Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Home jewelry parties



Once you've mastered your techniques and built up a reasonable amount of inventory, what can you do to immediately start promoting and selling your jewelry?  Consider booking home jewelry parties.  A surprising number of successful jewelry business owners say that this is the least expensive and most immediate way to launch that there is!

Interested in trying out home parties?  One of your first decisions needs to be what type of party you'd like to have.  Are you going to offer finished wares, or have party-goers choose the finishing elements themselves?  Will you focus on a theme (Twilight still seems to be very popular right now...go figure!), on specific items of jewelry, or will it just be everything you've got?  Once you've made these opening decisions, your success will depend mostly on doing your homework:

Meylah writes about her top 10 tips for throwing a successful jewelry party.  After you've read through this short post, you'll probably have a better idea if jewelry parties are for you.  If so, read on...

Rena Klingenberg helps you figure out the details, especially the financial ones.  Do NOT miss her article on successful jewelry home parties

Preston Reuther has written a number of articles on home jewelry parties.  His focus is on wire, but many of the tips transcend the medium. 

Do you have some friends who offer services that are compatible with your jewelry?  Maybe you want to consider a more complicated destination party

Or perhaps your friends are just too tired to spend an evening at a jewelry party.  What about an earring lunch?  My brilliant friend Lori Anderson came up with this!



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Monday, January 30, 2012

Pricing your jewelry



Oh, how we hate to talk about money!  We feel like we need to apologize for our prices, explain why the pieces are worth what we're asking, and then when all is said and done, we too often underprice them anyway!  Why is that??

I shared some ideas awhile ago for how to improve your jewelry designs and how to make better art.  Once you've moved past the stage of learning basic techniques and have begun to create pieces that truly bare your mark, your next big decision is whether or not to sell your pieces.  And then...shudder...you've got to figure out how much to charge.  Yikes!  

Let me recommend Alyson Stanfield's excellent post to you: 12 tips for pricing your artwork.  No, Alyson will not tell you how much to charge, or even what formula you should use to determine your prices, but she does give you valuable guidelines for the mindset that you must have in order to figure it out for yourself.     


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Friday, January 27, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Want to help a small business out? It's so easy! With a few clicks you can help Allegory Gallery get some free advertising dollars!

About.com Jewelry Making
Are you struggling with the cost of metal right now? Tammy gives you a tip for getting the look of metal beads without the cost.  

Art Bead Scene
Gaea shares some of her current favorite beading and craft related tools.

Beading Arts
Interested in publishing this year? How about starting out with a magazine?    

Beads and Books
Join the spring challenge and makeover a ready-made wintry bracelet into a piece of springtime jewelry!
 
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Everyday Gemstones from the publishers of BeadStyle magazine is beautiful, easy, and is a special Winter 2012 issue --and Jean thrilled to be in it!  




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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Yay for Doris!



Doris, who writes By His Stripes We Are Healed blog, is the winner of the Ceramic Sculptures book!  Congratulations, Doris!

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Giveaway #4 from Lark Books



This is the final week!

Most of you already know that Lark Publishing gave me all eight Studio Series books to give away this month.  I'm splitting them between here on Beading Arts and over on Mixed Media Artist, so please make sure you head over there when you're finished signing up here.  Each week for the whole month, I'll be offering one of the books on each blog.  I think that these are the perfect books to inspire you to try something new this year, and since January is traditionally the month we focus on education and all things new, the timing just couldn't be better.





***Free Stuff Alert!!!***

Last up is the Art Tiles book!  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!

Please make sure that your link will lead me to an email address, or else I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  Deadline: February 2, 2012

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

TAST week 4 - cretan stitch



I love this stitch!  It looks so good when you make it a bit uneven...or free form if you prefer that term.  Of course it looks good when it's done in even rows too, but for my my Take a Stitch Tuesday quilt, with its underwater theme, I thought a couple lines of free form cretan stitch would look great running up the middle.

TAST week 1 - fly stitch
TAST week 2 - blanket stitch
TAST week 3 - feather stitch 
TAST week 4 - cretan stitch

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Magazine submissions for beading and jewelry




Here's a good goal for the new year: get published!

Do you want to write for a magazine or see your work featured in one?  Then take a look through this updated list of contacts:

Bead & Button
Step by Step Wire Jewelry
Stringing
Beadwork
Bead Design Studio
Belle Armoire Jewelry
Jewelry Affaire
Jewelry Artist
Art Jewelry
BeadStyle
Bead Trends
Bead (UK)
Beads & Beyond (UK)
Where Women Create
Studios
Jill Oxton's Cross Stitch and Beading

What am I missing?  Anymore that you know about?



