Monday, November 30, 2009

The Lady of Shalott - finished!






Here are all the construction steps:
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four

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Copyright 2009 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.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009






















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Friday, November 27, 2009

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!



Strands of Beads

Melissa is thankful for generous friends - who share their beading supplies!

A Bead A Day
Stop by A Bead A Day for a wonderful week of cubic zirconia sparkle sponsored by Artbeads.com. Ideas are always welcome!

About.com Jewelry Making
It's is so easy to get into the holiday spirit when you have the perfect lampwork beads to get you there. Just think of all the jewelry possibilities.

Art Bead Scene
Are you a Twilight Fan? If yes, then check out the Twilight inspired jewelry on the Art Bead Scene!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi uses embossing powder to make a bird pendant...a fun idea!

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
It's Double Dippin' Week - a week full of ideas for the Double Dips. Try a necklace and become "Entwined."

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie gives her review of Enchanted Adornments, and gives a reminder to enter the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge for your chance to win a copy of it and some other great beads, including new Earthenwood beads!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Ah, Etsy! So many of our problems solved by visiting Etsy for gifts for our dearest friends at this time of year. Take a look at this premade pendant, which also comes in a kit so you can teach yourself if you prefer. It's all jump rings and it's all beautiful. The Alchemist's Star!


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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Make It Merry!

Happy Thanksgiving, folks. Welcome to another edition of Make it Merry, where talented crafters share their holiday how-to's.




Snowman Ornament
Sherri Osborn will show you how to create a cute snowman face using a clear, glass ornament. It's a great project for the whole family.


Recycled Pine Cone Gnome
Get a glimpse of this pine cone gnome at the Recycled Crafts blog. It's a cute reason to collect a few pine cones around the yard.


CopprClay Pendants
Try your hand with pendant making this year with a little help from some winter foliage. The Beading Arts blog will show you how.


How to Make Paper
Handmade paper not only makes a great gift for the avid scrapbooker in your life, but you can also create tags and cards for every present on your list. Marion Boddy-Evans shows us how.


Little Town of Bethlehem Cross Stitch
Get down to the true meaning of Christmas with this simple cross stitch pattern from Connie G. Barwick.


Mitten Earrings
Tammy Powley shows us how to make these cute mitten earrings using lampwork beads.


Christmas Stocking
This cute two-color Christmas stocking is a breeze to knit, even if you've never knit a sock before. Worked with bulky yarn on big needles, it will be done and ready for you to embellish in no time.


Advent Garland
If you are looking for something a little different when it comes to counting down to the holidays this year then take a look at this pyramid box garland. Use the free template to make the boxes and decorate them with your favorite festive stamps.


Miniature Gift Boxes
Have a little gift to give? Check out these free printable miniature gift boxes for small gifts or advent calendars from Lesley Shepherd.


Manga Holiday Card
Instead of a traditional Christmas card, you could go with something a little more contemporary this year. Helen South has tips on how to create a manga style card.


Want to Join Make it Merry to show off your holiday crafts? We will showcase your crafts and recipes of all holiday traditions. Learn more.



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Artist profile - part eight

Metal clay by Lorena Angulo

Five more brilliant glass, bead, and jewelry artists for your viewing pleasure. If you'd like to be featured on, please leave me a comment here with your email address or email me directly at cyndi @ mazeltovjewelry.com (remove the spaces). I'd love to talk with you :-)


Jamee Jones

Lorena Angulo

Beverly Ash Gilbert

Lea Avroch

Liliana Cirstea Glenn

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Work in progress: The Lady of Shalott - part three

OK, we're getting there!








Here are all the construction steps:

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four



Copyright 2009 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.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Some simple CopprClay pendants



Here are a couple of really easy pendants you can make that would be good Christmas or holiday gifts this year. I used CopprClay, but you could use any other metal clay you wanted, or even polymer clay. Since these end up looking somewhat like fossils, it would be interesting to experiment with some of the "granite " colored polymer clays, or to mix your own faux stone.


