Thursday, June 22, 2017

heART beats from other blogs!

How to take a (summer?) break from your blog

Is your jewelry business ready to hire help?

How long did it take you to make that...?

Who is your target customer?

Destashing unwanted components

The first 6 income streams for bloggers

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BeadDreams winners!

There are stunning entries in all the categories for BeadDreams 2017, but I have to agree with the People's Choice winner...

Draco Volanti
Daryl Adams, 2017
Daryl's piece also won first place in the metalwork category!  See all the winners at the link above.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rummage Sale through June 26, 2017 at Fire Mountain Gems

The links above are affiliate links.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Orinoco Flow - a bead embroidery necklace

Orinoco Flow was featured in Sandra Salamony's publication 1000 Jewelry Inspirations, but somehow, I never ended up doing a tutorial for it.  I only have a few step-out photos, but even though it looks complicated, it isn't really that hard if you've got some basic bead embroidery skills already.

The center piece of turquoise was wrapped with wire as shown, and then was stitched to the foundation fabric (ultra-suede) around each wire.  I cut out the portion of fabric that showed through the center of the donut, and later also cut through the backing fabric in the same spot.

After I stitched down all the cabochons, I surrounded them with various numbers of rows of back stitch.  Then I began to fill in all the gaps with short stack stitches.  Besides seed beads (sizes 8/0, 11/0 and 15/0), I also used turquoise, amazonite, and pearls.  I used bright gold size 15/0 seed beads as stoppers on the top of each stack stitch so that there would be unity in the piece.

When the piece was fully stitched, I cut it out with a 1/8 inch edge, and then stitched the front to some backing fabric with edging brick stitch.  All of the stitches I used can be found in the free chapter of my e-book Every Bead Has a Story.  Go get yourself a copy if you don't already have it!

Free e-book chapter!

To assemble the final necklace, I added the dangles from the center on beading wire, used the edging brick to anchor the beaded portions of the straps, and added picots with size 15/0 seed beads through the rest of the edging beads around the outside.  I used smaller wired donuts to attach the multiple strand beaded portions of the straps to the single strands.  The chain makes it adjustable. 

This necklace will take you many hours to make (I think it took me about 30 hours) but it is oh so worth it!

Copyright 2017 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 16, 2017

heART beats from other blogs!

Rediscovering "lost knowledge"

Profiting from jewelry that's time consuming to make

Teaching and learning

An adorable coat for a special child

Stone-setting tips for metal clay

Working productively at home

12 Cherry recipes

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Budget beads from Fire Mountain Gems - $3 and under!

$1 and under Beads

Get designer quality beads at a fraction of the cost; like the Bead, Peridot (natural), Mini Chip, Mohs Hardness 6-1/2 7. Sold Per 15-inch Strand. This gorgeous 15 inch strand will work with an array of styles and doesn't break the bank.
For the most out of your money, try the Bead, Millefiori Glass, Multicolored, Small Chip. Sold Per 34-inch Strand. This strand adds an array of color to any jewelry piece and is sold per 34 inch strand!

$2 and under Beads

With summer right around the corner, we're sure you and your readers have seasonal ideas on the brain. The Bead, Coral (bleached), White, 5x1mm-15x3mm Cupolini, Mohs Hardness 3-1/2 4. Sold Per 16-inch Strand adds that special something to any summer themed piece. Let your followers know not to delay! This 16 inch strand at an unbeatable price has limited quantities.
Keeping with the above summer theme, add a gorgeous teal blue pearl to your coral. The Pearl, Cultured Freshwater (dyed), Teal Blue, 8-10mm Flat-sided Potato, D Grade, Mohs Hardness 2-1/2 4. Sold Per 15-inch Strand is a perfect combination!

$3 and under Beads

A huge trend that's always popular this season is anything Boho. Have on-trend fun and save some cash with the Bead Mix, Antiqued Silver-coated Plastic, 12x9mm-22x13mm Mixed Shape Tribal Designs. Sold Per 2-ounce Pkg, Approximately 50 Beads. Add these to a fringed bag or make the perfect layering necklace for that go-to maxi dress.

