Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Recent publications: July 2013


Irina's Metal Clay Collection for Beaders: A Master Instructor's Favorite Projects by Irina Miech

Kumihimo Wire Jewelry: Essential Techniques and 20 Jewelry Projects for the Japanese Art of Braiding by Giovanna Imperia

Creative Beading Vol. 8: The Best Projects From a Year of Bead&Button Magazine by Editors of Bead&Button Magazine

Polymer Clay Jewelry: The Art of Caning by Mathilde Brun

Showcase 500 Art Necklaces (500 Series) by Ray Hemachandra and Chunghi Choo

Aimee Ray's Sweet & Simple Jewelry: 17 Designers, 10 Techniques & 32 Projects to Make by Aimee Ray and Kathy Sheldon

Bench Magazine's Guide to Stonesetting by Brad Simon, Tom Weishaar, Jurgen Maerz and Gerry Lewy

Warman's Jewelry: Identification & Price Guide by Christie Romero


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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book review and giveaway: Aimee Ray's Sweet & Simple Jewelry



I'm not very much of a cuteness person.  Occasionally, but definitely not a steady diet of it.  However, I know from perusing many pinterest boards, that many many people are.  That's why I want to offer you the chance to win a free copy of Aimee Ray's Sweet & Simple Jewelry.  Aimee and 16 other popular Etsy and indie designers have come up with 32 simple jewelry projects for you to try.

The commonality is the cuteness.  You probably already know Aimee's style from Doodle Stitching.  Aimee writes:
Each project tells you everything you need in terms of tools and materials (feel free to sublstitute to suit your own style), and has step-by-step instructions.  If templates, patterns, or graphics are needed, you'll find them at the back of the book.    
See?  Simple!  No prior experience needed.  Some of the techniques covered are embroidery essentials, knot tying, making cabochons, needle felting, working with shrink plastic, and basic wirework.  My favorite piece in the book is Jennifer M Burgess's wrapped bead bracelet, which is shown on the cover in the bottom right corner.

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: August 6, 2013.



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Monday, July 29, 2013

Bead Journal Project: July 2013

July cabochon, finished
I chose chevron stitch to make my July piece for the Bead Journal Project and ended up loving all the open spaces this stitch creates!  There's lots of room to tuck pretty accent beads all around the design. 

I've used this stitch a few more times since I worked out the count and how to make it into an embroidered stitch.  Below is part of a free form piece I've been working on:





The original motif at the top appears on the cover of (and inside of) Bored By Back Stitch, my recently launched e-book




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 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.  The e-book is available now, 127 pages, $3.00 US.  

January plus explanation for the series
February
March
April

May

June
July


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, July 26, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean reviews Stitch Workshop, Herringbone Stitch, basic techniques, advanced results, and is thrilled to further aquaint herself with this fabulous stitch, also known as Ndebele! 

About.com Jewelry Making 
Catch up on a few new book reviews, one sweet and one artistic. 


Art Bead Scene 
Check out this week's featured designer of the week - Tres Jolie Designs by Sue - and the stunning necklace which caught Erin's eye! 



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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tlingit arts in Ketchikan, Alaska - part two

Tribal women in traditional regalia
As I mentioned last week in the post I wrote about Tlingit beadwork, the totem poles were just too massive for my camera to get good pictures, so I concentrated on shooting the smaller art forms that I thought you'd enjoy seeing.  If you do want to know more about totem poles, you can click on the image below and it will open up to a much larger version.


Here are some of the other wonderful things we saw:

Wood carving knives, raven and wolf designs, 1979

Baskets, 1970s through 2004
Tribal men in traditional regalia




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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Book review and giveaway: The Jewelry Architect


This book on mixed media jewelry design, The Jewelry Architect by Kate McKinnon, has a secret...it has a DVD included!  Woot!!  Kate has arranged the book into chapters based upon the primary medium being used in the pieces.  It is a heavily project-driven book, but there is an intro to each new topic and also an excellent section at the very end which covers basic skills needed.  Since this is mixed media, there are quite a few skills covered just as there are chapters: stringing, beadwork, wire, and metalwork.

