Friday, January 29, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!



Japanese Quilts
The Crafty Princess does a short video review of a beautiful book about Japanese quilts.

Royal Flowers
Cindy stitched up a model of the free Royal Flowers chart which just happens to be a favorite color combo.

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to Be Done!
Jean reviews a book on a very pretty style of peyote stitch, and it's fast too! Check out Fast Peyote Stitch Jewelry, Easy to Follow Patterns, 25+ Projects by Josie Fabre ! It's lovely!

Tissue Paper Decorated Candle
A tissue paper decorated candle is a quick and easy craft that still looks impressive. How to get perfect results every time using wax paper & a heat gun.

Recycled Guitar String Pendant DIY
The Tappingflamingo shows how she makes guitar string jewelry. This is an easy, fun tutorial that can be made quickly and inexpensively.

Amigurumi Tip 6
Learn some helpful tips about making faces for your crocheted stuff toys.


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book review on MMA: The Little Guide to Mastering Your Sewing Machine


Yesterday on Mixed Media Artist, I posted a review of this cute little book...spiral bound at the top, fold-out easel at the bottom.  Time to stop letting your sewing machine intimidate you...?

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Art quilt tutorials

Kīlauea
I used to post all of my quilts on Mixed Media Artist, but it's just been too much to keep up with both, so this is my effort to consolidate :-) Besides tutorials for my previously made quilts, you will also find loads of tutorials there on fabric painting, doing image transfers, and other topics that could cross-pollinate with your jewelry making and beading.

Since you'll be seeing more fabric and fiber arts here than in some previous years, I thought I'd better add an archived list of tutorials that you can find easily.  This post will be linked in the Tutorials tab at the top of this blog so that you can find it easily.

Some of these quilt tutorials include beading, but some do not.  You are always welcome to add beads if you want!

Small tree quilt

Faux patchwork crazy quilt block

30-Second Hot Flashes

Spring Returns to the Land

A beginner's crazy quilt block

Geometric beaded quilt

Infinite Love beaded quilt

Beaded turtles (update)

Rising Mist quilt

Glacier Bay quilt

Sepia photo quilt

Chickadee collage-quilt

Machine sewn lap quilt

Alaska quilt

Vulture quilt - Downdraft

Orbital Flow

My TAST 2012 quilt

Kīlauea quilt 

Sequined quilt

Felt flowers

Lava quilt

Black felt quilt

Lost In Thought

Manipulated fabric for texture in quilting

Marbled fabric quilt - Falling From a Blue Sky

Painted silk quilt - At First Light

Painted silk quilt - As Daylight Fades

Bird post card quilt

Reverse applique quilt

Margaret - a combination collage and quilt

Fall Migration quilt

Felted fabric technique

Woven fabric background


Making an applique quilt

A small mixed media quilted collage

Small mixed media quilt with image transfer 


Another fabric art quilt

Making a rusted fabric art quilt


Small art quilt with fish

Paper quilting



Monday, January 25, 2016

How to Make a Swarovski Bow Necklace



Here’s a guest post from The Bead Shop, the perfect place for anyone looking to stock up on jewellery making equipment.

Today we’re going to show you how to make this cute bow necklace - perfect for spring! To make the necklace pictured above you’ll need the following:


  • Craft wire Swarovski Crystal Bicone Beads
  • Swarovski Crystal Faceted Round Beads
  • Swarovski Pearls
  • A Heart Trigger Clasp
  • 5mm jump rings


However, if you’d rather use different beads entirely, that’s okay too! This really is one of those uber-versatile designs that can perfectly incorporate a variety of beads.

Let’s look at how we made the necklace pictured…


Step 1
First of all, you want to start threading beads onto your craft wire. For this necklace we threaded beads on in this order:
  • 4mm Bicone
  • 6mm Pearl
  • 6mm Bicone
  • 6mm Pearl
  • 6mm Bicone
  • 6mm Pearl
  • 5mm closed ring

Step 2
Next, thread on four more 6mm Pearls and three more 6mm Bicones (alternately) followed by another 4mm Bicone to finish the first loop. Bring the two ends of the wire together and thread them through an 8mm Swarovski Faceted Round Crystal and pull it tight.


Step 3
Grab the longest piece of wire emerging from the 8mm faceted bead and start creating the second loop in the same way you created the first. Then thread the wire back through the large bead in the centre. You should have one length of wire exiting each side of the bead in the centre.


Step 4
It’s now time to create the bow’s tails. Thread on a 4mm Bicone followed by 3 Pearls and 3 Bicones (alternate between the two). Finally, add an 8mm Faceted Round Bead and secure it in place. Trim off any excess wire.


Step 5
Attach a 5mm jump ring to each end of your chain before attaching it to the jump rings at the top of each loop.


Step 6
Finally, add a clasp to the end of your necklace so the two ends can be attached. If you’d like to make a matching pair of earrings, make two matching bows using 4mm beads and 0.3mm wire before sticking a flat stud on the back of the centre bead.


