Diary of a Demented Store Owner

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!


A rendition of the Necker Cube in stained glass
Is the box of band aides inside or out?

Tripped across this today-Glass Geometry © 2005
Crazy Crate

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Coming In Next Week

Just got confirmation of a pending delivery from the States (got to love our free market system!). A Canadian dollar at par means we can now land and sell you a sale square of glass at 25% less than buying it in Canada. This delivery (by way of our friends at Traffic Tech) has over 3500 sale squares from Spectrum, Armstrong, Youghiogheny, Wissmach and others, as well as chemicals, vase caps, books, jewelry findings, brass sundries, various handtools and more.
Of special note, for the fuser, we also have over 200 molds on their way with an average price of around twenty five bucks or 25-40% less than buying it locally.

Pricing Status Report

Canadian Dollar- January 24, 2007- .84630 U.S.... today $1.001 (up 15%)
Porsche Boxter- January 24, 2007- $63,600.00 Cdn... today $58,100.00 (down 8%)
Glastar Superstar Grinder at FIG- January 24, 2007- $148.99... today $148.99 (no change)
Glastar Superstar Grinder in U.S.- January 24, 2007- $104.99... today $89.99 (down 15%)
Dollar in U.S. today $1.00. Dollar in Canada today- $1.00 (equal)
Glastar Superstar Grinder in U.S. today $89.99. In Canada today- $148.99 (66% higher)

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Jen-Ken Kilns

We've just ordered a truckload of kilns from Jen-Ken (the best manufacturer in the business). Included in this shipment is their popular 15" x 6" hex (with or without a quartz window), their slightly smaller 11" x 6" hex, and of course the infamous Chillipepper- the kiln made out of a toolbox (for real).We are also adding a new kiln to this shipment- the JK which can accomodate a 24" x 24" square shelf! All Jen-Ken kilns we order come totally complete and include a shelf, posts and kilnwash and all have the Bartlett 3-button computer controller included.
Special Deal!
If you leave us a deposit of 25% before October 13, we'll knock a hundred bucks off any kiln you order. Prices can be found on our website, but of course they'll be wrong- like Porsche Cars Canada, we anticipate a significant price reduction given that the dollar has gone up about 12% since our last order!

Another Mikey Truism or Life as a Canadian Retailer

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you better start running.

Tired of Reading? Then Try This

We know that, there are times where Mikey's wit and wisdom is just too much to absorb, so here's a welcome distraction-
Blogger Play will show you a never-ending stream of images that were just uploaded to public Blogger blogs. You can click the image to be taken directly to the blog post it was uploaded to, or click “show info” to see an overlay with the post title, a snippet of the body, and some profile information about the blogger who uploaded it. A great desktop distraction as you ruminate about Mikey and another opportunity for Mikey to post an embarassing pic of Zenia... again.

New Product!

Mikey takes delivery of a new flux for copper foil. It's called Armageddon Flux, and it's so new it has an expiry date of 'Best Before End'.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Mikey Feels a Rant Coming On!

So, the Canadian dollar is now at par or almost, and we still have pricing that doesn't reflect that fact. I know, we've heard all the stories, you know, old inventory, lag in the supply chain, smaller market, Aquarius in descent, yadda yadda, yadda...
Well, what can a poor Canadian stained glass retailer do when there's only one Canadian distributor and we have to contend with pricing that makes us now totally uncompetitive when we compare to the American market?
How about we suggest that you consider making all your grinder and bandsaw purchases in the States! That's right folks. We can't sell them to make a living and it seems that only the distributor is making any money on them, so why continue?
Here's some facts-
a Glastar Superstar II- on sale at Yglass for $89.99- our cost is 30% higher and we sell it at $148.99. Anything in Stained glass is selling a Wizling for $67.95- a lot less than what we're charged from the Canadian distributor.
Considering buying a saw? Yglass has them on for $338.78, Anything in Stained Glass for $329.95. Our cost is again more than 30% higher (I'd love to tell you exactly how much we pay, but I think we've already ruffled enough feathers for today). We had them on sale this month at a couple of bucks over our cost at $488.88. Want a blade for that saw- $81.95- about what it costs us here in Canada).
I know, you still have to pay shipping (no duty as they're U.S. made and are exempt) and there is the warranty issue, but to save 33% or more, I would consider doing it.
But now what about stuff that has no need for warranty coverage? Glass cutters ($21.99 for a Toyo vs $40.99 at FIG with our cost again greater than the American retail),Edco copper foil- $3.99/roll retail in the States versus our cost again which is higher than $3.99.
You know what? We'd be better off with paying retail and buying our supplies from the American retailer it seems!
Any comments from our fellow retailers?

