Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year!

To all of you from all of us here at FIG, who've helped make us a continuing success for 25 years running, all the best in the New Year! We love you all...

Sunday, 30 December 2007

More Pictures of Stuff With Zenia

Click here to go to a little photo pictorial of some of the latest new fashions in dichroic glass on the massive shipment we got in just before Christmas. This shipment included both 90 and 96 coe glass.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

What's This?

Apparently, Lani's cat has been seen working the local 7-11 (with Elvis no doubt) over the Christmas holidays...
Merry Christmas to all our friends and customers and all the best for 2008!

Friday, 21 December 2007

Another FIG Timewaster or Party Saver

We all know how having the In-laws over can sometimes be stressful so that's why Mikey posted another 360+ pictures here from his travels to Europe this summer to provide you with some distraction and enjoyment. Our little Christmas cheer to you. It also might help Mikey get over his grief over Edward the Cat...

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Bullseye Glass Shipment

Apparently the Chinese are coming with cheap product for fusing- we just received some samples from a wholesaler in the States, and cheap is definately the operative word here- price and quality wise.
Heck, but let's be honest here- the stuff could be made on the wings of angels and we still wouldn't consider it. The Bullesye Glass Company has earned and deserves our loyalty. They're the one who provide endless technical support. They're the one holding millions of dollars in inventory to guarantee speedy delivery (hey, where would we be if we needed to depend on our sole Canadian stained glass supplier for Bullseye?). They're the one running a department of 9 full-time technicians who test and teach seven days a week. They're the one working directly with hundreds of artists to stay on top of new methods and demands. And lastly, they're the one with Edward the Cat- I still weep every night over Lani's loss of that cat (I wish I could call him Ed, but that would be just too disrespectful).

We take receipt of a sizeable truckload mid-January. While the order has been submitted, we are open to anyone that might have some specific requests to add on.

All their new colours will be on this order (as they were on our last) as well as Tekta 3mm Clear and slumping molds. Go here to see the new stuff.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Mikey's Christmas Present... Not!

On our Fig Pictures Page, you have a door to over 2000 pictures that we've taken over the years on our travels. You'll find everything from Chagall's windows in Zurich, to Tiffany windows in Corning and New York, NY. This is where you'll find stained glass works from France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland (you think Mikey takes his money to the Cayman Islands?). And, just to mix it up a bit and to offer some insight and inspiration we thought we'd add in some interesting pics from other disciplines and artists, so you can find an exhibit from Dali, a Formula 1 auto exhibit from Sauber in Lucerne, Switzerland. and just added today, one of the greatest houses of worship- the Ferrari Museum in Maranello, Italy.
Mon. Dec. 24.................10:00am- 2:00pm
Tues. Dec. 25...................CLOSED! YIPPY!
Wed. Dec. 26.................. CLOSED! YIPPY!
Thurs.Dec. 27............... 12:00pm- 4:00pm
Fri. Dec. 28................... 12:00pm- 4:00pm
Sat. Dec. 29.................. 12:00pm- 4:00pm
Sun. Dec. 30................... CLOSED! YIPPY!
Mon. Dec. 31.................10:00am- 2:00pm
Tue. Jan. 1.......................CLOSED! YIPPY!
Wed. Jan. 2....................11:00am- 6:00pm

NEW HOURS (effective January 2, 2008)
Monday.......................11:00am to 6:00pm
Tuesday...................... 11:00am to 6:00pm
Wednesday.................. 11:00am to 6:00pm
Thursday..................... 11:00am to 6:00pm
Friday......................... 10:00am to 6:00pm
Saturday..................... 10:00am to 5:00pm
Sundays..................................Always Closed

Friday, 14 December 2007

Sorry, I Forgot

As only a lowly shopkeeper, we sometimes forget we need to be lawyers as well when putting stuff on sale. So here is our disclaimer for our Taurus 3 Ringsaw Sale-
We are temporarily sold out. Apparently our price was so good that we had Americans buying them!
As the blog is the place for all official FIG news, our website pages may not reflect these changes as quickly (our webmaster does not work as quickly as Mikey- and therefore is unable to afford weiners for his Kraft Dinner).
We will have a shipment of ringsaws arriving today, but they unfortunately will not be at the same price (but close). Rather than hide this shipment until January, we felt it best to offer them at a still great price and maybe take a little heat for being unable to sell them at the sale price (which now is below our cost)

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Bullseye's Special Production Rodz Coming!

Seeing as Zenia is here for a couple of days and the toilets have already been cleaned, Mikey thought it prudent to get her to write her Christmas letter to Santa and all he got was a list of Bullseye's Special Production Rodz. On her list are the following colours;

Aurora, Aurora II, Vintage Rose II, Lavender Blush, Light Pink Sapphrine, Very Fine Mikey, oops, I mean Purple, and Hematite Lustre.

