Thursday, July 24, 2014

Half-Tilas at BeadFX

HTL1865 Miyuki -  Half Tila - Opaque Terra Grey AB
Funny story about these Half Tilas. You probably know about TILA beads - made by Miyuki - they are a two-HTL0316 Miyuki -  Half Tila - Amethyst Gold Lusterhole square tile bead that are popular in complex and clever bead-weaving patterns. It wasn't long before someone said, "Hey - it would be really cool if we made these in half-sizes too, all the better to fit them into circles and curves and even more elaborate patterns!"

We saw the Half-TILAs and got excited about them and agreed we would get them.

So a couple of weeks ago - Marg says to me, "Where are those Half Tilas? I want to show them to someone." And I was at an absolute loss - try as I might - I couldn't remember having seen themHTL0401FR Miyuki -  Half Tila - Matte Black AB since. And we went through all the pending items for processing, and still couldn't find them. Scratching our collective heads in puzzlement, we contacted the distributor to find out when we had ordered them, in order to help track them down. "Oh," she said, "You haven't ordered them yet. I was wondering why you hadn't ... ."
So there you go - call it a senior moment if you will - but they are here now - Half-Tilas - rectangular half-sized versions of the original square TILA bead. How will you use them?

s40265 Chain - 5 mm Sunburst Chain - Antiqued Gold (Inch)And if you followed that chain of events - then how about this Sunburst Chain? It comes in Antiqued Gold, Antiqued Silver, Matte Antiqued Silver, and Antiqued Copper. Or if you are looking for a Plain Jane Chain, then this Large Oval Link chain might be more up your alley - in Bright Silver and Matte Antiqued Silver.

s40268 Chain - 3 x 8 mm Large Oval Links - Bright Silver (Inch)

So remember - we are all getting older, but at least we can tell each other that we are getting better! Click on a link or image above, or get started with all the new items here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just one more day! 25% off Czech-made Seedbeads!

Whoever dies with the most beads wins! Increase your stash with 25% off Czech seedbeads!

Czech 6/0 Seedbeads
Czech 6/0 Seedbeads

Czech 8/0 Seedbeads
Czech 8/0 Seedbeads

Czech 10/0 Cubes
Czech 10/0 Cubes

Czech Bugles
Czech Bugles


Sale starts on Wed Midnight.
and ends on Wed midnight.
Items held in shopping cart
will change price automatically at

Getting to know...Deb Muss

Deborah Muss has been introducing potential lampworking students by giving them Just a Taste of how lampwork beads are made. Many students have gone on to take full introductory workshops to learn the art of how to make beads.

Like most of us, Deb was introduced to her creative side as a child. "I learned embroidery at an early age; my mother taught me to crochet and sew," she explains. "Soon I was altering patterns to make things fit me. Then I was into quilting, jewellery making and wood working. I have a closet full of craft stuff to cover any impulse. My mom is an amazing artist but somehow I did not inherit the gene to draw, so I had to channel my creativity into other art forms."

"As a teenager, I started making jewellery for myself and my friends," says Deb. "I would purchase glass beads or old necklaces to re-purpose. I still wear those earrings and I'm sure I've still got some of those beads in my closet." Her discovery of lampworking came from taking classes with Amy Waldman-Smith a number of years ago. "I was hooked," says Deb.

"I am inspired by many things - fashion, colours and necessity. I wanted to make a necklace with glass dangles," explains Deb, "and necessity forced my to figure out how to make headpins. Now I sell them at bead shows and at BeadFX."

"With respect to projects, I mainly make what I like and what appeals to me. I don't follow trends," she admits. "I also like to open my stash and see what I can put together. I have a notebook that I write or sketch ideas for future projects. I've also been known to use the back of a grocery receipt in a pinch."

"I love when I can get someone excited about lampworking and they want to continue with it by taking additional classes," says Deb.

When she isn't at BeadFX Deb is busy in the oil and gas industry. "Most days can be quite intense but I really enjoy my job and the people I work with. Plus, I get to travel and number of times a year and always try to sneak in a visit to a bead store, if I can."

Deb is also a 'tool junkie'! "I have refinished and recovered furniture; even built a few things," says Deb. "I have a secret desire to have a workshop like Norm Abram from the New Yankee Workshop television series.I drool overall all those tools and what can be done with a simple piece of lumber."

Deb's advice to others who create? "Don't stop! Make what you like. Take classes to learn new techniques even if you don't think you'll ever use them."

Upcoming classes with Deborah Muss:

Wednesday, August 13
Wednesday, September 17
Lampwork - Just a Taste
6:30 - 8:30pm

Monday, July 21, 2014

InspirationFX: Message Me


Get your creative juices flowing

Message Me
by: Pam Kearns
A fairly simply project with a nice touch of history (the vintage bakelite) and you own message. Customize it with your own personal reminder!

The cord is attached by folding it in half and pushing it through the hole, and then back through itself. Leather crimps make a nice clean finish.

Stamp your message first, and then glue to the bakelite.



