Friday, August 26, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Diamond Duos!!

27888120-02 Czech Shaped Beads - 2 Hole Diamond Duo - Dark BronzeWhen you think Duos - you think Batman and Robin, Laurel and Hardy, Fred and Ginger, Holmes and Watson, or Peanut Butter and Chocolate. Or possibly Pinky and the Brain.


Anyhoo - there is a new dynamic, dynamite duo on the block - Diamond Duos! Or DiamonDuos - both spellings seem to be in use!
These new beads on the board are a diamond shape , flat on one side and faceted on the other, with two holes, running from side to side.

With their flat sides, I can already picture them fitting together in pinwheel shapes, stars, flowers and mandalas. And with 60+ plus colours rolling out - you'll have lots of colours to play with!

Check out this pattern on Beading Daily for a DiamonDuo and Demi-Round bracelet that is evocative of snake scales.

So between picking colours and pinteresting for patterns, I predict a beady good time for you!

Hot dog - it's a hot flash - Hotfix, flashbacks, er - Flatbacks, and other rhinestones - 20% off! Hot damn!
Czech 11/0 seedbeads. What the heck - have another week at 20% off! 


And so there it is for this week - click on a link or image above, or just check out all the new items here and see what docks your yacht!

Bead Happy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A concrete idea!

Well, I couldn’t let Dwyn have all the fun, could I? I was the second person in the store, to nab a container of Create Recklessly, Artist’s Concrete, and I need to confess, that I’ve already used up half of my supply. This stuff is seriously fun to work with, and I’m just getting started!
Many of you know that I love to experiment, so instead of showing you my first efforts, I’ll show you a few of my final ones (okay, I’ll show you all of them, but I like these the best). The idea is not my own, as I did spot a YouTube video, that showcased this technique. All you do is dump some glass glitter (the coarser the better) in the bottom of a mold, and then pour the concrete over top. The concrete flows around, but doesn’t seep all the way through the pile of glitter. When the concrete is dry (wait for at least an hour), take it out of the mold, and then shake off any excess glitter, for a fabulous hollow, faux druzy effect!! It’s better to use a clean mold, as the concrete will absorb any dust, dirt, or leftover pigments.
I've heard that you could use Alcohol Inks (AI) to colour the concrete, but that you should be careful with the quantities used (of course, they didn’t provide the recipe!). I erred on the side of caution, and only used four drops of colour. Either the colour I chose (Adirondack “Pool”) wasn’t strong enough, or I should have used more, as the AI only lightly tinted the concrete (the second photo in the post is the one with the AI). However, I’m not too worried, as there’s plenty of time for further experiments. I didn't use any pigments with the heart mold, but don't you just love it? Even better, it was a freebie, sent with an on-line purchase.
By this time, I was getting tired of glitter (not really, but for the sake of science, I had to try something else), so I tried mica flakes, and then some tiny rocks (that I had purchased for my October, Bead Embroidered Pendant class). I’m not that thrilled with the blue mica, but I absolutely love the rocks!! The cabochon reminds me of a dragon’s egg, and now I need to buy a teeny, little dragon, to see if I can play mommy!
Next I dusted mica powders in the bottom of a couple of molds, and then poured in the concrete. The coverage on the face cabochon turned out a little spotty, but I do love the starfish, seashells and button! The white shell is natural, and is from the first batch of concrete that I poured.
Next up, open backed bezels! I dug into my stash (for a couple of them) and added some packing tape to the backs (making sure that I burnished it well, to ensure complete contact with the metal). These bezels are pretty thin, so I carefully dripped in a little concrete (with a toothpick), spread it out to the edges, then lightly dusted on a bit of leftover glass glitter. I rather like the effect, don’t you?
Back to experimenting! Rochelle had gifted me some rusty road kill (random bits, picked up at the side of the road), and I thought that one of the larger washers would be perfect in the bezel. I added it right after the pour, and to my surprise (silly me!), it started to sink!!!! Oh no, what should I do? Of course, I added another smaller washer, and this time, right on top of the first. Perhaps not a perfect solution, because the proportions are off, but I haven’t given up on the piece! I still have the option to either glue, or draw something on the concrete. It's interesting to note, that the rust has started leaching out into the concrete. I'm not really surprised, but it's something I hadn't considered.
These faces illustrate the fabulous detail you can get with this product. I used a bit of the plum pigment (Create Recklessly) in one of them, but feel that I should have actually added more. The bumpy, organic piece is from a mold I made from a Lychee Nut shell, that Pam gave me. Now for the downside - An imperfect mold = an imperfect piece, so don’t be surprised if some of your pieces don’t come out perfectly. Just remember to throw out those molds, and start again!
As you can see, I’m quite excited by this product. My ideas seem to multiply like rabbits, and I plan to continue to explore my concrete ideas, in a concrete sense! Will there be an Artist's Concrete workshop in the future? Keep tuned, but first I feel the need to play!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Learning Really is for Life!

