Monday, September 30, 2013

Bead Journal Project: September 2013


September cabochon, finished

I used square stitch to make my September piece for the Bead Journal Project.  Square stitch was actually my favorite for a very long time, and was the first beadweaving stitch I felt I had really mastered.  I know that most people start with peyote, but not me!  I moved into beadweaving from a sort of cross stitch bead embroidery phase, so square suited me better because it conformed to the type of patterns I already had.


All of my seed beads and the pressed glass hearts came from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.  The central bead cabochon came from The Best Beads.








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

August

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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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sequintastic September!


It's all the fault of because of my fantastic friend Sarah Sequins that I had to got to make another bead embroidery piece that incorporated sequins!  I'm not really as comfortable with sequins as perhaps I should be, considering that they're not really very different from beads, but there it is...I have a hard time thinking about how to use them creatively.  Believe me, if you want to see the creative use of sequins, check out Sarah's blog at the link above!

Anyway, here's what I came up with: I incorporated sequins into the African Helix beadweaving stitch that I adapted for bead embroidery.  There are additional sequins under each of the translucent pink accent beads and in the notches around the outer rim.  Ok, not the best, but probably also not the worst I could have done!

Here are the basic steps.  You can find step by step directions for the African Helix bead embroidery stitch and for finishing off and adding a square stitch bail to a pendant in my e-book Bored By Back Stitch.


Add rows of back stitch around your focal bead


Using the outer row of back stitch, create the embroidered form of African Helix around the focal.  The outer row of loops has not yet been stitched down in this shot.  Then, using the middle row of back stitch, add one or two rounds of African Helix which will not be stitched down.  


Stitch down the loops as needed, add filler beads to the holes, and trim to size.



Add the backing with edging brick stitch.  Create a square stitch bail on the back, either before or after adding the final edging embellishments.







Sequintastic Participants!
 Sarah, http://www.saturdaysequins.com
 Dawn, http://designsbydawnmarie.blogspot.com
 Mandi, http://www.beadcircle.com
 Skylar, http://brisingbeads.blogspot.com
 Cyndi, http://beading-arts.com
 Karen, http://baublicious.blogspot.com
 Lily, http://thecreativeklutz.blogspot.co.uk
 Eleanor, http://eleanorpigman.blogspot.com
 Kepi, http://kepirasmussen.blogspot.com
 Maneki, http://wildrosesandblackberries.blogspot.se 
Tammy, http://innermusejewelry.blogspot.com
Therese, http://theresestreasures59.blogspot.com
 Liz, http://beadcontagion.blogspot.com
 Jasvanti, http://jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com
 Mischelle, http://micheladasmusings.blogspot.com 
Dee, http://agapecreationsjewelry.blogspot.com
Labweorc, http://labweorc.wordpress.com

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, September 27, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Art Bead Scene
Check out this funky free project from Gaea, using tons of beautiful art beads!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Take a look at what some of the members of the Inspired by Reading book club made for the September selection, "Dogeaters" by Jessica Hagedorn.

Resin Crafts Blog
I craftastrophy in mold making turns into a super bangle project after a day of experimentation.

A Bead A Day
Have you thought about or begun making holiday gift projects? Lisa's sharing her sparkly inspiration for gift giving this year.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the marvelously innovative new book, Explorations in Beadweaving, by Kelly Angeley. Get ready to get your socks knocked off!





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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Choices, choices - part four


This week, I'll show you how I finished up the bead embroidered top of my new necklace and we'll get started on assembling it.  Last week, we left off with the central motif and three motifs on each side finished.  I explained that I chose to use the same stitch pattern on mirror motifs, but varied the colors and beads slightly so that it wouldn't look too symmetrical.

There were two more sets of motifs to stitch, and I chose Russian spirals and peyote for these.  Part of the reason for these choices is that I wanted motifs that looked good even in smaller scale since I'm now nearing the top of the necklace on each side.



