Slashpile Designs Blog

Digging for crystals July 26 2014

Last week, I was hiking with a friend near Bancroft (the gemstone capital of the world) at a site we had read about that had lots of minerals (apatite, bromite, titanite, calcite...). I didn't know what most of these stones would even look like and didn't think we would actually find anything, but was super excited at the possibility. About an hour into the hike, we came across a pit that looked like people had been digging through and decided to stop and pick through the dirt. I was amazed to see that there were green apatite crystals EVERYWHERE, and collected a little bag full of them. SO exciting! This weekend, I have spent all my free time in the studio making various settings for my favourite pieces and have even gotten a few commissioned necklaces out of it :)

I can't wait to get some of the finished pieces listed on our website and in our Etsy shop!





























The Slashpile Story June 26 2013

Victory Pose Original Slashpiles

In 2006, we went treeplanting for the first time. Treeplanting is known to be an extremely difficult summer job. When we first arrived in the bush camp, people looked at us and thought there was no way we would last more than a week. But we did—we stayed the entire season, and were even top planters at our camp.

When you decide to do treeplanting, you commit to living in the bush for 4 months of the summer, living in a tent in very isolated camps in northern Canada (we planted mostly in Alberta). Everyday, you wake up super early to start planting trees, which you carry around with you all day over rough terrain, planting between 2000 and 4000 trees per day. You get paid per tree, so you have to work hard to make it worthwhile. There are bugs, swamps, extreme weather conditions, bears and many other challenges. That's not to say we didn't enjoy it--on the contrary! We had an amazing time and met such incredible people. We even went on to do more seasons, Tara as a tree checker (she had to have surgery on her shoulder after a year of planting) and I did 4 more seasons as a planter.

So back to the story--

In the clearcuts, there are these giant piles of sticks and logs, called Slashpiles. During the season, they kind of get in the way of planting, but at the end of our first season, we climbed them to photograph our ‘victory pose’ (see above, photo courtesy of Fabienne Good). After the season, we created a silver jewellery piece based on the slashpile, that was designed to be a medal for finishing the full season. This piece gave us the foundation of our branding for Slashpile Designs—every one of our pieces reflects a story, concept or achievement. And this piece is a prime example of how we do that.

We create jewellery, mainly in sterling silver. Unlike most jewellery, which is purely aesthetic, every piece has a story or concept behind it. Our products are designed to be personally significant to individuals, while at the same time, understood by a large audience. We get the inspiration for our pieces from our own lives, which we like to pack full of various activities, such as karate, snowboarding, roller derby…the list goes on. We are driven to create pieces that are both meaningful to the wearer and pleasing to the eye.

I hope this gives you a clearer insight into who we are and why we do what we do! If you take a look through our collections, hopefully you can even relate to some of our products with your own stories. We are constantly working to come up with new and exciting products that our customers can relate to with their own stories.  


And now, a couple more treeplanting photos....

Treeplanter Tara   Logs

Slashpile Designs supports the Bay $treet Bruisers! March 14 2013

Introducing our new tie necklace, made in support of Toronto Roller Derby's B travel team, The Bay $treet Bruisers! When you purchase this item, 10% of proceeds will be donated to the team. You can purchase this necklace for $60 in our Etsy shop by clicking here!

Tie Necklace by SlashpileDesigns

Tie Necklace by SlashpileDesigns2


Tara (aka Taranosaurous Rex) plays for thBay $treet Bruisers. Their next games will be on March 22 and 23rd in Toronto, when they compete in Quad City Chaos, a tournament featuring teams from Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo and Columbus, Ohio!

Tie pendant is approximately 1" tall and hangs on an 18" sterling silver faceted ball chain.


Birthstones! November 07 2012

Today's Etsy newsletter started off with a blurb about how citrine, November's birthstone, is said to emit feelings of happiness, joy and optimism. This made me especially happy because not only is Citrine my birthstone, but it is also yellow, and I love everything that is yellow. That got me thinking that a blog post about birthstones and what they signify might be helpful for all the gift buying you'll be doing this season. Different sources list some variations, but this chart seems to show the most universal modern-day birthstones.


