Sunday, September 25, 2016

InspirationFX: Double Metallic




Double Metallic 

by: Dwyn Tomlinson

After making the Iridescent Wrap, I decided I needed to confront my fear of committing to the cut, and made this double wide bracelet. Cut the two pieces to the same length, and dry fit before gluing. Apply the glue to one side and glue both pieces, and then do the other half of the clasp once the first side is dry and secure.

This metallic "leather" - it is leather on the back and has a prismatic texture on the front that shows gold and silver - depending on the angle of the light - is so showy - it doesn't even need a bead or anything to adorn it!


















Components

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, September 22, 2016

How to be Stoned and still make a good Impression!

s50409 Stone Pendant -  7 Piece Long Drop Pendant Set - Lapis & Blue Impression Jasper
We would not feel so all alone
So everybody must get stoned!
But that doesn't mean that you can't make an awesome impression. Impression Jasper that is!

We scooped up a few more of these most excellent pendants sets in Impression Jasper, Lapis, and other stone/colours - and maybe even there will be enough to go around this time. Last time, so many of the staff here fell on them like the rapacious bead vultures that they are, that hardly any of them made it out to be sold! And we apologize for that. But, what the bead vultures want - the bead vultures get!


This week's update is full of stony goodness, there must be something in here to "rock" your world.


s50308 Stone Beads - 8 mm Big Hole Faceted Round - Picasso JasperIf you are making leather cord bracelets, and need stone beads with bigger holes, check out the new items in our Big Hole Stones! From subtle Picasso Jasper to the perplexing Orange Sodalite. Why did nature design a blue stone with orange stripes?


s50394 Stone Beads - 12 mm Coin - Black Moss Opal (strand)In our suites of stones - with a variety of shapes and sizes for your designing mind - we have Black Moss Opal, also known as Dendritic Opal. From Australia, this is a milky-white to brownish stone with dark greenish moss-like and tree-like inclusions. This is a "common opal" - which means that it does not have the spectacular play of colour that you might hope for from an opal from Australia, but as it is "an amorphous mineraloid comprised of hydrated silicon dioxide" it still is classified as opal.


s50581 Stone Beads - 10 x 14 mm Oval - Matte Wood Opalite (strand)With a confusingly similar name, we also have Wood Opalite - Matte finish. This is a petrified wood, and is actually a member of the quartz family. This is also known as fossilized wood or agatized wood.


s26869 Stone Beads - 8 mm Round - Angelite (strand)If you'd like a bit more colour in your stone beads, we have some Angelite, in a lovely, soft, pastel blue that will take you straight to your happy place. Or failing that, how about some Lepidolite, in a romantic, lustrous pink? s50297 Stone Beads - 8 mm Round - Lepidolite (strand)






s50262 Stone Beads -  Graduated Set - Pointed Oval - LarimarOr, if you are feeling like a splurge - we have a graduated set of Larimar. The colour is not super intense, but it wouldn't take much to string this into a truly fabulous statement piece. Accent it with some metal beads and let the stone speak for itself.






s50265 Stone Beads - 13 x 18 mm Rectangle - Malachites50264 Stone Beads - 16 mm Round - Malachite AzuriteThere is a wealth of truly delightful stone beads this week - mmmm - Malachite and Malachite Azurite, and these interesting plug rounds, smooth on one side and rough on the other, in Chrysocolla, Green Apatite and Amethyst.s50304 Stone Beads - 12 mm Plug - One Side Rough - Chrysocolla










Swarovski Fans! If you'd like to see the absolute latest stuff 347080-078 Swarovski Pendant - 10 mm Heart (Article 6228) - Crystal Rainbow Darkfrom Swarovski - then email Pam@beadfx.com directly for your invitation to this exclusive Swarovski Fall Launch event. Saturday evening (Sep 24) at 5:30 at the store, after closing, we will be hosting this private affair for stores, designers and Swarovski enthusiasts! You don't have to be a high-end buyer or a designer doyenne to come and rub shoulders with the sparkly set. See the latest Swarovski innovations, watch the videos, fondle the samples, and be inspired by drool-worthy designs that dazzle.


As always - Bead Happy! Click on a link or image, or check out all the new items here!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Dirty is, as dirty does!

