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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Recent publications: August 2016

Flowers in Free-Form Peyote Stitch by Sheila Root

Modern Beaded Lace: Beadweaving Techniques for Stunning Jewelry Designs by Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Art of Glass: Flameworking by Kendra Bruno

Cool Copper Cuffs: 25 metal and wire projects by Eva M. Sherman

Metalsmithing Made Easy: A Practical Guide to Cold Connections, Simple Soldering, Stone Setting, and More! by Kate Ferrant Richbourg

Make It Sparkle: 25 Dazzling Jewelry Designs to Make Any Occasion Special by Lindsay Burke

Monday, August 29, 2016

Black glass pendant bead embroidery tutorial - part one

Yay!!  Fall is almost here, and I once more feel comfortable having a towel on my lap so that I can work happily on bead embroidery projects.  Only a few small ones to start back up, so that I (and you) can have some instant gratification!  

I have had this pretty glass donut for quite some time.  It came from Auntie's Beads, and it was given to me along with several others, some to create projects with and some to give away.  I always knew that this one was destined for better things than just hanging on a string!

1. I started with a heavy gauge (12) piece of wire, bent it in half, and looped it through the top of the donut hole as shown.  My wire is about 6 inches long, but you will have to experiment to see what works best with the piece you have.  You can use this wrap even if the hole in your piece is dead center...just make the wire longer.  

2. Curl the long ends into a spiral on each side, lying flat against the donut.  

3. I used some double-sided tape (or you can use glue) to lightly adhere my donut to a foundation fabric.  You can't see it, but I've taken several stitches to tack the wires down to the fabric as well, where they cross the back of the donut.  Just a little added insurance.

4. Add a back stitched row of beads around the base of the donut.  I like to work in fours, but you can use any count you like as long as you end up with an even number of beads total.

If you need some instructions for back stitch and/or would like additional information on choosing fabrics, threads, etc, please download a free copy of the first chapter of my e-book, Every Bead Has a Story!

Next week, I'll show you how to complete the bead stitched bezel and finish off the pendant in Part Two.

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received this glass donut free of charge from Auntie's Beads in order to create a project free of charge for you.  I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.
Copyright 2016 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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Get in on the Tiny SAL
The Connie Gee's Stitchers group on Facebook is where to find the latest free SAL from Connie Gee's Designs. Find out how to get involved.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is thrilled to take a walk down memory lane with beadshop, as they repost their beautiful Autumn challenge lookbook and begin a brand new Autumn challenge for 2016! See what's up at her blog! You could be the winner!

Silhouette School Uniform Customized for Your Child's School
It's fun playing with paper dolls to make Silhouette school uniform cards. How to replicate your child's school uniform on tags, greeting or fundraiser cards.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Yay for Kendra!

Congratulations to Kendra, winner of a copy of Make It Sparkle!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book review: Metalsmithing Made Easy

Metalsmithing Made Easy, by Kate Ferrant Richbourg and published by Interweave, is for the home jeweler who perhaps has only a small space to work and a little experience with metal.  If you want to up your game and conquer some new metal skills, this is where you start.  Know first, though, that you will not be able to do that simply by reading this book, but by making a commitment to work your way through it!

Before the projects, Kate first covers some very important information.  She discusses at some length studio setup, designed for a small space.  There is an entire chapter devoted to soldering with a torch (NOT a soldering iron), covering the types of torches and solder, and the how to's.  Tools are discussed, the minimum array, and the additions you'll need for specific project (like rings), and Kate also covers metals and materials, including stones and patinas.  And finally, there is a discussion on rotary tools, for the time when you decide you need to speed up some of the process.

Unique to this book is a chapter titled "Samplers."  What a brilliant idea!  Here you will find little practice pieces that allow you to try out the new techniques before committing time, energy, and money into a full-blown project (which comes in the next chapter!).   

There are 15 beautiful projects, arranged in order of increasing difficulty.  Some have cold joins, many use simple soldering.  All are in Kate's style, but are easily adaptable to your own -- shiny instead of matte, different patinas, textured or stamped to suit you.  Some design alternatives are included to help you get going on your own unique adventure.  

