Sunday, June 26, 2016

InspirationFX: Orbits


by: Dwyn Tomlinson

Here's a fun little pendant - or make two and make earrings - it's not that big!

The centre stone needs to be 8 mm - I used an 8 mm Margarita in Crystal AB. Even though it has a centre hole - I find that it really doesn't show much, due to the sparkliness of it!

The accompanying planets are PP17 Swarovski Chatons, in Blue Zircon, and we have lots of other pretty colours too.

Drop a wee drop of Hypo-tube cement into the centre cup and the surrounding cups, and drop the bead/stones into place. Positioning them is easiest if you use the Crystal Katana, which has lo-tack wax tip. Use the tip to pick up the stones, and then press into the glue. They come off the wax and stick to the glue. 



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.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Silkys and SuperDuos and Shipping!

s49267 Czech Glass Beads -  2 Hole Silky Beads - Turquoise Picasso (Strand)Silky Beads - another new player in the arena of shaped, two hole beads for your bead-weaving pleasure! Silky Beads are square beads with two holes on the diagonal. They lend themselves very nicely to being strung in diagonal patterns, as they nestle together very nicely. They are smooth on one side, and have a raised and cut centre on the other - also adding to their design potential. Lots of design ideas out there on the google! We have 17 s49290 Czech Seedbeads - 2 Hole Superduos - Midnight Blue Nebulacolours so far - and I'm sure there are more to come!

Also new on the two-hole shaped-bead front - SuperDuos in the new Nebula finish. I'm not entirely sure what makes the Nebula finish - but I can say - the colours are pretty gosh-darn interesting!
By the way - SuperDuos are made by Matubo, who has a gorgeous page of free patterns, if you are looking for a few good ideas!

s49251 Link -  Nosy Posy Square 2 Loop - Bright Gold PlatedWe have some other interesting new findings and links too - these two strand links are part of the pretty, floral, Nosy-Posy line up.
s49257 Link -  Circle of Circles - Antiqued Brass
And these findings are just shapes made out of circles, so you can use them as links, bases, a design element, or hide completely with something beaded over it, or embedded in something else.

Shipping During the Postal Disruption

And now we come to the elephant in the room. Shipping. Canada Post will be in a legal lock out/strike position on July 2. What does this mean to you?

To our beloved customers in the U.S., this means - nothing. Your shipments will go as usual without any delays for the usual flat rate ($7.95 Cdn, about $6.20 US as I type this) - shipped from Buffalo - no customs, duties, border fees or delays.

To all our loyal Canadian customers - this means that we are pleased to offer you some options.

Option 1 - To keep the beads flowing - we are pleased to offer alternate, couriered shipping - at the rate of $11.95 per package. Sorry - no free shipping for the duration of the strike. This option is available starting Monday, June 27th.

Option 2 - not a hurry - the usual flat rate of $7.95, and your order will ship after Canada Post resumes operation. We will hold your order and put it in the mail after we know the mail is moving.

Option 3 - You are welcome to pickup. As always - dropping into the store if you are in the area to pick up your order is an option. Please email us to get a time-line on when it will be ready.

Option 4 - You can also arrange for your own courier company to pick up. Happy to accommodate you - again, please email us for timeline on your order and to make arrangements.

If the disruption ensues - any mail sent after Monday June 27, will get warehoused and we would rather not have packages stuck somewhere. Once the mail starts moving again, it generally goes in reverse order of arrival at the Canada Post warehouse. So to that end, we will not be putting packages into the mail after next Monday. Soooo - if you want to get your order shipped Canada Post - please get it in by this Friday, June 24th, so we can pick it and get it out the door Monday.
We're all hoping, of course, that it doesn't come to this - that the parties involved will come to a happy and satisfactory settlement, but, as the saying goes - those who are forewarned are fore-armed, and those who are fore-armed - need more bracelets.

Anyway - I encourage you to check out all the new items here and see what floats your boat!
Bead Happy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It's time to pull the rabbit out of the hat!

