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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Joy of Metal Clay: Tales of the Heart

Mitsubishi recently announced its winners from its PMC competition titled "Tales of the Heart".  The contest was for artists and creations were to be made primarily of PMC - fine silver; sterling silver or gold.   Here is a direct link to the website announcement.

First Place was awarded for this gorgeous entry:

 Kimberly Nogueira
Reliquary of Childhood Memories

The details on this entry is quite impressive.  I love the miniature key and the drawer comes out.  You have to look at the detail by going to the website and clicking on the image, it is worth it!

Second Prize went to the following:
 Meenu Devrani
My Heart is My Refuge

The Third Prize went to:

Catherine Witherell
My Heart's Golden Secret Gives Me Hope 

These are great entries, congratulations to the winners! 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Business Chat - Do I have to charge tax?

“Help! I have my first craft show in a month and I don’t know what to do about tax. Do other vendors typically charge tax? Should I include it in the sales price?”

Ah sales tax. Grumble whine grumble. We may not like it, (correction, we all hate it) but it is here to stay and if you are going to sell your work you need to make sure you are following the laws.

First, let’s talk about tax at a craft show. What other vendors do is irrelevant to you and your business Many vendors make uninformed, or bad, or illegal choices and you don’t want to copy them. ALWAYS do your own research and make your own decisions. It is your business and you are responsible for the consequences of your choices.

In your craft show contract it states that you the vendor are responsible for collecting the applicable taxes. This means that you need to know the law and abide by it, the organizer will not do this for you.

In Canada we have 3 different types of taxes, HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) and PST (Provincial Sales Tax) and GST (Goods and Sales Tax). Some provinces charge only PST, some charge GST and PST and some have HST. In Ontario we have HST at 13%.

The law in Ontario is that if your sales are $30,000 or greater then you MUST charge HST. I explained this in greater detail in this post.

Regardless of what other vendors do, if you sell more than $30,000 a year, then you charge tax. Simple.

If your sales are less than $30,000 a year you have the option of registering to collect tax. There are advantages to this, the main one being that if you collect tax on your sales you are eligible to a refund of all the tax you spent on supplies. This is called ITC’s, Input Tax Credits. It is quite astonishing how quickly the tax we pay on supplies adds up, getting this back can be well worth the paperwork of collecting tax on your sales.

So, assuming that you are collecting tax, the question is do you include it in the sales price or charge the tax on top.

If you include it in the price then you do not have to do any calculations at the cash register. However, adding 13% (in Ontario) means that your work looks significantly more expensive. Some vendors choose to swallow the cost of the tax. I don’t know about you, but I am not about to lose 13% of my earnings just for the sake of looking cheap!

Whether you choose to include tax is your decision.

Since I began 10 years ago I have always charged tax on top of the price. I don’t want customers thinking my work is that much more expensive and I’m not willing to swallow the 13%. If you sell $1,000 the tax is $130, I’m not losing that. Selling a $95 bracelet is easier than selling a $107 bracelet (tax included). Just about every other business charges tax on top, I do too. We are so used to paying tax at the cash register, it’s just another reason to complain about the government.

It boils down to making your own decision. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Swarovski Spring Summer 2014

Swarovski has always had a huge influence on fashion. From the beginning of the company by Daniel Swarovski in 1895 to the present, Swarovski is always pushing the envelope and seeing into the future of fashion and jewellery design. The inspirations for Spring and Summer 2014 are no different.

The Crystal Rose Gold effect is a luxurious blend of precision-cut crystal and precious metal. Its 18-carat, rosegold refined finish creates a dynamic luminosity that’s both feminine and future-forward. In contrast, the Crystal Rose Gold Pearl has a softer, vintage appeal, while a more traditional femininity can be found in Swarovski’s new color, Light Silk, which reflects the subtleties of silk: elegant, understated, and nuanced, it’s versatile enough for classic or on-trend looks.

