Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Our Christmas Present To You Is...

... a less frightening picture of Zenia to announce the posting of our Boxing Month Sales found here...
(note- it's two pages- the link takes you to the second page)
Happy Christmas to all, fun and good health for the New Year
All the Staff at Fig

Some of Our Customers' Work

From Bernie (obviously a big Chagall fan)-

and here's a very clever use of our Uroboros Ends, transformed into a menorah-

This is a funky dish made by our own Tina, with a clever use of some Bullseye Rodz!

... and it wouldn't be Christmas without a Santa (from Peter R.)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Things That Make You Wonder

It's really funny how our business works sometimes.
Like on a sale, how is an advertised discount calculated? 
And more importantly is it honest and fair? 
Just got a flyer this week from a supplier offering some glass at 30% off. 
Wow! Big saving, right?
But let's look closer-
The glass that's on sale is a line that was discontinued well over a year ago. When glass prices were lower.
So, is it 30% off that price from over a year ago? On this discontinued glass.
Or is it based on glass prices today for a different line? 
Seems it is.
Makes you wonder...

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Another Star Fuser!

Bradley shows off his first attempt at fusing using the DTI Microwave Fusing Kiln!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Holiday Hours

Wishing you all a great Christmas and a safe and happy New Year. 

Yes, we will be having a Boxing Week Sale (posted here).
Our hours are:
Sat. Dec. 24 ................10am- 2pm
Sun. Dec. 25 ................... CLOSED
Mon. Dec. 26 .................. CLOSED
Tue. Dec. 27 ...............10am- 4pm 
Wed. Dec. 28 ............. 10am- 4pm 
Thur. Dec. 29 ............. 10am- 4pm
Fri. Dec. 30 ............... 10am- 4pm
Sat. Dec. 31 .............. 10am- 4pm
Sun. Jan. 1 .................... CLOSED
Mon. Jan. 2 .................... CLOSED
Tue. Jan. 3 ................ 11am- 5pm
Wed. Jan. 4 ............... 11am- 5pm 
Thur. Jan. 5 ............... 11am- 5pm
Fri. Jan. 6.................. 11am- 4pm

Friday, 16 December 2011

We've had the luxury of being able to play a little bit lately and thought we'd share some of our experiments with you. 
This is our take on the Puddles Project we've talked about here. Very easy and very effective! 
Rather than simply stacking glass for the initial fuse, we used a stainless steel dam for this first step.
Care to try this at home? We will lend you our dam free of charge.

1. Six pieces of opal Sys96 glass loaded up in a stainless steel dam (lined with some fibre paper)

2. Forgetting to take a pic of the block fused and intact, we show you the block after the first strike of the hammer. No need to be artistically careful here- just wack it and get out some of your frustration (it's not true Zenia was thinking of Mike here).

3.  After a little more frustration release-

4. A closer look at some of the chunks now broken off 

5. Loading the kiln. Note the chunks are set on edge now

6. After firing- in the kiln 

and here, out-

Stick on a bail and you're done!

7. See those crumbs?  Don't throw them out-

- because they make a great topping for a colourful plate-

Care to try this, we can help with a free loan of our stainless steel dam as well as some guidance on firing schedule, etc

Thursday, 15 December 2011

This Saturday Only!

Buy the great Coneart B3k117 kiln, which coincidentally happens to be already on sale at $888.88 (down from $1099.99) and we'll let you pick out and take $100.00 worth of Bullseye Sale Squares (which also are on sale right now) for FREE!

Zenia Trying To Be Helpful

Friday, 9 December 2011

This Saturday Only

The great Glastar Superstar grinder!
5 year warranty, 3/4" grinder head, 1/4" grinder head, straight edge guide, most powerful motor in its class, and now we'll even throw in a 1/8" grinder head and a 2nd story work surface free!
Very limited stock- Saturday only, yours for $144.44!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Things That Make You Wonder...

