Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fun in the Sun - for sale

Lucite, plastic, wood, brass, and copper
$35

First on my list of pieces that must find a good home is Fun in the Sun, shown above.  I wrote and shared the tutorial in 2010, and much as I like the piece...I don't wear it.

It's a fun, light, and airy piece for the spring or summer, but with enough color impact to carry you right into autumn and beyond. The various sized lucite, plastic, wood, copper, and brass beads are from recycled vintage jewelry pieces. They are suspended in a tangle of cords, set off nicely by the brass cones and clasp. The total length of this handmade beaded necklace is 22 1/2 inches.

Hit the button above, or leave me a comment if you are interested...comments are moderated, so it won't be posted :-)


Monday, March 28, 2016

Faux patchwork quilt block - part one


This is a "no-patchwork whole cloth" crazy quilt block.  I had a small but great textured piece of silk that was left over from a flurry of painting.  I drew up a crazy quilt block, re-sized and transferred it to a piece of muslin, and then pinned my silk piece in place on top.  Using a basting stitch, I went over all the lines in red thread.

My plan was to remove the basting stitches as soon as I had marked the seam treatments using templates, but the machine stitches made permanent marks in the silk.  Plan B (which I came up with on the spot) was to re-stitch each of the seam lines in white perle cotton thread, using a back stitch.

If I make another of these, I will skip the machine basting step and just stitch the "seam" lines on to begin with!


1. Draw block.  If needed, scan and size with photoshop and print out.

3. Trace.  Copy over tracing on the back with black pen.

4. Use lightbox to trace wrong side of pattern onto the back of the muslin foundation (so that it will be right-side up on the top.


5. Baste muslin to silk top using red thread in the bobbin along all seam lines and the edge.  Red thread should show up on the top of the silk.



6. Use the tracing paper pattern to plan out seam treatments and other embellishments.

Next week, I'll show you the seams, embellishments, and finishing in part two.

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, March 25, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!



Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews Creature Feetures: 30 Crochet Patterns for Baby Booties by Kristi Simspson--how adorable and fun!

Queen of the Needle
Connie's added a new free chart that will be great for a scissor fob or needle case.

Watercolor Easter Cards to DIY
Charming watercolor Easter cards require few supplies: watercolors, water, watercolor paper, black waterproof pen. Try these six simple designs of bunnies & flowers.

Yarn Love
Madelinetosh yarn, is it worth all the hype?

Clasps Part 2
Terry put together an easy tutorial on how to make a fancy shepherd's hook clasp.

Go on an Inspiration Walk
It's spring break in Arkansas, so Sarah is getting inspired outside the craft room with a visit to the local botanical garden.


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Sweepstakes

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Book review and a giveaway: Origami Jewelry Motifs



Oh my!  These are almost too cute to wear.  Have you ever played around with origami?  Maybe as a child?  If you did, and you liked it, did you ever think about wearing your creations?  Julian Laboy Rodriguez did, and he shows you how in his new Interweave book, Origami Jewelry Motifs.

Even if you haven't done any origami before, don't let that stop you.  All the basic folds and instructions are covered up front, and there is a nice selection of motifs included which range from easy to intermediate.  The really unique part of the book is how Julian teaches you to turn your little cuties into jewelry pieces, using easy to obtain findings, some glue, and a good spray finish!


GIVEAWAY ALERT!!! 


Would you like to try out some origami this spring?  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, 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: March 30, 2016





Monday, March 21, 2016

Some little stitched motifs


When I was taking the online crazy quilt courses last year with Kathy Shaw, she had us stitching up some practice motifs that could include beads or not, as we chose.  A few of my motifs were stitched directly onto quilt tops that I was working on, like my fantasy bird:



Others ended up just stitched on plain doubled muslin in a large hoop.  I spaced them all out from each other so that I could cut them out in the future and add them to whatever project needed them.  In fact, you've already seen one of them in my landscape quilt:


We did a few monogram letters, like the one at the top of the post and these:



And we also did a few insects and other critters:



I stitched the butterfly directly following the horrific attacks in Paris.  Stitching can be very therapeutic as well as allowing you to add your voice to the world.

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, March 18, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!



Flashback to the Past
One of Connie's favorite stitchers shares a project she created from a free pattern that is a blast from the past. And still available too.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a fascinating book which delightfully combines two crafts into one beautiful craft to greet spring: Origami Jewelry!

This T-Shirt Bag is No Slouch
How to sew a reversible t-shirt bag. This t-shirt bag is sturdier than the average t-shirt tote bag because it's double-thick and has a reinforced bottom.

