Monday, June 27, 2016

Book review: Hubble Stitch

Here is Melanie de Miguel's second book on the hubble stitch!  The first, Let's Hubble: A Journey into the Brand New Beadwork Stitch, came out last year.  This new volume, Hubble Stitch: Instructions and Inspiration, will give you a chance to truly perfect your understanding of the stitch through projects that are divided by technique.  

When a new stitch is introduced, it doesn't really deserve to be called a true stitch until there is a complete body of techniques to go with it.  Hubble fulfills that requirement: it can be done flat or in the round, it can be increased and decreased, inverted, and turned into 2-drop and 3-drop versions.  It can also be expanded (or "spaced out") horizontally and/or vertically.  Twelve projects take you through all these techniques.  You will be thoroughly versed in the lexicon of Hubble Stitch by the time you work your way through. This is an Interweave book, so you know that the illustrations and instructions are excellent.

I really like the possibilities for bezeling and for constructing ropes using the Hubble Stitch.  So, if you're ready for a new stitch and a new challenge, I highly recommend this book to get you started!

Friday, June 24, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Snap out of it, jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a soon to be released book with an original twist: Manga Origami!

Make It, Wear It
Crafty Princess vlogs about how jewelry designers need to wear their own jewelry designs.

Custom Size Card How-to
Don't feel locked into the size or proportions of a card layout that you're fond of. How to easily create custom size card using mockups.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fire Mountain Gems has a gemstone color chart

Very convenient!  When you click on the links, they take you to the appropriately colored gemstone beads!

Gemstone Color Chart

Black Agate
Translucent to opaque black, may show occasional banding


Rainbow Obsidion
Black with multicolored sheen

Metallic, dark silver

Fossil Agate 
Creamy pink tones against a dark background

Brassy yellow

Grey-smoky color with blue-green flashes

Denim Lapis Lazuli
Denim blue, some pyrite or white calcite (usually dyed)

Rainbow Fluorite
Multicolored (green/blue/clear/purple/golden)

Greenish blue

Blue Lace Agate 
Branded light blue


Lavender and yellow


Pink, tan or multicolored

Red-brown, golden, yellow and white

Kambaba Jasper
Green with grey/black

Green Malachite
Green stripes and eyes


Aqua blue

Blue, with some black matrix


Red Agate
Orange-red, translucent

Yellow is most common.

Light to golden yellow

Wine color reds


Autumn Jasper
Brick red and avocado green

Rose Quartz 
Translucent pink

White Howlite
White with black veining

FTC disclosure: I have an affiliate relationship with FMG :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book review: Art Jewelry Today 4

I received a stunning book from Schiffer Publishing, the fourth in a series edited by Sandra Korinchak: Art Jewelry Today 4.  It features 400 works by 65 different artists all working in the area of personal adornment, and utilizing some surprising materials and methods along with ones that we've come to know and love already.  Some of the artists give much more information about their materials, motives, and processes than others, and for that I thank them.

As usual in a volume like this, a few of the works are totally unwearable, and are intended to be conceptual, but not many.  Unlike some other edited books, I didn't feel that the works shown here were chosen just because they were different, but instead because they have something to add to the contemporary conversation.

Alejandra Koreck

Ones that I particularly like, either because of interesting materials or incredible techniques, include Jacob Albee (Gibeon meteorite pieces set with gold,drusy agates, diamonds, and other gems), Patricia Alvarez ("coral" made from resin), Sabrinah Chappell (extraordinary wire wrapping with bezel-set stones), Alejandra Koreck (book pages written in braille), Susan Sanders (3D printed nylon), and Holly Stein (vintage art glass, colored cement, and sterling silver).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Albion stitch spark plug

Last year, I wrote a review for the book Introducing Albion Stitch, written by Heather Kingsley-Heath.  I liked how thorough the book was and I also liked all the projects that Heather included.  Albion Stitch is not difficult to do, but I recommend you get Heather's book so that you can see all of the variations she includes.  I will not teach the stitch in this tutorial, because it's not mine to teach, but you can take a look at either of these online resources if you need specifics.
And then you should still buy the book!  :-)

Introducing Albion Stitch
Free pattern on Heather's blog
Pdf from F+W Publishing

1. Anchor a row of seed beads around the middle of the spark plug.  Add a row of albion stitch, spacing it at regular intervals around.


2. Add as many rows as you need or want, to reach the top of the spark plug.

3. Go back to the bottom and embellish the structure as you desire.  I used large e-beads, crystals, and glass rounds.

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, June 17, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Easy Crochet Baby Dresses
You can whip up these super simple pinafore dresses in no time!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a very colorful jewelry design book by Kim St. Jean you will want to try right away! It's the clever, pretty book Colorful Wirework Jewelry: Twist, Wrap, Weave !

Picnic Wine Cooler Caddy to Tote and Chill Beverages
Sew a red, white and blue picnic wine cooler caddy to carry and keep drinks cool for your Independence Day outdoor dining or picnicking. Inside the caddy is a Rapid Ice Wine Chiller Sleeve.

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads
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