If you are 'in the business' and want to consider taking some specialized courses in various advanced techniques (aside from our seminars which will be on-line next week- 2012), here are links to some glass suppliers in the U.S. (here and here) that have posted their schedules for 2012.
I'd give you a link to our Canadian supplier's course schedule for next year, but just like this year, they don't have any.
That is all... 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Something to Leave...

... on your partner's/kids'/mom's/dad's/orthodontist's pillow as a gentle reminder.

Or pin it to their chest if subtle isn't your style...

Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Embarrassing picture of Zenia means the December Sales Page is now up.
Go here...

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Today's Musical Interlude

My Brightest Diamond - ALL THINGS WILL UNWIND: Be Brave from Asthmatic Kitty on Vimeo.

Next Colour Trend (No Smurfs Were Injured Writing This Story)

(thanks and according to Vickie Payne)
Startling New Hue Named 2012 "Color of the Year"!
Boy zen BerrySherwin Williams' “Boyz-N-Berry”, a deep rich purple with slight red undertones, represents the mainstreaming of purple. It is mature and elegant yet has a youthful edginess. It reflects our changing mindset on so many issues—off center and unconventional, spiritual, meditative- yet impulsive. It is serene and in-control.
North America, South America, Asia, India and Europe had almost identical reports on this hue. We see in this color the “take back control of my life” that is entering the global consciousness.
tazio-Calico-Corners-Calico-Homes 2    It's a hue for creativity and irreverence; glancing sideways at its traditional roots. From hospitality to home, from youth market to luxury goods, purple has as much masculine as feminine appeal. Real men wear purple.

Image courtesy of Calico  Corners - Calico Home
“Boyz-N-Berry” in design projects.
• Purple is the complement to yellow which the underlying color of the new lighter wood tones. It makes a wonderful accent color for spaces that are either wood heavy or have elements with a yellow cast prevalent in many laminates and vinyls.
• A warm taupe teamed with purple will induce a feeling of trust and serenity. [Yellow and purple is said to be the most healing combination]
• Creams and whites added to purple create a sense of fresh openness. Whites constituted a large part of the color story representing the consumer “need” for cleansing and renewal.
• Grey paired with purple and cream completes understated elegance. Pop it with brighter hues for youth appeal.
    Updating color need not be budget breaking. It can be as simple as accent walls, art and rugs, updating color in guest services brochures for hospitality projects or strategically placed color in display walls for retail. Adding the right color can soothe and inspire your client into a more positive experience that will enhance their life and your bottom line.
                            Color formulation for “Boyz-N-Berry”SW6839
                            RGB: 96, 62, 98
                            Pantone TPX: 19-3223
                            NCS: S 5030-R40B
                            RAL: 320 30 25
                            LAB: 31.1, 23.8, -14.1
                            Sherwin Williams #6839

Now, we just need to figure out how to make some good purples.
Possible #'s to look at are;
Youghiogheny #1300, 1309
Kokomo #26, 192, 249
Bullseye # 2128
Spectrum # 843.71
Uroboros #60-543
Bullseye # 1128
Spectrum # 543.2 (in several textures)
GNA # 3019, 3055
Wissmach # 311VCC
Streaky cathedrals/opals:
Kokomo # 50VSPL, 64LL, 469
Spectrum # 843.92, 444.1W

Thursday, 24 November 2011

They Seem To Start Earlier and Earlier

Here's a pic of one of our students, Tee-Gun, who wore a special dress today just for Mikey, showing off her latest microwave fused necklace. 

Lost Glass Arts

Gold leafing and custom gluchipping- just some of the amazing ornamental surface treatments historically done to glass and now, sadly and slowly dying out.
Here's a well produced and very interesting video (just try to ignore the annoying ringing bells soundtrack- Pink Floyd he ain't) of one of the current masters- David A Smith- a name that has become synonymous in Sign-Writing and Glass gilding circles, with high quality, hand crafted reverse glass signs and decorative silvered and gilded mirrors.

Put the kettle on and have a look..