Friday, 21 September 2007

Bead Oasis Show

The Bead Oasis Show is a 3 day show being held at the Metro Convention Centre on Friday Sept. 28 to Sunday Sept. 30. This is a Canadian consumer show featuring beads, beadmaking supplies, and all things related to melting glass. It is also a show that Fantasy In Glass is now participating in. Drop by and say hello!

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Canadian Dollar Hits Par- Circle Cutter Prices Plummet!

Well, sort of. Found a source for some really reasonably priced tools, How about a brass circle cutter that can cut circles up to almost 16", with a six-wheel head and suction cup base! Due in on Sept. 26.
Oh, yeah, how much? Sale priced at $23.88!

Brass construction with 2" vacuum base
• Score and cut circles up to 15-3/4" dia. and 1-16" to 5/16" thick
• Includes 6 cutting wheels

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Human Genome Project Finds Mutated Gene That May Explain Baffling Fondness For Stained Glass

ETOBICOKE, ON- As the first phase of the mapping of human DNA comes to a completion, a preliminary draft reveals the discovery of a mutated gene that may explain the baffling popularity of stained glass.
“The loud, repetitive pattern of sound that a Toyo Tap cutter imparts as it glides across a sheet of Spectrum opal seems to trigger a favourable response in the brain that goes counter to our understanding of what we normally consider pleasurable stimulus. We believe it’s caused by a gene mutation we sequenced,” said Zenja Chaboosky, a lowly research assistant at McMuster University involved with the project. The gene theory was met with relief by noted stained glass store owner Mikey in Toronto. “I’ve been puzzled for years. This may finally be the answer,” he said.

Shelves Or Staff Naked- Which Do You Prefer?

Back after a lull with vacation, we are now starting to refill our shelves back to our normal levels. Due in tomorrow is a sizeable delivery from our one and only Canadian supplier- Spectrum, Youghiogheny and Uroboros sheet glass, and over 1200 pieces of glass destined exclusively for our sales racks- including gluchip at 99 cents a foot!
Coming next week, another two truck shipment from a couple of suppliers in the States (hey, what are we going to do? The dollar is at 99 cents and our Canadian suppliers don't seem to want to pass on the savings so we'll continue to look for the best deals for you).

Tuesday, 18 September 2007


Last Part (7) of Mike's history of the origins of Swiss Cheesed Glasswerks;
INSTRUCTIONS FOR PURGING YOURSELF OF ORDINARY GLASS IN PREPARATION OF USING SWISS CHEESED It is well known that Swiss Cheesed Glass has powers few can understand and even fewer will ever realize. It is therefore essential that the proper ritual be followed to respectfully exploit the magic of this glass making you more effective in your true crusade. Step 1: Bathe in a cold mountain stream by moonlight to both purify yourself and to feel your connection to the flowing of the Single Harmonic Which Can Be Found In The Glass. Step 2: Anoint your body with Classique Neutra Flux and Patina Cleaner. This powerful cleanser will help you liberate the dynamic power of your repressed artistic craftsperson's soul. Step 3: Pick up your Glass Super cutter and dance on fire coals. This is a swell process for purging the spiritual weenies from your soul and will put you in touch with the demons and saints found on the path to stained glass happiness. There should now be no doubt that your spirit has been uplifted and is now affecting every aspect of your life. That is what Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks is all about.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Poor Al

