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Let’s start with the latest news!

Our Class News

  • June: Gateway to Summer Classes

    I don’t think there is a busier and more anticipated month than June! Graduations; block parties; barbecues; and weekends at the cottage. Not to mention all the festivals and special events that abound! And, of course, we are getting ready for summer vacations.

    So what’s a person to do when they want to get away from it all? How about:
    1. Coming out for a class for something new! Once learned, many techniques are perfectly portable to take to the cottage.
    2. Treat your visitors to a class. Bringing a summer guest to a class with you will give you both a chance to chill and learn. A great way to re-charge your batteries before heading on to the next activity!
    3. Travelling to Toronto on vacation? Include a class as part of your itinerary! By the way, a class with visiting instructor Robyn Cornelius would be a destination activity par excellence!
    4. No cottage or immediate travel plans? Then a stay-cation activity is for you! Consider a class – or two – as special activities just for you!

    Here are the classes and open session scheduled June 1 – 10:

    Saturday, June 1

    NEW Peacock Pearl Box
    Jean Power
    10:00am – 5:00pm
    Learn how to use geometric beading techniques to create a striking vessel that stands on its own beaded feet!

    Planet BeadFX

    Introduction to Art Clay Silver
    Jenn Jevons
    10:00am – 5:00pm
    This one-day workshop is a primer on all of the basics of the incredible medium of Art Clay Silver!

    Sunday, June 2

    Peacock Pearl Box
    Jean Power
    10:00am – 5:00pm
    Learn how to use geometric beading techniques to create a striking vessel that stands on its own beaded feet!

    Bead Making in Art Clay Silver
    Jenn Jevons
    9:00am – 5:00pm
    Take a dive into creating constructed components made entirely from Art Clay Silver and explore hollow forms and how to build dimensional pieces!

    Monday, June 3

    Happy Hour Torching
    Carol Cooper
    5:00 – 9:00pm
    Practise your skills or work on your projects in the company of others!

    Planet BeadFX

    Wednesday, June 5

    FREE Open Bead Night
    Pamela Kearns
    6:00 – 8:00pm
    Share your passion with other like-minded folks as you work on your projects!

    Thursday, June 6

    FREE Afternoon Bead Tea
    Pamela Kearns
    1:00 – 3:00pm
    Give yourself dedicated time to work on your beading and chainmaille!

    Saturday, June 8

    Working with Cement and Making Your Own Molds
    Ann Shewan
    12:00 – 5:00pm
    Discover the versatility of cement for jewellery!

    Sunday, June 9

    Hollow Forms in Metal Clay
    Liz Reynolds
    11:00am – 5:00pm
    The strongest form in nature is the sphere and in this workshop you’ll learn why, and how to make non-sphere forms just as strong!

    handmade gifts

    Beading without a Net: Intuitive Bead Embroidery
    Anne Marie Desaulniers
    11:00am – 5:00pm
    This class is an intuitive, visual journaling approach to bead embroidery. There are no rules!

    Monday, June 10

    Happy Hour Torching
    Carol Cooper
    5:00 – 9:00pm
    Practise your skills or work on your projects in the company of others!

    Click on the class/session title to see complete details include course descriptions and applicable fees. Click on the instructors’ names to see other classes they are teaching. You can also go to the June class calendar to see all of the month’s activities.

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!