Friday, February 12, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Rich Mom Videos
If you have been thinking of dusting off your Etsy shop or starting one, then you may want to watch what Rich Mom has to say.

Bead Vlog
Tammy's creating sparkly jewelry with her bead bargain box goodies.

Stitch an Encouraging Saying
Connie's added a new free pattern with a meaningful saying that will be perfect for a card or a framed design. Be sure to save it now!

Have Fun with Found Object Drawings
Try to look at common things in a different way by making drawings starting with found objects.

Valentine Heart Shaker Card
Eileen made a Valentine heart shaker card filled with red confetti hearts using her Silhouette. See how and download your choice of PDF template or SVG file.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book review: Fast Peyote Stitch Jewelry

Do you know how to do fast peyote stitch?  That's where you string two rows of beads and then zig and zag your needle between the rows to zip it up.  It's an especially neat trick when you are trying to follow a charted pattern.  So Josie Fabre has taken full advantage of this in her fun new book, Fast Peyote Stitch Jewelry, published by Kalmbach.  All of Josie's pieces are flat multi-drop peyote, which is a great thing for beginners.

Stackable Zoo Bracelets, included in the book

Most of the 25+ projects are bracelets, although there is a smattering of earrings and pendants as well.  Josie recommends Delica seed beads, and gives you the exact item number for each color she uses.  The projects are divided by theme: nature, wings, animals, classic colors, moderns, and a couple of more challenging charts.

All the designs are Josie's originals, and there is nice variety in the charts, even though the construction is all basically the same.  So be aware...if you are a person who likes to work with a similar technique for awhile, this may be your book!

Monday, February 08, 2016

A wire bracelet featuring beaded beads

Last week I showed you how to make beaded beads using the Cellini spiral peyote stitch.  I made a total of three, using the same palette of beads, since I knew I wanted to use them in a wire bracelet project.  I want to share that with you today, but you can alter almost everything about this piece to suit yourself: the colors, the wire gauges, the bead sizes, the exact placement of components.  Make it your own!  Just make sure that the gauge of the bracelet armature is heavy enough to hold its shape, and that the wrapping wire is a thinner gauge (which means a higher gauge number).

Here's what I used:

3 Beaded beads, shown last week
9" 12 gauge wire for the bracelet, 5 1/2" for the clasp
Spool of 22 or 24 gauge wire for wrapping (I used 24)
Size 11/0 seed beads

Wire cutters
Flat nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Small file
Measuring tape

1. Cut about 2 yards of your smaller wire and start wrapping the middle of the core wire from the middle of the wrapping wire.  Work towards one end at a time.  Add seed beads to some sections of wire (this is about 2" worth of size 11/0 seed beads before they are wrapped).  Slide the smaller wire through the beaded beads along with the core wire and start wrapping on the other side.

2. Work in a similar fashion towards the other end, wrapping the smaller wire several times to anchor at each end.  Don't worry if the beaded beads slide around a bit...that will be fixed in the next step.

3. Using the leftover wire, wrap back and forth across the seed bead coil and the first layer of wire wrapping.  Tuck and bury the end of the wire in the loose coil.  To do the center portion, cut a new piece of wrapping wire, about 2' long.  If you are able to, thread it through the center beaded bead and work from both ends, back and forth across the middle coils.  If you can't get it through, just cut the wire in two and do each part separately, burying the ends in the loose coils.

4. Turn a loop on the ends of the bracelet wire, trim and file smooth.  Create a fancy hook that is large enough to make the bracelet the proper size for you.  Instructions for this particular hook clasp are at the link.

Copyright 2016 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, February 05, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Art Bead Scene
Take a walk in the woods with Julie, in her last post for the Art Bead Scene.

Lucky Thirteen
The next Diamond in the free SAL is up! Still plenty of time to join in if you are interested.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews Wonderful Wire Jewelry: Make 30+ Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, and More, by Erica Swanson. You will find tons to love in this book!

Valentine's Day Kids Party
Throw a memorable Valentine's Day kids party and keep costs down with these crafty ideas for planning decor, games, food & keeping all the kids happy.

