A Sense of Wonder

If you’ve been beading or stringing or otherwise making jewellery for a while – you’ve probably learned a LOT. The more you explore the world of beads, the more fabulous and fascinating insider knowledge you get. (Especially if you read our website – as I tend to prattle on about details!) You have to remember what you didn’t know when you started – you have to keep that sense of wonder, remember the mystery and magic of it all, and not let is slip away. Case in point. I had some friends from my “other life” visit me – from …

Make your own Graffiti

Ever wander by a building with a huge, colourful graphic word carefully painted on it, and wonder what the heck it says? Graffiti “fonts” are meaningful – but obfuscation appears to be the name of the game. Try out this Graffiti Creator and see how, with stretching and pulling, overlapping, and the addition of “Yolk,” “Limbs,” “Stripes” and “Waves” – what started as a more or less readable word becomes camouflaged into pure design. Kewel, eh?

Sneak Peek at Next Week

New Beadwork and Stringing kits from Marilyn Gardiner – easy projects that come with everything you need! New Vintage – no wait – that doesn’t sound right. Old beads. Hmmm. Not much better. New to us and you, but actually old beads. Wordy. Vintage Swarovski and Chechoslovakian (yes, then it was Chechoslovakia!) beads and Rose Montees! Including some Swarovski colours long since discontinued: Mink and Seal. Apparently, they were going through a fur-bearing mammal stage in naming.

Naming Your Creations

Sometimes, when I make a piece of jewellery, or even just a bead, a name comes to me out of the blue. Sometimes, it comes afterward, when I hold it in my hand. Sometimes, it is a simple description, or based on circumstances. For instance, this dichroic glass beauty is called “Woot” – which is short for, depending on your source, “Wow-loot” or “Want One Of Those.” Both meanings are good, in my opinion – they are come from gaming slang. The Pink Dragon is known as “Heartburn” – not for his colour, but because I had a vicious attack …

Growing Like a Weed

With all the rain we’ve had these last two months, the garden is growing with a ferocity that I’ve never seen before – the Hollyhocks are easily 7 and 8 feet tall – I have an Echinacea that snarls at me when I go by, and the 4 foot tall statue of a heron that I bought in the spring has completely disappeared in the overgrowth! In my case, it’s only going to get more extreme. I was mixing some fertilizer up – the kind you dilute in water – for the new cedar hedge we planted this year. It’s …

Summer Sizzles @ BeadFX

I can’t quite explain it, but every summer, the hotter it gets the more people want to lampwork! Maybe, it’s because they can’t wait to make fun and summery beads.Maybe, they use it as reverse air-conditioning (because after sitting at a torch and reaching into a 950°F kiln for a few hours, even the summer heat feels cool!).Or, maybe it stems from a deep-seated desire to roast marshmallows on a campfire! Whatever the reason, why not join in on all the fun! Drop by our studio and check out the glass, mandrels, torches and kilns used to create beautiful handmade …

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It’s now just Tuesday morning and I’m already a day behind and deeply confused as to which day of the week it is. It feels like Wednesday already. Ack! Yesterday started out with my sitting down to do the weekly photography shoot for the store. About 3 pictures into it, the camera reported a “card error.” Well – given that I shoot hundreds of pics a week, pull that card in and out of the camera over and over, and have been using it for years, that really wasn’t a huge surprise. I popped it into the card reader on …

What inspires me?

What inspires me? Consider that I design some of our InspirationFX to inspire you, what actually inspires me? I start with a focal piece, and generally – I am inspired by the colour of it. Sometimes I go looking for the beads to work with the focal bead – sometimes they reach out and bite me. This tawny tablet bead was just hanging out on my desk, when I happened to be pulling out pearls for another project. I just put down these brown pearls next to it, and Wow! I was struck by how perfectly they went together. Gold …

Sterling Silver vs Fine Silver

Just what the heck is all this talk about Fine Silver and Sterling Silver? Just what is the difference, and why do you care? You may have read some recent bead magazines with articles about fusing fine silver wire into jumprings and more. You have probably heard of Sterling Silver – used in jewellery. You have quite probably, by now, heard of Metal Clay – either Precious Metal Clay (PMC) or Art Clay Silver (ACS) – both of which are brand names. But just what is the difference between these silvers? To put it simply, Fine Silver is Pure Silver. …

Chatting with SailorGirl

Sometimes, if Catherine, aka Sailorgirl, and I are teaching on the same night, (she teaches a business classes for jewelry makers, and I teach the bead making classes), we’ll go for a few drinks after. As we are both flameworkers, there’s always something beady to discuss, but we usually ramble off onto other topics as well. For instance, she and her significant other spend the brutal Canadian winter cruising around the Caribbean on their boat. Sailors always have stories and she has some great ones. Not all her stories are about sailing, she has some great stories about doing shows …