Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Monday, 30 May 2011

Another Unflattering Picture of Zenia

... is our way of announcing the posting of the next month's Big FIG Sale.
Ho hum, they seem to get easier (the pics, not the sales)
Go here to see...

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Slumpy Mold Order Pending

How cool is this? We call it the iFigFone mold from Slumpy. It's mold #9305 at only $15.99 and is the perfect size to safely cradle your iPhone. 

Got a Blackberry? There's probably a Slumpy mold for that too!
As a matter of fact Slumpy has well over a thousand different molds. While we try our best to carry most/many of them inevitably there's always that one that someone wants that we don't have. So, how about you check out their catalogue (get it here) and ask us to order it for you?
Zenia's putting in an order on June 16th. Give us a call before then and place an order with us and we'll give you 25% off!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Allow Me This Moment

In a Sopranos' episode titled "Remember When?" Tony talked about the contempt he had for chat that began with "Remember when.....?".  He called it the lowest form of conversation.
He was right of course.  
It creates a short rush of conversation about what we were doing, who did that, etc. and then pained silence when we try to refill our memory with new events.
Not when we talk about Peter Griffin.
Toronto radio lost a legend the other night who ran counter to the "Remember When?" theory of cheap conversation.  I can't think of a memory about Pete Griffin that would end in pained silence.  
Peter was the straight man to Geets Romo (aka Don Haydu) of the Pete and Geets radio team which graced the Toronto radio airwaves from the mid-70s to 1987.
They started at CHUM-FM in the late 60s and in the mid 70s they became Canada's very first comedic FM morning team moving to CFNY in 1980.
If you grew up in the sixties and seventies in Toronto, you'll understand the impact Peter had on radio and comedy. They were part of a golden age in radio.
If we are the sum of all our parts, the influence of people like Peter Griffin along with Geets Romo helped make me who I am today.

Here's a clip of them doing what they did.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Friday, 20 May 2011

Holiday Weekend

Yup, we're open- Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed Sunday and Monday). 
Going fast too is our Spectrum Baroques Sale Squares- on sale until the end of the month at $3.77 each!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Antique Store Fixtures Sale

Mikey’s collection of antiques (used as actual store fixtures)  has grown virtually unabated for over 25 years. It was tolerated when we had the space, but as our inventory grew, we gradually had to move them, piece by piece, upstairs to our second floor (originally the FIG Cafe). We now find that space demands for that area means we have to actually consider selling off some of these fixtures.
Our loss your gain?
Check them out here...

Friday, 6 May 2011

Stained Glass News- Always Free!

Just in, the latest issue of SGN 
In #95, you'll find:
 • new items, including: Diamond Core Drills, a new book, new frit colors, new fusible glass colors, a new cutter oiling station, and a new fuser's glass cutting station.
• reader hints, a reader's workshop and more on "The Readers' Page"
• Randy's Help Desk Randy Wardell—Randy offers tips and hints on how to assemble a stained glass box. There will also be a five page naked photo spread of Randy complete with foldout with him holding strategically placed copies of his latest book.

• Let The Glass Do The Talking Judy Coleman—Judy reaches into her bag of tricks and shows us a variety of projects that break the stained glass rules. What fun!
• Health & Safety Fleming Fallon, MD—Fleming continues his series on aging and your glass hobby—changes you may consider that will allow you to continue with your glass hobby as you age.

• SGN Talks To… Mosaic Artist Charlotte House—In this new column, SGN talks to readers who's projects have been featured in our Reader's Gallery. Perhaps you should send in some of your students work!
• this issue's Free Pattern: Cygnus, compliments of Kimberlee Lynch. This fun project uses cut bevels, so you may want to make sure that your staff can help your customers with this technique.
• a page of photos from readers in The Readers' Gallery
• and more…

What's Better Than Getting Hit in the Face with a Kiln Glove?

Taking the very course that uses that glove!
Still some room in next Saturday's Introduction to Fusing Seminar (Sat. May 14, from 10 am to 4 pm).

