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  • Too Beautiful for Words April 18, 2019

    Sometimes, I feel like the beads in an update really don’t need me to say anything other than – here, have at them.

    This is one of those updates.

    I’m going to start with these – Terra Agate. These big barrel beads – I keep thinking they look like lampwork beads. They are so gorgeous, and so individual – they look hand-crafted.

    s62462 Stone Beads - 14x40mm Barrel - Terra Agate (strand)
    s62463 Stone Beads - 12mm Round - Terra Agate (strand)

    Chrysocolla – it’s no secret I love chrysocolla, and judging from the way it flies out the door, I’m thinking a fair number of you do too!

    s62464 Stone Beads - 5-10mm Faceted Nuggets - Chrysocolla (strand)
    s62465 Stone Beads - 14-18mm Faceted Nuggets - Chrysocolla (strand)
    s62466 Stone Beads - 15-16mm Rounds - Chrysocolla (strand)
    s62452 Stone Beads - 8x10mm Pebble - Chrysocolla (strand)

    Mind you – Lapis has been known to be my fave too. No collection of gorgeous stone beads is complete without some Lapis.

    s62449 Stone Beads - 8x10mm Pebble - Lapis Lazuli (strand)

    And then, for something a little different – some Iolite. This soft purple and grey stone has a quiet, classic beauty all it’s own.

    s58769 Stone Beads - 8mm Round - Iolite (strand)
    s58770 Stone Beads - 10mm Round - Iolite (strand)
    s58772 Stone Beads - 8mm Faceted Rondelles - Iolite (strand)

    If more intense colour is your thang, then Amethyst Pebbles? Or this Garnet?

    s62450 Stone Beads - 8x10mm Pebble - Amethyst (strand)
    s62472 Stone Beads - 9mm Vertical Rice - Garnet (strand)

    Or, on a smaller scale – these star cut Sardonyx

    s62469 Stone Beads - 8mm Star Cut Round - Sardonyx - Purple (strand)
    s62470 Stone Beads - 8mm Star Cut Round - Matte Sardonyx - Purple (strand)
    s62471 Stone Beads - 8mm Star Cut Round - Matte Sardonyx - Blue (strand)

    And the more subtlely coloured star cut Labradorite.

    s62467 Stone Beads - 6mm Star Cut Round - Labradorite (strand)

    Mixed Colour Tourmaline – always a fave –

    s62454 Stone Beads -  Pebble - Tourmaline (strand)

    Although, I have to say – this Strawberry Quartz is a refreshing change too.

    s62451 Stone Beads - 8x10mm Pebble - Strawberry Quartz (strand)

    I also love the “ethnic”-look beads – for want of a better term, and please, if you can think of a better term, let me know! Boho-chic? Whatever you want to call them, these graphically-patterned beads are inspired by the traditional Indian and Tibetan Dzi beads.

    s62458 Stone Beads - 14x40mm Barrel - Dzi Agate Green Eye
    s62457 Stone Beads - 10mm Round - Matte Dzi Agate Green Line (strand)
    s62459 Stone Beads - 12mm Round - Matte Dzi Agate Green Eye (strand)
    s62456 Stone Beads - 12mm Round - Matte Dzi Agate Red Wave (strand)
    s62455 Stone Beads - 6mm Round - Matte Dzi Agate Brown Line (strand)
    s62461 Stone Beads - 14x40mm Barrel - Matte Dzi Agate Black Eye
    s62460 Stone Beads - 15x22mm Olive - Matte Dzi Agate Black Eye (strand)

    And these Ocean Jasper pebbles and Black Tourmalinated Quartz work well with that esthetic too.

    s62453 Stone Beads - 8x10mm Pebble - Ocean Jasper (strand)
    s62420 Stone Beads - 8x10mm Pebble - Black Tourmalinated Quartz (strand)

    Anyway – the stone-aholics are in deep doo-doo this week – because – this week it is all about the stones.

