Call us at (250) 592-1262

Fine Hand Made Jewelry Boxes

Posted on September 24, 2016 by Nigel Hayes | 0 comments


I've always been attracted to wood.  An early memory takes me back to my grandfather's wood-shop with its wonderful smells, stacks of lumber and mysterious tools. Later, my father taught me the basics of carpentry: different kinds of wood, ripping versus cross-cutting, joinery; many other things.

He was a methodical man with a quiet competence. I remember such advice as "measure twice, cut once". I learned from him respect for good tools and the satisfaction of a job well done.


My career turned out to be journalism and later computer science, but I have always maintained a connection with wood. The down-to-earth act of wood-working has often given me a needed balance for my over-cerebral work. 


Now that I am retired, I have more time to pursue this wonderful craft. Though I have done house construction and log-building, I have settled on making boxes as my primary passion. All the wood-working skills are involved (including a few I'm still learning)!  Hand tools are ideal; I much prefer them to the roar of power tools.


I enjoy working with a variety of woods: each possesses unique qualities, beauty and challenges. Broad Leaf Maple, abundant on Vancouver Island, has become a staple ingredient in my work. I love to set it off with exotic woods that I come across.


Best of all, my shop smells just like my grandfather's did!


Doug lives in Victoria B.C.

Doug Macdonald Jewelry Box Maker

Posted in hand made jewelry box, jewelry boxes, keep sakes boxes, wooden jewelry box

Everything for Sewing, Knitting, Needlework and more

Posted on September 16, 2016 by Nigel Hayes | 0 comments

Micro Wood-turner, Wray Parsons produces some of the finest scissors, sketch pencils, acorn tape measures and thimble holders, magnifying glasses and magnetic needle minders that you will find...anywhere.

Acorn Thimble Holder Acorn Tape Measure

Just occasionally an artist’s work is both genuinely beautiful and practical. And this is the case where Wray Parson’s work is concerned.

Large Magnetic Pin holder and magnifying glass

For over 40 years, Wray has been making magnificent tools for all needle craft artists. He originally began turning wood when making toys for his children and after an early career in corporate banking focused all of his time in developing his micro-woodturning techniques.

Scissors and Pen Pencil set

For 7 years Wray worked at Coombes Emporium, Parksville and then as his reputation began to grow he started working from a new studio built in his home.

Seam ripper and sketch pencil

The tools that Wray crafts are acknowledged to be among the world’s finest.

Magnetic vase and magnetic needle holder

They are heritage items designed to be family heirlooms, passed from generation to generation.

Wray Parsons

Posted in knitting, magnetic needle holders, magnifying glass, needlework, pens, seam rippers, sewing, sketch pencil, tape measures, thimble holder

Padraig Slippers Special Offers

Posted on September 09, 2016 by Nigel Hayes | 0 comments

Padraig Slippers Special Offers Limited time offer.


Special offers on the best wool slippers in the world. Men's and Women's sizes only.


See the sale special offer here;


Offer ends 30th September.


Pure New Zealand wool slippers with soft leather soles. Hand made in Vancouver B.C.


See the sale special offer here:



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Ed Oldfield's Raku Salmon and Barnacle Pots

Posted on September 03, 2016 by Nigel Hayes | 0 comments

Ed Oldfield was born in Orillia Ontario in 1955. While still young, he moved with his family to Duncan, British Columbia. He graduated from high school there in 1973 and went on to the University of Victoria where he studied Visual Art and graduated with a B.F.A. in 1977.

raku pottery

He continued his studies in the Faculty of Education receiving his teaching certificate in 1978. In 1992 he earned a M.Ed. degree in educational administration also from the University of Victoria.

Raku Pottery

 Ed now lives in Powell River where he taught grade 7 students until very recently. After 28 years of teaching visual arts and pottery at the high school level, Ed now channels his artistic energy into creating uniquely west-coast artwork – Raku pots and sculptures.

Raku Fish

His work is heavily influenced by the Pacific West Coast, its natural beauty, rugged coastline, aboriginal history, and is tuned to this ecologically sensitive environment.

raku pots


A quick guide to Raku!