I’ve started experimenting with “dirty pours”, and I think that I’m in love!!!! They're so much fun, that I’m sure it will become yet another fascinating addiction for me (heh, heh, and perhaps for a few others)! !
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, you could use either resin or acrylic pouring medium, as the base of your pours. I used pouring medium this week, but I do promise to work with Ice Resin next time. The small measuring cups were overkill, as no measuring was required with the pouring medium, but you will need to remember to use them when working with resin!
If you ask me how I did this, I’ll need to give you a sketchy answer, as this is definitely not a scientific process. I’ve found that it’s impossible to duplicate pours, even when working with the same batch of paint. I splash in a little pouring medium, then add dollops, or drops of paint and ink. For the purpose of these experiments, I used acrylic craft paint, acrylic ink, high flow acrylic, and alcohol inks, but not all in the same batch. The pouring medium goes first, then paints and inks, from heaviest/thickest, to lightest/most liquid (on the top). Alcohol inks, if you’re using them in the mix, go in last. A quick swish with a toothpick (you do not want to mix thoroughly), then you’re ready to pour. I chose to use four different substrates for this first go! Domino game pieces, glass nuggets (thanks Malliga), laminate countertop samples (courtesy of my local home improvement store), and a couple of little wooden hearts (thanks Pam). No real reason for choosing them, other than that’s what I had on hand. I intend to pour my next series, onto metal blanks and glass tiles (available at BeadFX).
My process still needs refinement, but I started by pouring a line of the paint mixture, in the middle of my substrate. It’s fairly thick, so it was easy to spread to the edges, via my very sophisticated, toothpick tool! If you try this on your own, be careful not to over pour, as you will make quite a mess, and end up with a puddle of paint, flowing over the edges. In a true “dirty pour”, you pick up the edges, and rock the substrate back and forth, until you're happy with the results. I didn’t have gloves, so I decided to leave that technique for another day. You’ll notice from the photos (each represents one batch of “dirty pour” paint), that the colouring for each batch is the same, but the patterning is completely different. The layering of the different densities of paint, as it comes out of the pour, is like magic! You can also do another pour, on top of one that you weren’t entirely happy with, but let it dry first. Take the dark purple set, for example. They looked okay in the photo, but I decided that I really didn't like the results, so I mixed up a lighter batch, and changed the look entirely (see below). Plus I was able to add an extra piece, as a bonus! I also tried splashing on alcohol inks, after the pour, for yet another look. However, you need to hold your breath, and hope for the best, as this causes a drastic change to the look of your pour!!
All of these pieces are destined to be pendants and cabochons. They'll get a top coat of Ice Resin, but I still need to figure out how I’m going to finish the backs and edges. I do have ideas, but would like to try them out first, before revealing all of my secrets. After all, I am participating in the BeadFX, Artisan Trunk Show, on October 2nd! I do promise to take photos, and will show them in a future blog post!
Go forth and be dirty, my friends! My apologies in advance, if I’ve tempted you with a new technique/addiction!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Don't miss out on classes with Hannah Rosner

Just a reminder that acclaimed bead and lampwork artist Hannah Rosner is joining us at BeadFX for four amazing classes. You still have time to take advantage of the Early Bird Bonus registration but don't delay - the special offer ends Saturday, October 1.

The class samples for each of Hannah's classes are in the store now and they are absolutely stunning. To really appreciate the pieces, you need to see them in person - the photos just don't do them justice!

Here are the classes with Hannah:

Friday, October 21
Royal Ruffles
10:00am - 1:00pm
This has been my most popular class at Bead & Button! Make an undulating bracelet that just uses even count flat peyote stitch - but HOW does it ruffle?  That's the trick!  We'll also make a fun matching toggle clasp in class. Bonus: Take this class and receive a $20 Gift Certificate that can be used toward the purchase of your class supplies. Any remaining balance will be yours to use toward future purchases or classes. The $20 Gift Certificate is in lieu of the standard 15% Student Discount. Skill level: Intermediate; students need to be really comfortable with even count flat peyote.  

Class fee: $120 plus HST. Early Bird Bonus: Book this class by Saturday, October 1 and receive 10% off the class fee. The early bird discount is in addition to the $20 Gift Certificate.


Friday, October 21
Floral Headpins 2:00 - 5:00pm

Learn to manipulate soft glass to create flower and leaf headpins. Class involves the use of a torch of open flame and gases. Wear safety (didymium) glasses, cotton clothing and closed-toe shoes. Tie long hair back. Students will make one or more of an open flower, flower bud, leaf, set of grapes, blueberry, gooseberry. The instructor will also demo how to make a mushroom and how to make a ladybug. Bonus: Take this class and receive a $20 Gift Certificate that can be used toward the purchase of your class supplies. Any remaining balance will be yours to use toward future purchases or classes. The $20 Gift Certificate is in lieu of the standard 15% Student Discount. Skill level: Intermediate; basic lampworking skills required (note: this class is idea if you've taken any of Amy's or Dwyn's introductory classes and want to expand your knowledge!)  

