Beer & Beadz – October 2017

October’s Beer & Beadz was hosted by Kirsten at her Ladner home studio.  The turnout was once again good and the appy’s plentiful.

There was no theme this time instead Kirsten asked people who attended the recent Ablaze event at the Terminal City Co-op, to bring their purchased and created beads with them for Show & Tell.

Kirsten also did a Show & Tell on her “recycled beads”.  These are beads made from wine bottles and other used beverage bottles.  Al demonstrated how he cuts the bottles to make usable sizes for lampworking and Kirsten demonstrated making a bead.  While we’re not sure of the COE, these beads will be annealed the same as 104 for now.

It was also an opportunity for members to pick up Bling postcards to handout for the upcoming event.  They look great!  Thanks Susan O. for your time and efforts creating these cards and the other advertising media for this event.

As always, we had a bead exchange.

Because we have our Bling event in November, we will not be having a Beer & Beadz.  Our next B & B will be our annual Christmas party hosted by Kerry Caron.


Beer & Beadz – September 2017

This months Beer & Beadz was hosted by Trudy.  The theme was Fall and we were challenged to bring our beads that were inspired by the season. It was great to see some members that haven’t been out to a get together in awhile.

Melanie Rowe did a demo on making leaves.  She showed us her technique for creating twisties which she made in the fall colours and used to accent her leaves.

There was a great discussion on what wire to use when creating things like leaves off mandrel.  We talked about using copper wire and how hard it was to clean and then about steel wire.  I personally have used nickle silver wire and found it worked well and seems to harden a bit in the kiln.  I will be trying stainless steel wire my next time making headpins or leaves.

Trudy also demo’d.  She demonstrated how she makes her cabachons.  She makes a gather on the end of a glass rod and decorates it or blends it with another colour.  She shapes the gather a bit to give it the rough shape of her intended pendant then mashes it.  She removes it from the rod and cleans up the end of the cabachon and pops it into a fiber blanket.  This rough cabachon with go into the kiln and be heated to it’s melting point where the glass with melt and reshape itself to a flat back and domed surface.

Debbie (me) did a quick demo of a encased bead in order to test the new -006 clear Alexx has been talking about.  While this new clear is still marked as -006, it is clearer and scums less.  I have to try it yet on my home torch as I tend to work hotter and see if I get the same results.  I picked up my batch from Joanne at Andrighetti Glass if you want some.

Dinner was burgers on the grill and dessert was cake .. and we had lots of it.  It was Barb’s birthday so people brought a cake for her including Barb herself.

Beer & Beadz – August 2017

August’s Beer & Beadz was hosted by Leslie at her Squamish home studio.  It was a gorgeous day for a drive and this event was well attended.

The main focus of this event was bead photography.  Leslie discussed photographing beads and explained her setup and how and why it works.  She demonstrated this and discussed some of the finer points of taking a good picture for submissions to magazines such as the Flow’s Women in Glass.  She offered to take photos of a few beads brought by attendees.

Leslie is hoping to be taking photo commissions by the end of 2017.  Details about this will be released by her at a later date.

The event was completed with a bead exchange and a tool & glass sale


Beer & Beadz – July 2017

July’s B&B was hosted by Joanne and Dave Carter in their beautiful backyard. The attendance was good once again even though the weather looked a bit threatening.

This event was a potluck social with many bringing their spouses. While there were no demos, there was lots of bead chatter and oggling of all the beautiful pink beads that were brought for the bead exchange.

It was a real treat to see Joanne’s newly renovated studio.   How about that flamingo pink door!!

Lasagna was the main course with several salads and oodles of baked goods and fresh fruit for desert.

The bead exchange was the largest I’ve seen yet.  So many shades of pink!  While some were left in their baggies you can see a bit of the fabulous pinks the participants used.

See you at the next Beer & Beadz!

