Welcome To BeadFX!

You’re here for beads!? The good ones!

We buy ’em, sell ’em, make ’em… and teach ’em too!
Let’s start with the latest news!


  • Trend Spotting – Top 3 Trends we see right now July 19, 2018

    Sometimes, the coincidences pile up so fast you think to yourself – there’s a trend here. And I’ll tell you what we are seeing in terms of what people are interested in right now in jewelry crafting!

     

    s58980 Stone Beads - 8 mm Faceted Round - Matte Black Onyx (strand)

    Matte – Matte finish comes and goes, and right now – it’s in. Matte, particularly in stone – which adds an extra step to the process – as the stone is polished, and then matted. I’ve always been fond of matte in particular colours – i.e. Black – I like the contrast it provides – and rose quartz looks particularly nice in matte, primarily because you see more of the pink colour and less of the reflection.

    We do, in fact, have over 1500 matte-finish items, although if you are just interested in matte stone beads – use this link instead.

    Wire Weaving. Wowsers – this was starting to speak to me, and apparently – a lot of you too. I’m blown away with what people are doing with wire. This is not your grandmother’s wire wrapping, or even the wire wrapping of a decade ago. There is a level of innovation and sophistication happening that s59286 Book - Fine Art Wire Weaving - by Sarah Thompsonwill take your breath away. We just added Sarah Thompson’s book on Fine Art Wire Weaving, to our wire book selection. Sarah’s book recommends Fine Silver Wire as the easiest to use for the type of wire weaving she does, she likes the thin 28 gauge wire – which is the .32 mm thickness for the weave part. She also mentions that she prefers bare copper wire for patina’ing – which is certainly a budget-friendly place to start.

     

    Organic and Naturalistic. For now – it seems folks are relaxing away from the very formal and very polished looks, eschewing symmetry, and trying out new, softer looking materials. Wood has been very big lately, free-form cabochons, and interesting new combos. These are looks that work well for work and casual social occasions. The organic forms, like the flowing forms of the Art Nouveau style, also lend themselves to surprising levels of complexity, not just in wire weaving but also in seed bead weaving.

    We just added a big selection of wood beads in a variety of woods and sizes, because we think it fits well with this. There are some fun choices, including Ebony, Tiger Ebony, Palm, Bayong, Madre de Cacao, Nangka, and Rose Wood. Also they are really nice to look at and to wear, being nice and light if you want to do a big drapey necklace. Wood is also nice for summer – lighter and easier to wear, and goes well with the casual summer look and feel.

     

     

    These three trends play nicely together – the matte-finish fits well with the natural forms, and the flexibility in the wire-weaving techniques allows for the use of free-form shapes and natural materials.

    In addition – here’s a few more observations:

     

    Mixed media hasn’t gone away, and while some big leather seems to have faded from the scene – we are still seeing a lot of cord; leather, hemp, cotton, etc. being used. Bling is not the main theme at the moment, although it still pops in for an accent here and there. We just added new colours in the C-Lon Micro Cord and the Tex 400 Bead Cord.

     

    Including three shades of grey – so you can pick the one you like the best.

     

    Eastern Spiritual influence. Mala- and prayer-bead inspired looks are still very popular. Tassels and Buddhas, oh my. Guru beads – a bead set with a cap or tower bead, and a larger bead with a “T”-shaped hole – for a long necklace or a bracelet – are very popular. We just added a selection of Guru bead-sets – mix and match them with stone or other beads. Plus check out the Guru bead page for links to a couple of videos which show you how to get string around the corner of the T-shaped hole.

    s59120 Stone Beads - Guru Bead set for Mala - New Jades59124 Stone Beads - Guru Bead set for Mala - TigerEyes59125 Stone Beads - Guru Bead set for Mala - Goldstone

    s59122 Stone Beads - Guru Bead set for Mala - Matte White Howlites59121 Stone Beads - Guru Bead set for Mala - White Howlites59123 Stone Beads - Guru Bead set for Mala - Blue Goldstone

     

    s59064 Wood Beads - 9 mm Mala Beads - Natural (strand)This wood Mala-bead set – guru bead included – also fits with these trends.

     

     

     

     

     

    And while it is not a bead or even jewelry-related – it does fit with the eco-friendly theme – we now have Eco-Straws – Handmade Glass straws. These are Hand-blown by local artist Amber Higgins of Worn Beadies. They are made of dishwasher safe, fully annealed, lead free pyrex. Carry one in your car for those fruit smoothies, and just rinse and re-use, or run through the dishwasher. Elegant little indulgence for yourself. Great hostess gift. Cute for parties. Fun for kids. Each decorated with a unique glass colour spiral. And they never go into the land-fill for a 1000 years before they break down, or get tossed and wind-up killing some local wildlife. In straight, bendy, and smoothie size. It’s also a good feeling to support local artists. 😉

    s59063 Handmade Glass Eco-Straws - Straight Staw - Various Random s59081 Handmade Glass Eco-Straws - Bendy Straw - Various Randoms59082 Handmade Glass Eco-Straws - Smoothie Size - Various Random

    Anyway – these are the trends I’m spotting. Want to see more of what we think is hot – check out this pinterest collection.

    Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!

     

     

     

    As always – the new stuff is all here!

    Can’t find what you are looking for? Feel free to just email us and ask!

     

    Never forget the Manager’s Specials – over 600 specially selected items on sale – with savings up to 70% off!

