Friday, August 26, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Get in on the Tiny SAL
The Connie Gee's Stitchers group on Facebook is where to find the latest free SAL from Connie Gee's Designs. Find out how to get involved.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is thrilled to take a walk down memory lane with beadshop, as they repost their beautiful Autumn challenge lookbook and begin a brand new Autumn challenge for 2016! See what's up at her blog! You could be the winner!

Silhouette School Uniform Customized for Your Child's School
It's fun playing with paper dolls to make Silhouette school uniform cards. How to replicate your child's school uniform on tags, greeting or fundraiser cards.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Yay for Kendra!

Congratulations to Kendra, winner of a copy of Make It Sparkle!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book review: Metalsmithing Made Easy

Metalsmithing Made Easy, by Kate Ferrant Richbourg and published by Interweave, is for the home jeweler who perhaps has only a small space to work and a little experience with metal.  If you want to up your game and conquer some new metal skills, this is where you start.  Know first, though, that you will not be able to do that simply by reading this book, but by making a commitment to work your way through it!

Before the projects, Kate first covers some very important information.  She discusses at some length studio setup, designed for a small space.  There is an entire chapter devoted to soldering with a torch (NOT a soldering iron), covering the types of torches and solder, and the how to's.  Tools are discussed, the minimum array, and the additions you'll need for specific project (like rings), and Kate also covers metals and materials, including stones and patinas.  And finally, there is a discussion on rotary tools, for the time when you decide you need to speed up some of the process.

Unique to this book is a chapter titled "Samplers."  What a brilliant idea!  Here you will find little practice pieces that allow you to try out the new techniques before committing time, energy, and money into a full-blown project (which comes in the next chapter!).   

There are 15 beautiful projects, arranged in order of increasing difficulty.  Some have cold joins, many use simple soldering.  All are in Kate's style, but are easily adaptable to your own -- shiny instead of matte, different patinas, textured or stamped to suit you.  Some design alternatives are included to help you get going on your own unique adventure.  

Another book review of a book by Kate Ferrant Richbourg:

Monday, August 22, 2016

A simple wire wrapped pendant

I've had this really cool stone bead for a looooong time.  I don't know what kind of stone it is, and for awhile I thought it might be resin, but's too heavy for that.  Since it is heavy, I decided not to incorporate it into a full necklace, but just to add some simple wire wrapping and call it a day.  I used about 18" of 18 gauge copper wire, plus a pretty bulls-eye stone which might be agate or might be jasper.  Or it might be something else entirely!

1. Start by making a wrapped loop at one end of the wire, and slip it down through both stones.  Leave a little bit of space between the stones when you start wrapping.

2. Nothing fancy, just a simple wrap from bottom to top, as many wraps as you'd like.  In the little space you left, wrap the wire tightly, clip it off, and file smooth if needed.

3. The fun part is putting the little twists in the wire, using your chain nose pliers.  I only did this in the front, but you could do it front and back if you'd like.  I have a black rubber necklace cord that I'm going to use to wear this.

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, August 19, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Snap out of it, jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the book for knitters, Self-Striping Yarn Studio by the wonderful instructor and knitter/designer Carol J. Sulcoski!

Clay Pottery Repair of Heirloom Cookie Jar
Seamless clay pottery repair can be a challenge sometimes. But unless the pottery is in smithereens, you can DIY one with a few simple supplies. Here's how.

Swirly WIP
Check out Connie's latest stitching project and find out the materials she's using for it.

Sewing for the Home
Home Sewn is a new book out that has lots of creative and simple sewing projects for household items.

Jewelry Redo
Terry Jeanette, aka Tappingflamingo, shows another jewelry redo. This time, a pair of earrings becomes two necklaces...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book review and giveaway: Make It Sparkle!

Lindsay Burke's favorite techniques are creating sparkling clusters of crystals and making designs with graduated crystal colors.  And how she loves loves loves crystals!  The 25 designs taught in this new book published by Interweave, Make It Sparkle, use many techniques, but have one thing in common...her beloved crystals.

All of the projects, designed by Lindsay and four friends, can be done step-by-step as her excellent instructions show, or they can be customized and personalized with your own choices of bead shapes, colors, and metals.  This is a great beginner's project book, with all the tools, materials, and techniques clearly defined.  If you've never made jewelry before and want to try a variety of wire, chain, and crystal projects, this could be your book.  You'll end up with a sparkling selection of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets!


Would you like a great book full of new projects?  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 will not 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, beadingarts at gmail 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: August 24, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Shamballa bracelet with larger beads

Summertime always makes me think about Shamballa bracelets.  If you need detailed instructions, there are links to my tutorials here and there :-)

This time, I decided to see what would happen if I used larger beads.  It turned out alright...I really love the crackle-faceted stone beads...but I probably will stick with better proportioned beads from now on.  If you want to try it, though, here you go:

1. String your beads (I started with more than I ended up using) on the macrame cord that you choose.  I used alligator clips and a clip board to keep things together.  Cut two lengths of leather cord a bit longer than you think you'll need.  Mine were about 13" each.

2. Knot the starting ends and arrange as shown on the clip board.  Follow the directions at the other tutorials to knot the bracelet.  As you can see below, I added only one knot in between each bead.  It would have turned out better, perhaps, if I'd been able to fit 7 beads instead of 6.  It always seems to look nicer when there is an odd number of beads.  Nonetheless, it fits well and feels fine on, so that counts for something!

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.
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