Monday, March 30, 2015

Bead Journal Project: March 2015



Here is my third piece for the 2015 Bead Journal Project, combining beaded crazy quilting with 3D forms.  This month, my form is an orb.

I've been fascinated with trying to create round shapes for a long time.  One of the best ways I've found is to create an orb...it won't be a perfect sphere, but then again, perfection is over-rated, don't you think?



1. My form uses a tennis ball style shape.  I've marked the middle of each "side", which you can easily do by folding your shape in half.  These marks will go on the inside, but are necessary in order to help you line up the forms when you stitch them together.  You need to cut out two of these.



2. I added a bead embroidered motif to each circle.  The motifs can be found in Bored By Back Stitch.  This one is a chevron stitch.



3. Looks like fancy breasts, doesn't it?  There...I said it, so you can all stop giggling :-)



4. To stitch together, line up one of the end hash marks with one of the middle ones.  Use pins and stitch around the edges with beaded blanket stitch, using embroidery floss.

January 2015: Wavy raised circle form
February 2015: Crescent form

March 2015: Orb form

Copyright 2015 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, March 27, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!


Embossed Spring or Easter Card Designs
Embossing adds a special touch to cards. Eileen shares four examples with directions. Change the words for cards to welcome spring.

Pipe Cleaner Ring Tutorial
Here is a fun video showing how to make pipe cleaner rings...these are great for parties, fish extenders, etc....

Free ABCDiamond Cross Stitch Pattern
Connie has added a new freebie over at Connie Gee's Designs that was inspired by motifs from antique sampler patterns. Since the design is full cross stitch only there are many options for stitching it up.

New Pillows
Cherie makes some pillows to go with her new slipcovers.





Monday, March 23, 2015

Blue heart wire earrings



I made these cute little earrings for a friend for her Valentine's Day date, but it occurred to me that they would be a great springtime addition to anyone's earring wardrobe in any color desired.  And to make it even better, they were soooo easy!



1. Thread a heart (or other shape) with some small spacer beads on a head pin.  Turn a wrapped loop and clip the end.  Repeat for the second earring.



2. Using paddle shaped head pins, thread on some accent beads.  Turn a wrapped loop with these as well.



3. Take a piece of 18 or 20 gauge wire, about 5 inches long, and turn a circle with one end a bit shorter than the other.



4. Thread on the two pieces you made in steps 1 and 2, along with a couple more accent beads on each side of them.



5. Take hold of the longer wire end with chain nose pliers, and bent it at a 45 degree angle, aiming up and away from the beads.  With the shorter wire end, wrap it two or three times around the longer end that you just bent.  Using round nose pliers and chain nose pliers, turn a loop with the longer wire end.  You can either wrap it as well, or just turn a simple loop.  Clip off both ends and smooth with a file (not shown).



6. Add the ear wire of your choice.  I chose shepherd's hooks.

Copyright 2015 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, March 20, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!



Bead a Pirate and Crush Some Yarn
This latest Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast is packed with fun crafting: beaded pirate dreadlocks, yarn love, knitting, and crochet.

Comfy Quilt Cross Stitch Pattern
The free Comfy Quilt pattern was one of the first patterns Connie added. She chose her favorite colors for the design but it is easily changed to reflect your own color selections.

All About Glass Sculptures
Cherie has taken her glass sculpture obsession to a new level!

From Dollar Store Plastic Bargain to Elegant Easter Eggs
How to transform inexpensive plastic eggs into lovely Easter ornaments. Place them on stands, hang them as ornaments or display several in a bowl or basket.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads



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Monday, March 16, 2015

My experiment with twin beads


You know that I've been reviewing books that deal with SuperDuos, Twins, and other shaped beads as they are published, but you also might have noticed that I don't use them very often myself.  That's because I'm primarily a bead embroidery nut rather than a beadweaver, but that doesn't mean that I don't like to experiment from time to time.  Also, the last few books published have given me some things to think about in terms of whether or not to work on adapting the stitches for the new shaped beads into bead embroidery stitches like I did for seed bead stitches in Bored By Back Stitch.


Well, obviously, the first step is to play with them a little bit.  When I reviewed Carolyn Cave's new book, Beautiful Designs with SuperDuos and Twin Beads, I noted that I really liked one of the beaded ropes.  A lot.  So that was as good a place as any to start, with Carolyn's Viking's Double necklace stitch.



