Monday, July 24, 2017

A new bead stitch to try - flat chenille stitch

I like to spend at least some time in the summer learning something new.  I have not done flat chenille stitch before, although I have occasionally thought about it and have admired the cloth-like pattern it creates.

It turns out, it's not hard!  But it is tricky, and the tension is important.  Once you get started, there are four rows that you keep repeating.  If you have a problem with your tension, like I did here, you might want to think about planning on pulling out the first few rows when you're finished.  But honestly, I think in the next sample I make, now that I understand how the rows work and can feel the rhythm of the stitch, I don't think these slack areas will even happen.

You can find the instructions for flat chenille stitch in the August/September 2017 issue of Beadwork Magazine, in an article by Diana Balogh.  You can also find instructions for the stitch, but not Diana's project, online at Interweave.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Do you need pearls for your summer designs?

Cultured freshwater pearls

My favorites are the BIG ones, especially the ones that are irregular in shape and dyed.  The luster of a pearl, whether cultured or natural, just can't be beat!

affiliate link from Fire Mountain Gems

Monday, July 17, 2017

Crocheted bracelet for Summer 2017

If you have some beads left over from another project, like these wooden beads in fun Summer 2017 colors that I got from Fire Mountain Gems, here's a quick and fun project that you can do to get more mileage from your purchase!  You can see the first project, a long statement pendant necklace, that I did using these beads at the link.

Materials + Tools
6mm wood rounds - pink
8mm wood rounds - pink
8mm wood rounds - orange
3mm antique brass plate rounds
Crochet hook #4
C-Lon, orchid
Hypo-tube cement
Measuring tape

1. Leaving the C-Lon fiber on the spool, thread on your beads, starting and ending with the smaller ones.  I used the 3mm metal rounds to break up clusters of the larger beads.  To make a bracelet that would wrap three times around my wrist, I strung on about 17 inches of beads.

2. Start your bracelet with a 10 inch fiber tail and a couple of chain stitches.  Push one bead at a time from the string up towards your hook.  Do your next stitch on the other side of the bead, plus take one more stitch.  Push up the next bead and continue through the whole string, always working towards the spool.

Once you reach the end, tie a knot, but leave the fiber attached to the spool.  Wrap it around your wrist to check for length.  If need be, you can add a few beads to either end and lengthen it a bit.

Once you've checked the length, reinsert your hook in the tail end and chain enough stitches to create a loop that will fit over your button.  Tie a knot and dab it with cement.  Let it dry before you trim the end.  For the button end, cut the fiber from the spool, leaving yourself 8 inches or so.  Work the end through the button as many times as you can for security.  Tie off, cement, and trim as before.    

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received the above products free of charge from Fire Mountain Gems in order to create a project free of charge for you. The links above are affiliate links.
Copyright 2017 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.

Friday, July 14, 2017

heART beats from other blogs!

Patinas: adding color to your metal jewelry

Swarovski's new BeCharmed big-holed beads

Chain maille jewelry: it's all about the units!

Jewelry designs using soft soldering

18 Dipping sauces for grilled meats and veggies

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Monday, July 10, 2017

Single earring - a hot trend for Summer!


One of the trends shown all over the runways for this Spring/Summer season is the single earring.  Most of the runway models were sporting extra-large dangly and multi-colored earrings, but my suspicion is that extra-large may only be for show.  Your earrings don't need to be seen from across the room.  But by all means, interpret this trend as you choose.

I have often worn mismatched earrings, either with of without a size difference from one ear to the other.  I have four holes in each ear, one of which is at the top, so I've got enough real estate to play around with!  I like earrings that are long and thin or short and wide, but not long and wide, so here is my interpretation of the trend.  I would wear it with a simple stud earring on the other ear. 

Materials and Tools
Ear wire
2 jump rings or split rings
Piece of computer circuit board
Hammer charm

Coping saw
Sand paper or fine tooth file
Chain nose pliers
Split ring pliers (if needed)

1. Cut out a piece of circuit board and file/sand the edges smooth.  I deliberately picked a spot that already had a hole, but you may have to drill one or add a drop tab if there isn't one already.

2. Use one split ring or jump ring to attach the hammer to the front of the circuit board.

3. Add another split ring to the first, and add an ear wire.

4. Super easy, huh?

Copyright 2017 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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