 Raku pottery is created with a firing process that uses both fire and smoke. With Raku pottery, the piece is first bisque fired. Then, it is glazed and undergoes a Raku firing process. The Raku firing process requires a special kiln where the pots remain in the kiln for approximately 30 minutes. 

raku starfish on driftwood




While the Raku is still hot and glowing, it is placed inside a metal can full of combustible materials. The heat emitted causes these materials to catch on fire. A lid is placed over the can and the Raku pottery is sealed inside.

raku kiln


As the fire consumes the oxygen within the can, it also draws the oxygen out of the Raku pottery and its glaze. This process is called post fire reduction. It is this stage that creates the unique look of Raku pottery. The resulting patterns and colors are unpredictable, as they are created through the natural process of oxygen removal. After about 15 minutes, the pots are removed and placed in a can of water. This freezes the patterns that were created during the post fire reduction stage.

raku kiln


You can find more of Ed’s beautiful work at


raku pots


Posted in barnacle pots, Canadian gifts, pottery rockfish, pottery salmon, raku pottery, starfish, west coast pottery

Short on Time – Buy on Line

Posted on August 27, 2016 by Nigel Hayes | 0 comments

Short on Time – Buy on Line

Did you know that as well as visiting our studio in Oak Bay Village you can search our web site for any of our artists’ work? This can be really convenient for busy people as you can find the perfect gift for yourself or for your partner or family & friends at your leisure.

french butter dish

You then have the options to buy on line and have your item shipped or you can choose the ‘In Store Pick Up’ option and your gift will be ready for collection at the studio within 24 hours.This of course saves any shipping cost! Please remember to bring in your Government I.D. 

coffee mug

For your friends and family, what could be easier than finding that perfect locally made gift on line and sending it directly to them . If they live near to Victoria you have the option of choosing ‘In Store Pick Up’ allowing for collection at any time from the studio. To request free gift wrapping and a greeting card with your gift, simply send us a quick e-mail with your request and we will be pleased to help :) 

Please note, that when you choose the “In Store Pick Up’ option, you need to enter in the address of the studio when placing your order. The address is easy to see on the home page of our web site. Side Street Studio 204-2250 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, B.C. V8R 1G5. Tel :250 592 1262

Side Street Studio


Posted in BC gifts, butter dishes, Canadian gifts, glass art, hand made crafts, in-store pickup, local jewelry, pottery, shop local, wedding gifts

A Guide To Birthstones

Posted on August 20, 2016 by Nigel Hayes | 0 comments

Birthstones have been used for many hundreds of years as a means of associating a specific stone with the date of one's birth. The exact relationships between a stone and a calendar date is lost in the mists of time. There are many enjoyable guides available to you to research and for you to choose which stone is most appealing or appropriate for you. A World Made by Hand...



garnet jewelleryGarnet:  
The name Garnet is from the Latin granatum, meaning pomegranate and refers to its deep red coloured seeds. Garnet has been used in jewelry since ancient times and is believed to have great curative powers, protecting the wearer from harm. Garnet strengthens the emotions, building confidence and strength of character.

rose quartz jewellery earrings, braceletsRose Quartz
Rose Quartz is believed to be a fertility crystal. It is known as the "love stone" and is thought to attract and strengthen love as well as heal emotional wounds. Most rose quartz is mined in Brazil.





amethyst earrings, bracelet, jewelleryAmethyst: 
Amethyst is the stone of contentment and is believed to bring stability, serenity and peace. It belongs to the quartz family and its variation in colour is largely due to the traces of iron it contains. Amethyst has been highly prized in antiquity for its calming effect and the name derived from the Greek amethustos or 'non inebriated'. Amethyst is often used as a meditation stone to help bring peace to the mind and as an aid to finding inner peace. 

onyx jewellery, earrings, bracelets, necklaceOnyx
Onyx is prized for its colour and has been used in jewelery since pre-historic times. It is a form of chalcedony and is coloured black through the presence of iron and carbon. Wearing Onyx is thought to bring self-mastery, confidence and assertiveness.




Aquamarine is a form of beryl and has been valued as a gemstone for thousands of years. It and even appears in the Bible. The double reference to water in the name, which is a compound of the Latin words aqua, for water, and marina, "of the sea" suggests that the ancients connected the stone closely with water. 

