Bead & Button Show- Milwaukee

The Bead & Button Show starts today ! We’ve been busy the past few days travelling and setting up and the day has come. All the preparations and hard work will finally pay off !

Doors open at 4pm today and the will be on until sunday evening. We’ve already seen our friends Wyatt White and Fernando Dasilva from Beadalon.  Leslie Rogalski, who is demoing in our booth pop by yesterday as we were setting up. The excitement is high and you can feel the energy. Just some small setting up to do today and the show begins !

Our drive through Chicago

The new Dazzle-it Aluminum wire , silk thread and hemp !!So beautiful

The new Metal Complex blanks , stamp kits and stamping tools ! I will be demoing these products throughout the show

Apoxie Sculpt and Crystal Key Inspired by Tiffany

Keys are very popular right now in jewelery and mixed media.  I am certain the “key to my heart” symbolism is not lost on those of us who are sentimental or who just love old things.

My husband clipped this newspaper ad for me.    Knowing me well, he knew I would rather make such a key rather than buy one at the store.  I have dozens of vintage keys already in my collection!

So I mixed up some black Black Apoxie Sculpt. Then I carefully covered one side of the key.

All had to do was embed Preciosa Pointed Back crystals ab(ca#36204) into the Apoxie.  I let this cure for 24 hours.

Now I have my own crystal key (at a fraction of the cost) to wear as a pendant!

Apoxie Sculpted Fruit Pendant

This new pendant is a salute to Carmen Miranda!

In order to create the fruit I used some molds and Apoxie Sculpt’s four colour tray.

I did some colour mixing too.  In order to have purple grapes I mixed some red and blue Apoxie.

I had a nice little pile of fruit and leaves on my table but something was missing.  I bet you see it too.  I needed a banana!

So back to the tray I went to use some of the yellow and green to make one more piece of fruit.  Apoxie clay air dries rock solid.  It is so easy to mix and then put into a mold.  I only remove the finished pieces after it has cured in 24 hours. This banana delayed my project by a day.

I did a little filing on my finished fruit pieces to smooth out any rough edges.  Then I selected this Metal Complex silver plated round pendant to work in.  I filled the pendant bezel with black Apoxie Sculpt.

The black apoxie made it easy for me to place all my fruit into and around the pendant.  Everything adhered beautifully but I did have a few open spaces.    A few years ago I bought a grab bag of jewelery pieces at John Bead.  I found quite a few of these crystal ear studs in the bag and these were perfect to add to the pendant.  All I did was push the earring posts right into the apoxie as well.

I was thrilled with the results!! This project was very easy and I can tell you this is the first time I have ever made molded fruit. It did need just one more thing though……..

One simple coat of JB Craft Acrylic Protective Finish gave me the shine I wanted.

I wonder if I could make a hat too…..

Apoxie Resin for Repair or Design Work

This new brooch was so easy to make that a few of you might start rummaging in your stash drawers before you finish reading this post.

Notice how even the edges are?

The brooch was made possible because of the magic of these two little balls of Apoxie Sculpt.  Apoxie Sculpt is a two part system.  When you knead these two “clay-like” products into one solid putty you get a special clay that air dries and then cures in 24 hours.

In my collection of broken jewelery parts I had this wire and crystal heart.  (You might not notice but the heart actually snapped at the bottom.)

I rolled out my Apoxie Sculpt on a non stick surface and embedded my heart into it.  Using a blade I cut away any of the Apoxie from the edges.

Then I happily embedded my Preciosa Pointed Back crystals ab(ca#36204). I did sand my edges a little.  After the brooch completely cures, you can easily add a bar pin to the back and now this sample is  ready to wear!

Apoxie Sculpt In A Mold

Yesterday’s blog post highlighted using Apoxie Sculpt as a surface to embed crystals into.

