Diary of a Demented Store Owner

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

November Monthly Sale Now Up

The end of the month is traditionally 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 one of our old employees, 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.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Coneart Kilns

Damn, Mikey found my bar!
I really don't know what else we can say about this kiln manufacturer, except I wish we could sell more of their kilns for them.
Frank, Mike and all the rest of the staff are simply too easy to get along with, are all very knowledgeable, and extremely accommodating and supportive whenever we call. They make a great kiln (six models specific to glass fusing- five of which we now carry in inventory)

The most important point to consider when buying a kiln is it's legality for sale in Ontario. We have the CSA Overlords assuring our electrical safety and we find people making unfair comparisons between Coneart which is CSA Approved and most competing brands which we've confirmed, aren't. Apples to apples...

Not only a great kiln, but great employees too!
Coneart is a Canadian kiln manufacturer, which means CSA Approval comes on each kiln they sell. It also means that as they are local, you pay only for the kiln and not for shipping it from the U.S. (they'll even deliver direct to your door too!). This gives Coneart more than a 25% price advantage over its American competitors. And if you need service, we can help you there too- no packing it up and shipping it off somewhere at great expense and risk!

All Coneart kiln pricing includes The Whole Works- that means our pricing includes a stand, shelf, kiln posts, lid prop, kilnwash, an extensive Fusing Technical Kit with handouts and disc and even Mikey's private telephone number in case you forget how to program your kiln when we're closed.

Pricelist page as found here, although Vanna Opal thinks Mikey might be putting them on sale soon...

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Wow, Look Mom, Free Stuff!

We have a series of binders with well over 200 free patterns for you to choose from- including suncatchers, lamps and even 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 $10/firing!), or rent one and take it home ($5/day!).

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

How Does He Do It?

All this choice, for a lousy 5 bucks shipped anywhere in Canada, and Mikey's not proud- he'll ship one piece or 400 for the same lousy 5 bucks!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Mikey Explain Our Social Media in the First person

This whole social media thing might be getting a little out of hand today with so many different ways to interact, but it seems that as a business owner, to remain relevant and vital you must participate in most of them. 
Not as easy at it might seem. 
Oh, sure, we are computer savvy and have no problems setting up and administering the various accounts. We even are reasonably good spellers, occasionally use alliteration and are somewhat competent to write content, post pics, etc. But there is a certain etiquette that occasionally eludes us- after all, we are digital immigrants and today's social media followers are all digital natives- yes, we are possibly just as smart, but not as 'with it'- perhaps that's why we find ourselves making a living at a 1200 year old craft. And this all came blatantly obvious to me yesterday, when my over exuberance for the new medium Instagram was blatantly pointed out to me by said natives as perhaps as being, shall we say, a bit over exuberant?!
And rightfully so. 
You see, I got excited by the opportunities these new avenues offer, to share, promote and educate those who might wish to follow us and the happenings at Fantasy In Glass. I have been duly humbled and made well aware that at times, even Mikey might be a little out of step. Hey, just lost the mullet a short while ago- some things just take a bit more time...

Now, this gives me an opportunity to share with you our logic on our use of various other social media.

Firstly, Blogger- I have been writing a Diary for well over 15 years- firstly, prior to our website's existence as an email newsletter, then as a formal section on our website, and now today as a blog started back in 2006 that now numbers almost 1200 entries. It currently approaches 2.5 million visits since started and is the first place for the newest news, and has entries added on average once every three days or so. This has always been our primary choice to disseminate information and will remain so into the future.

We've had a Facebook presence for a couple of years now.  Actually, I mean two presences- both Fantasy In Glass and Figimodo, the soul and mascot of FIG. As this medium is newer than our blog, I recognize more media savvy people may go there instead and therefore we find all of our blog postings repeated here, with some additional info added to keep it interesting. We also plan to post more photo albums here, with several new ones imminent. So, to all you digital natives, join Fantasy In Glass on Facebook and "Like us" to make our blog entries, product announcements, and industry tidbits part of your Facebook newsfeed. 

And then we've also been on Twitter (@fantasyinglass) for awhile. It has been low key, as we sort of just feel it out- we do post some amazing sales here that you won't hear about anywhere else.

And of course, we've had our own channel on YouTube

Logos below will link you directly to those spots-


... and for iPhone and Android smartphone users, we are on Instagram- under Figimodo Fantasyinglass-


Last month, The Fig Blog known as the Diary of a Demented Store Owner, mistakenly reported that a sudden and completely unpredictable auto accident had crippled Ferrous Man Joe Dinardo, and that an investigatory probe had found the Bambini Bros. completely blameless in the accident. In actuality, these events will take place next week. The Diary regrets the error. This however does give us the opportunity to remind you of all our free patterns found here...

