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

Friday, May 30, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!



Mixed Media Artist
Will this be the summer that you add altered books and handmade journals to your repertoire?

Beachy Souvenir Copper Coin Earrings
These drop earrings were made using souvenir pressed coins from Busch Gardens and Sea World in San Diego. Pressing them through the machine is fun, but then you get home and wonder, "What am I ever going to do with these?" Here's one solution!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has some free and very cool project tutorials, including one she created herself! These include a variety of cool techniques--sure to appeal to all creative people!

Of Faces and Fairies
Charlene finds some gorgeous handmade fairy face pendants and charms she just has to share

Learn to Knit
Yippy - doo - dah - day! With the help up the Knit Lab Craftsy class, the Craftsy Princess is learning to knit, for real!

Art Bead Scene
Check out Claire Lockwood's neat tutorial for using flower bud beads to create some beautiful earrings.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
A sleepless night results in some cool, Day of the Dead Sugar Skull ornaments.

Carmi's Art/Life World
I have a new necklace featuring small pendants created from vintage french brocade ribbon.

Resin Crafts Blog
Wondering what else can be done with Washi tape? Try embedding it in resin, it looks amazing!

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yay for Deborah!



Congratulations to Deborah Kelroy!  She is the winner of a copy of Break the Rules Bead Embroidery!  

Recent publications: May 2014



Beaded Gifts: Beautiful bracelets, bags, and more (Threads Selects) by Editors of Threads

Ultimate Beading Bible: A Complete Reference with Step-by-Step Techniques (C&B Crafts Bible Series) by Marie Clayton

Dallas Lovett's Woven Bead & Wire Jewelry: 25 Gorgeous Projects (Lark Jewelry & Beading Bead Inspirations) by Dallas Lovett

Break the Rules Bead Embroidery: 22 Jewelry Projects Featuring Innovative Materials (Bead Inspirations) by Diane Hyde

Creative Designs Using Shaped Beads by Anna Elizabeth Draeger



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Monday, May 26, 2014

Bead Journal Project: May 2014

Tidal Pools

I've been wanting to play around with shibori ribbon for quite some time now!  I got waylaid by soutache braid for a few projects, but it didn't really satisfy my deepest urges.  Shibori now...that's a different story.  I've actually experimented with creating some shibori fabric myself for a quilt, but the beautiful shibori ribbons that I bought are a far cry from my fabric, which was coarse muslin, not silk.  Still, it gave me an appreciation for the process.


So, for my Bead Journal piece for May, I used shibori ribbon stitched to interface-backed fabric as the foundation for a cuff bracelet.  It is backed with an ultra-suede type fabric.  I didn't end up with any of the fabric foundation showing, so that might have been kind of a waste, but it did help me to settle on colors.


I did end up using a few of the bead-weaving stitches that I've adapted for bead embroidery (see Bored By Back Stitch), but mostly I used regular back stitch and stack stitch for this piece.  A friend has suggested it be called Tidal Pools, and that seems appropriate to me with the pearls and the ocean jasper focal!

January
February

March
April

Copyright 2014 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 23, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!



A Facebook Request
Help a Crafty Princess out and learn how to "like" and also get blog update notifications through Facebook.

Mixed Media Artist
So many collage techniques...so little time!

Sunday Morning with Lynne
Lynne Suprock of Simply Pretty Things stopped by for a playdate with Andrew. Check out what they made!


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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Tool suppliers for beaders and jewelry makers



There are many good basic tools available at any full-service catalog aimed at beaders and jewelry makers, but there are also a few specialty tools which are worthwhile pointing out separately:

ImpressArt
Metal stamping supplies, including blanks

CraftOptics
The best lighted magnifiers or prescription lenses in the world.

Coiling Gizmo
Any coils, anytime!

Rio Grande 
Metal clay tools, among many many other things





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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Book review and giveaway: Break the Rules Bead Embroidery



Extremely inspiring is the phrase that came to me over and over again as I read through Diane Hyde's new book Break the Rules Bead Embroidery, published by Lark Books.  Diane will take you to visit some very interesting new places as you consider how to combine your beloved bead embroidery with stringing and bead weaving.


Frankly, some of the projects have only the teeniest bit of actual embroidery in them, and that may end up disappointing you if you're looking for another book on large-scale embroidery design.  But if you're looking for innovative design, I don't see how you could lose with this book.

There are five groups of projects, based upon where the inspiration may be found: household notions, craft stores, hardware, toy box, and antique treasures.  The techniques section pays particular attention to cutting and drilling different materials, which is very helpful for future projects.

