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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ah! Tucson!

It's my first full day here in bright, sunny warm Tucson. Well, actually the locals don't think it's very warm, but heck 18C is plenty warm enough for me.

Today was the opening day for the Gem Mall. This is a wholesale-only show and one of the largest of the 40-odd gem, mineral and bead shows. Imagine if you will, two huge tents - one about the size of a footfall field and the other about 2/3 that. They sell everything from precious gems, semi-precious stones, pearls, finished jewellery, glass beads from Czechoslovakia, China and India, Sterling, base metal findings, watches, etc, etc, etc.

I remember the first year I went to this show, it took me 2 days to cover just the semi-precious and pearl booths. I didn't even bother with the finished jewellery.

I got there right at 10AM. Good thing, too. Anyone remember the Calla Lily beads we had in white quartz or matte black? I saw them at one of my vendors and knowing they were popular, I stopped and grabbed a bunch in several colours. Just as I was finishing up, another buyer came along and swept up all the rest of the Calla Lillies into his basket! In this game, ya snooze, ya lose!

I spent the day zig-zagging through the two big tents, grabbing stuff from my favoured suppliers. Picked up some nice copper findings and brushed silver-plated copper beads from the same guy I bought the finished chain from last year. I'll get some more of that at his other booth at the Rodeway later on. Some really nice untreated Amazonite, not the faded pale stuff, but a beautiful deep colour.

Lotsa new Czech glass buttons including a few humoungous dragonfly buttons. I didn't get that many of any one colour/style because there were so many to choose from.

LAst year I bought a couple of small boxes for displaying rings for use in the store. Everyone kept wanting to buy our boxes because they are just right for packing to a show. So this time I bought a whole case of them to sell.

Tomorrow it's off to the pearl dealers.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Open House @ Nortel this Weekend!

No, not THAT Nortel! The Nortel that makes our awesome torches, and supplies us with tons of cool flameworking glass and supplies.

The open house will be today, Jan 30 and Saturday the 31st . Dwyn, myself, along with other artists have been invited to come and demo - so if you have any questions, you can come down and ask in person. They will have a full range of torches set up, so if you want to try out a new one, this would be the time to do it! They will have specials on glass, and other artists - and if you want to bring some of your beads to sell, swap or just show off - please do.

The time and location info is on their site, (www.nortelglass) and if you are coming to sell or swap, it would probably be a good idea to call or email them to let them know you are coming. ;-) Bring your friends - this is open to the public. Bring your friends that have no idea what you do, and can't figure out why a single bead should be worth that much. We'll straighten them out on that!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Class Correction

We made a fairly big mistake in posting a couple of Nadine's classes. Nadine's Dancing Dahlia class is actually coming up first on February 28th.

dancing dahlias
Dancing Dahlia Brooch with Nadine Foskin

10am to 1pm

And Nadine's wildflower pendant is on March 7th!

wildflower pendant

Wild Flower Pendant with Nadine Foskin

2pm to 5pm

Sorry for the confusion!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

February is almost here!!

I know that it is still winter, but the arrival of February usually makes you feel little better. February means that Spring is almost here and on that note we have some very "Springy" Nadine Foskin classes coming up.

Saturday February 28th from 10-1pm is the Wildflower Pendant

Saturday March 7th is the Dancing Dahlia's Brooch class. This is an absolutely beautiful brooch and a must take class.

Don't forget Nadine also has an Introduction to Bead Stringing class on the 26th of February.

The month of February is jammed packed. In the first week there 4 classes.

Dwyn Tomlinson's Lampworking 201 begins Thursday February 5th. This is an intermediate level class, giving you tons and tons of torch time!

Cindy Vroom's 4 week Basic Bead Stitching 101 begins on February 5th as well.

Amy Waldman-Smith's Introduction to Lampworking weekend runs February 7th and 8th. This is a great way to start out and learn a new skill.

We also have Heather Bell-Denison's Charmed I'm Sure class on February 7th. This class always fills fast so I would book now so that you're not disappointed.

Angela Peace will be in town on Saturday February 14th to teach an Introduction to Chinese Knotting. This is a great class and is only offer about once a year.

Don't forget that this Thursday January 29th is Open Beading Night.