Teddy Bear Love
This video reviews both a cute crochet teddy bear pattern and the Craftsy class that comes with this pattern.

Tape Resist Painting
Tape resist painting is a classic project done with kids, but it's fun for adults to try, too. Sarah made hers with painter's tape and watercolors.

How to NOT Gain Weight On A Cruise
Today's video is a tip...Did you know the average person gains 5 to 10 pounds on a 7 day cruise? Not me....Here is how I do it...


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Sweepstakes

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Basic crazy quilt online course registration is open!



This is a free, self-paced course offered by the fabulous Kathy Shaw.  If you've ever wanted to try crazy quilting or to get better at it, here's your chance!  Hit the link on Kathy's name.  Registration is only open until midnight of March 18, so don't procrastinate!

Book review: Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making


Finally, another great book has joined the very small ranks of instruction available in English on making jewelry using soutache braid!  First there was Soutache, published in 2013, and now we have Sensational Soutache Jewelry Making by the fabulous Csilla Papp.  When I first stated thinking about soutache designs, everything I drooled over in google images was by Csilla, and she quickly became my soutache idol!  Just look at this (not found in the book):


Csilla's use of color and her delightful freeform style was what first attracted me, and now I am so thrilled that Interweave has talked her into writing this book!  There is a good section in the beginning on the basic techniques, which are not hard, but do take practice.  Csilla mentions wishing you had 4 hands...  But anyway, the bulk of the book consists of 15 drop-dead gorgeous projects, with lots of encouragement to vary the colors and focals to suit yourself.

Anyone, like me, who is in awe of Csilla's great talent will simply eat this book up!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A stitch guide for "Bored By Back Stitch"


The bead community is truly one of the best groups of people in the world!  Els Boesveld, who is selling her beautiful creations through her Etsy shop, Obsessive Beadwork, recently shared with me a stitch guide that she created to go along with my e-book, Bored By Back Stitch, and she wants the rest of you to have a copy of it as well!  How generous is that?

The stitch guide is two pages long and is in pdf format.  Rather than blow out my email program trying to send it to all of you, I've uploaded it to Google Drive.  All you need to do is follow this link, and you should be able to save the file to your own computer: Stitch Guide.  Visit Els's shop too, and you can also hook up with her on her Obsessive Beadwork facebook page!

Els Boesveld's beautiful beadwork



Monday, March 14, 2016

Beaded bead - an alien flying saucer


Last Monday, I talked about the beautiful jeweled egg-shaped beads (shown below) featured in the April 2016 issue of Bead&Button magazine.  With those instructions as my starting point, I worked out my own beaded bead...except it looks more like a flying saucer and less like an egg!

Fatima Mensen-Potter's beaded beads

The wooden bead that I started with was quite different from the barrel beads that Fatima used, so I knew that my bead count and even the sizes of many beads would be different.  Fatima starts off in the center with a band of RAW, and then proceeds to add peyote and netting stitches on either side to form the rest of the bead.  I also started with RAW and added the cute diagonal stitches as embellishment that you see in her beads.  But from then on, I stuck with peyote stitch, varying the size and number of beads to suit the shape of my wooden core.
If you decide to try doing this, I've got a few tips for you:



  • To get started, make a band of RAW in larger beads (4mm, size 6/0 seed beads, etc).  Make it just a bit shorter than you will need to encircle the wooden form.
  • Place a piece of double-sided tape around the middle to hold the beadwork lightly in place at first.  You can see the tape in the image above.  Then add the last stitch or two of RAW to finish up the band.
  • I found it helpful to work on both sides of the central band, alternating a bit, rather than stitching all of one side first and then stitching the second.  It helped me to keep the tension more even, and helped me to figure out when I could removed the tape before it became trapped!
  • Use several rows of size 11/0 or size 15/0 seed beads to finish off each end.  



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.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Sweepstakes

Friday, March 11, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!



Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the very thorough and extremely helpful book, Crafter's Market 2016:How to Sell Your Crafts and Make a Living, edited by Kerry Bogert. It might change your life in a positive way!

Stacked Squares
Chanda stitched this model of the Stacked Squares pattern from the Connie Gee's Designs Etsy shop - and she even dares to show off the back of the project. (It's very neat.)

Spring Cards: One Layout — 3 Variations
Copy a layout you like. Then make some variations. Eileen used a birthday card layout for a 25th anniversary card and a St. Patrick's Day card. Think spring!