Can't seem to find the perfect accessory for your LBD (Little Black Dress)? Then it's time to create the perfect one! Use the Bead, Glass Rhinestone Silver-finished "pewter" (zinc-based Alloy), Clear, 11x7mm Oval 6x3mm Hole. Sold Individually or Swarovski® crystals and silver-plated pewter (tin-based alloy), Pacific opal, 3-3.2mm rose montées with 0.4-0.6mm hole (53100), SS12 gem for an accessory that works for any special occasion.
There are so many options to choose from at any price range. Take a look and see what inspires you!

Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

The links above contain affiliate links

Monday, June 12, 2017

Night Sky - a beadweaving and wire necklace tutorial

Mixing lampwork glass beads with seed beads results in a piece with a lot of great texture and variation.  I started by making some matched pairs of beads in shades of blue, mostly cobalt, which featured dichroic glass, enamels, and foil.  I also made one larger tabular piece to use as a focal bead.  My final choice for this necklace included the focal bead, 5 matched pairs to surround it, and 1 extra bead for the end of the chain.  When choosing the beads you wish to use, whether you make your own beads or buy them, pick enough to equal about 5 to 6 inches when strung on wire.    

Lampwork glass beads with 3/32 inch holes (one focal bead plus matched spacers and one extra)
18 gauge sterling silver wire
Black Nymo O
5 grams of blue/purple 8/0 seed beads
2 – ½ inch pieces of silver French wire
2 – 2 ½ inch pieces of 20 gauge sterling silver wire
2 – 7mm bead caps
2 sterling silver cones
2 – 4mm cobalt glass rounds
4 – 3mm sterling silver rounds
2 sterling silver headpins, 2 inches long
2 sterling silver daisy spacers
2 ½ inch piece of sterling silver chain
Sterling silver hook

Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters
Measuring tape
Sharp scissors
Beading needles

1. Lay out your lampwork beads in the order you desire.  Measure the length of the beads in total.

2. Cut one piece of 18 gauge wire ½ inch longer than the length of the beads.  Cut a second piece 3 inches longer than the length of the beads.  Slide all of the beads onto the shorter length and center them.

3. Slide the second piece of wire through, but bring the wire to the front of your central focal bead instead of through its hole.  Center the beads on this wire as well.

4. Use your round nose pliers to create a couple of graceful curves in the exposed wire in the center.  

5. Create wrapped loops on each end.  Clip off the shorter wires even with the first bend you make with the longer wire to create the wrapped loop (shown below).  File it smooth before wrapping the longer wire around both wires.  Bend the whole piece into a gentle curve.  There is a tutorial for making a wrapped loop at the link.

6. Create two lengths of spiral stitch using size 8/0 seed beads.  I made each of mine a little over 5 inches long.  There is a tutorial for doing a simple spiral stitch at the link.

7. When your spiral strands are the length you desire, stitch the thread back down and up a few of the beads to anchor it on each end.

8. To attach the spiral strands to the wired lampwork, use one tail on each strand to stitch through a bead cap and through a ½ inch piece of french wire. Take the wire-covered thread through the wrapped loop of the lampwork piece and stitch back up through the bead cap.  Anchor the thread through some of the beads and repeat, carefully stitching back through the french wire a second time.  It will stretch to accommodate a second pass, and if you are careful, you will not distort the spring-like structure.  Anchor the thread well in the spiral beads, and repeat on the other side.

9. Using a piece of 20 gauge wire, make a small loop on one end.  Attach the free end of one spiral strand to this loop, stitching through it and weaving through the top beads several times to anchor it well.  Repeat with the other strand.

10. Thread a cone, a 4mm cobalt glass round, and a 3mm sterling silver round on each wire.  Create a wrapped loop around the sterling silver chain, 2 inches on one side and ½ inch on the other.  Attach the hook to the shorter piece of chain.

11. Slide your extra lampwork bead onto a headpin, surrounded by 2 daisy spacers and 2 sterling silver rounds.  Create a wrapped loop around the end of the longer piece of chain.

Copyright 2017 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.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Peace on Earth - a beading tutorial

Based upon my experiments with thepaint strips over the last two weeks, I’ve decided to use an analogous color scheme, running from deep blues through yellowish greens. First I like to set out all the different beads that I might use, realizing that not all of them will make the final cut. I’ve decided to use gold-toned metal, and therefore have added a few beads in orange-gold hues. Using some of these beads will add the complement of blue to the mix, and will help the colors to pop out more.  So I guess really I'm working with an analogous-complementary scheme!