Looking forward to a great February.

Happy Beading!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Mode Accessories Show

A couple of days ago, I attended the Mode Accessories Show, a biennial trade show for fashion and accessories. This is a strict wholesale show in that most of the booths just had samples of items for sale and took orders rather than doing Cash and Carry. The major accessories on display here were from manufacturers of accessories such as hats, handbags, belts, shawls, and most of all, jewellery. We're talking about costume jewellery here, not the big-ticket diamonds and gold stuff.

The buyers at this show are mostly the smaller boutique-type stores - you know the kind: the funky shop in the Beach with the eccentric owners.

Anyhow, I went there mostly to see what kinds of jewellery people were selling and, more importantly, buying. This is homework for when I go down to Tucson AZ to the big Gem and Mineral Shows next week.

What I saw at the Mode Show is that large chunky necklaces are still in, as are the simple "Swarovski snowflake on a chain" type necklace. A lot of multi-strand "illusion"-type necklaces as well. Natural is good, and so are metal finishes such as brass and copper. There were a lot of hammered/distressed metal look items. Bling still seems to be popular, in fact at some of the booths, the bling was downright blinding.

I was rather amused to see some filigree butterfly brooches that were almost identical to the inspiration on our website, except they were larger. In fact there were a lot of brooches of all kinds on display. After all, it's an inexpensive way to jazz up last year's dress.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Kung Hei Fat Choy - and UFOs

Kung Hei Fat Choy - Happy Niu Year - the Year of the Ox. (Niu is Ox - so apparently, this year, every one is wishing each other the equivalent of Happy Gnu Year in bad puns. A gnu, as you know, is a horse, designed by a committee. No gnus is good gnus, I suppose.)

Yes, this is the new year on the chinese calendar, and being based on the Lunar cycle, shifts around from year to year. Those of us in the west are largely fascinated with the idea of a cycle of years that are associated with animals, although the choice of animals is a little baffling to our western sensibility. Last year was, for instance, the year of the rat - and lets face it - what good can come from a rat?

This month's Contest Question asks what your new year's resolution is - and reading the answers is fascinating. A lot of you are resolving to tackle the number of UFO's you have - that's UnFinished Objects. Projects started and not completed. I have a number of those myself. I know from experience that I need to finish a project quickly, otherwise, I mentally move on and lose interest. Sometimes, of course, I need to find the part to complete it. You know, when you need the right end cap or clasp to finish it off. I have two of those on the table right now!

One of them - on the right - was supposed to be an inspiration - but I needed a clasp. I put the two in a baggy and went down to the store, found clasps I need, and brought them all home, put them on the table, and moved on to other things. There's always a good reason, you know!

And then - I have drawers full of "projects not started yet." Bead sets and colours that I think are inspiring, that I have bagged together, with an eye to "doing something." I must have dozens of those! If I count those - well - that's really depressing!

So - for this new year - for those of us who resolve to finish the projects we start - we are a mighty force! Let neither snow nor sleet nor petty interruptions stay us from our goal of finishing our projects! We will prevail. We will take up beading needles and wire cutters! We will forge mighty new jewelry links! We will bead on the buses and on the beaches! We will take our projects to work and tackle them at lunch - thereby sucking our co-workers into our addiction. We will make the time to finish those projects! We will make the gifts we intend to make, in time for the celebration they were supposed to be gifts for! We will never surrender - We are beaders - hear us roar!


Happy Niu Year! And may you always find time to finish your projects!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is there ice in your phone?

Well - there should be. ICE stands for IN CASE of EMERGENCY and it is the number you want called if you are in an accident and the paramedics/police/fire are trying to figure out who to call. Sure - fill out that card in your wallet. But put that number in your cell phone, and label it "ICE." If you have actually figured out how to add more that a few letters to a listing in your phone's directory, you can label it with the name and relationship. Or ICE1 and ICE2 for a back up.

This started in England a few years ago, and has caught on in Europe, and is now spreading here. It makes getting in touch with your emergency contact/next of kin easier - and there are other situations where it can come in handy. Ever find a cell phone? (Found one, lost one). Should be easy to return? Uh, which of those numbers do you call? Stands to reason, the emergency contact would be logical.