Mikey has a special in with the Bullseye Elves and is assured that these are all arriving mid-January...

Okay, Enough Goofing Around- Here's Some Current Stock News

Mikey sometimes forgets that this blog is a great place to pass on pertinent information about Fantasy In Glass stock, news, etc. not just the other (but of course, factual) stuff like Conrad Black being once again disappointed about being unable to take our stained glass course. So here's a quick note about what's in and still out of stock;
Finishing Wax, 1/2" and 3/8" U-Zinc channel, stained glass putty, Glastar strip and circle cutters (great Xmas present!), a limited amount of full sheets of Bullseye Tekta (our Bullseye truck shipment with case lots of this glass will be in mid-January), Spectrum 100F, 30 x 40mm oval jewels (for angel heads)...
Still out:
Too many- unable to list due to space limitations...
Other Stuff:
We've sold out on our Taurus 3 ringsaws, but have another shipment coming in on Dec. 14, but most likely at a different price.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Conrad Black Appeals to Court - Wants To Sign Up For Stained Glass Course at FIG

CHICAGO: After several weeks of deliberation, Lord Conrad Black received the bad news he was not looking forward to hearing. His Lordship has discovered that the stained glass beginner course being taught at the facility where he will be spending the next six and a half years or so is nowhere near as good as the one being taught at Fantasy In Glass Glassworks.It was announced today that Lord Black (or BU0100F as he’s known to the staff at FIG) had enrolled in the Beginner Course at FIG (as taught by Louie or Treece), confident that he would be able to attend. Special arrangements were even made to accelerate the curriculum to accommodate his anticipated trip to a more secure environment in the New Year. Requests from His Lordship for gold-plated Supercutters lubricated with Truffle Oil and grinders filled only with sparkling Evian Rose Water were even being considered by the management, but were items only found in less secure settings. It had also been suggested by Ms. Black that a complete duplicate set of studio tools be provided for his Lordship in England as ‘you can never count on being on the right continent at the time when you need your tools’. Rumours that the razor strop from Lord Black’s purchase of Napoleon Bonaparte’s shaving stand is now being used to sharpen his newly purchased Don Carlos Solingen Steel Lead Knife (available exclusively at Fantasy In Glass) has not yet been verified.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Christmas Hours

Mon. Dec. 24.................10:00am- 2:00pm
Tues. Dec. 25.....................CLOSED! YIPPY!
Wed. Dec. 26.................... CLOSED! YIPPY!
Thurs.Dec. 27................. 12:00am- 4:00pm
Fri. Dec. 28..................... 12:00am- 4:00pm
Sat. Dec. 29.................... 12:00am- 4:00pm
Sun. Dec. 30...................... CLOSED! YIPPY!
Mon. Dec. 31....................10:00am- 2:00pm
Tue. Jan. 1..........................CLOSED! YIPPY!
Wed. Jan. 2......................11:00am- 6:00pm

Taurus 3 Ringsaws Update

If we bought them from our local (and only) Canadian supplier these great glass saws (with a round blade) would cost us more than what we've put them on sale for! I guess that's why we've got only four left at $388.88!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Store Owner Claims He Invented Sliced Bread

TORONTO, ON- In a published interview in 'The FigLeafLet', president of Fantasy In Glass, Mikey See claims that he invented the concept of sliced bread. "It's a little known fact that several months ago when I was toiling in the back room of FIG's stained glass studio working on the quintissential teddy bear night light, I succumbed to a compelling urge to do something different with my lunchtime break. Tired of having to open my mouth to the extreme to accomodate a full double rye loaf, I developed a mechanical device that slices an entire loaf of bread without polluting the atmosphere nor contributing to global warming. Though I'm a modest person I take full credit for this invention," said Mikey. A spokesperson for the National Bread Association scoffed at Mr. See's assertion. "Frankly there were many people who made major contributions toward the development of sliced bread and Mikey See is not one of them."
"This is another one of his half-baked ideas that he's gotten into his head," said Jim Davies of the Stained Glass Store Owners Accociation.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Secret To New Glass Pattern Found, Then Lost