Friday, January 22, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!



Art Bead Scene
Take a peek at what the Art Bead Scene team has to offer in Pantone's Colors of the Year, Rose Quartz and Serenity!

4 Wine Bottle Crafts for the Thrifty Oenophile
Instead of throwing out your empty wine bottles, turn them into trendy decor accessories. Save those attractive corks and labels as well. What crafter doesn’t love free supplies?

Diffuser Necklace DIY
Terry Jeanette of Tappingflamingo shows you how to make your very own essential oil diffuser necklace.


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Book review: Jewel Loom Inspirations

by Julianna C. Avelar
Fons & Porter/F+W; $19.99

Have you thought of adding loom work to your beading repertoire this year?  Perhaps you feared that it would be too expensive to get a loom, or that it was too big a commitment and would take up too much space.  No more excuses!  Julianna Avelar is the creator of the Jewel Loom, which I've found listed online for about $11 to $12.  It's portable, flexible, and easy to set up and use, and now Julianna has written a book called Jewel Loom Inspirations, published by Fons + Porter, to help you through the learning curve.

Julianna starts with the basics: what sizes and shapes of beads work best in loom work, the best stringing materials, adhesives, findings, and other tools.  You will probably not have to add many materials or tools, other than the loom itself, if you've been beading for awhile.

The next section shows you how to set up the loom and string the warp threads.  Hint, hint...it looks pretty easy to do.  Then you will learn how to weave a simple base and finish it off.  From there...the projects!

Seventeen beautiful projects show you the versatility of the loom.  Though it's small, it is perfect for creating bracelets, earrings, rings, and even necklaces.  You'll create a base first, and then have fun embellishing while the loom keeps your work flat and secure.


Here's one of my favorite pieces from the book.  Just in case you thought you'd be limited to thread, check out this wire beauty that is found on p 94 with full instructions!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Spring Returns to the Land: a landscape quilt block - part two


Last week, I shared part one of my tutorial on making a painted landscape crazy quilt block.



10. My landscape is all finished now, with each seam and patch decorated.  What follows are some close-ups of various areas:


11. Snow-topped mountains and flowers.



12. Mid-land and butterfly.



13. Foreground water.



14. The last element I added.



15. I chose not to add a frame of any type to this block, so here's my finishing method.  Cut a backing fabric (mine is plain muslin) and a piece of batting.  The batting should be just slightly smaller than the top.  Miter and fold the backing up around the batting.  Miter and fold the edges of the top along the pre-planned lines.



16. Iron the edges, line them up, and pin them together.



17. Pick embroidery floss and size 8/0 seed beads to edge the piece.  I added a bead to every other blanket stitch around the edges.


Spring Returns to the Land
10x8"
Cyndi Lavin, 2016 

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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Friday, January 15, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!



Keepsake Shell Necklace
This free necklace tutorial shows how to turn shell beads picked up during a cruise into a necklace.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Like peyote bead stitch? Jean revisits a wonderful beadweaving book by Melinda Barta with a review you can't miss!

Silhouette Pop-Up Drawer Card Box
Tips for assembling Silhouette pop-up drawer box cards. Lori Whitlock designed a series of these cute pop-ups. Here's how to make them nice and sturdy.

Art Bead Scene
Winter Bird Studio + Round Rabbit + Mia Only Beads are the perfect combination for Erin's Perfect Pairings selection!

Yummy Breakfast Oatmeal Recipe
Here is one of Terry's first videos she put together about a year ago. Terry shows how to make a delicious oatmeal dish that would be great for those cold mornings.

Knitting Needle Set Review
In this video, the Crafty Princess looks at various wooden knitting needle sets from Knit Picks.

How to Tie a Knot for Hand Sewing
Starting your hand sewing project with the right knot is important for success. Here Sarah shows you her favorite simple knot that's strong and won't easily pull through fabric.

Loosey Goosey
Connie's added a new free pattern inspired by the Flying Geese quilt block. It offers ample practice for quarter stitches and of course, she's got just the tutorial and tips you need!


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

This is your chance to take a free online crazy quilt class! But HURRY!


Registration for the basic crazy quilt course with the wonderful Kathy Shaw is open now. It's an online course and it's free. Stop procrastinating...registration is only open until the 15th!

Book reviews: New quilting and sewing books from Martingale

If you are interested in adding more quilting to your beading, or more beading to your quilting, but aren't sure where to start, Martingale publications are a good bet.  Each one has all the basic information you need to complete the projects that are included.  For example, all of them will teach you how to piece, quilt, and finish blocks, but each also includes its own specialty.



Animal Parade 2 by Cheri Leffler features adorable applique quilts for babies.  Ten complete projects include instruction on two applique methods and several embroidery stitches.



Primitive Style Folk Art Quilts and Other Finery by Jenifer Gaston goes beyond quilts to hooked rugs and other home decor.