Here is my compiled list of the meanings and associations of each stone:


Garnet- Purity, truth, awareness, endurance, creativity and patience


Amethyst - Stability, balance, inner strength, sincerity, intuition and motivation


Aquamarine – Courage, friendship, creativity, health, perception and hope


Diamond – Eternity, good luck, protection, clarity of thought, balance and abundance


Emerald- loyalty, friendship, love, success, happiness and goodness


Moonstone- good fortune, passion and balance

Pearl- Purity, happiness, peace, love and generosity


Ruby- devotion, integrity, courage, success, nobility, love, enthusiasm and strength


Peridot- Power, influence, truth, loyalty, fame, dignity and protection


Sapphire- Sincerity, constancy, insight and wisdom


Opal- hope, innocence, happiness, loyalty, imagination and confidence

Tourmaline - courage, generosity, compassion and thoughtfulness


Topaz - Loyalty, friendship, strength, balance, wisdom and serenity

Citrine- Happiness, joy, optimism, rejuvenation, energy, and warmth


Tanzanite- Composure, harmony, understanding and sensitivity

Blue Zircon – Success, love, luck, and happiness.

Turquoise - prosperity, happiness, patience and good fortune.

Inspiration November 05 2012

Well, we've now been back from our trip for over a week! I figure it's about time to post some photos from our amazing adventures in Europe. Here's a little taste of what inspired us while we were travelling :)

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Euro Trip! September 27 2012


Courtney and I are getting pretty excited for our big trip to Europe! We will be travelling to Glasgow, London, Paris and Zurich, finishing our trip with lots of hiking in the mountains in Switzerland. We have been talking about doing this trip for a while, but it actually came together pretty quickly and I still can't believe that we're leaving in a week!

As far as jewellery orders go, we will still be checking emails while we're travelling and can ship out orders as soon as we get back, on October 26th. We're even going to try to set up some business meetings in the countries we visit! We are currently in the process of wrapping up some really cool projects before we leave, and will be ready and excited for a busy holiday season as soon as we return.

We're really looking forward to 3 weeks of exploring new places, getting some inspiration, reuniting with friends and family and having a big adventure!

Mid-week Muskoka Mission June 22 2012

We left Toronto at 3:00pm on Wednesday, after a busy morning in the crazy-hot city (there were heat warnings!) We drove 2 and a half hours to get to the amazing Joe River B & B , which is on the river right where Lake Rosseau and Lake Muskoka connect.  Our friend from treeplanting, Jessie, was staying there with her Mum who runs the B & B. We had enough time in the evening to go for a much needed swim in the surprisingly warm lake and sit on the dock catching up. Jessie cooked an amazing dinner, and we stayed up late chatting over beers.

The next morning, after breakfast on the dock, we headed into Port Carling, a beautiful little town that is very busy in the summer with cottagers. The first store we went into was a perfect fit for our jewellery, and the owner Trish was really nice. It's a trendy clothing and jewellery boutique right by the water called Free Anatomy. We are very excited to announce that our molecule line is now available in this awesome shop!

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Day Twenty Four - The last leg! July 06 2011

We got home at 3:00am this morning, so I am just posting this now.

We got up at 7:00 am yesterday (impressive considering we went to bed after 2:00am), and started out on the last leg of our journey. We didn't get as far as we had planned the day before, so we had about a 15 hour drive planned for yesterday.