Here are a few more numbers it makes sense to put into your cell phone before you need them, because if you need them, you'll be busy!

  • CAA/Towing Company - because a break down is why you got the phone in the first place.
  • your insurance company - see above, but for accidents
  • your bank - from card-eating ATMs to why the heck is my credit card not working
  • your doctor/clinic - assuming you have one that will answer the phone
  • local pizza place - duh - so you can call on the way home for pick up!
  • local theatre - especially if they have the recording with the movie times
  • if you have pets - emergency vet
  • if you have kids - the school, their doctor
  • if you travel - the airline's number - to check on flight status, etc.
  • those phone numbers that the credit card company gives you to call if your card is stolen that you know you won't remember
So make like the Boy Scouts - and be prepared - and hopefully - you'll never need them. Except the pizza place and movie theatre. ;-)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sneak Peek at Next Week

27802846s8 Glass Flowers - 16 x 12 mm Trumpet Lily - Rubino Givre (1)What's coming up for next week? errrr. ummm. No, seriously - there will be stuff, but at this point - it's hard to point to a cohesive theme. There will be these rather nice Trumpet Lilies. I like the sculptural look of them when a whack of them are strung all together. 2709508013s8 Window Beads - 10 x 8 mm Saturn Beads - Smokey Topaz Marble (Strand 25)These "saturn" shaped beads are kind of interesting too, don't you think?

Or, I can leave you with the description of next week's update, as speculated by my DH. "There will be beads. Small round things with holes. Makes the floor slippery." ;-)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Selling on Consignment

Here's a link for all of you Jewelry Makers out there. Laura Jean posted an excellent blog posting on the Toronto Craft Alert blog yesterday. Be sure to check it out, she's got some excellent tips on selling via consignment...and why consignment rates are what they are!

Be sure to check out this excellent blog for all things crafty in Toronto!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Our Clearance Sale Continues

If you thought you missed it...You still have a chance to scoop up some awesome bargains. We had horrible weather this past weekend, and many of you couldn't make it out to the store.

Our Clearance sale will continue on until Monday January 26th!

here's the original post in case you missed it:

First off, we're almost finished adding all of our overstock clearance to our sale tables. We have two big tables jam packed with beads and goodies between 30% and 50% off. We're also clearing out our jewelry samples at 30% off too! Our clearance sale runs today through Sunday.

Hope to see you here!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Rest of January!!

Even though the month is nearly over, we still have lots of exciting classes coming up. This Saturday January 24th is Catherine Winter's last class until June. There are still spots available so call now if you are interested!

We also have a 2 day lampworking weekend coming up on January 24th and 25th with Amy Waldman-Smith. This is a very comprehensive introduction and is also a great way to warm up during this horrible deep freeze! Come by and try it out.

There are only 2 spaces left in the Photopolymer Plate Workshop with Suzanne McNenly on January 31st.

Just a reminder about the date change for Cindy Vroom's Basic Bead Stitching 101--new start date is Thursday February 5th.

Kate McKinnon's classes are filling up quickly as well. There are only 2 spots available for the Fine Silver Metal Clay Chain on Wednesday May 20th. There are also a few spaces left in the Boxes and Birdhouses class on Saturday May 23rd. We seemed to have new sign ups everyday so if you are interested you should register as soon as possible.

Don't forget Open Beading Night next Thursday from 6-8pm.

Have a great week.

Happy Beading!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wear your Pearls Day!

Did your personal invitation to the inauguration go missing in the mail? Voicemail was too full of offers from collectors to take a message from the office of the president elect? Oh well, you can still participate by "wearing your pearls."

I think this is kind of a fun idea - we've definitely noticed Ms. Obama's thing for pearls. And because of the soft, reflectiveness of pearls - they don't overwhelm on television, an important consideration when one lives life in a spotlit goldfish bowl.

Hmmmm - what have I got for pearls that I can wear? Definitely not the string of graduated rounds. Hmmm - how about this one? A lampworked vessel with a double strand of Cornflake Keshi pearls, with a stick pearl every inch or so. I started with a doubled strand, and worked from the center. I strung one strand of the side first, with the cornflake and stick pearls, and then when back and worked in the second strand of cornflake pearls.

