Monday, September 22, 2014

Milk chocolate cuff bracelet??

Remember my Bittersweet Wrap-sody cuff that I shared a few weeks ago?  Couldn't stop at just one...
This new cuff, Bliss, is featured in my new e-book chapter, Textured Surfaces, which is chapter three of Bored By Back Stitch.

In fact, I was walking through the grocery store, minding my own business, when this purple bag of milk chocolate came hopping right into my cart.  Seriously.  I'm a dark chocolate girl, so I bought the bag just for...well, the BAG!  (Don't worry, milk chocolate fans.  I made cookies from the bag's contents.)

The center-piece is a bezeled oval bead, surrounded by one row of bead embroidered Russian spiral, a ladder of size 8/0 seed beads, a couple layers of soutache braid, and some short stacks of size 11/0s and 15/0s.

Around the center-piece, and tucked underneath it, are a few soutache elements that I stitched in hand and then tacked down.

The cuff was finished in my usual manner, stitching it to a backing fabric with a metal cuff inside to provide support.

Now, go eat chocolate!

Copyright 2014 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, September 19, 2014

Textured Surfaces...a new chapter for Bored By Back Stitch!

Bored By Back Stitch now has a third, and final, chapter!  Introducing Textured Surfaces!

First we turned the most popular bead weaving stitches into bead embroidered motifs and explored ways to combine those stitches into more complex designs, so now it seems only logical to turn our attention to other ways to add texture to our beaded wearables and non-wearables, to add some new stitches to the repertoire, and to try out four new bracelet projects too!

Because of the textural complexity of the beaded stitches, it often seems sensible to leave larger areas of the foundation unbeaded than is the case with purely back stitched designs.  Therefore, we're going to want to make sure the foundation surface is interesting to look at as well!  I want to introduce you to four materials that are beautiful and interesting to look at on their own, and that play very well with beads, as we shall see: shibori pleated silk ribbon, metal mesh ribbon, soutache braid, and chocolate bags.  Chocolate...?  Say what?  Oh yeah, just wait!  If you've never worked with these materials before, here is the guide to get you started.

There are step-by-step instructions for the new stitches and the projects, but you'll need to refer to the very basic Stitch Reference I included in Chapter One (page 97) for the rest.  Besides the Stitch Reference, you may also need to download the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story if you haven't already done so, which shows you how to do basic bead embroidery stitches, add the backing fabric, and finish the edges of your pieces.

So let's get started!  When have you ever before had such a good excuse to eat more chocolate?

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Yay for Carol!

Carol, who writes Beads and Birds blog, is the winner of these terrific buttons!  Congratulations Carol :-)

Business and jewelry making advice from around the blogosphere

Jewelry business tips:
The secret to my amazing jewelry photos by Shirin

How to reshare old content without annoying your followers by Adrienne Erin

Opportunity for resin jewelry makers by Carmi Cimicata

Calls for entries from Stampington

Fire Mountain Gems contests : Swarovski and Metal deadlines coming up soon

Saul Bell design award

Jewelry making tutorials:
Inside loop earwires and Heart earwires by Rena Klingenberg

How to pour resin into an open space by Carmi Cimicata (three parts)

Gilded geode necklace by Lindsey

How to make jewelry look vintage by Stacie

How to bead a circle by Robin Atkins

Twisted herringbone ropes by Jennifer VanBenschoten

Golden leather leaves earrings by Sonya Nimri

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Herringbone fern leaves

Awhile ago (quite awhile ago now!), I asked for your input on a project I was considering, consisting of the pleated shibori silk ribbon flowers shown above and which fabric to choose for the background.  Well, I chose the brighter fabric, even though it was a busier print, because I couldn't get past how the marbling pattern picked up touches of the orange flowers.

Anyway, my next dilemma came when I was trying to figure out what sort of leaves to make for my fantasy orange calendula flowers.  Their leaves are actually more spiky than they are ferny, but hey...they're my flowers, right?

I found these brilliant little fern shapes in Melissa Grakowsky's book I Can Herringbone (my review is at the link).  With several color modifications, I think they're going to work out really well.  Time to finally start tackling putting this piece together!

Copyright 2014 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, September 12, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Blue Glass Sculpture
Cherie makes a blue glass sculpture for her home.

Snap out of it Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the wonderful new book by Jamie Cloud Eaken, Bead Play with Fringe, Techniques, design, and projects.

Is There a Clay Recipe Suitable for an Essential Oil Diffuser Pendant?
A reader was looking for a clay recipe to make essential oil diffusers. Read Eileen's answer.

Ornament Prototype
Crafty Princess is planning ahead for the holidays with this super simple sewn felted ornament project.

Resin Crafts Blog
Halloween and resin go hand in hand if you shop in dollar stores!

Carmi's Art/Life World
The summer project of creating a dozen crazy cuffs is right on track. Number eleven is elephant themed.

A Bead A Day
Did someone say Sparkle? Lisa's come up with a new mantra: sparkle, sparkle, sparkle! Join her as she obsesses over shamballa beads.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Giveaway: an overflowing handful of buttons!

Do you remember the soft wrapped cuff bracelet I made last month from the buttons I received from The Bead and Button Company, UK? Well, they were very generous, much more generous than I will be capable of benefiting from all by myself!

I have some more ideas for using some of the buttons, including more embroidery projects and maybe some wrap bracelets, but I thought it would be really great to be able to share the wealth with someone else, so....


Would you like to win these pretty painted lightweight wooden buttons? Here's what you need to do...please read this carefully. Leave me a comment here telling me what projects you would do with the buttons and include your email address. If I don't see your email address, I won't be able to contact you. No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person. You are welcome to spell it out if you'd prefer, for example, cyndi at mazeltovjewelry dot com. If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice! Deadline: Sept 17, 2014  

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Monday, September 08, 2014

Leftover bead earrings

Here's a little project that used up some leftovers from quite a few previous projects!  In fact, the materials come from 4 different suppliers!

Materials & Tools
Round leverback ear wires (Fire Mountain Gems)
Twisted round jump rings (Fire Mountain Gems)
Czech glass beads (The Best Beads)
Head pins (Rings & Things)
Lightweight chain (Michaels)
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters

1. Cut two lengths of chain, each approximately 3 inches.

2. Attach the beads to the chain by creating wrapped loops with the head pins.  Attach leaves with large jump rings, and add a few decorative jump rings to the last link of the chain.

3. The small loop on the bottom of the leverback ear wire opens, so you won't have to add any more jump rings to the top.

4. Make the second earring to match (or contrast if you prefer!) with the first.

Copyright 2014 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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