September! Back to school, back to work and back to a routine. It's also a chance to start a new venture and learn a new skill (why should the kids have all the fun!) 

Once again, we are holding our special Back to Class event so you can see for yourself the wonderful class projects that our instructors have developed and are ready to teach. Mark  Saturday, September 10 in your calendar now to attend!

Also coming up in September are our classes with Jean Power. An acclaimed designer, artist and author, Jean hails from England and is well-known for her geometric beading. Bonus: with each class you will receive a $40 Gift Certificate that can be used toward your class supplies or saved for future use!

Here are the classes and open sessions scheduled September 1 - 10
and Jean Powers classes later in September:


Thursday, September 1
FREE Afternoon Bead Tea
Facilitator: Pamela Kearns
Bring your projects and and any questions.




Wednesday, September 7
FREE Open Bead Night
Facilitator: Pamela Kearns
Be among the first to see the new weekly products.





Thursday, September 8
FREE Afternoon Bead Tea
Facilitator: Pamela Kearns
Bring your projects and and any questions.


Instructor: Pamela Kearns
5:00 - 9:00pm
Perfect for the complete novice to get started in an exciting new pastime.


Open Metal Studio: Kiln Enamelling
Facilitator: Christine Woollacott
5:00 - 9:00pm
Bring your projects and get tips and assistance from Christine.





Saturday, September 10
FREE Back to Class Event
11:00am - 3:00pm
Door prizes, refreshments and chances at a $25 Gift Certificate.


Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex (The AUD)
400 East Avenue, Kitchener, ON
BeadFX will be participating in this fun packed show for knitters!


 Upcoming classes with Jean Power:

 Friday, September 23
Sparkle Stars
Instructor: Jean Power 
10:00am - 5:00pm
 
 



Saturday, September 24
Armarria Series Bracelet
Instructor: Jean Power
10:00am - 5:00pm






Sunday, September 25
Sticks and Stones Bracelet
Instructor: Jean Power
10:00am - 5:00pm

Complete information about each activity is available by clicking on the title. You can also go to www.beadfx.com and click on 'Classes'. Follow the links to the September class calendar and click on the individual classes and sessions.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Inspiration from the past

By Cindy Goldrick

I love the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I could spend hours looking at the minutiae of life and daydream about the lives people lived in the past. The last time I was there I was lace crazy and took tons of pictures of the drawers of lace they have there. 

But if you can't get to England and want the inspiration of an amazing collection of jewellery, you can search the V&A archives online! Talk about going down a rabbit hole...

Go to collections.vam.ac.uk http://m.vam.ac.uk/collections/?q= and get started asap. I browse, sketch and then riff on the designs that can inspire me, kick start my creative process or even check out for technique ideas. I counted 134 pages of inspiration there, on my last visit. 