Our first stop was at a huge waterfall (I can't remember the name of it). We made smoothies at the lookout point and then continued on our way. We had lunch in White River, which is where the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh is from. The original was a female bear cub named Winnipeg (Winnie for short), and was bought and smuggled to the London Zoo (London, England), where the author A. A. Milne was inspired to write the story of Christopher Robin (his son) and Winnie the Pooh. We sat on a patio and enjoyed sandwiches in the beautiful, hot sun.
I had to show Sarah and Dustin Katherine's Cove (where I stopped with Court on the way out). Sarah and I took a little dip in Lake Superior, but Dustin opted to stay on the beach where it was warm. We had bought a big pickle to snack on in Wawa, but it was not very tasty so we played catch with it instead.
We weren't planning to make any more stops, but when we passed a sign for ancient pictographs, we couldn't resist. I'm so glad we checked it out!  There was a beautiful but short trail down through a rocky gorge towards Lake Superior. Along the water is a giant wall of rock where the ancient Ojibway people had painted mythical creatures using ink made from crushed hematite mixed with either fish oil or animal fat.  The paintings are thought to be between 150 - 400 years old, and their meaning is not known for sure. The view of the lake and shoreline was pretty spectacular. The trail was more challenging than it looks in photos, and we were lucky that the water was so calm-- there were signs all along the water warning of the risk of serious injury/death in rougher weather.
We pretty much drove straight on through the night after that, enjoying our last 6 hours or so of car sing-alongs.
Distance today: 1437 km
Total distance: 12441 km

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Day Twenty Three - Epic Achievements July 05 2011

We had a bit of a late start this morning. We slept in, then cooked all the food left in the car (pasta), and headed towards Thunder Bay.

Our most important stop was when our car reached 100 000 km. We took a video and had a celebratory picnic in a planted clearcut just off the Trans-Canada Highway.

Knowing that tonight was our last night of the trip, we wanted to make the most of it. We decided to stop early to experience Canadiana in Thunder Bay. We watched the sun set over Lake Superior from a local bar "On Deck", while drinking Molson Canadian. We also got to pick 21 songs on the jukebox. As we listened to the heavenly sounds of Meatloaf and Billy Joel, we were all grateful for what we've learned about about our beautiful country and the people and places in it. We look forward to our comfortable beds and clean laundry, but wouldn't trade a second of this adventure.

Distance today: 523 km
Total distance: 11004 km

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Day Twenty Two - Two time zones July 04 2011

It is currently 3:00am in Kenora, Ontario, where we're staying in a cabin just outside the city.

We had a great breakfast with Lisa's family in Regina and then headed to the RCMP Heritage museum, where we got a free tour of the training grounds. It wasn't a very exciting tour, but it was kind of cool to see the training centre for all the mounties in Canada.

We got some groceries and started driving towards Winnipeg. It was so beautiful and hot out today, and we had a very smooth drive. We stopped in at the Forks in Winnipeg for dinner and ended up hanging around for over an hour because there was live salsa music, drummers, and people doing tricks with fire. About an hour out of the city, we started seeing some crazy lightning (so naturally, we put on some classical music that matched the timing of the flashing clouds), and the it started to get pretty foggy and rainy so we started to look for accommodations. It took a while, but we made it to Kenora by about 2:00 am (or 12:00 prairie time, so not as late as it sounds). We have a kitchenette, so we will take advantage of that for breakfast.

Distance today: 831 km

Total distance: 10471 km

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Day Twenty and Twenty One - Calgary and Regina July 02 2011

Yesterday morning we had breakfast at the lodge, and then went into a store in jasper  that we visited on our previous visit. They now carry our lost and found stacking rings! There were lots of festivities in town for canada day so that was exciting.

We were going to take the tram up to Whistler's to see the beautiful view, but when we found out that it was $30 per person, we decided instead to take our time Driving through park on our way to Calgary. We stopped at lots of scenic spots along the way (it was hard to find a spot that wasn't scenic) and we climbed a small trail next to a big waterfall. It was pretty cold out, but we had a great time.

We got to Calgary around 7:00, just in time for a barbeque at the house we were staying at. We stayed with Steve (a friend from Toronto) and his cousin's family. We went downtown for a drink to celebrate Canada Day, but we probably left a little too late, and didn't have much time before the last lrt train left to take us back home. We ended up missing the last train and taking a cab.

Today we had breakfast in Calgary, then headed out on the road through the prairies! We stopped for a snack/drink on a patio in Medicine Hat, Alberta, and then drove straight to The Keg in regina, where my friend, Lisa was serving. After dinner, we walked around downtown and then headed back to Lisa's to go to bed at a decent hour.