V Pendant 
74 small glass beads, approximately 4mm, in 6-7 colors
22 larger glass beads, from 8-12mm, in matching colors
Size 8/0 gold-lined seed beads
3 gold beads, 6-8mm
Soldered gold loop
2 pieces of .015 inch beading wire, each 24 inches long
2 gold crimps
Hook, or 2 1/2 inches of 18 gauge gold wire
2 inches of gold chain
3 headpins

Wire cutters
Flat nosed pliers
Round nosed pliers

Alligator clips

1. Cut 2 pieces of beading wire to 24 inches each. Center a soldered loop on both pieces, and pass all four ends up through a gold bead and a large glass bead. Split the wires, and string 2 up through each hole in the V pendant.

2. String each pair of wires through a gold bead. String the rest of the 2 necklace strands, alternating between small beads on a single wire and larger beads on both wires for about 4 to 5 inches. String both wires through 2 inches of large beads, and finally through about 1/2 inch of smaller beads.

3. Create 2 dangles on headpins with a mixture of small and large beads. Make wrapped loops around the soldered ring.

4 Use crimps to attach the beading wires on one side to a jump ring, and to a 2 inch piece of chain on the other side. Attach a wire hook to the jump ring. I made this one out of gold wire, or you can use a purchased hook. Create another small dangle on a headpin, and make a wrapped loop around the loose end of the chain.

Copyright 2017 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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Book review: Jewelry Making with Resin

One of my very favorite series to recommend to beginners in any media is Kalmbach's Absolute Beginners Guide.  And the latest by Theresa Abelew is no exception.  Jewelry Making with Resin is an inexpensive book which thoroughly covers the materials, tool, procedures and techniques of working with resin, plus it throws in jewelry making basics and 22 really great projects.

The projects take you step-by-step through making pendants, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and earrings.  But instead of just the same old poured projects that you've probably done dozens of times, Theresa shows you how to use resin as paint, make "stained glass" papers and fabrics, use it with silicone molds, embed images and object, add color, and (of course) pour into bezels both with and without backs.

Theresa wants you to ultimately be able to take a technique from one project and combine it with ideas from other projects in order to create your own personalized pieces.  One of my personal favorites is shown on the cover, the spacescape cuff bracelet.  Theresa uses a material called Triple Glow Powder that I've never heard of before, and it makes the cuffs GLOW IN THE DARK!!!  How cool is that?  Plus, they're really pretty in the daylight too :-)

Monday, May 29, 2017

A practical lesson in choosing colors for your beadwork - part two

See last week's post for part one of this tutorial!

The analogous color scheme starts with the dominant color that you’ve already identified, and adds colors that are adjacent on the color wheel. In this case, I have chosen to go from blue through teals, true green, to yellowish green. We could have gone from blue through the purples instead, but I made the first choice since the focal piece does have green in it, and has no purple. There are plenty of colors to choose from in this piece: I don’t think it’s necessary to add too many more!

Remember, if you choose this scheme, you should consider all the tints, tones, and shades of the colors as well as the pure hues.

Once you have your analogous color scheme set up, it’s a very easy matter to add one of the complementary colors, most often the complement to the dominant color. In this case, I have added the pale orange that we saw before. An analogous-complementary color scheme has just a bit more pop and sizzle than a plain analogous scheme. That may not always be what you want though, so I feel it’s still worthwhile to consider both.

Interestingly, in this case, we could achieve the look of an analogous-complementary scheme by adding a liberal amount of golden or copper metal throughout the piece! Well, isn’t that convenient?

The last color scheme that I want to examine is the triadic. It consists of three colors, spaced somewhat equally around the color wheel. Here we’ll start with blue, and add red and yellow, which are all spaced an equal distance from each other. Most likely we would not use all three pure hues, but maybe use pale pinks and yellows with the stronger blue.

I feel we are starting to splash too many unrelated colors around here. If the focal piece had any pink in it, it might be really nice, especially with the pale yellow echoing the gold dichroic glass. But there is no pink, and the scheme totally ignores the green which is also so prominent along with the blue of the focal piece. I also didn’t care for a triad based upon green (adding purple and orange), and didn’t even bother to photograph it.

