Dip into Pacific Ease

We have just uploaded Swarovski’s latest monthly newsletter. It’s available in PDF format here. Surprisingly, no jewelry at all in this one, but lots of cards and book covers, and even a Swarovski encrusted digital camera. Complete instructions, and even templates for the cards included. Not included, but what I would love to see is a template for a pillow box that you could encrust (or embellish a little) with flatbacks. Would make a fabulous fancy box when selling your higher end Swarovski pieces.Oh dear, I just googled ‘pillow box template’ – heaps, and heaps of nifty ideas! Go peak, …

Lezlie Winemaker @ BeadFX

Lampwork Beadmaking Weekendwith Lezlie Winemaker June 28th & 29th, 2008 from 10am – 5pm Have you always wanted to try your hand at lampworking? Can’t wait to work with silver foil and dichro? Or just looking to brush up on your skills? Then this intensive weekend is for you! This beginner to intermediate course will include many decorative techniques, including surface decoration, sculptural work, clear casing, and pulling cane. You will also experiment with more advanced techniques such as the use of dichroic glass and silver foil. Lezlie will pay great attention to your own personal needs, so bring all …

Changes to Site Navigation

In order to make it easier to navigate our many, many pages, we thought we’d add images – to help you quickly determine what sort of items are on each page. We figure that you’re really pretty visually oriented – why else would you be so attracted to all the pretty beads? So, we’re pleased to show off our new main category menu pages. One other change, because it is now soooo much easier to see, we have combined all the metal beads on one page, including the sterling and the gold filled, along with the copper, brass, silvertone and …

Exciting Stuff at the Bead & Button Show

Actually, it got a bit too exciting in Milwaukee, as we were twice on tornado alert. On Saturday, everyone at the Convention Center was herded into the main, windowless show floor as they were afraid the outside windows might blow in. Of course, they encouraged everyone to shop while we waited out the storm. 😉 I brought back lots of restock stuff that we have been out of for a while, such as sterling silver clasps, the beautiful repro Czech buttons, and Uber Curly Pigtails among other things. I found a new supplier of sterling clasps set with Swarovski crystals …

Swarovski “Effects” – Speciality Finishes

Swarovski has it’s own line of speciality bead finishes – which they call “effects.” In addition to the AB – they have the AB 2x – double AB if you will. This is a coating on all sides of the bead, instead of one side, and is so intense, it can override the natural colour of the bead! (Like the Jet AB 2x – you’d never know that there was black in it anywhere!) The AB 2x is applied to many of the colours, although not all the shapes and sizes! Satin is another speciality finish, and is also available …

Lazy Sunday

I’m enjoying a peaceful weekend puttering in the garden, painting flower pots with the girls, and we’re about to head out on a road trip. We’re going to drive up to the Stouffville market to get something fresh for dinner tonight. Hopefully, the rain will hold off a bit. If it does rain, spend some time on the computer checking out this site: http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/ Not Martha is run by super crafter Megan out of Seattle. There are 7 years worth of crafty archives. Everything from bath bombs to pinata gift containers. I’m always looking for stuff to do with the …

Found Art – Driftwood Sculptures

Well – “Found Art” is a mis-nomer – it’s usually the materials that are found – the art comes from the artist. But this particular artist is certainly finding his materials – driftwood. Life-size sculptures of Wild Horses (and more!) make from driftwood. Check it out!www.matttorrens.com Now, imagine doing that with beads!

Sneak Peek at Next Week

Psst – wanna know a secret? June 23 and 24 – we’ll be closed for inventory. Know what that means? Uh huh. Starting Wed at midnight, we’ll be having a 20% off everything (pretty much) we’d-rather-sell-it-than-count-it Sale. Wed – June 11. Midnight. Set your alarm clock. This is a no-back-orders, in-stock-only sale. Ends Midnight, June 18th. Because we would really rather not count all these beads. Please help! 😉

How-To T.V.

Here’s a cool site for those looking for a little jewelry instruction in small bites, or just some helpful creative ideas. You do have to register to see the videos, but it’s free and they don’t send a lot of announcements out. The video’s are high quality, professionally done, nice and short, and with good sound quality. Definitely worth looking at! http://www.howtotvonline.com

The BeadFX Buyer takes a Busman’s Holiday

I’m taking a few days off work by taking a 3-day Master Class at the Bead & Button Show in chilly downtown Milwaukee, WI. The master class in beadwork was taught by Japanese Designer Sonoko Nozue. The theme was Beaded Jewellery Inspired by Japanese Kimono Design. It was pretty intensive as we covered peyote, spiral stitch and its variations, loomwork, several different methods of creating bezels for stones, and bead crochet. The Japanese bead manufacturers contributed beads in exclusive colours not available in their regular line (yet) and Swarovski provided vintage stones and lots of 3mm bicones. Although most of …