What do you do with a pile of beads?

Perhaps I should title this “What’s on my worktable this week?”.  The story begins with a couple of piles of beads.  Where it ends, who knows??? Do your beads talk to you?  Mine do!!  I’m not really crazy, but I do have this awful tendency to buy beads and bits, and then just let them age in the bag, until my muse decides how she’s going to use them.  Does that ever happen to you?  Let start with the red Swarovski leaves…. I’ve been eyeing these leaves, ever since I spotted them on the sale rack at BeadFX. Hmmm, 40% …

All dolled up!

You’re never too old to start playing with dolls!   You’re also, never too old to start doing something you’re not comfortable with.  I did play with dolls as a child, but never really dragged them around, the way the other girls did.  However, I remember the total joy of believing that Santa tucked a brand new doll (well actually three, as I have two sisters) under the tree at Christmas!  As I grew older, I also confess to spending an awful lot of time, focusing on new fashion statements for Barbie!   But did I bond with the dolls? …

Button, button, who’s got the button?

Do you remember playing in your mother’s button box as a child? Reach back, far back, and reflect on the sound and feel of your fingers running throught the coolness of the buttons. Aren’t memories wonderful?  Who doesn’t remember the sweet, sweet smell of apple pie baking, or waking up to the rythmic sound of the percolator (I know, this has nothing to do with either buttons or beads). According to “The Button Craft Book”, by Dawn Cusik, the earliest buttons date back to 2000 B.C.  I’m pretty sure that those buttons were probably made of bone, wood or rock, …

Designing your way out of a paper bag!

Doesn’t it just drive you crazy, when you try to think up a new design, but then find that you’re in a total creative slump?  You have the time, you have the materials,  a deadline is looming, and then nothing!! So what the heck do you do? Tearing your hair out, isn’t productive, nor is shutting yourself away in the dark, wailing out your misery!   So, let’s explore some techniques, to unlock your ideas….. 1.  Go for a walk!  Use your camera, to take shots of anything that inspires you.  When you return home, relax, indulge in a snack, …

Finding inspiration

Inspiration is a funny thing!  Always present in your dreams, but once awake, disappears like smoke! How can we corral something that ephemeral?   Why is it so hard? Let’s start with the definition, according to Google:   “1. the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. 2. the drawing in of breathe; inhalation.” In other words, inspiration is a mental stimulation of your creativity, and is as natural as a breath of fresh air! I’m often asked, where I get my ideas?! While seldom stuck for an answer, I find this …

Complicated Simplicity

Have you ever noticed, that the simplest things in life appear more complex, once you look a little closer!  If you haven’t, try going for a little stroll, and really examining the world of wonder, beneath your feet. You’ll find a surprising array of colours, textures, and shapes, each one more complicated than the next! The world is full of designs, and design principals, but the one I seem to have adopted lately, is what I like to call, “Complicated Simplicity”.  As a fairly informal person, I find myself designing, and reaching for simple jewellery pieces, that consist of multiple …

A Bevy of Bezels

Today, we’re going to chat about the wonderful world of metal bezels!  As you can see from the photographs, BeadFX has quite an extensive collection, which is great for aspiring mixed media artists (all that metallic bounty in one place)!  I’ll let you in on a secret though; you don’t really need to know anything about mixed media, to use these remarkable products. Bezels are versatile, and suitable for an endless variety of uses. We even carry the popular Susan Lenart Kazmer, Hobnail bezels and the Klick line of interchangeable components. Believe it or not, I haven’t tried everything yet, …

All Mixed Up at BeadFX

I’m Anne Marie, and I’m here to share Mixed Media with you. I have a passion for beads, textiles, fibre art, bead and thread embroidery, paper, paints, collage, free-form peyote stitch, art dolls, printing, metal, wire, various types of clay, botanicals, found objects, recycling, repurposing, and oh, so much more!  Let’s just say that I’m a mixed up media person, with a serious lust for techniques! You’re probably wondering what Mixed Media is all about?   Let’s start with the definition (or should I say, one of the definitions out there): “The term “mixed media art” is a broad definition …

Nervous about being in a classroom with others?
Think about a Private Class!

Not everyone likes to be a part of a class but are still eager to learn a new jewellery-making technique. Some students feel they need more attention than they may receive in a larger class. Others find the commotion of a class to be distracting, making it difficult to learn. If you find yourself in this situation, then perhaps a private class is a solution! Most instructors are happy to offer private classes to students who, for their own reasons, are not comfortable in a classroom full of students. Also, perhaps the class you want to learn isn’t on the …

Fun, Friendship and Sharing at Happy Hour Torching

The term “Happy Hour” usually refers to a time of pre-dinner cocktails and drinks with friends and co-workers. In BeadFX’s case, “Happy Hour Torching” is a gathering of like-minded lampworkers who get together twice a week over a torch and colourful rods of glass. “Happy Hour Torching has been going on for about three years,” says Malliga Nathan, BeadFX’s Studio Manager. Malliga, a lampworker herself, often joins in on Thursday evenings. Carol Cooper facilitates Happy Hour Torching and is available to answer questions and give tips and tricks to new lampworkers. “Lampworking is an artform and lampworkers are, by nature, …