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 …

Craft Show Season!

Well, June has finally arrived and with the warm weather and sunny days comes craft show season! Almost every weekend there seems to be another show or sale on. So why not get in on the action?! Have you always wondered what it takes to get started in the craft show circuit? How much you should make and how on earth to price it all? Not to worry, Catherine Winter aka Sailorgirl is back from sailing the Caribbean to answer all your questions! Catherine successfully makes and sells two jewelry lines using commercial beads for one and her own handcrafted …

Some weekend!

Well, I had some fabulous posts lined up in the queue for some great ideas on how to work with lampwork beads. They were in edit mode as I wanted to get some photography done, then my kid broke out in spots…lots of them. I’ve spent the last few days dousing her in calamine lotion, and giving her cold baths to prevent her from scratching herself. Turns out it was hives brought on by some unknown virus. All is well and good now….finally! Unfortunately, my fabulous post will have to wait a day or two while I catch up. In …

Yet More Bead Finishes!

Well, now that you have your head around AB, Crystal Capri and Zairit, let me lay some more bead finish terms on you. As you may remember (from last week’s posts) – a finish is a treatment or coating applied to a bead to modify it’s colour or texture. So, you’re feeling pretty confident there – well – how do you feel about Oily? Pearl – sure, Lustre, sounds good, but Oily? What about Iris? (Ok, what about her?) Seedbeads add some more terms to your beady vocabulary. We have your, by now, familiar AB (Aurora Borealis) and Matte finish …

A Sneak Peak at the Next Week!

Pssst – hey – wanna know what’s coming up? Don’t tell anyone I told you! Squarelets – flat squares that hang like drops – a whole page of ’em, 32 colours, including a bunch of a color effect I haven’t seen before called “Silver Glow.” More of those offset lentils too. And watch for these two next week – I think these are divine – very much a “stone” look. Very organic – I plan on using some with some lampwork beads. When I have time. HA!

Fusing Fine Silver Wire

I’ve tried fusing fine silver a few times. First with Danielle Sweeney in our silversmithing classes, and then again with Kate McKinnon last week. This is low tech metalsmithing at it’s very best. You can easily do this at home with really minimal tools. Fine silver does not develop what’s known as Fire Scale, so you will not require the harsh chemicals that are needed to work with Sterling. Here’s what you need: Torch (small butane torch which you can get at any hardware store) Fine Silver Wire – Yay, we have some! Soldering Pad and some basic wire tools …

Two weeks with nothing to do?

Lark Books has a call for entry out. – Deadline June 16th! BEADING WITH METAL BEADSProposal Deadline: June 16, 2008Lark Books seeks designers to make unique projects to feature in an upcoming book, Beading with Metal Beads, scheduled for release in spring 2008. Beading with Cabachons, Beading with Charms, Beading with Crystals, Beading with Filigree, Beading with Gemstones, Beading with Pearls—following these successful Lark titles, now there’s Beading with Metal Beads! Including rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, brooches, and more, this 128-page book will be aimed at a broad audience of beginning and intermediate jewelers, beaders, and general crafters. We want …

Beyond AB – Other Bead Finishes.

Now that you know what an AB and Matte bead is, let’s look at some of the other exotic treatments. Most of these coatings are applied to only one side of the bead, making transparent beads more reflective because of the mirror-like properties of the coating, and making opaque beads more dramatic, sometimes, even making them “reversible” – completely different from one side to the other. First of all, some of the common, and not so common, bead finishes that you will find on Fire polish and pressed glass beads. Some are common on many colours of beads, and some …