Friday, January 30, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Any Occasion Low Cost Gift Ideas to Make in Minutes
 When you have a bunch of gifts to hand out and don't want to break the bank, think of something clever, funny, or thoughtful which will fit in a handmade envelope. Here are Eileen's Valentines for guy and girlfriends.

Scrap Cat 
What to do with all those yarn scraps? How about crochet a cat!

Paintings That Recharge the Spirit
Cherie works on paintings to help recharge her soul.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Bead Journal Project: January 2015

This year for the Bead Journal Project, I am going to be working on combining beaded crazy quilting with 3D forms.  I learned most of what I know about sculptural forms through C June Barnes's Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art. 

Two weeks ago, I posted the first part of this tutorial, which focused on making the wavy raised circle form shown above.  The first line of beaded back stitch was added before the felt circles were stitched together with edging brick stitch around the middle.  The rest, shown below was added afterwards.  

I used the bead embroidered forms of African helix and free-standing chevrons.  These stitches are taught in Bored By Back Stitch, chapter one.   

After I finished the central beading, I used embroidery floss to add beaded blanket stitch around the outsides.  In a few spots, the black second layer of felt had to be trimmed a bit as there had been some slippage.  

Bead Journal Project: January 2015

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, January 23, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Ornaments aren't Just for Christmas Anymore
Eileen made a bunch of decoupaged wooden hearts and hung them on a Valentine's tree.

I Love Resin!
This step by step shows you how to make big buttons new pendants with resin.

Beads, Knitting, and Cuteness
Lots of crafting in the latest Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast, including bead weaving, knitting, crochet, ending with a cute photo montage of finished objects.

The Plans He Has for Us
Cherie ponders a favorite Bible verse in her creation of art this week.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Jen's Findings

A post by Jen, of Jen's Findings

I am the mother of four girls and have been married to my husband John for fifteen years. We actually met in a local bead store he used to own in the 1990s. I have been beading since I was a teen, but now I am mainly making necklaces and bracelets in my spare time (which is not often enough for me!). My fourteen-year-old has been making and selling jewelry for a couple of years. It's a hobby for her, but she has also learned some responsibility and earns extra spending money.

Here is something she made a few months back.  She has a tutorial on our blog.

I think my nine-year-old also has a terrific eye; she made this necklace last year.

As far as the products that we carry in our store, people seem to really like some of our more novelty clasps, such as the heart clasp, the dolphin clasp, or the multi-strand flower clasps. The dolphin clasp is shown at the top of this post.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book review: 2015 Crafter's Market

By Kelly Biscopink
Fons & Porter / F+W

If you haven't looked at the Crafter's Market for awhile, you'll want to look at it this year for sure.  It is packed with helpful business advice, articles written by successful people who are doing the very things that you may want to do.  [Note: I was thinking of the Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market books when I wrote this...this volume is the very first Crafter's Market!!]

Besides some general all-purpose business articles, you'll find information on finding your niche, branding strategies, developing a social media presence, selling on etsy, improving your graphic design and photos, handling wholesale and consignment shops, pricing your work, and getting published in books and magazines.

This is followed by the market listings, including industry shows, retail shows and fairs, online markets, book and magazine publishers, and crafting communities.  The communities are not primarily for sales, but are places where like-minded people can learn, network, and share resources.

Whether you want to sell your wares to make a living or to simply keep yourself in supplies, The 2015 Crafter's Market will help you start the new year right.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Pretty As You Please bracelet

I received some wider ribbons from Offray, and immediately thought, "Oh good...a canvas to stitch on!"  I wasn't sure at first how well the ribbon would hold up to being embroidered by a lot of beads, but by making a few adjustments, it worked out really well.  I'll be doing this again, for sure!

Materials & Tools

3 inch wide Offray red satin ribbon
Lightweight fusible interfacing
Lightweight acrylic beads
Size 11/0 seed beads
Beading thread (I use Nymo)
Embroidery floss
Metal ribbon ends, 4 at 10mm
Jump rings (if needed for additional length)
Magnetic clasps, or clasps of your choice

Measuring tape
Beading needles
Silk pins
Embroidery needles
Chain nose pliers

1. Measure your wrist and cut a piece of 3 inch wide ribbon 1 inch longer than the exact measurement.

2. Cut a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing 1 inch shorter than the ribbon length by 1 3/8 inch wide.  Center it as shown on the lower half of your ribbon, just about 1/8 inch up from the bottom edge.  Fuse it in place with a warm iron.

3. Fold the ribbon in half with the interfacing on the inside and crease the mid-line with your iron.

4. Unfold the ribbon, and using the fold line as a guide, stitch beading onto the bottom half with the interfacing backing, keeping the beadwork back at least 3/4 inch from either short end.  I used back stitch to attach my beads.  To create a solid row of back stitching, attach thread to the back of the piece by taking a few tiny shallow stitches through the interfacing.  Pass the needle through to the front and pick up 2 or 3 beads.  I picked up 3 the first time and 2 for every following stitch.  Make sure the beads are snug against the exiting end of the thread and bring the needle straight down through the ribbon right at the end of the row of beads.  Bring the needle up between two of the center beads in your group, in this case between bead 1 and bead 2.  Pass the needle again through the last half of the beads in your group, in this case through beads 2 and 3.  Pull the thread through.  Pick up the next two beads and repeat from the beginning, working your thread in a circular pattern that creates a row.  [Note - your rows do not have to be straight.]  Do not pull too tightly on the thread as you work.  The bracelet will curve when you wear it, and a tiny bit of slack will be needed to allow the beads to curve too.

5. For the disconnected middle row of beads, I back stitched each group as per the instructions in step 4, anchoring the thread in the interfacing on the back between each group.

6. Fold the short edges of the ribbon to the inside, 1/2 inch on both ends, and pin the bracelet all the way around, even on the folded edge to keep it from slipping.  You can see how a tiny bit of thread shows between some of the beads.  While you don't want it really loose, this little bit of extra will allow the bracelet to curve as explained in step 4.

7. Use two strands of embroidery floss to add blanket stitch around the edges.  I added seed beads to every other stitch along the long edges.  Do not add beads to the short ends.

8. Add metal ribbon ends to both short ends of the bracelet.  Use a pair of chain nose pliers to squeeze them firmly shut.  I chose to use 4 total ends in a shorter length (10mm) rather than one large one in order to keep the short ends nicely aligned when the bracelet is worn.

9. Attach clasps to each metal ribbon end.  Magnetic clasps make on and off really easy, but you can use whatever style you like, perhaps adding jump rings if needed for additional length.  Since the bracelet was cut to take into account the exact measurement of your wrist, you can add jump rings to give yourself additional ease if you like a looser fit.

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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