Normally I’m pretty good with deadlines, but I seem to be struggling with ideas for this particular blog post. No single theme has popped into my head, so instead I’m going to free associate, wander about a bit, and see what happens. Please forgive me!
I was re-stocking some of the hooks in the store the other day, and started wondering why people are not aware of (or have stopped using) some of the older types of beads. I know the instinct is to get in on the frenzy, and quickly snap up the new beads (including all of the 2-holed ones), but I want you to think before you completely abandon the rest. Who besides me, loves Miyuki Cubes? I hadn’t used them, in bead weaving for years, until I needed to come up with a quick and easy bracelet for one of my “Pip” related “Inspirations”. These beads take to Peyote stitch like a dream, as they quickly snap into place, in nice, neat rows. The bracelet is fun, flexible, colourful, and very, very solid. In the old days, I would have probably stitched it with thread (probably either C-lon or Nymo), but now I use Fireline. Much less chance of having the thread fray, abrade, or break somewhere down the line. Wouldn’t it be a shame to do all that work, have the thread break, and need to deal with the heartbreak of “ripit, ripit, and ripit”? Curse words are perfectly acceptable, and often encouraged, when this happens!! Toho Triangles are also quite versatile, but they give a more textured look. I’ve used them for both Peyote and Herringbone, but I’m betting they would also showcase well, with other types of stitches.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I use a huge variety of beads in my Intuitive Bead Embroidery pieces. Cubes and triangles are often used as accents, as they quickly add texture and contrast. They take up valuable real estate, and you won’t need to use as many itty-bitty seed beads!!! Okay, call me lazy, but sometimes you just need to save a little time! Also, what about Hexes, Tila’s, Half-Tila’s, and Bugles? Do they deserve to be abandoned? Like Cubes and Triangles, they can be used in bead weaving, bead embroidery, wirework, looming, wrapped bracelets (with leather), and even stringing. Have you ever thought of adding them to Memory Wire, or even using some of them as spacers? Cubes would work perfectly as spacers! Triangles were used in the triangle bead embroidery shown below (how appropriate?). Not a lot, but if you look closely, you can spot the silver triangles at the bottom of the tree, and halfway up the right side. Blue bugles were used for the path, on the right hand side.
Apparently this post has turned into an ode to older beads! Despite struggling with our bulging stash addictions, there’s always room for a few more beads! I certainly don’t expect you to ignore the sexy new beads, but I dearly hope that you will think about giving the more seasoned ones, a little of your time and attention!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Jean Power is coming back to BeadFX
for three wonderful classes!

Calling all Jean Power fans! Jean Power is an award-winning jewellery designer, writer and teacher based in London, England. She first began making jewellery in 2001, having already spent many years painting as well as exploring different aspects of fibre and textile arts. While she continues some of these interests, beading, wirework and chain maille are her main love and she tries to use them in conjunction with her other interests.

We are so pleased to have Jean back with us, that we are offering a very special bonus for taking her classes. For each of Jean's classes you register for, you will receive a $40 Gift Certificate that you can use toward class supplies or for future purchases or classes. This special offer is in lieu of receiving the standard 15% Student Discount.

Best of all, this bonus is in addition to the savings that you will receive for taking multiple classes with Jean:

  • Take one class with Jean for $185 + HST; receive a $40 Gift Certificate
  • Take a second class for $165 + HST (save $20); receive a second $40 Gift Certificate
  • Take a third class for $145 + HST (save an additional $20); receive a third $40 Gift Certificate

Jean will be teaching the following three classes at BeadFX:

Sparkle Stars
Friday, September 23; 10:00am - 5:00pm
This sparkling ornament, or pendant, takes the basics of the geometric stars and fires them up a notch with the addition of bicone crystals in the centre to make a reversible, dazzling star. Level: Intermediate; must know peyote stitch

Armarria Series Bracelet
Saturday, September 24; 10:00am - 5:00pm
This sparkling series combines a bracelet and necklace centrepiece that unite peyote stitch components with Swarovski Chatons and bicones for dramatic and versatile pieces. Ideal for anyone who knows basic peyote stitch, the bracelet can be adapted in height (the one shown above is a double layer) to suit your own tastes and preferences. Using beading elastic as its base the finished piece requires no clasp and makes it ideal for different sizes and wearers. Level: Intermediate; must know peyote stitch and be comfortable with small beads.