    Except we got more colours of the Ginkos in, for those of you who fell in love with the bracelet from the other week.

    s62553 Czech Shaped Beads - 2-Hole Ginko - Full Sliperit
    s62555 Czech Shaped Beads - 2-Hole Ginko - Jet Azuro

    Oh, and for those calling Pam every every day 😉 about the supplies for the Jean Power’s Peacock Pearl Box class – she can now say the pearls are in, and some of the big Swarovski stones too. (There are spaces in the June 1 class, the June 2 class is sold out.)

    s62636 Swarovski Fancy Rhinestones - 27mm Faceted Round (1201) - Crystal Volcano
    s62639 Swarovski Pearl - 5mm Round Pearl (5810) - Coral Pearl (strand 25)


    Easter Closing

    We will be closed Friday, open Saturday, closed Sunday, and open Monday for Easter Monday.

    Of course, you can always sit at your computer and gnaw the ears off your chocolate bunny while shopping online.

    Review all the new stuff here!!!

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

Our Class News

  • Planting Seeds of Creativity

    It’s that time of year when we clean out the garden and start to select greenery to plant. Spring is also an ideal time of year to shake the winter cobwebs from our imagination and look for inspiration to get our creativity flowering again.

    Can you stimulate creativity? Yes – everyone can become more creative! I like to use the camera feature of my phone to snap colour ideas from clothes in a store or patterns and textures on walls and pavement. Ideas exist everywhere. I have no idea what I’ll use the photos for, but it may spark a ‘what if’ moment.

    Sometimes it just takes allowing yourself to take a chance and to try something new. It doesn’t matter if the results are ‘beautiful’ (no judging allowed); it is about you!

    Check out our late-April classes and open sessions:

    Monday, April 22

    Happy Hour Torching
    Carol Cooper
    5:00 – 9:00pm
    If you have recently taken a lampworking class or are a regular studio user, Happy Hour Torching is the perfect time for you to come by and work on your lampwork projects!

    Tuesday, April 23

    Loom Series (3 weeks)
    Maria Rypan
    5:30 – 8:30pm
    Create a unique loomwoven neckpiece in a supportive atmosphere! Class continues Tuesday, April 30 and Tuesday, May 7.

    Planet BeadFX

    Wednesday, April 24

    FREE Open Bead Night
    Amanda Pittman
    6:00 – 8:00pm
    Share your passion with other like-minded folks over coffee and conversation!

    Thursday, April 25

    FREE Afternoon Bead Tea
    Pamela Kearns
    1:00 – 3:00pm
    Give yourself dedicated time to work on your projects or peruse our extensive library for ideas!

    Chevron Along Bracelet
    Deborah Beesley
    6:00 – 9:00pm
    Learn to hammer-finish frames as well as the fundamentals of wire work, such as wire loop formation (simple eye-pin), and tips on measuring and working with wire.

    Friday, April 26

    Traditional Pearl Knotting
    Angela Peace
    6:00 – 9:00pm
    Learn how to confidently tie those tiny silk knots between pearls and beads and how to attach a clasp using the professional French Wire method.

    Saturday, April 27

    NEW Double Spiral, Half Byzantine Bracelet
    Marilyn Gardiner
    10:00am – 1:00pm
    This graceful and dainty bracelet combines elements of both the Double Spiral weave and the Byzantine weave.

    NEW Hot Connections: Ring with Everything
    Iris Rogers Melamed
    10:00am – 5:00pm
    Discover roller printing metal, sawing, filing, constructing a bezel setting for a cabochon, creating a tube setting for a faceted stone, soldering different types of joins, riveting, setting a cabochon and a faceted stone, polishing, and of course, creating a gorgeous ring!

    NEW Druid Rope Bracelet
    Instructor: Marilyn Gardiner
    2:00 – 5:00pm
    This awesome and substantial weave combines elements of the Roundmaille and Turkish Roundmaille weaves.

    2019 Knitters Frolic Show
    Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

    6 Garamond Crescent
    9:00am – 4:30pm
    We will be bringing a wide section of seed beads, bead spinners, Kumihimo supplies, buttons, findings and lots more for knitting and fibre enthusiasts!

    Sunday,April 28

    Polymer Clay – Transfer Sheets & Silk Screen
    Instructor: Bonni Poch
    12:00 – 3:00pm
    Learn how to use transfer sheets and silk screen techniques to create amazing pendants, beads, and/or cabochons.

    NEW Wire Woven Shawl Pin
    : Liz Kennedy
    12:00 – 3:00pm
    Create a statement Shawl Pin you’ll be proud to wear with your favourite wrap!

