Monday, November 24, 2014

Bead Journal Project: November 2014

I didn't get this Bead Journal Project piece finished for October, but now at last it's done for November!  I used metal mesh ribbon from Fire Mountain Gems, Czech glass beads from The Best Beads, and the embroidered forms of St Petersburg chain stitch, African helix, chevron stitch, and Russian spiral  from Bored By Back Stitch.

Soon, very soon, I will have a tutorial to post!

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




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Friday, November 21, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Children of God
Being God's child was the inspiration for these prints.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Who knew that scissors designed to shred your private papers could create gorgeous flowers too?

Christmas Stocking Advent Calendar
This charming Christmas Advent Calendar will add to your holiday decor, delight kids of all ages, and be used for years to come.

Knitted Sampler
When you can't figure out which knit stitch to use, why not use all of them?

Art Bead Scene
Check out our Art Bead Palette Inspiration from Brandi and Zesty Frog!

What can you say in 30 words?
Over the past year, Andrew has participated (off and on) in Erin Prais-Hintz's 30 Words Thursday Project. Erin has selected entries from different participants of the challenge to create a book to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book review: Micro Macrame Basics and Beyond

If you're thinking about heavy dark hemp, forgetaboudit!  Try this instead:

This is the style of macrame done by the Raquel Cruz, author of Kalmbach's new book Micro Macrame Basics and Beyond.

I have been fascinated by macrame since childhood.  Of course back then, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, think and colorful cords were hard to come by.  I think everything I made used that terrible brown shreddy rope that ripped your hands apart while you worked.

Then came beautiful C-Lon and other brands of nylon cord.  All the colors of the rainbow, and no shreds!  As you can clearly see, micro-macrame looks nothing like the old style.  I've done a bit with half knots and square knots, but Raquel shows you how to combine these with lark's heads and half hitches to create beautiful patterns and gorgeous jewelry that are a far cry from the scratchy hippy jewelry and friendship bracelets of the past.  But, if you want to make a beautiful friendship bracelet, now you'll be able to do that too!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Making pleated silk shibori ribbon flowers - part two

This week, I want to take some of the individual pieces (petals and leaves) that we looked at last week, and show you a couple of ways to use them together in a finished flower.  And very very soon (I promise), I'll be posting a tutorial for the flowered necklace I made several months ago.

Wild Rose

1. Make 5 petals according to the instructions given last week for single petals.  Make each one from a piece of ribbon that is 1 1/2" long.  Cut a small circle of interfacing and stitch each petal to it.

2. Here are all the petals, slightly overlapped, with a small space left open in the middle.

3. Stitch one or more large beads to the center.  I cut a small hole in the center of the interfacing so that the center bead could be suspended.

4. Optional, but nice: add wired stamens.  These are double-tipped, so I bent them in half and inserted them through the hole in the interfacing.

5. I stitched the stamens down to the interfacing in the back so they wouldn't shift around.  It's messy, but no worries; the back will be covered in the project I'll be showing you in a few weeks!


1. Make 2 light-colored petals, each with about 1 1/4" of ribbon.  Don't gather them tightly at the bottom, but stitch them to a small piece of interfacing as shown.

2. Make 2 dark-colored petals the same size, and stitch them on below the first set.  Insert a wired stamen between these petals.

3. Stitch 1 dark-colored petal that is slightly bigger, about 1 1/2" and stitch it on in the center-bottom of the flower.  I used a permanent marker to color the stamens yellow.

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, November 14, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Carmi's Art/Life World
The Happy Flappers Necklace with Fabric by Kelly Panacci features a new fabric line!

Personalized Thanksgiving Clothespin Magnets
Use these cute clothespins as place cards for the kids at Thanksgiving dinner or clip them to gift cards or a few photos of each child. After Thanksgiving, the kids can use them to post their artwork on a magnet board or refrigerator or just hold papers together.

Bears, Bunnies, and Birds!
Enjoy some cute amigurumi goodness with episode 8 of Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast.

Peace I Leave With You
Cherie reflects on John 14:27 and the topic of peace.

Andrew shares that he'll be co-teaching two classes with his sister at the Bead&Button Show 2015 in Milwaukee! Check out pictures of their class samples!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New products from Fire Mountain Gems

I recently received a tube of neon green Delicas  Yup, Miyuki now has neon colors, and Fire Mountain Gems has the full line.  Although I don't want to make a piece using all eye-searing colors, neons are very useful in adding just a pop of color to any sedate piece you are working on.

I also received product sheets on some additional new products that all look quite interesting.  Visit the link above, and search on the highlighted text below:

These are ball chain connectors.  They allow you to attach a different type of clasp at the end of the chain, switch to a different style chain, or add dangles and charms.  Clever.

Would you like to make some simple earstuds or drops from Swarovski rivolis? There are gold, silver, and gunmetal finishes available.

And this little goody is an Elasticord beading needle, but it can also be used with silk, nylon, or cotton threads.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Making pleated silk shibori ribbon flowers - part one

I've been promising you tutorials on making pleated silk shibori ribbon flowers for awhile now, and I have finally made the time to figure out which are the most useful and the best to share with you.  The problem is, I went down a LOT of rabbit holes in the process of coming up with just a few that I really liked!  So this week and next, we'll take a look at the styles that I think will be the most useful for everyone.

Hollyhock or Rose

1. Cut approximately a 10" length of silk ribbon.  With right sides facing, stitch the short ends together.

2. Baste along one long edge, leaving thread tails.

3. Gather the stitching and fluff the flower out.  As is, it makes a fine hollyhock.  To make a rose, make another flower the same way, but with a shorter piece of ribbon.  You can layer as many as you want to make a full rose.

Single Petals

1. Cut as many pieces as you will need petals.  I make mine from 1" to 1 1/2".  Stitch a U-gather, starting at a bottom edge and stitching around three sides as shown.  Leave the thread tails long.

2. Using one tail, gather up the side and whip stitch around the bottom edge.

3. Use the other tail to gather up the other side and whip stitch it.  These petals, in various sizes and colors, can be used to form lots of different types of flowers.  I'll show you two next week!


1. Cut a piece of ribbon 3 to 5".  Fold in half crosswise with right sides facing.  Starting at the fold, stitch along one long edge through both layers.  Take tiny stitches, keeping the ribbon flat.  Do not pull to gather, but rather, anchor the thread at both ends.

2. Turn the ribbon right sides out with the stitched seam in the middle of the front as shown.

3. Pull the back edge of the ribbon down to meet the front edge.  Stitch from the middle seam out to one edge through both layers as shown, and gather.

4. Stitch back to the middle seam and then stitch out to the other edge.  Gather and anchor it.

5. Stitch through the corners and gather tightly.


1. Cut 1" lengths of ribbon.  Starting in the middle, anchor the thread on the back and stitch through the folds out to one edge.  Gathering the pleats, wrap the thread underneath and back to the center, anchoring it again.

2. Repeat for the other side.

3. Using small sharp scissors, snip into the flower, creating ragged petals.  Use one of the thread tails to add beads for the centers.

Next week, I'll show you how to assemble some petals and leaves into a Wild Rose and a Pansy.

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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