Let Autumn Colours Stir Your Creativity

I love the colours of Fall – the deep, almost burgundy reds, crisp oranges, rustic browns and bright yellows and the remnants of summer green. How can it not stir the creative soul? We welcome Astrid Riedel to our calendar of September classes. Astrid is teaching two outstanding lampwork classes. Our late-September classes also feature several new classes including a new full day class with Marilyn Gardiner. Angela Peace is teaching a new way to end ropes and other substantial pieces that need tube ends. Wire workers will love Lucie Lee‘s new class and seed beaders will adore Naomi Smith‘s …

it’s dark in here

It’s dark in here. The whole store is in a kerfuffle right now: we’ve been without power for all of Sunday, and only half power on Saturday, since a racoon went to the big garbage truck in the sky by straddling two high voltage wires leading into the building. What with one thing and another, the electrician coming out, and then hydro, then not being able to get access and then needing another guy – it’s the usual “hurry up and wait” snafu scenario that modern life gifts us with on a daily basis. It’s annoying for us, but potentially …

Concrete & Rubies

Concrete & Rubies by: Anne Marie Desaulniers These Matte Crazy Lace Agate stones have been living side byside, on the BeadFX wall, just under the pearls. Ignored for months, but thenthey suddenly started clamouring for their potential to be reached! Concretegoes with everything, and my July birthstone is ruby!! Add some sparkle, then whatbetter way to marry the two, than with a chic and comfortable wrap bracelet. Apiece of this type, could even be worn as a short necklace, but I far preferthis variation as a standalone bracelet! Instructions: Dump all of your beads, into a nice pile on your …

Test Results – Firing the new Lab Created Gems

At the beginning of August – we added some Lab Created Gems for use in Metal Clay. A couple of the gals here who work with metal clay extensively wanted to double check that the stones would handle the heat without significant colour change. To test them, they were placed into a kiln and fired, without being embedded in metal clay. For the first firing, the gems were placed into a cold kiln. Ramp rate (speed of temperature increase) was set to full (as fast as the kiln will go), the temperature was set to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit (the hottest …

Rhombuses and Ooak Lampwork Dragons, oh my!

Two very exciting new items this week – which to talk about first? Ok – the Rhombus beads! The Rhombus bead is a larger than usual 2-hole bead – designed by Lena Gillespie for the Canadian manufacturer and wholesaler – John Bead. It is a a parallelogram with opposite equal acute angles and opposite equal obtuse angles, and four equal sides. They fit together like puzzle pieces and because they are a larger size – they work up quickly. They are fun to play with! And, of course, my burning question is … can you make a stretchy bracelet out …

Gifts from the beach: Traditional repurposing!

What do you think of when I say gifts from the beach? No, I don’t mean those expensive, kitschy items that you bring back as presents. I mean the real gifts! I wish I was close enough to the ocean, to say that my gifts from the beach, included a myriad of shells, but no, not this girl! As I live close to a very large lake (Lake Ontario), my gifts include beach glass, driftwood, and stones! Not only tangible gifts, but how about the gift of peace, sunshine, seabirds, exercise, fresh air, and serenity? I find beach walking to …

Return to Learn

It’s official – Labour Day has passed and the kids (or grand kids) have headed back to school! What about you? Are you ready to get ‘Back to Class’? Our free Back to Class Open House is this Saturday. I guarantee that your creativity will be stirred and piqued when you see the wonderful projects that our instructors have planned for this Fall. Our mid-September classes feature a variety of techniques including metalwork classes with two new instructors: Liz Kennedy and Darija Radic. Anne Marie Desaulniers will lead you along a freeform peyote path with a new earring project. If …

Beads can add years to your life

Add years and improve the quality of your life. Repetitive motion activities, like stringing beads, bead weaving, lampworking, hammering metal, even sorting and picking out beads, can trigger a state of “flow” in your brain, in the same way that meditation can. In addition to making an already happy person happier, it is also effective for dealing with stress by activating the parasympathetic nervous system (the involuntary system that controls heart beat, blood pressure, etc.), and – in turn – quieting the “fight or flight” response. Because we all have stress in our lives. We might not be chased by …

August 2018 Bead Mat Update: Just playing around!

I almost hate to write my August 2018 Bead Mat Update, because that means that the summer is almost over. It’s still stinking hot in Toronto, but I wonder how long that will last? Kids go back to school, adults breath a sigh of relief, traffic jams increase, and the bead goes on!!! BeadFX customers start gearing up for the holidays (I can’t believe that I just wrote that), and the workshop season shifts into high gear (our Back To Class Open House is on September 8th)! It’s still warm outside, but we’re all itching for a change of pace. …

Happy September!

I love September! There, I’ve said it. I was one of those geeky kids who couldn’t wait to get back to school. September meant new discoveries and a fresh start for a school year. It’s still like that for me – except that exploring new things now applies to beading, metalwork and anything else that catches my creative eye! Our annual Back to Class event kicks off the month! 2018 marks the Fifth Anniversary of this popular and free event. In recognition of this milestone, every who registers for a class on September 8 – either in-store or on-line – …