    Ready to go big or go home? Don’t forget our Full Packs and Designer Packs. Whether you are assembling kits or making the spectacular item of a life-time – we have better deals on bigger quantities!

     


Our Class News

  • Spread your Creative Wings!

    You can cultivate creativity – you don’t need to be born with it. According to WikiHow, broadening your knowledge is one way of fostering creativity. For example, you have an idea for a bracelet that you want to create. If the bracelet is metal, do you need to know how to solder? If it is made of beads, what beads will work best and how can you assemble it? Like many people, you head to YouTube to check out the techniques. Yea, you found something! Unfortunately, the video isn’t in focus; the sound is muffled and you can’t ask questions. Do you give up in disgust? No – head for a BeadFX class!

    Our late-July classes offer a wide variety of techniques from looming, chainmaille, wirework and seedbeading! Check out Anne Marie Desaulniers‘ new class that features beads and fabric! Cindy Goldrick is ready to show you how to create with wire – then take you on the same creative journey with fine leather. Looking for chainmaille help? Marilyn Gardiner has your back! There are more offerings with Pamela Kearns, Gillian Clarke and Christine Woollacott.

    Here are the classes and open sessions scheduled July 21 – 31:

    mixed media jewelerySaturday, July 21
    Resin: A Mixed-Up Media Approach
    Instructor: Anne Marie Desaulniers
    11:00am – 5:00pm
    Explore why resin should be part of the your mixed media toolbox!


    Introduction to the Bead Loom
    Instructor: Christine Woollacott
    11:30am – 3:00pm
    Discover how to use this favourite technique and what the differences are among looms!


    Sunday, July 22
    NEW Scraps of Life: Fibre/Mixed Media Pendants and Brooches
    Instructor: Anne Marie Desaulniers
    11:30am – 4:30pm
    A few beads here; some colourful stitches there, all on various fabrics!


    Easy Slider Chainmaille Pendant
    Instructor: Gillian Clarke
    1:00 – 3:00pm
    New to chainmaille? This is the class for you!


    Monday, July 23
    Happy Hour Torching
    Facilitator: Carol Cooper
    5:00 – 9:00pm
    Practise your skills or work on your designs!


    Planet BeadFXWednesday, July 25
    FREE Open Bead Night
    Facilitator: Amanda Pittman
    6:00 – 8:00pm
    Give yourself dedicated time to work on unfinished projects!


    Thursday, July 26
    FREE Afternoon Bead Tea
    Facilitator: Pamela Kearns
    1:00 – 3:00pm
    Be among the first to see the new weekly products!


    Wire Macrame on Flat Leather
    Instructor: Pamela Kearns
    5:00 – 8:30pm
    Bring macrame into the 21st century!


    Saturday, July 28
    Basic Viking Knit
    Instructor: Cindy Goldrick
    10:00am – 1:00pm
    Learn how to ‘knit’ with wire to create fabulous necklaces and bracelets! Bonus: take both Viking knit classes and save on the class fees!


    NEW Chainmaille Help Day
    Instructor: Marilyn Gardiner
    10:00am – 1:00pm/2:00 – 5:00pm (half-day) or 10:00am – 5:00pm (full day)
    Need help to start or finish a project? Marilyn is here to help!


    NEW Taking Viking Knit to the Next Level
    Instructor: Cindy Goldrick
    2:00 – 5:00pm
    Give your Viking Knit a new look using fine leather! Bonus: take both Viking knit classes and save on the class fees!


    Sunday, July 29
    St. Petersburg Chain using 2-Hole Beads
    Instructor: Pamela Kearns
    12:00 – 4:00pm
    Now another way of using 2-hole beads – great for SuperDuos!


    Monday, July 30
    Happy Hour Torching
    Facilitator: Carol Cooper
    5:00 – 9:00pm
    Join like-minded artists at the torch!

    Click on the class or open session title to see complete descriptions including applicable fees and what to bring to classes. You can also go to the July class calendar to see all of the month’s opportunities.

Our Latest Inspiration

  • Copper Pipe Pendants

    We initially published this post back in 2010 – it has been far and away our most commented on post ever. We share it with you again for those of you who haven’t seen it before!

    Initial post by Jennifer Tough
    A while back I picked up a book by Stephanie Lee called Semi-precious Salvage. I just love her designs, as I’m quite enamored with the vintage-y, rough, dug out of the dirt look. Mixed media jewellery is quite intriguing to me – and I plan to explore it more over the next little while. I’m really just scratching the surface.

    In Stephanie Lee’s book, she used copper pipes and copper sheet to create bezels, she further roughens up the look by covering the whole thing in solder. I was excited to see if I could take the little resin/glass pendants that are so popular, and kick it up a notch.? Of course, having an open back allows you to create a double sided pendant!? The process is crazy time consuming, but as I’ve discovered – If you make a whole bunch at a time, it’s not so bad 🙂
    First step is to cut the tubing into little slices – for this, you’ll need a tube cutter from the hardware store. You could use a jewelers saw, but that would take even longer!I then used our handy hole punch pliers to create 2 holes on opposite sides.? A handmade balled copper headpin was inserted, and wired up into a wrapped loop.

    To create a flat surface to stick my paper on, I used some transparent polymer clay, and then baked it in place. I suppose you don’t really need to bake it, since you’re encasing the whole thing in resin – but I did, as I felt I should for some reason…

    Once my images were in place, I then filled each side with resin, letting each side dry for 2 days before filling the other side.

    Once the pendants were fully cured, I used some renaissance wax to seal the copper to help prevent tarnishing.