Futuristic new elements for Spring/Summer 2014 include Meteor Fancy Stone and Meteor Pendant, whose extraordinary asymmetric faceting introduces a head-turning three-dimensional appearance dimension, along with the unique three-armed Molecule Flat Back and Lochrose articles—a perfect marriage of art and science. Lemon Fancy Stone is a new take on a classic shape offering a fresh, laid-back summer look, while the latest delicately cut Heart Flat Back creates a mood of playful romance. For a little frivolous functionality, the newest two-holed Rivoli Crystal Button will ramp up the wow factor for interiors as well as clothing. As for the Cabochette Bead and Pendant—they both have it all: blending the dynamism of precision-cut facets with a beautifully smooth surface, they capture the pure sparkle of a water droplet. Fascinating in its perfection, the Crystal Globe Bead complements every look, as does the XILION Oval Pendant, now a modern classic with added brilliance. The glittering new story for the season, BeCharmed Pavé, comes in a variety of shapes. Its stainless steel inner part bears the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS branding, and with a hole large enough to thread with leather, rubber, or cord, it suits a whole range of looks.

Skillfully fusing futuristic finishes with vintage elegance, the latest innovations for SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS are poised to set pulses racing in Spring/Summer 2014!

Newcomer Light Silk is a color with a delicate parchment tone, like silk in crystalline form, and imparts an air of sensuous sophistication. Gorgeous when used as a main color, it also adds nuance to stronger combinations and tone-on-tone pastel creations alike.

The feminine new Crystal Rose Gold effect glimmers with an 18-carat rose-gold finish, giving jewelry a soft golden hue with a muted pink tinge that lends subtle glamour to chic pieces. .


Colors appear to be dusted with light when teamed with the luminous new Crystal Rose Gold Pearl. This is a timelessly beautiful, pearlescent component, perfect for including in classic, feminine designs and vintage and ethnic looks.

      New cuts, line extensions and upgrades

New SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS include the streamlined, convex Lemon Fancy Stone, which lends a contemporary edge: available in three sizes, its stylish faceting perfectly suits contemporary classic designs and matching accessories. The ultra-smooth surface of the new round Cabochette Bead, Crystal Global Bead, and Cabochette Pendant give subtle glamour to opulent eveningwear and accessories, as well as to unisex looks.

Meteor Fancy Stone’s asymmetric faceting adds a bold 3D dimension to any design, and Meteor Pendant makes a stunning statement piece. The unique three-armed shape and bright colors of the new Molecule Flat Back No Hotfix, Molecule Flat Back Hotfix (also available as a Transfer), as well as the sew-on Molecule Lochrose, are ideal for futuristic designs. Already a classic, the XILION Oval Pendant now shimmers with XILION’s special brilliance, while the latest two-holed Rivoli Crystal Button adds star quality to men’s and women’s clothing. Heart Flat Back No Hotfix and Heart Flat Back Hotfix’s delicately cut heart shapes provide jewelry with playful romance.

Meanwhile, the versatile BeCharmed product assortment gains a new family member: the glittering BeCharmed Pavé. Offered in a variety of shapes such as Chatons, Square Fancy Stones, and Baguette Fancy Stones, its stainless steel inner part bears the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS branding. With a 4.5 mm hole large enough to thread with leather, rubber, or cord, it suits a variety of looks, from classic to contemporary.

Add to these stellar new SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS some exciting line extensions, including Cosmic Ring and Square Ring, Rivoli Snowflake Fancy Stone and Crystal Mesh Balls, and the imaginations of crystal aficionados across the creative spectrum will surely be fired up to produce yet more stunning artistry for Spring/Summer 2014.

Futuristic new elements for Spring/Summer 2014 include Meteor Fancy Stone and Meteor Pendant, whose extraordinary asymmetric faceting introduces a head-turning three-dimensional appearance dimension, along with the unique three-armed Molecule Flat Back and Lochrose articles—a perfect marriage of art and science. Lemon Fancy Stone is a new take on a classic shape offering a fresh, laid-back summer look, while the latest delicately cut Heart Flat Back creates a mood of playful romance. For a little frivolous functionality, the newest two-holed Rivoli Crystal Button will ramp up the wow factor for interiors as well as clothing. As for the Cabochette Bead and Pendant—they both have it all: blending the dynamism of precision-cut facets with a beautifully smooth surface, they capture the pure sparkle of a water droplet. Fascinating in its perfection, the Crystal Globe Bead complements every look, as does the XILION Oval Pendant, now a modern classic with added brilliance. The glittering new story for the season, BeCharmed Pavé, comes in a variety of shapes. Its stainless steel inner part bears the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS branding, and with a hole large enough to thread with leather, rubber, or cord, it suits a whole range of looks.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

All that glistens is not Rose Gold!