Jewellery moulds, dies, contemporary brooches, art nouveau pendants, bangles from Medieval times and the 1800s, belts, lockets (many Victorian ones containing loved ones' hair), and studs and buckles from courtiers' clothing. All fascinating to look at and see, all beautiful. 

For instance, this Calder necklace has me thinking about designs using my Now That's a Jig! and some annealed steel wire...


Meanwhile, this Roman bracelet has me thinking about stacking and soldering and bezels...



An amazing site to bookmark is openculture.com. It bills itself as "The best free cultural & educational media on the web." Here you will find links to art catalogues from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Getty Museum. They also link to free courses and movies.

The British Museum shares images of its collections, including the objects found at the Sutton-Hoo ship burial, objects from Pompeii and textiles for pattern inspiration. Go to britishmuseum.org then research to start your search. 

This Viking arm ring from the Sutton-Hoo horde has my mind circling ideas for my twisted bronze bracelets. 



The Museum of London's web site has 127 images of jewellery and buttons found as part of the Cheapside Horde. So many stunning baubles to inspire you or just make you drool while marvelling over the craftsmanship required to create them. I'm inspired by the shapes and composition of the pendants in particular. 

So if you ever find your creative muse failing, don't despair - inspiration is at your fingertips and online. And you can visit great museum collections from the comfort of your chair at home, perhaps with a glass of wine at hand...

Sunday, August 21, 2016

InspirationFX: Dragonfly Links



Dragonfly Links

by: Anne Marie Desaulniers

Dragonflies flit through the air, bringing light, wisdom, transformation, change and adaptability to your life. At least in a symbolic sense! My dragonflies are linked with chains, but still give a lasting impression of daydreams, light and movement! If you only made a wish, I'm sure that something magical would happen!
This two-strand necklace is full of movement and grace! In my original plans (which often go astray), it was going to be three-strands, and tied off with a red, silk strand. My muse said "enough", after I completed the second strand, and then totally scoffed at the red silk. The colour wasn't quite right, and the piece obviously needed more "weight" to anchor the design. So I dipped into my stash, and came up with a short piece of chain, to finish it off with style!

Top Strand:

Four wrapped loop components, with wraps on both ends, three pieces of "Throw me a Curve" chain, and four dangle components.

Wrapped loop component - three 6/0 Seedbeads/one druk/one metal round/one druk/three 6/0 Seedbeads (make a total of four).

Dangle component - add one druk and one 6/0 seedbead onto Ball headpin. Make small wire wrapped loop on the end (make a total of four).

Attach as follows: oval jump ring/W loop component/oval jump ring/chain (3 curves)/oval jump ring/W loop component/oval jump ring/chain (3 curves)/oval jump ring/W loop component/oval jump ring/chain (3 curves)/oval jump ring/W loop component/oval jump ring.
Attach four dangles to middle section of chain, with oval jump rings. Attach to jump rings on either end, and to loops on either side of middle curve in chain. Do not attach directly to the curved areas, as the dangles will not stay neatly in place (ask me how I know?).

Bottom Strand:

Five wrapped dragonfly (DF) coin loop components, with wraps on both ends, four, four-sun, chain components, two, two-sun chain components, and four dangle components.

Wrapped DF loop component - one 6/0 seedbead/one DF coin bead/one 6/0 seedbead (make a total of five).

Dangle component - add one druk and one 6/0 seedbead onto Ball headpin. Make small wire wrapped loop on the end (make a total of four).

Attach as follows: oval jump ring/one two-sun chain component/one W DF coin loop component/oval jump ring/one four-sun chain component/oval jump ring/one W DF coin loop component/oval jump ring/one four-sun chain component/oval jump ring/one W DF coin loop component/oval jump ring/one four-sun chain component/oval jump ring/one W DF coin loop component/oval jump ring/one four-sun chain component/oval jump ring/one W DF coin loop component/oval jump ring/one two-sun chain component/oval jump ring.