The first pendant is made by simply rolling a leaf or anything else with texture right into the clay. You can either peel the leaf (I used a fern) back up, or leave it in place as it will burn out during firing.


Polymer clay mold


The second pendant takes an extra step. You first will need to create a mold of your leaf or texture, using polymer clay or any other mold-making material. Then the clay is pressed into the mold and removed before firing. The first technique gives you a pendant with the shape pressed into the metal, and this second technique gives you a raised shape on the surface of the metal. Both are very cool looking...it's really just a matter of preference.

For instructions on handling, firing, and finishing copper metal clay, please see my post here:
General instructions for working with CopprClay

Tools

Copyright 2009 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.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009





















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Friday, November 20, 2009

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Artbeads teamed up with Nintendo DS to create a fantastic virtual learning game for jewelry lovers! Style Lab! Jean shows it off in a youtube clip! FUN for the HOLIDAYS! :)

Strands of Beads
Melissa discusses the virtue of buttons in jewelry-making.

About.com Jewelry Making
What do you do with a weird piece of chain made from wood? How about making a fabulous necklace out of it.

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene gives you the scoop on findings worth finding - check it out!

Barbe Saint John
I've been a bad blogger!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a brooch with a cameo and other odds and ends.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Cindy has a new shop on Etsy - the bleeding heart. Check it out!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows the piece she made for the new book Chain Style, and talks about her struggles with letting go of her published jewelry pieces.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei's annual craft fair adventure is over and she share's some photos of the Aftermath.





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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Artist profile: Jean Hutter


Artist: Jean Hutter
Business name: Totally Twisted
Location: Lakewood, NJ and Lake Ariel, PA



Websites & Blogs:
Jean Hutter Beads blog
Totally Twisted etsy shop
Totally Twisted 1000 markets shop

Jean, how do you describe your work?
My work is constantly evolving and changing. I would describe it as eclectic – a little of this and a little of that. I enjoy beadweaving, bead embroidery, stringing and wire work. I started with wire hence the name Totally Twisted. I don’t work with wire as much any more but I think the name still fits me. I see my work evolving to include more natural and found objects – I would also like to start using fabric in my jewelry.



What is your creative process like?
Well I usually work on one thing at a time and I like to know what I may be working on next. I have a list of things I would like to try or make and I sometimes pick from the list, other times I just jump in and see what develops from random beading – kind of like doodling with beads. I hardly every draw out an idea or a design – just pick up the beads and go with it. I do have some idea of what I want the finished piece to be – not that I always achieve success – I have had a necklace turn into a bracelet and vice versa.

I work on an old computer desk and I like to have lots of room to spread things out so I can mix and match. I usually work in small blocks of time – I am not a marathon beader – my eyes and back can’t take that anymore.



What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
I am a fine artist and I paint large abstracts on canvas. I have been doing artsy things for as long as I can remember. I started looking at making jewelry about 4 years ago as a “nice little hobby”, something to do in between painting. I took some classes at my local bead store, bought a lot of books and magazines, learned beadweaving stitches, etc. My “nice little hobby” has turned into a big obsession and a room filled with all kinds and colors of beads.

Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
Since the majority of my work right now is beadweaving I would have to say Fireline.



What inspires you to create?
It would be hard to pinpoint what drives my need to create. Whether it be beading or painting I would describe it as a need. I love to look at nature – the colors and texture. I love fabric – colors and patterns.

What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
This is an interesting question as I often find myself in a creative slump. I constantly question my direction and I have had periods that I find it very difficult to bead or to paint. The major thing that keeps me going is I know it will pass – I know my best work is to come. I sometimes think these slumps are actually the start of a growth period or a chance to learn something new – so I just keep plugging along. Eventually I get over it and make something that I think is pretty darn good and I am happy again.



