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Thursday, April 28, 2016

We will Rock you

s48833 Stone Cabochon - 30 x 40 mm Oval Cabochon - Labradorite
We will rock you - rock your world - rock you like a hurricane!
Oh we have the rocks and stones to make your heart beat faster.
s48834 Stone Cabochon - 6 x 8 mm Oval Cabochon - TurquoiseHow about this Labradorite Cabochon? AAA grade Labradorite, in stunning 30 x 40 mm cabochons. Each stone is a masterpiece, as it shimmers, schillers, and scintillates. In fact, I might be so bold as to say, it is not only AAA grade, it is effing-Eh grade.

If you need a smaller spot of colour - and if you are going smaller - you could always use more, right? - How about these 6 x 8 mm Turquoise cabochons. Actual Turquoise. (Also, 5 mm rounds.)

s48828 Stone Cabochon -  Flame Cabochon - Black Agate (Pair)
s48827 Stone Cabochon -  Flame Cabochon - TigerEye (Pair)How about these? A matched, opposite pair of Black Agate cabochons, carved into an abstract flame shape. Or swirl. Or bird head. Or a stylized fox with a curled tail. Or wisps of smoke. Depending on which way up you orient them.

Or, if you prefer, in Tigereye.

s48826 Stone Cabochon -  Flame Cabochon - Red Agate
Or red agate - these are singles in one direction only.

Talk about unique! The design appears reminiscent of Maori traditional designs to me.

Anyway - we are super pleased to have found these and be able to offer them to you!

s48831 Stone Cabochon -  Carved Dragon Round Cabochon - Turquoise (Imitation)
And speaking of carved - we have this carved imitation turquoise dragon. The conversation with the elderly, wizened Asian woman selling it (I know that's a stereotype, but she was, really) went something like this:
s48830 Stone Cabochon -  Carved Cloud Dragon Rectangle Cabochon - Red (Coloured) QuartzMe: "What is this?"
Her: "Imitation Turquoise."
Me: "Yes, what is it imitated with?"
Her: "Imitation Turquoise. Very nice dragon."
Me: "It's very pretty - what is it made of?"
Her: "Imitation Turquoise"
Me: "But what is the turquoise imitated with? Is it stone or howlite or what."
s48832 Stone Cabochon -  Carved 3 Horse Heads - Picture JasperHer: "Oh! Don't know. Ask my son. He's not here."

So there you have it - we're not sure what the stone is.

We do know what this is, however - Picture Jasper - and carved with three wild horses - each one is unique with the pattern of the stone. How awesome is that?

s48940 Stone - Medium Inlay Rectangle Pendant - Red Creek Jasper / OnyxAnd if you love the multi-coloured earthy jaspers - we have a s48986 Stone Pendant - OOAK - 65 mm Sheild - Red Creek Jasperwealth of wondeful items! Like more of these unique Red Creek Jasper Inlay pendants.

Or these one of a kind Red Creek Jasper Shield shapes.

s48868 Stone Beads - 8 x 10 mm Tumbled Nugget - Polychrome Jasper (strand)
And for even more colour to go with that - Polychrome Jasper - another multi-coloured Jasper with a more brick and sage palette.

s39688 Stone Pendant - 45 mm Gogo Donuts - Rose QuartzAnd what is any collection of stones without stone donut pendants? Completely lacking, that's what. We have Gogo Donuts, and the new s48947 Stone - 40 mm Lucky Wheel Donut Pendant - Sunset DumortieriteLucky Wheel donuts, a smaller, chunkier donut.

Check out these Polish Flint ones, aren't they awesome? I love this stone!
s48954 Stone - approx 35 mm Lucky Wheel Donut Pendant - Polish Flint

Check out all the new Cabochons and Pendants!

And Rock on!

Check out all the new items here or click on a link or image above! Go forth and create and be happy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Prometheus Metal Clay - Contest

Prometheus Metal Clay is holding a contest with some pretty nifty prizes!It's open to anyone around the world.

Check out the details here:

And you can pick up your Prometheus supplies from us here! ;-)

May is Blooming with Classes

If April showered us with creativity, then May is blooming with a garden full of NEW classes!

In early May we welcome - not one - but two visiting instructors! Robyn Cornelius joins us from Alberta and brings us four metalworking classes that incorporates a variety of techniques to create wonderful projects. Fibre artist Amee K. Sweet-McNamara brings us three imaginative ways to use soutache and incorporate bead embroidery into glorious statement jewellery.

We have other NEW classes too. Pauline Peskoff is bringing us two classes using shaped beads and Genevieve Habib is teaching our first Hubble stitch project! Love knotting? Then come on out for a new earring class with Angela Peace! Marilyn Gardiner brings us two chainmaille projects in a new afternoon/evening format! Christine Woollacott is offering a daytime Champleve class as well as a new class in how to use photopolymer texture sheets. Metalworker Kelly Garland has a great new ring design you're sure to love!