Class fee: $150 plus HST. Early Bird Bonus: Book this class by Saturday, October 1 and receive 10% off the class fee. The early bird discount is in addition to the $20 Gift Certificate.


Saturday, October 22
Under the Sea Bracelet 10:00am - 5:00pm

Use Czech Mates two-hole triangles and crescents over a firepolish base to make a fun bracelet with undulating ruffles. Loosely based off of embroidery techniques, but you don't have to really dig bead embroidery to do this one. We'll talk about versions over a bracelet form and soft cuffs. Bonus: Take this class and receive a $30 Gift Certificate that can be used toward the purchase of your class supplies. Any remaining balance will be yours to use toward future purchases or classes. The $30 Gift Certificate is in lieu of the standard 15% Student Discount. Skill level: Intermediate; students need to be really familiar with even count flat peyote stitch and comfortable with picot edging. 

Class Fee: $195 plus HST. Early Bird Bonus: Book this class by Saturday, October 1 and receive 10% off the class fee. The early bird discount is in addition to the $30 Gift Certificate.


Sunday, October 23
Coral Reef Bracelet 10:00am - 5:00pm

Take your peyote stitching skills to a new level by making this 3D statement bracelet with silk, ruffles and 2-hole crescent beads. We'll also discuss a new way of setting a stone or rivoli. Bonus: Take this class and receive a $30 Gift Certificate that can be used toward the purchase of your class supplies. Any remaining balance will be yours to use toward future purchases or classes. The $30 Gift Certificate is in lieu of the standard 15% Student Discount. Skill level: Intermediate; students must be comfortable with peyote stitch. 

Class fee: $195 plus HST. Early Bird Bonus: Book this class by Saturday, October 1 and receive 10% off the class fee. The early bird discount is in addition to the $30 Gift Certificate.

To see the complete information about each class, click on the class title (the class page will open in a new webpage) or go to www.beadfx.com and click on 'Classes'. Follow the links to the October class calendar.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Gettin' Jiggy with it again

By Cindy Goldrick

I spent the weekend playing with my Now That's a Jig! which was developed by the amazing Brenda Schweder. For those of you who don't know, this wonderful tool allows you to easily wrangle wire into and around shaped pegs of all styles. 

 
Here's a picture of the NTaJ! set-up to create a neckwire. I use this configuration as the basis for a soldered bezel necklace I'm teaching this fall. 


This weekend I was making my version of Brenda's Kinetic Links necklace (see pic further down). I learned about this pattern on one of Brenda's Facebook live shows. 

Brenda is generous with her time and sharing her knowledge. If you "like" her FB pages Brenda Schweder Jewelry or Now That's a Jig!, you can sign up to be  notified about her broadcasts live at noon Central time (1:00 pm for those of us in Toronto) on Mondays and Thursdays. She recently added a live broadcast from her work bench on Tuesdays at noon Central where you'll get great insight into her design process. 

There are monthly challenges you can enter and the prize is a gift certificate for Brenda's store. Here's my entry in the August challenge Chain Link Love. 


This month's challenge is squares. 

Last week Brenda demoed "scrappy soldering" on steel wire. During her live broadcasts, she answers questions in real time and there's lots of fun and info to be gleaned in the growing community she is developing online. 

You can watch the videos after the fact too. So catch up on everything you've missed over the last 50+ broadcasts. 

Here's my version of Kinetic Links. 


If you want to experiment with the NTaJ! before investing you can always arrange for studio time at Beadfx to use theirs or join me on Open Metal Studio night Friday, September 30 for a crash course in how to set up and design using the jig. There are so many cool ways to use the jig to enhance and professionalize your jewellery designs. 