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!! 

Would you like to win a 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 28, 2014  




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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Jewelry and beading forums


Forums have changed a lot over the past few years, with blogs and facebook groups filling in and taking up more of our time.  Good forums still exist, though, and it can be a lot of help to belong to one where you can get feedback, advice, and fellowship!  Since some facebook groups operate almost the same as a forum, I've included a few here for your consideration, as well as some online forums that are still going strong!

Jewelry Making at About.Com

Creative Wire Jewelry

Bead&Button forums

Wearable Art at WetCanvas

Bead Collector Network

To find facebook groups to join, try this Beading search or this Jewelry search


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Monday, May 19, 2014

Cloth and sparkle bracelet - a mixed media button bracelet


I made this bracelet years ago, and only realized recently that I never told you how it was done!  Since it's now officially spring in New England, it seems like as good a time as any to share it.  I don't have any in-progress shots, but it's so easy, I think we'll get by this time without them.

1. Find some buttons that you want to use together on your bracelet.  I chose two silly little flowers, two vintage bling-bling buttons, and three button blanks that I could dress up.  You can find these blanks at any fabric store and most craft stores.

2. Choose fabric that matches your theme.  My theme was happy silly bling...can you tell?  Cover the buttons according to the package directions.

3. Using thin craft wire, two-part resin, or both, attach your buttons to the platforms on the bracelet.   www.FireMountainGems.com has lots of bracelet blanks that will work.  Visit the link and search on "bracelet blank".  I used wire since my buttons were all shank style, but then I also added a drop or two of epoxy for extra security.


Copyright 2014 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 16, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!



Mixed Media: Adding Layers
Cherie creates a mixed media picture with her favorite colors.

Get Your Felt On
Tammy takes a look at a book from Schiffer Publishing that's all about felt and felt making.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a lovely set of paintbrushes by showing what they do!

It's party time!
Andrew celebrates the Grand Reopening of Allegory Gallery in their new location! Check out the recap of the event.

A Bead A Day
Sometimes you just need a little jewelry pick-me-up to make a work Friday a little more fun. Lisa is sharing her Fun Friday jewelry and would love to hear about yours!

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Fiber suppliers for beaders and jewelry makers

Soy Silk Roving

I like to be able to share reliable suppliers with you from time to time.  If I haven't personally checked them out, then someone I know and trust has.  Believe me, I've checked out most of them...that's how bad my fiber addiction has become!  I'll be adding this list to the Suppliers link that is always available up in the tabs at the top of the page, so you don't need to bookmark it.

Marion's Jewels in Fiber
Cords and threads of all different types.  I buy her C-Lon nylon bead cord.

Aria Design Studio
A distributor of pleated shibori ribbons, created by ShiboriGirl.

Beyond Beadery
Another distributor of ShiboriGirl ribbons.

Ribbons and Silk
Silk ribbons and sari fabrics

ArtBeads
Soutache braid

Dharma Trading
Fabrics and fibers, ready to dye.  All your fabric paints and dyes as well.

Soy silk roving and other fibers

MeinkeToy
The home of every type of fiber goodness you can imagine.

Sources for metal mesh ribbon


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Monday, May 12, 2014

Bead embroidered turquoise pendant


Do you see a pattern forming? :-)  After last week's pink pendant, I decided to go ahead and show you another of my "trial run" pieces.  It's fun to practice on smaller works!


1. I bezeled an oval-shaped bead, using a classic peyote bezel style.  See the tiny black beads at each end?  They are size 15/0s instead of 11/0s so that it will pinch in on the ends.  Next I added an additional row of peyote and morphed it into RAW, which I continued for a couple of rounds.  The last row is short stack stitches.



2. The whole piece is edged with edging brick stitch, as usual.




3. I added stacks and accent beads to the edge.




4. The usual square stitch bail for the back...




5. ...and it's done!





Copyright 2014 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 09, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!


Creating a Poetry Book Cover
Cherie talks about the process in designing the cover for her latest poetry book.

Call for Bird Nests
Yarn crafters are being called on to help out some baby birds by knitting and crocheting tiny nests for them.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean writes about a reunion which she had with her sister and her cousins last week which included great memories, delicious food, and jewelry!

Mixed Media Artist
Do you want to be able to add digital effects to your mixed media artwork? Here are some places to start...

A Bead A Day
Are you taking time to yourself to allow creativity to flow? Lisa gifted herself with a Saturday and was inspired to create!

What will a group of jewelry designers make working from the same materials?
Check out what the participants of the Deep Waters Challenge made! Each of the pieces is inventively unique!