Today I’ll show you how easy it is to create unique molded embellishments with it.  For this sample I used the Black Apoxie Sculpt, White Apoxie Sculpt John Bead also has a Apoxie Clay kit with Black, Brown, Grey and White that is a nice starter kit and is great for this project as well. I also used a handmade silver plated Metal Complex pendant bezel (36x32x2) and Preciosa Pointed Back crystals ab(ca#36204).

Whenever I work with Apoxie Sculpt I have a little bit left over.

Since I don’t want to waste one bit of Apoxie Sculpt, I started to leave a mold out on my table.  I press any leftover Apoxie Sculpt in my mold and leave it to air dry and cure for 24 hours.  I knew I wanted a black and white flower theme for my new pendant and these molded ones turned out perfect!  I did do a little filing to take off any uneven edges.

For this sample I filled my bezel with the black Apoxie Sculpt.

Then I arranged and embedded my flowers.  At this point I decided to see what else I had in my stash which would complete the black and white theme.  I found three of these vintage enamel flowers and embedded them too.

My last step was to put a small ball of black Apoxie Sculpt in the enamel flowers so that I could also add three crystals.  Now that I have worked in black and white I am excited to try all the colours in the Apoxie Clay family!

Apoxie Clay and Metal Complex Bezels

This sparkly new bracelet is so easy to make that you will want to create more than one at a time!

Bezel ring blanks provide you with an endless opportunity to show off your favorite crystals.  This ring is my new favorite.

These projects were created with two new products at John Bead:  The Apoxie Sculpt Modeling Compound (available in many colours, I used Black Apoxie Clay ) and the new line of bezels called Metal Complex.  I chose the handmade oval antique brass ring for this first project.

The crystals I used were all Preciosa Pointed back Chatons and Cushion Back Chatons in various shapes. I used a Jet Navette 8×4 mm, a Pear shaped Black Diamond 8x4mm and a Crystal Chaton  .  I selected a group of my favorites and did a little sample design on my table.

The Apoxie Sculpt is a two part clay-like system.  You mix two equal amounts for two minutes until the final colour is uniform.  This “clay” now has a working time of 1-3 hours and then it air dries rock solid!

I filled the bezel ring with Apoxie Sculpt.  The left-over clay I set aside.  (I’ll show you tomorrow what I did with my leftovers.)

Then I carefully pressed all my crystals into the clay.  At this stage I added a few impressions to the clay by poking into it with a tooth pick.  All I had to do now was wait for the clay to cure for 24 hours.  Project complete!  The crystals are permanently affixed with very little work on my part.

Since I had everything out on my table I thought it would be fun to try a second bezel.

These handmade interchangeable silver plated bezels links are perfect for quick projects.  I played with these aquamarine navette crystals until my flower idea was in a design format I could reproduce in the clay.

This time I made up a small amount of the Apoxie Sculpt in Super White.  I embedded all the crystals per my design idea.  I left a few crystals hanging a bit over the edges.  I wanted the flowers to look like they were growing out of the bezel.

I could have allowed the white clay to be visible but I wanted to test another idea.  I had these tiny silver glass beads on my table and decided to see if they would adhere to the clay in the open spaces.

As you can see from the final picture the little glass beads filled in the whole background.  I also used Preciosa crystal chatons for the flower centre and on the edges.

Crystal flower jewelery in minutes!  I look forward to showing you more ideas for working with Apoxie Sculpt, Metal Complex Bezels and Preciosa crystals tomorrow.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Being that mother’s day is just around the corner. There’s still time to create something beautiful and personally made for your mom. SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, has come up with 3 fun designs featuring the new Designer Edition Hearts designed by Manish Arora. These designs are easy and fun. The step by step instructions make it great for any level of jewellery designer and of course, find everything you need to make these designs at John Bead or one of our recommended retail stores.

