I Said I’d Write Monthly…

Posted by on Aug 18, 2020

But you know what they say about the best laid plans… there’s intention, and then there’s real life. Or weird life. Or new life. Whatever you call it, it’s just different. 

And here we are, it’s mid- August. You’d think that writing monthly would be easy, with all this extra time. But you know what they say about time… it flies, especially in summer. Especially in a staycation year. 

Here’s what I’ve been up to (instead of writing monthly). My Community Garden is thriving. Everything is late because we weren’t allowed access by the City until later than normal. Just last week, all those green tomatoes are finally starting to turn. My basil is a complete disaster. I usually have piles of it, but I think the longer-than-normal germination period in my studio was a bit too long, and they got quite “leggy”. I kept them in their pots and moved them to my plot in containers. I know that every year in gardening is a bit different. I guess this was just NOT my year to grow any kind of basil.

Finally my tomatoes started to turn in early August! One day’s harvest haul.

Here in Toronto, we have finally reached Stage 3 of COVID. I decided I could safely set up my Studio Showroom. So I finally opened my safe and put my showroom back together, which took the better part of two weeks!  And I’m STILL cleaning jewellery – a never ending job.

Back in Stage Two, I was just booking appointments for clients to come and see the custom job they’d left with me….or a repair or an adjustment. At that point, there was no jewellery on display. But in this new Stage, there is definitely an appetite for clients to visit the Toronto Studio and see what I have available. 

So I am now booking personal visits to see what’s in the studio – by appointment, with all the usual safety protocols – masks and hand sanitizer. Everything is available to be tried on. Pieces you would like to try are placed on a tray next to a full-length mirror. You get to “play dress-up” to your heart’s content. 

My jewellery display cases are now full! This picture was taken before I was finished filling them.

Since I am NOT ALLOWED to help you, I will sit on the other side of the room. But since the distance between us is way more than 2 metres, we both have the option to remove our masks. The rules are slightly different because my studio is “private” and not open “to the public”. Trying on jewellery in the comfort of my studio without a mask on is a huge bonus. I am thrilled, because this makes for a much more relaxed – and more normal –  jewellery shopping experience.

ALL the jewellery you’ve tried on is re-cleaned. If you have chosen something special, it will either go home with you, or be set aside if you need time to think it over. You can even come back and try it again. The rest of the tried-on and re-cleaned pieces are returned to the display cases within 24 hours.

If you can’t come to my studio for one reason or the other, I get it. Other Toronto locations that carry some of my pieces are the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Gallery Shop (unfortunately my jewellery is NOT available to purchase from their online store), Corktown Designs in The Distillery District, Petroff Gallery and Matsu Jewellery has a small collection of pieces. They are all open to the public without an appointment, but you may want to check with them first for their operating hours. All have restrictions on the number of people allowed in at once and masks are required.

For all you Margarite Pommer Jewellery clients,  Margarite and I temporarily moved her entire LREJ collection to my studio showroom, as her store, located in the lobby of a hotel, is not open until further notice.  So I currently have a pretty great collection of work in my display cases right now.  

For everyone else outside of Toronto, the other retail locations near you are listed under Retailers on my website.

And everything that you see, no matter where, should be available on the website. Email me if you can’t find something you’re looking for. And remember, if you order online, shipping is free. 

I so miss seeing all your “smiling eyes”. Every single show for 2020 has been cancelled and I have no idea when I will be able to return to the show life. For makers like me, a huge part of my craft life was my connection to you at shows. I really miss the interaction with everyone – old clients, new clients – I so enjoy getting caught up with your worlds. 

I hope your COVID Summer 2020 is going well, or as well as one can expect. Stay Safe and Be Well, until we meet here again soon. 

And finally, a little knitting PS.

Any blog post these days wouldn’t be complete without some kind of “knitting talk” or project update. I’m actually deep into a “test knit” for a knitting designer from Salt Spring Island. I can’t really say much about it as test knits are kind of secretive. Just know it’s the largest knit (almost 3,000 yards of yarn!) I’ve ever attempted and I am LOVING every stitch of it. It’s got all the things I love – simple knitting, clever construction and a bonus “optical illusion” design element that throws the whole project over the moon. That’s why I jumped at the chance to offer my services as a test knitter. I’ve been dropping a few more clues about it over on Instagram, so if you’re not following me (@lisaridout), you might want to.  Come join in on the knitting guessing game.