Wednesday, March 20, 2013


The name really says it all, doesn't it?  I'm LOVING introducing you to the wonderful bead stores in my area.  I started with the oh-so-fabulous That Bead Lady in Newmarket, and I'm continuing today with BeadFX in Toronto.

BeadFX is a great well-rounded jewellery artist's shop - from seed beads to metal clay, they have it all!  I recently had a run of FASTfire BRONZclay fired by the shop and was impressed with the knowledge exhibited about the product, appropriate firing method and request for me to select an item from my order (26 pieces) for a test firing.  Now THAT is thorough!

Now I love my metal clay, and seed beads have my undying devotion, but what marks BeadFX as a unique place to shop is their endless, ever-changing supply of lampwork beads.  From elegant small spacers, to complex, patterned and textured focal designs, the lampwork gets me (and my budget!) every time!  This is the ONLY bead store I know of that carries lampwork and they do it very well, indeed!  A number of artists are represented so no matter your need, there's a lampwork bead to fill it.  I tend to work within a variety of favourite monochrome colour palettes and it is a difficult decision which beads must remain behind when I leave!

Another singular aspect of BeadFX is their dedicated workrooms.  There is a large, purpose-built metal working bench and exhaust hood in one room, another well-ventilated and spacious room for lampwork and other torch or kiln firing with a THIRD space for seed bead work!  The benefit of having dedicated spaces in which to conduct classes is obvious, but they also offer studio time for customers without a workshop at home to work on their art in a properly set-up space.

BeadFX is hosting a Book Party for Contemporary Geometric Beadwork on Saturday April 6th from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 PM.  For those seed beaders out there, I will be teaching a workshop from 2:00 PM until 5:00 PM.  I know a lot of people living in Toronto don't have cars to be out and about everywhere, but public transportation isn't difficult; I think you'd call this location NE Central.

I hope you'll come out; I'd love to meet you.  Remember, you can check my calendar at the bottom of my page for workshops at BeadFX and That Bead Lady.  I'll be posting more as dates are confirmed.

Happy Beadsday!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Surprises, as promised!

I did promise some happy news yesterday, didn't I?  Well, I do work hard to keep my promises!  I am thrilled beyond words to let you know I have booked four new workshops and a Toronto-area book launch!  I've had the opportunity to introduce you to That Bead Lady - the fabulous beady haven in Newmarket that I love so well - and will be teaching three workshops in the coming weeks:

Bellybands, Wings and Horns (April 28, 2013; 12:30 PM-3:30 PM)
The Rainbow Helix Bangle (June 1, 2013; 9:00 AM-4:00 PM)
Double ConeFlower Ring (June 16, 2013; 12:30 AM-3:30 PM)

The shop is a bright and beautiful place to bead, so visit That Bead Lady and sign up for your chance to play with us!

I'll post tomorrow to introduce you to the shop itself (at least as I see it), but I'm far too excited to keep the news a secret another minute!

I am happy and honoured and pleased as punch to announce that we have booked a Book Launch Party and related workshop for the Toronto-area crowd at BeadFX on April 6th!

Join us at BeadFX on April 6th from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 PM for the book launch - lots of lovely books, beads, beady people and creative conversation!  From 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM I'll be teaching Bellybands, Wings and Horns - a workshop specifically created to introduce the essential building basics from Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.

Isn't life a wonderful, beady place to share?

Happy Beadsday!

Monday, March 18, 2013


I think I've been grinning at least this large since first arriving at That Bead Lady yesterday morning to launch Contemporary Geometric Beadwork!  And it was noted by many today that I haven't STOPPED grinning yet!

Great kindness, great conversation, great fun and great passion have this all-too-clear effect on me.

To spend a day surrounded by beady beauty, with fellow beaders to talk with, and student beaders to share with....*sigh*.  Heavenly!  Quite simply heavenly!