One of my favorite things includes a very cool sculptural S hook that adds metal clay to the wire.  I also found myself wishing that I were into rings, but Kate includes a bunch of very very striking designs to try.  The stringing projects are like nothing you've seen before...they include felting, bead weaving, and wired elements.  My very most favorite thing though, is that gorgeous bracelet on the cover, called a Riverbed Bracelet with a Garden Gate Clasp.  The directions are on page 57 in case someone wants to make it for me!
 
GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!

Would you like to win a free copy of this book and DVD?  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: July 31, 2013.


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book review: Showcase 500 Art Necklaces


You all probably know how I feel about these Showcase series books by Lark Books by now...I drool over them for days.  They sit endlessly on my coffee table, at least until the next one comes along.  And sometimes, when they include my own work, they sit there even longer!  Well, this time, my work was not included, but I am nonetheless thrilled with the selection that was chosen for Showcase 500 Art Necklaces.

The examples range from the traditional and beautiful to the weird and bizarre.  Some made me say "meh", but not very many!  Being wearable is not always the issue, but technical excellence most certainly is.  One of my very favorites is by a South Korean artist, and no matter how I searched and googled, I could find no more information.  I'd love to show it to you, but unfortunately I cannot.  However, here are a few others to give you a little idea of the scope:

Time Jewel by Krisztina Németh

Kente Reversible Collar by Linda Rettich

Walk in the Woods by Judith Kaufman



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Monday, July 22, 2013

Drum Beat - a mixed media necklace - part two



Last week, I showed you how to make the fabric and the wire beads for this necklace.  Today we're going to finish it up!  See the post at the link above for the materials and tools list and for the first half of the tutorial.



6. Cut 5 pieces of 20 gauge wire into 5 inch lengths. Slide a fabric bead on each and create a wrapped loop at both the top and bottom, filing smooth.



7. Attach each fabric bead to the middle of a wire bead using a jump ring. Create small clusters of ceramic beads as follows: *Place a lentil bead and a small rondelle on a head pin and close with a wrapped loop. Make 3 of these. Attach 2 to a jump ring. Open another jump ring and attach it to the first jump ring and the third wired bead. Open a third jump ring and attach it to the second jump ring and to the end loop of one of the wire beads. Repeat from * until you have 10 clusters, one at each end of the 5 wire beads.

8. On 5 head pins, place a 2mm metal round and a small rondelle. Close with a wrapped loop, and attach each to the bottom of a fabric bead with a jump ring.


9. Create a closure as follows:

String a bead on one end and slide it to about 3 or 4 inches from the end. Tie a knot to anchor the bead in place. On the other end, create a loop, big enough to slip over the bead, and tie a knot. Use fray check on the ends.   

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, July 19, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Carmi's Art/Life World 
My exotic felted collar was featured on the Cousin blog. Here is how I made it. 


Resin Crafts Blog 
When you learn how easy it is to make pendants with transfer paper you won't be able to stop making them!


Snap out if it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean shares a super informative and fun article on peyote stitch by Jennifer VanBenschoten of Beading Daily! 


A Bead A Day 
There's nothing like creating a piece of jewelry to remember a special trip. Check out Lisa's balloon show ankle bracelet. 


About.com Jewelry Making 
Tammy takes a look at yet another new jewelry book. This one is all about metal jewelry making. 





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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Tlingit arts in Ketchikan, Alaska - part one

Button blanket - eagle/raven design, 1980
The Tlingit (/ˈklɪŋkɨt/) are a native people group of the Southeast Alaskan coast.  The name translates to "People of the Tides".  In the town of Ketchikan, on our recent Alaskan visit, we went to the Totem Heritage Center, where we found far more than totem poles on display.  I didn't take any pictures of the poles, because the sheer size of them made it impossible for me to get good images of both the details and the scale of them with my little point-and-shoot.  However...

Beaded dance collar, shark design
Yeah, the beadwork!  Beautiful and very interesting.  The museum has both older and contemporary pieces in the collection and they invite picture taking.  There are some unfortunate lights overhead that reflect in some of my shots, but they did prevent me from needing to use a flash and thus annoying other guests!  Here are some of the highlights:

Headband, killer whale crest

Miniature button vest, killer whale crest





Beaded leather bag, floral design, ca 1900
Beaded felt emblem, eagle design

Beaded picture frame, bird and floral design
Next week in Part two, I'll show you a few more art forms featured by the center!