Beer & Beadz – June 2017

June’s B&B was another great get together with Tamara, Lynne & Paul hosting.  The weather was warm so the event was in their fabulous back yard.  Lot’s of yummy snacks were brought to share and pizza was ordered.
Tamara demonstrated her “paisley” beads which are created using a curved mandrel and her handmade latticino cane.
Aside from the demo, Lynne & Tamara were ready and willing to pass on their great wealth of knowledge on glass related topics.  One in particular was torch cleaning.  I wish I hadn’t missed this event.  I’d love to know if there is more to it than I’ve been doing.
There were lots of discussions about oxycons, troubleshooting, fixing, where to buy new ones.  It sounds like everyone is waiting to see if Susan new oxycon arrives ontime and is good.
Attendees were treated to Tamara’s glass stash where they spent several dollars reducing her glass horde.  Once again .. missed it! argg!
Fabulous beads for the bead exchange

Beer & Beadz – April 2017

April’s Beer & Beadz was hosted by Susan Otto-Bain.

The theme – Your Favourite Things!  Members were asked to bring a tool, reference book or website, nifty diddies, findings, a bead or a rod of their favourite go to glass – something that they just couldn’t live without or part with for a show and tell.

They went around the group and each person showed their “favourite thing” they brought and talked about it.  Some were tools, bead rollers, or favourite beads.  At least 3 members felt their tungsten tweezers were their “must have” tool.

The menu was beef tacos and other goodies attendees brought to share.

The demo was Dichro Dots.  These have become a popular thing these days and Susan demo’d how they are used.  Between Susan and Melanie G everyone got a piece of dichro to take home and try.

The night ended with our traditional bead swap.

Beer & Beadz – February 2017

This month’s Beer & Beads was hosted by Susan Otto-Bain at her little oasis known as the Tikki Hut.  It was another great turnout and we ate pulled pork sliders, a variety of salads and to finish off … chocolate, raspberries and cookies!  Thanks to everyone for your yummy offerings.

The theme was “Twisties”.  Basically we were to bring a bead or beads to show and tell our work with twisties.  Most members brought a piece of the twistie used to make their bead.  After show and tell Susan did a demo on how to make a twistie.

Susan also demonstrated how she engraves dichroic glass.  Ever wonder how she gets all those intricate patterns into her dichroic glass? well now we know.  I was surprised how much of it is free hand work.  She uses a small inexpensive battery operated engraving tool she told us is sold at Lee Valley. Working on the dichroic side of the glass she engraves shapes, lines and other art work on the piece.

The night ended with our bead exchange and this time a twistie exchange as well.

Beer & Beadz – January 2017

January’s Beer & Beadz was hosted by Alexx Cheng in Thailand.

The group travelled to Thailand where they met up with Alexx and began a week long tour of the sites, sounds and culture of various parts of Thailand. Below is just a few of the pictures I was able to pull off the web.  Most of the travelers will have posted to their various Facebook pages and websites.

This is the highlights of the itinery I received from Alexx.

1. One night stay at Chantaburi province and Priew waterfall.

2. Two nights at Koh Kood island staying at A-Na-Lay resort.

3. Visit Hell Fire glass bead production plant in Chiangmai.

4. Visit local school with goodies for Thailand’s National Children’s day.

5. Massages, food, shopping.

6. Visit Sri Lana national park staying on floating lake house for one night.

More fun photos …


Bling 2016

BLING was a wonderful success.  All of the Pyros that participated had a wonderful time – Debbie Armstrong, Stephanie Dieleman, Tammy Mercier, Kerri Fuhr, Trudy Nichol, Ikuyo Yamanaka, Kirsten Rankel, Melanie Graham, Wendy Maurer, Cathy Beaumont, Melanie Rowe, Barb Fukusaka, Ken & Silvia McIntosh, Janice Blair, Maria Keating, Julie Coster, Elisabeth Owre and Heather Konschuh.
This year our BLING event was held at the Heritage Hall in Vancouver.  The venue is well known for hosting weddings and craft fairs throughout the year.  The area is busy with boutiques and bistros which allows for alot of walk by traffic.

Because of the success of this event we decided to rebook the hall for 2017 and so …


Beer & Beadz – December 2016

Each year Kerry hosts the annual Christmas party and B&B.  Everyone brings an appetizer to share, a beverage to drink, and a gift to exchange.  The gift exchange is a pick & steal style where a person picks a gift and either opens it or uses it to steal someone else’s gift.  The only rule is that a gift can only be stolen 3 times so there is a strategy to this game.

In keeping with our Beer & Beadz tradition there was also a theme for this event.  Kerry challenged us to show the progression of our beads.  Bring or show one of our “firsts” as well as one of our “current” to show the progression from the original bead to where we are now.  The results were impressive.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!