Another book review of a book by Kate Ferrant Richbourg:

Monday, August 22, 2016

A simple wire wrapped pendant

I've had this really cool stone bead for a looooong time.  I don't know what kind of stone it is, and for awhile I thought it might be resin, but's too heavy for that.  Since it is heavy, I decided not to incorporate it into a full necklace, but just to add some simple wire wrapping and call it a day.  I used about 18" of 18 gauge copper wire, plus a pretty bulls-eye stone which might be agate or might be jasper.  Or it might be something else entirely!

1. Start by making a wrapped loop at one end of the wire, and slip it down through both stones.  Leave a little bit of space between the stones when you start wrapping.

2. Nothing fancy, just a simple wrap from bottom to top, as many wraps as you'd like.  In the little space you left, wrap the wire tightly, clip it off, and file smooth if needed.

3. The fun part is putting the little twists in the wire, using your chain nose pliers.  I only did this in the front, but you could do it front and back if you'd like.  I have a black rubber necklace cord that I'm going to use to wear this.

Copyright 2016 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.

Friday, August 19, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Snap out of it, jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the book for knitters, Self-Striping Yarn Studio by the wonderful instructor and knitter/designer Carol J. Sulcoski!

Clay Pottery Repair of Heirloom Cookie Jar
Seamless clay pottery repair can be a challenge sometimes. But unless the pottery is in smithereens, you can DIY one with a few simple supplies. Here's how.

Swirly WIP
Check out Connie's latest stitching project and find out the materials she's using for it.

Sewing for the Home
Home Sewn is a new book out that has lots of creative and simple sewing projects for household items.

Jewelry Redo
Terry Jeanette, aka Tappingflamingo, shows another jewelry redo. This time, a pair of earrings becomes two necklaces...

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Book review and giveaway: Make It Sparkle!

Lindsay Burke's favorite techniques are creating sparkling clusters of crystals and making designs with graduated crystal colors.  And how she loves loves loves crystals!  The 25 designs taught in this new book published by Interweave, Make It Sparkle, use many techniques, but have one thing in common...her beloved crystals.

All of the projects, designed by Lindsay and four friends, can be done step-by-step as her excellent instructions show, or they can be customized and personalized with your own choices of bead shapes, colors, and metals.  This is a great beginner's project book, with all the tools, materials, and techniques clearly defined.  If you've never made jewelry before and want to try a variety of wire, chain, and crystal projects, this could be your book.  You'll end up with a sparkling selection of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets!


Would you like a great book full of new projects?  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 will not 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, beadingarts at gmail 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 24, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Shamballa bracelet with larger beads

Summertime always makes me think about Shamballa bracelets.  If you need detailed instructions, there are links to my tutorials here and there :-)

This time, I decided to see what would happen if I used larger beads.  It turned out alright...I really love the crackle-faceted stone beads...but I probably will stick with better proportioned beads from now on.  If you want to try it, though, here you go:

1. String your beads (I started with more than I ended up using) on the macrame cord that you choose.  I used alligator clips and a clip board to keep things together.  Cut two lengths of leather cord a bit longer than you think you'll need.  Mine were about 13" each.

2. Knot the starting ends and arrange as shown on the clip board.  Follow the directions at the other tutorials to knot the bracelet.  As you can see below, I added only one knot in between each bead.  It would have turned out better, perhaps, if I'd been able to fit 7 beads instead of 6.  It always seems to look nicer when there is an odd number of beads.  Nonetheless, it fits well and feels fine on, so that counts for something!

Copyright 2016 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.

Friday, August 12, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the dazzling new jewelry design book, Make It Sparkle! by Lindsay Burke.

Wish Upon a Star
So, it's past Independence Day, but some people stitch patriotic designs all year round, so check out the latest pattern added to the Connie Gee's Designs Etsy shop.

Crafty Podcast
The Crafty Princess and Tappingflamingo are podcasting together again.

