Wednesday, October 01, 2014

New products from Fire Mountain Gems

I have been receiving samples of the new products regularly, and I've got five new ones to tell you about.  For more information on any of them, visit Fire Mountain Gems and search on the product name listed below!

Ellada leather
High-quality soft Greek leather 

Pendant and drop sets
Made from vintage Czech button molds

Guitar picks
Because, why not?  Can be drilled for jewelry making

Necklace findings
Add your beads, secure the crimp.  Done.

Wood drops
Laser-cut patterns, made in the USA

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Bead Journal Project: September 2014

Many many thanks to Jocille, who emailed me with the suggestion that I think about combining my purple shibori silk pansy with something brilliant ORANGE.  I don't usually go for that much contrast, so the idea really took me by surprise.  Not only did I end up making some additional flowers in orange to accompany the pansy, but I also chose a background fabric which I had marbled years ago that has some orange dyes included.

I promise a tutorial next week!

Here are the rest of my Bead Journal Project pieces so far:


Copyright 2014 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, September 26, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Carmi's Art/Life World
The summer goal of hand sewing twelve crazy cuffs was met with this salute to the fleur de lis!

Mini Canvas Making
Cherie's working on some mini canvases to decorate her office.

Artist Profile: Photographer Taerie Kelly
Taerie is a good example of how people can find their way from being crafters to accomplished artists. She has her first solo show starting this Friday!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Faith and Art
Cherie muses about faith and painting and growing in your craft.

Winter Note Card Made with "Joy" and Homemade Glimmer Mist
This card uses the prettiest glimmer mist Eileen has ever seen. Where can you buy it? You can't. You make it yourself for mere pennies!

Giveaway & Baby Box Goodies
Catch the latest Crafty Princess Diaries podcast and get a chance to win a wonderful new beaded bracelet book.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
See what Andrew and the rest of the talented participants made for the Festival Lights Challenge.

Resin Crafts Blog
It is amazing what you can cast in an ice cube tray...check out my super hero weapons!

A Bead A Day
It's craft night and Lisa's looking for inspiration! If you have an abundance of quick and easy ideas, check out her post.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Milk chocolate cuff bracelet??

Remember my Bittersweet Wrap-sody cuff that I shared a few weeks ago?  Couldn't stop at just one...
This new cuff, Bliss, is featured in my new e-book chapter, Textured Surfaces, which is chapter three of Bored By Back Stitch.

In fact, I was walking through the grocery store, minding my own business, when this purple bag of milk chocolate came hopping right into my cart.  Seriously.  I'm a dark chocolate girl, so I bought the bag just for...well, the BAG!  (Don't worry, milk chocolate fans.  I made cookies from the bag's contents.)

The center-piece is a bezeled oval bead, surrounded by one row of bead embroidered Russian spiral, a ladder of size 8/0 seed beads, a couple layers of soutache braid, and some short stacks of size 11/0s and 15/0s.

Around the center-piece, and tucked underneath it, are a few soutache elements that I stitched in hand and then tacked down.

The cuff was finished in my usual manner, stitching it to a backing fabric with a metal cuff inside to provide support.

Now, go eat chocolate!

Copyright 2014 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, September 19, 2014

Textured Surfaces...a new chapter for Bored By Back Stitch!

Bored By Back Stitch now has a third, and final, chapter!  Introducing Textured Surfaces!

First we turned the most popular bead weaving stitches into bead embroidered motifs and explored ways to combine those stitches into more complex designs, so now it seems only logical to turn our attention to other ways to add texture to our beaded wearables and non-wearables, to add some new stitches to the repertoire, and to try out four new bracelet projects too!

Because of the textural complexity of the beaded stitches, it often seems sensible to leave larger areas of the foundation unbeaded than is the case with purely back stitched designs.  Therefore, we're going to want to make sure the foundation surface is interesting to look at as well!  I want to introduce you to four materials that are beautiful and interesting to look at on their own, and that play very well with beads, as we shall see: shibori pleated silk ribbon, metal mesh ribbon, soutache braid, and chocolate bags.  Chocolate...?  Say what?  Oh yeah, just wait!  If you've never worked with these materials before, here is the guide to get you started.

There are step-by-step instructions for the new stitches and the projects, but you'll need to refer to the very basic Stitch Reference I included in Chapter One (page 97) for the rest.  Besides the Stitch Reference, you may also need to download the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story if you haven't already done so, which shows you how to do basic bead embroidery stitches, add the backing fabric, and finish the edges of your pieces.

So let's get started!  When have you ever before had such a good excuse to eat more chocolate?

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