The big loop through the handles? That's actually the Uber Curly Pig Tail - which, it turns out, is actually more like a hollow jumpring. When you push the two ends back together - turns out it is a big circle!!!! Who knew?

s14978 Sterling Tubes - 17 mm Uber Curly Pig Tails - Bright Sterling (1)Sterling Tubes - 17 mm Uber Curly Pig Tails - Bright Sterling (1)

s17180 Freshwater Pearls -  Cornflake Keshi - Champagne (strand)
Freshwater Pearls - Cornflake Keshi - Champagne (strand)

s18971 Freshwater Pearls - Centre Drilled Biwa Stick Pearl - Charcoal (strand)
Freshwater Pearls - Centre Drilled Biwa Stick Pearl - Charcoal (strand)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Also Ran: A design that's not quite there yet.

s19264 Sterling Findings - Size 9 Sterling Ring - Sized - w Inline Loops - Bright Sterling (1)

Love rings - actually - I love jewelry I can look at while I'm wearing it - and necklaces and earrings don't fall into that category. Bracelets and rings, however, do!

So I was playing around with the loopy rings the other day - trying to do something other than the obvious.

I found, with a little fiddling - bending the outermost loops outward a little more, that a big, square Swarovski (Crystalized Element) stone fit on top. OK - how to keep it there?

In my former life, adhesive would have been my answer, but I was never totally happy with it, which is why it is part of my former life.

So, I thought of wire. I started with two pieces of wire, and ran through the loop, out and under the stone from the side, and back over the stone to the center, and back through the middle.

Didn't care for that look, so I undid it, and re-did it, crossing the wires this time to form an "x" on top of the stone (at the sides.)

So, now I had a big ugly hole in the middle to fill. Some experimenting later, and the big margarita appeared to fill the space nicely.

So, having not cut the ends of the wires, I took two ends, secured them by looping underneath the band, and came back up, one from each side, and threaded through the hole in the margarita, and over the sides, and went back down.

Meh. Nice and secure. But the wires are distracting. Maybe in a softflex? Maybe black? Finer wire? Wire that isn't kinky from multiple experimentations. Dunno. Anyway, I'll shelve this for a while, maybe I'll think of some way to make it better.

Here's the components I used, maybe you can come up with a better idea. (Click on the image to go to it in the website.)

s13374 Swarovski Sew-on Stones (Vintage) - 14 mm Margarita Flowers (3700) - Heliotrope (1)Swarovski Sew-on Stones (Vintage) - 14 mm Margarita Flowers (3700) - Heliotrope (1)

96844395004001 Crystallized - Swarovski Elements Fancy Stone - 20 mm Square Donut (4439) - Bermuda Blue (1)
Crystallized - Swarovski Elements Fancy Stone - 20 mm Square Donut (4439) - Bermuda Blue (1)

s19264 Sterling Findings - Size 9 Sterling Ring - Sized - w Inline Loops - Bright Sterling (1)
Sterling Findings - Size 9 Sterling Ring - Sized - w Inline Loops - Bright Sterling (1)

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Ever received an email like this?
I don't know if this link will work so you might have to cut and paste but if you go to: and letters and gobs of incomprehensible stuff that goes on and on and for miles and miles and days and days.

When we were new to internet - we had to deal with stuff like that - but now, there is a better way.
Go there, paste your mega-URL into the box, hit the button, it gives you an itty-bitty URL to send to your friends. It's perfectly safe and completely free. And you know folks are more likely to look at your stuff if they don't have to starting copying and pasting.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More sneaky peeking

Oh yeah -next Wednesday, it's also stone of the month time too. Pale Teasley Jasper, er, Tale Peasley Japser, ummm, Teal Paisley Jasper!!!!!! That's it!

