Tuesday, June 16, 2009



Today is Toonie Tuesday in my iCraft.ca shop!!

I've listed 9 lampwork focal beads, each at $2.00, buy one, buy them all!!

I don't discount my lampwork beads any other time of the year, so stock up today!

Sale is only for Tuesday, June 16....once they're gone, they're gone at this price!

Have fun!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Metal Monday

Metal, whether precious or base, can be cold-worked, forged, cast, welded...so many techniques!

Here are a few pieces I've selected for this week's "Metal Monday"...metalsmiths rejoice!

By crowsnestmountain, these beautiful "Spring Stacked Rings"...

By Jewelry Without Borders, this fabulous Lapis Cabochon Pendant...

By CanadianRockies, these stunning turquoise hand-forged earrings...

These are all truly one of a kind, handmade pieces. Be sure to browse their shops and pick up a special gift for yourself or someone you care about!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Featured Friday Artisan...Beau Monde

Today I am featuring a wonderful jewellery artisan....Beau Monde of Toronto, Ontario.

Her iCraft.ca shop is full of fabulous pieces of handmade jewellery, and I'll show you some, but to see them all you must visit her shop.

Beau Monde's jewellery pieces are created with unusual findings, vintage beads, vintage redux, precious metals, gemstones and Swarovski crystals.

She creates jewellery that is elegant, yet funky, colourful and vibrant with a sense of fun and whimsy.

How about this "Uptown Hippie" necklace?

Or what about these pretty "Lilia" earrings?

Here's what one customer says about Beau Monde:

"Gorgeous earrings, so beautiful!! Excellent quality items, very well created and great customer service from this seller!! "

Browse around her shop...feast your eyes on the fabulous jewellery, and if something strikes your fancy I'm positive you would be happy with your purchase!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bootcampers Specials on IndieSmiles

iCraft.ca, the Canadian-based on-line venue for beautiful handmade items by Indie Artisans has teamed up with IndieSmiles, another on-line group of Indie shops, to cross-promote each other.

iCraft.ca has been running a Seller’s Bootcamp, a great 28-day program to help sellers learn more about promoting their crafts in an on-line world. As one of the vendors participating in Bootcamp I can tell you that it’s been a very valuable experience for me and I’ve learned so much!!

IndieSmiles has offered to let those of us participating in Bootcamp list in the IndieSmiles Coupon Directory. Each iCraft.ca shop is listed, and has outlined their special offer on IndieSmiles. Read the directions and check out all the shops for special offers, beautiful products, and great deals!!

I am offering 20% off all finished jewellery purchases, refunded by Paypal. Use the coupon code "SMILES20%" in your instructions to seller at the time of purchase. Here's the link to my shop:

Brilliant Beads: Artisan Jewellery by Gillian Soskin

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Seedbead Tutorial - Spiral Weave Rope Chain

This beautiful pattern can be used in short pieces with larger beads in between (see my Aqua Lampwork bracelet in previous post), or in greater lengths for an entire bracelet or necklace (see my Bronzite Pendant necklace in previous post). It’s very versatile, and once you get the basic pattern mastered you can experiment with different sizes of seedbeads within the pattern to give it a different look.

You will need:

Beading Thread – Nymo or Fireline will work well

Thin Beading Needle

11/0 seedbeads – in 2 colours, I’ll refer to them as “A” and “B”

1. Cut a 4 foot length of beading thread and thread needle.

2. Tie a stopper bead (any 6mm or larger bead will do) about 8” from the end of the thread. Tie it so you can get the stopper bead off at the end of the project…you will be weaving the 8” of thread back through your rope chain after the clasp is added.

3. Decide which colour you want for the “core” of the spiral…you will use fewer of these beads. The other colour will be for the outside of the spiral. I will refer to them as:

“A” = core colour beads

“B” = outside colour beads

4. String 4 A and 3 B beads onto needle. Slide them down to lie next to the stopper bead.

5. Go back and pass needle through the 4 A beads. (I enlarged the picture to show detail).

6. Now string 1 A and 3 B beads. This pattern will repeat and form the spiral rope as we proceed.

7. Go back and pass needle through 3 of the previous 4 A beads from step #5, and the new A bead (for a total of 4 A beads...3 old, 1 new). Do not pass the needle through any of the B beads.

8. Continue in this pattern, adding 1 A and 3 B beads each stitch, then going through only the last four A beads in the core part of the rope chain each time. The B beads will spiral up in groups of three as the core of the chain is built.

9. Here is a close-up of the finished rope chain...

You can see the white "core" forms the backbone of the spiral, and the silver-lined aqua beads in groups of three wind around the core.

10. Continue in this pattern for the length desired, whether it's for a bracelet or necklace. I'll show you how to attach the clasp in the next posting.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Working with Seedbeads.... A Love Reborn

I've rediscovered my love of seedbeads. These tiny little marvels were my introduction to jewellery making when I was a mere 8 year old at summer camp, back in the 1960's when Flower Power ruled. We would make flower bracelets with thread and tie the bracelets on each other's wrists.

Over the years I've come back to seedbeads, first as an embelleshment for the bodice of my wedding gown, which I made with pewter grey satin, overlaid with organza on the bodice.

Then it was beadweaving in the Ukranian Mesh style...this necklace is still one of my favourites:

Lately I've been working with a spiral weave in the form of a rope, and I love the texture and flexibility of this technique.

Here's a necklace I just finished. The spiral weave forms the "chain" of the necklace and I used a bronze and ivory palette for it....tiny little 15/0 delicas and 10/0 metallic bronze seedbeads. The pendant is a bronzite rectangular cabochon set in a bronze-finished polymer clay frame, made by the very talented Nathalie Girard of Canadian Rockies Art.

I've also been combining my lampwork beads with seedbeads, as in this gorgeous aquamarine blue bracelet listed in my Ruby Lane shop.

Tomorrow I'll post a tutorial with instructions to make a spiral rope using the spiral weave pattern...it's so versatile.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

iCraft.ca ...Check it out!!

iCraft.ca - Only Handmade Art & Crafts

I've had a shop online, Brilliant Beads, at iCraft.ca for over one year now. It's a Canadian-operated site featuring only handmade products, from all over the world.

Recently I've been participating in "Bootcamp", a program organized by Christine, of PillowThrowDecor. Christine has been showing us how to cross-promote our products, and providing us with such valuable tools and new ways of marketing. It's been a very worthwhile endeavour!! Thanks Christine!

I love that I can offer my lampwork beads and finished jewellery pieces in Canadian dollars on iCraft.ca. It's great for my U.S. customers too, with the Canadian dollar valued at less than the U.S. greenback!

Please stop by for a visit...drop me an email if you would like something custom made.