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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book review: Metallic Seed Bead Splendor



I was very excited when this book was released because I really love Nancy Zellers's precise seed bead work.  Metallic Seed Bead Splendor does not disappoint!

Nancy starts out by helping you figure out what beads to use...there are so many more choices than a few years ago, and it can be confusing.  And then we are right into the projects.  This is not a book of previously published designs that have just been compiled around a theme.  There are 29 brand new projects, using all of your favorite bead weaving stitches: peyote, RAW, spiral rope, Cellini spiral, Dutch spiral, St Petersburg chain, daisy chain, netting, herringbone, brick, square, Russian spiral, and probably more that I can't quite remember right now!  Nancy is comfortable with them all.  This is a terrific book if you are an advanced beginner or intermediate bead weaver, and it will encourage you to try new stitches for sure!

All of the basic how-to illustrations are in the back, Kalmbach style, so if you need a quick refresher before tackling a project, not to worry.  Many of the projects include matching pieces too, so really there are actually more than 29 projects.  One of my favorite pieces is a triple St Petersburg chain bracelet.  It is simple and elegant, and deliciously comfortable to wear!


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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book review: Bead Meets Metal


Are you afraid of using a torch or other metal fabrication tools?  You won't be for long if you get ahold of Kay Rashka's Bead Meets Metal, published by Kalmbach Books.  This book was written specifically for 'fraidy cats like me, who love beads, (and even lampwork) but who fear metal.

Kay has a learn-as-you-go style which starts you off with mini exercises and then progresses to professional techniques including how to rivet, etch, solder, dap, saw, drill, texture and more.  Whether you work with glass, semi-precious stones, polymer clay, pearls, crystals, or metal beads, pairing them with custom-made findings will make your work truly unique.


My very favorite project is Kay's Collector's Necklace, which you'll find on page 78 and is shown above.  This one doesn't even have to be soldered if you'd prefer not!  But the real point is that with Kay's help, you'll no longer fear to solder!


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Monday, July 15, 2013

Drum Beat - a mixed media necklace - part one

Drum Beat in progress

I love mixing materials that aren't supposed to go together! Like, for instance, fabric beads mixed with wire and ceramics. To prevent your piece from causing sensory overload, choose a color palette with harmonious hues. I used an earthy, natural palette, but you can substitute another for the one I outline below. When the piece was finished, it had such a primal feel to it that one of my helpful online friends suggested that I name it Drum Beat.

Materials:Muslin, torn into a 2 x 24 inch strip
Waxed paper
Tsukineko walnut inks in eucalyptus, walnut, and terra cotta
Jacquard Lumieres acrylic paint in burgundy and bright gold
30 inches of 2mm white satin cord
Fray check
2-3 plastic drinking straws
Beacon’s Liquid Laminate or other thin glue
53 inches of 20 gauge brass-colored craft wire
35 – 5mm ceramic rondelles
30 – 12mm ceramic lentils
15 – 9x5mm ceramic barrels
5 – 2mm gold metal rounds
40 jump rings
35 head pins
Tools:
Sponges or paint brushes
Scissors
Pinking shears
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters,
Measuring tape
File


1. Lightly dampen your strip of muslin. Protect your work surface with waxed paper and spray the muslin lightly with the walnut inks. Let them spread into each other. Sponge burgundy acrylic paint on the top. Using the sponge or paint brush, paint a stripe of bright gold acrylic paint lengthwise down the center and along both edges of your cloth. Use whichever colors you want to stain the 30 inch satin cord to match.




2. When dry, tear the muslin strip in half lengthwise, and then cut each inch-wide strip into 6 inch lengths. Using pinking shears, cut each 6 inch strip diagonally lengthwise You will end up with 16 pieces. Cut the drinking straws into 16 pieces, each ¾ inch long.



3. Form each fabric bead by applying a bit of Liquid Laminate to the wide end. Stick it to a piece of drinking straw and roll it up. As you approach the pointed end, apply a dab of glue to it to seal the bead..



4. Cut 4 pieces of 20 gauge wire into 6 inch lengths. Cut one into a 9 inch length. Wind the wire into spirals facing opposite directions from each end, to meet in the middle. Fold the two spirals together and pull them apart from the centers to form bicone beads. File the ends smooth if needed.




5. Slide the largest wire bead to the center of the satin cord. String on barrel-shaped ceramic beads, your fabric beads, and more wire beads. Knot the cord after the last bead on each side to keep them in place.   