Three staff members at Bull Eye Glass have claimed to have unlocked the secret to a new art glass which contains both squares and stars in a random pattern, then just as quickly lost the secret due to 'just trying to do too many things at once.'
Gary Brownie, chief researcher of the Bull Eye's Really Pretty Colours Department said he and his colleagues found the formula to this long sought after colour pattern, "but then just lost it,  although we knew it was there, and we just had it." Brownie added "It was so bizarre. I was just looking at our test firings and complaining about how the squares were more like parallelograms and having been fed up with the staff's persistent insistence with coming up with some sort of splotchy "Fremont Antique Glass type look with streaky striped edges on the sheet"  and I guess I put this beautifully perfect squared and starred piece down and couldn't find where I put it. I spent all afternoon looking everywhere, even in the drawer with all those discarded polarizing lenses and old 'Approximately System 95 or Thereabouts' stickers.  I have no idea how we find anything here.  Anyway,  I just couldn't find it."
Head of the Really Pretty Colours Research Department, Louie MacGrettor suggested  Brownie look in his lab coat when he finds it just in case he was going to put it there.  Commenting on Brownie's well known absent-mindedness, MacGrettor related the one time Brownie was looking all over the lab for his stressometers, and discovered he was wearing them on his head. It was so funny. MacGrettor is still "sure it's somewhere. I mean, where else could it be?" 
Everyone was careful to think about where they went after making the discovery, hoping to retrace their steps, although doing so usually resulted in them tripping and bumping into each other. Brownie added " I really worry about telling my boss that we lost it. We misplaced a formula for an extra dark white just earlier this month. He won't be too happy." 

Friday, 30 November 2007

Monthly Sale For December Posted

The end of the month is the time when we get to put some stuff on sale but more importantly it's also another opportunity to post an embarrassing picture of Zenia. Ah, but she's away and I promised to be good (a little bit)... at least for this month. Stay tuned for more Zenia next month. Go here to check out our sale for December.

On another note, apparently we have a Canadian stained glass supplier that didn't know Christmas was coming up after being in business for over three decades. If you're looking for clear oval jewels for angel heads, or hobby U-came, or Finishing Wax, or SPI100RW, or small and large cement, or 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" diamond bevels and small star bevels for making snowflakes, or small red jewels for holly, or 3" x 5" oval bevels, or 12" and 18" L-squares (I'll stop here) forget about getting it locally. I guess if cross-border shopping is supposed to be uneconomical, it's still necessary if you want to get stuff you need that you can't get locally.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Taurus 3 Saw- The Continuation of the Start

Tired of seeing stuff on sale in the States at price a Canadian retailer can only dream of? Especially now with the Canadian dollar better than (or at least at) par with the American dollar when it shouldn't be. I know- the old story, a favourite- 'we bought all this inventory when the dollar was low'- it hasn't been low for months, one wonders how they stay in business with such a slow stock turnover rate. Wait, that can't be true- they're bragging about how business is booming, after all, that's the reason why they're out of inventory all the time. But wait, if they're out of inventory they're now going to buy with a high Canadian dollar. But wait...

I see Toyo Pistol Cutters for $25, Edco 7/32" foil on sale at $3.88, Morton Portable Glass Shop at $67.99, all retail prices and all at less than our wholesale cost here in Canada (something that our Canadian supplier doesn't want you to know). Oh yeah- how about this one- a GST Polar Bear cluster- a Canadian originated product distributed and owned by a Canadian, selling for $33.11- again, remember, less than what I pay at our Canadian wholesaler! These prices by the way are from legitimate retailers (not ebay, etc).

We're seeing the slow but consistent erosion of our customer base to cross border shopping. Saturdays are now like Tuesdays with people no longer coming to us from any distance. We don't do as much mail order like we used to. Heck, things used to be so busy we were even thinking of opening a store in Calgary because of all the orders we got. Not any more. And big ticket item sales like grinders and irons and kilns? Not happening. While going to the States does not always offer an economic advantage when you consider time and effort to do so, it nevertheless is occurring, rightly or wrongly, at an ever increasing rate.

And hey, what about shopping on-line? I found those better than Canadian prices in about eight seconds of surfing... sitting in my underwear (I know, I didn't need to go there). Losing sales to the web shopper is something our supplier doesn't want to acknowledge. Buying on-line means no drive or wait at the border, no border inspection. No gas to buy. No time lost. And usually no duty...

Now, I know that we've been quite vocal about the sad state of affairs in the Canadian market- you know the drill- a monopolistic environment, an ever increasing and continuing supply problem, prices that don't reflect the realities of the current economics, yadda yadda. And yes, I'm likely going to pi#$% off the wholesaler again and he's likely to call me again about my rant. But, hey, it's the small independent Canadian retailer that is the one most being affected here- not him. And the long term situation seems less rosy- smaller retailers are going out of business and the larger retailers are turning to the American wholesale supply chain, possibly never to return or at least not to the extent of the old days. Heck, if not for the better pricing, at least to secure inventory- it's becoming increasingly frustrating to have to make excuses because we don't have bevels in stock in October when everyone needs them, or how the kitchen cabinet guys were told to consider artglass and then we can't get the textures they want.

So, we will continue to do our best to secure inventory that we can't get here and to get better pricing that allows us to remain competitive and encourage you to come back to us. We will buy elsewhere, and in ever increasing quantities, to allow us to offer goods and prices comparable to the U.S.

A good example is the current sale we have on the Diamond Lase XL Bandsaw (2 blades included)- we put them on sale at $208.88 and sold out almost immediately (I think I feel a rant coming on, only this time from our American competitors talking about us!). So we brought in a couple of skidloads of saws immediately, and with the strong Canadian dollar, was able to lower our sale price even further- down to $188.88 (by the way, only seven left).