Two Russian spiral motifs




Two peyote stitch motifs




A final step before cutting out the top is to go back and add any additional back stitch and bead stacks to join the motif, filling in any spaces that seem too empty or unbalanced.


After cutting out the top, I cut out a matching piece for the backing.   You can find detailed step by step directions for attaching the foundation to the backing in the free chapter of my first e-book, Every Bead Has a Story.  Go download yourself a copy of the first chapter, and you'll find all the info you need on the stitches and techniques used to back your necklace and finish off the edges.

Next week, I'm going to share with you the decorative edging that I added and how the strap and clasp were completed.

Tutorial posts:
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five

Materials sources:
Seed beads, crystals, and pearls from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.
Small glass focal beads from The Best Beads
Steel cut buttons from antique shop in New Jersey
Centerpiece button from Susan Clarke


Instructions for motifs:




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.  
 
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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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Recent publications: September 2013



Silver Clay with Style: 22 Unique & Stylish Silver Clay Jewellery Projects to Make, Wear & Enjoy! by Natalia Colman

Beading: A beginner's guide to beading techniques by Diana Vowles

Bead Weaving on a Loom: Techniques and Patterns for Making Beautiful Bracelets, Necklaces, and Other Accessories by Carol C. Porter and Fran Ortmeyer

Charms by Sophie Robertson

Explorations in Beadweaving: Techniques for an Improvisational Approach by Kelly Angeley

Bead Bracelets: 15 beautiful jewelry designs by Susan Beal

Beadweaving Mastery: More Than 15 Beading Projects for Jewelry and Accessories by Heather Laithwaite

The Beader's Workbook: More Than 50 Beading Projects for Jewelry and Accessories by Kathleen Barry

200 Tips for Jewelry Making: Tips,Techniques and Trade Secrets by Xuella Arnold and Sara Withers

Silver Soldering Simplified: A New Jewelry Technique You Can Do at Home by Scott David Plumlee

The Everything Guide to Selling Arts & Crafts Online: How to sell on Etsy, eBay, your storefront, and everywhere... by Kim Solga

Polymer Clay Art Jewelry: How to Make Polymer Clay Jewelry Projects Using New Techniques by Ilysa Ginsburg and Kira Slye


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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book review: 101 Bracelets, Necklaces, and Earrings



What a brilliant idea!  101 Bracelets, Necklaces, and Earrings, a special edition by Beadwork, has all the projects arranged by color!  Over all, you can think of this as a color issue.

Now that's not to say that you must make the pieces in the colors shown, but the volume is definitely geared towards beginners, who sometimes want to be able to make exact copies of certain projects before venturing off into substituting I don't think you'll be disappointed if you are a beginner: there's a wide range of styles and materials contained here.  Resource information is included and projects are all intended to take only a couple of hours tops to complete!

You can pick up your own copy on the newsstands until mid-October.



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Monday, September 23, 2013

Choices, choices - part three


The major design elements of my new necklace were overlapped bead embroidery motifs that I developed from popular bead weaving stitches.  In choosing what motifs to place where, I had to take into account that some patterns were dependent upon a specific bead count, while others could be a bit more flexible.  In several cases, I knew that my motifs would not wrap completely around the focal bead, either because there wouldn't be enough room with the overlapping, or just because I didn't want them to.

So bead count helped to determine placement of the motifs, but the complexity of the pattern was equally as important.  The more embellishment possibilites in the pattern, the more likely it would be to appear closer to the middle.  I also needed to choose motifs for near the back of the necklace that would look good being stitched on a smaller scale.


Although I don't always do this, this time I decided to force the spacing to stay as planned by stitching down all of the focal beads before anything else.


As I got started, I chose the African Helix motif (instructions found in Bored By Back Stitch) for the center and worked outward from there.  The "matching" circles on each half of the necklace would have the same bead stitch motif, but they would be done with different beads in a different colorway.  While my color palette was fairly limited (gray, grayed lavender, and copper) the possibilities for combinations seemed more numerous than I had at first expected.