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, July 12, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!



About.com Jewelry Making 
Beads and bugs...yup...that is the focus of this new book review. 


Art Bead Scene 
Check out Gaea's free Orbit Earrings tutorial here! 


Resin Crafts Blog 
An old doll eye becomes a cool watchful brooch with resin clay. 


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean is hosting a wonderful jewelry design book giveaway; Aimee Ray's Sweet and Simple Jewelry. Come and enter to win! 



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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rock shopping in Alaska


We recently returned from an amazing trip along Alaska's inner passage, stopping in Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan.  If you'd like to see more pictures from the trip, I'll be sharing them on Mixed Media Artist.  Hit the link and it will take you right to the "Alaska" category of posts!  But there are several posts that I need to share with you here on Beading Arts, because they will more directly interest all of you.

Gold, diamonds, tanzanite, and ammolite are the big things pushed by the tourist industry in the towns where we stopped.  Although ammolite is gorgeous, it's not local, so I couldn't get too worked up about it.  However, by asking around, I found out about a locally owned and run shop filled with geodes, fossils, all types of agates, bear claws, fish teeth, etc etc.  Great stuff.

Back Alley Rock Shop
Literally located down a narrow alley between two other shops on Broadway in Skagway, Alaska.


I bought a polished and mounted agate and a polished and drilled orthoceras (ancient fossil mollusk).  What will I do with them?  Not a clue...yet!  The agate is ready to hang, but the orthoceras needs more thought.

Next week, I'll be showing you some of the fabulous beadwork that we encountered!


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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Book review: Soutache



Unless you don't read any beading magazines, you have to be aware that the centuries-old art of soutache has been showing up everywhere in jewelry design.  Now there is finally an English language text to teach you all you need to know to get started with this elegant art form: Soutache, by Anneta Valious and published by Lark Books!

Soutache is a flat fiber braid with a groove down the center, comprised of two rows of piping or cording wrapped in viscose, cotton, or synthetic fibers.  First developed in France in the fifteenth century, soutache embroidery has made a decorative appearance throughout history in and on jewelry, clothing, military uniforms, and more.
Soutache projects are a blend of sewing and bead embroidery, with elegant swirls of braid hand stitched together and decorated with beads, crystals, gemstones and more, and then attached to a fiber backing.  You'll learn to make earrings, rings, barrettes, pins, necklaces, bracelets, and pendants.


Maybe you'd like to try it out first?  Lark Books has made a sample project available for free, the Zenith bracelet shown above.  You can download it at the link.



My very favorite piece of Anneta's is the Mermaid Dreams necklace, shown above, on page 118 of the book.  Besides Anneta's 30 gorgeous designs, there is also a gallery filled with exquisite work by artists that I've never heard of before, but expect to see much more from in the future!


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Monday, July 08, 2013

Infinite Love


Infinite Love is a very small art quilt that I stitched, using the hybrid beadweaving/bead embroidery motif method that I developed for my newest e-book, Bored By Back Stitch.  The beaded motifs look like flowers, sea life, or just geometric designs, depending upon the stitches chosen.  For the piece above, I used the embroidered versions of the Russian spiral and the African helix (shown below).  I used buttons instead of cabochons for the centers.  More information on the stitching can be found at the link above.

Russian Spiral


Bored By Back Stitch


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, July 05, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
Andrew announces a writing contest hosted by Allegory Gallery in conjunction with the latest art exhibition by artist and jewelry component maker, Diane Hawkey. 


About.com Jewelry Making 
Summer time means it is time for a silk and shell necklace tutorial.


Art Bead Scene 
Check out this month's challenge piece! Picasso's Portrait of Olga in the armchair. 


Carmi's Art/Life World 
This week Carmi will show you her preparations for Canada's Longest Charm Bracelet. 


Resin Crafts Blog 
Ever wonder what an eraser might look like embedded in resin? You'll be pleasantly surprised! 


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Andrew Thornton showcases the great designs of Diane Hawkey at Allegory Gallery, and hosts a competition which Jean wishes to enter. YOU can too! 



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Monday, July 01, 2013

A brief time of R & R



I am taking a week off to spend time with my family!  I'll be back with you next Monday, and until then, be good and make lots of stuff!
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