What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
Enjoy the journey. Study, take classes, ask questions, look at other people’s work but above all keep working. Do not compare your work to others – you are unique and your work should reflect that and above all else have fun!

What takes up the majority of your time besides your art?
Gee I wish I could say marketing – I am good at creating, marketing not so much. This is something I need to focus on. I am married and have 3 cats. We have a house at the Jersey Shore and in the summer a lake house in PA. I enjoy reading, cooking and just chilling out. Funny thing is I never get away from the art – if I am not physically doing something I am creating in my head.

What’s your favorite comfort food?
Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.




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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Special offer from Artbeads!


The good folks at Artbeads are one of the suppliers who occasionally send me different beads, pendants, and other products to allow me to create projects to share with all of you. Now they're offering a wonderful special that you can take advantage of directly! From now until December 31, 2009, Artbeads is offering 10% off any order if you will use the special coupon code that I've got posted below.

Since shipping is always free in the U.S. and is only $1 to Canada, this special offer is really worthwhile. Artbeads has a wide selection of beads, findings, and other jewelry making supplies available on their website. No minimum purchase is required to use this offer!

10% off coupon code: SCF10P-ARTBEADS-0424
expires 12/31/09


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Monday, November 16, 2009

Work in progress: The Lady of Shalott - part two

I've made some progress with my new bead embroidered necklace. The Tennyson poem that tells the story of the cursed Lady of Shalott says that she was doomed to look at the world only in the reflections of her looking glass, and then to weave what she saw into tapestries.

I've included some small mirrors (shisha) to represent her looking glass which have been embroidered into place. I'm attempting to hint at her tapestries through the sinuous lines that are echoed over and over in related colors. I'm planning for most of the piece to be done in deep teal.







Here are all the construction steps:

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four


Copyright 2009 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.


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Saturday, November 14, 2009






















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Friday, November 13, 2009

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!



Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Setting up a table at a craft can be daunting, but Lorelei put together a perfectly Vintage Chic display that will hopefully lure people in.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
In the spirit of the season, whereby "you can get nything you want" as in the famous Alice's Restaurant song by Arlo, you can get some fascinating things at Andrew Thornton's store. Great for holidays to come!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Using a hand-painted Russian pendant from Artbeads.com, Andrew creates an enchanting response to Art Bead Scene's November prompt: Dadd's The Fairy Fellers' Master-Stroke.

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy has another installment of Make It Merry this week.

Art Bead Scene
November is full of fairies at the Art Bead Scene. Come check out the inspiration painting for the monthly challenge!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a give-away offer on "the ugly necklace."

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Cindy reflects on how to live life at a slower pace. Her reflections inspire a pair of earrings.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie starts a new project, an upcycled film themed jewelry line called Now Showing! Read the story behind this fun new idea.

Jean Campbell
Jean finds her first piece of beadwork in a junk drawer and discusses how important it is to reinforce your work



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Thursday, November 12, 2009

New beads from Earthenwood Studio


I received these new beads and pendants from Earthenwood Studio! Perhaps you've noticed the sponsor's ad in the sidebar...well these are a few of the new styles that my friend Melanie Brooks is making. I haven't decided on a project for them yet...any suggestions?



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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Magazine review and giveaway: Totally Creative online


Totally Creative magazine is a relative newcomer on the scene, but I think it already shows a lot of promise. The sample issue that I saw contained articles by several artists whose work I know and love, including the fabulous Barbara Matthiessen, who wrote an extensive tutorial on creating multi-layered surface design effects on fabric. I also found an article by my friend Beth Wheeler, who shared a felting project.

So what you'll find are professional designers, whose names you'll know from other magazines and books, who've created projects in all different media and for all different skill levels. Sound interesting?

There were no wearables in this sample issue, but there may be some in other issues. Covering a wide variety of craft media, the issue that I saw was organized around the season and its holidays. There are projects to do with the kids, lots of home decor and gift ideas, a book and a product review, and a directory of online resources to help you actually be able to make the projects. There are many fabric projects that could definitely be enhanced even further by your beading skills!