Windy City Bags by Sara Lawson has twelve handbag and tote designs with easy-to-follow instructions


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Monday, January 11, 2016

Spring Returns to the Land: a landscape quilt block - part one

Spring Returns to the Land
10x8"
Cyndi Lavin, 2016

I spent the last few months working more on small quilt blocks than on jewelry, so the first couple of tutorials for 2016 will be focused on those.  Sometimes I turn to art quilts, collage, or other mixed media when I don't know where to go next with jewelry making, but other times I do them just because I love them.  I used to share most of them on Mixed Media Artist, and you can find lots of tutorials over there, but not all of them will have beads!


1. Sketch the landscape as you please.  I decided to turn mine into straight lines before transferring, to keep more of a crazy quilt look about it.



2. Transfer your design to muslin using a lightbox and a waterproof black pen (I use Faber-Castell Pitt pens).  Double the muslin before hooping.  I decided to add a motif that I had previously stitched separately on muslin.  Back it with interfacing if needed, and fuse it into place on the design.



3. All of my design is going to have to work outwards from this tree since I added it first.  I blanket stitched it in place and added the black pen outline.  Rather than blending into the block, this makes it stand out.  Use white floss and no outline if you'd prefer a more blended look.



4. Do some color tests before painting if you wish.  I'm glad I did, since I ended up switching the order of two colors.



5. Paint, letting the color blend slightly over the lines if you wish ( I did!).  If you want super crisp edges, paint alternating stripes and let them dry before painting the rest.



6. Using the pattern that I drew for transferring to the fabric, I planned out my stitching and embellishing a bit.  In the past, I have rarely done this in such detail, but I became a partial convert while taking Kathy Shaw's online crazy quilt lessons, especially when it came to making templates for the seams.

Several things shifted as I did the actual work, including the two lowest stripes, but this gave me an idea about where I thought I was going.  Not every seam was planned out at this time...this is the pattern after I finished the entire piece, adding to it as I went along.  So it was really a compromise between total planning and flying by the seat of my pants!



7. Here are some of the templates that I used for my seams.  I placed measured dots on tracing paper (use graph paper underneath when needed), and then pierced each hole with the lead of a mechanical pencil to make dots for stitching. Before meeting Kathy, I had never done this before, and I do really like the more regular results for the seams.  The interiors of the "patches" I still prefer to do by eye.  It's a good compromise.



8. I also used the tracing paper technique for positioning the large clusters of flowers on my tree.  Once the outer edges are stitched, you can remove the paper and fill in as densely as you choose.  I was aiming for a springtime feel, so my tree is sparse and young-looking.



9. Here is the tree finished, with grass growing beneath it.

Next Monday, part two, where I'll show you how I decorated and finished off the block!

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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Friday, January 08, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!



Snap out of it, Jean! There's Beading to Be Done!
Jean reviews a beautiful follow up to an earlier book on bead embroidery: Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples Motifs. If you like to embroider, don't miss this!

Repair It with Bondic Plastic Welding Pen
Eileen repairs a small cast iron sculpture with Bondic. No waiting time required when you repair it with Bondic. Apply, cures in a few seconds, add finishing touches. Your repair is immediately ready for use.

Yes, Another Jewelry Challenge
Terry Jeanette of Tappingflamingo shows her entry in the Dry Gulch Beads and Jewelry Challenge, January 2016

Art Bead Scene
Check out our beautiful new challenge for January - the first of 2016!

Taylor Knit Shawl
Here is a little knitting progress as the Crafty Princess continues to learn how to knit.

Illustrate Your One Little Word
Do you have a word for 2016? Why not use it in a piece of art? You can do this with any word you like and whatever supplies you have.

Apply Those Crystals
Add more bling to your garments or fabric jewelry components with this super cool tool.

Free Border Pattern
Is it a border or a bookmark - you decide. This free chart has a myriad of uses and can be stitched in any color.


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads


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Thursday, January 07, 2016

Vintage bird pins - for sale

This is part of my collection of vintage jewelry, amassed over a very very (very) long time.  I love birds :-)  But my closet, cupboards, and drawers can no longer contain all of these.  As a part of my New Year's resolutions, I want to offer them to you.  If you'd like to make an offer, you can write it in the comments along with your email address...moderation is on, so your comment will not become public.


Peacock with zirconia gems, sterling silver
2" across
$38 or best offer

Enameled hummingbird pin + pendant
Each 1 1/2" tall
$25 or best offer


Dove with rhinestones,
marked "Ora"

1 1/2" across
$7 or best offer


Owl with multicolored rhinestones,
marked "Giovanni"

1 1/4" tall
$25 or best offer


Owl with green rhinestone eyes,
marked "Monet"

1 1/2" tall
$18 or best offer


Peacock with aurora borealis
rhinestones and glass pearls
2" across
$25 or best offer



Duck mother + baby with large rhinestone
body and pave rhinestones

Mama is 1 3/4" diagonally
$20 or best offer





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