Here are the classes scheduled May 1 - 15:

Sunday, May 1
Whimsical Freeform Peyote - Beaded Beads
Instructor: Anne Marie Desaulniers
11:30am - 4:30pm

NEW Boho Ring
Instructor: Kelly Garland
11:00am - 4:00pm

Wednesday, May 4
Double Sided Tennis Bracelet
Instructor: Sureka Sriharan
6:00 - 9:00pm

Thursday, May 5
Open Metal Studio: Hot and Cold Connections
Facilitator: Iris Rogers Melamed
6:00 - 9:00pm

Friday, May 6
NEW Flame Painted Cuff
Instructor: Robyn Cornelius
10:00am - 1:00pm

NEW Mini Pierced Pendant
Instructor: Robyn Cornelius
2:00 - 5:00pm

Love Knot Crystal Bracelet
Instructor: Marilyn Gardiner
2:00 - 5:00pm

NEW Persian GSG Necklace
Instructor: Marilyn Gardiner
6:00 - 9:00pm

Saturday, May 7
NEW SuperDuo Ring and Earrings
Instructor: Pauline Peskoff
10:00am - 1:00pm

NEW Silver Wave Bangle
Instructor: Robyn Cornelius
10:00am - 5:00pm

NEW Egyptian Pyramids
Instructor: Pauline Peskoff
2:00 - 5:00pm

Sunday, May 8
REPEAT Silver Wave Bangle
Instructor: Robyn Cornelius
10:00am - 5:00pm

NEW Hubble Right Along; Hubble Stitch Bracelet
Instructor: Genevieve Habib
12:00 - 3:00pm

Wednesday, May 11
DAYTIME Champleve on Art Clay Silver
Instructor: Christine Woollacott
11:00am - 6:00pm
(class continues Thursday, May 12; 10:00am - 5:00pm)

Thursday, May 12
Open Metal Studio: Kiln Enamelling
Facilitator: Christine Woollacott
5:00 - 9:00pm

NEW Micro-Macrame Earrings #2
Instructor: Angela Peace
6:00 - 9:00pm

Friday, May 13
NEW Potpourri Pendant
Instructor: Amee K. Sweet-McNamara
10:00am - 5:00pm

NEW Introduction to Photopolymer Texture Sheets
Instructor: Christine Woollacott
6:00 - 9:00pm

Saturday, May 14
NEW Sou-Tassels
Instructor: Amee K. Sweet-McNamara
10:00am - 5:00pm

Bezel Set Ring with Stone
Instructor: Iris Rogers Melamed
10:00am - 5:00pm

Sunday, May 15
NEW Tuffet Lily
Instructor: Amee K. Sweet-McNamara
10:00am - 5:00pm

Wire Wrapping: Eye of Medusa Ring
Instructor: Jen Rosen
12:00 - 3:00pm

Complete information on all classes and open sessions, including course descriptions and applicable fees, can be found on our website. Click on 'Classes' and follow the links to the May class calendar.

Bring your projects and come out to our FREE open beading sessions!

Wednesday, May 4
Open Beading Night
Facilitators: Bonnie Cottingham, Pamela Kearns or Malliga Nathan
6:00 - 8:00pm

Thursday, May 5
Thursday, May 12
Afternoon Bead Tea
Facilitator: Pamela Kearns
1:00 - 3:00pm

BeadFX is proud to offer these FREE sessions. We ask that you use our products in our facility. Thank you!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Colour-up! It's finally Springtime!

There are so many ways to add colour to your handmade jewellery. For those of you who work with seed beads and shaped beads, it's easy to add to your colour palette. For those of us who work with metal, there are many options to colour copper, bronze and silver to create fresh, vibrant jewellery. Here are some of my favourite metal colouring options:

Alcohol inks
There are a few "lines" of alcohol inks on the market: Adirondak, Vintaj and SLK Ice Resin inks are my favourites. They can be layered, mixed with glazes or resin or smeared on then distressed. If you have a textured metal surface, alcohol inks really help define the nooks and crannies and give your piece not just colour but depth as well. 

Pencil crayons
I've blogged about this technique before. You don't have to be a great artist to bring a painterly quality to a vintage brass stamping that can become a focal in your work. Apply gesso (found in any art supply store) to the metal. Let it dry. Then take good quality pencil crayons (I recommend using PrismaColor) and build up a thick layer of colour. Brush on a small amount of mineral spirits to blend the pencil crayon and you have a singular focal to coordinate with any design. 

Nail polish
Nail polish comes in amazing colours these days and you can brush it onto any metal surface for an instant colour change. Let it dry between coats and apply many layers if you want it more opaque. And just like any metal colouring technique, make sure you use steel wool or sandpaper to rough up the surface a bit and give the colouring agent something to hold onto. Also clean your piece so there are no surface oils or dirt to interfere with a good application of colour. 

