Monday, May 04, 2015

Beaded wrap bracelets you can make for Mother's Day

These beaded wrap bracelets are still wildly popular this spring, and they are so so so easy to could whip up a few for yourself and for your Mom for Mother's Day!  I used a couple different ribbons from Offray instead of cording, because the color selection is so fabulous.

Materials & Tools

1/4" Champagne sheer Asiana ribbon (bracelet shown below and in tutorial steps)
5/8" Violet wire edged Arabesque ribbon (bracelet shown at the top)
Button with shank
Scotch tape
Beads (I used size 2/0 Czech seed beads)
Thread or embroidery floss (I used a double strand of metallic gold sewing thread)

Tape measure
Glue or Fray Check

You'll have to experiment with length to see what works best for your size wrist.  I like having enough left over cord to make tying the knots easier, so I use 26 inches for a single wrap, 46 inches for a double, and 62 inches for a triple wrap (the length will be halved, remember!).  For this triple wrap bracelet, the portion that I stitched with beads was about 22 inches, plus the button and the clasp.

1. Cut the tip of one end of the ribbon on a sharp slant and wrap it with a small piece of tape.  Thread this end through the button shank, and center it.

2. Tie a half hitch in the ribbon just below the button shank.  Knot your beading thread and anchor it in the ribbon knot using the needle. Take a few stitches back and forth to secure it.  Leave the tail - you will glue and clip it later.

3. My instructions have you working from the bottom, from right to left.  Start with the button on the right and the two halves of the ribbon extending towards the left, parallel to each other.  Pick up a bead with your threaded needle that you anchored in step 2.  Follow the orange thread path in the photo, and bring the thread up behind the two ribbons, nestling the bead between them.  Take the thread up and over the top ribbon and insert it down into the bead from in front of the ribbons.  Now follow the green thread path, exiting the needle in front of the bottom ribbon.  Pick up a new bead and repeat.  Pull the thread tight enough to roll the ribbon into a gently rounded cord, but not so tight that the beads buckle.  Smooth each newly added bead to the left to make sure they sit side by side before picking up the next.  

4. When you get to the end, tie an overhand knot in the ribbons right up against the last bead, and another knot far enough away to accommodate the button.  Stitch back and forth through the first knot with your thread several times and stitch backwards through the ribbon and a few beads to anchor it.  Knot the thread but leave the tail for now.

5. Use glue or Fray Check on all knots and on the ribbon just beyond the second knot.  Trim the threads when dry and cut the ribbon ends at a slant.

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 01, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Packing For A Cruise
Here are my must haves for cruising

Baby Shadow Box
Make a sweet dreams shadow box for new parents or for Mother's Day. Include baby's name and date of birth, a lullaby or poem.

Sea Inspired Necklace Project
Mermaids, fish, and starfish plus lots of wonderful glass beads make up this easy to assemble sea-themed necklace design.

Adventures in Dog Sitting
Connie's been dog-sitting and watching TV and, of course, stitching. Read a brief review of her latest project and be sure to check out the free patterns page for a new addition.

Art Bead Scene
Check out Claire's interview with Dawn of La Touchables - fascinating and inspiring!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Drop by and see all the Steampunk-inspired creations made by participants of the Amethyst Aether Special Challenge!

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Recent publications: April 2015

Beaded Chains & Ropes: Create Easy-to-Wear Jewelry Using Popular Stitches by Karin Van Voorhees

Easy Jewelry Making: 50+ projects from the 11th year of Bead Style magazine by BeadStyle magazine

Freeform Wire Art Jewelry: Techniques for Designing With Wire, Beads and Gems by Gayle Bird

The Jewelry Recipe Book: Transforming Ordinary Materials into Stylish and Distinctive Earrings, Bracelets, Necklaces by Nancy Soriano

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Bead Journal Project: April 2015

A number of years ago, I made my first experimental felt pyramid.  Since I wrote up all the instructions at that time, I'm going to just send you there to see the details of how its done.  However, I've got a couple of tips to add...

I decided not to use a stiff felt liner on all the faces of my current pyramid, only on the bottom.  Now I wish that I had taken the time to add them to each face.  See how it sort of sags?  Live and learn.

On my original, I wish that I had added beadwork to the side faces before assembling.  This time I did.  At least that part turned out better, but it is partly the weight of these additions that caused the sagging!

Here are my process shots.  Please visit the link above for the instructions, but remember to add the side decorations before assembling the sides!

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

March 2015: Orb form
April 2015: Pyramid 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, April 24, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Clay Cross Stitch
Have you ever heard of clay cross stitch? The words "unique" and "original" hardly do justice to clay artist Eva Stosic's latest adventures in clay.

How To Make A Pom Pom
Easy tutorial on how to make your own pom pom and ideas to use them.

Quick Craft Update
Adorable amigurumi overload! Owen the Monkey and Blair the Bunny are ready for their new home. Come say hello to them before they move on their way.

Art Bead Scene
Check out Mary's fun tutorial using macrame and leather!

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Book review: Beaded Chains & Ropes

You all know that bead embroidery is my thing, not so much beadweaving.  Although I enjoy beadweaving from time to time, it just never enthralls me the way embroidery does.  Except...

Except for beadweaving ropes.  I could spend time almost everyday weaving ropes, and I'd be happy (as long as I still had time to embroider).  There is something hypnotic, mind-freeing, and relaxing about beading a rope.  Sometimes they are tricky to get started, but once you've got the first few rows done, the rhythm kicks in and the zen descends!

I also love ropes because they're a great way to feature favorite pendants or art beads.  Now Karin Van Voorhees has put together a collection of really nice chains and ropes by a talented collection of designers, called appropriately Beaded Chains & Ropes.  All the major stitches are represented, including herringbone, brick, peyote, square, ladder, RAW and cubic RAW, crossweave, spiral, circular netting, Russian spiral, St Petersburg chain, daisy chain, bead crochet, and kumihimo.

For a quick refresher on the stitches, just turn to the back!  This is Kalmbach publication, so you know the quality of the illustrations and photos is excellent, and the instructions are easy to follow.  Some of the projects have been previously published in Bead & Button magazine, but quite a bit is new specifically for this book.

As for me, I'm inspired to maybe try some new spirals!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Black + copper bead embroidered pendant

I've had this beautiful black and copper swirl dichroic glass pendant for a long time, and it is certainly large enough to just wear on its own by adding a large jump ring, but I wanted to do a bit more.  Not too much more, though!  I'm very happy with the compromise I came up with.

If you are new to bead embroidery or to making pendants, step-by-step instructions for putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, and stack stitch can be found in the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.  Chapter two has instructions for stitching a peyote stitch bezel, and Chapter three teaches the square stitch bail.

1. I decided to stick with only the colors already found in the pendant.  I used some double stick tape to hold the pendant down temporarily while I bezeled it with size 11/0 seed beads, topped by a row of size 15/0 seed beads to cinch it in.  I used a Swarovski marguerite to hide the pendant hole and to secure it to the foundation fabric even more securely.

2. Cut a piece of backing fabric to match the top and add edging brick stitch in size 11/0 seed beads around the outside, trapping a large jump ring at the center of the bottom.

3. Use size 15/0 seed beads to add stack stitches to each edging bead. I alternated colors and height.

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

5. Add a chain or cord to the bail, and use a bead pin to add a couple of beads to dangle at the bottom.  I used another Swarovski marguerite and a Swarovski crystal pearl.

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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