Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Back from Beadland

I had a wonderful adventure today. I visited 4 bead stores and met a bunch of other folks like me who love beads! Not finding some supplies that I needed in London, I headed out on the road in my '94 Jetta to Paris and Brantford.

Paris: 4 Sirius Beaders

What a lovely little store. Full of light and rows and rows of little baggies of beads filling the walls and counters. It was extremely well organized  - all the work of Marion, who showed me what was where. I found almost everything I needed (mostly delicas), and then some. No tear drop pearls or 3mm cubes. Back through a kitchen, into a cozy dining room, a group of women were learning the square stitch and working on a pattern. Talk of beads followed, of course, and I wanted to stay and join them.

Brantford: Alexandra's Beads

Here, I was greeted by the owner, Alexandra. She has a surprising large shop, everything is clean and very, very stylish. I particularly enjoyed her selection of semi-precious stones, even though they were not on my list! She only had a few 3mm cubes, but I found something that would work, as well as a bead reamer. Alas, no luck on the pearls, but she offered to try to find some for me. I mentioned my trip to Grenada and we had an interesting chat about making beeds from palm tree seeds and other natural sources. We exchanged cards and she'll let me know if she can find the pearls that I'm looking for.

Brantford: Designing Sisters

Here, I was greeted by the store's dog. I didn't catch his name, but he was a cutie - a wonderful mix of collie and husky with ice blue eyes. Making and selling beads was the topic of conversation as I wandered around. After the beauty of the last two stores, this one seemed a little chaotic. However, they had a wide, interesting selection. I ended up buying another colour of 3mm cubes that I liked better than I had bought at the previous store. I found some great rhinestone sliders and rondelles that I will use with the pearls, if I ever get them! There was a tempting clearance section and a huge bin of mixed beads that you could paw through (pun intended) and buy by the bag.

Brantford: Flim Flam Craft Supplies

The clerk at Designing Sisters suggested this place, just on the off-chance that they had any pearls. As expected, they had arts and craft supplies with a pretty decent selection of beads, tools and supplies, for the size of the place.

What is it with Brantford? They have 3 decent beading stores only minutes apart. It's not fair. London, however, gained a little of my respect with my last stop.

London: Edwards Glass

I was in the area and remembered that an employee at Michael's had mentioned this place. Well known for their stained glass classes and supplies, they have also been stocking beads and beading supplies for about 6 months now and also offer jewelry making classes. Their selection is small, but the quality is definitely there. I bought some big (huge!) eye beading needles. Once I get back from Grenada, I'll get on their email list and find out more about new stock and sales offers.

What a wonderful day. Tomorrow will have to be a little quieter, but I'm happy because I now have everything that I need to take with me on my "little" holiday. Beads. Ahhhh...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Two New Things for Me!

I made these two for myself, but will definitely be making more. The first is an eyeglass holder and can be converted into an ID card holder. I will need this to hold my sunglasses while I'm in Grenada! The second is a peyote cuff with the closure toggle done in peyote too. It's a simple design, but that's what I seem to go for. I was going to embellish the sides, but decided not to.

Photos by Christina. Click on image to enlarge.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Russian Sand Bracelet

I had a fairly stress-free holiday for the first time in years. Last year, I was still doing Christmas cards in February. This year, I even found time to bead!

I bought a kit from You've Got to be Beading to learn the russian spiral stitch. The instructions were not very helpful. I had found some intructions elsewhere in the meantime and ended up using those. I emailed them to complain and they were very apologetic and accomodating. They sent me more detailed instructions and added a free bracelet pattern. I really liked how they were open to my feedback. You don't get that very often these days.

Anyway, the kit was called Pearl Sands and in my hands, after several attempts, it became Russian Sand. I want to make another one, but with a magnetic clasp. You wouldn't believe how strong these little magnets are.

 Happy New Year to all.