I liked it.  I liked doing it.  The rhythm quickly becomes second nature, and the rope progresses quickly.  I really like the pattern that forms...you don't get anything quite like this with only seed beads.  The rope is very soft, which can be good or bad, depending upon your preferences.



I found an easy way to give it structure: just insert some vinyl tubing.  I'm sure cords of various types would work well too!


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Friday, March 13, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!



Craft Show Time!
See some simple craft projects to make that work great for craft shows in this new podcast episode.

Shamrock Card Embellishments
Here’s a versatile card technique to add to your card making toolbox. Use green paper to form lucky shamrocks or four leaf clovers. Use pastel to make pansies, violets or other simple leaf flowers. Use your imagination.

Organizing Embroidery Floss
Connie's craft room may look like a disaster zone, but her embroidery floss is neat and organized at least - find out all about the floss storage options she uses.

Art Bead Scene
Check out what Dawn of La Touchables made in response to our monthly challenge - wow!

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads


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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Yay for Pearl!!



Congratulations to Pearl, who won the copy of Fiber & Cord Jewelry!!  Hope you really enjoy it :-)



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Book review: Stitching with Two-Hole Beads



Just last month I told you about a new Kalmbach book that featured SuperDuos and Twin Beads, and now we have the next step, which is adapting beadweaving stitches for all of the great new shapes out there: squares, Tilas, SuperDuos and twins, Rullas, bricks, lentils, daggers, and more.  There are over 30 great designs to try in Virginia Jensen's Stitching with Two-Hole Shaped Beads.

You may remember Virginia's work from Contemporary Cube Bead Designs (review at the link). No stranger to working with beads of different shapes, she has put together a wonderful collection of projects that will definitely grab your attention if you are a beadweaver.  The book is arranged by stitch type, and starts out with basic stringing, then moving to peyote, braid, step, herringbone, crossweave, right-angle weave, and cluster stitch.  I wasn't familiar with all the stitches, so it was really fun to browse through.  Cluster stitch is Virginia's own invention!

Cuff by Virginia Jensen

I just may have to try some of these, just as I did with the last shaped bead book :-)

Other books on Shaped Beads
Beautiful Designs with Super Duos and Twin Beads
Great Designs for Shaped Beads
Contemporary Cube Bead Designs




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Monday, March 09, 2015

Orthoceras pendant with bead embroidery

Time Traveler

This fossil is called an orthoceras, and I bought it on our trip to Alaska in 2013.  I've been looking for the perfect project to use it, because I think it is SO COOL, and I didn't want to waste it on just anything.

Recently I've gotten into another pendant-making kick, so that seemed to be the best choice for my little fossil.  The patterning on it is really interesting, and I didn't want my beadwork to overpower it, so I kept it very simple...a few seed beads and a handful of glass pearls, all in black and grays.

Step-by-step instructions for putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, and stack stitch can be found in the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.  Chapter two has instructions for stitching a peyote stitch bezel, and Chapter three teaches the square stitch bail.



1. I used double-sided tape to attach the fossil temporarily to the foundation fabric.  I'm going to do a peyote bezel around it, so it doesn't have to be attached with glue.



2. The fossil has a high dome, so it took 4 rounds of peyote stitch using size 11/0 seed beads, plus 2 rounds using size 15/0 seed beads to cinch it in.



3. I added two rows of back stitch around the piece, plus 3 glass pearls in gray on each side, scalloped by black size 15/0s.  I looked at it for awhile, and eventually decided that was enough!



4.  Cut out the piece, leaving a small edge for finishing with edging brick stitch.  I added a small Swarovski crystal rose montee sew on rhinestone through the hole in the fossil top to hide it (and to further secure it to the foundation).



5.  I added a row of edging brick stitch with size 11/0 seed beads, and went around again, adding stacks of 2 size 15/0 beads to each 11/0.



6. Stitch a square stitch bail to the back near the top.



7. Finished, with a rubber necklace cord.

Copyright 2015 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, March 06, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!


Peep Bunnies
I list 'em every year but they remain popular! Peep bunnies made from felt.