Distance July 1: 537 km

Distance July 2: 839 km

Total Distance: 9640 km

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Day Seventeen - Nelson and Rossland June 29 2011

We slept in a bit this morning until about 9:30, which was nice. Then we had an short drive through the mountains to Nelson. The weather was beautiful, sunny and hot! We couldn't get ahold of Sarah's brother, who we were going to visit there, so went downtown and got some lunch at the co-op grocery store and ate outside. Sarah had some work to do, so she and Dustin went to a cafe, and I went into all the jewellery stores. Most of the shop owners were in, and were happy to look at my samples right away. A lot of the shops were full for stock, but seemed to really like our work. I got on the waiting list at an awesome shop full of handmade jewellery and accessories called Tara Davis Studio Boutique.

In the evening, we still hadn't heard from the people in Nelson, so we headed up to Rossland, where I have a good friend from first year treeplanting (well, two friends if you include his dog, who is sitting with me while I write this post).  We went for dinner at the local bar, called the Flying Steam Shovel, and then had a campfire in the backyard. So nice and relaxing!

Distance driven today: 262 km

Total distance: 7304 km

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Day Eighteen - Spelunking June 29 2011

We had another great day in the Kootenays today. I got our water molecule jewellery into a store in Rossland this morning! It's a nice gallery/boutique in town called Main Stage Gallery.

In the afternoon Mike and his friend Ryan took us to see an abandoned mine near Salmo and we went exploring. From the outside it just looked like a little hole in a rock, but inside it's huge! It looked like something out of the Lord of the Rings and it was freezing in there! It was also about 5 minutes from the U.S border. I was especially excited, because when I was little I used to play a computer game called Spelunx. I don't think I ever really understood the game, but I've always wanted to go spelunking for real!

Then we drove to Nelson to visit Aaron and Monica, and their toddler, Aidan. We had a lovely dinner with them and then headed on the road (pretty late to start driving...I think we left around 7:30pm). We drove over the Kootenay pass and saw a family of mountain goats. It was really cold at the top, and there was lots of snow on the ground-- crazy!

At around 10:00 it got dark, and at 10:30 it started to rain really hard. We saw lots of deer on the road and driving was a little scary, so we pulled over at a motel in Cranbrook for the night.

Can't wait to go back through Jasper tomorrow!

Distance today: 405 km

Total distance: 7709 km

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Day Sixteen - Mountains, Ranchlands and Samosas June 28 2011

This has to kind of quick, because we just got in to a motel and want to see if there is a local saloon we can check out. We didn't make it to our destination (Nelson) because we had the first car troubles of the whole trip. Nothing major went wrong. We got an oil change before leaving Vancouver, and then the car had trouble starting. When we stopped for gas in Chilliwack, it was even worse, so we went to the Canadian Tire across the street and it turns out that we needed a new battery.

Distance today (+ driving in Vancouver all weekend): 655 km

Total distance driven: 7042 km

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Day Fifteen - Courtney leaves, Sarah arrives June 26 2011

I just got back to the hotel after dropping Courtney off at the airport so she can fly back to Terrace, BC (where she has been living over the winter). Dustin met up with a friend who hitchhiked to Vancouver and they are getting groceries so we can make some food in our kitchenette. In about two hours, I'll have to head out again to pick up our cousin, Sarah, who will also be driving back with us!

It's funny, we have had to switch hotel rooms ever night because of a lack of availablity, so we're getting to try out all different places. Tonight's hotel is not as nice as last night, but by splitting it between 3 people, we are getting the same rate as any of the hostels downtown (which had no vacancy). We are in a beautiful area, right by the beach and Stanley park, so I can't complain. The weather is beautiful today.

We went in to lots of stores this morning on Main St (a cool shopping area) and in Gastown (a nice historic district), and I have a tentative meeting set up for tomorrow. We also found a shop that definitely wants to carry our rings, and another that had already seen our work in our Etsy shop and was interested in retailing our work!