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

In Mikey's quest to repackage everything in the store, he's come up with the brilliant (?) idea to sell System 96 fusible opals, Opalarts and Spirits in 6 x 6 " squares, starting as low as $3.99/pc.

That is all...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Using Frit

Here's a video tutorial showing you how to use Carolina Frit which we carry as well as any other grit. The glue used is easily substituted with Bullseye's version (which we also carry of course- shameless plugs).

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Revolutionary New Grinder

Wow, another revolutionary new grinder from those folks at Gryfun- home to the ‘I’m too lazy to stand and grind for a sec’ Twyster Grinder (Chubby Checker and The Fitness Institute should sue…)!
This amazing new model comes with two heads, water reservoir and special high capacity sponge. Incredibly, it uses only 1/2 oz of water or about 1/1000th of that of competing models, but must be filled about eight thousand times while in use. (letters to ed@fantasyinglass.com).

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Just finished unloading over 1200 more sale squares.
A particularly nice shipment- lots of pinks, two colour Baroques (like blue/white and candy cane pink) and tons of reds and greens.
And for for fusers we've also added over 400 more sale squares- we have every single Sys96 colour made in stock today!
We also have made shopping easier by devoting boxes to 'Only Green Glass Here',  and  'Red Glass There' and so on...
Fantasy In Glass has eleven 8' Sale Square Racks and one 4' rack.
That's 92' of Sale Racks
Each Rack is nine rows high.
That's 828 linear feet of Sale Racks.
Each Rack has an average of eight slots per row.
Tthat means there are about 800 slots in these Racks.
Each pocket holds an average of 14 pieces of glass.
These's also a dozen Rat Pack Boxes each holding about 90 pieces.
That means Fantasy In Glass has over 12,000 Sale Squares on sale ALL THE TIME!
... and about 4,600 fusible glass sale squares (both System 96 and Bullseye 90)! 

(pic not directly related to above 
but it's too good not to rerun)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Fusing Seminar Nov. 26

Due to the latest mishap caused by Figimodo and his uncontrollable libido, we have had to reschedule the next fusing seminar.
The new date is Saturday Nov. 26, from 10am to 4pm.
And we still have some room (now in our newly refreshed 2200'  basement studio).
This is a full one-day six hour course that has been set up to cover everything from the basics to more advanced techniques of fusing regardless of your knowledge level. Taught by Louie who's been with us for over twenty years!).
 Mikey will also make an appearance and walk you through the process of figuring out a firing schedule and then how to enter that program into a kiln computer controller.
Not only will you get a cool syllabus with CD and learn from the master herself, you will actually get to play with sharp glass and stringers and noodles and all manner of things and make as much stuff as you possibly can within that day and to have it all expertly fired by Mikey.
Now pay attention 'cuzz pricing is complicated (I'll type slowly). 
Cost for the 6 hour day is $195.00, *but this includes a store credit of $50.00 so you can choose your own materials. 
And do we have the materials! We carry virtually everything available from both Bullseye (coe 90) and System 96 (Spectrum/Uroboros). 
We will provide instruction and kiln space.

... and if you don't take this class, the Hulk is dropping the lid...

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Things Mikey Often Wonders About.

What's Going On At Bullseye Glass

There are some times when an issue rattles around in my head causing me confusion and perplexion (most likely not a real word but it should fire Gary Brown up for a response...).
One that currently has me in a quandary is a somewhat new program instituted by Bullseye Glass.

It's a a new on-line educational program and they are inviting you to join. This program is made up of on-line video lessons.
The surprising thing to me about this recent trend from Bullseye (and their continuing injection into the retail market) is that they are charging $39 for this service.

Now, Bullseye and Fantasy In Glass have had a long, profitable, friendly and yes, at times, even contentious relationship going back almost thirty years. We were even one of only a handful of Bullseye dealers in Canada for more than a decade.