Sneak Peek at Next Week

s19281 Firepolish - 11 mm Faceted Bicone Rondelle Rivoli - Forest Gems (strand 25)I just came in from 2 minutes outside with the dogs - which is about all they want to stay out these days. I reported to hubby that it was -16 (which I knew, from checking the thermometer) - but felt much colder - which sad to say, I also knew, because I was comparing it to the last 3 days!!!!!! Argh! This long frozen streak is putting the "old" in "cold."

s19284 Firepolish - 9 x 6 mm Faceted Donut - Smokey Diamond Blend Lustre (strand 25)What to look forward to for next week? More of these stunning Rondelle Rivolis and some other kick-ass Firepolish. To heck with the weather. Stay home and bead.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Our Clearance Sale, and some cool stuff from Stacy

First off, we're almost finished adding all of our overstock clearance to our sale tables. We have two big tables jam packed with beads and goodies between 30% and 50% off. We're also clearing out our jewelry samples at 30% off too! Our clearance sale runs today through Sunday.

Hope to see you here!

Stacy - one of our faithful blog readers sent me some pics of some jewelry she has made up using triangle beads. I love these...awesome job Stacy!

Few updates

Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to blog about a few quick changes to the class schedule. Catherine Winter is not going to be available in February for classes. Her last class is scheduled for Saturday January 24th, How to Run a Successful Craft Show. Catherine will be away until June so if you were planning on taking her classes, I would recommend you call and book soon.

There has also been a date change on Cindy Vroom's Basic Bead Stitching 101. The dates are now February 5th, 12th, 19th and the last class Thursday March 5th. There is still time and space to register.

Happy Beading to all.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Whoohoo, It's a Sale!

Clearance and Overstock Sale - This Weekend Only!

Save 30% to 50% off on selected items in the store starting Friday the 16th through to Sunday the 18th. This is an in store only event - I'm sorry, the sale is not available online.

These special sale prices cannot be combined with other discounts.(business, bead society, frequent beader points)

As any beader knows, sometimes our stash grows just a wee bit too big, and we start running out of space to keep them. Help us clear out some of our excess stock, so that we have room for lots of new fabulous goodies for you!

Nadine, Marg and I have been busy gathering up items we've had a little too long, and items we have simply way too many of. You'll find vintage Swarovki's, pressed glass, mother of pearl, kits, jewelry samples, leaves and flowers, plus more! We're gathering up the clearance items to set out on a couple of tables. You'll even find some of our regular items (that we have an abundance of) on this table too. It will definitely be worth the trip!

Hope to see you here!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Come on by and Play!

It is another textbook Canadian winter day here in Toronto--freezing would definitely be the correct word!! This week I am just going to talk about a few of the upcoming classes as well as a few updates.

Just a quick update on Kate's classes before I begin, the Mixed Metals and the Components classes are full, however we have started a wait list--you never know. The Fine Silver Chain and Boxes and Birdhouses classes have very limited availability. If you are interested I would not delay.

Suzanne Crudden's Metal Smithing 101 class starts tonight, if you are interested you still have a bit of time, but you will need to call today--it begins tonight!

Catherine Winter's How to Start a Microbusiness class is still open, as well as Stephanie Dixon's classes this weekend--Wire Bead Crochet Cuff Bracelet and Wire Bead Crochet Earrings.

Cindy Vroom's Stitching 101 also begins next Thursday so there is still time to register for that as well.

Please note as well that there has been a change to the start and end times of Dwyn's Lampworking 201 class beginning in February, it now runs from 7:00 to 9:30.

Open Beading Night for this month is January 29th. Come on by and hang out, get a bit of help if you need it or pick up some new ideas. It runs from 6-8pm. Jennifer and Rosemary will be around to help out.

Hope to see many of you here soon

Happy Beading!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Are you a Bead Star?

Check out this contest from the beading daily blog!

"Enter Bead Star 2009 Beginning February 9th

Come one, come all, and enter Bead Star 2009! Categories will be the same: Crystals, Glass, Heart Designs, Metals, Pearls, Plastics, Seed Beads, Stones, and Under $25. And again we are asking for jewelry created using stringing, crimping, basic knotting (not macramé), and wireworking (simple loops, wrapped loops, wrapped-loop bails, jump rings) techniques. Project instructions should fit on one typed page. New this year is an easy online entry form, which will go live on February 9, 2009. The deadline for all entries is May 1st. Mark your calendars! For more details, visit "

Monday, January 12, 2009

SoftFlex - Flexible Bead Stringing Wire

We've been carrying the SoftFlex line of bead stringing wire - flexible beading wire - the company calls it - for some time. Recently - they've added some new products, so I thought it might be worth it to run down the list for a quick overview, in case you are getting confused, or you are just starting out, and are completely bewildered.

