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Thursday, October 31, 2013

New this week! No tricks - only treats!

27758601400618 Swarovski Elements Pearl - 14 mm Coin Pearl (5860) - Creamrose Light Pearl (5)For the past couple of years, every time the Swarovski Dog and Pony Show rolls into town, by which we mean the twice annual new-product roll-out, we've been making a point of taking aside the North American Sales Rep and saying things like, "So - we've got a product idea for you. Coin pearls. Nuff said." and "So, how about that coin pearl idea? Any progress on that yet?" and "Boy, you know, I bet people would really go for coin pearls, if you would just make them."

Now, it would probably be unfair for us to claim that we are the sole originators of this idea. We dare to say that it is entirely possible that we merely anticipated the idea, leaving the good folks at Swarovski simply scratching their heads and muttering "How did they know?" But the 27758601400617 Swarovski Elements Pearl - 14 mm Coin Pearl (5860) - Dark Grey Pearl (5)fact remains - Swarovski is now making coin pearls. Yay!

Freshwater coin pearls are becoming increasingly hard to find, especially nice quality ones - and the prices have jumped like crazy. So being able to tap into the world's best simulated pearls in one of our favourite shapes - woohoo! We are some excited here!
So - if you are excited too - check them out - Swarovski Coin Pearls - multiple sizes and colours! 

And speaking of twice annual Swarovski new products - we have ... ta da!

New Colour: Dark Moss Green.

27750002221260 Swarovski Elements Bead - 8 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Dark Moss Green (1)Dark Moss Green is somewhere between Green Turmaline and Fern Green - a nice luminous green without the blue-ish cast of Emerald.
Dark Moss Green

27753011188005 Swarovski Elements Bead - 3 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Crystal Lilac Shadow (36)New Effect: Crystal Lilac Shadow

Crystal Lilac Shadow is the other new colour for Fall 2013 (well - technically for fall 2014 - because that's how fashion works: it's here now, so you can use it to make hot stuff for next year.) Crystal Lilac Shadow is a close kin to Swarovski Antique Pink, but with flashes of gold in it. In fact, it most closely resembles the colour in Firepolish glass that is known as Crystal Purple. It's pretty darn yummy, if you ask us.
Crystal Lilac Shadow

New Pearl Colour: Blackberry Pearl

27758101032328 Swarovski Elements Pearl - 4 mm Round Pearl (5810) - Blackberry Pearl (strand 25)And speaking of yummy - the new pearl colour for fall is: Blackberry - a totally delish rich, deep purple that evokes stained fingers and lips, sunny summer days and more berries eaten than collected for a pie. Mmmmm, juicy!
Blackberry Pearl

If you're in Toronto, maybe take in the Toronto Bead Society fall show. We'll be there!

On sale this week* - 25% off! Feathers, Czech Glass Buttons, and LunaSoft Cabochons. 25% off!

*(Sale runs Wed midnight to Wed midnight.)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Last day of sale!

Ends tomorrow at midnight! Poof - gone like a Halloween Pumkin! 

25% off!

Think Small!

Czech Firepolish
3 mm Faceted Round

s31725 Firepolish - 3 mm Faceted Round - Lord of the Dance (50)

3 mm Bicones

27753011192004 Swarovski Elements Bead - 3 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Crystal Rose Gold 2X (10)

Swarovski 3 mm
Faceted Rounds

27750001051266 Swarovski Elements Bead - 3 mm Faceted Round (5000) - Denim Blue (36)

3 mm Druks

27803207-14 Glass - 3 mm Druks - Light Amethyst AB (Strand 100)

Swarovski 3 mm

27758101000001 Swarovski Elements Pearl - 3 mm Round Pearl (5810) - Creamrose Pearl (strand 100)

25% off!

All our Sales start on Wed Midnight.
and run to the following Wed midnight.

Geting to Know ... Iris Rogers Melamed

Iris at home in her studio
If you've taken a soldering class at BeadFX, then you already know Iris Rogers Melamed. If you want to learn how to solder and really get into metalwork, you want to know Iris!