27753012015261 Swarovski Elements Bead - 6 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Light Silk (1)Although, this week, Rose Gold is certainly a big part of what is glistening around here. The first wave of the new Swarovski colours hits the shelf this week. What do you think? This season is about soft, dreamy colours.
This weekend is also Easter - so our store is closed on Friday, Good Friday, and Sunday, Easter Sunday. So you will have to get your BeadFX beady-fix online for those two days! The store is open Saturday, and Easter Monday. And you really do want to check us out on Monday.
The new colour crystal is Light Silk. Lighter than Silk, a little warmer and peachier than Crystal Golden Shadow. Light Silk is an ethereal shade that you can mix with other colours to create depth through shading, or use where you want a warm, delicate colour.

The new "effect" for Spring 2013 is Rose Gold. Like AB - Rose Gold is a coating, and is, well, the colour of 34761281045004 Swarovski Elements Pendant - 10 mm Mini Pear (6128) - Crystal Rose Gold 2X (1)Rose Gold. It comes 27750500048004 Swarovski Elements Bead - 10 x 14 mm Oval (5050) - Crystal Rose Gold (1)as a coating on one side of the bead, or on both sides, as Rose Gold 2X.
It is significantly warmer and more coppery in colour than the other Swarovski Gold effects, like Dorado or Metallic Light Gold and very nicely complements the new Light Silk.

27758100032312 Swarovski Elements Pearl - 3 mm Round Pearl (5810) - Rose Gold Pearl (100)And the new pearl colour for this spring is also called Rose Gold - Rose Gold Pearl - and it too, works beautifully with the new Light Silk and Rose Gold.

And, if you want to just go check out all of this week's new stuff, you can do that here!

Oh, and next Monday is April 1st, and it is Easter Monday. And the birthday of 50% of the IT team. So it is "no-foolin'-you-really-want-to-check-out-our-website" Day. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Corsage Project

Who doesn’t remember their prom? What did you wear? Who was your date? Where are they now? And, how would you feel today if you had not been able to afford to attend? It is one thing to be a rebellious teenager and refuse to go, but quite another to not go at all because of the financial burden it puts on your family.
Since 2005, beadFX has been a champion of the Corsage project. Created in 2000, The Corsage Project is a community-based program of the Children's Aid Foundation organized by a committee of volunteers from the Toronto area. The Corsage Project helps economically disadvantaged high school students attend their prom by providing free formal-wear. Each year, they assist approximately 250 young women who are graduating from Toronto high schools at their Boutique Ball – an incredible event that brings together women of all ages to share in the excitement of the day and celebrate the achievements of our participants.

On this special day, event space is transformed into a giant shopping bazaar, featuring hundreds of dresses organized by size and colour and tables showcasing shoes, purses, jewellery and accessories.

Corsage Girls shop the various wares with their personal shopper until they complete their look and are then treated to a mini-makeover and goodie bags filled with gifts from our sponsors.

 Making an Impact One Dress at a Time

Stephanie Dixon will be available to assist you in designing something special during Open Beading Night. Upcycle an old piece that's been sitting in your jewellery box! Now's the time to bling it out and send it on to a new life. From chandelier earrings to bracelets and necklaces, all jewellery items are welcome.

We are working on scheduling dates for extra Open Beading Nights specifically for The Corsage Project, but you can drop off jewellery donations at the store anytime. The blingier, the better!

I really hope that you can join me at beadFX for one more open beading night in support of the Corsage Project. Last week, a mother-daughter and friend trio came for open beading night. The mother and friend had NEVER made jewellery before and I can tell you that the necklace and 10 pairs of earrings they made were fantastic. They volunteer at the Corsage Project annually and wanted to have some fun, learn some jewellery techniques and support a worthy cause. A big thank you to them!