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Day Fourteen - Urban Adventures June 26 2011

After we picked Dustin up from the airport, we walked around the entertainment district which was very lively. There were lots of people singing, playing music on the street...we even saw a very interestingly dressed woman on rollerblades trying to direct traffic...

Today was jam-packed! We knew we had a lot of doors to knock on (Vancouver is a big city with a lot of cool areas and lots of shopping), but we also wanted to make sure we did some stuff for fun.

We spent the morning going in to stores to see if we could show buyers some samples of our work. We found a couple of places on West 4th st, but it was hard to get meetings because we are only here for the weekend. Store owners and employees in Granville Island shops (our next stop) were extremely helpful and open to looking at our work, even though it was super busy there. We definitely got some good leads, made some good contacts and found out about other stores to try.

By that time it was already after noon, so we decided to do some exploring just for fun. We find that store owners are much more receptive in the mornings...

We walked around on Robson St for a bit, then we decided to check out chinatown. I had promised my friend, Mui, from Terrace I would pick up some things while in Vancouver--some vietnamese fish sauce and some rice flour. We completed that mission by showing photos of the products on Dustin's iPhone to the store owners who didn't speak english. They were laughing and quickly found the items we were looking for. We had lunch at a place that Mui recommended--Kent's Kitchen--where you can get a ton of amazing authentic chinese food for $5. So good! We ate back at our new hotel by Stanley Park. After eating, we went for a very long and amazing walk along the ocean, then went back to the hotel and relaxed for a bit. We ate Kraft Dinner for dinner, now we are catching up on e-mails and I'm packing for my flight to Terrace tomorrow.

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Day Thirteen - Vancouver June 24 2011

We spent the morning in Kelowna going into lots of shops. It turns out there isn't much of a market for handmade silver jewellery there-- people just aren't willing to pay for handmade, so the shops we checked out didn't take our work. We did get a response from someone in Edmonton, and will soon be selling at a cool clothing/accessory store there.

We left Kelowna around noon, and spent the rest of the day driving to Vancouver. We got a hotel downtown, and are just about to head to the airport to pick up our little brother, Dustin, who will be driving back to Toronto with me.

Enjoy these photos of the drive today!

Distance driven today: 438 km

Total distance: 6387 km

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Day Twelve - Kelowna June 24 2011

We started the day with a free breakfast at the hostel, and then went to a cafe to use the internet. As soon as stores opened, we went into the ones we had scoped out the night before. We had one meeting set up at a cool touristy shop, called About Canada, and they ended up taking most of our line. We also went into some other cool shops and one of them is very interested, but the buyer will probably order when she gets back from California.

We continued on our journey to Canmore, and got our jewellery into the first store we went in to! It's a cute boutique that just opened a few weeks ago called The Clock Tower. It started to rain pretty hard, and we had a long drive ahead of us, so we headed out right after that. We drove to Kelowna, and the scenery was amazing the whole way. The route took us through the Banff, Yoho, and Glacier National Parks, and came out of the mountains and into the Okanagan. Going through Roger's Pass (elevation 1330m through the Selkirk Mountains, BC) the weather got a little crazy. There were huge raindrops, violent headwinds and even some awesome fork lightning! It cleared up pretty quickly, and by the time we reached the Northern Okanagan, it was beatiful and sunny again. The last stretch was full of fruit farms and orchards, rolling hobbit hills and beautiful lakes.

We got to Kelowna at around 7:30 (BC time), settled in to our hostel, walked to the beach and went for some yummy Indian food. Now we're so exhausted that we're actually going to go to bed early (not like last night). Also, if you are ever in Kelowna, I would highly recommend staying at Kelowna International Hostel. It has a really friendly, homey feel to it, not right downtown, but easy to get anywhere. It is also a 5 minute walk from a public beach.

