Small gifts: Celebrating holiday traditions!

Are you going to make small gifts for the upcoming holidays? Have you started? Are you finished? Or are you in high panic mode? I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m panicking, but I am glad that my workshops for 2017, will be finished by the end of this week. I do love my students, but whew, now I can concentrate! Are you a maker, or a collector? I saw something recently on Facebook, that said that buying beads, and making things with beads, are two completely separate hobbies!!! I truly believe this! Do you? I make gifts, and I’m proud …

Jewelery Layering: Join in on the fun!

Isn’t it about time that you explored jewelery layering? You have boxes and drawers, stuffed full of unloved and abandoned jewelery! How about doing something about it? Image – I layer my necklaces, and bracelets, but if I wore rings, I’d layer them as well! I don’t layer earrings, but it’s okay if you do! I’m not a hippie, but I love jewelery layering! I also layer my clothing, as basic black, white, and grey, low necks, high necks, and turtlenecks, are all perfect backdrops for the layered look. Image – Etsy – InaraJewels Free those sad little necklaces! …

Blank Bead Syndrome: Do you ever experience it?

I never though that I would admit it, but I sometimes suffer from the debilitating effects of Blank Bead Syndrome. I bet you’re wondering what that is, and will soon enter it in the Google search bar! Never fear, the answer is here!!! I just made up Blank Bead Syndrome on the spur of the moment. It’s actually a close cousin to Blank Page Syndrome. According to Wikipedia – “Blank page syndrome is similar to writer’s block, but is not a psychological term. It can happen to a writer at any point in time, irrespective of their career success. This …

InspirationFX: Dark Amber Glory

Get your creative juices flowing ~~~ Dark Amber Glory by: Dwyn Tomlinson One of the advantages of shopping in store is the ability to wander around and look for exact colour matches. One of the advantages of reading these inspirations is not having to do that. 😉 This particular piece came about because I wanted to do something with the dark amber, and I wanted it to be a bracelet, because I was in a bracelet frame of mind. The Swarovski Crystal Red Magma is a perfect match for the dark amber, and adds a little sparkle, and the Rose …

InspirationFX: Midnight Lavendar Necklace

Get your creative juices flowing~~~ Midnight Lavendar Necklace Designed by: Anne Marie Desaulniers Lavender and midnight gunmetal, marry to become a darkly delicious necklace. I was originally designing a bracelet, but the muse decided that the piece wanted to be something much grander (thus, more shopping to be done!). The lacy metal beads, jumped into my tray, during one of my grazing sessions in the store. Then I needed to figure out, what the heck I was going to do with them! Wire wrapping was a given, but which accent colour to choose? I didn’t want the piece to be …

Favourite bead styles: Working in and out of your comfort zone!

Do you ever bead outside of your comfort zone? We all have our favourite bead styles, but what have you done to challenge that? I just seem to keep beading variations of the same theme. My early bead education, included stringing, and a range of traditional bead weaving stitches. I quickly abandoned them for mixed media, freeform and intuitive beading. Do you think that it’s time that I returned to my roots? Okay, perhaps not entirely, but it would be interesting to see what I could do with traditional stuff! I confess that two, three, and four holed beads, intimidate …

Birds and beads: A spicy mixed up post!

The focus this week, is on birds and beads, but please excuse the pun! My “Fly Away Home: Birdhouse Pendant class” ran last Friday, and I thought that you might like to see the results. Five lovely students, good glue, flying paper scraps, all mixed up with a ton of creativity! We had a lot of fun, but let’s have the results speak for themselves. The evening was full of colour, laughter and imagination! Students pieces (Note: the screw eyes still need to be attached, for hanging): Shhh, don’t tell! Ideas for display include (but are not limited to) holiday …

June Bead Mat Update: Just playing around!

I almost forgot about my June bead mat update! I don’t believe that I almost missed it!!! Also, how did I forget to include my bead mat in the photos? Bad muse, bad!!! June has been a strange month. Excessive heat, cooling periods, pollen allergies, headaches, rain, flooding, storms, sunshine, clouds, hail, and all sorts of weird in-between weather. When you combine that with a heavy dose of annoying roadwork, it’s really quite depressing. But did that put a crimp in my creativity? Not likely! Well perhaps a wee bit, but I’m working to overcome it. I was busy on …

Stretchy bracelets and glittery bits! Are they simple, complicated, or just plain fun?

What do you think when you hear the words “stretchy bracelets and glittery bits”? Are they just for kids; part of a simple, crafting exercise; or a party favour? Just plain fun; or a quick way to inject more colour into your life? Either simple or sophisticated, it’s your choice, and you be the judge!

I’m not normally tempted to make stretchy bracelets and glittery bits, but should I be? I design fast and easy projects (see the BeadFX “Inspirations Gallery”), so why avoid making something so incredibly simple? I need to try this!

stretchy bracelets and glittery bits
Joy – Dwyn Tomlinson – BeadFX Inspiration


My vow is to make at least one of these bracelets in the next few weeks. How can I possibly write a blog post about something that I’ve never made, and don’t really know that much about? The internet, of course! It’s the answer to everything! Plus, I work in a bead store, and people kept asking me how to make them, so I had to do a little research. You know, because that’s just what I do!!!

Fairy Magic – Dwyn Tomlinson – BeadFX Inspiration

You Tube is probably the first place to check out (tons of videos), but I like this blog post from The Spruce. There’s just something about simple written instructions, that seem to sink into my brain easier!

They use another type of stretch cord, but you could substitute any of the ones found on our website. Their example is made with seed beads, but I’m more likely to substitute other stones and beads. Stay away from bugle beads, and anything else that’s likely to cut through the elastic.

Stretchy bracelets and glittery bits
Purity – Dwyn Tomlinson – BeadFX Inspiration


I wonder how many bracelets I will make, and what they’ll look like? Single, double, or wrapped? Semi-precious stones, Czech fire polish, or hand made lampwork, polymer clay, or ceramic beads? Should I throw in a few metal beads? What type of bead should I use to hide the knot (or do you really need to hide it?)? A surgeon’s knot for safety, and then a drop of either G-S Hypo Cement (I love the precision applicator!), or E6000 to prevent slippage.

Make a colourful armload of these stretchy bracelets and glittery bits! Stack them, layer them, and just plain enjoy them!! No design headaches and dilemmas allowed! Make them, wear them, and when you’re tired of them, cut them apart and re-make into something else! This is the summer of simple, uncomplicated colour and fun!

April bead mat update – Let’s celebrate spring!

Spring is here, and with it comes a return to creativity! Dark winter days fry my brain cells, but the muse knows when she needs to re-energize! It’s well past time to create, and my April Bead Mat Update was due! Good Friday was a perfect day in Toronto (the best day of the long weekend)! What better way to spend it, than to take a trip to the beach, to collect bits and pieces? About time, I say! Good company, sunshine, not much wind, driftwood, stones, friendly puppies, and free parking! What more could a girl ask? To win …