Like most of our instructors, Iris began with beading and branched out from there. "My sister Fay has been beading since the 1980s, and she introduced bead stringing to me about 15 years ago. From there I moved on to chainmaille, wire work, metal clay and ultimately metal work, " says Iris. "Since I was a young child I have always been “making something” -  loved to draw and paint, and learnt to sew by the time I was eight. I studied pottery at the Visual Arts Centre in Montreal, photography at Humber College and most recently, furniture refinishing using chalk paint," she explains.
Iris is constantly looking for new opportunities to learn more about working with metal to share with her students. "I have been very fortunate to study with wonderful teachers – over the past seven years I have studied with Michael David Sturlin and he has given me a great foundation in technique and design.  A three day class with Tim McCreight enhanced those skills and most recently I spent five days studying marriage of metals and surface textures with Pauline Warg at Metalwerx. Books and on-line videos have been a constant source of information." Iris continues, "when I am designing a course project I start with the skill I wish to teach and then construct a project that will teach that skill and also create a great piece of jewellery." 

Inspired by nature, colours of stones and metals, her granddaughters and spirituality, Iris actively records ideas. "Anything that catches my eye is stored away for future use. I used to cut pictures out of magazines but I have moved into the 21st century so now I use my iPhone and Pinterest."

Iris' professional life is far from her studio work and classroom instruction. "I have a PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and spent 25 years in medical research, designing and managing clinical drug trials in North America," says Iris. When she's not teaching, you'll find Iris with her five granddaughters, the most recent born in September 2013. "I am always reorganizing my studio, fitting in new pieces of equipment – most recent purchases include a Durston rolling mill and a bench guillotine. Of course I spend as much time as possible in my studio, creating jewellery and new classes."

Iris' advice to others? "I have two favourite saying that continue to inspire me: 'Success is the  ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm' (Winston Churchill), and 'You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.' (Maya Angelou)."

Upcoming classed by Iris Rogers Melamed:

Hot Connections Bezel Set Pendant
Saturday, November 2
10:00am - 5:00pm

Hot Connections 1 - Introduction to Soldering
Saturday, November 30
10:00am - 2:30pm

Monday, October 28, 2013

InspirationFX: Pumpkin Queen

Get your creative juices flowing

Pumpkin Queen
by: Vanessa Gardiner
Halloween is almost here, a time a fright, a time of fear!

Inspired by "The Nightmare Before Christmas," now you too can feel like a Pumpkin Queen!

The key is the Swarovski Neon Orange Pearls - customized with a Sharpie to make Jack o' Lantern faces! Make each one different for more variety!



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.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

InspirationFX: Along Came a Spider

Get your creative juices flowing

Along Came a Spider
by: Vanessa Gardiner
If this spider was the one who sat next to Miss Muffet, it's not wonder she ran away!

You can use a spare jumpring to attach the spider to the web, or stitch on with thread.

Use ribbon, wire or cord to hang the wall, in the window, off a lampshade, or use the top loop to attach to a spooky necklace!



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 26, 2013

The Business Chat - Go ahead, sell me a story

I present to you, a tale of two listings. 

Listing A:

First light is around 5 a.m. as we camp overnight in the desert. The sky turns from midnight black to a pale grey. Streaks of purple and pinks appear. There are some touches of blues and greens as well as the light hits the rocks. Everything is still and quiet as the world waits for the giant ball of orange to appear and a new day to begin. 

I make my beads to tell stories of my travels and of the world I see. From my beads I spin tales into not jewelry but wearable art. These earrings are memories of my Australian outback camping trip where I learnt about wild camels, wombats and all the colours a night sky can be. 

Each bead is individually made my me. There is no paint on any of my beads, just glass upon glass upon glass. These earring beads each measure approximately 13 mm x 11 mm. They hang on handmade sterling silver ear wires for a total length of approximately 30mm. 

Or Listing B:

Glass bead earrings, grey/purple. Handmade beads, sterling silver ear wires. Length 30 mm. 


Which listing do you think is going to sell those earrings?

When you make something it is just that, a thing. Things have features. They are short, long, round, made of wool/clay/silver/glass etc. You can describe the thing. 

When you describe something to a customer it is just a thing. We can buy things anywhere. If all my customer wanted was a pair of earrings they could go to a mall. My customer (and yours) wants more. They are looking for a connection with the actual making of the product and the inspiration behind it. They want a story. They want to know the artist this is why they have chosen to shop at a handmade venue, either online or at a craft show.

