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Friday, September 30, 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Once upon a time ...

s50413 Beads - 10 mm Flat Leather -  Zebra Stripes - Antiqued Brassthere was a zebra - actually - a whole herd of zebras - and they were very fashionable zebras. They knew that they looked good on just about any colour background.

These were Fashion s49917 Leather - 10 mm Flat Leather - Iridescent Rainbow (Inch)Zebras, and they were not about blending in. Especially not when there was Iridescent and Metallic Leather to be had!

s50433 Beads - 10 mm Flat Leather -  Hammered Crazy Flower - Antiqued SilverSo one day - a whole dazzle of zebras - I kid you not, a group of zebras is a dazzle - google it if you don't believe me! - headed out to their s50426 Beads - 10 mm Flat Leather -  Hammered Flower - Bright Copperfavourite flowerpatch for lunch. There was lots of variety, and they were looking forward to all the nummy options.


26037017-02 Beads - 10 mm Flat Leather - 28 mm Stoplight - GunmetalWhile they were waiting at a stoplight,
s50640 Riveting Supplies -  General Star Stud Rivet and Base - Antiqued Copper (5)s50387 Findings - 10 mm Flat Leather -  Leather End Cap - Bright Brass (Pair)a bunch of hunky studs came along in the other direction. Well the zebras and the studs got to talking, because they were all into leather - and the studs turned out to be absolutely riveting, and the zebras didn't want it to end.

But they were pretty canny - s50655 Metal Bead - Big Hole -  Fat Daisy - Antiqued Brassthose zebras - they had met some big hole beads in their time. So they told the studs, that if they like it, they can put a ring on it.s50388 Finger Rings - ID 14 mm Crown Bezel - Sterling Silver

Well - the studs were imagining that there could be lots of little beads in their future, and they s50342 Beads - 5 mm Flat Leather -  Open Weave - Antiqued Brass (5)s50367 Findings - 5 mm Round Leather -  Rounded End Cap - Antiqued Copper (2)didn't want to cap the fun either, so rather than leafing, or bailing, they clasped the opportunity.

s50379 Pinch Bail -  Leafy Vine - Side Drilled Bail - Gunmetal

And that's the way it was - s49919 Leather - 10 mm Embossed Flat Leather - Paisley - Grilled Tomato (Inch) leather you believe it or not.

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

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Texture talk!

I didn’t think that this blog post was ever going to get written! Some of you know that my old desktop crashed, only to be replaced by a new notebook. Unfortunately, my photo editing software doesn’t appear to be compatible with Windows 10, so I needed to search for a quick replacement! No time for research, so after a few misfires, I ended up just using Google’s own photo editor (the one that replaced Picasa). All I can say is that it works, and I was able to download my photos. No other info to share!
The real subject of this post, is to share my day at the beach! My friend Ann, a new instructor at BeadFX, wanted to gather supplies, for her upcoming, "Pebble Beach" bracelet class (don’t you love it when some of your supplies are free?). I’ve been wanting to collect small driftwood pieces for future projects (yes, they will involve beads!), so I decided to tag along. I love texture photos, so never visit the beach without my trusty camera! Candid photos are great, and who would know that a dead fish, would make such an interesting composition? What type of fish is it, and how did it end up beached, in such a sorry state? Inquiring minds want to know? I found the other wildlife to be much livelier, but still an interesting study in contrasts!
There are no jewellery photos in this post, but rest assured, there will be lots of jewellery and mixed media pieces, made from our collection efforts! As an artist, I’m a firm believer that you should never stick to just one discipline. I work with fibre, paint, beads, stones, resin, photography, paper, metal, natural materials, the written word, and just about anything else that suits my fancy. Don’t ever be afraid to mix your media! You never know when or where inspiration will strike, and photographs are often a good stepping off point for new projects. Think texture! Think colour! Think shape and form! Your normal palette could be bold, saturated colours, but what would happen if you introduced beachy theme projects, and crisp, gnarly, frothy, or crunchy textures? Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change of pace? I’m a strong believer in stepping outside of your comfort zone, cleansing your artistic sensibilities, and waking up your muse!!! My day at the beach, certainly did that for me! I’ve been wallowing in creative ennui lately, and needed to give myself a break.
Texture is front and centre in most of these photographs! Feel free to borrow the beach palette, and introduce relaxing colour, and soft inviting textures into your projects! No time to play with my driftwood for a while, but do keep tuned for future updates. As the days get cooler, it will be refreshing to work with these colours and textures in the coming months. You never know when you’ll need a day at the beach!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jump into October with an exciting array of classes

If your life is like mine, your October is getting busy! We have Thanksgiving to celebrate (at least for those of us 'north' of the border) and some trade shows that BeadFX is participating in.

Our early October classes also feature several new classes including two metal classes with Cindy Goldrick and a new chainmaille bracelet design with Marilyn Gardiner. Pamela Kearns has two new projects and Liz Reynolds will teach you how to create your own texture tile for metal clay. Anne Marie Desaulniers and Jen Rosen are both holding encore classes - just in case you missed them before!

