Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Friday, 31 October 2008

Hands-On Lead Seminar Saturday November 15

Not doing anything Saturday November 15? Consider spending it with Teenuh in her Hands-On Lead Seminar.This course is for those who can cut glass and have little or no experience working with lead. It's a full one-day hands-on course where you'll learn the basics of how to work with lead, cut glass to a leading pattern and continue all the way through to completion of a small panel. Note: all materials are included. Students must bring their own hand tools. Three spots left!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Stained Glass News #82

Stained Glass News is a full-color newspaper which has been dedicated to informing, entertaining and inspiring stained glass hobbyists for the past 20 years. Each issue features:

• information on new books, tools and glass
• quick tips & hints and Q&A's
• columns on stained glass, mosaics, and hot glass by industry experts
• photos of readers' projects in the Readers' Gallery including nudity (kidding, just checking if you're actually reading this)
• glassworking hints from readers on The Readers' Page
• a photo and information about a glass workshop
• other information that makes working with glass easier, more fun and more rewarding

SGN is published five times a year (on the first of January, March, May, September and November). The current issue is SGN #82 (November, 2008).

This month's free pattern 

...and... It's free. Just come in and with any purchase we'll give you a copy. 
... and... we've got them because we get them direct and not from our one and only Canadian supplier...

Friday, 24 October 2008

Health Canada Recalls Lead-tainted toys- Stained Glass Retailers Rejoice

Toronto, ON- Health Canada is ordering retailers in Ontario to pull tens of thousands of items off their shelves after finding they were selling lead-tainted toys and children's products, according to a report. Officials say these items contain lead-levels in excess of allowable amounts. The lead-tainted items were sold in a variety of stores, including "dollar stores," and range from toys to products children put directly in their mouths, such as baby pacifiers.
According to the government of Canada's "Healthy Canadians" website, the recalled items include:
"My Baby" brand pacifier twin pack and silicone pacifier
Children's Charm craft kits ("Super Dooper Charms" and "Shoelace charms")
"GTZ Kool Charmz" charm gift bracelet
"Fairy Dust Pendants" and "Candle Charms"

In related news, the Stained Glass Retailers Association, led by Fantasy In Glass, a wondrous stained glass emporium in Toronto has agreed to buy up all returned, lead-tainted inventory. It seems that as there is only one source of supplies at the wholesale level, and since they have almost nothing in inventory, this is the only means to get hold of a decent lead supply for their stained glass customers.

Oops, It Just Slipped By- July 11, 2008

Rob Gilmour, bank manager at the Bank of No Return, calls to remind Mike and Pat that July 11 was the twenty-fifth anniversary of Fantasy In Glass, Canada's first and still only officially sanctioned stained glass supplier. He asks if this is a good time for him to cash that cheque. Mike suggests maybe he wait a little longer- he's having too much fun to worry about making a living.

As a celebration, Mikey revives the Monthly Sale feature that sadly and forlornly, had been missing for the past few months. Find it here...

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Andre's Somewhat Weekly Sale

Glastar Strip and Circle Cutter! Andre's put it on sale for only $44.44 from October 23 to November 1!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Stephane Dion Announces His Future Plans!

OTTAWA — Stéphane Dion will no longer need to spend another day avoiding answering questions about his future after his party's election defeat Tuesday night having lost 19 seats and handing the Conservatives a stronger, albeit still, a minority government. Having hunkered down long enough at his official Ottawa residence at Stornoway, Mr. Dion has made his decision on his future today- and that future apparently is with Fantasy In Glass Glassworks.

A newspaper report last Thursday morning speculating that he was poised to announce later in the day that he would step aside was true. It can now be confirmed that Mr. Dion will be stepping down to replace Belinda Stronach as the night manager at Fantasy In Glass, a world famous stained glass emporium found in Toronto.

This would have been the sixth straight day that Mr. Dion was avoiding appearing in public. But now, knowing that there is a position for him in the Spectrum and Kokomo aisles, next to the English Muffle cathedrals and slumping molds at FIG, he has finally found purpose in his life after his devastating election loss. News has surfaced that he now has been so invigorated that he has even formulated a radical plan that he intends to present to Mikey, owner of FIG, later today.

While Liberal MPs and party stalwarts were all saying that he must go, they were all caught surprised by his definitive action, and the possibility of him actually having some sort of plan.

Rather than hanging on to the drapes at Stornoway, Dion is ready to look ahead to the next stage of his life. He incorrectly assumed he had only two career choices - to remain in Parliament or return to academic life in Montreal, until a third more fulfilling option was presented to him by Mikey and the staff at Fantasy in Glass last week. As an opposition MP, he would be a frontbencher, accorded a place of honour in the Liberal lineup. As a professor, he has tenure at Université de Montréal. But as night manager of Fantasy In Glass, Mr. Dion would finally have an opportunity to put his failed ‘Green Shift’ platform into effect.

