New website launch!

Hi friends! I've been away and took a lot of pictures to share with you! Here's the catch: they're going to be shared on the new Camp + Quarry site! So head over to http://www.campandquarry.com to check out Day 1 of our West Coast roadtrip (and more) on the new C+Q journal. This blog will stay here for now and can now be accessed at http://campandquarry.blogspot.com. But if you're looking for me, you'll find me at the new site! Stop by and say hi!


new website and new film shots

Hi everyone! Just a quick post here today to let you know that you can take a peek at the new Camp + Quarry website which I'll be launching officially in mid-September. This is the place to check up on my travels and see some of the new pieces that I've been working on lately. Let me know if you find anything weird going on over there! It's all still pretty new!

The picture above was taken in Stanley Park on my Fed 5 rangefinder camera a couple of weeks ago. To see more just head over to the new Camp + Quarry journal. Many new things on the horizon, some of which you can read about on the new site, which is still technically a work-in-progress.

Here's a song for you today, too. Kind of a nice summer wind down thing from the new XX album:


David Rakoff

Let's talk about how much we're going to miss this guy. My favourite contributor to This American Life.

"The only thing that makes one an artist is making art. 
And that requires the precise opposite of hanging out." -David Rakoff


what's new

I'm going to tell you guys a secret. Yes, things have been quiet around the C+Q blog BUT...I'm working on a new website for Camp + Quarry (launching as soon as I can launch it!). AND I bought a blowtorch and set up a metalsmithing studio at home and have been working away on new pieces. Above is a picture of the ring that I made Jeff this week. A brushed sterling silver band, perfect for the dude who is not so into accessories but has to wear it cuz I made it, right? So take a peek in the shop, as there are lots of new things there and more on the way, and keep checking back to find out more about the new site if you'd like. Jeff and I are headed off on our belated honeymoon adventure in three weeks and my goal is to have the Camp and Quarry site go live before then so I can share some of our travel photos with you.

Hope you're all enjoying the summer!



Here's something amazing for you guys. Feist vs. Mastodon. A nice reminder of all the times I saw Feist perform in punk bands when I was a teenager going to all ages shows. This video is interactive, too, so be sure to give it a watch! Happy long weekend!


july mixtape

Wow! It has been a long time since I last posted! There's a lot going on right now, a lot to be excited about, but rather than try to get you all caught up I thought I'd post a mix of the songs that are on repeat in my house these days. This mix is also for Jill, because it's been a while since I made her a new mix (too long, buddy, sorry!) and I think this might be just the thing to listen to while hanging in Bowness making jam. Enjoy! Summer is finally here in Vancouver so I have to get outside and enjoy it while it lasts!


kill for love • chromatics
it's gonna take an airplane • destroyer
go outside • cults
shining escalade • hot chip
the nights of wine and roses • japandroids
when i die • johnny and the moon
party talk • craft spells
look at where we are • hot chip
american wedding • frank ocean
these days • gregg alman



I just turned 32 yeseterday. My last weekend as a 31 year old was so much fun. Camping on Galiano Island wth friends and dogs and a few fancy chickens. Camping Club III was a success. And I tried out the best birthday present Jeff has ever given me, my new Poler Napsack. Everyone should have one of these things!


i feel better

This is old and I'm behind the times, but here it is. Hoping some of you haven't seen this and if you have, well, maybe it'll just get you excited about the new Hot Chip album.



Jeff and I are part of this little thing called Camping Club this summer. We are going camping as often as we can manage and hiking as much as possible all summer long. So far we've been pretty good at getting out at least once a week and have already gone camping twice this spring (and that is with some pretty crappy weather happening in this part of the world). Here are some pictures I shot while we were on Whidby Island in Washington two weeks ago. Oh, and then we finished our long weekend with a Destroyer concert in Seattle. The picture of Dan Bejar was taken with the VSCO camera app on an iPhone 4S. The rest were taken with Camera +. Love that tree with a face.



Jeff's graduation from UBC with a BSc in Nursing. So exciting that we're both all finished school! Hikes with friends. And our garden is looking better than it ever has thanks to some recent renovations and some plant-friendly spring weather (fingers crossed). 


chain chain chain

Hi friends and readers, I need your help! It's time to update a Camp + Quarry classic and I can't choose between the three chains that are in the running to complete the new edition of the C+Q dipped crystal necklaces. I have my favourite, but which one do you like best?

P.S. I recently made two purchases on Etsy that I'm very excited about! Take a look at these fantastic shops and items here and here. Have a great weekend (long weekend if you're 'merican)!