If you want to come and have no idea what to make, that's okay too, as I have some quick and simple patterns available. If you are wondering what is "HOT" right now - the Pantone colour of the Year is Emerald and it is turning up everywhere. It is featured prominently in InStyle's Colour Issue on the newsstands now.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Christina Vandervlist - New April Class and Book Launch at BeadFX!

Calling all seed beaders! A new book is hitting the market and BeadFX is one of the proud launch venues.

Christina Vandervlist, Canadian artist, teacher and designer, co-authored and is the principal illustrator for Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. The new book delves into new shapes created by delica beads.

The amazing book was a year and a half in the making and grew out of a Seed Bead Summit held in Tucson, Arizona. Many artists attended including Kate McKinnon, Jean Power, and Marcia DeCoster - all familiar names in the beading community. A second volume is in the works!

Christina is coming to BeadFX for the book launch and will be staying to teach "Bellybands, Wings and Horns" which will lead you into creating many of the projects in the new book.

Book Launch
12:00pm - 2:00pm
Saturday, April 6
Come out and meet Christina Vandervlist, co-author of Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. Christina will have autographed copies of her new book available with samples of the projects available to view.

Bellybands, Wings and Horns
2:00pm - 5:00pm
Saturday, April 6
Class fee: $55 + HST; No kit fee
An intermediate class for those who already know peyote stitch. Learn increase / decrease combinations and the remarkably versatile Modified Right Angle Weave Bellyband. Explore the possibilities of wings and horns and combinations of both.

We’ll work on a miniature version that can be easily scaled up for bangles and bands. The mini version makes a wonderful element on a fibre or Kumihimo rope, or worn as a ring.

Need to bring: Beading needles, beading thread, cylinder beads (Christina recommends a scant minimum of three colours, but bring and use as many colours as you wish!). Cylinder beads should be 11° (Christina's favourite) or 10° (easier to see) for best results. Please note, 8° will work but makes chunky, very large elements that are not to everyone’s taste. All items are available from BeadFX.

To register for this exciting class, please call BeadFX at (416) 751-1911.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Beaded Curtains - Back in Style!

When you picture beaded curtains, I'll bet you're thinking of those 1970 era hippy type curtains - while some of them were extraordinarily beautiful, these are quite a bit more modern. Liven up your space, and release your inner hippy!

                                                                           Source: viaSharon on Pinterest

                                                                                           Source: Lisa on Pinterest

                                                                          Source: viaLinda on Pinterest

                                                                           Source: viac a m i l l e on Pinterest

                                                                       Source: viaMyriam on Pinterest

                                                                         Source: viaMary on Pinterest

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Joy of Metal Clay: Metal Clay Today - New Challenge

Metal Clay Today has a spring challenge title "There's No Boo Hoo in Keum Boo".  Love the title!  The prize is the Ultralite Beehive Kiln which I have heard wonderful things about.  Apparently they have created an even larger beehive as well. 

This title may leave some of you wondering: What is Keum Boo?."  Keum boo is a guilding technique to add gold to silver. How can this be done?  Our metal clay group used an online video to teach ourselves; I think this is the one we used:  Keum Boo Technique in English (thanks to Sabine Alienor Singery.  Ironically we did not have a hot plate and tried it out with torches which is a bit more complicated but can be done...unfortunenately I can't find a sample video.

The rules for the Challenge are as follows:
  • Entries must contain metal clay, any brand, any type.
  • Entries MUST show off your Keum~Boo skills.
  • Should be the artists original design, but if submitting a piece made using another artists' design, be sure to give that artist credit for the design and have their permission.
  • In 250 characters or less tell us the story about your piece... why did you make it, what makes it special.
  • Include materials used and dimensions of the piece.
  • Only 2 entries per subscriber with a limit of 3 photos per entry, be sure to include a photo of the back of the piece. Should you have any difficulties with this form, just send your photos and information to us at
  • All entries must be "G" rated (general audience) as determined by the staff of Metal Clay Today.
  • By entering this Challenge you are agreeing to allow Metal Clay Today to include photographs of your work in their promotional materials.

Entries will be accepted between now and May 15, 2013.

Winners announced June 10, 2013.

There are more details at the Metal Clay Today website. Go forth and create...good luck.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Business Chat - do I need a POS?