Mother’s Day – Vibrant Hearts Necklace

Click here for INSTRUCTIONS

Materials Used; (Make sure to Log into your account to see pricing)

Devoted 2 U Pendant Article  6261.  36mm

Miss U Heart Pendant Article 6262.  26mm

Truly in Love Heart Pendnat . Article 6264.  18mm

4mm Jumpring -Silver

6mm Jumpring – Silver

Lobster Clasp – Silver

1mm (18g) gauge Silver wire

Silver fine chain


Swinging Hearts – Earrings

Click here for INSTRUCTIONS

Materials Used; (Make sure to Log into your account to see pricing)

 Truly in Love Heart Pendant Article. 6264  -18mm

Ear wire – Silver

5mm Jumpring – Silver

1.2mm (16gauge) wire -Silver


For more Mother’s day SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS design ideas visit. Create-your-style

JohnBead designers also created some fun Mother’s day gift idea using the Designer Edition Hearts;

“Drops of Love” Necklace


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To customize add whatever color beads and small pendants your mother likes for her own “Drops of Love” necklace.


“Love Charms” Bracelet.


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Other Color Option ;   17mm Miss U Heart


Other Color Option;   14mm BeCharmed Briolette

Sterling Silver  BRACELET SNAKE CHAIN – 7.0″ w/LOBSTER CLASP – “Bead Your Own Bracelet”

Sterling Silver BEAD STOPPER – SLIDE ON 8mm – 2.8mm LARGE HOLE


Tierra Cast- LINK LOCK 25mm


The Miss U Heart is the Perfect Fancy Stone to fit into the “Bead Your Own Bracelet” style bracelets and necklaces as shown in the “Love Charms” bracelet. It’s similar to the Pandora style bracelets and is available in Sterling silver!

Miss U Heart – Article 6262

Happy Mother’s day to all you moms!

Seneca College Fashion Show

It’s always great to support local talent and designers. On Wednesday April 13th, a group of our staff were happy to attend this year’s annual Sececa College Fashion Show !

Seneca’s 2011 Redefining Design was held at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. The show featured 45 up and coming fashion design students. As well as a cocktail hour before, which gave viewers a chance to see the students garments outside the auditorium.

The other exhibits featured were from the Fashion Visual Merchandising Arts program. Where students showcased a variety of elaborate displays. It also featured makeup artistry of Cosmetic Techniques and Management students, creations by Floral Design students.

“Seneca students come from all over the world and I am pleased to see their diverse talents and inspiration showcased in the end of year show,” said Seneca College President David Agnew. “Redefining Design is a celebration of the success of our students and an opportunity for industry leaders and notable alumni to connect with these up-and-coming designers.”

Check out the images below for some of the latest fashion trends from Seneca’s students;

Donna, Denise, Laura, Rishma and Lilla


Opening design by Amy Liu, the pieces looked liked outer skeleton ribs and bodily organs wrapped like blood vessels. Blue, red, black and white were the featured colors.


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 Very unique, textures with dangling bubbles and exaggerated balloon shape skirts by Michelle Chen.

Silun Chens designs featured florescent lights immerging from all white garments in the darkened auditorium. Models wore black spotted tights that gave way for the contrasting garments.

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 Seneca winner was Katie Hodgson for her tubular knits, tight pleats and crafting her own Gaga-esque heel-less platforms.

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A group favourite. Textured tiny pleats reminiscent of a tree trunk and tubular knits attached to create this dynamic 3D design.  

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Alexandria Layton used lots of fur and feathers in her collection, something that’s been popular this seasons. She created some beautiful wearable looks with a backwoods, igloo feel.

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Neckline full of gems and sparkle. This Indian inspired collection was full of glitz with crystal embellishments.

More jewels and glamorous layered dresses by Mary Mariades.



Second place winner from the Floral design program. I love how she used metallic lilac aluminum wire for her assemblyand pops of crystal.

International Days at Seneca

Another beautiful design by Seneca Floral design student by Shannin Morgan. 

International Days at Seneca

Displays by the Fashion Merchandising students. Big and Colourful !

International Days at Seneca

Saw lots of use of cut out paper shapes creating flowers , butterflies and birds.


International Days at Seneca


Rishma’s having fun too !

Special thank you to Martha Mintsopoulos for coordinating tickets for John Bead staff.