Crocheted Flower Hair Clips
These simple crocheted flowers make adorable hair clips for girls (or women) and just use a tiny bit of yarn.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Book review: Wonderful Wire Jewelry

More than 30 beautiful projects by 21 designers are included in Wonderful Wire Jewelry, a new book published by Kalmbach.  They have all previously been published in Wirework magazine, but if you don't subscribe to it regularly, this looks to be the best of the best!

Wirework always intrigues me, and lots of these projects are very appealing to my eye.  Most are made with sterling silver wire, but some use copper, steel, or artistic wire.  I don't think there's any reason why you couldn't make substitutes for most of them if you wanted.  You will recognize the work of many of the designers if you do any wirework at all: Melody MacDuffee, Eva Sherman, and Barb Switzer are some of my favorites.

I would say that most of the projects fall into the easy to intermediate categories.  Specialized jigs are recommended for a few, but most of the projects can be tackled with the tools you probably already have on hand for beadwork.  Some of the projects look to be very complex, but most are actually complex pieces made from a series of more simple components.  You can do this!

The techniques and basics are all covered in the usual clear fashion that Kalmbach is known for.  You will be able to learn coiling, free-form wire work, and hammering techniques as you work your way through the pendants, necklaces, chains, bracelets, rings, and earrings.  There is something for everyone here!  

Monday, February 01, 2016

Cellini spiral beaded beads

I've decided to make a small batch of beaded beads to include in a bracelet I've got planned.  I've always loved the way the Cellini spiral looks, with its undulating surface, and I also love how quickly it stitches up once you get your beads set up.  I use a paint palette to keep them organized...

1. Choose your beads and set them up in pairs in a circle.  I used 4 pairs of size 11/0 seed beads, 2 pairs of size 8/0's and 1 pair of size 6/0's.  This is the perfect number to go around a 1/4 inch (outer diameter) piece of vinyl tubing.  You can use other sizes and counts if you wish.

2. The "rules" for Cellini spiral are simple.  Pass your working thread through the first two beads (for me it will be the small purple ones at the top), and pick up one of the same bead just exited.  Pass through the second bead in each following pair, and pick up the same bead just exited.  In this way, you will be doing peyote stitch all around the circle and shifting the color and size of the beads by one step each time.  At the end of the circle, you will need to step up to start the next round, but that's the only thing even remotely tricky about the stitch.

I used the vinyl tube as an armature, not really because it was needed for structure, but because I plan to use these beads with some wirework, and I thought it would make it a bit easier to work with them later, and protect the glass and threads from the metal.

3. When your bead is as long as you'd like it, stitch 2 rows of peyote stitch with all size 11/0's and 2 rows with all size 15/0's to cinch the beadwork in over the tubing.  The work shown above is missing the final row of size 15/0's so that you can see the opening a little better.  Trim the other end of the tube close and repeat this step on that end of the beadwork.

4. These beads are capable of keeping their shape without the tubing inside, but because they twist a bit, it really does make it a lot easier to thread them onto a project if you include it.  Plus, it's so inexpensive at the hardware store!

Here is the link for the wire bracelet that features these beaded beads!

Copyright 2016 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, January 29, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Japanese Quilts
The Crafty Princess does a short video review of a beautiful book about Japanese quilts.

Royal Flowers
Cindy stitched up a model of the free Royal Flowers chart which just happens to be a favorite color combo.

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to Be Done!
Jean reviews a book on a very pretty style of peyote stitch, and it's fast too! Check out Fast Peyote Stitch Jewelry, Easy to Follow Patterns, 25+ Projects by Josie Fabre ! It's lovely!

Tissue Paper Decorated Candle
A tissue paper decorated candle is a quick and easy craft that still looks impressive. How to get perfect results every time using wax paper & a heat gun.

Recycled Guitar String Pendant DIY
The Tappingflamingo shows how she makes guitar string jewelry. This is an easy, fun tutorial that can be made quickly and inexpensively.

Amigurumi Tip 6
Learn some helpful tips about making faces for your crocheted stuff toys.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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