And while we are no longer a dealer and carry their products to a much lesser extent that we used to (see here) we have always had tremendous affection and respect for them as a quality manufacturer of glass and sundries, right down to the smallest item and detail (and I mean smallest- even their ziplock bags for documentation are the heaviest plastic ones I've ever seen). 

And the bulk of that goodwill they've generated over the years comes not just from producing such wonderful glass, but also from their continuing research in glass chemistry and fusing, and their willingness to share that with you, me and yes, even the competition.

So what's the quandary you ask?

Well, they have now begun to charge for knowledge.
Firstly, I understand that to produce a video (especially in the typical top-quality fashion that Bullseye will do it) does cost money. 

I also know that these costs have to be recouped somehow- such as through increasing the price of the product, or by the continuing generation of good will that people would support their product with greater sales over the competition.
But Bullseye surely recognizes that knowledge helps grow the field of glass, and hopefully endears those who come to glass, to make their purchases of that manufacturer.
That's why we were so supportive of Bullseye Glass (over Spectrum) for so many years when so few others were.

Bullseye is a manufacturer. 
They want to sell to me. 
They want me to invest in their inventory, and promote their product. 
They have a system of distributors who are supposed to carry their product more extensively, to support us the lowly retailer.

But today, we find distributors being allowed to fail in their obligations and now we see Bullseye shortcutting the supply chain and selling direct at retail. 
They want to sell to me and then they also want to sell to my customers at the same time.

And now they want to sell teaching directly to my customers.
I'm really not sure where this is going, hence the rattling in my head.

And hence the quandary...

The goal of our ongoing educational video series is to explore the full range of kiln-glass methods and cover the same lessons taught in regular Bullseye classes.

About Bullseye Kiln-glass Education Online

This is an open-ended series of online lessons appropriate for everyone from beginners to advanced kilnformers. Lessons are designed by Bullseye instructors to provide foundational skills, inspiration, and new leading-edge approaches to kiln-glass. Downloadable firing schedules, product lists, and helpful links are included.

How the program works

A 12-month membership is just $39. As a member, you'll enjoy immediate access to our complete library of online lessons to date. Each month we add a new video to the series at no additional charge. Lessons last about 10-15 minutes. View them as often as you like, from any location with Internet access.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Employee of the Month Sad It's Already the 10th

 Toronto, ON- Stan Savus, a housewears department shelf stocker and ocassional cashier at Acme Glass expressed sadness Wednesday over the rapidly approaching end to his reign as Employee of the Month. Fellow employees didn't have the heart to tell Mr. Savus that his reign had actually ended four years ago...


... forgot to give credit to Teenuh, our staff artist (and instructor of our Designing seminars) for that wonderful drawing of Figimodo's hot tub wish scene below...

Figimodo Does It Again!

Seems Figimodo had some monkey business planned with his girlfriend Esmerelda the other night.
After sharing a great bottle of Acme Merlot (he liked the colour of the box the bag of wine came in), (and the twist-off cap was handy for resealing- hey the guy's 6" tall- how much booze do you think he can handle- these things are important to fictional characters) he succumbed to the parfume aroma of the wine and came up with a brilliant idea.
'Let's transform the basement into a HUGH hot tub' he slurred.

Well, the rest is history. Best laid plans of mice and hunchbacked fictional characters and all that as Gary Brown might say.
Things went a little astray. Basement flooded. Mikey's collection of little white table doilies all 
ruined. Not amused! 
Needless to say Figimodo will be doing extra yard work and other unpleasant sundry tasks until restitution has been made. The studio will take a few days to dry out and we will be back to our regularly scheduled programs after the weekend ....
We apologize to all of our students for the inconvenience  that having to cancel classes has put you all through this week. That is all...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Chagall Windows

The stunning Chagall Windows from the Art Institute in Chicago that Mikey was bragging about on our FIG facebook page (yup, we've been there awhile as has Figimodo) have now been posted to our website here.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Free To You Stained Glass News #97 Now In

In SGN #97, you'll find:
• new items, including: a few new books and patterns, a new DVD, new reinforcing braid, new System 96 items, a new adhesive for fusers, and some newe texture plates.
• reader hints, a reader's workshop and more on "The Readers' Page"
• Randy's Help Desk Randy Wardell—Randy talks about some similarities between fusing and stained glass, and introducts his new book "Joy of Fusing."

