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 …

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 …