The next motif out from the center on each side was an embroidered Chevron stitch.





And next came Right Angle Weave (RAW) motifs.




I added St Petersburg Chain stitch as a fringe element next to, and slightly below, the RAW motifs.




I decided to double up on Chevron stitch, making the next motifs in contrasting color patterns from the ones closest to the center.  These four motifs, African Helix, Chevron, RAW, and St Petersburg Chain, plus eight more, are all taught in Bored By Back Stitch.  Next time, I hope to show you two more motifs, which will (probably) be Russian Spiral and Peyote.

Tutorial posts:
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five

Materials sources:
Seed beads, crystals, and pearls from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.
Small glass focal beads from The Best Beads
Steel cut buttons from antique shop in New Jersey (I think!)
Centerpiece button from Susan Clarke


Instructions for motifs:




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.  


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, September 20, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew shares some upcoming classes at Allegory Gallery, including a Weekend Intensive taught by him and Lynne Suprock!

Resin Crafts Blog
The Lanvin inspired name plate necklace is easy to make with Resin Clay.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
 Jean is a member of a group of designers for the great store and online presence Baubles & Beads. This week was the first reveal for the designers. Stop by and see what Jean made, enter a giveaway, and scoop up a great coupon code good through Sept. at Baubles & Beads ! Yay!





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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Choices, choices - part two


In part one of this series, I talked about (at great length!) how the decisions were made to start this necklace: theme, techniques, and color scheme.  Today I want to show you how I got from the basic idea to the planned design.  It all started with a small circle...

Maybe another time...
Since I already decided that the necklace was going to be made from overlapping bead embroidered motifs (see Bored By Back Stitch), it seemed reasonable to start the design process with plain circles that could represent them.  The only downside to this plan is that I know the circles will become smaller as they near the top of the necklace on each side, but I also know how to compensate for that as I stitch, so I decided to just ignore it for now.  I tried about a dozen different designs, just snapping a picture of each and moving on quickly to the next.  Lucky for you, I'm only going to show you two, one that lost and one that I chose.

The winner


I traced the circles onto one of my necklace patterns, and indicated where the overlaps would occur.  By folding the paper in half, I was able to draw the second half.  I had already decided that the pattern would be symmetrical, but that the motifs would not necessarily be identical on each side.  I really prefer a sort of balanced asymmetry, so I think this decision will work well for me.



The next step was to create a tracing paper pattern that I could pin to the foundation fabric.  I could have simply cut out my original pattern, but I wanted to leave that intact for more planning and to write my decisions on.  Like this:



It's rare that I don't know ahead of time what the centerpiece will be, but that's exactly what happened this time.  I actually had about four possibilities, although, funny enough, I knew what the other focal beads would be.  After trying them out, I wrote on the pattern where each would go.


My next step was to add some background color to the foundation fabric. I chose a neutral tan toned synthetic leather, and used Inktense pencils to color the fabric.  When they are brushed with water, they turn into a liquid acrylic ink which dries with a permanent finish.  You can read more about Inktense pencils and my great love of them on Mixed Media Artist.


This may seem like an awful lot of planning and preparation, but it was definitely worth it to me.  I had a very specific vision in mind for this piece, even though I didn't know every detail ahead of time, and I didn't want to waste time and materials by fumbling around!  Sometimes that works, this time I think not so much.

Until next time...

Tutorial posts:
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five

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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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Perlen Poesie


Issue 18 of Perlen Poesie, Europe's premier beading magazine, is now available! This issue has 16 jewelry projects focusing on the typical colors of the 50s along with fresh ideas for making them modern.  Also included are tips on how to use hidden magnetic clasps, and two fabulous designer profiles. Even better news for English speakers, Perlen Poesie is now available in both German and English!!


There is also a review of my e-book, Bored By Back Stitch, and one reader of Perlen Poesie will win a free download copy!