Call 416-252-6868/ 1-800-841-5758 to register.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

It Pays To Read Mikey's Little Blog

The Diary of a Demented Store Owner is a blog that tries to share the insights of a lowly shopkeeper. That means that every so often Mikey will rant about suppliers. Sometimes he'll try to educate. On the rare occasion he might even make an attempt at humour. Today, he offers an exclusive sale item for fusers. Look upon it as a reward for reading this...
From Sat. May 7 to Fri. May 13 (or while supplies last)-

First grade Sys96 Clear Fusible Sale Squares.... on sale at $5.88/each! (cash/debit)

(Oh yeah, that rat on the front is our artwork and adorns every single case of 12" glass from Spectrum. The rat on top is Fantasy In Glass' Official Sales Mascot)

Monday, 2 May 2011

Monthly Sale

As usual, we announce our new monthly sale by way of an unflattering picture of Zenia.
You be the judge.
Sale can be found here...
Don't see it? Hit your refresh button...

Gerald 'Gerry" Ernest Tooke, RCA

As we all get older, it's inevitable that we lose people that had some effect on us. Someone who might have changed your life, if not significantly, at least subtly. While logically it shouldn't be surprising when it happens, I still catch my breath when it does. Especially when it's someone like Gerry Tooke, who passed away on April 29 at a very young 80 years of age.
I had heard of Gerry many years before I actually met him. He was a figure than loomed large in our industry. And when I did meet him, about 25 years ago, it made for an interesting story. One that's best recounted by its similarity to the plot of an old Sean Connery movie- The Anderson Tapes, where a crew of current day tradesmen reassemble after many years to pick up their original vocation (in this case stained glass, not larceny) and complete another commission. Go see the movie. Gerry Tooke's part was played by Sean Connery. Gerry is better looking though.
Gerald Tooke was born in England, studied at Canterbury Cathedral and served as an RAF officer. He came to Toronto in 1954 and by 1960 won his first significant commission. His work can be found right across Canada and even includes windows in the MacDonald Block at Queen's Park. He was one of the youngest people to be elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, eventually serving as their National Director.
He lived a full and interesting life.
We're all richer for his life, and saddened by his passing.

Anthropology of Stained Glass

Given the appalling lack of humour on these pages lately (Mikey seems too pre-occupied with actually running a business) we repeat a favourite post from a couple of years ago until he gets his funny bone back.

Enjoy this absolutely true story...

The most significant discovery in Mikey's long and illustrious stained glass career was entirely serendipitous. Last April, the renown 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 what seemed to be the tip of a mastodon tusk. It wasn't until a few weeks later when the entire tusk was unearthed and dated that Mikey had realized the magnitude of his find. You see, the tusk he believes, is actually a Neanderthal glass cutter. Using traditional anthropological naming vernacular, Mikey gives it the name "toyofigus" in honour of his glass emporium- Fantasy In Glass (FIG).

What makes this find so significant and explosive is that like the grozing pliers discovered in Slovenia last year, the 50,000-year-old toyofigus predates the presence of glass making! 
Examining the ToyoFigus glass cutter closely we see the existence of a carefully aligned hole that starts at the top of the cutter and runs down through its entire length. 
"I think a Neanderthal master craftsman must have used a stone awl to hollow out this the  toyofigus glass cutter." says Mikey. "Therefore, without a doubt" he says, "this 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".

Furthermore, while digging out the tool, Mikey also had 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 Kokomo artglass would continue to be as popular as it is yet to be."

A Boring But Necessary Post (We can't always Be Peace and Love)

I awoke this morning only to find myself all awash with warm and fuzzy feelings for America.
This is a country awash in the spirit of free enterprise. A country willing and longing to do business. A country that will treat you with respect and a sense of fair play.
Something woefully lacking in recent years here in Canada. At least in our tiny little industry of stained (and fused) glass.
After waking up this fine morning, changing out of my jammies (May 1st means I get to wear the ones with the pink bunnies on them), I check the value of the Canadian dollar and see it sitting at a lofty $1.0545, where it's sat for several months now.
If one of our One and Only Canadian Stained Glass Suppliers (OOCSGS) had any sense of fair play they'd be properly accommodating this strong Canadian dollar with a 5% or greater rebate.
Not happening.
After all when our dollar was below par, we were hit with a surcharge that varied from 2.9% to upwards of 20%.
So, what to do? My family demands wieners in their mac'n'cheese.
So coming this week, we have another truckload from the U.S. A place where our $1.05 is actually worth $1.05.