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Monday, January 23, 2012

Reader questions about a bead embroidery bracelet



Hi Cyndi,
I just love your bracelet with the bottle lid.  I have made one other embroidered bead cuff and am hooked.  It came out pretty good for a first try.   I would like to make your bracelet.  Do you have a pattern I could buy?  Or is it in a book?  I am not much of an artist so it would definitely be a challenge to get the bracelet pattern on a backing.  I plan to keep the bracelet for myself and not use a brass cuff but back the bracelet only, sewing the two pieces together.  I have a very small wrist --5 1/2"--cuffs feel awkward to me and look too big.  I think it would work out with a closure of some sort sewn on--what do you think?

Thanks, Shirley

Turns out that I did have a tutorial for that bead embroidery cuff, but it didn't have a specific pattern.  I do think that a stitched closure would work out fine, maybe a sewn on button style like these.  What I used was a very plain cuff blank, much smaller than the finished piece, and the stiffness of the beadwork helped keep the shape firm around the edges.  I also suggested to Shirley that she help herself to the free download of my first e-book chapter, titled Bead Embroidery Stitches.



FREE e-BOOK CHAPTER


 

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Yay for Hajer!



Congratulations to Hajer, who writes My Beaded World.  She won a copy of the the Pendants book from Lark!




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Friday, January 20, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!



Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Valentine's Day is one of the most delightful days on Jean's calendar! Why? Because she gets to think about love, and jewelry such as the astounding pendants at NanoStyle! Tell your beloved "I love you" in a most incredible way! 

A Bead A Day
Interested in using plastic to create special Valentine's Day Jewelry? Here are a couple of pieces for inspiration.

About.com Jewelry Making
What is better than some beaded embroidery how-to for a buck? Errr..nothing!  

Art Bead Scene
Heather offers a beautiful free project inspired from high in the treetops!  

Beading Arts
Cyndi has been trying to encourage everyone to get out there and take a class this year!  

Beads & Books
See the 30+ beautiful winter jewelry designs in the Secret Snowflake Challenge. Participants used techniques such as bead embroidery, resin, stringing, wirework, etching, and more!  

Charlene Sevier Jewelry
Sometimes jewelry acts up a little before it comes together. Charlene shares one of those times.
 
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie looks back at an older post where a favorite song inspired a series of wing themed pendants.  



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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Giveaway #3 from Lark Books



Most of you already know that Lark Publishing gave me all eight Studio Series books to give away this month.  I'm splitting them between here on Beading Arts and over on Mixed Media Artist, so please make sure you head over there when you're finished signing up here.  Each week for the whole month, I'll be offering one of the books on each blog.  I think that these are the perfect books to inspire you to try something new this year, and since January is traditionally the month we focus on education and all things new, the timing just couldn't be better.





***Free Stuff Alert!!!***

Next up is the Ceramic Sculptures book!  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!

Please make sure that your link will lead me to an email address, or else I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  Deadline: January 26, 2012

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Look what I got from Jean!



Most of you know my friend Jean Yates, who writes Snap out of it Jean!  There's beading to be done!  For those who don't, I would suggest that you get acquainted...Jean is totally delightful.  You'll find her links in my weekly blogging round-up posts each Friday morning. In fact, it was one of those posts that led me to visit her one day and leave a comment, because she was giving away a set of those stunning beads you see at the top of the post.  Amazing, huh?

The beads are handmade by Beaded Lily, and I just can't WAIT to make something with them.  You'll be the first to see it when I do :-)

Thank you, Jean!




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Business or hobby?


So many people dream of having a jewelry making business.  I'd like to ask you one thing: why?

Have you really thought about whether you want a jewelry business?  Have you considered that there is absolutely nothing wrong with NOT having one?  That it's ok to decide to have a jewelry hobby, or maybe to sell just enough to support that hobby? 

Here are a couple of terrific posts and videos which lay it all out.  As we head full-steam ahead into a new year, I hope you'll find these thoughts helpful in clarifying your own goals, dreams, and plans!

Megan Auman, who writes Designing an MBA, has a post called Running your business vs. pursuing your hobby that you won't want to miss.  You'll need to read it along with the podcast that she did for Crafty Pod.  Megan assures us that there is absolutely nothing wrong with just wanting a hobby, and the realities of running a business are not for everyone.