And that long rant now brings us to our Taurus 3 headline. We've bought a quantity of Taurus 3 ringsaws, and are able to put them on sale at $388.88 (cash/debit, while supplies last)!

And yes, that is at a price that is less than our current Canadian supplier's wholesale (and on sale!) price to us (oh, boy- here comes another phonecall...).

Any of our fellow Canadian competitors care to comment and/or relate their own experiences, please post a comment (anonymously of course, which you can do here)

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Free Stuff

We have a series of binders with well over 200 free patterns for you to choose from- including suncatchers, lamps and Christmas themed stuff. And now we've added another binder of free projects and patterns devoted to fusing and slumping for your amusement (frustration?). Yours for the taking.

Don't have a kiln? Then come in and use ours (only $5/firing!), or rent one and take it home ($5/day!).

Mikey Needs To Quell His Urge To Rant and Decides To Educate Instead- Glass, Liquid or Solid? The Definative Mikey Answer Here

So, what is it this mysterious substance we call glass? Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? Do four out of five dentists recommend it? (Which makes you wonder who visits that one out of five dentist, and what does he recommend?...Ed) Let's join hands and explore the subject together. Okay, let's assume it's a liquid for a minute. It has to be, right? We've all heard the stories about pulling glass out of old windows and how the pieces were all thicker at the bottom proving that the glass was slowly flowing downward. Heck, the way the glass was flowing pretty soon all our churches will have their sanctuaries full of puddles of flowing stained glass windows. You'll have to step over the Good Shepherd and his sheep to get to your pew! With all those uncovered windows with all their cancer causing light streaming through them congregations will be forced to take communion wearing Vuarnet sunglasses and wearing sunscreen. Actually it's a sham. Old glass is typically mouth blown and therefore varies sometimes quite significantly in thickness, disproving the notion that glass might be a liquid.

Well if it's not a liquid then it stands to reason that it's a solid, right? Webster's Dictionary defines a solid as "a substance of definite shape and volume; not liquid or gas." There you go, problem solved. But, hey, wait a minute. Isn't something a solid only when its molecules are motionless and lined up in flawless geometric fashion, like your grandma's furniture doilies. We call this "crystalline" (the solid, not grandma's doilies, unless she seldom washed them). A liquid on the other hand is quite the opposite. Its molecules are constantly in motion and entirely random in structure. Well, what do we do now? It seems then that according to the scientist, glass is neither a solid or liquid because its molecules are motionless (like a solid) but random in configuration (like a liquid)- so we'll call it a liquid? Actually a better word is vitreous.

If you look around there's lots of stuff that's sometimes a liquid and sometimes a solid. Take that stuff wrapped in foil at the back of your fridge for example. Or water. Or iron. At any given moment, their state depends on their temperature. Water's molecular structure is random until the temperature moves down to zero Celsius (how come they don't use centigrade?) when its molecules start to crystallize- namely, line up in perfect lattice-like order and stop moving. Below zero and bingo, now it's a solid. And the amazing thing is that zero degrees is like a light switch. Above it's a liquid, below, it's a solid. But vitreous substances (like glass in case you've been sleeping until this very moment) do not have a freezing or melting point. As temperature decreases the free flowing molecules in molten glass simply slow down to the point where they just won't move anymore. But they stay random with no crystallization occurring. Got it? So, glass then is neither a liquid nor a solid, but it's sleazy and exhibits definite characteristics of both. You might say we now have Four States of Matter instead of three- liquid, solid, gas and glass.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Another Fallacy Dispelled By Mikey and FIG

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not true that if you melt dry ice, you can clean the flux or patina off your copper foil project without it getting wet.
But it is true that we've lowered our Taurus 3 Ringsaw price down to $499.99!

Friday, 16 November 2007

A Blatent Plug For a Nice Guy

I know that this is supposed to be a blog on the rantings of demented stained glass store owner but ownership has its priviledges and yes, that includes veering off into the ditch once in awhile. Another of Mikey's passions besides stained glass is watches (read his story of his long-time Accutron 214 Spaceview watch recently fixed and see if it doesn't bring a tear to your eye- read it here!). Another passion is good honest service. Put the two together and you get Trebor Vintage Watches in Kirkland, Quebec. Looking for a nice, clean reasonably priced vintage watch, then give Robert a look at his website. Tell him we sent you.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Same Shipment, Same New Lower Price

Our truck shipment today also included the popular and perpetually sold out Easy Cut Lens (small circle) Cutter. Old regular price- $67.99, new adjusted because of the dollar price- $59.99, on sale until the end of the month for $48.88! That is all.

Dollar Continues to Go Up- Prices Continue to Come Down!

