Don't miss our book giveaway, running until Sept 21! Visit the link above to enter.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Creating bead embroidery motifs from beadweaving stitches


My brand new e-book is ready to go!!  I am so excited about it, I could scream!  But since you can't hear me, I'll just write about it instead :-)
Bored By Back Stitch

Would you like to learn to use beadweaving stitches to spice up your bead embroidery designs?  Bored By Back Stitch will teach you how to create twelve different bead embroidery motifs, using nine different beadweaving stitches.  Learn how beadweaving stitches can be morphed into beautiful bead embroidered motifs, created to surround and enhance your cabochons or accent beads.



The specific motifs you will learn in Bored By Back Stitch are designs that use embroidered forms of basic peyote, Cellini spiral peyote, brick, Russian spiral, herringbone, chevron chain, right angle weave, square, African helix, and double or single St Petersburg chain.  In addition, there are step-by-step instructions for three projects to help you use your motifs, one of which is shown above.

 Bored By Back Stitch is available now, 127 pages, $3.00 US

Copyright 2013 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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Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!



Art Bead Scene 
Take our monthly tour of art based upon our challenge piece! 


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Giveaway for Kristal Wick's fantastic book, Foxy Epoxy! Sign up on Jean's blog! USA only, thanks! 


A Bead A Day 
Lisa's got a quick reminder for anyone interested in joining the Cousin Creative Circle. Applications are being accepted through June 17! 


About.com Jewelry Making 
With the crazy cost of metals, now is a good time to look at preciouse versus base metals. 



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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yay for Iveth!



Congratulations to Iveth, who owns Creative Atelier!  She won our copy of Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry!!

Wire artist profiles from the archives

Gretchen Hind

Along with the new artists that we've met this month, I think you'll be very inspired by visiting some of the talented people we've profiled previously!

Elaine Harrison

Gretchen Hind


Melisa Baker


Bonnie Riconda


Peggy Li


Jean Campbell 


Tina Murphy 


Andrea Trank 


Gem Designs by Lee 


Gayle Tillem Benator 


Gia Scarano 


Jessica Russell 


Jelena Louie 


Patricia Chauvin 


Sandra Merwe 


Ruth Borsky 


Ann Skydell Harmon 


Vanessa Walilko (update)


Sunflower 


Meg's Crochet Jewels 


Nomi Joyrich


Wendy Van Camp


Kelly Alvarez Mace


Penny Purdie


Leah Hitchcock-Ybarra


Deborah Kwitney


Bernadine Stoopman


Olivia Competente


Puakea Soares-Mercado


Paul Bishop


Kathy Pine


Bonnie Riconda


Arriel Goodwin


Terry Pugh (update)






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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Recent publications: May 2013


Crystal Play: Fun & Fabulous Designs for Stitched Jewelry by Anna Elizabeth Draeger

Bead Meets Metal: Easy Metalwork Techniques to Showcase Gemstone Beads and Other Treasures by Kay Rashka

Non-Precious Jewellery: Methods and Techniques (Design and Make) by Kathie Murphy

Bangles and Bracelets (Jewellery Handbooks) by Amanda Doughty

A Beaded Romance: 26 Beadweaving Patterns and Projects for Gorgeous Jewelry by Kelly Wiese

Precious Jewellery from Plastics: Methods and Techniques (Design and Make) by Chris Bond

Electroforming (Jewellery Handbooks) by Leslie Curtis

Clay So Cute: 21 Polymer Clay Projects for Cool Charms, Itty-Bitty Animals, and Tiny Treasures by Sherri Haab


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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wire tutorials from our archives!

Wire bracelet with Maruti beads

Some simple tutorials:

   Making a wrapped loop
   Basic wirework information and supplies
   A multi-strand necklace with wrapped loops
   A "leftover" toggle necklace
   Creating a wire and ribbon necklace
   A freeform seed bead necklace on a wire armature
   Copper necklace with wire links
   A wire wrapped beach rock
   A Crocheted wire necklace
   A "sea glass" necklace
   Circuit breaker necklace
   Faerie Bells
   Chain maille bead earrings
   Freeform peyote on a wire armature
   Black Sparkle Ring
   Antique Key necklace
   Button charm holder
   Crocheted Pearls necklace
   Chain Drop earrings
   My Heart's Chatelaine necklace 
   