Brohm Lake, British Columbia taken and edited on an iPhone 4S with Camera+


Happy long weekend, everyone! Just a quick post to let you know that there are a few new organic cotton scarves available in the shop this afternoon. This time I dyed lightweight organic cotton using a new technique and I'm happy with the subtle galaxy-like textures that I ended up with. Lots of lavender, light blue, and bits of turquoise with charcoal in this batch. Thanks for looking!



Emily and I have been learning some silversmithing this spring. This is the hammered sterling silver ring band that I finished soldering and filing last night. I still have to put the stone on it, but it's sooooo close to being finished, as are the pendants I was working on a couple of weeks ago. Can't wait to share the finished pieces with you in a couple of weeks. What have you been up to on your days off lately?


thanks, mom

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Thanks for the awesome birthday parties, holidays, road trips, dinners, and advice. And thanks for the cute little baby sisters, too! (That's me and my mom with the matching haircuts and my little sister in the yellow dress...aren't we all adorable?)



It's starting to feel like this time of year again. New scarves in the shop this weekend. Just a few for now, more to come. What colours are you into this spring?



I am ready for summer.

I am also here today. Thank you Kait and Vitamin Daily for the feature.



I rode my bike the 30km or so return trip to work today. Stopped to take this picture from the Burrard Bridge on the way home. It was finally summer here (at least for today) and tonight I got caught up on online orders. Camp + Quarry packages are headed off to places like Poland, Finland, and New York, New York. I always love tallying up the destinations. Tomorrow I have metalsmithing class and plan to buy a nice ball-peen hammer. That's my life right now: jewelry. What's new with you?

P.S. Jeff invented a union for the dog tonight, it's called C.A.T.S. (Canine Association of Trades and Services) Local 604. Your dogs can join, too. Power in numbers, my friends.


Got Craft? Spring 2012

I unveiled a lot of new pieces at Got Craft? today and sold out of many of my favourites. Dipped crystals, rutilated quartz, and fluorite pieces were among the most popular, but scarves, cave explorers, and more are off to good homes, too. Thanks to all who came out and supported local makers! I had a great day and was happy to meet so many new people and see some familiar faces, too. If you were there, I hope you had fun day, too. Now to watch many episodes of Downton Abbey (so good!!!) and eat ice cream.

Hey, it's after 8PM and it's still light out. Best day ever! Thanks to Laura and Jeff for all their help today. And to Andrea and Rob for another great show!


Got Craft? Vancouver - Sunday, May 6, 2012

 Okay, okay, it is almost that time. After endless hours of making new jewelry, designing packaging, printing labels, ordering supplies (I love ordering supplies), and bribing friends to help me, I am just about ready for Got Craft? this Sunday. It would be great to see lots and lots of you Vancouverites there! I realize that I have a few new scarves, a ton of new jewelry (earrings and necklaces galore) and even four new cave explorers that are exclusive to Got Craft.

Got Craft? is at the Royal Canadian Legion on Commercial Drive on Sunday, May 6th from 10AM - 5PM. I'll be hanging out with my good friend Laura and am really looking forward to browsing the other vendor's booths, too. Hands down my favourite craft fair in Vancouver. You should really come out if you can!

And now, back to coffee and jewelry. Thanks to Jeff, Laura, Emily and Lara for all their help this time around! Time to re-thank Jacqui and Sam for their help last time! I won't forget to bring a light and an extension cord this weekend!

See you Sunday!


made by cassandra smith

painted antler by MadeByCassandraSmith

Today's post is a bit of a departure from the theme of this blog, as of late, but I really want to share an interview that I did with one of my favourite artists, Cassandra Smith of MadeByCassandraSmith. My questions are italicized below. Thanks so much for reading, everyone!

 Sarah: First of all, let me say that as soon as I saw your work I knew that I had to have one of your pieces and I used my husband's birthday as an excuse to buy one of your painted antlers. It now lives on our fireplace mantle with a few other handmade pieces. You were the first to make painted antlers on Etsy, what was your initial inspiration?

Cassandra: I have actually been working with animals in my art since 2006, and the antlers became a way I could work smaller, faster and cruelty free.  I have made a few large, time-consuming installation pieces, and I really wanted to come up with a project that was more immediate and sell-able.

Where do you find inspiration for the colour palettes and patterns you use on your painted antlers?

I tend to work best when I give myself limitations.  In this case, I have settled on a certain brand of craft paint that I really like working with and I am limited to the colors they make.  Within those color options, I just pick colors that I enjoy and prefer to have around me.  You see a lot of blues and metallic because those are colors I really like.  It is mostly just my preference coming out.