“Do I have to have a POS system? What about debit? Should I take cheques? How do I do this?”, asked Jan. Jan is doing her first One of a Kind spring show next week and there are so many things to think about.

A POS system is the place where a retail transaction is completed. It is the point at which a customer makes a payment to a merchant in exchange for goods or services. When people talk about a POS system they usually mean credit cards. A store will have a POS system that incorporates inventory control, online sales and payment systems. This is overkill for small craft businesses. The question really should be, “Do I have to take credit cards or debit cards?”

When I began shows 10 years ago the credit card question was much simpler. There were only 2 companies and both required that you had a business bank account. It was very expensive, time consuming and cumbersome. Thanks to recent advances in technology a beginning crafter has so many choices now. Although sometimes wading through the choices gets very confusing.

First, take a look at what you make and your average price point. If you are making work that retails for under $20 then it is not critical for you to take credit cards. If you are selling higher end work that sells for $100 or more, then yes, you should accept credit cards. People don’t carry that much cash with them.

Next, take a look at where you will be selling. If you are in a building with ATM machines then no, it is not critical for you to take credit cards or debit. If you are in a park in a small town that is several blocks from the nearest ATM then you should take some form of plastic. Keep in mind, every time someone has to go to a machine outside of your booth is a chance for them to not come back.

Third, consider how often you will be using this. Are you doing one show a year, or 10? Perhaps you sell out of your home or studio and would like to offer credit cards service.

Last, consider your long term plans. Many of the options require you to sign up for a contract. What works for you now in your business may not be the best option in two years’ time. It is really hard to predict what you will be doing in two years’ time but you should have an idea of where you would like to be or where you intend to head. If you really don’t know, or if it will be something totally different, then do not sign up for a long term contract. They are always expensive to get out of.

The traditional solution is to sign up with one of the large merchant credit card companies such as Moneris or Chase Paymentech. You must have a business bank account (which means that your business has to be officially registered). You pay a setup fee, an equipment rental fee monthly, a percentage of every transaction with a minimum monthly payment. These systems can range from an old knuckle buster manual machine (you phone in every card), or a wireless terminal that takes both credit cards and debit cards.

In the past two years a second type of system has sprung up, the smart phone readers. These systems use a small credit card reader that you plug into the audio jack on your smartphone. You set up an account with the provider and pay a percentage of each transaction. Some of these companies charge a setup fee, some do not. Some charge a monthly fee, some do not. The smart phone readers accept credit cards, not debit. These systems usually do not require you to have a business bank account.

The advantage to accepting debit cards is that you do not pay a percentage on each transaction, just a small flat fee, usually around 25c per.

So which is better? Well that all depends. If you are doing just a few shows a year you do not want to be paying rent on a machine for 12 months. Even if you are doing one show a month, you would have to think about whether it is worth paying up to $100/month for the machine (plus the fees for a business bank account). If your average sale is less than $20 then people will be more likely to pay with debit not credit.

Always remember, it is your business, you must make the final decision. Do your research.

After 9 years of paying a lot of money for a wireless terminal I switched to a credit card reader a year ago. Even though I am full-time, I have 5 months a year that I don’t do shows. It irritated me to pay for the machine during those months. I was worried about not accepting debit however it is proven to be a non-issue. After weighing my options I went with a system where I pay a very small monthly fee in exchange for a lower percentage paid on the cards. I ran everything through spreadsheets before I made this decision. After a year of using this, I ran my spreadsheets again to check if I saved money on my monthly rentals, and paying the transaction fee on credit cards not debit cards. I saved $450.

In my opinion, with the ease of use of these smart phone readers, I think every crafter selling in person whether it’s at a craft show or in their home should offer the option of using a credit card. 

ps. I wrote about the credit card readers here. 

Crocheting with Beads

Just had to squeal with delight about the class I taught tonight: Wire Crochet Choker. Ten lovely women signed up for spending their Friday night with me at beadFX. Who could ask for anything more? Well, George Clooney was not available...