Sticks and Stones Bracelet
Sunday, September 25; 10:00am - 5:00pm
This elegant and reversible bracelet combines Cubic Right-Angle Weave components and a mix of beads to create a versatile bracelet with many possibilities. Ideal for anyone who has never beaded CRAW before, the class includes detailed instructions on the stitch along with both a chevron and curved version of the bracelet. Using beading elastic as its base the finished piece requires no clasp and makes it ideal for different sizes and wearers. Level: Intermediate; must be comfortable with seed beading; no CRAW experience required

Because of the substantial offers on these classes, we anticipate that attendance will be high and wait lists will be developed. Don't be disappointed - register early!

Complete information about each class, including the supplies to bring, is listed on the class pages. Click on the class title to see the class page or go to and click on 'Classes'. Follow the links to the September classes.

Let's Celebrate July Classes!

We have a lot to celebrate in July starting with our national holiday Canada Day and helping our American neighbours celebrate Independence Day!

Early-month classes include several new projects including Daydreamer Rope, being taught by Pamela Kearns with permission from designer Jill Wiseman. Liz Reynolds is teaching a new introduction to base metal clay and Anne Marie Desaulniers will take you into the bead embroidery world with a new pendant project. Jen Rosen will treat wire-workers with a new brooch project (brooches are so popular now!). As always, we have encore classes you'll love too! Find out more about the class by clicking on the class title; details will open in a new window.

Here are the classes scheduled July 1 - 10:

Friday, July 1
BeadFX will be closed to celebrate our nation's 149th Birthday. We will reopen at 9:00am sharp on Saturday, July 2.

Wednesday, July 6
NEW Introduction to Metal Clay: Red Bronze, White Bronze, Copper
Instructor: Liz Reynolds
11:00am - 5:00pm

Facilitator: Bonnie Cottingham
6:00 - 8:00pm
(Bonnie specializes in bead crochet and various seed beading techniques. Feel free to bring your questions!)

Thursday, July 7
Afternoon Bead Tea
Facilitator: Pamela Kearns
1:00 - 3:00pm
(Pam specializes in seed beading and general jewellery-making techniques. Feel free to bring your questions!)

Instructor: Pamela Kearns
6:00 - 9:00pm

Friday, July 8
NEW Nature's Mood - Bead Embroidered Pendant
Instructor: Anne Marie Desaulniers
5:00 - 9:00pm

Saturday, July 9
NEW Wire-Wrapping: Intermediate Brooch
Instructor: Jen Rosen
11:00am - 3:00pm

Sunday, July 10
Resin: A Mixed Up Media Approach
Instructor: Anne Marie Desaulniers
11:00am - 5:00pm

Instructor: Pamela Kearns
12:00 - 4:00pm

Click on the class or open session title to see the complete descriptions, including applicable class fees, or go to and click on 'Classes'. Follow the links to the July class calendar. Preregistration is required for all classes and open sessions.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Creating jewellery with leather has never been easier

By: Cindy Goldrick

In the past, I've written in this blog about the Jill MacKay leather cutting dies that you can use on the Big Kick to make fun, contemporary bracelets, necklaces and earrings. The good news is that Beadfx has the dies in stock now. 

More good news is that Sizzix has released a whole new line of cuff styles, flower and geometric shapes and even a fast tassel cutting die. So much fun!

And even better news!! I'm teaching a class, on July 23, on the many ways to use and combine the various cuff and shape dies to create unique jewellery custom-made to your own taste. 

In class I will review the basics of how the Big Kick and dies work, then we will review fastening options such as rivets, glue, snaps and move on to other ways to embellish and finish everything from a cuff to a quick cute pendant. I will also preview some brand new dies you will be able to test out before you buy. 

Then we will discuss the many ways to assemble and personalize your designs, from embossed metal blanks, to flatbacks, to seed beads and vintage metal stampings. 