    Monday, April 29

    Happy Hour Torching
    Facilitator: Carol Cooper
    5:00 – 9:00pm
    Create lampwork beads for your designs in a comfortable and supportive atmosphere!

    Click on the class/session title see complete information including applicable fees and on-line registration. Click on the instructors’ names to see other classes they are teaching.

Our Latest Inspiration

  • Photo to Beaded Pattern

    A fun little tool from Miyuki to convert your photos to beading patterns

    We’ve seen a number of beading-pattern-makers over the years – by and large, they seem to not be much fun to use, and try to do too much.

    This, by contrast, does Miyuki Delicas, Peyote or Square stitch. That’s it.

    You can also use the Square Stitch option to create patterns for looming.

    The software is online, and runs in your browser, so nothing to download – except the pattern afterwards if you want.


    They have instructions in English here, but I’m going to run you through a brief intro here too.

    First, you will need to click on Peyote or Square to start, depending on which you want the pattern to be.

    Next, you will see a screen that asks you to input dimensions

    The maximum size is 370 x 370 mm. I had a fairly large image, and so I scaled it down by dividing the size so that it was a lot smaller.

    However, if you just playing with it, just enter the 370 in the height and width boxes. Where there is text in a box that is grey, it is a suggestion, not a default value, and you need to enter it yourself.

    Number of colours – well, as Miyuki themselves say,

    The larger the number of colors used, the more delicate expression will be.

    Fair enough, but there does come a point at which, needing to buy 2 beads of a colour is ridiculous, even in my humble opinion.

    So you can start with a low number of colours as Miyuki suggests, about 20 or so, and adjust afterwards. One of the things that I like about this software is that you can go back and forth and change things, instead of needing to have it all correct before you start.

    Click on import, and navigate to your saved jpg on your computer. Click ok.

    From here, you have some options to resize and scale and crop. Click on the blue line to resize, and use the scroll wheel on your mouse, or the zoom icons, to zoom in and out.

    And click ok.

    Now you get to modify the number of colors, with a preview of what it will look like. You can reduce or add to the number of colours by clicking on the rectangle above or below. Keep selecting a lower number of colours until the quality of the image falls off.

    When you think it is ok, click ok and go to the next screen.

    It will spin it’s wheels for a bit, and then give you a preview, that you can review or edit.

    Pretty awesome, huh?

    From here, you can edit the individual beads.

    Use the eyedropper icon to pick up colours from beads. Use the paintbrush to apply the colour.


    The coloured droplets let you switch to the full Delica colour palette to pick whatever colour you want.

    I don’t see anything that looks like a search and replace, however, so to get less complicated colour choices, just go back a step.

    I do think that starting with a less complicated image is probably a good idea too. Running your image through a filter an image editing software can make the image less complex. Look for a filter or process called “Posterize”, “Cartoon” or “Simplify” to get a smoother image.

    Or, click the back arrow and select a lower number of colours.

    When you are done, click ok, and it will ask you if it is ok?

    And then pop up the slightly scary warning …

    Don’t worry – it will give you the number again on the next page. You can write it down or cut and paste.

    You do have the option to download a pdf, which is a good thing, as I haven’t actually seen any of the emailed notifications from them, but maybe they take awhile.

    If you use the pattern online, it will actually keep track of rows for you, which I think is a lovely feature.


    Here I was playing with a much simpler image – beading a picture of beads is very meta.

    Here are the pdf patterns if you’d like to have a closer look. The “shopping list” is at the end, and lists the standard delica number, the quantity and the grams.

    And, btw, you are free to go ahead and use these patterns if you want – if you manage to bead up a picture of my wonderful old dog, do send me a pic and let me know! (Because you know I’m never going to get around to it … )

    The Dude – (my old German Shepherd) Complex 19031501260367278629

    The Dude – (my old German Shepherd) Simplified 19031501474795333579

    Black Beads 19031504040304327490

    If you get stuck at the “simplify the image” thought and need a hand there – fire me an email and I’ll see if I can’t help you out.

    This is a far from comprehensive tutorial, but I don’t think it needs it. The program is fun to use and play with. It’s not like you can do anything wrong, so just click and have fun!