Distance today: 568 km
Total: 5949 km

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Day Eleven (part 2) June 23 2011

So the plan was to go to bed early, but after an evening walk around town, the hostel bar (called the Beaver Bar) was busy and exciting. We talked to a lot of travellers (most of them from Australia or New Zealand) and our bartender even bought a pair of alcohol earrings and a rock pendant!

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Day Eleven - Jasper to Banff June 22 2011

We woke up at the lovely Palisades Centre, in the heart of Jasper National Park--so beautiful! We had breakfast at the lodge, then headed into town for meetings with stores. These took longer than expected, but 2 stores ended up taking some of our work. Bearfoot in the Park of them bought some Slashpile pieces on the spot, and Jasper Rock & Jade said they were going to take an order of our Canadian Rock pendants and our Lost and Found Rings. We departed Jasper after our final meeting and headed down the Icefields Parkway toward Banff. There is no way I can describe how beautiful the scenery will have to take a look at our photos below (and I could only choose 9 out of 133 that we took today!)
We got into Banff around 5:30pm and we decided that we wanted to do something that did not require us to sit (we've been spending a lot of time in the car!) So we headed straight for Tunnel Mountain, a short hike just out of town. We booked a room in a hostel for tonight, where we plan to go for one drink in the bar and go to bed early!

326 km today

5381 km total

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Day Ten - Summer Solstice June 21 2011

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We spent the morning cold-calling stores in Edmonton and got some leads. Tara plans to stop by a few stores on the drive back to Ontario. Immediately got back on the road, toward Jasper. The landscape gradually transitioned from prairie to mountains--beautiful scenery!

We saw lots of wildlife as soon as we entered the park--some mountain goats, a coyote and a family of elk! Had a meeting with a store buyer in Jasper, who is interested in a few of our lines. Then we walked around, scoping out other stores. We are now staying as the Palisades Centre, where our friends Ramsey and Jessie are cooks. Such a wonderful place to stay!

Now we are headed out to meet a friend from high school in Jasper. Time to check out the nightlife here and celebrate the Solstice!

Distance covered today: 456 km

Total distance: 5055 km

Day Nine - Calgary June 20 2011

Our jewellery was very well received in Calgary today! We had a couple of meetings set up, and a list of stores to check out. Our first meeting was in Kensington (a cool shopping area in Calgary), and we got there an hour early to walk around. In the first store we went into, Queen Boutique, we started talking to the two women there, and they ended up taking enough jewellery to stock that store and their other location in Osoyoos! We had such a nice time chatting to them and are really excited to have our work being sent to the Okanagen tomorrow! Our other meetings both went well, and Studio Intent is now also carrying our jewellery! Studio Intent is a cool fashion boutique that is located in Art Central, which is kind of an artist community building-- cool! We also got some promising leads with other stores that we just walked into.

Now we are relaxing in Edmonton at the Spruce Grove Motor Inn, a hotel that we would always stay at between treeplanting contracts. We were hoping to run into some planters, but so far it doesn't seem like there are any here. We're having fun being nostalgic about our planting days!

Distance covered today: 373 km

Total distance covered: 4599 km

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Day Eight - Back on the road June 20 2011

Today, we got up bright and early to make our family's famous chocolate/banana/jam crepes for our hosts. We had a lovely delicious and relaxing breakfast, packed up all our stuff, loaded the car and headed off to Calgary!

The drive was pretty easy and not all that exciting. It was very flat and straight. We did manage to get some beautiful prairie photos though! The weather was pretty interesting. We had heavy rain for very brief periods of time (we drove under some scary clouds!) alternating with beautiful sunshine.

We are writing this blog post from the home of our dad's friend from high school, who is very kindly putting us up for the night and also served us a delicious dinner! (Thanks Leslie and Paul!) After dinner, we spent a few hours researching more stores to contact in our next few destinations.

Good night for now!

Total distance covered today: 805 km

Total distance covered: 4226 km

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Day Eight - Back on the road June 20 2011

Today, we got up bright and early to make our family's famous chocolate/banana/jam crepes for our hosts. We had a lovely delicious and relaxing breakfast, packed up all our stuff, loaded the car and headed off to Calgary!