Here are a few samples of ways to compile the leather cut outs into easy to wear and easy to make jewellery.

Here's what some of the brand new shapes look like -- imagine how the leaf shapes in a variety of sizes and colours could be layered on the feather cuff. 

I urge you to come out and play with the Big Kick: you'll be amazed at how fun and easy it really is to create custom soft jewellery that packs colour and pizazz. 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

InspirationFX: Mermaid's Dress

Mermaid's Dress

by: Dwyn Tomlinson

When I saw this V-shaped finding - I knew that it had some really fun possibilities. So I sat down with it one day to try out some of those possibilities. I originally had it in mind to hang it with the wide part at the top, and fill in the frame, but then I was messing around, and flipped it over, and this is what started to happen - rows of over lapping beads, forming a scale-like pattern like something a Mermaid would wear!

I tried it with both stringing the beads on fireline, and with fine wire, and both work well - so use whichever you are most comfortable with. The biggest challenge was finding beads that are long enough to overlap well. The holes are 7.8 mm apart - so whatever you use needs to be about a 1/3 again as long, so 16 mm or more, and with a side to side hole. Some suggestions are below.

The little cups are 1.6 mm - I dropped 2 mm rounds into them and glued them in, and they look very nice.

Any number of the pinch bails will work too, to hang it from.

My favorite is the one with the matte dagger beads - although the one with the stick pearls is a close second.

For the thorns and the daggers - I used 32 beads. The pearls - it was a few more.

To string - start with the bottom row - that is at the wide end of the V finding. Secure your wire or thread by wrapping or tieing around one leg of the v, then string your first row, adjusting the number of beads to have it lay flat. Then run the wire or thread up the outside of the V and back in the next hole, and do the next row, making sure that the beads lay flat and even on top of the previous row - you will use a few less this row than the last. Carry on, until you get to the top. Secure the wire or thread by wrapping or tying back onto itself. Add the pinch bail at the top of the V.

Glue 3 little beads or rhinestones into the 3 cups with hypo-tube cement.

Here are a number of options to choose from:
Daggers - the daggers I used seem to have been from my stash, and are ones that are gone - but any from the Medium page would work.


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.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Swallows Swoop and Dragonflies Zoom!

s49168 Czech Glass -  Swallow Oval - Sapphire Opal Picasso (10)
s49164 Czech Glass -  Dragonfly Coin - Midnight Ocean (5)
Summer time, and the living is beady,
Swallows swoop, and the dragonflies zoom
The colors are rich, and the patterns are easy,
So indulge in these Czech beads - you've plenty of room!
Yes - indulge yourself in more of theses49173 Czech Glass -  Nautilus Shell - Green Mix Copper Wash (10) wonderful Czech-made glass beads with pressed patterns of Swallows, Dragonflies, Starbursts, and even a Nautilus!

s49236 Metal Buttons -  Triskelion - Antiqued SilverIf, however, you are casting around looking for metal buttons - why - we have some of those too! Buttons aren't just for holding your clothes on, although they are great for that - but make fine clasps - with a loop of s49231 Metal Buttons -  Flower Shield - Antiqued Copperseedbeads to secure them, or as the start of a great design!

And if summer has you dealing with an invasion of bugs, and s49312 Metal Blank - 25 mm Round with Loop - Pewter (2)the swallows and dragonflies aren't getting rid of them for you - then you might have to resort to "stamping" them out!
Just make surs49574 Supplies - Casting - 1/2 pound EasyMold - Silcone Puttye that with the humidity - you make molds, and not grow them! This molding putty is super easy to use - just knead one part of the purple and one of the white (you can approximate - it's not super critical) and press your item into it, and 10 minutes later - you have a mold, ready to use. You'll find yourself making molds of everything in the house, from interesting old carvings to door knobs to whatever you can find. All ready to use with resin, clay, metal clay, polymer clay, or glass clay - and probably other things I can't think of at the moment.

Anyway - I encourage you to check out all the new items here and see what tickles your fancy!
Bead Happy!