In addition to appearing in settings with other, more precious gems, aquamarine was also highly valued by sailors, who considered it to be a lucky stone. Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and the stone for the zodiac sign Scorpio. In the Middle Ages it was thought that aquamarine would reduce the effect of poisons 




Diamond: Diamonds are formed many miles beneath the Earth's crust and, as pure carbon, is the hardest mineral known to man. The name diamond is derived from the Greek adamas meaning "invincible". For many hundreds of years diamonds have represented strength and invulnerability. Highly prized due to its rarity and purity, the characteristic fire and brilliance of the diamond has made it one of the most desirable of gemstones in jewellery.




chrysophase, jewellery, pendants, necklaces, earringsChryophase
: Chrysoprase is the most valuable stone in the chalcedony group. The name Chrysoprase has been derived from a Greek word "chrysos prason," which mean gold leek. It is said to be a "Victory Stone." California has a good deposit of Chrysoprase.




pearls, earrings, bracelets, pendants, jewelleryPearls
: In ancient mythology
pearls were thought to be heavenly dewdrops caught by shells rising from the sea bed. Pearls were  believed to be sacred to the Roman moon goddess Diana. Pearls are thought to symbolize peace, beauty and friendship. 

moonstone jewellery, earrings, pendantMoonstone:
Moonstone is associated with the moon and was the stone of the goddess Diana. The most powerful time to use the moonstone is in a full moon. It is said to bring good fortune to the wearer as well as success in love and business issues.  




carnelian jewellery, pendants, earringsCarnelian: Carnelian is a stone from the quartz family. Carnelian is found all over the world but it is widely held that the best stones come from India. The name is derived from the Latin word for horn. Carnelian is said to help the wearer "live in the moment" as well as restoring the natural energy flow of the body.




peridot, jewellery, necklace, pendants, earringsPeridot
: The name
Peridot is thought to have been derived from the Arabic faridat, meaning gem. Peridot was used in ancient Egypt as a stone for jewellery. It is said to alleviate anxiety and fear and to relieve insomnia. Peridot is thought to bring joy and good fortune


September Lazuli
Lapis lazuli was popular thousands of years ago among the people of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome. It is said that the legendary city of Ur on the Euphrates plied a keen lapis lazuli trade as long ago as the fourth millennium B.C., the material coming to the land of the two great rivers from the famous deposits in Afghanistan. In other cultures, Lapis lazuli was regarded as a holy stone.  Lapis lazuli is said to dispel melancholy and depression, and to cure recurring fevers. It is also said to impart ancient knowledge, and the wisdom to use it.




opal jewellery, pendats, earrings, braceletsOpal
Opal is often described as "Nature's fireworks" due to its iridescent rainbow flashes through the white gemstone. It's popularly thought that the name derives from the Sanskrit word for precious stone: upala. Most opal is more than 60 million years old and generally dates back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Opal is considered a stone of happy dreams and good changesOpal is thought to be the most powerful of healing stones.




topaz jewellery, bracelets, earrings, pendatsTopaz:
The name
Topaz is derived from the Sanskrit word tapas. In ancient cultures topaz was considered to be the stone of Jupiter, representing rule over one's own life, self-realization and wisdom. When heated, yellow topaz often becomes reddish-pink. Topaz is said to promote peaceful and calm emotions





tuquoise jewellery, pendants, necklaces, braceletsTurquoise
Turquoise is believed to have been named after Turkey where European crusaders first came into contact with the stone in medieval times. In many cultures, turquoise was valued as a protection against evil spirits and was worn as an amulet for strength and prosperity. It is particularly valued in the Native American community and made into beautiful jewelry, often combined with silver.

Posted in bc art, birthdays, birthstones, gifts, glass art, jewellery, local crafts, local gifts, oak bay, shop local, wedding rings


Posted on August 13, 2016 by Nigel Hayes | 0 comments


I have just tried this new product from Sharon of Kama Soap and it is excellent!

100% plant based with essential oils.The clay and the different oils in the base of the soap; sweet almond and castor oil, make a creamy smooth lather for shaving.

Old world spice shaving soap

Hand made on Salt Spring Island B.C. Ingredients: saponified olive, coconut, castor oil, sweet almond oil, bentonite clay, essential oils of cassia, cumin, lavendin, pettigrain and thyme. 120 g. This old world shaving soap is perfect for Jack Olives pottery shaving scuttle.

orca design shaving scuttle

Posted in a world made by hand, bc art, Canadian Gifts, gifts, local crafts, men's gifts, oak bay, pottery, shaving soap, shop local, soap

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