• Stained Glass 101 Matthew McMillan—Matthew continues his series on how to prepare for a custom installation.
• Design it Your Way Carolyn Kyle—In this continuing series, Carolyn talks about how thoughtful glass selection can improve your project.
• You Can Make It Linda "Scottie" Scott—Scottie goes in depth on how to incorporate mica into your projects.
• Fire It Up! Susan Molnar—Susan discusses the use of dichroic glass in your fused projects, and shows readers how to create fused circles without cutting circles.
• this issue's Free Pattern: Elf, compliments of Kimberlee Lynch. This cute elf makes a quick, but nice, holiday decoration or gift.
• a page of photos from readers in The Readers' Gallery...

Friday, 4 November 2011

Pot Melts

What's a pot melt? 
Well it's probably one of the most exciting and temptingly dangerous things you can do with your kiln.
And the final results can be stunning. 
Here's a great step-by-step tutorial from the folks at Slumpy...

Thursday, 3 November 2011

This Saturday Only!

All and we mean all 1/4 sheets of CBS Dichroic 90 coe glass on sale one day only...
wow................ $48.88! 
(cash/debit only please)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Dichroic Scrap

Because we've brought in so much CBS Dichroic Glass, inevitably (especially if the staff have been drinking again) some gets broken. Mikey in his genius has packaged it all up into nice little clear boxes weighing six ounces. This scrap is all clean and unscratched as staff demand we treat all our dichroic as if angels had delivered it on extended wings from fluffy clouds in the sky. Six ounces is the equivalent of seven 2" x 4" pieces (with a retail of $105.00 and up), but as it is scrap (albeit top quality scrap- the angel thingie remember?), it's yours for only $43.99 (very limited supply).

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Me Thinks They Thanked the Wrong Guy

Selling off our scrap and glass crates adds up to doing some good.
Congratulations and thank you to all those who have contributed over the years!

Monday, 24 October 2011

We Hope This Makes Up For It

We had a bit of a glitch last month with the website ('thank you rogers cable', he spat out sarcastically) but due to to some outside help we might have all things licked (yes, I do mean you Gary Brown and Cynthia).
So as per tradition, here's a frightening picture of Zenia to announce this month's Sale- posting early- and it's a big one too.
Go here to see... 

The Soldering Iron of Justice

A true story related by Mikey a long time ago-
Makes me think that if I lived in the wild west days, instead of carrying a six-shooter in my holster, I’d carry a Weller 100 soldering iron. That way, if some smart-alec cowboy said something like “Hey, look, he’s carrying a soldering iron!” and started laughing, and everybody else started laughing, I could say, “That’s right, it’s a soldering iron. The Soldering Iron of Justice.” Then everybody would get real quiet and ashamed, because they had made fun of The Soldering Iron of Justice.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Paid Advertisement

New Silent Convective Water Cooled Kiln Line Comes to Fantasy In Glass

Tired of your kiln getting hot and overheating? Upset that everytime you turn it on it keeps melting your glass? Had enough of burning yourself whenever you turn it on? Then the BoneArf is the kiln for you.
With BoneArf's new water cooling technology you never have to worry about all those heat related problems associated with a hot kiln! Utilizing special silent convective water cooled dedicated overclockers and thermoelectric coolers in place of more common standard heat exchangers. the patented BoneArf water cooling system is a technological tour-de-force. Its uniqueness lies in the way in which it cools water directly by the evaporator coil of a phase change system and is therefore able to chill the circulating coolant below the ambient air temperature of the surrounded room's air and, as a result, provides superior cooling of the kiln's heat-generating components.
Remember, with the BoneArf and its patented cooling system, you no longer get all those pesky problems associated with a hot kiln (like melting glass).