Jennifer VanBenschoten tackles a slightly smaller question in To sell or not to sell?  She focuses on the issue of whether or not to part with a specific piece that you've made!

Diane Gilleland goes on to look at the question, Does the money automatically follow from doing what you love?  Short answer: nope.  If you are not intentional about it, a business may or may not grow from your actions.  Read this post...it's very helpful, and Diane also discusses something that we don't like to think about: most people who are "successful" in creative businesses are not making most of their income solely from selling their wares.  You can argue with her if you like, but I think there's a lot of truth in what she's suggesting.  


Watch live streaming video from etsy at livestream.com
Crafting a Well-Rounded Business

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

TAST week 3 - feather stitch



The edges of my Take a Stitch Tuesday quilt are slowly starting to fill up!  This week featured one of my favorite stitches, feather stitch, so I really enjoyed myself this afternoon, running a couple rows of the stitch along an edge and adding some shell and beads to it.

My theme for the quilt is an underwater kelp garden, so I could very easily end up adding more feather stitch before the piece is done.  I just don't want to go overboard right now, not knowing what stitches are coming up in the following weeks.  This has really been fun! 


TAST week 1 - fly stitch
TAST week 2 - blanket stitch
TAST week 3 - feather stitch


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Online jewelry and beading education


There's so much to be said for classes...being able to see the technique demonstrated, being able to ask questions, mixing and mingling and meeting new people. It's all good.  Unfortunately, it's not always possible for everyone to go somewhere to take a class.

Fortunately, there is the internet!

There are two main categories of posts on Beading Arts that will lead you to lots of techniques, tips, tutorials, and fun new projects to try. There are also new resources that I'll be adding to these categories pretty regularly. There will be some overlap on these lists. Sorry, but it's unavoidable :-)

The Basics - Getting Started - online instruction to help take the place of basic classes

Tutorials & Techniques - all kinds of beading and jewelry how-tos


There are other class and tutorial resources all over the internet, and I've included quite a few of them below.  Note that not all of them are free. If you'd like to share a source that you think I've missed, please do!  I'd love to be able to have the most complete list of resource links for online learning anywhere!

E-courses by Tammy Powley
Free resources from the About.com guide

JewelryLessons
Featuring tutorials by Eni Oken and friends

Interweave Store
Online store of projects

Bead Patterns
Especially helpful for seed bead patterns

Ganoksin
An unbelievable database of jewelry making tutorials

Beaducation
Online classes by nationally known teachers

Polymer Clay Tutor
Videos and much more by Cindy Lietz

Jewelry Making Professor
Lots of helpful videos

Instructional sheets at Rings & Things

Bead and wire charts from SoftFlex

Beginner course from the Land of Odds






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Monday, January 16, 2012

Jewelry and beading school classes


American Jeweler's Institute in Oregon

Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Tennesee

Boca Raton Museum of Art - The Art School in Florida

Colorado School of Jewelry & Metalarts

Idyllwild Arts in California

Jewelry Creations Workshop in Florida

John C Campbell Folk School in North Carolina

Lillstreet Art Center in Illinois

Miami Jewelry School in Florida

Northwest Gemological Institute in Washington

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in California

Rye Arts Center in New York

Studio Jewelers Ltd in New York City

3rd Ward in Brooklyn, New York

I'm sure there are more schools and non-profit organizations that offer classes. Can you think of any to add?  Leave me a comment with your suggestions and I'll add them to the list!

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 

Resin Crafts!
Carmi has a two part series featuring resin on agate!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Margot Potter, Swarovski, the incredible low down on the most fab event at Tucson this year! You must check this out!!! WOW! 

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi declares 2012 as the Year of The Knot!




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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yay for Shel!!



Michelle, aka Shel, writes MiShel Designs, and she is the WINNER of our Earrings book, the first Lark book giveaway this month!!   You might remember that Shel gave us an up close and personal view of going to Tucson last year. 



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Giveaway #2 from Lark Books



Most of you already know that Lark Publishing gave me all eight Studio Series books to give away this month.  I'm splitting them between here on Beading Arts and over on Mixed Media Artist, so please make sure you head over there when you're finished signing up here.  Each week for the whole month, I'll be offering one of the books on each blog.  I think that these are the perfect books to inspire you to try something new this year, and since January is traditionally the month we focus on education and all things new, the timing just couldn't be better.





***Free Stuff Alert!!!***

Next up is the Pendants book!  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!