When Liberal Leader Stephane Dion announced his Green Shift scheme three months ago, he assured Canadians that "every single penny" extracted from consumers from this ‘Green Tax’ would be returned in the form of income-tax cuts or subsidies for "going green". Now, as night manager of Fantasy In Glass, Mr. Dion finally has the opportunity to put his ‘Green Shift’ plan into place. He has proposed that Fantasy In Glass carry nothing but green glass- no more Youghiogneny Purples, or Uroboros Pink Mottles, no Bullseye Fuschias or Oceana Silver Dichroics, just greens- thereby finally realizing his dream of a Canada that has embraced his ‘Green Shift’ dream. While he may have been denied his dream by the Canadian electorate, he’s hopeful that the glass community found at Fantasy In Glass will believe that this is a course of action necessary for all Canadians.

Indeed, voters who go to the Fantasy In Glass' Web site and use the calculator there to determine Green Shift's cost to them will be hard-pressed to enter any combination of glass for any project, be it a Tiffany style lamp, Group of Seven painting, or nite lite teddy bear (Gary Brown’s favourite), and be able to find anything but green glass.

Calls to all the major glass manufacturers to find out if they have plans to alter their production to accommodate Mr. Dion’s plan went mostly unheeded. Evidence that Spuctrem Glass has already decided to copy any greens currently available by all the other manufacturers went unproven (letters to fig@fantasyinglass.com)…

Friday, 17 October 2008

Solder Sale!

Solder prices have increased so dramatically (as much as 50%!) Mike tries his best to soften the blow and says anyone who buys a 5.5 lb spool will get a 1 lb spool free until Oct. 31!

Monday, 13 October 2008

New Copper Foil In

Having had enough of the price increases we've seen in the Canadian market, Mikey searches out and brings in a large quantity of copper foil from the States.
From 3/16" to 1/4', in copper, black, and silver backed, all these foils come in their own unique 'Easy Pull' plastic dispenser. 
Best of all- while it's priced lower than any other foil on the market, the quality of the foil is outstanding. 

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Andre's Somewhat Weekly Sale

October 10 to October 22, all back issues of the popular Glass Patterns Quarterly, regularly selling for $7.50, on sale while supplies last at $4.88!

Reprint of Actual Correspondence

Mike arrives back from a day off, opens his mail, and reads the following letter;

Dear Wondrous Mikey
I am compelled to ask- do you write all this stuff? And I am having a hard time understanding some of the language you use. Is it English? Are you on medication for your ailment?
Yours Truly

Mike ponders and formulates his response;

Dear Mom,
Thanks for the pot roast. Most of the 'stuff' as you so eloquently state, found on this site, is written while I am in a trance or while sleeping. When I awake from one of these states I discover all this new 'stuff' on my computer and I don't have a clue how or why I wrote them. But I don't care, because I accept that I am a channel for some higher mysterious force that is using me to do its work. You might say that I have surrendered myself to this for I am a mere simple man otherwise. As for the inventive language, as you know the English language, or any language, is very limited in its ability to convey meaning, so for some unknown reason the force that channels through me invents new words or phrases to go beyond the wall.
Unfortunately, at present, there is no known cure for my ailment. It is a fatal disease, this love of glass, and someday I will pass from this world because of it. That is why I find such joy in living the remaining one hundred years of my life what I do…
In closing let me give you this comfort… I too am confused by what I write. It often amazes me that these thoughts have flowed through me. It takes time for me to absorb their full meaning. Some of them are absurd. I therefore apologize in advance for any confusion my words may cause.
On the other hand, I am just a humble servant to a higher force,
With Love

Sunday, 5 October 2008

New! Way Too Much Stuff To Read Section

We've pooled all our miscellaneous literature from the various manufacturers into a nice new white Ikea cabinet. Most are free, some we ask a small donation (to suppress those overly zealous people who plan to a long and cold winter in search of fuel for their fireplace- we end up donating to Sick Kids Hospital anyway).
Here you'll find Mikey's (in)famous TechSheets, back issues of Stained Glass News, and colour brochures from most of the great glass manufacturers. The newest just in is an updated catalog from Spectrum on their Hot System 96® glass- (copywriter alert!)-' Brimming with over 500 products and gorgeous new works by many of the finest artists in the industry. PIck up one at your favorite System 96 Retailer today' (they are referring to us here).

Thursday, 2 October 2008

You Meet the Nicest People

Had a customer drop in yesterday. He'd been in before. Quiet guy. Seemed to enjoy Mikey's music. Gave me some cd's just because (because payola is illegal). Had a chat about music- seems we even have a mutual friend in Enoch Kent the Scottish folksinger/stained glass hobbiest and he books (?) acts at Hugh's Room a 200 seat licensed restaurant/folk/roots/blues venue in Toronto's west end (Bloor and Dundas)- something of which there aren't enough. Upcoming acts include Maria Muldaur Oct 7, Harry Manx Oct 15 &16, Sue Foley Oct 17, Paul Reddick with Colin Linden Oct 18, Odetta Oct 24 & 25. More info here.