Sunday, October 23, 2016

InspirationFX: Wire Braid Bangle & Necklace

Wire Braid Bangle & Necklace

by: Pam Kearns

First of all, I'm not a wireworker but I see lots of possibilities for the new Artistic Wire Braid and the crimp tubes!

In this set of projects I've created a simple bangle using the 12 gauge Stainless Steel Artistic Wire Braid. I cut the wire using flush cutters to the measurement of the widest part of my hand. The braid is quite stiff but easy to cut. At this point I slipped on a combination of large hole stones. Joining the two ends is quite simple using the tube crimps. Slip the crimp tube so that the one end of wire halfway fills the crimp (you can 'pre-measure' the amount by laying the wire beside the crimp to determine the length and either mark it a sharpie or holding your fingernail in place). Using the ends of crimping pliers (not into the notch), squeeze the tube at one end; the wire will be held in place. Repeat with the other end of the wire into the remaining half of the crimp tube. I then used bracelet bending pliers to create a gentle curve in the crimp tube. The nylon jaws of the pliers will not damage the crimp.

If you don't care for the visibility of the crimp tube, there are ways of covering it. Consider wrapping the tube portion with matching or contrasting wire; covering it with epoxy clay (and adding sparkle with the mica powders); or stitching a small amount of peyote stitch and zipping it around the crimp tube and securing it with glue.

You can get a lot of bangles out of one package of wire braid and crimp tubes. Think about slipping on charms, large hole Swarovski donuts, or beaded beads to really personalize the look.

For the necklace, I created a self-closing 'necklace' using about 19" of  the same wire braid. Using round-nose pliers, I created an S-hook with a spiral ending in a vertical plane. I then added some large hole round stone beads, including a small donut onto the wire. To close the necklace, I created another S-hook with a spiral ending in a horizontal plane. The two S-hooks simply hook into each other. Although the wire is already quite stiff, you can gently work harden the wire for more security by tapping the finished ends with a rubber mallet.

The crimp tubes are available in a variety of sizes. Consider also using them to connect thin cording, rubber tubing and more!


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, October 22, 2016

SPOOK-Tacular Decorations...

We just thought that you would like to see what the ghouls at BeadFX have been up too lately....


Friday, October 21, 2016

25% off Ripple Pip Piggy Tango!

Doesn't that  sound like something you might have chanted in the playground while - maybe while skipping rope?

Ripple Pip Piggy Tango
Make your Mother buy a Mango
If she won't then try again
Make her buy a big fat hen

Sale! 25% off - until Nov 2

Ripple Beads

 Ripple beads - a flat, circular bead with a rippled profile.

Be inspired by these wonderful samples from Preciosa-Ornela.


A new "Pip" or seed shaped bead - a flat drop - add texture to your designs!

Be inspired by these wonderful samples from Preciosa-Ornela!


Piggy beads - another player in the two-hole shaped bead arena - vying for your attention! The two holes, one in the centre and one off-centre, are 3 mm apart. They can be beaded into a sort of clamshell container for other beads -check this out on Pinterest to see what I mean.


Wedge shaped triangles - two holes running side to side.

Need ideas? Check out these out on Pinterest!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Big Wire - Big Crimps

New74702999-00 Artistic Wire - 8 gauge Braided Wire - Non-Tarnish Brass (Pack) this week, Big Braided Wire, and crimps to join the ends.
24012001-02 Findings - 12 gauge Crimp Tubes for Wire - Brass (Pack)
Here's a cool idea - you can join the ends of this heavy, braided wire with crimps, to make a bangle bracelet!

It's easy to do - size the wire to fit your wrist - it needs to go over the widest part of your hand - so 9-10 inches, and slide one of these large crimps halfway onto the end, and crimp, and then slide the other end of the wire into the crimp and crimp the other half! Easy peasy. (If you are adding beads or charms onto the wire - do that first, before the final crimping!)

Alternately - you can use crimpable ends (or glueable) and add a toggle clasp, if you are not a fan of bangles.

There is a video here - it takes just seconds to make.