Heating copper with a torch and quenching it immediately with very cold water will bring out amazing colours in the metal. Reds, oranges, purples and sometimes even greens will ripple across the surface in an almost painterly effect. And it's so much fun!

Opaque and transparent enamels, which are powdered or ground glass, bring instant, bright colour to metal and your jewellery projects. Combine other inclusions to "paint" on your metal, such as frit, stringers and even beads. 

Metal bezels can be filled with resin and embellished with objects embedded in the resin. Resin can be coloured as well to bring yet another dimension to your jewellery. Susan Lenart Kazmer has been doing a lot of this lately. Also check Carmi Cimicata's I Love Resin blog for creative resin ideas. 

Gold, silver, bronze and multi-colour leafing is easily applied to metal. Using a brush, paint on sizing for metal leaf. Then, using a clean, dry brush pick up a piece of wafer-thin leaf and lay it gently on the sizing. Gently brush it in place and brush away excess sizing. Instant shine!

JAX and other applied patinas
JAX comes in a variety of colours and finishes to bring exciting colour dimensions beyond dull liver of sulphur patinas to your metal and wirework jewellery. 

This is a list of my favourite and/or "go to" ways to colour metal. If you have other ideas to share please do so in the comments section. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

InspirationFX: Pip, Pip, Hooray !

Pip, Pip, Hooray !
by: Anne Marie Desaulniers
My inspiration for this piece was another challenge from Rochelle, this time to work with the very popular Czech Pip beads, in the satin finish. Despite my initial misgivings, I decided to give it a go! I easily collected four strings of beads in my favourite colours, and then let them sit and percolate for a couple of weeks. I searched the Internet for inspiration, but ended up making a very simple pattern. All of the flowers were all made, before my muse whispered in my ear, and told me what to do with them! First I stacked them for a pendant, and then I just had to make coordinating earrings. There's even enough Pip's left over for edging a bracelet, but I'll save that for another day. At first glance, this set seems quiet and understated, but the earrings sway in a very seductive fashion. Definitely fun and fabulous!

Instructions for the flower components!

* Using your favourite beading needle, string six Pip beads on an arms length of Fireline, and then run your needle and Fireline back through all six beads, to close the circle.
* Pull the Fireline tight!
* Run your needle and Fireline back through the beads, at least one more time.
* Pull the Fireline tight again!
* Tie a Surgeon's knot.
* Congratulations, you have made one flower!
* Pendant : Make three flowers of each colour, for a total of 12 flower components
* Earrings : Make two flowers of each colour, for a total of 8 flower components

Constructing the pendant:

* Cut approximately 7-8 inches of wire
* Make a small wire wrapped loop on one end
* Add one 8mm open round to wire
* String on flower components (see above for number of flower components), starting with the darkest blue, and ending with the lightest green
* Add one more 8 mm open round
* Make another small wire wrapped loop
* Cut excess wire
* Attach leaf charm to bottom loop with a 5 mm jump ring
* Cut 2 mm leather to desired length
* String one RL Distressed Barrel onto both sides of leather, leaving a loop at the bottom (the next time I make this, I plan to string multiple "Barrels" on the leather, before attaching the end cups and clasp)
* Carefully add one tiny drop of Super New Glue to the opening on one Oval End Cup with Ring
* Insert one end of 2 mm leather and hold for a minute
* Add a drop of Super New Glue to opening the other Oval End Cup with Ring
* Insert the second end of 2 mm leather and hold for a minute
* Gently squeeze sides of both Oval End Cups to close (I used my flat nose pliers)
* Allow to dry completely
* Connect Large Swivel Link to one Oval End Cup with Ring, with a 5 mm jumpring
* Connect Hook and Eye Clasp to the other Oval End Cup with Ring, with a 5 mm jumpring
* Attach one 8 mm jumpring to the wire loop at the top end of the pendant
* Attach a second 8 mm jumpring to the leather loop and to the 8 mm jumpring on the pendant
* Your necklace is finished!

Constructing the Earrings:

* Cut approximately 5 inches of wire
* Make a small wire wrapped loop on one end
* Add one 8mm open round to wire
* String on flower components (see above for number of flower components), starting with the darkest blue, and ending with the lightest green
* Add one more 8 mm open round
* Make another small wire wrapped loop
* Cut excess wire
* Attach leaf charm to bottom loop with a 5 mm jump ring
* Use a 5 mm jump ring to attach earring to ear wire
* Repeat all of the above steps, for the second earring
* Your earrings are finished!

Note: With the wide array of colour choices, you could easily change up the colour scheme. Also, simple loops could be easily substituted for the wire wrapped ones. They wouldn't be quite as secure, but the components are quite light, so I doubt it would be a problem.



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.