Travel Journal: Capture the Memories & Avoid the Clutter
As summer draws to a close, think about reducing the mementos into concentrated personal memories with a travel journal.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Free-form wire wrapped stone with beads

One afternoon, I sat down with 2' of 18 gauge copper wire, some previously wrapped coils (24 gauge craft wire), and a large turquoise-colored stone.  I don't think it's turquoise, although that's what it was sold to me as.  I'm fairly sure it's just dyed howlite or something similar, but it's still pretty.

Anyway, there was no real plan...

I started with the wire held diagonally across the back of the stone, and then wrapped each end across the front and across the back again. At that point, I began to form the wire around the circumference of the stone, loosely like a bird's nest.  On the final wrap around the outside, I added the two coils and a couple of chalk turquoise beads.  The ends of the wires are anchored onto wires that cross the back of the stone.

The horizontal wires on both the front and in the back were tweaked to keep the wrapping secure.  My first thought was that this would be a pendant, but now I'm thinking that maybe it will end up being an element in a larger piece, maybe even a bead embroidered one.  Who know?  Stay tuned!

Copyright 2016 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.

Friday, August 05, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews Cynthia Newcomer Daniel's fascinating new book, Modern Beaded Lace Beadweaving Techniques for Stunning Jewelry Designs

Sewing Blythe Doll Clothes?
Tammy is blowing the dust off her sewing machine in hopes of attempting to sew doll clothes for her Blythe dolls.

An Enchanting Pattern
Connie's latest addition to her Etsy shop is a sampler fit for a queen, or a princess, or maybe even a prince or two.

Melt Inkjet Decal Images onto Wood
How to melt inkjet decal images onto wood without visible decal edges. Turpentine dissolves Lazertran inkjet carrier film leaving only the decal image.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Book review: Cool Copper Cuffs

Do you have some metalwork under your belt, but you long for more?  Eva M Sherman's new book, Cool Copper Cuffs, published by Kalmbach, may be what you're looking for next.  It's funny how a decade or so ago, you almost couldn't pay people to work with any of the "lesser" metals.  When I started out, it was all about silver and gold.  But two things happened: the palette of choice for many of us turned warmer, and the price of silver and gold skyrocketed!  Suddenly copper, brass, and bronze were looking a lot more interesting :-)

Enter Cool Copper Cuffs.  Eva shows you how to make 25 different metal and wire projects, using techniques that you easily adapt to your own personal preferences and style, and that you can apply to other items besides bracelets if that's where your fancy takes you.  This is not a beginner's book, but Eva's instructions and the wonderful images that Kalmbach is known for, are so good that if you are a really really determined beginner, you could work your way through the book and improve as you go.

There are four sections to the book, starting with materials, tools, and techniques.  Unless you are already a master with metal, you will not want to skip the techniques section.  I don't personally work with a lot of metal, at least not with hot connections and brazing, and I found Eva's instructions to be very thorough.

A Ribbon Runs Through It
by Eva Sherman

From there, Eva guides you through the projects, with one chapter for wire cuffs, one for metal cuffs, and one that combines them both.  It makes me very sad that I will not be making most of much to make and so little time...but right now it's just outside my wheelhouse.  SO, if any of you feel sorry for me and want to make me one, we can talk!  That's my favorite, up above.

Two other book reviews of books containing Eva Sherman's work:
Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry
Wonderful Wire Jewelry

Monday, August 01, 2016

Leather bracelet with oval links

This bracelet evolved through the simple act of playing around...see what can happen when you're bored?  :-)

1. You'll need 2 lengths of leather cord (mine are 8"), 2 small ribbon clasps, some oval links (the number depends upon the size), some jump rings, a small length of chain, and a lobster claw clasp.  Line up and clamp one end of each cord in one of the ribbon clasps as shown above.

2. Weave the leather cord in and out of the oval links, making sure they are alternating directions with each other.  Open some jump rings that are large enough to encompass the thickness of two links.

3. Use jump rings to secure the oval links.  When the bracelet is long enough, snip the ends of the cords even and attach the other ribbon clasp.

4. I attached a small length of open link chain to one ribbon clasp, and a lobster claw clasp to the other.  And just now I noticed that I need to fix that one jump ring just to the left of doesn't quite meet cleanly!  Oops!

Copyright 2016 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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