Resin Crafts Blog
What else can you do with resin filled bezels? Why make art cards!


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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Book review: Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry



When I first came across Eva Sherman's designs, stumbling upon her blog, my first reaction was a gasp of pure lust.  Well, lucky lucky me...and you too for that matter...because Eva is the coauthor of a new Kalmbach book called Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry, along with Beth Martin.  

How can jewelry made from metal and wire be organic, you ask?  There are two parts to the answer.  First, the forms made with the metal and wire are very loose and organic in nature, and second, The designs feature sea glass, beautiful stones, and pearls.  There are also some crystals thrown in for bling, but to my eye they are mostly secondary.  It's the matte-finished glass and stones, along with the pearls that are the real stars.

The basics section of this book teaches an array of techniques that are a bit different from most other jewelry books.  While you'll find the expected "Creating a wire-wrapped loop" and "Creating a flat spiral", you'll also learn how to drill glass and stones, set a grommet, coil wire, anneal, forge, texture, and stamp metal, how to rivet, braze copper, and ball up the ends of wire for head pins.



And then there are the project sections!  Twelve beautiful beginner projects to help you test your new skills, and thirteen intermediate projects to let you really spread your wings.  There's one of my favorites above, the Mermaid Tears Collar...isn't it beautiful?

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Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Metal giveaway!



Here is the second giveaway packet from the new product stash I received from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads last month!  Aren't these cute?

Birdcage charms

Ring blanks


GIVEAWAY ALERT!!! 

Would you like to win these bead strands? 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 13, 2014


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Monday, May 05, 2014

Bead embroidered pink pendant...or is that "Radiant Orchid"?


In the process of preparing to write the second chapter of Bored By Back Stitch, I made a LOT of these little pendants to try out my ideas.  Since some of my favorite colors happen to coincide with Pantene's favorite color this year, I fell under the spell of Radiant Orchid!    


1. This one started out with a bezeled flat rectangular bead.  I added RAW to the top half and chevron stitch to the bottom.



2.  All the holes were filled in with appropriately sized beads.  The larger ones are 4 mm.




3. I added short stack stitches the whole way around.




4.  Add backing fabric with edging brick stitch all around the outside and decorate with short stack stitches  (Free instructions available).  A square stitch bail finishes off the back.




5. And done!  I wear it on a black rubber cord.





Copyright 2014 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 02, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!



Golden Glass Sculpture With Solar Lights
Cherie makes a couple solar lights for the yard using plates and ashtrays.

Resin Crafts Blog
Jewelry Clay and Jewelry Resin can be combined to create new dimensional objects and jewels.

Mixed Media Artist
Is it possible to know too many techniques for creating background papers for your mixed media projects? Cyndi thinks not!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has a review and a giveaway of a fantastic new book by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson, WIRE + METAL, 30 Easy Metalsmiting Designs, at her blog! Hooray!

Egg Earrings Complement Eggs in Nest Charm Bracelet
Make these quick, easy, eminently wearable earrings to go with the Eggs in Nest Charm bracelet Eileen shared last month or to wear on their own.

New Novel & Quilts!
This new novel has some online freebies you can get right now, including the first few chapters as well as a quilt pattern that is featured in the book.

Finding Inspiration in Reading
Check out what the participants of the Inspired by Reading Book Club made for the April selection, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.

A Bead A Day 
Do you have the urge to alter your beads and components? Lisa's pondering the reason why she sees smiley faces on yellow charms.

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Thursday, May 01, 2014

An Alkeme stamped cabochon tutorial


I showed you some new metal products available from ImpressArt called Alkeme, and now I'd like to share with you how easy they are to work with!  The metal blanks have the look of silver, but are much less expensive and are softer (read easier) to work with when you're stamping.  I gathered up the tools that I received from ImpressArt and went to work, with far greater immediate success than when I worked with copper.




1. Tape your Alkeme blank down to the steel block and use a pen to mark the edges of the tape to help you place the letters properly.  I wanted mine a bit uneven vertically, but I also wanted good horizontal placement, so the tape really helped.



2. Use a wire brush on the blank if you want to rough it up a bit.  I used black acrylic paint and wiped it deep into the indentations.  



3. I bezeled this piece to use in my last Bead Journal Project necklace.



4. Two other Alkeme pieces ended up in my BJP necklace too: washer blanks that I textured with the ball peen hammer.  



As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received tools and materials free of charge from ImpressArt in order to write a review and/or create a project free of charge for you.  I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.


Copyright 2014 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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