Just in this morning- a couple of skids of Diamond Laser Speedster bandsaws and some other tools, from the States, paid with a strong Canadian dollar which means more price reductions at Fantasy In Glass, Canada's first and still only officially sanctioned stained glass supplier.
So now we're kind of embarassed- we have these on sale this month for $208.88, but now we can put them on sale for even less than that. What to do? Oh, the horror! Make new friends with a lower price, and annoy those who already bought a saw on sale? Or keep the price as it is? Not likely...
Here's the deal-
New sale price on a Diamond Laser bandsaw (with two blades, automatic water feed, three year warranty and self-adjusting) is $188.88! And... if you already bought a saw at the old sale price bring your bill in and we'll give you a Beattie Ultimate Strip Guide (list-$23.00/fig price- $19.99) for free to make up the difference.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Another Spectrum Spirit Dichroic

Bullseye Mardi Gras with Rainbow Pattern Dichroic

Zenia Thinking About 'The Big Picture' While Holding a Sheet of Rippled Dichroic

Spectrum's New Spirits Dichroicized!

And Some Spectrum Reptilian on Smooth Black!

Pixie Stix Also in 90 and 96 coe

Corkscrew Dichroic- in 90 and 96 coe

Dichroic Glass At Hard-to-Beat Pricing, Finally!

Wow, we’ve finally got our dichroic glass order unloaded, catalogued, bagged and labeled (we hope Mikey means the glass, not the staff), and now our leader sits in the Ivory Tower, sweating over his abacus (and fingers and toes), trying to figure out pricing on this stuff. Do not belittle this man and the monumental task he now faces in these difficult times. The stained glass market is very complex these days- something we’ve been documenting (boring you with (?)) on this blog for many months now. On one hand we need to be mindful of American suppliers who look ever increasingly attractive to cross-border shopping from Canadians, so we have to be ever smarter (not an easy thing for Mikey sometimes) with our purchasing and pricing, and on the other hand we have to be able to price product to still make a living. This means more frequent and larger purchases from American suppliers, sadly bypassing our Canadian supplier. Not something we are happy doing, but necessary as we are still paying for goods in Canada as if the dollar was still $.87 U.S. and not $1.06 U.S.

We’ve received 700 ¼ sheets of dichroic glass with all the latest styles (i.e. Corkscrew, Splatter, Pixie Stix and even Spectrum Smooths and Spirits as a base glass). All dichroics are now available in both coefficients so we now have an unrivalled 96 coe selection for all the Spectrum fusers (‘crayon artists’), so we’re confident our selection is the best available anywhere. And with the pricing we’ve come up with, I think we can hold our own with the Americans on this stuff. This batch was bought with a much stronger Canadian dollar and we have passed the savings on to you. Mikey actually took some time away from his ‘recreational’ web surfing time to see what dichro sells for in the States, and thinks we’ve got the selection as well as the pricing to be competitive. We’ve got ¼ sheets starting at $48.99, 4” x 4's” at under $16.00 an 2" x 4's" at less than $10.00! If you were to buy dichroic glass from the U.S., ¼ sheets range from $44.99 - $69.99 and then you'll have to add in shipping and brokerage (or time and gas if you go pick it up yourself hoping not to get caught at the border).

Look at Fantasy In Glass as your friend and stress reliever- no more harrowing trips (oh, the horror) hurling down the Q.E.W. wearing and tearing at your car, burning hydrocarbons (oh, the shame) hiding your stash from ever-vigilant border guards, all for what? Not for goods less expensive, anymore.

We also have special pricing for our business customers, so if you’re considering a purchase cross-border, give Mikey a call.

So what the heck is dichroic glass? Only the hottest thing in fusible glass today! The colours are unbelievable and change with every movement of the finished piece. The metallic oxide coatings that are vacuum deposited on the glass substrate (the base glass can be either clear or black, smooth or textured) create an optical filter that reflects and transmits wavelengths of light. The composition of this thin coating reflects and transmits light differently to produce the range of colors available to the glass artist. If a piece of transparent coated glass is held up to the light, one colour will be visible; when viewed at an angle, another (opposite) colour will appear. That’s why this two-colored effect is known as dichroic.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Yippee! Canadian Dollar Hits $1.07

... and Fantasy In Glass passes the savings on to you! Just got in an order of 32 kilns- and have dropped the price an average of 22%.
Our JK15/6 is our most popular kiln and comes complete with a shelf, posts, kilnwash, Bartlet computer controller, fashionable stand and two year warranty. It's inside dimensions are 15" wide x 6" deep, runs on regular household current and has side as well as top firing coils. This one competes and beats all comparable kilns on the market including The Hot Shot from Evenheat in price, performance and accessories! Comes in your choice of 13amp or 17amp versions (don’t worry- I didn’t know what that meant either until someone spent 32 seconds explaining it to me). The 17amp version can reach full fusing temperature in one hour- unheard of for a 120 volt kiln! Our old price was $959.00, but now it's yours for only $789.99!
Our next best seller is the JK11/6- all the same features as the 15/6 but with an 11" diameter. Old price- $859.99- new price $689.99- a 20% price drop!
Don't wait too long- half our order is already sold out. Go here for more info.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Jen-Ken Kilns Arrive! And Mike Goes Off on Another Rant

