Monday, July 27, 2015

My all-time most popular tutorial posts

I have been writing this blog since 2005!!  That's TEN YEARS.  Unbelievable.  I thought it might be fun to take a look at the top-traffic posts of all times during these years.  Some of them, I'll be honest, I can't quite figure out why.  Must be well-linked off site!










Sparkling rivoli pendant  October 2010




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, July 24, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!



Table Transformation
Cherie transforms an old table into a fun piece for the living room.

Art Bead Scene
Meet Julie of Uglibeads, one of our fantastic new Art Bead Scene contributors (and FYI, her beads are the opposite of ugly!)

Silhouette Studio - Tedious Tasks Made Easy
Silhouette Studio conquers two card making issues. Two-sided projects don't align well with desktop printers. Many pieces mean tedious cutting & varied results.

Connie Gee's SAL
Connie has started up a free SAL. Join the Connie Gee's Stitchers group on Facebook to share your progress photos. Find out how to get started.

Robot Love
Enjoy some fun amigurumi & learn about a few crafting giveaways.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Check out Andrew's new bronze creations and find out what he plans to do with them!


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads


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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book review: Craft Camp



Are you going to need to entertain children or grandchildren this summer?  If so, then you might want to think about picking up a copy of Lark's Craft Camp.  There are over 40 projects, arranged in four sections of increasing difficulty, time consumption, and adult help needed.



The Basics section in the beginning covers the materials you will need.  They are mostly all easily found locally in supermarkets, hardware and craft stores, so you won't spend all your time trying to source the projects.


The projects are marked as to which must have adult supervision.  They are designed by many different designers, so you will get a wide variety of styles and themes.



I really like these milk carton tea lights, shown above.  I can see making those with my own granddaughter this summer.  And for those of you who like polymer clay, look at these cute bookmarks below:


Overall, this is a very enjoyable volume, and I am quite happy to have some of the suggestions for our family vacay this summer!


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Monday, July 20, 2015

Resin "opal" pendant



This little resin "fire opal" is so small that I decided to use size 15/0 seed beads for the entire bezel.  Only the second back stitch row and the edging brick stitch uses size 11/0s.  The entire pendant is smaller than a quarter.

Step-by-step instructions for 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. Chapter two has instructions for stitching a peyote stitch bezel.



1. Use a small piece of foil under the resin "opal" to make it sparkle when using a dark foundation fabric like this.  Stitch a simple peyote stitch bezel around the tiny cabochon, and add more rows of back stitch all around if desired.



2. Sandwich a soldered jump ring in between the foundation fabric and the backing fabric, and stitch edging brick stitch through both layers.



3. I added short stacks of antique size 20/0 seed beads to each edging bead, and added another jump ring so that my chain would slip through the pendant at the correct orientation.

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, July 17, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!



Art Bead Scene
Check out Rebecca's roundup of ocean-inspired beads for this week!

Mum's the Word
This free pattern from Connie Gee's Designs is suitable for cross-stitch, needlepoint, and beadwork. Use the small design to experiment with different flosses or techniques.

Yarn Review & Subscriber Giveaway
The Crafty Princess takes a look at a popular yarn used for knitting/crocheting baby items and has a YouTube subscriber giveaway in the works.

Review of Crafting Memories by Tammy Powley
Crafting Memories is the well-known craft author's first book of fiction and it's a very good read as career struggles mix with family scandal.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
So many beautiful creations were made for the latest challenge, Endless Sky. Check out what all the participants made!


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads


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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book review: 18 Beaded Jewelry Projects


Kalmbach publishers have had several new books recently that have been designed either for beginners or for people with limited time, and they have all been GOOD!  This latest one is no exception: 18 Beaded Jewelry Projects You Can Make in a Weekend, by Dorothy Wood.

Although this volume is not specifically full of beginner projects, it will still be appreciated by those just starting out.  The projects are fun, pretty, and modern, utilizing many basic skills.  All of those skills are discussed and explained, with the excellent photos that Kalmbach is known for.  The main point of Dorothy's book is that the projects are fast!  But they are not dumbed down or sloppy: there is a great emphasis on doing things properly, with good technique, with an aim towards making lovely things that you will definitely want to wear.

Two other recent beginner books (my reviews):
Jewelry Making 1-2-3
Easy Jewelry Making


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Monday, July 13, 2015

Mini-Shamballa bracelets


Remember how just before my vacation, I showed you some Shamballa bracelets I made with cording, ribbons, and cup chain?  Well, here are a few more, just to show you some that are slightly more traditional.

I made these with the same type of 3mm cording, but only one strand of it, cut to a little over 12 inches.  Likewise, I sized down the cup chain slightly to between 3 and 4 mm, and I only needed about 60 inches of colored macrame cord to knot each one.



Follow the same directions as for the tutorial linked above, with the substitutions I've listed, and knot your little heart out.  I made all three of these in one afternoon!


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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