***FREE STUFF ALERT***


So here's the giveaway: leave a comment below, telling me what your favorite craft or art form is besides beading, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a free subscription to Totally Creative for a year! That is six issues, altogether :-) Next week, I will be randomly drawing a winner!


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Monday, November 09, 2009

Making a floral necklace


Using the cute little beaded flowers that I showed you a couple weeks ago, plus a few more styles, I fashioned a floral necklace that I named for my mother: RuthAnn's Garden. RuthAnn has an absolutely magic touch with flowers of all types, and her garden is always a riot of colors from the earliest spring to the lastest fall.

The focal flower on the top of the piece is styled after a hibiscus, modified slightly (but only slightly!) from the excellent instructions given by Kerrie Slade in the April 2009 issue of Bead&Button Magazine.

For my general instructions on bead embroidery, please check Bead Embroidery Techniques.



1. Cut a piece of ultrasuede a bit bigger than you want your finished piece to be. Stitch free-form right angle weave for the background, stitching each loop to the background in several spots as you go.



2. Using a paper tracing of the foundation, arrange your beaded flowers and snap a picture of them.



3. Stitch down the flowers, using the long tails to tack them in place securely, knotting them on the back. Stitch a few extra tacks for the largest flower to prevent it from drooping. Add smaller flowers to fill in the large holes.



4. Stitch and add spiral square stitch tendrils, again using the tails to tack them in place.



5. Add glass leaves by stitching a short stack of seed beads, adding a leaf and a stop bead, and stitching back down through the stack. Anchor each stack individually and securely so that they won't end up stretching out or drooping later.

6. Stitch two figure-8 loops to the underside of the top edge of the necklace, with one-third to one-half the loop sticking out beyond the edge.

7. Cut a piece of plastic or interfacing slightly smaller than your foundation. Lightly glue it in place, and lightly glue another piece of ultrasuede to the back. Cut the fabric pieces even and stitch around the outside to cover the raw edges. Add a row of picot stitch to finish it off.



7. String and wire straps together as you chose. I used French wire, (aka bullion wire) to cover the exposed SoftFlex beading wire. The central part of each strap is wired with 20 gauge gold wire.



8. Add a length of chain to each end in order to make your necklace adjustable. Add an S-hook to one end and a dangling bead cluster to the other.

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Copyright 2009 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.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009






















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Friday, November 06, 2009

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Jean Campbell
Jean describes what it's like to edit someone's book and shares her thoughts on Marcia DeCoster's latest, Beaded Opulence.

Jewelry & Beading
I am giving away a copy of Ronna Sarvas Weltman’s unique polymer clay book called "Ancient Modern". Come and get in on this contest!

Snap out of it Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is amazed by the treasures you find in Cynthia Thornton's spectacular wonder of a book, Enchanted Adornments!

Strands of Beads
Melissa trys out Friendly Plastic (and likes the results).

A Bead A Day
It's Arts & Crafts Week on Lisa's A-Bead-A-Day Blog! A different craft product is featured each day with ideas for incorporating them into jewelry pieces. Stop by and share your ideas!

About.com Jewelry Making
Make it merry with holiday jewelry and crafting ideas.

Art Bead Scene
An Art Bead Scene first - the December sponsors collaborate on a special set of art beads for the December monthly challenge prize!

Barbe Saint John - New Treasures from Forgotten Artifacts
Barbe is the last link in a Necklace Round Robin, Check out the finished pieces!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi uses a leather button to make a wearable collage.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Cindy has developed a new line of jewelry to remind us all to live life slowly and enjoy what we have. First in the series is "Grounded."

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio

Liver of Sulfur is finally in Lorelei's repertoire of jewelry techniques.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew adds new pieces from Hawaiian artist, Candice Wakumoto, to his shop.



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