It's been a particularly good week for Ben Gay and Robaxacet for muscle sores and back pain as we've been busy receiving several truckloads of goods from the States- on Wednesday, a huge delivery of kilns, followed two days later by our dichroic glass shipment.
As for the kiln delivery, aside from the best sellers, we brought in a couple of large models such as a new 24” x 24” square kiln (no stupid space inefficient round corners like most large kilns) that you’ve just got to see…oops, never mind, they all sold out in two days! Don’t worry, we’ll get more. In the meantime, we’ve got a slew of 11” and 15” models, all with computer controllers, complete with shelving included, etc.
Now, to the rant-
Yes, we are continuing on a program of sourcing out goods from outside Canada as it seems our Canadian stained glass distributor has taken advantage of the rising Canadian dollar and done little to lower pricing (as a matter of fact, stuff like Glastar product has just recently risen in price- I know, Glastar raised their prices to their distributors, but the price increase would have to have been in the order of 25% or more to see these new prices). At least someone is making a profit in this tough market today. But is this short sighted thinking good for our industry’s long-term health? I think not.
Why do we go through the hassle of bypassing the Canadian distributor and go to the States? Well, it’s the only way to stay competitive with the American market and stem the tide of cross-border shoppers. We're seeing pricing here unchanged from a year ago when goods should be at least 20% cheaper. Heck, I can buy glass cutters, grinders and other sundries at retail from a store in Buffalo cheaper than I can pay for it wholesale in Canada!
And that is the point of this rant- we fear for the long term health of the Canadian market if this is to continue much longer. Our customers are finding ever cheaper alternatives to the Canadian shopkeeper in the States and may never return, and Canadian retailers will either fail to survive or find alternative sources to our Canadian supplier, never to return to the Canadian supplier.
As a retailer on the front line, we are now seeing a serious erosion of our customer base; for example, Saturdays which is a typically busy day, is also a day when we attract people from farther distances. Now we see fewer customers coming to us from say, 50-150 miles away and assume they now prefer to make the trek to the States.
How do we know we're losing market share? Anyone can check out pricing on the web and see we're at a disadvantage, or listen in on the phone calls we get from people telling us they want a Taurus band saw for $379.95 U.S. (that's $361.00 CDN) from a retailer in the States who is making a profit at that price, when they cost us more than that (with no profit yet, and on sale at the distributor too!). Heck, we can buy them from Delphi at retail and do better than buying them here from our local distributor.
So, that’s why we do what we must do to survive. The proof is in the pudding- recent American purchases have resulted in the following savings:
Chemicals such as Fry Flux- down 20%!
Sale Squares- from an old average of $3.99-4.99, now $2.99!
Speedster Bandsaws- down 30% in the last six months!
Bullseye Fusible Glass- down an average of 12% (and the next shipment due with even greater saving)
Dichroic glass and kilns- savings anticipated in the range of 15-25%
And we will continue…

Huge Dichroic Glass Order Arrives at FIG

"Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr Epstein"- Dick Rowe, Decca Records, 1962

But dichroic glass definately not! As Canada's only official CBS dichroic distributor, we went all the way with this order- 170 full sheets- or over 700 quarter sheets! All the new patterns such as Corkscrew. Heck, we even brought in some System 96- check out the dichroic Spirits- simply amazing! Almost as cool as the Bullseye dichroic Mardis Gras also new and on this order. Pricing is yet to be established but with a Canadian dollar at $1.05 American when we paid for this order, you can bet we're gonna kick some butt on pricing to stop you from shopping across the border.
We've posted a copy of our packing slip here so you can see exactly what came in on this order- go here.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Stained Glass News #78

If you think reading this blog is a time consuming (but no doubt worthwhile) experience then pass on SGN as it also requires a commitment of time (they pay less for their jokes tho').
This issue in particular offers a very attractive snowflake pattern (free at Fantasy In Glass for the asking).

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

New! FigSip Silver Patina

You've surely noticed that the need for a top-quality Silver Patina has increased dramatically in recent years.
It seems that people are no longer merely satisfied with Black, Copper and Antique Brass Patinas.
As our expectations rise so do our demands for better choice and quality.
That's why Fantasy In Glass has developed a Silver Patina for the discriminating connoisseur.
The Fantasy In Glass Silver Patina (or FigSip) is of the highest quality assuring the user of an even, rich shiny silver finish with just one application.
So, when you want that unique, rich look of silver, try FigSip Patina, the choice of professionals.
Available exclusively at your Fantasy In Glass supplier.

