Friday, April 17, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Yarn Review and Bead Crochet
This video craft podcast is full of knitting, crochet, and beading! Take out your current craft project, and craft-along with the Crafty Princess.

Blue Glass Solar Lights
Cherie's playing with blue glass again! She's made some solar lights for the garden.

Butterfly Spring Card Design
“Hello.” Here’s a bright cheery butterfly spring card with die cut embellishments to brighten someone’s day.

Fish Extenders and Finished Bags
Finally finished the Fish Extender Bags! I also show some of the gift ideas I have come up with.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Stop by and check out the fun projects that the participants of the Frenzied Motion Challenge made!

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Book review: Advanced Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop

By Karen Karon 
Interweave/F+W; $26.99

It's hard to believe that it was three years ago that Karen Karon's first book on chain maille jewelry was published by Interweave (my review at the link).  It is by far my favorite book on the subject. And now, chain maille enthusiasts, take heart!  At long last, Karen's sequel, Advanced Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop, is available!

One of the most important things for me when I'm learning a new skill or trying to improve one is that the instructional source I use is well-organized.  Just like the first book, Advanced Chain Maille is amazing in how thoughtfully it is laid out.  There is a quick review of tools, materials, and techniques in the beginning, including chain maille math.  Then Karon moves right into fabulous new weaves, each more complicated than those in the first book, and progressing in difficulty throughout each section so that you can stack your skills as you move along.

The new weaves are divided into 4 chapters: Persian weaves (7), Elf weaves (3), Hybrid weaves (4), and Scale maille weaves (2).  The Scale maille techniques and projects are completely new to me, and I've included one of Karen's pieces above.  If you'd like to read a bit more about it, Karen has an article on Jewelry Making Daily.

Each chapter culminates in a couple of projects, plus tips for moving beyond what has been included.  There is a final chapter which covers attachments, terminations, and finishing touches, all designed to make your pieces as professional as possible.  There are also charts and resource lists, the charts covering aspect ratios and conversions from imperial to metric measures.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Seed bead components

It's so much fun to master a little piece of beadwork, and then be able to use it over and over for different purposes in your designs.  I gathered up a bunch of easy little multi-use seed bead components that I've taught here over the years, all in one place so you can find the one you want easily!

Square stitch bail for a donut

RAW bezel and bail

Two-drop peyote stitch beaded beads

Peyote stitch beaded beads

An interesting spiral

Beaded flowers

Beaded cabochon pendants

Spiral square stitch


Floral chain

Bezel for a lampwork bead

Copyright 2015 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Video Needle Review
Learn the pros and cons of the Knit Picks Interchangeable Nickel Plated Needle Set.

Dazzle-It Rings: Great Beginner’s Bead Weaving Projects
If you'd like to try bead weaving, here's a great way to learn. Look at the ring Eileen made in her first attempt.

Connie Gee's Designs
Prims are all the rage these days and Connie is fascinated with them. She's added a new free pattern that is inspired by all the primitive designers she admires. It will have you "crowing" in anticipation of a quick finish.

Art Bead Scene
5 Free Art Bead Jewelry Project that were featured in the 2015 Bead Cruise Program.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Winter is coming... actually, it's spring, but the new season of Game of Thrones starts soon. See what Andrew created for a jewelry challenge that pays homage to the books and television series.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Business tips from the blogosphere - Spring 2015

Pantone's color report for Autumn 2015 (yes, yes, I know it's early, but some people like to plan ahead!)

Freelance writers who want to earn more

How to apply the "power of 100" to your blog

How to get top bloggers to share your content

The family-run jewelry business

5 Things retailers should know about Google +

Jewelry industry events calendar

Reasons your business should have a blog

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Monday, April 06, 2015

Bead embroidery pendant with a multi-ribbon background

I am still inspired by the beautiful springtime colors of the ribbons that I received from Offray Ribbons, which included wild berry, violet, and a textured gold ribbon.  For this project, I wanted to use some polymer clay cabochons that I made quite a while ago, featuring the very same colors!

Materials & Tools

Arabesque wire edged ribbon, Wild Berry, 1 1/2 inch wide
Arabesque wire edged ribbon, Violet, 5/8 inch wide
Galena wire edged ribbon, Gold, 1 1/2 inch wide
Foundation fabric (non-woven fabric like ultra suede)
Focal cabochons of your choice
Double stick tape or glue
Size 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads
Pearls, 6 - 8 mm
Beading thread (I used black Nymo O)

Silk pins
Beading needles

1. Play with your ribbons on a background of foundation fabric until you like the arrangment.  Use silk pins or double stick tape to hold down the ends for the next few steps.

2. Choose the placement for your focal pieces and adhere them lightly with a drop of glue or double stick tape.

3. Using peyote stitch, create a bezel for your focals.  I back stitched a row of beads around the focals with size 11/0 seed beads, added two or three rows of peyote stitch with the same size 11/0s, and finished with a row of size 15/0 seed beads to cinch the bezel in at the top.

4. Add some accent pearls and stitch another row of back stitch around each shape.

5. I didn't have a stencil or form that was exactly the right size for my pendant, so I printed out a pattern of nested concentric ovals, and cut them out one at a time until I reached the size I thought looked best.

6. Pin the paper pattern down and cut out your pendant.

7. Using the pendant itself as a pattern, cut a piece of backing foundation fabric to match.

8. Stick them together with double stick tape or a few drops of glue, and stitch around the outside with size 11/0 seed beads in edging brick stitch (see note below).

9. Add some size 15/0 seed beads to each edging bead using stack stitch.

10. Add a square stitch bail to the back of your pendant, and slide it onto a chain or cord with a clasp.

If you are a bead embroidery beginner, step-by-step instructions for the stitches used in putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, and stack stitch can be found in the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.

Copyright 2015 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Friday, April 03, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Win a Free Knitting Book!
Show off your finished crafting objects and get a chance to win a copy of a new knitting book coming out this month!

Thumbprint Bunny Tea Towel
Kids can help make these thumbprint bunny tea towels. They make charming housewarming gifts and fun keepsakes for grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Beaded Crosses
Cherie makes crosses with beads and baubles. Her latest crafty obsession!

Sweet Harmony Cross Stitch Pattern
Connie has added another free pattern that is suitable for cross stitch on Aida, linen, stitching over one, or even needlepoint.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Check out what the Inspired by Reading Book Club members made for their March selection, "Home" by Toni Morrison!

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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