Friday, July 21, 2017

heART beats from other blogs!


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Fire Mountain Gems and Beads

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Do you need pearls for your summer designs?


Cultured freshwater pearls

My favorites are the BIG ones, especially the ones that are irregular in shape and dyed.  The luster of a pearl, whether cultured or natural, just can't be beat!


affiliate link from Fire Mountain Gems

Monday, July 17, 2017

Crocheted bracelet for Summer 2017


If you have some beads left over from another project, like these wooden beads in fun Summer 2017 colors that I got from Fire Mountain Gems, here's a quick and fun project that you can do to get more mileage from your purchase!  You can see the first project, a long statement pendant necklace, that I did using these beads at the link.

Materials + Tools
6mm wood rounds - pink
8mm wood rounds - pink
8mm wood rounds - orange
3mm antique brass plate rounds
Crochet hook #4
C-Lon, orchid
Hypo-tube cement
Scissors
Measuring tape
Button


1. Leaving the C-Lon fiber on the spool, thread on your beads, starting and ending with the smaller ones.  I used the 3mm metal rounds to break up clusters of the larger beads.  To make a bracelet that would wrap three times around my wrist, I strung on about 17 inches of beads.


2. Start your bracelet with a 10 inch fiber tail and a couple of chain stitches.  Push one bead at a time from the string up towards your hook.  Do your next stitch on the other side of the bead, plus take one more stitch.  Push up the next bead and continue through the whole string, always working towards the spool.

Once you reach the end, tie a knot, but leave the fiber attached to the spool.  Wrap it around your wrist to check for length.  If need be, you can add a few beads to either end and lengthen it a bit.

Once you've checked the length, reinsert your hook in the tail end and chain enough stitches to create a loop that will fit over your button.  Tie a knot and dab it with cement.  Let it dry before you trim the end.  For the button end, cut the fiber from the spool, leaving yourself 8 inches or so.  Work the end through the button as many times as you can for security.  Tie off, cement, and trim as before.    



As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received the above products free of charge from Fire Mountain Gems in order to create a project free of charge for you. The links above are affiliate links.
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, July 13, 2017

Summer Savings Days for the month of July at Fire Mountain Gems

93% off????  A package of these strands is now only $1.50!

Bead Mix, Magnesite (dyed / Stabilized), Mixed Colors, 8mm-40x30mm Mixed Shape, C- Grade, Mohs Hardness 3-1/2 4. Sold Per Pkg (3) 15-inch Strands

This is an affiliate link

Monday, July 10, 2017

Single earring - a hot trend for Summer!


 

One of the trends shown all over the runways for this Spring/Summer season is the single earring.  Most of the runway models were sporting extra-large dangly and multi-colored earrings, but my suspicion is that extra-large may only be for show.  Your earrings don't need to be seen from across the room.  But by all means, interpret this trend as you choose.

I have often worn mismatched earrings, either with of without a size difference from one ear to the other.  I have four holes in each ear, one of which is at the top, so I've got enough real estate to play around with!  I like earrings that are long and thin or short and wide, but not long and wide, so here is my interpretation of the trend.  I would wear it with a simple stud earring on the other ear. 

Materials and Tools
Ear wire
2 jump rings or split rings
Piece of computer circuit board
Hammer charm

Coping saw
Sand paper or fine tooth file
Chain nose pliers
Split ring pliers (if needed)

1. Cut out a piece of circuit board and file/sand the edges smooth.  I deliberately picked a spot that already had a hole, but you may have to drill one or add a drop tab if there isn't one already.

2. Use one split ring or jump ring to attach the hammer to the front of the circuit board.

3. Add another split ring to the first, and add an ear wire.

4. Super easy, huh?

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.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Polymer clay resources from Fire Mountain Gems






New to working with clay or might have readers new to it? Not to worry! Fire Mountain Gems and Beads have amazing books and video to check out. Click below to browse the clay tutorials to help you get started and inspired. We also have pre-made polymer clay beads and jewelry for those that just love the look without the work.





The links above are affiliate links.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Pink yarrow, Flame, and Greenery pendant - part two


Last week, we looked at one of the season's hottest trends with the best of the season's colors - a statement pendant necklace.  We went through the steps of putting the basic necklace together, and today we're going to look at an easy way to fancy-up the pendant itself.  You'll find the complete materials and tools list in last week's post (link above).


8. Cut 16" (or more, depending upon how many wraps you'd like) of the pink 20 gauge wire.  I found it convenient to wrap it around the bail post in the back, that is, the part that sticks into the drilled hole of the agate slice.  From there I wrapped it several times around the slice, moving towards the bottom, and then finally brought the wire straight up the back to wrap it a few more times around the bail.  Clip off the excess wire.  Don't worry that your wrapping around the agate may be loose.



