Don't miss our Czech Beads giveaway, running until Oct 28! Visit the link above to enter.

Friday, October 24, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Carmi's Art/Life World
A pocket watch becomes a pendant with Pebeo paints, a rub on and resin.

John 3:16 and Art
Cherie uses the Bible verse from John 3:16 as inspiration for art.

Episode 7: Addicted to Amigurumi
Enjoy some amigurumi goodness in this seventh video podcast from the Crafty Princess Diaries.

Postcard Art Inspired by Desiderata
Is anyone not inspired by Max Ehrmann's Desiderata? Eileen signed up for a postcard art Desiderata theme swap and couldn't stop at just one.

Art Bead Scene
Color Palettes featuring the Art Beads of Margit Boehmer. Bright, Beautiful and not to be missed!

A Bead A Day
Is it possible to live a sparkly dream? Lisa says, YES! She's sharing some exciting Swarovski news this week.

Jewelry artists tackle the same materials and come up with creative results
Andrew hosts design challenges on his blog. Check out the different approaches each participant took in the reveal for the Royal Feather kit!

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Book review: Unexpected Findings

By Michelle Mach
Interweave/F+W; $22.99
I can guarantee that many of your favorite designers contributed to this fun volume by Michelle Mach.  Unexpected Findings, published by Interweave, features more than 50 projects that all rely on one or more of the great new findings available today.

The first section outlines just what these findings are.  Since many different names are used for some of them, the photos in this section are very helpful.  "Oh, so that's what that's called!"  Following immediately is information on other materials and tools that you will need, insuring that this is a book even beginners will enjoy.

The projects are quite varied, in technique, materials, and style, as you would expect from such a wonderful cast of designers.  One of my favorites is how Michelle turns filigree ring bands into a sweet pair of earrings (p 42), shown above, and how Erin Siegel makes very clever use of both ribbon ends and cord ends in a pair of leather earrings (p 28), shown below.

And I love this necklace by Molly Schaller (p 57), featuring all the colors of the sea, and appropriately named Tidal Treasures:

In the back, all the resources are listed in case there are any items that you simply must have, but throughout, you are still encouraged to create your own's entirely up to you!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beads giveaway from The Best Beads!

My friend Ekaterina, from The Best Beads, is giving one of my lucky readers a $30 gift card to her shop!!  Although you can use the winnings for any beads you wish, she would especially like you to notice the great variety of Wheel Beads that she carries.  Ekaterina writes:

"These are 6mm Wheel Beads from Matubo Beads (Super Duo manufacturer). I have the whole color range of these beads (19 colors). They can be used as an O-bead."  

So if you've been interested in trying out O-beads, or any other wonderful Czech glass beads, now's your chance!


Would you like to win this $30 gift card? Here's what you need to do...please read this carefully. Leave me a comment here telling me what you like about Czech glass beads and include your email address. If I don't see your email address, I won't be able to 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, cyndi at mazeltovjewelry 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: October 28, 2014  

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Wrap bracelets - part two

My favorite bracelet so far...
Last week was Part one of this wrap bracelet tutorial.

So, did you try making any of these?  Have you made some in the past that you'd like to show off?  Just drop me a line, and I'd love to share your work with everyone!

6. Following Pam's lead from last week, I made this one with waxed linen and Nymo thread, but with no embroidery floss.

7. Stone chips can be used instead of regular beads or crystals.  I used a plasticized cord and Nymo thread to make the amethyst bracelet, satin cord and Nymo for the turquoise one.

8. It occurred to me that a boot lace would make an awesome (and inexpensive) stand-in for leather cording.  4mm magnesite beads (from Auntie's Beads) are strung on with black Nymo thread.

9. When you get to the end, tie an overhand knot right up against the last bead, and another knot far enough away to accomodate the button.  Glue or Fray Check the ends, and trim when dry.

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, October 17, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Fun saying in resin filled bottle caps will make you smile today.

Taking a Fall Drive
Cherie uses the colors of fall as inspiration for some new pictures.

A Bead A Day
Think it's okay to go crazy with sparkle? Lisa does too! Stop by A Bead A Day to see her latest find!

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene Editors take the October Monthly Challenge using Milton Avery's painting Autumn as inspiration.

