Monday, March 30, 2015

Bead Journal Project: March 2015

Here is my third piece for the 2015 Bead Journal Project, combining beaded crazy quilting with 3D forms.  This month, my form is an orb.

I've been fascinated with trying to create round shapes for a long time.  One of the best ways I've found is to create an won't be a perfect sphere, but then again, perfection is over-rated, don't you think?

1. My form uses a tennis ball style shape.  I've marked the middle of each "side", which you can easily do by folding your shape in half.  These marks will go on the inside, but are necessary in order to help you line up the forms when you stitch them together.  You need to cut out two of these.

2. I added a bead embroidered motif to each circle.  The motifs can be found in Bored By Back Stitch.  This one is a chevron stitch.

3. Looks like fancy breasts, doesn't it?  There...I said it, so you can all stop giggling :-)

4. To stitch together, line up one of the end hash marks with one of the middle ones.  Use pins and stitch around the edges with beaded blanket stitch, using embroidery floss.

January 2015: Wavy raised circle form
February 2015: Crescent form

March 2015: Orb form

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, March 27, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Embossed Spring or Easter Card Designs
Embossing adds a special touch to cards. Eileen shares four examples with directions. Change the words for cards to welcome spring.

Pipe Cleaner Ring Tutorial
Here is a fun video showing how to make pipe cleaner rings...these are great for parties, fish extenders, etc....

Free ABCDiamond Cross Stitch Pattern
Connie has added a new freebie over at Connie Gee's Designs that was inspired by motifs from antique sampler patterns. Since the design is full cross stitch only there are many options for stitching it up.

New Pillows
Cherie makes some pillows to go with her new slipcovers.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Recent publications: March 2015

Advanced Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop: Weaving with Rings and Scale Maille by Karen Karon

Chain Mail + Color: 20 Jewelry Projects Using Aluminum Jump Rings, Scales, and Disks by Vanessa Walilko

Cats: 20 Jewelry and Accessory Designs (Magpie) by Sian Hamilton

Bead & Wire Fashion Jewelry: A Collection of Stunning Statement Pieces to Make by Jessica Rose

Make a Statement: 25 Handcrafted Jewelry & Accessory Projects by Janet Crowther and Katie Covington

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Blue heart wire earrings

I made these cute little earrings for a friend for her Valentine's Day date, but it occurred to me that they would be a great springtime addition to anyone's earring wardrobe in any color desired.  And to make it even better, they were soooo easy!

1. Thread a heart (or other shape) with some small spacer beads on a head pin.  Turn a wrapped loop and clip the end.  Repeat for the second earring.

2. Using paddle shaped head pins, thread on some accent beads.  Turn a wrapped loop with these as well.

3. Take a piece of 18 or 20 gauge wire, about 5 inches long, and turn a circle with one end a bit shorter than the other.

4. Thread on the two pieces you made in steps 1 and 2, along with a couple more accent beads on each side of them.

5. Take hold of the longer wire end with chain nose pliers, and bent it at a 45 degree angle, aiming up and away from the beads.  With the shorter wire end, wrap it two or three times around the longer end that you just bent.  Using round nose pliers and chain nose pliers, turn a loop with the longer wire end.  You can either wrap it as well, or just turn a simple loop.  Clip off both ends and smooth with a file (not shown).

6. Add the ear wire of your choice.  I chose shepherd's hooks.

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, March 20, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Bead a Pirate and Crush Some Yarn
This latest Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast is packed with fun crafting: beaded pirate dreadlocks, yarn love, knitting, and crochet.

Comfy Quilt Cross Stitch Pattern
The free Comfy Quilt pattern was one of the first patterns Connie added. She chose her favorite colors for the design but it is easily changed to reflect your own color selections.

All About Glass Sculptures
Cherie has taken her glass sculpture obsession to a new level!

From Dollar Store Plastic Bargain to Elegant Easter Eggs
How to transform inexpensive plastic eggs into lovely Easter ornaments. Place them on stands, hang them as ornaments or display several in a bowl or basket.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Monday, March 16, 2015

My experiment with twin beads

You know that I've been reviewing books that deal with SuperDuos, Twins, and other shaped beads as they are published, but you also might have noticed that I don't use them very often myself.  That's because I'm primarily a bead embroidery nut rather than a beadweaver, but that doesn't mean that I don't like to experiment from time to time.  Also, the last few books published have given me some things to think about in terms of whether or not to work on adapting the stitches for the new shaped beads into bead embroidery stitches like I did for seed bead stitches in Bored By Back Stitch.

Well, obviously, the first step is to play with them a little bit.  When I reviewed Carolyn Cave's new book, Beautiful Designs with SuperDuos and Twin Beads, I noted that I really liked one of the beaded ropes.  A lot.  So that was as good a place as any to start, with Carolyn's Viking's Double necklace stitch.

I liked it.  I liked doing it.  The rhythm quickly becomes second nature, and the rope progresses quickly.  I really like the pattern that don't get anything quite like this with only seed beads.  The rope is very soft, which can be good or bad, depending upon your preferences.

I found an easy way to give it structure: just insert some vinyl tubing.  I'm sure cords of various types would work well too!

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