What inspires me?

What inspires me? Consider that I design some of our InspirationFX to inspire you, what actually inspires me? I start with a focal piece, and generally – I am inspired by the colour of it. Sometimes I go looking for the beads to work with the focal bead – sometimes they reach out and bite me. This tawny tablet bead was just hanging out on my desk, when I happened to be pulling out pearls for another project. I just put down these brown pearls next to it, and Wow! I was struck by how perfectly they went together. Gold …

Sterling Silver vs Fine Silver

Just what the heck is all this talk about Fine Silver and Sterling Silver? Just what is the difference, and why do you care? You may have read some recent bead magazines with articles about fusing fine silver wire into jumprings and more. You have probably heard of Sterling Silver – used in jewellery. You have quite probably, by now, heard of Metal Clay – either Precious Metal Clay (PMC) or Art Clay Silver (ACS) – both of which are brand names. But just what is the difference between these silvers? To put it simply, Fine Silver is Pure Silver. …

Chatting with SailorGirl

Sometimes, if Catherine, aka Sailorgirl, and I are teaching on the same night, (she teaches a business classes for jewelry makers, and I teach the bead making classes), we’ll go for a few drinks after. As we are both flameworkers, there’s always something beady to discuss, but we usually ramble off onto other topics as well. For instance, she and her significant other spend the brutal Canadian winter cruising around the Caribbean on their boat. Sailors always have stories and she has some great ones. Not all her stories are about sailing, she has some great stories about doing shows …

Budding Designers

Cynthia, Jen’s sister in-law, and our very competent show organizer, dropped by the store the other night, after hours, and she had her two young sons with her. She popped into the back office to check on some stuff, and told the two boys they could pick out some beads for a necklace to make. She proceeded to make some calls, handle some paperwork, while the constant pitter-rattle of dropping beads sounded from the showroom part of the store. Finally, finished, she headed back out to gather her sons. Her scream could be heard down the block. The two boys …

Getting the Lead Out

Occasionally, someone will email us to ask about the lead content in one bead or another. This is Erin’s carefully researched reply. Unfortunately many basemetal items can contain lead. We do not carry any products that we know to contain hazardous amounts of lead. Some of the basemetal items we carry, such as those with product numbers beginning in “tc”, contain a minute and inconsequential amount of lead. The following is from their manufacturer… “TierraCast uses an alloy called Britannia, composed of 92% Tin, 7½% Antimony and ½% Copper. Tin is refined from ore that contains other metals, including lead. …

Typo Alert

Marg just brought to my attention that while I got it right in the description – I refer to these as Lapis – Free From Ovals on the front page of the site. She asked me what they are free from? Well – they are free from fat, free from cholesterol, free from sugar, free from artificial sweeteners. Free from the artificial conventions imposed by an uncaring society. Free from the arbitrary pigeon-holing that wants them to be true ovals. Free from the restrictive thinking that controlled their parents’ lives. Free to be the shape they were born to be. …

Woven Nylon Mesh Tube

We’ve seen some cool designs made with metal mesh tubing – our buyer spotted this nylon mesh tubing and scooped some. This is a little piece she whipped up using it and one of my beads! Very handsome, I think. We are planning on getting some of the metal mesh tubing in the fall – but we have some of this in the store now. Not a huge amount, and we can’t restock it – but it’s fun to play with in the meantime! It’s not on the website – you’ll have to come in for it – or send …

Semi-Precious Stone Bead Pages

OK, it’s official – we’re going to stop calling it semi-precious and just refer to them as stone beads. And I’ve done some serious re-organizing here – some of the pages won’t have a lot on them, especially if we are out of stock – but it should be waaaay easier to find things. I hope. Watch for the changes tonight at midnight. Yes – that means that I am actually up at midnight, working on the site. At least I’m working from home!

Textural Herringbone

The sun is shining, the humidity is building and a chorus of cicadas floats through the air. The dog days of summer are finally here! And what could be better than taking your beading outside! Sure the breeze kicks up every-so-often and blows your beading mat and all of your beads across lawn – but it’s warm and it’s sunny and we certainly need the vitamin D. But if you’re looking for a break from all that heat and humidity, drop by our air conditioned store this Sunday July 20th for Cindy Vroom’s Textural Herringbone class. Create a light and …