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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall/Winter 2013-2014 color and style forecast

Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall 2013

I always look forward to seeing what the new color trends are each season, but that doesn't mean that I necessarily use them in my designs!  How about you?  Do you look to see what the latest fashion, accessory, and color trends are, or do you prefer to do your own thing? I've said it before, I pay attention to general sizes and shapes for clothing and accessories, and to color only if I happen to like it ;-)

For those who care, here are some great reports:

Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall 2013 
The current colors - a palette of many moods

Pantone Fashion Color Report for Men
Only slightly different from the women's palette

Gemstones that match the Pantone palette
By the fabulous Tammy Jones

Color schemes from the Pantone palette
Some really fun "palettes within the palette"!

Fall 2013 Fashion picks
Hot picks for Fall by College Fashion

Glamour Fashion Dos and Don'ts
A fun slideshow!

Top Ten Trends
The Huffington Post


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Monday, September 16, 2013

Choices, choices - part one


My current bead embroidery project is giving me a chance to focus on my decision-making process in several new ways, at least new to me!  I thought that some of you might like to see "behind the scenes", and learn what goes into making a large bead embroidered necklace.

Free-form St Petersburg Chain stitch, embroidered form

I knew to begin with that this piece was going to use some free-form versions of the bead embroidery motifs that I've spent months developing from bead weaving stitches.  These are the motifs that are featured in Bored By Back Stitch, my most recent e-book.  For the book, I stitched each motif as a separate entity, but now I wanted to see how they could be used together in a piece.  To stay true to the spirit of the book, I decided to create the majority of the design by using the motifs, and use back stitch and bead stacks only to fill in the gaps.

Ok, so the techniques have been decided, but what will the necklace be about?  I like to have a story in mind, even if it's just a scrap of a story, in order to inspire the look and feel of my pieces.  I can start with a special object or a color scheme or any number of other prompts, but there has to be something in my mind to tie it all together.  This is the theme of my first e-book, Every Bead Has a Story.  It works best for me when there is story that needs to be told.  As my friends know, that still doesn't help me when I go to name the pieces, but at least it keeps me on track when I'm making them!

Chevron stitch, embroidered form, from Bored By Back Stitch
For some time now, I've had in my mind a very feminine version of a steampunk style necklace.  My bead motifs remind me of gears, and I thought that look could be enhanced by picking the right colors and overlapping the motifs.  So there was my "scrap of a story": this will be a necklace for a woman who wants something completely new (me!), not exactly steampunk, certainly not traditional, but with lots of traditionally feminine elements like pearls and crystals.  She doesn't care if her jewelry matches her clothing, and she likes to keep people guessing...who is she really?  She defies the usual categories.


So what about the colors?  Gray, grayed lavender, and copper.  Why?  I like the combination.  It's a nod towards the metallics of steampunk, but softer and more unique.  It's a mix of cool and warm colors, which could be very jarring if they aren't kept in balance.  And after I picked the palette, I realized that it reminded me of the cover art of the Yes album Relayer, of which I own a print.  Many people think it's "boring" because it's all tones of gray, but I think it's subtle and marvelous (otherwise I wouldn't have bought it, huh?).  
Relayer
Supplies were easy!  I already had lots of seed beads, crystals, and pearls in the right colors, including several choices for focals, but I did need a few fill-ins, especially seed beads.  I turned to my favorite seed bead supplier, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

Well, there are still lots of choices to be made, and I'll show you more the next time...stay tuned!

Tutorial posts:
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five

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, September 13, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!



Art Bead Scene
Revisit a 'best of' post with Sparrow Salvage - an ever-popular topic: how to take great jewellery photos!

Charlene Sevier
Ever start a piece of jewelry and then struggle to finish it? That's what happened to Charlene. There is a happy ending!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
A beautiful art book concerning Blythe dolls (wearing jewelry of course!) has been written by Jean with her co authors and 40 world wide contributors. Preview the book, Big Eyed Love, and read more about it on Jean's blog!


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