Please make sure that your link will lead me to an email address, or else I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  Deadline: January 19, 2012

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Three Bezels Plus a Bonus" is ready to go!



I've just launched my newest bead embroidery e-booklet!  Three Bezels Plus a Bonus looks at how to add Swarovski rivolis to your bead embroidery and dress them up with three creative bezeling techniques.  Additionally, you'll receive step-by-step advice on how to bezel around an irregularly shaped cabochon.

For only $3, you can download your own copy of this 30 page e-booklet if you're interested in this topic.










  

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How to get your work featured on Beading Arts in 2012

Hanging the Moon


If you'd like to share a piece you've made, all you have to do is shoot me an email to beadingarts @ gmail . com (remove the spaces). Please put beading arts image to share in the subject line. We love to read about things like what inspired you to make the piece and any challenges that you faced, so tell us a bit about yourself and the image that you're sending. Please size your image to 72 dpi resolution, and make it no wider than 600px. I'll gladly share your website and/or blog link along with your image and description.

If you'd like to consider sharing an in depth artist profile with us (see Artist Profiles for past examples), just put beading arts artist profile in the subject line. I'll send you the questions that I ask profiled artists to consider...I think you'll be able to tell from those questions whether or not you'll want to do a full profile. If it seems to be too much, you could simply send me an artist statement that covers what materials you like best and what inspires you, along with about 3 images you'd like to feature.

Do you have a favorite technique that you'd like to share in a tutorial?  You know we'd love to see that...as beaders and jewelry-makers, we are always looking for new ideas.  If that's the case, use beading arts tutorial in the subject line and tell me briefly what you're thinking about sharing with us.

I'm always looking for new artists to promote and profile as well as established favorites! So please don't be shy...send me that query!






Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TAST week 2 - blanket stitch



Here is my second Take a Stitch Tuesday entry.  This week is blanket stitch, which is also known as buttonhole stitch.  Since I usually refer to it as blanket stitch on Mixed Media Artist, that's the term I'll use here. The image above is the unadorned quilt top.  Each week (more or less!), I'll show you the little area that I add stitching to, but I'm not going to show you updates of the entire quilt top until it's finished.

Below is the blanket stitch sample I did.  The entire quilt is actually pieced together by hand with blanket stitch, as you can see in the photo, but that's not the sample part!  I added a couple of strands of fuzzy yarn using blanket stitch to couch them in place, and then I added a second row of blanket stitch below the first so that some of the arms would stick out.  I made the arms uneven lengths to make it a bit more interesting, since all of the piecing blanket stitch that I do during quilt construction is fairly even...or at least it's supposed to be!


TAST week 1 - fly stitch
TAST week 2 - blanket stitch


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Book review: 21st Century Jewelry

Maybe you don't collect the Lark Publishing 500 Series the way I do, but if not, this is one that you don't want to miss.  21st Century Jewelry: The best of the 500 series is a compilation book, created by Marthe Le Van and a team of jury experts.  This volume has selected the best of the best from the last 10 years of brilliant Lark books featuring art jewelry.

Even though I've seen most (all?) the books that these brilliant pieces are culled from, I ended up seeing them in new ways and really enjoying the additional information provided by the jurors about what the pieces mean to them.  And I rediscovered some amazing art jewelry artists.  The pieces range from very traditional to extremely experimental, and even unwearable.  But all had something arresting about them: the beauty of a perfectly cut stone, a line, a color palette, beautiful balance.


I was totally taken by Kath Inglis's Skin-Deep Bangles (one shown above), which are totally contemporary and totally captivating.  You can see more of Kath's work on her site.  I also re-fell in love with Jessica Morrison's organic style of gold and fine silver jewelry (one shown below).  Can't get much more different  than these two artists are from each other, huh?  A trip through this book, taken over a number of days, is guaranteed to refill the well! 



Do you like resin rather than stones?  You'll find Lulu Smith's work captivating then:


Plastic fantastic?  Don't forget about Peter Chang, one of my current favorites:







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Monday, January 09, 2012

Three Bezels Plus a Bonus



I am just about ready to launch my newest e-booklet!  Three Bezels Plus a Bonus looks at how to add Swarovski rivolis to your bead embroidery through three creative bezeling techniques.  Additionally, you'll receive step-by-step advice on how to bezel around an irregularly shaped cabochon.

