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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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dazzle-It blog hop!

Here's the results from the hop that I told you about last week!  My friend Carmi Cimicata arranged it, bless her, and the rings that we all made were a lot of fun.

Dazzle-It blog hop post

Marissa Decipeda-Wong 
Tammy Powley 
Jennifer Tryon
Lisa Pace
Nancy Donaldson

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Recent publications: February 2015

Cats: 20 Jewelry and Accessory Designs by Sian Hamilton

DIY Statement Necklaces: Create Your Own Customizable Jewelry--For Less! by Erin Pruckno

Mixed Media Handbook: Exploring Materials and Techniques by Kimberly Santiago

Chain Mail Jewelry: Contemporary Designs from Classic Techniques by Terry Taylor and Dylon Whyte

Maker and Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry by Elyse Zorn Karlin and John A. Faier

Stitching with Two-Hole Shaped Beads by Virginia Jensen

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Bead Journal Project: February 2015

So now I've got my second piece for the 2015 Bead Journal Project finished, combining beaded crazy quilting with 3D forms.  This month, my form is a simple crescent.

1. Draw two identical overlapped circles on some felt.

2. Cut the pieces apart, and cut a center piece out of a different color felt if desired.

3. Decorate the side pieces as you wish.

4. Stitch the curved edges of the side pieces together.  I used embroidery floss with seed beads to do the blanket stitch.

5. Decorate the top piece.

6. Stitch it into place, stuffing the crescent form lightly with batting.

January 2015: Wavy raised circle form
February 2015: Crescent form

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 20, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Wire Wrapping a Heart Pendant
The resin heart pendant that Eileen made for a collaborative showcase organized by Carmi Cimicata needed a finishing touch. Wire wrapping quickly turned a 1-inch pendant into a 2-inch one!

Victorian Blue Earrings Tutorial
From our friends at Rings & Things!  Simple wirework adds drama to a pretty design.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dazzle-It Rings blog hop

A few weeks ago, my friend Carmi Cimicata proposed a blog hop that would focus on rings!  Since I've never made rings before, I figured why not?  It also gave me the chance to try out some products carried by John Bead, importers of many beads and components.  We were sent a selection of Czech glass seed beads, some Beadalon WildFire beading thread, and a booklet of beaded rings called Rings by Giovanna. [Note - here's a link to the entire blog hop list!!]

I chose to do a project that features the first bead weaving stitch I ever learned: square stitch.  I still love square stitch, with it's soothing rhythm and stiff structure.  I thought it might be the perfect stitch for making a ring, which needs to have some structure to it.

What I learned was that the beading thread matters too.  I did not like the WildFire at first.  I found it difficult to thread the needle, hard to coax the beads into place, and really a pain in the neck when you wanted to remove a bead.  But the more I worked with it, the more I saw the value.  Yes, you need to be really careful and try not to make mistakes (!!!), but the stiffer feel to the work, when that is important to you, is quite impressive.  I will definitely consider using it again when freestanding structure is an issue.

The ring designs in the booklet use variations on basic stitches, including square, peyote, herringbone, and RAW.  The photos and instructions are easy to follow.  I changed the design that I made.  It was supposed to have 3-bead picots on top and bottom.  I didn't want them on the bottom, because it would have forced the ring to ride too high on my finger.  Instead, I chose to use some of the larger beads that were sent and enhance the top edge more fully.  The gaps between the larger beads allow my fingers to slip right between them, making it very comfortable to wear.  I'm not showing you a picture of it on me, however, because I have the world's ugliest hands!!

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book review: Fiber & Cord Jewelry

Pages of fun await you -- 95 to be exact!  Ashley Bunting's new book, published by Kalmbach, shows you how to turn paracord, hemp, cotton, leather, ribbon, and lace into bright and fun jewelry with the addition of a few common findings.  Fiber & Cord Jewelry: Easy to Make Projects Using Paracord, Hemp, Leather, and More is its name, playing with cording is its game :-)

Most of the pieces have a kind of rustic style, but because these materials are now available in such a wide variety of bright colors (especially the paracord and ribbon), rustic doesn't have to mean just earth tones.  The other things you will need are mostly glues and a few tools for simple wire work.  From that point, all you really to do is dive in and try some of the easy-to-follow projects, with the step by step instructions Kalmbach is known for.

The jewelry in this book is not really my personal style, but I do think that the pieces are all interesting, wearable, and well-made.  You'll have to decide if the style suits you or not!

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