The drive was pretty easy and not all that exciting. It was very flat and straight. We did manage to get some beautiful prairie photos though! The weather was pretty interesting. We had heavy rain for very brief periods of time (we drove under some scary clouds!) alternating with beautiful sunshine.

We are writing this blog post from the home of our dad's friend from high school, who is very kindly putting us up for the night and also served us a delicious dinner! (Thanks Leslie and Paul!) After dinner, we spent a few hours researching more stores to contact in our next few destinations.

Good night for now!

Total distance covered today: 805 km

Total distance covered: 4226 km

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Day Seven - Regina (still!) June 19 2011

Not much to report for today...still relaxing, hanging out in Regina. I guess this was our half-way break. We also had one last night out with our local friends (and their friends).

Now we need to gear up for the second half of our trip which will be jam-packed with travel and meetings.

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Day Five and Six - Regina/Saskatoon June 18 2011

On Thursday, we hung out in Regina with Lisa and her baby, Jake. It was a relaxing day (we didn't do any major activities) but we spent a chunk of the morning calling potential retail stores. Man, it's hard to get a hold of everybody! It's surprising how many times we have to call back to get the right person at the right time so we can set up a meeting. Tara is doing most of the calling in exchange for me doing most of the driving (It's a pretty good deal for both of us!)

We spent the evening with friends, and had a great time, but didn't stay out too late because we had to save some energy for our big day of meetings on Friday.

On Friday (yesterday), we drove to Saskatoon for a day trip. And what a drive that was! The weather was horrible. There have been reports of 80 mm of rain throughout the day. That made it so driving required a lot more concentration and we also got soaked as soon as we got out of the car in Saskatoon. We had two meetings there, which were positive experiences, but both said they would think about carrying our jewellery. We had a quick lunch at a pub and then had to rush back for two more meetings in Regina. One store wasn't a good fit, and the other owner said she would get back to us. Overall, it was a bit of a frustrating day. Not totally negative, but now we definitely have some more work to do!

We went out with our friends again last night (Lisa and Andrew from treeplanting and some of their friends).

Distance covered today: 599 km

Total distance covered: 3421 km

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Day Four - Prairies! June 16 2011

Today we drove through the prairies! We were very excited on the road because we made some really great connections in Winnipeg this morning. Our first meeting was at a really awesome boutique in Osbourne Village called Out of the Blue. We met with owner Wendy and manager Kelsey, and they were awesome and very excited to carry our work (yay!). We ended up spending about an hour talking to them and we will hopefully see them again when they visit Toronto in August.

Our next meeting was with Cathie at Glitz gallery in another part of the city. It went very well, and we're happy to say that she will also be carrying our jewellery! It's a really nice gallery/shop with all canadian, handmade products.

We made it to Regina by about 5:00 (we had to set the clock back an hour for the second time on this trip). We're staying with a good friend from treeplanting and her family. We're going to stay here for a visit until Sunday.

Distance covered today: 619 km

Total Distance: 2821 km

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Day Three - Friendly Manitoba June 14 2011

Our morning was not quite as successful as we had hoped. The stores we had in mind for Thunder Bay were not well suited for our jewellery, but we did spend some time calling stores in other places we plan to visit and we managed to set up a few more meetings.

We left Thunder Bay around 11:00, with Tara taking the first shift. We had to really clean the windshield. Lots of bugs in Northern Ontario! The drive wasn't so bad, and before we knew it, Canadian Shield gave way to open prairie and we were in Winnipeg. Our hosts (Kara and Aaron) took us for a tour downtown to see the Forks--the meeting of the Assiniboine River and the Red River. Right now, water levels are so high that many of the trails are submerged! So, we walked around the market area and had world famous hot dogs instead. We also went into a candy store in a train car and bought some chocolate covered pop rocks for the drive tomorrow. That should be interesting!

Tonight, we will relax and go to bed early in preparation for our meetings tomorrow.