   Wire link bracelet
   Brass and wire flower necklace
   Easy wire pendant bail
   Twisted wire copper bracelet
   Maruti bead linked necklace
   Maruti bead wire bracelet
   A sparkly button ring
   Beaded comb for your hair
   Seed bead and wire bracelet
   Hammered wire earrings
   Wire fitting for a found object
   Wired button earrings
   Insulator pendant


Tutorials by our wire guru, Paul Bishop:
   Making a wire wrapped flower

   A free-form wire wrap
   A spiral on a flat pendant
   Sodalite Delightful
   Briolette suspension
   Wire wrap bracelet
   Midnight in the Garden of Good and Medieval



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Monday, May 27, 2013

Bead Journal Project: May 2013

May Cabochon, finished
I enjoyed working up the Russian Spiral for the Bead Journal Project so much last month that I decided to have another go at it.  This time, though, I wanted to add an actual seed bead bezel to the piece.  Most of the beadweaving/bead embroidery pieces I'm making this year can have an added bezel if desired.  I decided that I like the Russian Spiral both ways...with and without!  

In progress

You can see last month's piece, bezel-less, and all the others at the links below:

January plus explanation for the series
February 
March 

April


Copyright 2013 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 24, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


About.com Jewelry Making 
Load up with three brand spanking new earring tutorials! 


Art Bead Scene 
Check out Leah C's gorgeous bracelet, inspired by this month's challenge piece! 


Snap out of it, Jean! There's Beading to be done! 
Jean got a Beading Pal from Ezel Findings and wants you to know how GREAT it is! 


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
Have you heard about the Prayers For Richie Fundraiser? Andrew spotlights this very worthwhile cause created by Kathy Van Kleeck. 


A Bead A Day 
Ever made a one of a kind, intricate piece of jewelry and wished you had a mini version for every day? Why not!? Lisa shares a new "every day" project. 




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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dan Lomax's wire artistry


I saw my first piece of wire wrapping by Dan Lomax on the River Queen Artisans gallery site (piece shown above), and I was captivated.  By googling him, I found that he also has an etsy shop (piece shown below).  Stunning pieces, huh?





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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Book review and giveaway: Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry



Everyone these days seems to want to be able to add wire work to their beading.  Now here's a good place to start!  Suzanne Tourtillott has edited a wonderful book for Lark Books, full of 40 projects by 27 different designers: Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry.  There are necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and even rings to choose from!

None of the pieces are difficult, and even the ones that are more time-consuming or precise have excellent directions to make them easier!


GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!

Would you like to win a free copy of Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry?  Here's what you need to do...please read this carefully.  Leave me a comment here and include your email address.  If I don't see your email address, I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  You are welcome to spell it out if you'd prefer, for example, cyndi at mazeltovjewelry dot com.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!  Deadline: May 29, 2013.


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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Yay for Sharon!



Congratulations to Sharon Linder!  She won the copy of Weave Wrap Coil that we were giving away!  You might wonder why it took so long to post this...it's because the first two people I tried to contact did not respond, so lucky Sharon!!

Don't forget about SoftFlex!


When you think about wire and all the things you can do with it, don't forget about SoftFlex beading wire.  With its amazing drape and plentiful color palette, SoftFlex has become more of a design element than simple a material to hang beads on!  Sara Oehler just posted a list of favorite projects you can find on their blog, including the great earrings up above by Shelley Richey.  Click on the link above to visit her post!




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Monday, May 20, 2013

Wiring up some button earrings


So so so easy!  And such a nice way to use a pair of special buttons.  Mine are vintage but yours can be anything, as long as they are shank style!





1. Cut a short length of wire and turn a simple loop on one end.  Thread it through the shank and turn a loop on the other end.   Trim and file as needed.  



2. Attach an ear wire at the top and a beaded dangle at the bottom.  I'm not thrilled with the earring fitting, but I can't wear coated wire through my ears, so I'm stuck until I find something different!   Repeat to make a pair.  




Copyright 2013 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 17, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!



A Bead A Day 
What does blogging mean to you? Lisa's sharing her thoughts on the beauty of blogging, check it out!


About.com Jewelry Making
A new "frame" necklace tutorial up that incorporate some amazing mirror crystal beads.


Art Bead Scene-Color Cord Mixes and a Free Bracelet Project 
Are you looking for a place to start on a jewelry design to enter into our Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenges? Lorelei has been creating color cord combinations inspired by the art piece chosen by the Art Bead Scene team. 


