Changes to Site Navigation

In order to make it easier to navigate our many, many pages, we thought we’d add images – to help you quickly determine what sort of items are on each page. We figure that you’re really pretty visually oriented – why else would you be so attracted to all the pretty beads? So, we’re pleased to show off our new main category menu pages. One other change, because it is now soooo much easier to see, we have combined all the metal beads on one page, including the sterling and the gold filled, along with the copper, brass, silvertone and …

Exciting Stuff at the Bead & Button Show

Actually, it got a bit too exciting in Milwaukee, as we were twice on tornado alert. On Saturday, everyone at the Convention Center was herded into the main, windowless show floor as they were afraid the outside windows might blow in. Of course, they encouraged everyone to shop while we waited out the storm. 😉 I brought back lots of restock stuff that we have been out of for a while, such as sterling silver clasps, the beautiful repro Czech buttons, and Uber Curly Pigtails among other things. I found a new supplier of sterling clasps set with Swarovski crystals …

Swarovski “Effects” – Speciality Finishes

Swarovski has it’s own line of speciality bead finishes – which they call “effects.” In addition to the AB – they have the AB 2x – double AB if you will. This is a coating on all sides of the bead, instead of one side, and is so intense, it can override the natural colour of the bead! (Like the Jet AB 2x – you’d never know that there was black in it anywhere!) The AB 2x is applied to many of the colours, although not all the shapes and sizes! Satin is another speciality finish, and is also available …

Lazy Sunday

I’m enjoying a peaceful weekend puttering in the garden, painting flower pots with the girls, and we’re about to head out on a road trip. We’re going to drive up to the Stouffville market to get something fresh for dinner tonight. Hopefully, the rain will hold off a bit. If it does rain, spend some time on the computer checking out this site: http://www.notmartha.org/tomake/ Not Martha is run by super crafter Megan out of Seattle. There are 7 years worth of crafty archives. Everything from bath bombs to pinata gift containers. I’m always looking for stuff to do with the …

Found Art – Driftwood Sculptures

Well – “Found Art” is a mis-nomer – it’s usually the materials that are found – the art comes from the artist. But this particular artist is certainly finding his materials – driftwood. Life-size sculptures of Wild Horses (and more!) make from driftwood. Check it out!www.matttorrens.com Now, imagine doing that with beads!

Sneak Peek at Next Week

Psst – wanna know a secret? June 23 and 24 – we’ll be closed for inventory. Know what that means? Uh huh. Starting Wed at midnight, we’ll be having a 20% off everything (pretty much) we’d-rather-sell-it-than-count-it Sale. Wed – June 11. Midnight. Set your alarm clock. This is a no-back-orders, in-stock-only sale. Ends Midnight, June 18th. Because we would really rather not count all these beads. Please help! 😉

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 …