Sunday, September 18, 2016

InspirationFX: Stretching Coral



Stretching Coral 

by: Rochelle Kilmer

                As we fall into the autumn weather, you can't help but notice the warm, rusty colours emerging in the leaves on the trees. But I'm still longing for the warm, summer months. Bright blues, greens coming to life in the underwater sea world. Coral comes in so many colours and textures as do the leaves on the trees from month to month. Leaves rustle in the breeze, as coral is swayed by the deep, rushing under current; both breathing living creatures. Needing to breathe, drink water,and eat food to survive. No different than us really.
                The texture and look of the 'Bow Burst Oval' reminded me of coral as the colours - 'Autumn Mix' is self-explanatory. The best of both worlds comes together in this living,stretching bracelet.
                Measure your wrist, then string on the ovals and firepolish. You can create a few or lots of dangles to incorporate if you want. Just make sure to put a firepolish on your headpin first, so that the oval doesn't slide off. Make a wrapped loop. If you are not sure how to do that, check out our TIPS page.  Add a dangle to the loop of the bail. This is where the knot will hide. Make sure the bail is the last thing you string on so the knot slides underneath. When you have everything strung on and you are happy with it, tie the 2 ends of the stretch cord together. Make another knot. Dab with tiny bit of glue.
All Done !!!














Components

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, September 15, 2016

Silk inside, Stamps, and Opsimaths

It is a busy, busy, busy update this week. 

Freakin' huuuuge in fact. I mean huge. Oh, where to start!


db1860 Delicas - 11/0 Japanese Cylinders - Silk Inside Dyed Delphinium (7.5 g)How about 54 new colours of Delicas? A whole bunch of hot off the press colours, including the db1888 Delicas - 11/0 Japanese Cylinders - Transparent Chartreuse Luster (7.5 g)Silk Inside and the Transparent Lusters.








Maybe you'd like something more in the instant gratification category - s49984 Finger Rings - ID 14 mm Crown Bezel - Bright Silverhow about a bit of finger bling?

These crown bezel rings are adjustable for size, just slide to the right size, and then bend the tabs over to lock into place. They take the 14 mm rivolis - or, for that matter, any 14 mm round stone - and you bend the picots of the decorative crown edge over onto the rivoli to hold it in place.


And if that sounds like too much work, glue it. (But it isn't too much work, honestly. Use the side of your pliers, or the eraser end of the pencil to bend them down. Assuming you can find a pencil with an eraser on it these days!



s49991 Coin Holder - ID 26.5 mm Lucky Loonie Frame - Bright Gold Plateds49995 Coin Holder - ID 26.5 mm Lucky Loonie Frame with Loonie - Bright Gold PlatedNow that we are starting to think about #handmadechristmas - the gals are easy - but what about the guys?

How about a Lucky Loonie charm for the keyring? Especially designed to take a Canadian $1 dollar coin - known as the Loonie, for it's picture of a Loon on it - you just pop the coin in, and fold over the three tabs on the back for a nice, secure hold. Will also take the US Susan B Anthony dollar, the Sacagawea dollar or any other 26.5 mm coin. And for those of you who are not in Canada and therefore do not have a loonie handy - you can buy the version with the coin included and assemble it yourself.


s50471 Metal Sheet - 5/8 in Bracelet Blank - Aluminum (2)Or maybe you are thinking about hitting something. With a hammer. Which is always a good way to make an impression.

These aluminum bracelet blanks - narrow and wide - are amazing for the beginning stamper. I was, I admit, deeply skeptical at first about aluminum as a stamping medium - but s50465 ImpressArt Stamps -  Mandala Design Stamp/Punch Set - Series 2it turns out to be great! It takes beautiful, deep impressions easily - and these new Mandala Design punches, Series 1 and Series 2 are a whole lot of fun. Instead of a single stamp, these are 4 stamps with elements that you can combine to make your own designs with! There are lots of s50461 ImpressArt Stamps - 9.5 mm Design Stamp/Punch - Left Hand Printnew items in the ImpressArt Stamps this week, and in the metal to stamp section too, so have a look around!
(Check out my blog post for the greatest stamping tip of the century!)






s50482 Needle - #10 Toho Beading Needles - Variety Pack (Pack)If you have been waiting for the Toho needles - they are in too, #10 and #11.


There is lots more new this week besides, so click on a link or image, or check out all the new items here!

Are you an Opsimath?

An opsimath is someone who takes up learning something new late in life. Like if you decide to take beading classes once you retire! Isn't is a great word? ops-si-maTH. Almost makes you want to go find something new to learn just to be one.

If you have already started your Opsimathic studies in beading, you will want to advance to the next level with a few of these classes - if not, you can start with our September calendar of classes and browse to find the skill that speaks to you!

We still have a few spaces left in the Jean Power classes. Don't forget that she will also be unveiling her new kits for the first right here! 

Also coming in October, Hannah Rosner will be teaching a selection of classes including Lampwork Floral Headpins (Oct 21); Under the Sea Bracelet - Bead Embroidery and Peyote (Oct 22), and the Coral Reef Bracelet - Peyote stitch (Oct 23)


Bead Happy!