New Fantasy In Glass Beginner student Al came in second place in a glass-cutting contest at the stained glass emporium today. No one had the heart to tell him he was the only entrant.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

A Bunch of New Books

This time of the year it's not unusual for all our publishers and suppliers to flood the market with new books. We alone have added over twenty titles in the past couple of weeks. There are a couple though that warrant a special mention- Angel Companions- contains 23 patterns for some very nice free-form angels (I think Mikey is in the book too- he's such an angel)and Witchcraft, another amazing book from Gillian Sawyer. This one is especially topical as there are designs in here that would make Harry Potter fans happy!

Stained Glass News

Issue # 77 has just arrived. This is a twenty page free publication that is yours with any purchase. We sometimes forget to get them out- just ask and it's yours.

Yippee! Glass Patterns Quarterly Fall 2007 Now In!

One of only two magazines that Mikey likes to read (we think it's because of all the pretty pictures and this one he doesn't have to hide under his mattress). This issue includes over 35 projects with sixteen pages of free patterns including a great ship pattern and a bunch of Angels and Christmas related stuff. I know, we said the dreaded $#@% word.

A Virtual Torrent of News To Be Inflicted Upon Fantasy In Glass Customers Including Class Info!

After our summer closing, the creative juices have been pent up long enough so prepare for an onslaught of news, starting right now:
Firstly, not terribly exciting, but perhaps helpful, we are extending our store hours-
Monday through Saturdays- 9:30am to 6:00pm, and starting Monday Sept. 24, we will be open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am to 7:30pm.
Fall classes start the week of September 24 as well- Beginner classes on Tuesday nights, and Intermediate classes now- Monday (new!), Wednesday and Thurday (7-10pm)(sorry- Wed now full).

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Mikey's Pictures

We've got almost 2000 pictures here now. 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?). Some of the most incredible windows ever produced can be found here, such as the amazing windows of Notre Dame in Paris or the church windows of Chagall in Zurich found here.
And, just to mix it up a bit, we thought we'd add in some interesting pics from other disciplines and artists, so you can find an exhibit from Dali here, and A Formula 1 auto exhibit from Sauber in Lucerne, Switzerland.
More pics coming...

Friday, 7 September 2007

Bead/Torch Info

Just a quick note for all those crazy beadmakers- they are those people who like working with molten glass- we've just updated our colour list to reflect a couple of recent shipments. This includes all of Bullseye's new colours as well as some of the very limited Special Production Rodz. Go here to see. This also gives us another opportunity to post a mildly embarassing picture of Zenia, once again.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

So What Happened?

Averaging between 20-30 blog entries a month, and none in August? What happened? Oh, the horror!
Not to worry though as Mikey and Sammy and the team at FIG are now back on-line after some well needed vacation time.
Coming up in the next few days- another 500+ pictures from Mikey and the Missus' travels to houses of worship in Switzerland, France and Italy. Italy you say- yup, we went to the most amazing and famous house of worship there is in Italy- that's right folks, you know what we're talking about- the Ferrari Factory and Museum! Mikey might even relate the story of how he explained to a local that he was Canadian, just like Gilles Villeneuve who drove for Ferrari and that he came to Ferrari to see the car Gilles drove.The local had two words for Mikey when he learnt Mikey had traveled such a distance just to see Gilles car- 'multo respecto'. Mikey was on cloud nine for a week!

There will also be pictures of some Chagall church windows from Zurich, as well as a plethora of others, some just as amazing, and some not. We'll also add in some non-glass pics of some visits to some interesting Salvadore Dali and Picasso exhibitions- two great artists who always provide us inspiration.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

September 2007 Sale Now Up!

With Zenia now back to school for the year, sadly our stream of unflattering pictures of Zenia must end... not!
We've just posted our monthly sale for September.
A quck one but we think a good one. Go here for details.