Flexible Beading Wire - in general - is a multistrand metal cable, usually with a thin, flexible, protective outer shell, that stops discolouration and protects the wire. One of the early products of this type was called "Tiger Tail" - and some people still generically use the term to describe all flexible beading wire. I've especially noticed this in some of the foreign beading magazines.

Generally, you match the weight of the beading wire to the weight of the beads and the size of the bead holes. Use Heavy for stone beads, medium for most projects, Very Fine for pearls, etc.

Most of these are stiff enough that a needle is not required for stringing - although the very fine Softtouch certainly benefits from it!


Econoflex is the "entry level" product - which is marketing speak for "cheap and cheerful." Great for beginners who are still trying to get their head around it all, or other crafts, where you might want a lot of it (for, I don't know, covering a lampshade?) or for those on a tight budget. It comes in Very Fine, Fine, and Medium in the "natural" steel colour, and also in colours in the medium. The colours are quite nice and you could do some interesting things with contrasting or matching the colours to the beads. We've all tried it out here, and the only downside we've noticed is that it can kink if you put a sharp bend in it - so when stringing, try not to do that - otherwise, you may have a distinct bend in a lightweight necklace.


This is a superiour wire in drape and bendability. Available in Very Fine, Fine, Medium and Heavy in the natural grey steel colour, it also is available in Black and White in the Very Fine. I like the very fine for projects where I may be putting multiple strands through a single bead.

Extreme 925 Flex Wire

I personally love this product - the super shininess of this flexible Sterling Silver beading wire enhances the sparkle of transparent beads, and in the limited places where it may show - such as where it loops through a clasp, just adds a more polished look to the finished piece. This is available in three thicknesses - Fine, Medium and Heavy.

Metallics Wire

Coloured to resemble Copper or Antique Brass, this wire works well with the copper or brass themed pieces - and looks great in designs that leave some of the wire exposed, i.e. floating or illusion necklaces or "Tin Cup" style necklaces (named for the movie that popularized them).

and finally, last but not least,

Soft Flex Wire

This is SoftFlex's original product, and a great all-around product. A step up from the Econoflex, and less likely to kink if you bend it sharply (although, if you double it back on itself and crush it, just about anything will kink short of cotton rope!). It also comes in three thicknesses in it's natural "steel grey" colour, and a variety of colours in the the medium.

All of these products, with the exception of the Econoflex, are made in the U.S.


Softflex defines Very Fine, Fine, Medium and Heavy as follows.

(OK - there is a table down below - for some odd reason - blogger is leaving a huge gap in the text - hopefully - it works better for you than on my screen. Please scroll down to read.)

Very Fine 0.010

(inches diameter)

(mm diameter)

Suggested uses: embellishing, weaving, crocheting, stringing very small beads.

Fine 0.014 0.355

Soft materials, seed beads, fresh water pearls.

Medium 0.019 0.482

All purpose, glass, mineral, metal beads

Heavy 0.024 0.609

Abrasive materials, large stones, lampwork beads, bracelets.

Spool Sizes

Generally, we stock the these in 30 ft (9 m) spools, but in some cases, 50 ft, 100 ft, 500 ft, 1,000 ft, and 5,000 ft rolls are also available.

Securing the Wire

For the Medium weight and up, I would suggest using crimps only. For the finer weights, you can knot these flexible wires. For the Very Fine, Knotting is the way to go, as most crimp beads just aren't small enough to hold them.

If one of these products appeals to you and you don't see it on our site - let us know and we can see if we can bring it in as a special order for you. 5,000 Foot roll, anyone?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Eyeballing Game

Here's a fun little game that you can also share w the guy(s) in your life. How good are you at eyeballing (guessing) angles and distances? You've probably had some practice at guessing how long, where the middle is, etc., in your jewelry making! Check it out - the Eyeballing Game.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sneak Peek at Next Week

Coming at ya - more coloured wire - for all the wire crocheting enthusiasts that Stephanie Dixon's classes have been creating.

