Metal Clay World Conference

The dates for next year’s Metal Clay Conference have been announced. If you are passionate about Metal Clay – you might want to put this on your calendar. July 16 – 18, 2009, in Illinois, and hosted by Art Clay World USA. The keynote speaker will be Alan Revere, founder of the Revere Academy of Jewelry Design, in California and well-known author and goldsmith. BTW – the website promoting this has got to be one of the dullest sites I’ve ever seen. Boo-hiss for boring design. At least it works and has the info on it, but what did they …

The Skinny on Wire Gauges

The sizing of wire gauges is anti-intuitive – much like the sizes of beads. A bigger number means a smaller, thinner wire. Wire is made by starting with a fairly fat rod of metal, and drawing it through a hole that is just slightly smaller than the rod itself. The end is tapered to get it into the hole, and then the wire is “drawn” or pulled through the hole, which stretches the wire out and makes it thinner, and longer. Each time the wire is “drawn” – a smaller hole is used, and the wire gets progressively thinner and …

Wet Canvas – Artists’ Forums

If you haven’t checked out Wet Canvas yet – you should. Wet Canvas is an online forum and community for artists of all ilks. From painting to pastel to glass to fibre – and many more – whatever your media – there is a lively community of folks there ready to discuss and share. From inspirations to techniques, problem solving, marketing, copyright, – any issue you care to think of – you’ll find a discussion. It’s free to join, but even if you want to just lurk and read the posts without signing up – you can do that. I’ve …

Sneak Peek at Next Week

Coming for next week – so far – a whack of new stone beads – plus a few other items that I am NOT going to shoot myself in the foot by pre-announcing and then possibly not getting them done. So there. I can tell you this – some more natural colour turquoise, mined in the U.S. (We actually know and list the mines!) Many other cool stone beads (hence my desire to reorganize the stone bead section!). Also, some new of the lovely sterling clasps from Nina Designs.

Sorting Stones!

Jen is taking a vacation! What noive that gal has! Really! And she speaks Gaelic! I just thought she was swearing under her breath! . . . . Maybe she is! Omigawd – the Stone of the Month just FLEW out the door – we’ll reorder what we can – and we’ll double our order for next month. I didn’t even get any of that fabulous Purple Crazy Lace. I’m going to do a little re-organizing of the stone beads section – split the stones up a bit more. Now that we have pictures to make it a little clearer …

Cape Breton Here I Come!

A vacation….I’m actually taking a vacation! As of Sunday, I’m off for a two week vacation to Halifax, and then up to Ingonish, and the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Some of you may know that I have family in Halifax, and we try to get down there at least once a year to visit my mother in law. I’ve never been up to Cape Breton though. I hear it’s stunningly beautiful. I’ll see everyone at the end of July, hopefully relaxed, and refreshed. Nothing like the sea air to refresh ones spirits! Maybe I can even brush up on …

More Chinese Knotting

Guess who’s coming back to BeadFX? Angela Peace! After teaching two packed Chinese Knotting classes last May, Angela will be back in August to teach her introductory class and a new intermediate class! Introduction to Chinese Knotting Saturday August 16th, 10am – 2pmThis introductory course will introduce you to the traditional art of Chinese knotting. You will learn how to tie basic knots, such as the button knot and snake knot, and learn how to create an adjustable button knot cord fastener. We will also discuss how to incorporate these techniques into your jewellery when stringing or making pendant style …

Embroidery Floss/ Bead Converter

Here’s an interesting little program for those of you into embroidery and beads – a program to convert colour references from floss to other brands of floss, or to beads, or the other way. If you have a bead pattern, and want to try embroidering it, or an embroidery pattern, and want to try beading it – this will help you get your colours sorted out. They have a cross stitch pattern converter too. I don’t pretend to understand it – but as our current survey is showing, many of us are very multi-talented and do way more than just …

Travels with Beads – Results of our Survey.

Whoa! Looks like LOTS of us travel with our beads, whether on full-blown vacations, summer at the cottage, or just around town to appointments – we’re a bunch of beading fools, taking our projects everywhere we go. So we asked you, “Do you travel with your beads? Do you have any tips for other beaders? What about requests?” Here are the results! Fishermen beware – the beaders’ are coming for your tackle boxes! The consensus is, tackle boxes, small tool boxes, and followed by soft-sided coolers are THE way to carry supplies. Make-up cases and pencil cases for small projects …

If You Love Gems

If you love gems, if you think there is magic in the sparkle and glitter of big, coloured, faceted stones, if you can name at least three famous gemstones, if you consider seeing the Hope Diamond a pilgrimage, you should absolutely check out this blog: Gemwise. Authoritatively written by a U.S. goldsmith and insider in the world of fabulous gems, you will get to see and read about a world of high-end gems that you would never experience otherwise. Absolutely fascinating!