Resin Crafts Blog! 
Making textured, coloured and rubberstamped pendants is a breeze with Jewelry Clay! 


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
It it National Children's Book week! Jean has a giveaway on her blog for a children's book written by a famous author, Elizabeth King Gerlach, which Jean herself illustrated! Come over and sign up! It is adorable! 


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
Using the Now That's a Jig!, Andrew made some fun earrings for a local musician! 




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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tree of Life pendants and gem trees



Just check google images for  "tree of life" pendants and you will find hundreds of stunning examples!  There are tutorials available for sale, and several really nice free ones too, like this one from Dana's Jewelry Designs.  Thank you, Dana!  If you want to go beyond pendants, Dana has a book on making Gem Tree Sculptures too.




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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Book review: Build Your Own Wire Pendants



Every year I swear I'm going to work at getting better with wire.  And every year I learn a bit more, but still end up intimidated by my pliers!  Now there is a totally unique book with a brand new take on using wire with beads and cabochons, and I love it.  While I also love traditional wire wrapping, I'm not particularly good at it.  Kimberly Berlin's free form style in Build Your Own Wire Pendants makes me think that just maybe I could actually do this.  This just might be the year!

Kimberly starts with all the basic techniques that you'll use, which is especially helpful to have all in one place when you begin to design your own pendants.  Working through Kimberly's projects will have you making a basic frame, creating embellishments, and learning to mix the techniques to suit your own materials and style.

Framed projects are the majority of the book, with 14 projects plus multiple variations.  Kimberly then moves on to working with drilled pendants and creating wire bezels.  I think of these 6 additional projects as a bonus that will unlock even more possibilities for the frames you've already mastered, but that can also stand on their own. 





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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wire advice from around the town!


Since I read a lot of blogs, I end up with files of saved links to share with you.  Recently, I culled my list for projects and advice that focused on wire, and found these winners!

Fancy wire rivets

Fairy Wings from wire and resin

Cold Connections, including wire

Best wire jewelry-making tips

Frame-style wire and bead necklace



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Monday, May 13, 2013

Insulator pendant necklace - a wire fitting


We used to have a lot of old knob and tube wiring in our house before the electrical system was updated, so on a recent trip to the attic, I discovered a paper bag (which had rotted through) just full of the old insulators!  Very very cool, huh?  I happily dove into figuring out different ways to add color to them, which I'll share in June during Mixed Media month, but I digress.

The most important step, really, was to figure out how to hang them.  They have holes clear through the length, but they're a bit ungainly, especially the longer ones.  I wanted to create a wire fitting that would allow me to hang them as pendants.  Here's what I came up with!


1. Cut two pieces of wire and turn a loop at one end of each, with a short tail left over as shown.  I made my wires each 4 inches long so that I would be sure to have plenty of length.  After you've made them once, you'll know how much you actually need, so use cheap wire to practice if you want to end up using expensive metal for your final piece.



2. Wrap each wire half way around the insulator, working from opposite directions.



3. Use the free end of one wire to wrap around the short tail below the opposite loop.  Clip the wire off and file as needed.



4. Slip the fitting onto the insulator and wrap below the opposite loop as shown.



5.  I attached chain to both loops, but you could attach to only one loop and leave the other one free for adding more beads or dangles.



6. I used a sari silk strip to finish it off.  This photo doesn't show off the colors of the insulator very well, but it's got some crazy beautiful iridescence that I'll teach you in June! [Note - here is Part two!]


Copyright 2013 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 10, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
Trying to help out those who want sell their work in stores and galleries, Andrew sheds a little light on the process from the other side of the counter. 

Resin Crafts Blog! 
It is amazing what a little acrylic paint can do on resin clay pendants. Carmi focussed on creating the look of a ceramic pendant without the kiln! 


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean reviews a great book by Anna Elizabeth Draeger: Crystal Play: Fun & Fabulous Designs for Stitched Jewelry 



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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Wire artist: Elaine Harrison


Elaine Harrison 
Miselayne's Jewels  
On Facebook


Elaine writes:

It is fun to start with natural stones or handpicked sea glass and watch as they transform into beautiful, original pieces of art. Each piece is uniquely made with different wire techniques and some are enhanced with accentuating beads. They are finished with different chains or handmade cords made with silk strands or Kumihimo. I hope you enjoy my pieces as much as I did creating them!