Customers who shop handmade like to own unique work, not mass produced-in-third-world stuff. The more you can tell them about the process and the story and the the inspiration behind the world the more they will engage with it. I want my customer to know why I call my earrings Desert Sunrise. I want them to know that I make the glass beads. If someone compliments my customer on her earrings I want them to respond with “oh, I got these online from a woman who makes the glass beads. She watched a sunrise in the desert and loved the colours. Aren’t they great?” 

Telling the story behind each piece sets you apart from your competition. No one else has your story. This is your way of standing out from the crowd. If you are selling your story online it is your product description If you are standing at a show, your story is your conversation with your customer.

Your story doesn’t have to be long and complicated, you aren’t writing a novel. People have short attention spans, sometimes just naming a product is enough. If you aren’t used to selling/telling your story you can start by naming each piece. 

Maybe your pieces aren’t inspired by faraway travels. Stories can be feelings not just fanciful tales. Think of a pair of brown glass earrings. What kind of brown is it? Maybe they’re the brown of the cup of hot chocolate that warms your hands after a day of skating. Notice what you fell when you read that sentence. Or the golden brown of a tigers eye. Invoke a feeling, pull the customer in. 

Your homework for this week is take a good look at your own descriptions and stories. Take one piece and write a short story for it. 

Go ahead, sell me a story. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

New This Week:

Spikes and Studs at BeadFX

s37640 Glass Beads - 12 mm Bead Stud - Jet Sliperit (1)
Two weeks ago - we teased you with the promise of more Bead Studs. While we're sorry to say that we're still not stocking Johnny Depp, complete with his pirate beady dangles (apparently, his agent doesn't seem to think that would be a good career move for him. Go figure.) - we do have more of these intriguing squat pyramid shapes! With two holes, they beg to be worked into bracelets, stitched onto leather, worked into bead weaving designed, and otherwise experimented and played with! And, after all, playing with your beads is the point, isn't it?
s37646 Glass Beads - 13 mm Spikes - Green Grass Picasso (1)Find them here: Bead Studs!

s37647 Glass Beads - 13 mm Spikes - Granite (1)Need some Spikes to go with those studs? Boy, are we getting edgy here - Spikes AND Studs. New size of spikes, an in-between size - 13 mm. These glass spikes were originally inspired by stone beads, and some of them do have a very stone-like appearance - which should not be taken for granite.

s37637 Swarovski Elements - Sew-on Stone - 3 mm 3128 Round - Jet (72)
Also new this week - a selection of 3 and 4 mm flat, round Swarovski Article 3128 sew-on stones - which I can best describe as an uber-sequin. They are flat, with a hole in the middle, but not as flat as a sequin. They are still a faceted stone, and can be used for embellishing fabric and textile creations, or stringing. Find them here, in the Swarovski Sew-On Stones section.

On sale this week* - 25% off! It's not very often that we say "think small" - but in this case - 3 mm beads are small! Whether you use them as accents and spacers for bigger beads, or work them into your bead weaving projects, there is always room for a little bead with a big presence!!
25% off!

*(Sale runs Wed midnight to Wed midnight.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pam Kearns is going to Milwaukee!!!

What a year it's been for Pam Kearns! Getting published for the first time in a magazine, BeadWork and now......

Congratulations to Pam Kearns on being accepted to teach at Bead&Button for the first time!! This is a huge accomplishment and a testament to her excellent skills as an instructor and designer. 

This will be Pam's debut on the international bead scene. beadFX's well kept secret will not be so secret anymore!! I know many of you have taken classes with Pam or attended Open Bead Night and Afternoon Bead Tea when she is hosting, so you know how lucky the students at Bead&Button will be. 

Pam will be teaching three Moonlight Sonatas scheduled for June 1, 2 and 3. These are evening classes usually from 7 - 10 for those beaders who just can't get enough after a full day of classes. 

June 1 - Chainmaille on Regalize Leather Bracelet

June 2 - Beaded Wire Macrame on Flat Leather Bracelet

June 3 - Reversible Swarovski Pearl Flat Spiral Bracelet

beadFX is pleased to be providing sponsorship of Pam's classes at Bead&Button 2014. 

So, if you're in the store and you see Pam, make sure you congratulate her. But don't be surprised if you see her floating on air, as her feet haven't touched the ground since she found out. 

Congratulations, Pam, from everyone at beadFX. We are so proud of you!