Here are the classes, events, and open sessions scheduled October 1 - 10:

Saturday, October 1
NEW Porthole Pendants Plus
Instructor: Cindy Goldrick
10:00am - 1:00pm
Create a beautiful pendant with copper and other materials.

Cataraqui Guild of Needle Arts 2016 Needle Arts Fair
10:00am - 3:00pm
Kingston Seniors Centre
BeadFX will be brings lots of beads and materials for bead embroidery enthusiasts.

NEW Bezel Beauties
Instructor: Cindy Goldrick
2:00 - 5:00pm
Learn how to use purchased bezels and how to make your own.

Sunday, October 2
NEW Rosetta Bracelet
Instructor: Marilyn Gardiner
10:00am - 1:00pm
Learn how to create a substantial yet beautiful chainmaille weave.

11:00am - 4:00pm
Eight specially selected artisans will bring components and patterns that you can use in your jewellery.

Wire Wrapping: Eye of the Dragon Ring
Instructor: Jen Rosen
12:00 - 3:00pm
Learn to wire wrap a ring!

Instructor: Marilyn Gardiner
2:00 - 5:00pm
Create your own chainmaille bracelet inspired an authentic Japanese pattern.

Wednesday, October 5
FREE Open Bead Night
Facilitator: Pamela Kearns
6:00 - 8:00pm
Bring your projects and questions for an evening of fun and conversation.

Thursday, October 6
FREE Afternoon Bead Tea
Facilitator: Pamela Kearns
1:00 - 3:00pm
Bring your projects and be among the first to see the new weekly products.

Instructor: Pamela Kearns
5:00 - 9:00pm
Combine differently-shaped beads to create an elegant bracelet.

Friday, October 7
NEW Create Your Own Texture Tile for Metal Clay
Instructor: Liz Reynolds
12:00 - 5:00pm
Learn how to easily add texture to your metal clay jewellery.

Instructor: Sylvia Diveky
6:00 - 9:00pm
Discover how a crystal can help you design your jewellery.

Saturday, October 8
Nature's Mood: Bead Embroidered Pendant
Instructor: Anne Marie Desaulniers
10:00am - 2:00pm
Learn how to do bead embroidery in a small scale.

Instructor: Pamela Kearns
10:00am - 5:00pm
Take your flat triangles to the next level to create a delightful little box.

Monday, October 10
Thanksgiving Day
BeadFX will be closed to celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday. We will be open at 11:00am sharp on Tuesday, October 11.

Complete information about each activity is available by clicking on the title. You can also go to and click on 'Classes'. Follow the links to the October class calendar and click on the individual classes, events and sessions.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Chain Gang

Deciding how to hang a finished pendant is a very important part of your jewellery design process. You have to consider several things: weight of the pendant, size, material, colour, delicacy and, of course, cost. In addition, whether you're framing this work of art for personal wear or sale makes a huge impact - if it's for sale then cost of the material and ease of replication are likely more important to you.

I've used informal materials such as leather and ball chain to suit more contemporary designs (these materials are inexpensive and quick, easy solutions for items you are selling.) I've complemented boho looks with deer tan lacing and feminine designs with sari silk. 

But my favourite go-to is always chain. 

I keep a stock pile of Gardiner Design jump rings on hand in silver, copper and bronze to whip up a quick one-in-one chain that I can customize by gauge and ring diameter to suit my finished pendant.

For instance, the red screwed heart bead by Susan Stortini seemed to require some bigger jump rings but just a simple chain, while the beautiful bead by Virginia Wilson Toccolino seemed to need something special, feminine yet heavy enough to balance the bead, so I added it to a Chinese Knot pattern by Marilyn Gardiner. 

If you don't feel like making your own chain, there is so much chain choice out there in the marketplace. Generally, necklace lengths fall into these style names:
Collar/Choker - 14"
Chain/Strand/Locket - 16"
Princess - 18"
Matinee - 20" to 24"
Opera/Lariat/Rope - 24"+

There are lots of guides to be found if you google necklace lengths - what length best fits your face shape, bone structure etc. 

So now you know how much chain you need, what next?

Order chain online! has sterling and base metal chains in a variety  of sizes. The heavier the chain the more it costs. 

There are lots of vintage chain vendors out there. Here's some vintage chain I've been stockpiling for the right project:

Of course, when I really want to set off a gorgeous bead I will get out my Lazee Daizee Viking knitter and whip up a special chain:

Or I get out my Now That's a Jig! and make my own chain - that's the major design feature of the necklace!

So don't only think about pre-made chain next time you're completing a project. Think about your chain options and how you want to "frame" your hard work then get making the perfect complement to it! 

If you have other chain ideas please share them in the comments. Have a great week!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

InspirationFX: Double Metallic

Double Metallic 

by: Dwyn Tomlinson

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

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


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.