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Monthly Sale for November

The end of the month is the time when we get to put something on sale but more importantly it's also another opportunity to post an embarrassing picture of Zenia. Ah, but it's Halloween and Anja dressed up so appropriately that Mikey is compelled to post her picture here instead, and to wish everyone a great Happy Halloween! Stay tuned for more Zenia next month.
Oh, yeah, go here for the Monthly Sale.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

NASA Denies Stained Glass Store On Moon Claim

NASA administrators have strongly denied that there is a stained glass store on the moon. Recent pictures have been circulating on the internet and purport to show the reflection of a long chocolate brown coloured awning with the words 'Stained Glass' inscribed on, it in the helmet visor of astronaut Buzz Aldrin, lending weight to conspiracy theories which suggest that the U.S. space agency faked the 1969 moon landings in order to divert attention from the Vietnam War.
Sceptics have long claimed that photos of the landing show shadows which face in the wrong direction, suggesting that the event was faked by NASA and was staged in and around Toronto, Canada. Conspiracist Gary Brownie has unearthed proof that Fantasy In Glass Glassworks a stained glass emporium of some note, has been based in Toronto for several decades and while out-of-this world, has never been anywhere but Toronto, on The Queensway in Toronto's west end. He claims that two employees who worked there disappeared shortly after in mysterious circumstances and that they have yet to be found.

Said Brownie, "The problem is that stained glass craftspeople are scared to talk about this - too many of their colleagues have been silenced over the years."

Canadian Space Agency sources scoffed and pointed to the timing of the story. "This is malice put about by opponents of the United States' plan for a Lunar Moonbase and a colony on Mars and the revival of lead came in stained glass"

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

More Spectrum Fusible but Don't Panic Lani

Lani is one of the owners of Bullseye, and seeing as she is still grieving over Ed her cat (see her comments elsewhere) and might be in a sensitive mood, Mikey needs to reassure her that we are still firmly and undeniably in the Bullseye camp- we actually just use Spectrum in the old bait-and-switch move to hook people to fusing and then get them to move over to Bullseye.
If you've been in this month to take advantage of our great Spectrum Fusible Sale we've reloaded the racks with another 400' from our delivery yesterday. And yes, the new stuff is even cheaper given we bought this stuff in the States and not here.

Wooden Crates for Sick Kids

We've got a dozen or so wooden crates that measure 15" wide by 40" long and 28" deep from our last shipment taking up some valuable shop space. They are great for storage and can even work as the base for a worktable.
First come, first serve with a $15.00 donation to Sick Kids Hospital gets you one.
We also have alot of Spectrum Rack Pack crates that are smaller, at $5.00 to Sick Kids.
That is all...

New Store Hours to Year End

effective November 19, 2007

Monday...........10:00am to 6:00pm
Tuesday......... 10:00am to 6:00pm
Wednesday....... 10:00am to 6:00pm
Thursday........ 10:00am to 6:00pm
Friday.......... 9:30am to 6:00pm
Saturday..........9:30am to 5:30pm
Sundays......Always Closed (Sorry)

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Truck Delivery Arrives from The U.S.

Just arrived on this fine, damp and rainy day, our second delivery from the States in as many weeks.
This one contains over 3000 sale pieces of glass, as well as the same chemicals we can get here (or can't as they are always out of stock), but now cheaper due to the strength of the Canadian dollar and the unwillingness of Canadian suppliers to reflect that in lower prices to us. We are pricing all these sale squares at 25% less than if we were to buy them here locally.
For the fuser, we've brought in over a hundred new molds, again at an average cost to you of about 20-25% less, die cut fusing blanks, powder sifters, money clips, tie bars, button backs, etc...

Friday, 19 October 2007

They Wish!

You know, every time a rumour starts and the victim tries to refute the rumour, it tends to flame the fires even more so we address this one with some trepidation;
We are not going to stop selling supplies and just go into custom work. Heck, we've been there already having run a professional church window studio in our past. Especially now- we love the challenge of dealing with out-of-stocks from our current Canadian supplier and trying to find supplies elsewhere (and now cheaper too).
I suspect these rumours might have been started by a wishful thinking competitor or perhaps even a wholesaler, but we are here to continue to kick some butt in this industry that we've invested over 25 years in! They wish!

Today's Economic Lesson, or Don't Shoot the Messenger

Canadian dollar this morning- $1.0348- up over 20% in less than a year.
Price of goods to Fantasy In Glass from our Canadian supplier- the same (or even higher in some cases).
Apparently the only one making any money in the Canadian stained glass market is the wholesaler...