Friday, 21 October 2011

Tomorrow Only

Mika's great 100 watt soldering iron!
Reg- $53.99 (still too cheap)
Sale- $33.33 (now way too cheap!)

Fused Glass Dot Org

I'm sure, if you have a deep interest in fusing, and want to learn as much as possible, then you might have tripped across this website (fused glass.org) at some time. But just in case you were too busy looking at inappropriate content and missed it, their latest offering is a well illustrated and simple project on making fused glass 'puddles'.
Easy and effective.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Good Guys

When Mikey started this blog well over five years and about a thousand entries ago, he decided that it would be all about the trials and tribulations of a lowly retail business owner. There aren't many avenues available for customers to see behind the curtain and perhaps better understand what happens on a day-to-day basis in a store and he thought that might offer an interesting perspective. He also wanted to educate and entertain totally free of commercialization and intrusive ads.
Today he sort of breaks that last point only because it promotes a non-profit organization worthy of your support-

What is better than spending an evening listening to the music of local musicians? This is an evening to enjoy some reggae, rock, pop and country. Come out and enjoy the music of Errol Blackwood and the Injah Band, Neil Murray Band, Randy Stewart Rollo, The Options and the in-house band of the Opportunity Centre, “The Opportunities”. 
The event will be a great deal of fun for everyone involved, you’ll be able to spend some time with your family and friends while assisting with raising funds for the Brain Injury Association of Waterloo-Wellington.  The evening will consist of music, 50/50 draws, buffet, and dancing.
Buy your tickets online at http://www.ticketscene.ca/events/5224 or

Email: biaww2@bellnet.com  
Phone: 519-579-5300

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Rumours Apparently Are True

We heard some rumblings that Desag was no longer producing their very popular GNA line of drawn antique glass. Gary Umber found that hard to fathom (he talks like that) and just assumed that it was yet again another round of reductions from OOCSGS, given their regular cutting back of selection and inventory. A quick call by Mikey to Donald at Desag however confirmed the above.
It seems that the Desag furnaces prematurely broke down earlier than expected and will take well over a year to rebuild and get back on line. The only GNA that will be available for the next while is their clear. 
We did manage to pick some up from an American supplier (but not all colours) so if you are working on a project keep this in mind. 
And the next time you're in, ask us to show you their GNA Red- stunning!
On another note, all 20 (except Red) or so GNA colours have the same COE and are therefore compatible for fusing! 


After three months, it seems that once again we are worthy of living on the edge and to patina to our hearts content. 
The back story is that some government agency felt that black patina was so dangerous a substance that it should not be offered for sale in its existing format. Apparently people such as Gary Brown needed to be protected from themselves.
It has now been relabelled (I can't see the difference, can you?) and is once again available and sits dangerously, quivering on our shelves...
*NB- We also will refill your old Black Patina container for you for a buck less!

Monday, 17 October 2011

A Few Things to Crow About In the First Person

I was absolutely blown away this summer by the Stained Glass Museum found at the Navy Pier at Chicago's waterfront. Not only is the quantity overwhelming, but the quality even more so. 
Who even knew there was such a thing?
It's always nice to trip across a beautifully done glass window (of which there are many here in Toronto- just take a trip through Mount Pleasant Cemetery and peak into the odd mausoleum as an example) but to encounter so many in one place was just awe inspiring. 
Of prominence were the windows of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Studios- so many of his finest works all in one place, and many very familiar to those who have been doing or appreciating stained glass for any length of time. I mean, I've got many a book with these windows in them- and now I was fortunate enough to see, examine and appreciate them up close and personal.
Over the next while we'll be posting them on our website- go here- as well as putting them up on our Facebook page (look for Fantasy In Glass and even Figimodo who has his own page).

On a separate note, Fantasy In Glass used to be on Twitter several years ago. We've revived that as well. Just search for Fantasy In Glass and you should be able to find us.