Since this fused glass piece uses both blue and green glass, and they are both so strong, I am leaning towards using either an analogous or analogous-complementary scheme. A monochromatic blue scheme would be fine too, but it feels too “safe” to me compared to how lively the focal piece is. Again, if you disagree with my choices, that is perfectly fine. The bead police will not show up at your door and confiscate your stash!

So, join me next week when I share the tutorial for stringing this one up!

Copyright 2017 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, May 25, 2017

A patriotic-inspired design by Fire Mountain Gems

Do you remember making these little flag pins?  I still see them pop up around Memorial Day or July 4th, but how about something a bit more sophisticated for your less casual occasions?

Patriotic Bib Style Necklace Tutorial

These projects contain affiliate links.

Monday, May 22, 2017

A practical lesson in choosing colors for your beadwork - part one

I love working with focal pieces that allow for many different possible color choices. My friend Jeanne Kent, of New Terra Artifacts also loves to mix colors, so I find myself drawn to many of her gorgeous fused glass pendants and beads. But I’ve learned that not everyone enjoys the uncertainty and the ambiguity quite as much as Jeanne and I do! In fact, whenever I make a piece using one of Jeanne’s glass masterpieces, I always get lots of questions from other beaders on how I chose the bead colors to go with it.

Do you wish that you could be braver with color? Try picking a multicolored focal piece like one of Jeanne’s pendants, and I’ll show you how I go through the process of making those color decisions.

Many times, I just haul out my tubes of beads and lay them out to look at color combinations, but sometimes I use paint strips instead. To illustrate the process for this article, I decided to use paint strips because they photograph better than tubes of beads. And paint strips are free…can’t beat that! If you don’t have a fully stocked bead cabinet, I would highly recommend stocking up on paint strips, lots of them, and then take the appropriate ones with you when you go to buy beads.

Of all the different color schemes that exist, I find that there are several that are the most useful in beadwork, appearing over and over in different artists’ work. The ones I see and use most frequently are neutral, monochromatic, complementary, analogous, analogous-complementary, and triadic. There are many others, but I believe that these are a really good start.  We'll look at the first three today, and the last three next week.

A neutral scheme (above) involves allowing a hue to be surrounded by black, white, and grays. In jewelry making, we often add the metallic colors to the list of neutrals. In addition, some designers consider browns to be neutral as well.

Personally, I don’t often place a colorful focal piece into a black and white setting, but it is an option worth considering. More frequently, you may decide to use only a metallic color with your focal piece, such as when you hang a colorful pendant from a gold chain. As you examine how your piece looks with neutrals, you can also take that time to decide which metal color, if any you will be using.

Although this focal piece has both silver and gold dichroic glass in it, I far prefer the look of the gold beads with it. And I definitely do not like the look of the neutral black, gray, and white!

There are two very strong candidates for monochromatic schemes to go with this centerpiece: green and blue. By laying out the paint strips, I find that I prefer the blues, and I still like the gold metal color much better than the silver. If you feel differently, don’t worry! This is preference, not pure science.

A monochromatic color scheme can include as many different tints, tones, and shades of the basic hue as you desire, so be sure to consider all the possibilities before narrowing down too much.

A third color scheme to consider is called complementary. The opposite color on the color wheel is added to your dominant color and causes that color to pop more. Often, a tint or tone of the complement is chosen rather than another pure hue. I set up paint strips to see what each of my monochromatic choices above would look like if I added their complement.

Once more, I like the look of the blue set better. The pale orange (the complement of blue) seems to pick up the golden tones of the dichroic glass. The pink (red is the complement of green) just doesn’t seem to go with the colors of the focal piece as well. It’s possible that we could find a different pink, or could try burgundy instead, but I still think that I would like the blue and orange better. 

Next week in part two, we'll look at analogous, analogous-complementary, and triadic schemes, and I'll make my final choice.  Finally, there will be a tutorial for the finished necklace in two weeks.
Copyright 2017 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, May 18, 2017

Gifts for jewelry designers from Fire Mountain Gems

Jewelry designers are definitely creative types and with all the beautiful pieces they make, what do you even get them as a gift? Our friends at Fire Mountain Gems know just what every jewelry designer needs! Whether you are looking for jewelry making tools, organizers or supplies, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has you covered.  

Top Gifts for Jewelry Designers

Visit Fire Mountain Gems for all your jewelry-making supplies!  Just so you know, these links are affiliate links.
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