I have always been interested in pattern, ever since I started making art. Some of my antlers have detailed patterns that are part tribal inspired, part pysanka inspired.  A lot of the designs for my antlers are more simple than I normally do, but in that regard it is a way of challenging myself. I wanted to force myself to do some simple designs along with the more detailed stuff.

What is the story behind the antlers themselves? Do you know where they come from?

Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.  I actually get all of the antlers from commercial venues, so if they give back story on the antlers that is how I get it.  I live in Wisconsin, and even grew up in Northern Wisconsin, and I have never once found a shed deer antler, unfortunately.

Since discovering your work I've noticed a few other sellers have started making painted antlers. What advice do you have for Etsy sellers about making your work stand out from the crowd? How do you keep your work fresh and ahead of the trends?

The first thing I ever sold on Etsy was these deer antlers, and nearly a year later I am still making them and the demand is still growing. I think it was all about coming up with something original that people hadn't seen before.  My work has been featured on lots of blogs and even in print, because it was the first and people respect that.  Not to mention that I have a consistent style and quality that other sellers don't always have.  It's easy to keep it fresh when the idea is yours, I have a passion for it that people who copy me can't possible have.

Very well said, Cassandra! I know that you are also the co-editor of Fine Line Magazine, a fine arts magazine based in Milwaukee, WI. What kind of work are you most excited to showcase?

All of it!  Really.  We are working on our fifth issue now and I love all the work we have featured.  It is so satisfying to be able to bring a collection of contemporary artists together and be excited about each and every one of them.  I work with my business partner, Jessica Steeber, and there are times when an artist's work is more to her taste than mine, but by the time the issue comes out I have always grown to love their work as well.

What themes are explored in Fine Line?

We have a loose theme for each issue, based around a title that we come up with.  Our last issue was called "Subject To Change" and we dealt with artists whose work reflected some idea of physical or emotional growth and change.  We work with loose themes because aesthetics are very important to us.  It's just as important to us that the artist's work all looks good together as it is that it fits the theme.


How does working on Fine Line influence your own art practice?

It keeps me constantly inspired.  We have yet to feature a 3-D work in the magazine (although we are open to it), and all of my work is sculptural, so the art we choose for the magazine doesn't directly inspire my work. But just constantly being surrounded by amazing contemporary art keeps be excited about making art and being involved in the art community.

Above all, it seems that you are a multi-faceted artist/designer. Do you find that having a lot of different things on the go keeps things rolling for you creatively?

Absolutely. It is so refreshing to have more than one creative outlet.  I think I would get burnt out if I had to focus on just one thing. It's nice to be on both sides of the spectrum, making my own art and working with other people's art.  I also nanny for a 3-year-old part time, so that keeps me inspired and refreshed in a whole different way.

What upcoming projects are you looking forward to in 2012? Where can readers find Fine Line and your work?

The next big thing is our fifth issue of the magazine, titled "High Expectations".  We have made some significant changes for this new issue.  The best place to fine Fine Line is on our website: www.finelinemag.com  I am also working with several new stores on wholesale orders of my antlers, along with custom orders on my Etsy store.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions, Cassandra

Please head over to Cassandra's Etsy shop, MadeByCassandraSmith, to see more of her beautiful handpainted antlers and axes and be sure to check out Fine Line, too, for a bit of inspiration! I know you'll all love Cassandra's work as much as I do! Have a great week, everyone!


whyte lake

Have I told you lately that I love this part of the world? And that I also love the kind of people who take the time to make trail-side sculptures like the one above? Because both of these things are magical. Weekend highlights: hiking with friends and making jewelry (with help from Emily and Lara) to get ready for Got Craft? in one week. Hope you had a good weekend, too. 



It's Friday. I have weekend plans involving a lot of jewelry making, a hike, and a haircut. How about you? Welcome to everyone stopping by from Got Craft? and Scout Magazine. If you're looking for more jewelry pictures you can find everything in my online shop. Happy weekend!



Remember how I mentioned that I've been learning some new jewelry skills? Well, here are the pieces that I've been working on in the silversmithing shop lately. I wanted to show you a little more of the work in progress, Sharpie lines and all, because one day soon these will be finished and I'll be showing you my first sterling silver pendants in complete, yet adorably (I hope) imperfect form. Fun times!

I also wanted to share a little interview with me that's up on Scout Magazine today. Check it out here. Thanks for stopping by!



A few new things that I'll have with me at Got Craft May 6th here in Vancouver. The top two (including the exciting update of the rutilated quartz piece that I've been making for so long now) are already available in the Camp + Quarry Etsy shop. The others will be there soon. I've been loving some of my new materials. So much more to do to prepare, though! Back to work!