Beautiful colors accentuate these Fire Agate stone necklaces that are wire wrapped and placed on 16" coffee silk cords. The Fire Agate stone consists of layers of iridescent Limonite or Goethite within an individual stone, with some having shades of brownish red, green, blue and orange colors in the stone.



This stone has a powerful vibration that sharpens your desire to take action, even when you're not sure what the best course to take should be. It can help you to feel fully grounded and physically aware, and it quickens the fire in your spirit and makes you aware that being alive feels great!



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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Book review and giveaway: Weave - Wrap - Coil



Wire wrapping is great, but are you ready to go beyond that?  Wire lovers of all skill levels will have something to cheer about with Weave Wrap Coil, written by Jodi Bombardier and published by Interweave Press.  Even if you are a complete beginner, Jodi's book has a good fundamentals and techniques section that will bring you up to speed.  After some practice with inexpensive wire, you'll be ready to pick from many beautiful projects.

There are three main sections to the book.  The first covers Beginner Projects, nine in all.  They are strikingly beautiful, and will let you practice and master the basics.  The second section has the Intermediate Projects, where my very favorite piece in the whole book resides.  It's called the Sublime Dreams Bracelet, and is pictured below.  For these projects, you'll need some experience with basic weaving and coiling, which of course you can get by mastering the Beginner Projects!

Sublime Dreams Bracelet
The third section has the Advanced Projects.  Unless you have a lot of experience, you will not be able to figure these out without carefully reading the directions.  And probably getting some more practice!

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!

Would you like to win a free copy of this book?  Here's what you need to do...please read this carefully.  Leave me a comment here and include your email address.  If I don't see your email address, I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  You are welcome to spell it out if you'd prefer, for example, cyndi at mazeltovjewelry dot com.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!  Deadline: May 15, 2013.



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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Wirework book reviews


There are so many book reviews in our archives, and these books are still perfectly good guides to working with wire, both for beginners and for more advanced practitioners!  Starting tomorrow, I'll be posting book reviews and giveaways on the newest wire books.

Book reviews:
   Wire Wrapping
   101 Wire Earrings
   Contemporary Copper Jewelry
   Chain Style
   Lacy Wire Jewelry
   Classic Chain Mail Jewelry
   Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders
   Making Beautiful Bead and Wire Jewelry
   Handcrafted Wire Findings
   New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry
   Simply Bead and Wire 
   Chains Chains Chains
   A Bounty of Bead and Wire Earrings
   Spotlight on Wire
   Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Wire Jewelry
   Show Your Colors
   Making Wire & Bead Jewelry
   Rustic Wrappings
   Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop 
   Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry
   Weave - Wrap - Coil
   Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry






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Monday, May 06, 2013

Hammered wire earrings - an easy beginner project


Here's a super-easy project that will get you going if you've never worked with wire before!  You might also like it, even if you are an old pro, just to use up some spectacular beads you've got left over.  I was going to use my own lampwork beads, but then I remembered that I had these beauties sitting on my shelf.  They're from Maruti Beads.





1. Cut two pieces of wire and form into an overlapping circle.  It doesn't really matter how big...just size them to be in proportion with the bead you've chosen.  I used 16 gauge sterling silver wire, but you can use craft wire if you'd prefer...just keep it in a heavy gauge.




2. File the ends and turn a loop on each with round nose pliers, with both loops facing up.




3. Using flat nose or chain nose pliers, bend each loop up to a 45 degree angle, more or less and spread the circle to fit the beads.




4. Optional step: texture the wire with a ball peen hammer, avoiding the loops.  Don't do this if you've used coated craft wire...the coating might crack and flake off.




5. Using a small gauge of wire that will fit the end caps, slide a short length through the bead and the two loops, and glue a memory wire end cap on each end.  Repeat for the other earring.  I used G-S hypo tube cement, but you can also use resin.




6. I am not satisfied with the earring findings that I added now that I look at them again.  I'm going to make shepherd's hooks and replace them ASAP!


Copyright 2013 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 03, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Snap out of it Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean participates Saturday in a terrifically fun blog hop all about hat jewelry, regarding Sunday's wonderful Kentucky Derby! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
The Inspired by Reading Book Club just finished their first book, "Paris to the Moon" by Adam Gopnik. Check out what all the participants made and find out what the May book is! 


About.com Jewelry Making 
Three! Count them, three new jewelry book reviews have been posted! 




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