Vanna Opal Inadvertently Does Some Good

I just knew that if I gave Vanna Opal a few sale squares to clean that of course she'd shrink them like she does to all of my clothes. Hey, another bright idea!
Actually since we came up with the idea of the 6" x  6" Sale Square it's been crazily successful. There are well over 200 colours to choose from- solid opals, cathedrals, streakies, Opalarts, Spirits and the new Fuser's Reserves, from both Spectrum and Uroboros Glass.
Yes, I know, it's all Sys96 Glass, a line that people use primarily for fusing but actually, glass is just glass- any glass can be used for your stained glass projects (it's just the other way around that doesn't work- not all glass can be used for fusing). 
If you want a nice, vibrant solid red opal for example, you will only find it in the fusible racks, and you'll pay over $30/ft for it. But what if you only need a small piece (costing $6-$) that's where these sale squares show their true value.
And yes, it is true- Mikey will ship them anywhere in Canada for a lousy $5, whether you want 12 pc or 200!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Secret To New Glass Pattern Found, Then Lost

Three staff members at Swiss Cheesed GlassWerks 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 Swiss Cheesed'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, David Chase 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, Mr. Chase 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. Chase 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, 19 October 2012

Introduction to Fusing Seminar Tomorrow!

Thinking about utilizing those artistic/technical skills you've developed over the years for the betterment of mankind? 
Or maybe something else if you're Dr. Evil?
How about considering our Intro Seminar on Fusing being run tomorrow?
Same tools, same skills (or lack of), take the day (10-4) and learn how to fuse and make a whole bunch of stuff!
No need to preregister- just show up.
Taught by 'I'm Not From Barcelona Louie'- see here for more info...

Thursday, 11 October 2012


We got this note from Spectrum last week explaining something or other about their clear glass for fusing, but for the life of me, we can't figure it out! 
So rather than trying to be clever, or accidentally misinform, we thought to just reprint it here verbatim and hopefully someone out there will be able to make some sense of it (apparently, even Mikey's Enigma Machine couldn't decode it).
Here goes:

Dear Retailer,
One of our biggest challenges over the past few years has been to find solutions that keep the prices of our products down in the face of continually rising costs of raw materials. Such is now the case with our core System 96® Clear product, 100SFS. In light of the fact that we must increase the price of 100SFS Clear, we developed a new Clear fusible formula -- "Icicle Clear" (100SF-ICE) -- that we are pleased to be able to offer at an even lower price point than you've been paying for 100SFS.
Named for it's slightly bluish hue, Icicle Clear fusible is made using the same exacting standards as all System 96 products -- the same devit-resistance and tested compatibility that fusers trust world-wide. We expect the ever-so slight blue hue of the new Icicle Clear fusible to be a non-issue for the majority of fusers using Clear as a project base, or clear cap.
Those who prefer the classic 100SFS glass will be impacted by the price increase (note new price code shift below). For those customers who require completely neutral Clear glass for their work, we will continue to offer our premium Crystal Clear (100SFXTL) products, without any change in price.
Icicle Clear will now be our regularly stocked, primary Clear fusible glass, and as such is likely to pick up where 100SFS left off as our new lowest priced, standard Clear SF product. The good news is that 3mm Icicle Clear will actually cost about 5% less than you are currently paying for 3mm 100SFS!

As noted in the chart above, all Irid Clear will now be made using the new Icicle Clear fusible formula. Irid Clear in the traditional SFS formula will be available as a special order item only (minimums will apply).

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Improve Your Cutting

It's late at night. 
The scotch is all gone. 
Mikey's in bed in his Puppy themed flannel pyjamas. Who you gonna call when you're in trouble with your cutting skills? Consider going here, and reviewing this pdf file on '12 Ways to Improve Your Cutting'. That way Mikey can get a good night's sleep...
And don't get caught cutting and texting, it's the law!

Friday, 5 October 2012

A Dozen Things You Need to Know to Drill Holes In Glass

A very common problem people have is how to properly drill holes in glass.
Tripped across this page while surfing the net the other day which you might find helpful.
Just go here...
And why not give Aanraku a plug- they make a great 1/8" hollow diamond drill bit that costs less than $20 for two and we've got a whole bunch in stock!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Everything Is Going Green!

Because glass contains oxides and is made from incredibly varying formulae, it is almost unrecyclable. While small pieces can be useful (heck, we sell all our scrap and donate the proceeds to charity) there is a certain amount that has little use. But if you check out this link, you might find more use for your scraps.

Monday, 1 October 2012

October Sales Up

... which means we get to post another totally unflattering pic of Zenia as is our monthly ritual.

Go here for the Sales Page...