Attach dangles to either side of middle W DF coin loop component with oval jump rings. Then attach one dangle to W DF coin loop component, on the left of the middle component (with oval jump ring). Next, you will attach the final dangle to the W DF coin loop component, on the right of the middle component (with oval jump ring). Note: I chose to attach the dangles to the W loops, but it might be better to actually attach them to the oval jump rings (the choice is yours!).

Pulling it all together:

Attach the first side of Strand One to one-13 mm-open circle, with a 7 mm round jump ring.
Attach the second side of Strand One to one-13 mm-open Circle, with a 7 mm round jump ring.
Attach the first side of Strand Two to one-13 mm-open circle, with a 7 mm round jump ring.
Attach the second side of Strand Two to one-13 mm-open circle, with a 7 mm round jump ring.
Attach the first open circle to a 2 - inch piece of Rolo chain.
Attach the second open circle to a 2 - inch piece of Rolo chain.
Attach Hook Clasp to right side of Rolo chain, with a 7mm round jump ring.
Attach Swivel/Rotating Link to the left side of Rolo chain, with a 7 mm round jump ring.

If you don't know how to make wrapped loops, check out our "Tips" section, take a class, buy a book or magazine, Google it, or watch a video. The real secret is practice, so just get out there and do it!!
Tools used:

Flush cutters
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers

Show the world your carefree side, by either dressing this necklace up or down. Pair it with silk, linen, cotton, chambray, lace or even leather. Perhaps a little bohemian, but definitely perfect for someone wishing to make a quiet statement!




















Components

Go to our components list for this project and to buy what you need!
Need some help with some of the techniques? Check our tips page.

Friday, August 19, 2016

What's on sale at BeadFX?

This week - 20% off Czech size 11/0 seedbeads! The workhorse of beading - not always regular in shape, but such deal. Thousands of beads on a hank! Always worth having around.

Manager Specials! Check out what our manager has deemed to be on sale! Metals -


and so much more!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Concrete and Candy!

s50282 Create Recklessly -  ArtistWe're cementing our relationships! Getting them on a solid footing. In fact - we could say there is some thing really concrete about them!
This is Artist's Concrete - as used by mixed-media artist Robert Dancik - and is fun and easy to use. You put a tablespoon of the concrete powder in a disposable cup, add a 1/8 teaspoon of water - mix, and add a few drops more water to adjust the consistency. A stiffer mixture (like dough) is stronger, but a thinner mixture (like heavy cream) pours better - so you can adjust to your needs (packing into a bezel vs a mold). You have about 10 minutes working time, and it cures in about an hour.

The base colour is white, and we also have a few selected pigments for colouring it. You can surface colour it too after it has cured.

Here a good video on how to use it - I've been experimenting with it and I have to say - it's a lot of fun to use. Check out my blog post on the topic of exploring this exciting new medium!


27800952-03s8 Czech Shaped Beads - 2 Hole Candy Beads - Yellow Opaque (Strand 22)
On a hot sticky day like we've been having recently - you may have discovered all sorts of new things. It's so hot here that the birds are using pot-holders to pull the worms out of the ground, both taps deliver hot water, cows are giving evaporated milk, and asphalt isn't a solid any more. If you don't want your candies to melt and stick together - then check out the new Candy Beads. It's hot - but at least the glass isn't melting. Not yet, any way!


Candy Bead braceletThese Candy Beads - made by Preciosa - are another in the two-hole-shaped-bead category. They are round, 8 mm across, with a domed side and a flat side, and have two holes. They are surprisingly pretty and dainty for an 8mm bead. Here's some basic instructions to get you started.



Our big sale is ended, but we've decided to give you a one-week reprieve on the Czech 11/0 seedbeads. This week only - they carry on at 20% off! 


And so there it is for this week - click on a link or image above, or just check out all the new items here and see what melts your ice-cream!


Bead Happy!