This was the first time I taught the class with a supply list instead of pre-packaging a kit. Students chose their own wire, beads and findings before the class started and could spend as little or as much as they wanted. It was interesting to see all the choices made. Size 6 Czech seedbeads, pearls, Swarovski Elements galore. Gemstone chips. Acrylic beads. Silver wire. Gold wire. Gold and silver together. Purple. Blue. Vintage Bronze. Black. Wire Lace even!!

When crocheting with wire, I like to use 26 gauge because of the way it holds its shape. With wire, the larger the number (gauge) the thinner the gauge. BeadFX carries wire perfect for crocheting with in gauges from 26-32!!! Of course, they carry oodles of other gauges as well.

If you want to learn how to make crochet jewellery, but can't make it to the store, please check out the "Bookshelf" at the main shopping page on the website. My highest recommendation is Crystal Jewelry Inspiration edited by Karin Van Voorhees which features a spectacular crochet project by Laura Timmons. In fact, there's a whole section devoted to knitting and crochet books!

So a super sparkly thank you to all the lovely ladies who took my class tonight. Please enjoy the eye candy of their creations!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's Spring!

It's the first day of spring - although - in most parts of the country - you could hardly tell. Here - it's minus brrrrr and snowing. On top of the snow that it snowed last week. Or was it last year? It's all starting to brrrrrr-together.

s35328 Clasps - Hook and Eye -  Indonesian Dragon - Red Bronze (1)So what have we got for you this week to make you happy? Dragons! Dragons make me happy, s35332 Pendants -  Chinese Fire Dragon - Sterling Silver (1)anyway, and I'm sure at least some of you will agree!
This fabulous clasp, in both Red Bronze and Sterling Silver, would make any dragon-lover delirious, and if that doesn't do it, add on this pendant for the total dragony-package.

s35366 Stringing -  Regaliz Licorice Leather - Racing Green (Inch)If you are pining for spring, perhaps a quick spring-pick-me-up of a lovely s35358 Beads - Regaliz -  Wrapped Leaves - Antique Silver (1)new green Regaliz leather combined with leafy beads. Actually - quite a few new fabulous Regaliz beads!

Just slide these beads onto this fat and lucious leather, glue on a clasp, and you are good to go! The magnetic clasps, by the way, will stick to each other when you wear them, turning your bangles into more of a cuff look, which I think is pretty cool, actually.

s35367 Stringing - 10 mm Textured Flat Leather - Raven Python (Inch)As35377 Stringing - 5 mm Snakeskin Flat Leather - Dove Grey (Inch)nd if you'd like even MORE leather choices, check out the new 10 mm and 5 mm flat, textured leather. This has been pressed and printed to resemble snakeskin - although it is, in fact, cow leather.
And some new leather cord in 1.5 and 2 mm as well.
s35373 Stringing - 10 mm Studded Flat Leather - Silver / Black (Inch)Oo - and some with studs, too!

s35414 Book -  Contemporary Geometric Beadwork - by Kate McKinnon
And - for the seed beaders - you know who you are! - Kate McKinnon's new book, Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. Look for an instore event to celebrate this new orgy of seedbeadiness!

s35345 Stone Beads - 6 mm Round - New Brazilian Agate (strand)If the winter white ISN'T getting to you - and I have to admit - I rather like not having to mow the lawn or smack bugs - you might enjoy this new stone - New Brazilian Agate. It is creamy and brown and white and grey - the colour of elegance and sophistication - not old drifts of snow, if that's what you were thinking.

Alrighty - that's a wrap for this week.

If you want to cheat and just go check out the new stuff, you can do that on our New Products page. Just select Sort by "Date Added - New to Old" to see the newest stuff. ;-)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Oh dear. Oh deary me. I think I have a new addiction all thanks to Dawn Liu-Smyth. I took a class on making felt beads with Dawn on Sunday at the store and had a great time. It's nice when there is a class full of enthusiastic students. We just couldn't get enough of the beautiful merino rovings and the large selection of colours to choose from.

The colour inspiration for my beads was a lovely strand of dyed and faceted agate that I bought as a special treat to myself. I made some beads in a single colour that I pulled from the bead. For two of the beads, I combined colours of roving.

That combination is what really sparked my interest. So, I went into the store and bought some more precious stone beads to see if I could replicate them in felt. I made two sets and think they turned out really beautifully.

