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!

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

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book review on MMA: The Little Guide to Mastering Your Sewing Machine

Yesterday on Mixed Media Artist, I posted a review of this cute little book...spiral bound at the top, fold-out easel at the bottom.  Time to stop letting your sewing machine intimidate you...?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Art quilt tutorials

Some of you might be wondering if I'm only making quilts these days...fear not!  There will be jewelry beading projects and books just like always, along with wirework, polymer clay, and everything else.  These things just come in waves!  I used to post all of my quilts on Mixed Media Artist, but it's just been too much to keep up with both, so this is my effort to consolidate :-) Besides tutorials for my previously made quilts, you will also find loads of tutorials on fabric painting, doing image transfers, and other topics that could cross-pollinate with your jewelry making and beading.

Since you'll be seeing more fabric and fiber arts here than in some previous years, I thought I'd better add an archived list of tutorials that you can find easily.  This post will be linked in the Tutorials tab at the top of this blog so that you can find it easily.

Some of these quilt tutorials include beading, but some do not.  You are always welcome to add beads if you want!

Spring Returns to the Land

A beginner's crazy quilt block

Geometric beaded quilt

Infinite Love beaded quilt

Beaded turtles (update)

Rising Mist quilt

Glacier Bay quilt

Sepia photo quilt

Chickadee collage-quilt

Machine sewn lap quilt

Alaska quilt

Vulture quilt - Downdraft

Orbital Flow

My TAST 2012 quilt

Kīlauea quilt 

Sequined quilt

Felt flowers

Lava quilt

Black felt quilt

Lost In Thought

Manipulated fabric for texture in quilting

Marbled fabric quilt - Falling From a Blue Sky

Painted silk quilt - At First Light

Painted silk quilt - As Daylight Fades

Bird post card quilt

Reverse applique quilt

Margaret - a combination collage and quilt

Fall Migration quilt

Felted fabric technique

Woven fabric background

Making an applique quilt

A small mixed media quilted collage

Small mixed media quilt with image transfer 

Another fabric art quilt

Making a rusted fabric art quilt

Small art quilt with fish

Paper quilting

Monday, January 25, 2016

How to Make a Swarovski Bow Necklace

Here’s a guest post from The Bead Shop, the perfect place for anyone looking to stock up on jewellery making equipment.

Today we’re going to show you how to make this cute bow necklace - perfect for spring! To make the necklace pictured above you’ll need the following:

  • Craft wire Swarovski Crystal Bicone Beads
  • Swarovski Crystal Faceted Round Beads
  • Swarovski Pearls
  • A Heart Trigger Clasp
  • 5mm jump rings

However, if you’d rather use different beads entirely, that’s okay too! This really is one of those uber-versatile designs that can perfectly incorporate a variety of beads.

Let’s look at how we made the necklace pictured…

Step 1
First of all, you want to start threading beads onto your craft wire. For this necklace we threaded beads on in this order:
  • 4mm Bicone
  • 6mm Pearl
  • 6mm Bicone
  • 6mm Pearl
  • 6mm Bicone
  • 6mm Pearl
  • 5mm closed ring

Step 2
Next, thread on four more 6mm Pearls and three more 6mm Bicones (alternately) followed by another 4mm Bicone to finish the first loop. Bring the two ends of the wire together and thread them through an 8mm Swarovski Faceted Round Crystal and pull it tight.

Step 3
Grab the longest piece of wire emerging from the 8mm faceted bead and start creating the second loop in the same way you created the first. Then thread the wire back through the large bead in the centre. You should have one length of wire exiting each side of the bead in the centre.

Step 4
It’s now time to create the bow’s tails. Thread on a 4mm Bicone followed by 3 Pearls and 3 Bicones (alternate between the two). Finally, add an 8mm Faceted Round Bead and secure it in place. Trim off any excess wire.

Step 5
Attach a 5mm jump ring to each end of your chain before attaching it to the jump rings at the top of each loop.

Step 6
Finally, add a clasp to the end of your necklace so the two ends can be attached. If you’d like to make a matching pair of earrings, make two matching bows using 4mm beads and 0.3mm wire before sticking a flat stud on the back of the centre bead.

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