74701023-38 Artistic Wire - 16 gauge Round Wire - Silver Plated - Pearl Silver (Pack)74701023-40 Artistic Wire - 16 gauge Round Wire - Iron (Spool)We have 2 new colours as well in the regular Artistic wire, the Pearl Silver and Iron. The Pearl Silver is a frosty white, and the Iron is close to black. I should point out that the "Iron" is the colour, and it is still a copper wire with a coloured coating.

Check out all the cool new stuff every week at BeadFX - Bead Happy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A collection of random thoughts!

Every once in a while, the muse needs to step back, reflect, and then deal with all of the random thoughts bombarding her during the day! As the rest of you deal with this as well, perhaps we should discuss some coping mechanisms. Who am I kidding? I have no idea how others cope with life, and I’m certainly not an expert, so I just plan to ramble on until I run out of words!! But isn’t the photo pretty (it's one I took on my river walk)?
Speaking only for myself, I seem to be all over the place with my art lately! Am I a bead, fibre, or mixed media artist? Why should I categorize myself, if I enjoy what I’m doing? I guess the term “mixed media” probably fits the best, because then I can do basically, anything that I want to do. Is that a fair statement? Perhaps the problem isn’t the terminology, but rather the lack of focus on any one thing. Should that be my focus? Should I focus more on focusing? Should I start to make lists? Would that make me more productive? Who knows??
One thing I do know, is that lifelong learning is a very important part of my life. My intent is to continue exploring and expanding my art! I get easily bored, and once I master (to the best of my ability) a technique, my muse tells me that it’s time to learn something new. Granted, not always entirely new, but instead, a marriage of both old and new techniques. Take this week, for example! I’ve started working on a new bead embroidery (future class alert!), but my plan is to adapt and execute it, with some ideas I learned in my fibre life. I’m even considering incorporating hand embroidery into the piece, although it is quite small, and I don’t want to “busy up” my palette! I’d love to show it to you, but it’s an ugly stage, so instead I’ll just say that it involves flowers, land and sky. The colours are red, black, and I’m not quite sure about the sky yet!! As always, more to come later! The colours are correct, but the photo has absolutely nothing to do with my embroidery! It's just one I grabbed off Google Images.
Onwards and upwards to more randomness (and a couple more Google images)! Did you know that right brained people are clutter-holics? Not all of the quotes are clutter related, but here are some of my favourite art and creativity quotes:
“Creative mess equals creative thought” – Timothy Atwood.......... "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk” – Thomas Edison.......... “Perfectly ordered disorder designed with a helter skelter magnificence” – Emily Carr.......... “Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint you can at it” – Danny Kaye.......... “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” – Twyla Tharp.......... “One of the advantages of being untidy is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries” – A.A. Milne.......... “Imagination is the air of the mind” – Philip James Bradley.......... “Blessed are the cracked for they shall let in the light” – Unknown.......... “Play is the essential feature in productive thought” – Albert Einstein.......... “He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a crafter. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist” – St. Francis of Assisi
Are you ready to reflect, focus and make some small changes in your life? Review your knowledge base of techniques, and then try combining them into something new and exciting. Change is one of the constants in life, and isn’t it time you embraced it?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Wrap-up October with a 'spook-tacular' class!

No, our classes aren't scary; we want you to feel comfortable when you come to take classes at BeadFX. We just love getting into the Halloween spirit! Hmm...I wonder how many beads it would take to cover a pumpkin?

We have several new classes coming up with Sue Henry, Christine Woollacott, Maria Rypan, Gillian Clarke and Jen Rosen! We also have many encore classes in all jewellery-making mediums that you'll enjoy, including revamped classes with Bonni Poch for bead crochet. Unfortunately, we needed to cancel our classes with Hannah Rosner due to lack of sign-ups, but don't worry - we have several visiting instructors coming in 2017.

Here are the classes scheduled October 21 - October 31:

Friday, October 21
NEW Make your own Toggle/Bar Clasp with Copper Metal Clay
Instructor: Sue Henry
Style your own custom findings!