Homemade Halloween Cupcake Topper
Make these darling Halloween cupcake toppers to delight the kids. Just grab the free printable and have fun.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book review: Bead Play with Fringe

I'm a big fan of Jamie Cloud Eakin's books, and this one is no exception.  Bead Play with Fringe is obviously a labor of love, in which Jamie sets out to demystify all the different forms that fringe can take, and why some styles work better with some pieces than others do.  It's a brilliant book, beginning with the supplies you will need, and working through fringe styles that are increasingly challenging.

In the supplies section, Jamie explains bead sizes and which beads will make the best fringe.  She also covers the needles you'll need and the best threads to use.

And then the fringe starts!  "Fringe Basics" is a nice overview of all the various styles covered in Jamie's book.  She starts with a basic single strand fringe style, and helps you work your way through all sorts of kinky, branched, looped, twisted, and spiraled fringes.  Jamie also gives instruction on how to vary the ends of your fringe, including the standard turn-bead, a picot, leaf, and loop end, and a very nifty seed bead star end.  And they are all interchangeable, giving you so many exciting options when you get to work on your own projects.

An incredibly helpful section in the basics shows you how to attach fringe properly to work done in all the different stitches.  For example, attaching to the hole edge of peyote stitch is much different from the edge of right angle weave, and it's also different from attaching to the side edge of peyote stitch instead.  Jamie has been very thorough.

Then Jamie launches into the meat of the book, all the different types of fringe in all their variation-ed glory!  She even includes projects with exact bead counts so you can practice the different styles...and make a cool wearable piece doing it.  I think my new fave is Jamie's spiral fringe, which I can't wait to try!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The World Wide Blog Hop!

Some of Robbie's wonderful small quilts!
The wonderful Robbie from Robbie's Paw Prints invited me to take part in the World Wide Blog Hop!  I invite you to start off your adventure by visiting her emporium of fiber arts and lighthearted chat!

But here's what Robbie told me I have to do...answer these questions, and introduce you to some more bloggers that you might not know.  Then they will do the same in a week or so!  Here we go...

1. What am I working on?
A new necklace that uses some of the techniques I developed for Bored By Back Stitch: bead embroidered forms of St Petersburg chain stitch, metal mesh ribbon, and maybe some shibori silk ribbon too.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I am constantly exploring how to integrate new stitches and materials into mixed media bead embroidery.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Because there's a fire burning in my bones if I don't.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
I want everyone who ever thought that they'd like to try expressing themselves through bead embroidery, but thought it would be too difficult to learn, to be able to see how easy it is to get started.  Like many other art forms, bead embroidery is easy to start, difficult to master, and impossible to ever be finished with learning.  My goal is to never stop learning, and to take others along for the ride!  To that end, I work on new ideas, document what works and what doesn't, and share it with other mixed media fanatics.

Now, here are the bloggers that I'd like you to meet!

Tammy Powley is a writer, designer, and teacher. She has been a long time crafter working in all kinds of media from fiber arts to glass. After spending eight years on the art show circuit selling her jewelry designs as well as supplying small boutiques with her work, she began writing about her crafting experiences and focused on teaching others how to make jewelry. She is the author of numerous jewelry making books, has an extensive background in writing for the web, and was’s Guide to Jewelry Making for 15 years. Tammy has a Ph.D. in Texts and Technology, and as her "day job," she teaches college English, primarily composition, literature, and technical communications.

Eileen Bergen returned to her artistic roots after taking early retirement. Financial reverses spurred her to pinch pennies. What better way than to DIY? Soon Eileen was selling in galleries, expos and craft fairs. That led to her own gift shop and finally The Artful Crafter website. She chose the motto "The Artful Crafter - Helping Crafters to Be", figuring there were probably more people out there like her – people who need to bring in extra cash and aren't aware of their hidden talents.

Her original intention was to advise other crafty people on how to get started crafting for profit, but soon casual crafters as well began writing with questions.

Cherie Burbach is a poet, mixed media artist, and freelance writer specializing in lifestyle and relationships. She's written for, NBC/Universal,, Christianity Today, and more. Her latest book is: My Soul Is From a Different Place: Poems.

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