supply me with rhinestones for decorating my projects, I came across a potentially awesome company. They are called Rhinestones Canada and so far I am really happy with their service. I will do a better report on them in a couple of days when I receive my order, but so far I am really impressed with them. They had a nice variety of rhinestones in three different “grades” and prices – so you didn’t have to get the more expensive ones if you didn’t want them, but they were available if you did.
I spent a while making up a pretty big order. After all – I am a designer and I can think of so many uses for these crystals. Up until now, I only had flat-backed rhinestones that I got way back (I don’t even remember from where) They are plastic stones and while they kind of do the job, they don’t have the shine and color that I would have liked. Up close they look . . . well . . . plastic. The only ones that I had that were real crystal were the clear ones that I have been using, and you could really see the difference in the shine and sparkle.
The site advertised “same day shipping” if my order was placed by 2pm. I liked that because like everyone else in the world, when I order something I would like it to arrive here yesterday, please. Knowing that a company makes an effort to get that order out the door is a plus.
Since they are located in Canada, there is no import fees or duty on the products, and that is another plus. Since moving here from Chicago, I can really appreciate finding companies to order from where I don’t have to pay import fees. While when things going from Canada to the USA don’t have fees, they certainly do coming this way. It is just part of living here, I suppose.
When making up my order, the list became quite long (really, really long as a matter of fact!) The prices per gross of these stones was very reasonable, and you would be surprised how many stones you could use in a single project. I think my SLD301 Embellished Christmas Tree Ornaments pattern set took over 125 stones. That’s almost a gross right there for a set. And while I used round beads and drilled a small depression for each of these decorations on this pattern, They could have easily been decorated with flat backed rhinestones.
Below is a picture of one of the ornaments:
For these trees, I used 3mm round beads. In order to set the beads on the ornaments, I needed to pre-drill depressions for them to fit into to hold them, as well as the glue. This worked out fine, but I also think that this would look nice with mulit-colored crystal rhinestones. It would just make a different look for it altogether. The 3mm rhinestones cost only about $1.75 for a gross of them for the DMC middle grade, and only $1.25 a gross for the Korean grade stones. (I ordered both types to see if I could tell the difference. I also found that not all colors were ordered in all grades, so sometimes that dictated which type I ordered.) They are all leaded crystal though, so no matter what, I am hopeful that they will be nicer than the plastic stones or beads that I had used previously.
I also ordered this:
It is a hot-fix applicator wand to apply the stones. Apparently the DMC and also the Korean stones come pre-glued. You could still use your own glue, but this glue is activated with heat so you could use your own iron, or this nifty wand to heat the stones and set them into place. I can’t imagine getting them to stay where you want with a household iron though, as to me it would seem impossible to place them properly. The wand only cost $15.75 and to me it seemed well worth the money. It comes with the stand and applicator tips to fit many sizes of stones, and they say the glue is pretty strong. You are even supposed to be able to affix them to fabric such as T-shirts with it, so hopefully it will hold on painted wood OK.
After futzing around with a toothpick and the E6000 glue that I used on the masks that I made already, this will be a welcome appliance if it works like it is supposed to. While the E6000 stuck well, it was very thick and jelly-like and I had problems with very long and thin “strings” coming from the puddle of glue to where I glued the stone. What a pain to get rid of too! I don’t know about you guys, but the older I get the worse my eyes are and the more tedious of a task this becomes. Not to mention having too much glue stick to the backs of these if you dip them (which is the method that I did find worked best.) Overall, it just seems easier and cleaner to use this tool. Again, I promise a full report when I get to play a bit after my supplies arrive.
I found communication with the company to be wonderful. I placed the order around 10am my time and received a confirmation from them before 1pm. This was pretty good considering that they are located in British Columbia, which is all the way the other side of Canada and four hours difference. They were out of one of the styles of storage trays that I ordered, but they suggested very acceptable alternatives and were able to send them too. Of all the stones that I ordered (again – there were MANY!) they were only out of one kind, and were able to send me an alternative in a different grade. That was also great. The owner of the company (Linda) called me and we made sure the order was correct. By the afternoon, I received a tracking number and the entire order was shipped and on its way. I couldn’t see how the company could do any better.
Now it is up to Canada Post. It went out priority, so hopefully by the end of next week it will be here. In the mean time, I won’t be using any more of the plastic crystals that I have here for my masks. I will wait for the good ones to arrive. I may also try to pick the others off of these so I can put the good one on there too, but I am not sure about that. We will see . . .
I love finding new companies that have their act together. I am hopeful that the products are as good as they seem. If they are, I will certainly recommend them as a source in my patterns. I love sharing good news with you all. :)
So that is it for today. I have coffee brewed and nine more blank masks to play with and paint this weekend. The cats are curled up at my feet and the snow is still falling outside. Even if we lose power, I will be able to keep painting.
It’s going to be a good weekend!
Have a wonderful weekend yourself. Keep warm and do something to make you happy. Life is short. It is best when you are able to enjoy whatever comes your way.
Be happy and have fun!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"