Saturday, October 22
NEW Plique-a-Jour with Fine Silver Metal Clay
Instructor: Christine Woollacott
10:00am - 5:00pm
Learn an enamelling technique that resembles the beauty of stained glass! Class continues Sunday, October 23; 10:00am - 5:00pm

Instructor: Amy Waldman
10:00am - 2:30pm
Make your own glass beads! Class continues Sunday, October 23; 11:30am - 4:00pm

Tuesday, October 25
NEW Tapered Net Bracelet
Instructor: Maria Rypan
1:30 - 4:30pm
Learn a new way to use 2-hole beads!

Wednesday, October 26
Introduction to Art Clay Silver
Instructor: Jenn Jevons
11:00am - 7:00pm
Create your own fine silver pendants, charms and other jewellery components!

Facilitator: Bonnie Cottingham
6:00 - 8:00am
Bring your project and join friends for a fun evening!

Thursday, October 27
FREE Afternoon Bead Tea
Facilitator: Pamela Kearns
1:00 - 3:00pm
Bring your project and be among the first to see the new weekly items!

Instructor: Sureka Sriharan
6:00 - 9:00pm
Learn how to bezel a rivoli for a beautiful pendant!

Open Metal Studio: Hot and Cold Connections
Facilitator: Iris Rogers Melamed
6:00 - 8:00pm
Bring your metalwork project and get help and tips from Iris!

Friday, October 28
NEW Shaggy Loops and Scales
Instructor: Gillian Clarke
6:00 - 9:00pm
Learn the basics of chainmaille!

Instructor: Ann Shewan
6:00 - 9:00pm
Jigs will be your new best friends for wirework!

Saturday, October 29
REVAMPED Bead Crochet: The Basics and Beyond
Instructor: Bonni Poch
Part 1: 10:00am - 1:00pm
Part 2: 2:00 - 5:00pm
Learn how to do bead crochet and what more you can do with it!

Instructor: Iris Rogers Melamed
10:00am - 5:00pm
Take your silver soldering skills to the next level!

Sunday, October 30
Resin: A Mixed-up Media Approach
Instructor: Anne Marie Desaulniers
11:00am - 5:00pm
Discover how to use resin!

Instructor: Jen Rosen
12:00 - 3:00pm
Create your own trendy ring!

Complete information about each activity is available by clicking on the title. You can also go to and click on 'Classes'. Follow the links to the October class calendar and click on the individual classes, events and sessions.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Fall 2016 jewellery trend round-up

By Cindy Goldrick

It's that time of year again! I've scoured the fashion magazines' reporting on the fall jewellery trends to bring you this summary. Then you can look in your jewellery box for styles that are back, or can be easily upcycled to look current. And never forget that your favourite jewellery store has all the components ( and classes) that will allow you to custom-make on trend jewellery at a fraction of the department store prices. 

Chain chain chain: we're not talking about tiny chains or masses of chain. We are talking about padlock the door chain. It's part of the punk revival in jewellery. 

Speaking of which...
Safety pins. Yes safety pins. Big ones in your ears, dangling from your lobes and even as components to join sections of chain in necklaces. I'm not kidding. 

Big big big: big slices of agate on long chains as well as worn like big plates on your ears as earrings. Also big pearl ropes piled up. Big coins on chokers, as earrings. The XXL necklace that piles it on, stacks it up and looks like it will weigh you down is your best accessory. 

More more more: pile on those rings - the bigger the better. Finally style has caught up with me. Lol. 

Charms, charms and more charms: on rings and big chunky bracelets. But what I'm loving is the talisman style necklaces that a small company I work with, Bench Artisans, has been making and selling all summer. 

Eye glass chains: on the chain theme, these are in your face chains that make your glasses a major fashion accessory. 

Chokers: get out the velvet, lace and other tactile textiles. Create or buy a buckle for the back and add pearls, semi precious stones or a brooch. 

Ohhhhh, brooches! Look out 80s ladies - brooches are back. Wear them as pairs on lapels with chain draped between them. Attach them to headpieces for instant glamour. Pile two or three on one side that have a theme to bring them together.  

What's still in style from the spring:

Tassels galore as duster earrings, on talisman necklaces, on hand bags.

Asymmetrical looks, especially one duster earring. 

If you have noticed any other trends, please add them below.