Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fire Mountain Gems Swarovski crystal resources

Swarovski Crystal Projects 

Swarovski crystals offer beautiful sparkle and a dazzling array of shapes, colors, finishes and sizes of beads and other components. Below are a few step-by-step tutorials to help you get started working with Swarovski. Some of the content below may contain affiliate links.

Tutorial: Swarovski Flat Back Pendant
Tutorial: USB Drive Embellished with Swarovski Crystal

Video Tutorial: How to Create a Swarovski Focal
Video Tutorial: Creating a Polymer Clay Flower


Monday, November 28, 2016

Amethyst tree necklace tutorial - part two

Last week, I showed you how I decided to trap this unusually shaped slab in a wire cage in order to add it to a bead embroidered necklace.  Starting where we left off...

8. I trimmed the foundation fabric close to the outside edge of stack stitched beads, and removed the guide thread.

9. Since this is a heavy piece, I decided to add another piece of interfacing (see step 3), this time to the entire piece.  I chose Lutradur, because it is extremely strong even though it is quite thin.

10. After cutting a backing piece of fabric, I used edging brick stitch to cover the raw edges all the way around.

11. Around the sides and the top, I added a simple stack stitch to each edging bead.

12. Near the bottom, I added heavier beads and stitched the stacks longer so that they became fringe.

13. I tested the piece for balance and chose two spots on the sides near the top where I wanted the necklace strands to attach.  At those points, I stitched two square stitch bails.

14.  Here is the finished centerpiece.

Next week, please join me for Part Three - the straps, and check out Part One - the design if you missed it!

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, November 25, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

3D Goofy Turkey Place Cards
Put smiles on guests' faces this Thanksgiving as they search for the goofy turkey place cards clutching guest names in the beaks. How-to and downloads.

Pattern Mix & Match Card: Eye-catching & Easy Peasy
If you enjoy mixing and matching patterns in your decor or art, then you'll love making this pattern mix and match card!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fire Mountain Gems seed bead resources

Seed Bead Resources 

Seed beads are some of the most colorful and versatile beads out there. They come in all different materials, finishes, sizes, shapes and textures, ready to be transformed into elegant creations. If you've never worked with them before, below are a few resources to help you get started. Some of the links below may include affiliate links.

Seed Bead Video Tutorials

Free Seed Bead Patterns

Free Seed Bead Graph Paper

Shop Seed Beads by Color

Monday, November 21, 2016

Amethyst tree necklace tutorial - part one

Sometimes you have to get more than just a little bit creative when adding a stone or other item to a piece of bead embroidery.  I have used wire wrapping many times to help secure a cabochon or donut (like in Orinoco Flow, below).

The wire gives you more places to catch a thread and stitch the odd-shaped item down. But this slab of amethyst crystals had me stumped for awhile.  Until I decided to create a cage for it that didn't actually wrap around it!

I'm going to share many of my steps with you over the next few weeks.  If you are a beginner to bead embroidery, please help yourself to a download of the first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.  You will find step-by-step instructions for putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, stack stitch, all the materials and tools, etc.

I won't be giving you materials lists or exact measurements and details like that, because I've shared them many many times, including in the chapter listed above.  Instead, I'll be concentrating on design decisions and some additional tips and tricks that made the construction of this piece easier than it looks.  Let's go!

1. Using a heavy gauge wire, I made a circle that would encompass the amethyst slab and added a fine wire design that I twisted together.  I left enough slack to account for the depth of the slab.

2. I stitched the wire cage down to the foundation fabric with a piece of interfacing underneath, which you'll see in the next image.  I added several rows of seed beads around the cage in back stitch.

3. Here is the back with the interfacing trimmed close to the rows of back stitch.  I drew the approximate shape that I wanted for the necklace on the back of the foundation fabric.  I don't always (or even usually) do this.

4. Using the drawn shape as a guide, I stitched around the outer border of my desired shape.

5. Here is the piece with a first round of stack stitch beads applied.  Note that the ones on top are generally smaller than the ones on the bottom.  Working in rounds like this helps to keep your beadwork balanced, by size, color, shape, and texture.

6. Here is the piece with all the stack stitches finished, and...

7. ...here is the back so you can see the stitching pattern.

Next week, please join me for Part Two - the edging, and then for Part Three - the straps the following week!

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.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Fire Mountain Gems holiday supplies!

Shop Holiday Charms and Components
The products shown below contain affiliate links.  

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