Three Bezels Plus a Bonus, 2012, 30 pages, $3










  

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Jewelry and beading shows with classes



Jewelry and beading classes are offered all throughout the extravaganza in early February in Tucson. Here is some general information on Tucson, including a map: Show guide: an overview

Besides Tucson, there are many beading shows throughout the rest of the year that also offer classes. Why should you take a class this year? Why not just learn everything online (preferably for free)? Well, there are actually lots of good reasons to go the hands-on route, and here are just a few of my best tips: you won't waste as much in materials, you'll learn the techniques properly and efficiently, you'll have a chance to have your technique corrected if need be, and you'll figure out which tools and materials you must have as opposed to just want to have!

The Innovative Beads Expo
Shows and classes in the northeast only.

Bead&Button Show
Milwaukee, WI.

Best Bead Shows (Crystal Myths)
Tucson, AZ. Click on Bead Shows.

To Bead True Blue
Tucson, AZ.

Down the Street Bead Shows
Southeast locations only. Click on Class sign up page

Puget Sound Bead Festival
Puget Sound, WA. Click on Classes

Gem and Jewelry Show (JOGS)
Tucson, AZ. Click on Classes

Intergalactic Bead and Jewelry Shows
Click on Classes for each individual show

International Gem and Jewelry Shows
Free beginner workshops with Wendy Simpson Conner
Click here for Wendy's schedule

Interweave Bead and Jewelry Events:
Bead Fest classes

Whole Bead Show
Click on city to see class schedule

MJSA Expo
New York City

Adorn Me!
Art Unraveled's wearables workshops


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Friday, January 06, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!



Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie starts a new blog project for the year, being inspired by places of the imagination. Read about the first month's inspiration of places in the sky.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean's involved in a new project! It's jewelry, wait--it's crafts, no--hold on--it's dolls, no wait! It's a book! Hold on to your hats! It's a whole bunch of fun and it is debuting this week! See more on Jean's blog!  

About.com Jewelry Making
Step up from the basic pearl post earrings with this dangle earring tutorial.  

Art Bead Scene
It's the start of a new year and a new month and that means a new Art Bead Scene challenge! Check out the beautiful color palette that we pulled from a William Morris wallpaper design.

Beading Arts
Have you heard about Take a Stitch Tuesday?  




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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Call for casting

Click image for readable version


The show will be shooting in LA at the end of February and through March. The time commitment is only about 3 - 4 days. Casting will proceed until all spots are filled.  There is no website or network being disclosed at this time. 

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Giveaways all month long!



I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about the opportunity that Lark Publishing has given me!  I think you already know how much I love their books: the photography, the layouts, the projects in general...I think they publish some of the best inspiration and how-to books that you'll find anywhere.  And I just love the little Studio Series, where they've taken over 100 selections of the best pieces from the 500 Series.  It's like having a pocket-sized art gallery...except that your pocket needs to be a bit bigger than average ;-)

Anyway, get to the point Cyndi!!

Lark gave me all eight Studio Series books to give away.  Yes, that's right...score!!  And I'm going to split them between here on Beading Arts and over on Mixed Media Artist, so please make sure you head over there when you're finished signing up here.  Each week for the whole month, I'll be offering one of the books on each blog.  I think that these are the perfect books to inspire you to try something new this year, and since January is traditionally the month we focus on education and all things new, the timing just couldn't be better.

So here we go...




***Free Stuff Alert!!!***

I'm going to start with the Earrings book!  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!

Please make sure that your link will lead me to an email address, or else I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  Deadline: January 12, 2012

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

TAST week 1 - fly stitch


I told you a few weeks ago that I had decided to join the stitching challenge run by Sharon Boggon, called Take a Stitch Tuesday.  So here's my first weekly entry.  I've decided to add the stitches that seem appropriate to this manipulated fabric quilt that I've been working on.  Stitches that don't seem to fit will just end up on some scrap cloth, so I can't promise that I'll be posting about TAST every week.  But I was excited to get started today ;-)



The quilt instructions will be posted on Mixed Media Artist soon, and I'll be sharing more details shots and explaining how it was made.  In the meantime, the first TAST stitch is fly stitch, and that seemed just perfect to add to the upper right border of my painted silk pieces.


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Art Jewelry inspiration

 Poseidon's Embrace by Rebeca Mojica

My word!  Just when you get jaded and think you've seen everything that can be done with metal, plastic, resin, clay, and other alternative materials, along comes Art Jewelry Magazine to knock your socks off!  This amazing piece by Rebeca Mojica (above) is featured in the July 2011 issue, and you can also see it plus plenty more in the Magazine Gallery that is available online. 




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