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Massive Potential Recall Pending

TORONTO - More than a half-million tons of Chinese-made lead came may be recalled next week, including the popuar 1/2" round H profile and the little suncatcher u-channel, because they were found to contain levels of lead. Details to follow.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Anthropology of Stained Glass

The most significant discovery in Mikey's career was entirely serendipitous. Last April, the stained glass store owner was hiking in Germany's Neander Valley when he tripped over something on a trail. Some quick digging exposed the obstacle as the tip of a mastodon tusk. But it wasn't until a few weeks later when the entire tusk was unearthed and dated that Mikey realized the magnitude of his find. The tusk, he believes, is actually a Neanderthal glass cutter. Mikey calls it a Neanderthal "toyofigus." Like the grozing pliers discovered in Slovenia last year, the fact that the 50,000-year-old toyofigus predates the presence of glass makes it even more perplexing.

A carefully aligned hole starts at the top of the cutter and runs its entire length. "I think a Neanderthal master craftsman must have used a stone awl to hollow out the toyofigus," says Mikey. This cutter, he says, proves that while primitive man made and used tools, more importantly it suggests that Neanderthals used a cutter lubricant proving they were concerned with cutter wheel longevity.

While digging out the tool, Mikey uncovered the entrance to a cave and another major find: the first example of Neanderthal cave stained glass cutlines. Fittingly, the cutlines show lamp and suncatcher designs alongside proposed formulas for actually manufacturing glass once fire is discovered. "Maybe what we have here is the birth of a new hobby and artform."

Mikey theorizes that the Neanderthals' fondness for stained glass may explain why they vanished some 30,000 years ago. "Maybe their frustration at not actually having any glass to cut scared away all the game. They would have produced an awful racket all over the place complaining and arguing over whether Bullseye artglass would continue to be as popular as it is yet to be."

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


For making us the most popular website in stained glass on the web. Over a half a million hits a month and Google ranking at # 1 for stained glass supplies, stained glass handsome guys, stained glass nice guys, good looking Mikey's, etc.

I'm Not Normally Quite That Rude

Lani McGregor (partner/owner of Bullseye Glass and also a blog author) is nice enough to read my blog, yet I neglected to give her blog a mention. Go here to read up on the trials and tribulations of this great glass manufacturer.
Oh, the picture attached? It has nothing whatsoever to do with Bullseye, but Lani posts so many pretty pictures to her blog, I felt it incumbent upon me to do likewise.

Mikey Feels a Good Rant Coming On!

Well, well, well. It's been what, about six hours since we last gave Bullseye some sort of mention, hasn't it?! In that case then it's about time to do a little rant on this manufacturer- and a nicer manufacturer we’ve never found.
While the Egyptians might have invented glass fusing (go here to read Mikey's Fusing Paper), it was Bullseye that turned it into an art form that is now accessible to almost anyone. Well at least to any of our customers, as we seem to be the only source of the full line of this great artglass being a dealer for almost ten years.
What about other manufacturers such as Spectrum which we also carry? A cheaper glass you say? True, but your colour selection is so limited you might as well be working with crayon. Of course you could fill out their limited palette with the accompanying glasses from Uroboros but, oops, there goes your savings. Why not just stick with Bullseye's palette of well over 200 colours, in various thicknesses, various textures, various iridescent coating styles and all the accessory glass like stringers, frits, fractures and powders to go along with it.
Heck, they are now also an up and coming supplier of rods for torchwork and were very generous in their support of our involvement in the recent Bead Oasis Show (as well as donations of glass to our Cooking with an Executive Chef seminars, etc).
The trend may be towards using a glass like Spectrum because of its cost (false), but we will continue to fight the fight and carry as much Bullseye as we can and will continue to price it aggressively to ensure it is available to as many people as possible. Besides, Lani McGregor (partner in Bullseye) (and Amy- retired sale rep for us) read our blog and as far as we know Spectrum doesn't.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

It's a New Month.

That means two things here at Fantasy In Glass;
1) Mikey's just posted another Monthly Sale Special (for October 2007), and
2) we get to post another embarassing picture of Zenia!
Go here to see the sale. Stay here to gaze at Zenia's picture a little while longer...

On another note, today also marks the last day of the three day Bead Oasis Show that Fantasy In Glass was a participant in (at the Metro T.O. Convention Centre). We had a booth to showcase our ever-expanding beadmaking department which consists of Bullseye Rodz, torches, and handtools (see our seminars page for several newly added classes on this increasingly popular glass craft). Our involvement was single handedly organized and run by the Bead Girl Herself- Zenia (with great assistance from Pat) and for that we are forever grateful (of course not that grateful that we won't continue to run a continuing series of embarassing pictures tho'). Job well done ladies.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?

It was the chicken's day off of course! And it will be partially for the FIG Staff too.
Saturday October 6 we'll be opening a litle earlier, and closing a little earlier-
hours on Sat. Oct. 6 are- 9:00a.m.to 2:pm. And we remind you, yes, we'll be closed on Monday October 8.
May your turkey be a festive one. Happy Thanksgiving from all the staff at Fantasy In Glass!