Also - some beads with BIG hole for all the tubes and nylon mesh we've been adding!

Friday, January 09, 2009


Specifically, Toho triangles. I have to admit, I've had a long time affair with these beads. I have many tubes at home that I've bought over the years. First, at bead shows in the states, and here in Canada - then, my collection greatly expanded once we started carrying them.

These are sharp, bitty triangles. I much prefer the shape of the Toho triangles, over the Miyuki triangles. The Miyuki ones are much more rounded, and give a different texture once woven.

The bracelet below is just simple even count peyote stitch. The beads I used were the Matte raku blue/grey iris. To dress it up a bit, I used a Swarovski 20mm Sahara Cosmic Ring as a toggle. The bar was a strip of peyote sewed together into a tube.

Once you have your peyote strip almost to the size of your wrist, start a decrease on each end and create a long narrow strip on each side.

For the first side, the strip needs to be long enough, so that when you sew on the toggle bar, you have enough length to get the toggle bar through the cosmic ring. You'll need at least 2 cm's. (Just ask me how I know this! - see below)

On the other end, create a strip long enough to wrap through the cosmic ring. Sew this strip into a circle around the cosmic ring.

The bracelet below unfortunately is not wearable at the moment. I did not make the strip long enough! The toggle bar cannot be pulled through the ring. I'm not even sure how I managed to get it on there in the first place :-) A perfect example of why it's important to measure first. I now have to rip out a bunch of stitches, and make the strip longer.

We have all of our triangle beads on sale this week. Save 10% off until January 13th!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Time for resolutions

This months question for our monthly bead draw is:

What is your New Year's Resolution? Make more jewelry, learn a new craft, ... what is on your must-do this year list?

We've had a number of interesting responses so far. A lot of you are eager to learn something new. One person mentioned that their New Years Resolution was to learn at least one new thing a day.
I love this one! I'm going to have to add that one to my list of resolutions as well.

My main resolution though, is to pledge to renew my resolutions every month. It's so easy to be gung ho in January, by February - it's waning, and by March our resolutions are usually long forgotten :-) - They say Gym's are packed in January, but by March - they're usually pretty empty!

We'd love to give you a chance to win $25.00 - Let us know what your resolutions are...enter here

I'll go first, and post them here - I can't win anyway :-)

My number one resolution is to spend more quality time with my girls. Number 2 is to lose weight, and exercise more.
And my new #3 is to learn something new everyday.

And on that note, stay tuned to tomorrow's blog post. All about Triangle beads....and what to do with them :-)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Classes are ON Here at Beadfx this Winter!

Before I talk about the upcoming January classes, I just want to give a quick update on the Kate McKinnon classes. We are offering a 10% discount to those taking all 4 classes. As of today there are only 2 spaces left to take advantage of the discount because the Mixed Metals Class is just about full. If you were planning to take them all I would hurry and book!!

A number of our classes are already full this month and many are filling quickly.
In the next few weeks we have lots of new and returning classes. Beginning with Amy Waldman-Smith's two day introduction to lampworking this weekend. This is also the prefect way to keep warm!

Metalsmithing 101 with Suzanne Crudden begins next week on Wednesday night for 8 weeks. This is a great introduction to metal work and has no prerequisite.

Catherine Winter's classes How to Start a Microbusiness and How to Run a Successful Craft Show are both coming up this month. This is a great time to take her classes, just before the spring show season begins.

We have 2 new Stephanie Dixon classes coming up as well-- Wire Bead Crochet Cuff Bracelet and Wire Bead Crochet Earrings.

Cindy Vroom's Basic Bead Stitching 101 begins on January 22nd and runs for 4 weeks. You can pick and choose which classes you want to take or take all 4 for the discounted price of $100.00.

Suzanne McNenly's introduction to Pearl Knotting on January 17th

There is still space in Robert Burton's Wire Wrapping 101 class beginning on the 25th of January. I would hurry because it is already 50% full.

Suzanne McNenly's Photopolymer Plate Workshop is coming up on the 31st as well.

As you can see we have jammed packed the month of January and February is just as full. Hope to see you here soon.

Happy Beading!