Some Bunny Time
The Crafty Princess reviews an amigurumi crochet bunny pattern.

Make a Washi Tape Rainbow
To celebrate National Craft Month and St. Patrick's Day, Sarah experimented with making rainbows out of colored tape.

Clasps, Part 1
An easy tutorial on how to make a shepherd's hook clasp for your jewelry. Here is a link to the video that started this idea.


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Sweepstakes

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Book review: Kumihimo Jewelry Simplified



Yay!!  Finally, Rebecca Ann Combs has written a follow-up book to her 2014 Kumihimo Basics and Beyond!  In her first book, Rebecca thoroughly taught the tips and tricks to mastering Japanese braiding using the most basic style of round braid.  Her new book, Kumihimo Jewelry Simplified, picks up with five additional braids, and all the information you will need to turn your braids into terrific jewelry.

You probably already know that these braids are quite beautiful on their own, but Rebecca also covers how to add beads to them, both during the braiding and afterwards.  It's really quite remarkable what different looks you can achieve by varying the braid type and the fibers used.


The braiding in this book is done entirely on soft foam disks, so there is really minimal expense to getting started.  A couple of disks, some weights, the fibers you want to use, and some findings that you probably already have in stock if you make jewelry.  The braid styles that Rebecca teaches are eight-warp basket weave, half-round, square, and sixteen-warp hollow and trapezoid braids.

Besides all the great step-by-step information for each of the braids and the projects, Rebecca has included a special appendix section to show you how to set up and use a marudai, the traditional wooden braiding stand, in case you happen to have one or decide you want one instead of the disks.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Crazy for beaded beads!


I am really excited about the beaded spark plugs that I've been working on lately, and when I received the most recent issue of Bead&Button magazine, the beaded bead that was featured got me revved up all over again!  Fatima Mensen-Potter designed these beauties, which are stitched around a wooden barrel bead.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Perfect for Spring.


I'm totally stoked to try some of these Easter egg colors and combine them with my spark plugs, and maybe also make a few beaded beads myself.  I don't have any wooden barrels the right size to follow Fatima's directions, but I always like to do a little improvising anyway.  Here's what I've got:


They'll work!  I'll probably paint them with gesso first to block out the bright colors, but on the other hand, maybe I'll leave the pink one alone and do a beaded bead in pastel pinks...?

Anyway, I've posted several beaded bead tutorials here at Beading Arts in the past, so I thought I'd share those with you while I figure out what to do with these wooden beads.  Happy Monday, and happy beading!

Two-drop peyote beads

Peyote stitch a simple beaded bead

A free-form beaded bauble

Brick stitch beads

Cellini spiral beaded beads

An alien flying saucer beaded bead


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, March 04, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!



Diamond Fifteen
Connie's added the next section of her free SAL. There are only 10 more sections to go, but there's still time to get in on this project!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews Rebecca Ann Combs super new book, Kumihimo Jewelry Simplified: Learn to Braid with a Kumihimo Disk--so pretty and fun!

Art Therapy with The Artful Crafter
Art therapy ideas to help you weather the flu: craft videos & online classes, sketching, mixed media art that's not too taxing and lots of rest.

Crocheted Edging on a Tea Towel
Make your kitchen a little cuter by adding simple, colorful crochet borders to tea towels.

Sisters Craft and Podcast
Do some virtual crafting as you watch this fun podcast from the Crafty Princess and Tappingflamingo.

Paper Bead Review
Terry Jeanette, Tappingflamingo, experiments with her paper beads. How do they hold up if they get wet?


Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Book review: Bags for Fashionistas


Your sewing skills don't have to be totally couture in order for you to be able to make handbags that look that way!  Bags for Fashionistas is a great introduction to designing and making dozens of  bags that you can personalize to your own liking.  Nani Coldine has written this book for Schiffer Publishing, and I think you'll find it very inspiring if you tend to jones on purses!

You'll find just about every different shape and size of practical bags in this book, but they are nice looking and fashionable as well.  The sewing instructions are pretty simple for most, and there are nice grid patterns that you can enlarge for yourself.  There are basic instructions in the beginning of the book so that you can refer to them whenever needed.  Then each individual bag has specific directions for the details.  Hobo, clutch, pochette, makeup bag, tote, laptop bag, and basket are a few of the styles you'll learn about.  Each section of the book also includes an interview with a professional designer, and there is a small section on selling your bags at the end.


I know that many of us like to dress up thriftstore finds with our beadwork...what about sewing up the perfect bag first and then decorating it to the hilt?  :-)
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