Lazertran Inkjet Decals on Wood
See how to piece decals for larger projects and how to "melt" a decal onto wood.

Cross Stitch for St. Patrick's Day
It's almost time for everyone to be honorary Irishmen and Irishwomen (unless, of course, you are already Irish - then you already have a great excuse to party). Connie has added a new free pattern in the spirit of the season and has suggestions for more great St. Patty's Day-themed projects.



Thursday, March 05, 2015

Book giveaway: Fiber & Cord Jewelry



Did you read my review of Ashley K Bunting's Fiber & Cord Jewelry?   Did it catch your attention?  Do you want a copy...?

GIVEAWAY ALERT!!! 

I've got a copy that needs to go to a good home!  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: March 12, 2015



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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Book review: Pigments of Your Imagination



I'm sure that a lot of you, like me, love to dabble in other media.  On the other hand, is there really such a thing as "another media"?  All creative pursuits seem to cross-pollinate at some point, so I'm not going to apologize for sharing this marvelous, eye-opening book with you here rather than on Mixed Media Artist!

Pigments of Your Imagination, Cathy Taylor's new book, published by Schiffer, is dazzling to say the least.  Just look at the colors and effects on the cover piece up there!  But wait, there's more...





Alcohol inks are Cathy's love, and after you've browsed a few pages, you'll be in love too.  Fortunately, the inks are readily available and fairly inexpensive.  Nope, you won't have to mortgage your home or give up your bead stash if you decide to give it a try.  And Cathy works you through the techniques methodically, helping you to build skill upon skill.

Now one caveat...you won't be able to use these inks to great effect on watercolor paper or most fabrics...they have to have a shiny surface to really come to life.  But still...whether you decide to try working with these on the side, or take the challenge to figure out how to combine them with your jewelry making, they are some serious eye candy, huh?

Reviews of other books that focus on mixed media and painting techniques:
Alternative Art Surfaces
Reclaimed Textiles
Mixed Media Master Class
Mixed Media Painting Workshop
Water-Based Texturing



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Monday, March 02, 2015

Spring ribbon necklace!



I'm tired of winter colors...I want spring, and I want it NOW!  Since I live in New England and can't always have what I want, the next best thing is to make spring jewelry.

I asked for a couple of fabulous wire edged ribbons from Offray Ribbons in beautiful springy colors: wild berry and violet.  The wires give you a bit more structure, which I thought would pair perfectly with some beaded beads!

Materials & Tools

Size 11/0 seed beads
Beading thread (I used white Nymo O)
Arabesque wire edged ribbon, Wild Berry, 1 1/2 inch wide
Arabesque wire edged ribbon, Violet, 5/8 inch wide
Jump rings
Multi-strand chain and clasp set  

Beading needle
Crochet hook or dowel (optional)
Scissors
Chain nose pliers
Rat tail file



1. Use ladder stitch to make two rows of 12 beads (thread pattern shown below).




2. Slip them around a crochet hook (I used size H), and connect the ends.




3. The beaded beads will be constructed with brick stitch on top of the ladder stitch (thread pattern shown above).




4. For the first stitch, add two beads.




5. For each additional stitch, add just one bead.



6. Stitch 10 rows of brick stitch, and finish off the top with a row of double brick stitch, where you will add two beads at a time instead of just one (for the first stitch in this row, you will add 4 beads).  Stitch the working end of the thread back down through the bead to exit at or near the tail end.  Cut the working thread, and stitch the tail end through several rows before cutting.



7. When you have as many beads finished as you want, cut your ribbon.  I cut 3 strands as follows: 24" violet ribbon, 26" violet ribbon, 28" wild berry ribbon.  The larger bead shown above is 24 beads around instead of 12.



8. Lay out your multi-strand clasp set and jump rings.  I needed to ream out the holes for the jump rings a bit, using a rat tail file.



9. Slip the jump rings through the holes and close them up.



10. String the beaded beads onto your ribbons, and tie loose knots on either side of each one.



11. Slip each ribbon through a jump ring and knot it, one at a time, with the shortest ribbon on the inside edge.



12. A simple design that will let your beads and ribbons both shine!

This post is sponsored by Offray, from whom I have received some of the products in order to create this project for you.
Copyright 2015 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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