Distance covered today:  749 km

Total Distance covered:  2202 km

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Day Two - Around the Lake! June 13 2011

Today was very exciting! We saw a coyote, a fox and a bear, and so much beautiful scenery while driving on the highway that follows the shore of Lake Superior. Not much progress on the jewellery front-- we stopped around midday too check out the Art Gallery of Algoma in Sault Ste Marie, but it's closed from Monday to Wednesday and we couldn't find any boutiques that would be appropriate (I'm sure there are some, but we were worried about getting to Thunder Bay before dark).

We shared the driving, and in the afternoon we stopped at a beautiful little beach called Katherine's Cove to dip our feet in the water. When we got back in the car, we picked up about 7 accidental passengers (blackflies) and I got bitten on my neck! Other than that, everything was great. It was beautiful and sunny all day!

We are now stopped for the night in Thunder Bay to rest and admire our photos from today!

Distance covered today: 1054 km

Total Distance: 1453 km

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Day One - Sudbury! June 12 2011

We woke up, made sure we had everything packed (so far, we've only noticed that we forgot minor items), had a quick breakfast, and left the house around 9:30. We drove straight to Sudbury and made pretty good time, getting there with an hour and a half to spare before our meeting at the Art Gallery of Sudbury. Our meeting went well--they decided to carry our entire molecule line and a selection of Lost & Found Stacking Rings! We're very happy that our first stop was a success!

Now we are relaxing at my boyfriend's parents'  house in Sudbury (Thanks Judy and Gord for putting us up for the night!) Getting mentally prepared for our big drive tomorrow!

Total distance: 399 km

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We are stocked! June 11 2011

We're finally ready to leave on our trip (well, we still have to pack our personal things). We just finished making and packaging all of our jewellery stock yesterday, and that felt like such an achievement!

Here's our inventory list for the trip:

48 water molecule earrings, 37 water molecule necklaces, 16 pairs of alcohol molecule earrings, 17 alcohol molecule necklaces, 47 caffeine molecule neclaces, 18 nicotine molecule necklaces, 28 lost & found stacking rings, 12 pairs of slashpile earrings, 13 slashpile necklaces, 11 pairs of plant a tree studs, 9 plant a tree necklaces, 10 healthy people pieces, 6 canadian rock pendants, and 90 injuries!

So we made all of this jewellery, a total of 362 pieces, all in the past month!

Now its time to pack our clothing...

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Pack-men (well, women) June 06 2011

We've been making working hard on making lots of inventory, in preparation for our big trip. In doing this, we have run into a few issues that led us to re-design our packaging.

1. Organization. It is really hard to sort and store loose pieces of jewellery. Labelling pieces and sorting them into bags and boxes is super helpful! It also means it will be easier for us to find everything when we have to take it out again for stores!

2. Tarnishing. Whether on display or in transit, silver tarnishes when exposed to the air! The plastic baggies and the molecule tins make it easy to display the pieces, without having to clean the pieces frequently!

3. Display/branding. On the paper lables, we can put important information about the pieces, such as the name of the collection, a brief description of the concept and, of course, our logo!

We are very pleased with the results!

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Trip Planning May 30 2011

So, as you know, we are planning our cross-Canada sales tour. Currently, we are planning out our route and contacting stores in various cities along the way (if you know any that would carry our work, feel free to e-mail us!!)

So far, our planned stops are Toronto-Sudbury-Thunder Bay-Winnipeg-Regina-Saskatoon-Calgary-Edmonton-Jasper-Banff-Kelowna-Vancouver! We'll add some more stops on the way back, as well as re-visiting many cities.

Getting super duper excited for the trip!!!

Slashpile Designs goes on Tour! May 18 2011

We are currently planning our cross-country jewellery trip!

Our departure is scheduled for June 12, 2011 and we are getting super excited about the trip! We'll be stopping in all major cities between Toronto and Vancouver, aiming to sell our jewellery to in as many awesome stores as possible across the country.

If you know of any cool shops for us to visit, we'd love to hear your suggestions! We will also be sure to keep you posted on our adventures along the way, so stay tuned!