9. On the front (and the back too, for that matter), grab the wires carefully in a few places with the chain nose pliers and give a gentle twist.  This will tighten up the wires.  Be very careful not to chip the finish on the wire.  You can use nylon jaw pliers or wrap the jaws in masking tape temporarily if you'd like.



10. Using Nymo beading thread, tie it to one of the wires you'd like to decorate, leaving a tail of about 4 inches.  Add size 8/0 seed beads along the wire using brick stitch.  You'll have to add two beads for the first stitch, and then one bead for each following stitch.  Make sure you have an even number of beads when you finish.



11. Add picot stitches at both the top and the bottom of each size 8/0 seed bead.  I used three size 11/0 seed beads, in matte pink and iris bronze.  Tie off the end of your beading thread.  Use a small drop of Hypo-Cement to seal the knots.  Work each thread end back through a few stitches and tie off again.  Dot with cement, and once it is thoroughly dry, snip the thread ends close.



12. Decorate as many of the wires as you like.



13.  The chain and clasp make this an adjustable necklace.  Once the trend of wearing them long has passed, you'll be happy to find you can still wear your necklace shorter!

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 26, 2017

Pink yarrow, Flame, and Greenery pendant - part one


I'm really in love with the Pantone color palette for this Spring and Summer season.  Nice clear, bright colors, some of which remind me of what we sometimes call "sherbet pastels."  The pink and the orange are especially harmonious, as long as you like it bright.  Throw in a bit of the green, and you've got a bit of eye-popping complementary color to complete the tropical look!  I requested these beads and findings from Fire Mountain Gems, and they provided all of the materials used in this project.  (Pantone colors: Pink yarrow, Greenery, Flame)


This necklace also takes advantage of the popularity of this season's long statement pendants.  The project is easy to do, but it will use a lot of your jewelry-making skills.  Part one is today, and next week will be part two.


Materials + Tools

Bright pink agate focal
14mm crystal ultra green rivolis, 2
14mm antique brass plate links, 2
6mm wood rounds - pink, 1 pkg
8mm wood rounds - pink, 1 pkg
8mm wood rounds - orange, 1 pkg
8mm wood rounds - lime green, 1 pkg
3mm antique brass plate rounds, 1 pkg
7 1/2" floral chain, 1
Antiqued bail, 1
Antiqued cones, 2
Medium weight bead wire, bronze
4mm antiqued crimp covers, 4
2.5mm crimps, black, 6
2" head pin, black, 1
20 gauge Zebra wire, magenta, 16"
18 gauge brown wire, 6"
Nymo thread, size O, black
Rainbow opaque red seed beads, 8/0
Iris bronze seed beads, 11/0
Hot pink matte seed beads, 11/0

2-part epoxy resin
Hypo-tube cement
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters
Measuring tape
Scissors
Alligator clips
Small file
Beading needle



1. Use 2-part epoxy resin to glue the rivolis into the links.

2. Squeeze bail tight around the agate slice (not shown).



3. Cut 12" of beading wire.  Using the alligator crimps to keep the wire from pulling through, string 4" of 8mm beads alternating with 3mm metal rounds on each side of the focal.  String enough 3mm rounds in the center to allow the bail to swing freely.  String both sides.



4. Use a crimp bead and a crimp cover to attach the wire to one side of the rivoli link.  Repeat on the other side.  Bury your wire through a few beads, tighten and clip the wire close.



5. Attach new wires to the top of each link using a crimp and crimp cover.  Each of these wires should be about 8" long.



6. String about 2" more of the 8mm alternating with 3mm rounds, and then switch to a single color of 6mm beads alternating with 3mm rounds.  String about 2" more of the smaller beads.  Cut 2 pieces of 18 gauge brown wire and turn a double loop at the bottom of each.  With the beading wire, go through a crimp, the turned loop, and back down through the crimp and several more beads.  Tighten the beading wire, flatten the crimp, and clip off the end of the beading wire.  Add a cone to the brown wire to hide the crimp.  Repeat on the other side.



7. Snip one of the links in the decorative bracelet chain to remove the clasp along with 3 or 4 links.  Using the wire on each end of the necklace, add a 3mm metal round and make a wrapped loop around the bracelet chain.  Do the same on the other end, adding the shorter piece of chain with the clasp (not shown). Use a head pin to create a dangle for the end of the long chain.  Attach it with a wrapped loop.

Next week, we'll fancy up the pendant a bit to make it more in keeping with this season's style!

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received the above products free of charge from Fire Mountain Gems in order to create a project free of charge for you.  The links above are affiliate links. 

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, 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.

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.
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