With all the rovings laid out, I got to thinking about painting with felt. So I created a "painting" and then felted it. I am very pleased with the results.

Please enjoy the pictures below of what I made and of what was made in class. Keep an eye out for more felting classes from Dawn Liu-Smyth, because she is a super teacher and you will have a ton if fun!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

April Classes Just Around the Corner - No Fooling!

April is chock-full of classes offering a wide range of techniques from metal clay to seed beading to metalwork and soldering. There are more than 25 classes or open sessions being offered. For complete information about all classes, please consult the website: and click on 'April'.

Check out the following NEW techniques or class projects in April:

A Crash Course in COPPRClay
Wednesday, April 3 and Thursday, April 4
10:00am - 5:00 each day
Guest Instructor: Wanaree Tanner
Want all the wonder of creating in metal clay without the price tag of silver? In this two day crash course we’ll explore the warmth of copper metal clay without the headache. Wanaree will share all of her tricks for securing consistent results with this historically fickle medium.

Loomwork Series (3 weeks)
Monday, April 8 (continues Monday, April 15 and Monday April 22)
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Instructor: Maria Rypan
Create a unique loomwoven neckpiece with bead artist Maria Rypan in a supportive atmosphere. This style uses a long wooden loom to enable easier pre-stringing and weaving of your chosen pattern. Learn to weave between pre-strung connectors; then continue loomweaving the pattern at home. Join your loomwork into a swag or a medallion pendant. Finish it off with a fabulous fringe.

St. Petersburg Feather-Edge Necklace and Earrings
Thursday, April 11
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Instructor: Pamela Kearns
St. Petersburg Chain lends itself to a myriad of design opportunities. In this class you will use a needle, thread, and several kinds of beads to create a necklace and matching earrings.  A selection of colours will be available.

Three Exquisite Pairs of Earrings - Intro to Chain Mail #1
Saturday, April 13
9:30am - 12:30pm
Instructor: Marilyn Gardiner
The ancient art of chain mail is all about weaving metal rings into interesting patterns. Come and expand your earring collection—while trying out a fascinating jewellery-making technique. You will learn three chain mail weaves that you can use to make bracelets or necklaces in the future. Special offer: sign-up for Intro to Chain Mail #2 (Saturday, May 25) and Intro to Chain Mail #3 (Saturday, June 15) for only $90 + HST - the equivalent of only $30 per class (+ HST).

Dragonscale Bracelet
Saturday, April 13
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Instructor: Marilyn Gardiner
This is a stunning bracelet that makes a definite statement! Another name for this one is Mermaid’s Mesh. It is heavy (well over 2 troy ounces in silver), It’s intricate, dense, and flexible—think how scales overlap and expand and contract. It’s one of the most beautiful chainmail weaves!

Key to My Heart Peyote Necklace and Bracelet
Thursday, April 25
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Instructor: Pamela Kearns
Peyote is one of those basic stitches that, when learned, it opens doors to lots of ideas! Learn how to do flat even-weave peyote and learn how to read patterns to create beaded beads.

Twinkling Twins Bracelet
Friday, April 26
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Instructor: Stephanie Dixon
Have you been lusting after the beautiful colours of Twin and Superduo beads, but not sure how to use them? In this class you will create an embellished right angle weave bracelet using seed beads, two holed beads and Swarovski bicones.

Intro to Bead Embroidery
Sunday, April 28
11:30am - 2:30pm
Instructor: Stephanie Dixon
Learn the basics of bead embroidery including how to bezel a cabochon, even count peyote, beaded backstitch and how to professionally finish the edges.  Choosing cabochons and basic color theory will be discussed. A small pendant is the beginning project which will not be completed in class.

Also new this month - our first DAYTIME class!
Kumihimo Basics
Friday, April 12
12:30pm - 3:30pm.
Instructor: Angela Peace
This is an introductory kumihimo course and will teach how to make some basic cord styles and how to finish the ends. These cords can add texture and pattern to your jewelry designs and are especially impressive when used to enhance focal beads, and pendants. In class, you will use a round Kumihimo foam disc and weave with 8 strands of satin cord. Traditional and non-traditional cord end finishes using fiber and metal findings will be highlighted.