Don't miss our book giveaway, running until March 12! Visit the link above to enter.

Friday, March 06, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Peep Bunnies
I list 'em every year but they remain popular! Peep bunnies made from felt.

Lazertran Inkjet Decals on Wood
See how to piece decals for larger projects and how to "melt" a decal onto wood.

Cross Stitch for St. Patrick's Day
It's almost time for everyone to be honorary Irishmen and Irishwomen (unless, of course, you are already Irish - then you already have a great excuse to party). Connie has added a new free pattern in the spirit of the season and has suggestions for more great St. Patty's Day-themed projects.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Book giveaway: Fiber & Cord Jewelry

Did you read my review of Ashley K Bunting's Fiber & Cord Jewelry?   Did it catch your attention?  Do you want a copy...?


I've got a copy that needs to go to a good home!  Here's what you need to do...please read this carefully. Leave me a comment here and include your email address. If I don't see your email address, I won't be able to contact you. No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person. You are welcome to spell it out if you'd prefer, for example, cyndi at mazeltovjewelry dot com. If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice! Deadline: March 12, 2015

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Book review: Pigments of Your Imagination

I'm sure that a lot of you, like me, love to dabble in other media.  On the other hand, is there really such a thing as "another media"?  All creative pursuits seem to cross-pollinate at some point, so I'm not going to apologize for sharing this marvelous, eye-opening book with you here rather than on Mixed Media Artist!

Pigments of Your Imagination, Cathy Taylor's new book, published by Schiffer, is dazzling to say the least.  Just look at the colors and effects on the cover piece up there!  But wait, there's more...

Alcohol inks are Cathy's love, and after you've browsed a few pages, you'll be in love too.  Fortunately, the inks are readily available and fairly inexpensive.  Nope, you won't have to mortgage your home or give up your bead stash if you decide to give it a try.  And Cathy works you through the techniques methodically, helping you to build skill upon skill.

Now one won't be able to use these inks to great effect on watercolor paper or most fabrics...they have to have a shiny surface to really come to life.  But still...whether you decide to try working with these on the side, or take the challenge to figure out how to combine them with your jewelry making, they are some serious eye candy, huh?

Reviews of other books that focus on mixed media and painting techniques:
Alternative Art Surfaces
Reclaimed Textiles
Mixed Media Master Class
Mixed Media Painting Workshop
Water-Based Texturing

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Monday, March 02, 2015

Spring ribbon necklace!

I'm tired of winter colors...I want spring, and I want it NOW!  Since I live in New England and can't always have what I want, the next best thing is to make spring jewelry.

I asked for a couple of fabulous wire edged ribbons from Offray Ribbons in beautiful springy colors: wild berry and violet.  The wires give you a bit more structure, which I thought would pair perfectly with some beaded beads!

Materials & Tools

Size 11/0 seed beads
Beading thread (I used white Nymo O)
Arabesque wire edged ribbon, Wild Berry, 1 1/2 inch wide
Arabesque wire edged ribbon, Violet, 5/8 inch wide
Jump rings
Multi-strand chain and clasp set  

Beading needle
Crochet hook or dowel (optional)
Chain nose pliers
Rat tail file

1. Use ladder stitch to make two rows of 12 beads (thread pattern shown below).

2. Slip them around a crochet hook (I used size H), and connect the ends.

3. The beaded beads will be constructed with brick stitch on top of the ladder stitch (thread pattern shown above).

4. For the first stitch, add two beads.

5. For each additional stitch, add just one bead.

6. Stitch 10 rows of brick stitch, and finish off the top with a row of double brick stitch, where you will add two beads at a time instead of just one (for the first stitch in this row, you will add 4 beads).  Stitch the working end of the thread back down through the bead to exit at or near the tail end.  Cut the working thread, and stitch the tail end through several rows before cutting.

7. When you have as many beads finished as you want, cut your ribbon.  I cut 3 strands as follows: 24" violet ribbon, 26" violet ribbon, 28" wild berry ribbon.  The larger bead shown above is 24 beads around instead of 12.

8. Lay out your multi-strand clasp set and jump rings.  I needed to ream out the holes for the jump rings a bit, using a rat tail file.

9. Slip the jump rings through the holes and close them up.

10. String the beaded beads onto your ribbons, and tie loose knots on either side of each one.

11. Slip each ribbon through a jump ring and knot it, one at a time, with the shortest ribbon on the inside edge.

12. A simple design that will let your beads and ribbons both shine!

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, February 27, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

New Free Pattern
Connie added a new free cross stitch pattern this week Also, check out the new additions to the Etsy shop.

Holiday Craft Planning App
Anyone who hand crafts gifts and decorations for holidays or other special occasions needs to plan ahead. Handcrafted things take time. Download Eileen's free spreadsheet.

No Dog Snuggles but Lots of Crafting
In the latest video podcast, the Crafty Princess shows off some finished knitting, crochet, and shares some bead weaving ideas.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Sharing supplies with friends is always a thrill when you organize a blog hop. This one was excellent as it feature beaded rings.

Peeptastic Center Piece
Love Peeps? Cherie has a new way to use them for your Easter table.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Erin Prais-Hintz hosts a creative challenge through Halcraft called, Pretty Palettes. This month, Andrew was the Pretty Palettes Partner! Stop by and see what he made!

Art Bead Scene
Check out what Ema has been up to in her Inside the Studio post this week, and be in with the chance to win a pair of her handmade metal matchsticks!

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

LBS: Just Because Bead Boutique

Joyce wrote about her favorite local bead store:

My favorite bead store is Just Because Bead Boutique in Temple Tx. It starts when you walk through the door, you feel the creative and friendly atmosphere. The employees make you feel like you've come home to your jewelry making family and they are excited to see you. Most of their classes are free and you just pay for the supplies you need to create the project. There is always an instructor at the store in case you have questions or need help figuring out how to make something.

If they don't have what you need they special order it for you and a few extra, because if you need it then someone else might also need it. It could be a special tool or special bead, it doesn't matter. They tell you it's a special place to leave the stress from the day outside and have time for yourself.

If you want to spend the day there with friends making jewelry there is always an available space for you. Special jewelry making groups meet there after hours like the America Needlework Guild and Rick's Loomatiks. This place is not like any other bead store I've ever been to and I love it.

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