Beads are such an elementary communication between people.  Before any written or etched symbols achieved common use, we communicated via our adornments; status, wealth, ownership, skill - all these important social and societal cues were shared without a word being uttered, simply by the aristocrat's rare gems or the slave's bolted collar.  From involuntary shackles to joyously donned betrothal bands, humankind has found myriad ways to adorn our persons to convey information.  Even without a common language, the earliest nomadic populations could identify the leaders of any community they came across by their additional ornamentation.

Living in a place and time where languages are increasingly common and points of reference easily shared, beading has achieved the timelessness of true art.  It has returned to its roots in conveying information from heart straight to heart, without any known language being involved, simply by being.  The opportunity to share the skills and insights I've come to love is a rare and delicious gift and I cannot think of any way I would rather spend a day, than in teaching and sharing this wonderful world I love so well.

I've already listed additional workshops with That Bead Lady, so please check my calendar.  I have more lovely surprises coming soon, so I hope you'll visit me again.  If you have a beady story to share feel free to email me; remember, TO PLAY IS HUMAN, TO BEAD DIVINE!

Happy Beadsday!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

That Bead Lady Book Launch Party

 What a day!  What a wonderful, fabulous, fun and exciting day!  "Contemporary Geometric Beadwork" is a hit!

I arrived at That Bead Lady to find Cathy Lampole and her manager, Allison, had set up coffee and beverages, and surprised me with a cake!  Flowers on a display table, books and samples and cards galore - what a great welcome!  People were excited going through the book and it was wonderful signing their copies to them, knowing that they'd be exploring the ideas and trying their own in short order!

My workshop was full and I was astonished and delighted to find beady buddies had found the class listing online and signed up, coming from around Southern Ontario to join the class on this most special, wonderful day.

I am so blessed.  So many delightful people willing to share their love of beads and beading, explore techniques they've never attempted,  and encourage each other to build and grow in their skills... today was truly eye-opening for me.  My heart and soul have taken wing and I am flying.  Thank you all.

Happy Beadsday!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Party Party Party!

Are you ready for your visit to That Bead Lady tomorrow?  Cathy Lampole decided to open EARLY at 11:00 AM so we'll have more time to chat about Contemporary Geometric Beadwork and all things beady both before and after the workshop (12:30-3:30PM).  Staff will be on hand to help you with your bead choices and selections all day long, from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

It is an unfailing source of amazed and amused delight when I reflect on the fact that it was fully 40 years ago that I first began to work with beads.  Roughly shaped, opaque seed beads were sold in glass test tubes with cork stoppers and were very hard to find.  Monofilament fishing line (in the days before legislation-mandated UV breakdown) was the fibre of choice.  Having no other resources, I looked at pictures of what I wanted to make and came up with what I now know is a cross-needle Right Angle Weave variation.

Who knew that the nerdly, quiet, fearful child would find in those most basic materials the stuff of which dreams are made?

I look forward to meeting you and hearing how you first made the acquaintance of bead art in your own life.

Happy Beadsday!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Party Time!

Please consider this my personal invitation to you to visit That Bead Lady on Sunday March 17.  Cathy Lampole and her staff are almost as excited as I am that the book is finally out and are throwing a party to celebrate!  I'm teaching a workshop from 12:30 - 3:30 and will be on hand all day to sign books and answer questions.  Bring in your book for signing, or purchase one on Sunday.

You'll enjoy owning a copy of Contemporary Geometric Beadwork and  this lovely store will see you well-stocked-up to try all the new techniques from the book.  Come join the fun!

Happy Beadsday!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring is springing....

... and beads beg for beading!  Baby Bette just had a romp on my bead tray and drifted off to sleep in a piece currently under construction....isn't life FABULOUS?

Add to that - MY BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED!!!!  Everything will be mailed out this week and I cannot WAIT to hear what people think about it!!!!!  This book really is unique and different and a new way of enticing beaders to stretch their personal envelopes and add to their toolbox of techniques.  Have you ordered yours yet?

Lots more to come!

Happy Beadsday!