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You’re here for beads!? The good ones!

We buy ’em, sell ’em, make ’em… and teach ’em too!
Let’s start with the latest news!



Our Class News

  • Country-wide Fireworks kick off the Summer Classes!

    July is just around the corner, and we have lots to celebrate including Canada Day and, for our southern neighbours, Independence Day. Enjoy the parties, fireworks and picnics!

    Our early-July classes feature four new projects! Gillian Clarke combines beads and chainmaille for two bracelets while Christine Woollacott will teach you how to create custom findings for your designs and how to create a simple post setting that you can use in a myriad of ways. Liz Kennedy and Anne Marie Desaulniers are presenting encore seed beading and metalwork classes – in case they didn’t work with your schedule before now!


    Here are the classes and open sessions scheduled July 1 – 10:

    Monday, July 1

    Canada Day
    Store is closed for the holiday observance. BeadFX will re-open Tuesday, July 2 at 11:00am. On-line ordering is always available.


    Wednesday, July 3

    Open Metal Studio
    Facilitator: Christine Woollacott
    5:00 – 9:00pam
    This is the perfect time to enamel in the BeadFX studio. Join like-minded enthusiasts and work on those enamelling projects you’ve been itching to finish!


    Planet BeadFX

    FREE Open Bead Night
    Facilitator:
    Pamela Kearns
    6:00 – 8:00pm
    Enjoy the classroom’s cool comfort as you work on your projects!


    Thursday, July 4

    FREE Afternoon Bead Tea
    Facilitator:
    Pamela Kearns
    1:00 – 3:00pm
    Be among the first to see the new weekly products!


    NEW Beaded JPL Chainmaille Bracelet
    Instructor:
    Gillian Clarke
    Create a stunning triangular weave bracelet with beads and jump rings!


    Friday, July 5

    NEW Beaded Byzantine Chainmaille Bracelet
    Instructor:
    Gillian Clarke
    6:00 – 9:00pm
    Beads add colour and texture to this classic weave. This project is easy enough for a chainmaille beginner, but will also interest experienced maillers who want to try using beads!


    Saturday, July 6

    NEW Easy Custom Findings
    Instructor:
    Christine Woollacott
    9:30am – 12:00pm
    In this beginner class, you’ll create your own headpins, open and closed jump rings and toggle clasp!


    NEW Easy Half-drilled Accents and Patterned Metal
    Instructor:
    Christine Woollacott
    1:00 – 4:00pm
    Learn to create a simple post setting for a toggle clasp, earrings or pendant!


    Planet BeadFX

    Sunday, July 7

    Freeform Peyote Bracelet: Design-on-the-fly!
    Instructor:
    Anne Marie Desaulniers
    10:00am – 5:00pm
    Use this design-on-the-fly approach, to make a totally unique, freeform peyote bracelet – a great stash buster project!


    Turtle Tab Setting a Cabochon, a Flat Back Crystal or Flat Bead
    Instructor:
    Liz Kennedy
    12:00 – 3:00pm
    Here is an opportunity to create a pendant for your favourite cabochon or flat stone bead while customizing the size and design you wish!


    Monday, July 8

    Happy Hour Torching
    Facilitator:
    Carol Cooper
    5:00 – 9:00pm
    Work on your lampwork project or build you skills with like-minded enthusiasts!


    Planet BeadFX

    Wednesday, July 10

    FREE Open Bead Night
    Facilitator:
    Amanda Pittman
    6:00 – 8:00pm
    Give yourself dedicated time to work on your projects over coffee and conversation!

    Click on the class/open house session for complete information including course descriptions, applicable fees and on-line registration. You can also click on the instructors’ names to see other classes they are teaching. To see all the month’s activities, go to the July class calendar.

Our Latest Inspiration

  • Photo to Beaded Pattern

    A fun little tool from Miyuki to convert your photos to beading patterns

    We’ve seen a number of beading-pattern-makers over the years – by and large, they seem to not be much fun to use, and try to do too much.

    This, by contrast, does Miyuki Delicas, Peyote or Square stitch. That’s it.

    You can also use the Square Stitch option to create patterns for looming.

    The software is online, and runs in your browser, so nothing to download – except the pattern afterwards if you want.

     

    They have instructions in English here, but I’m going to run you through a brief intro here too.

    First, you will need to click on Peyote or Square to start, depending on which you want the pattern to be.

    Next, you will see a screen that asks you to input dimensions

    The maximum size is 370 x 370 mm. I had a fairly large image, and so I scaled it down by dividing the size so that it was a lot smaller.

    However, if you just playing with it, just enter the 370 in the height and width boxes. Where there is text in a box that is grey, it is a suggestion, not a default value, and you need to enter it yourself.

    Number of colours – well, as Miyuki themselves say,

    The larger the number of colors used, the more delicate expression will be.

    Fair enough, but there does come a point at which, needing to buy 2 beads of a colour is ridiculous, even in my humble opinion.

    So you can start with a low number of colours as Miyuki suggests, about 20 or so, and adjust afterwards. One of the things that I like about this software is that you can go back and forth and change things, instead of needing to have it all correct before you start.

    Click on import, and navigate to your saved jpg on your computer. Click ok.

    From here, you have some options to resize and scale and crop. Click on the blue line to resize, and use the scroll wheel on your mouse, or the zoom icons, to zoom in and out.

    And click ok.

    Now you get to modify the number of colors, with a preview of what it will look like. You can reduce or add to the number of colours by clicking on the rectangle above or below. Keep selecting a lower number of colours until the quality of the image falls off.

    When you think it is ok, click ok and go to the next screen.

    It will spin it’s wheels for a bit, and then give you a preview, that you can review or edit.

    Pretty awesome, huh?

    From here, you can edit the individual beads.

    Use the eyedropper icon to pick up colours from beads. Use the paintbrush to apply the colour.

     

    The coloured droplets let you switch to the full Delica colour palette to pick whatever colour you want.

    I don’t see anything that looks like a search and replace, however, so to get less complicated colour choices, just go back a step.

    I do think that starting with a less complicated image is probably a good idea too. Running your image through a filter an image editing software can make the image less complex. Look for a filter or process called “Posterize”, “Cartoon” or “Simplify” to get a smoother image.

    Or, click the back arrow and select a lower number of colours.

    When you are done, click ok, and it will ask you if it is ok?

    And then pop up the slightly scary warning …

    Don’t worry – it will give you the number again on the next page. You can write it down or cut and paste.

    You do have the option to download a pdf, which is a good thing, as I haven’t actually seen any of the emailed notifications from them, but maybe they take awhile.

    If you use the pattern online, it will actually keep track of rows for you, which I think is a lovely feature.

     

    Here I was playing with a much simpler image – beading a picture of beads is very meta.

    Here are the pdf patterns if you’d like to have a closer look. The “shopping list” is at the end, and lists the standard delica number, the quantity and the grams.

    And, btw, you are free to go ahead and use these patterns if you want – if you manage to bead up a picture of my wonderful old dog, do send me a pic and let me know! (Because you know I’m never going to get around to it … )

    The Dude – (my old German Shepherd) Complex 19031501260367278629

    The Dude – (my old German Shepherd) Simplified 19031501474795333579

    Black Beads 19031504040304327490

    If you get stuck at the “simplify the image” thought and need a hand there – fire me an email and I’ll see if I can’t help you out.

    This is a far from comprehensive tutorial, but I don’t think it needs it. The program is fun to use and play with. It’s not like you can do anything wrong, so just click and have fun!