Monday, May 25, 2015

Bead Journal Project: May 2015


I made a slashed rectangle for this month's Bead Journal Project piece.  I saw one of these once that was really long, and was hanging from one of its corners so that it sort of spiraled down with the center slashes gaping open.  I liked that one a lot.  My own attempt...not so much!  I didn't have time to do one that was long enough to get the full effect, so maybe I should have just saved it for another month.

Here's what the felt looks like after you've slashed it.  You can see that all you have to do is alternate between slashing the middle and the sides.  




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

March 2015: Orb form
April 2015: Pyramid form
May 2015: Slashed rectangle 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, May 22, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!


Blocky Layout Makeover: Scrapbooking Outside the Box
Eileen took a layout from blocky to eye-catching with a makeover of a scrapbook page commemorating those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.

Surviving Disney & Comforting Crochet
Crafty Princess talks a little about the Disney cruise she went on recently and the comfy crochet baby afghan she is working on.

Connie Gee's Designs
Connie shares a recent finish along with information about where you can find the pattern and what she used to complete it.

Glass Garden Mushrooms
Cherie brings up an oldie but popular post on her blog about glass garden mushrooms.

Art Bead Scene
Check out Claire's art bead picks to get your juices flowing for our May challenge!


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads


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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book review: Easy Jewelry Making


Easy Jewelry Making was compiled from the pages of BeadStyle magazine, and includes more than 50 projects from the magazine's eleventh year of publication!  If you don't subscribe to BeadStyle, this is a great way to get the best of the best projects.  The projects are arranged by materials - crystals, stones, glass, pearls, metals, and mixed media.  There is great variety, and most projects can be done using other materials than those shown, which is good, because there are no sources provided.  That's a problem for those who want to duplicate the projects exactly, but is a great jumping off point for those who prefer to go their own way.

There are many good points to this volume.  The projects are easy, you will learn lots of good basic skills in many areas of beading, all while making fun pieces.  There are great tips included to help you go beyond the project.  There are also tips on how to do things better and faster, and their is fashion advice scattered throughout!

Best of all is the breadth of basic skills covered.  Just check out this list: knotting, finishing, weaving, wrapping, crimping, color blending, epoxy clay, working with chain, attaching charms, designing with color, wire wrapping, working with leather, using memory wire, getting necklaces to drape nicely, using a jig, and MORE!

Is that enough to get you started?  :-)

One of my favorite pieces is this beauty by Dana Meredith, called Nature's Treasures:




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Monday, May 18, 2015

Faerie Bells, revisited


There are some designs that you come up with that end up being worth repeating, and Faerie Bells was one of those for me.  I was a little surprised to find that how different each of the pieces ended up looking though!

Amethyst Faerie Bells Necklace

Using Moonstone

Using larger "sea glass" nuggets

An elaborate pearl necklace


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Friday, May 15, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!



Bead Board Video
This brief video shows how to use a bead board to design beaded jewelry.

Craft Lights and WIPs
Connie tells about her latest WIPs along with a new wrinkle that her craft lamp has thrown into her stitching plans.

Art Bead Scene
Check out Mary's round up of books covering the history of beads - fascinating stuff!!

Decoupage Glass Vase Organizers Have Many Uses
Eileen created hers to organize paint brushes and foam pouncers. But decoupage glass vase organizers can be put to many uses. Use the cubes as candy dishes or to hold pens and pencils.


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads


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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Book review: The Crafter's Guide to Patterns


The Crafter's Guide to Patterns by Jessica Swift and published by Lark focuses on both creating the patterns and on their application to your projects.  If you've ever stamped a simple pattern onto a background fabric in order to have a unique surface for your beading, you've been involved in pattern creation.  For me, this is an area of interest.  As much as I enjoy seeking out and using commercial fabrics in my work, I enjoy creating my own patterns even more, and Jessica has made the process very accessible.

The first part of the book covers finding inspiration for you own patterns, use of color, and pattern type.  From there Jessica moves into how to create the various types of repeats: straight, half-drop, and brick.  Unfortunately, there is a little bit of a problem with the instructions for the straight and half-drop (step 6 and step 2 accordingly), but if you follow the illustrations you can easily see what you are supposed to do.  Once you understand the process, you won't need the instructions anyway, but the first few times it's nice to have them.  I like that the process is also described for Photoshop and Illustrator, the two most widely used digital imaging tools.



The second half of the book focuses on application of those wonderful patterns you've created!  Fabric, giftwrap, stationery, packaging, and home goods are all covered.  Perhaps you'd like to create your own pattern and stencil a wall when you're not busy beading?  Jessica has you covered.  Also included in each of these application chapters is an interview with a top-notch surface design artist that Jessica has tagged for more inspiration.


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Monday, May 11, 2015

Bead embroidered dichroic glass pendant



My friend Jeanne Kent of New Terra Artifacts makes the most beautiful dichroic glass beads, cabochons, and pendants in the world!  Several years ago, I bought a set of beads from her called a blue rainbow...I have never regretted it!  Instead, I have had endless fun over the years, any time I am "in between" projects.


One of these little beads makes an awesome pendant, and with so many beads in the set, I can make fun little pendants to my heart's content.  You'll find all the information on back stitch, edging brick stitch, and stack stitches in the free chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.  It will also give you all the details about backing your piece properly, so below, you'll find the bare-bones outline of how to make this piece :-)



1. Stitch down the bead (and/or glue it down if it's a cabochon instead), and bezel it with size 11/0 seed beads.  I added an extra row of back stitch around the outside, because I wanted the bead count to be a multiple of 4.




2. Add a row of right angle weave and a row of Russian spiral, working the netting off of the "up" beads of the RAW stitches.  Each of the "up" beads was stitched down to the foundation before the netting was added.  Instructions for these stitches are in Bored By Back Stitch.  




3. Add a row of Russian spiral with large accent beads to the back stitched row of step 1.  This is why I needed the row to be a multiple of 4.




4.  Cut out the piece, leaving a small edge, and attach a piece of backing material with edging brick stitch in size 11/0 seed beads.  Add a small stack of size 15/0 seed beads to each edging bead.




5. Stitch a square stitch bail to the back of your pendant.




6. Finished!


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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