Go to our components list for this project and to buy what you need!
Need some help with some of the techniques? Check our tips page.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

InspirationFX: French Twist


Get your creative juices flowing

French Twist

by: Erin Singleton

Inspired by a French scarf - this is another variation on on what to do with the Lycra ribbon. This version, because of the pulling, is a little tidier and more structured as it has rolled itself neatly into a tube.

  • Cut a length of Lycra ribbon slightly longer than your wrist
  • Grabbing at either end of the cut Lycra, pull outward and watch the sides curl in, creating a cord. This cord will be approximately the size of a strip of 5 mm leather. 
  • Thread on the bead with the Swarovski Crystal. You may want to add a small piece of tape on the end of the Lycra to help thread it through the bead's hole
  • Holding the two Lycra ends together, tie and over hand knot, creating a loop about the diameter of your wrist.
  • Adjust the knot placement as needed and trim the ends of the Lycra
  • Stitch the flower component on the ends of the Lycra using the  Fireline and 4 mm bead to secure. Knot the Fireline and trim the ends. The knot should now be hidden between the two rolled edges.
  • The Lycra remains stretchy even after being pulled, so the bracelet can easily be stretched over  your hand.


Go to our components list for this project and to buy what you need!
Need some help with some of the techniques? Check our tips page.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Business Chat - All systems are go!

Someone recently asked me what I meant by the term "business system." I thought you might like to know a definition that works for me.
A system is a procedure, process, method or course of action designed to achieve a specific result. A good system will help you be consistent in your business practices. Consistency makes customers trust you. Happy customers are repeat customers. 
The bottom line is that a good business system means less wasted time and more time to build your business and increase sales. 
Systems and processes are the essential building blocks of your company. They will allow you to manage the important details of your business. They stop things from falling through the cracks. 
You might be thinking, “are you kidding? It’s just me, working in my dining room. Selling at 3 craft shows a year! I don’t need systems, I need sales!”
ANY business needs systems! In fact, the more part time you are the more important creating your systems and procedures are! If you are selling a lot online and sending 4 packages a day you know what to do every time. What if you are only sending out 2 packages a month? Do you remember what labels you have to print out? How you packaged your work last time? What you need is a list of steps detailed out. 
Imagine that you have hired an assistant and want them to take over shipping your online orders. In order for them to do this you have to tell them how to ship. This is a procedure that should be exactly the same every single time.  
Think of those 3 craft shows that you do. The first one was hard but you managed it. Now 6 months later you are preparing for the second one and you can’t remember what you did. Imagine if you had created a system the first time around. For the second show you could simply follow the instructions you had written for yourself. 
As a side note, even if you do something a LOT, like a LOT of shows (yours truly) you should still create a system. Then maybe you wouldn’t get to the show and realize that you forgot to bring any packaging. Not that that would happen to me. 
Good systems take waste and inefficiency out of your business and help you give customers what they want every single time. Instead of always trying to remember how to do something, you can refer to the notes you have made. 
A system can be as simple as a checklist. Here’s an example of my Post Show Work system. 
  1. do the bookkeeping
    1. expenses
    2. income
    3. bank deposit
  2. move tax money into tax account
  3. go over my show notes
  4. make a note of work i am running low on
  5. make a note of supplies i am running low on
  6. enter names onto mailing list
  7. custom orders
    1. send them a note telling them when to expect it
    2. schedule in making the work
  8. email people i networked with to say hi! 
  9. send a thank you to the show organizers
  10. facebook a “thanks everyone” post and photo from the event

This is a very simple system but it guarantees that I won’t forget something important. After each show I print this out and check off each step. If someone else were doing this for me they would know what they have to do. Basically I am treating myself as an employee and letting my employee know what I expect of them. 
A really well run business will have systems for every step of their operation. Put together, this is called a SOP - Standard Operating Procedures manual. 
It may seem like a lot of unnecessary work right now, but trust me, this will make your life so much less complicated. When that (for now) rare online order comes in, you won’t have to scramble to remember how to ship. You can happily follow your How to Ship system, ship it quickly and then you’ll have free time to work on getting more online sales. 
Now that you know what a business system is, what system do you want to create first?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This little piggy cried Oui, Oui, Oui ...

27800962-32 Pressed Glass - 8 mm Piggy Beads - Aurum (25)
all the way into your designs! Piggy beads! Oh yes! - these are dishy little concave beads with two holes, one dead centre and one off to the side, 3 mm apart. This new addition to the shaped-bead stable adds texture and interest to your bead weaving. You can use them in all sorts of ways - check out this google search to see images of the wonderful possibilities (will open in new window).

s40213 Firepolish - 3 mm Faceted Round - Mahogany Gold Lustre (100)And in other ways to fire up your designs, a whole new whack of 3 mm Firepolish faceted rounds. These play equally well as either a big bead in a small bead pattern, i.e. a bead weaving project, or as a small accent bead in a bead stringing project. It's nice to have something so versatile!

Remember - we root out the best new beads for you! Click on a link or image above, or get started with all the new items here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014