Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New bead and wire book available



Tammy Powley's new book is available on Amazon! Here's part of the book review blurb:

"Jewelry making is one of the most popular craft trends, and its audience continues to grow. Few jewelry books on the market emphasize the importance of the design relationship between beads, wire, and jewelry findings-the "nuts and bolts" of any piece. This book will show not only how to design and build your own spectacular jewelry out of beads and wire but how to design and create your own findings as well."

The book is getting good reviews from readers too. Congratulations Tammy!


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Friday, August 26, 2005

Crocheted fiber-wrap necklace tutorial

Tribal 2

Since I've had several "how did you make those?" requests, I decided to post simple directions here on the blog and add the link to my list of tutorials. Really, this couldn't be easier. The biggest trick is to have beads with large enough holes to accomodate the crochet thread, and to have a variety of fibers sitting about. Here's how mine was made.

Materials:
Cotton crochet thread (I used black)
Large-holed beads
Variety of fibers in 3' lengths

Tools:
Crochet hook
Twisted wire needle
Tapestry needle

Step One ~ Create the beaded strand
String all of your beads onto the crochet thread, remembering to place the biggest ones in the middle of the batch. Chain about 100 stitches. Don't worry about whether it's enough ~ if you come to the end before finishing your necklace, you can always add more. If there are too many, you can just remove some. Start double or single crocheting along the chain, depending upon how thick you want the stand. Add your beads a semi-regular intervals. When you get to the end, chain some more to form a closing loop. Crochet back along the entire length with single crochet to reinforce the strand. At the other end, chain some more, and crochet back along that strand until you meet up with the already-reinforced part. Add a bead or button closure to the end of this chain.

Step Two ~ Fiber wrap the strand
Really simple now! Don't make it too complicated. Take strands of interesting fibers, and wrap them along the length of the beaded strand. I kept most of mine doubled. Knot them at both ends, with tails hanging down. Repeat with additional fibers, making sure that you wrap in slightly different patterns, and/or end in different spots. When you've wrapped all that you want, look to see where additional fringes of fibers are needed. Cut short doubled lengths and knot them on, using the crochet hook to slip them in place underneath other fibers. If anything does not stay wrapped to your liking, you can always tack the fibers into place with a needle and thread.

That's it! Fun, huh?
Tribal 1

Copyright 2005 Cyndi Lavin. 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.

To ask questions or leave comments about this post, please visit Jewelry & Beading

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Beads and fibers


Tribal

Some beautiful deep teal ceramic beads were sitting around looking lonely...and the soft fluffy fibers I've recently collected seemed lonely too :-)




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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Red hot



This is a simple little pendant I put together yesterday after finishing the big honking beaded neckpiece. It's a thank you present for a friend. I made the pendant bead awhile ago, and it has beautiful silver dichroic glass swirls through it. There are a couple of smaller lampwork bead spacers, and the oval shaped ones are antique trade beads from ~1875.

Anyway, the picture is very blurry, but it is too late to do anything about it right now because I had to pull the batteries from my camera to recharge. So I'm stuck for several hours...I know I should have backups! DH and I are going on a Boston Harbor cruise tonight (a reward from his workplace for a successful project), and I want to make sure the camera's ready to go then. The only angle from which Boston looks pretty is from the harbor :-)



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Monday, August 22, 2005

The ammonite neckpiece is done


Ammonite Neckpiece

This piece ended up using three different major techniques: bead embroidery, freeform peyote stitch, and complex interwoven stringing. In addition, I had to make the lampwork glass beads in various shades of amber, brown, and purple before it could be completed. I'm pretty psyched with the way it turned out!



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Thursday, August 18, 2005

A little baby step forward



I haven't had a lot of time to work on this, so I've only got one little woven section done so far.

The lampwork glass bead is not orange, it's amber colored. The weirdness is just from my flash.



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Monday, August 15, 2005

Three done...freeform time!



Last night, thunderstorms ripped through our area, bringing some blessed cooler weather. Now I'll be able to turn on the kiln and the torch and make the glass beads in the browns and ambers that I've been envisioning for this necklace! If I weren't such a heat-wimp, I'd have made them last week, but I tend to melt even faster than glass...



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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Next step in ammonite necklace



Just one more embroidered piece to make, and I'll be able to start weaving the sections together, probably using free-form peyote stitch!



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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Would you spend $5 to help this cute face?

Baylie's webpage

Inspired by Lance Armstrong's fundraising efforts, young Baylie began to make bracelets to raise money to help fund research on the very rare and incurable (so far) brain disorder that afflicts her. My dear friend Bill lost his young son to brain tumors last year (August 6 ~ I miss you Maty B), and although it's not the same disease, I can't think of a better way to honor Mat's memory than to support research into Baylie's illness.

Join me?



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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I'm curious about something

Well, lots of somethings actually! But what's on my mind today is the issue of how many projects people have going at one time. I was raised to finish one thing before I started another, so it took awhile for me to transition into my current mode ~ which is having three to four pieces in progress at any one time. More than that, and I get overwhelmed. Fewer, and I don't feel like working on the one!

So, even though I've got this huge honking ammonite necklace thing in progress, and I've got a small mixed media art quilt underway, yesterday seemed like the perfect time to experiment with a little sunprinting. I had two nice scraps of muslin that were just begging to be used.





Now I'm not really sure if they'll end up as backgrounds for necklaces or for wall art, but they were really fun!

Do you know what's the optimal number of projects for you to have going at once?


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Monday, August 08, 2005

Forgive me for cross-posting...

...the same thing to both of my blogs, but this is what's on my heart today.

At age 3, my daughter declared, "Mommy, art is my life!" On Saturday, August 6, my husband and I dropped her off at art school.


There's a big gaping hole in my heart right now.

But I'll get over it.





Monday, August 01, 2005

Reworked earrings...and bracelet



My friend Anne asked me to take apart her old clip-on button style earrings and remake them into a new set of dangle earrings and a bracelet. She has a really tiny delicate wrist, so I made it from organza ribbon.


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