Monday, August 28, 2017

See you next week!

 

Last week was a vacation week for me, but I worked anyway.  This week I really really really mean it!  See you next week <3

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Sneak peek...finished piece and tutorial coming soon!



A bead embroidery pendant in progress, featuring beads from the Afrika Afrika collection of Jesse James Beads!



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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How well do you know your white stones?

What is white mountain "jade" really made from?  The answer is below!  There is nothing wrong at all with using dyed, stabilized, coated, and imitation stones.  It's only wrong when you're not getting what you pay for.  When you click on the stones listed below, you'll find full disclosure of materials which will help you to figure out what is and is not worth paying a premium for!



Stabilized white magnesite



Natural white howlite





Rainbow moonstone





Coated white riverstone




White mountain "jade"
(Dolomite marble)





Snow quartz



White agate




Antique white Hemalyke (tm)





Italian "onyx"
(Banded calcite)





Malaysian "jade"
(Opaque quartz)


Previous posts: 
How well do you know your pink stones?
How well do you know your turquoise stones?


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Monday, August 21, 2017

Stitched freshwater pearl bracelet


 

I had lots of beautiful dyed freshwater pearls left from last week's project, so I decided to use up some of them on this experimental bracelet.  This easy to stitch piece works up fast, and you can substitute any pearls of beads that you want, but I highly recommend wonky irregular pearls like these.

Materials + Tools

 
Pearl mix, cultured freshwater (dyed), mixed colors. Sold per pkg of (5) 16-inch strands.

 



Flat cotton cord, 4mm

Beading needles
Scissors
Nymo beading thread, white, size O

A special button 







1. Cut a piece of flat cotton cording about 12 to 15" long.  Make an overhand knot at one end and stitch through it several times with your Nymo thread, burying the tail in the knot.  Before stitching, make sure the loop will fit over whatever button you've chosen. 


 

2. Stitch down the length of the cord, adding pearls on alternating sides as you go, until it is almost long enough to go completely around your wrist.


 

3. Stitch back up the length of the cord, adding pearls of a different color in the spaces.  Working on only one side of the cord at a time, make another pass down and up, this time adding small seed beads (I used size 15/0) between each pearl.  This just gives the pearls an extra measure of security if a thread happens to break in the future.  End off your thread, again burying the tail.


 

4. At the other end, decide where you need your button to be, and stitch it on with Nymo, clipping the end of the cording.  Use some white glue or fray check on the cut edges of the cording.    


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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, August 18, 2017

Exciting new beads from Jesse James Beads!


I received this collection of beads yesterday from Jesse James Beads, and I'm very excited to get going on a series of designs that will feature these.  Just as soon as I clear my worktable...stay tuned!

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Glues and adhesives from Fire Mountain Gems

Check out this awesome chart that helps determine the best glue and adhesive for your project:


When it comes to making jewelry, it's hard not to focus on all the gorgeous beads and charms. While not as pretty, you can't forget about some of the essentials, like your adhesives. Currently, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has an impressive collection of over 100 glues and adhesives for you to choose from.

Although I use a LOT of different glues, these four are the ones I find myself using the most:









E-6000 for Jewelry


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Monday, August 14, 2017

Bead embroidery pendant with blue pearls tutorial - part two

Gimme the Blues
Cyndi Lavin, 2017
Named by my friend Kate :-)



I left you last week with a half-finished pendant project!  No fair, right??  Well, here you go...the second half of the bead embroidery tutorial featuring gnarly dyed freshwater pearls and a glorious piece of blue magnesite!

We left off with the second row of African helix completed.  Here's what's next:


6. In the outer loop of African helix stitches, insert a size 8/0 seed bead, stitching it down, and also stitch down one of the central beads in the size 11/0 bead loop, just to keep the work flat.

7. Choose a set of dyed freshwater pearls and arrange them in a fan as shown.  Anchor your thread on one end and stitch up through the foundation fabric.  Pick up a couple of size 15/0 seed beads, and then alternate a pearl and a size 11/0 seed bead across.  Pick up two more size 15/0s and stitch back through the fabric.  Stitch through the whole row again, and tack down at least the middle pearl by stitching it down to the fabric as well.



8. Cut out the foundation fabric, leaving a small margin around the edge.  Cut a mirror piece for the backing and attach them with a piece or two of double-stick tape.



9. Use size 11/0 seed beads to stitch the two pieces of fabric together, using edging brick stitch.  You'll find detailed instructions for this in the free chapter of my e-book listed below.



10. Use size 15/0 seed beads to decorate each edging bead with a short stack stitch.  You can do picot stitches instead if you'd like, or some other edge treatment.


11. Stitch a square stitch bail on the back with size 11/0 seed beads.  I took advantage of the placement of this bail to stitch through to the front and add a decorative bead in the hole in the stone (see below).



12. I'm planning on wearing this on a simple black rubber or leather cord necklace.


Step-by-step instructions for putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, and stack stitch can be found in the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.  Chapter two has instructions for stitching a peyote stitch bezel, and Chapter three teaches the square stitch bail.  If you need more help with African helix or other stitches, my e-book Bored By Back Stitch has instructions for twelve different motifs that you can stitch around your bezeled stones. 
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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, August 08, 2017

How well do you know your turquoise?

Is this turquoise???
Answer below...

Turquoise, especially imitation turquoise, is one of the materials most often mis-labled.  If you buy from a reputable dealer at a show or from a catalog company with a good reputation, you've got less to worry about.  But be aware that imitation turquoise, at a few dollars per strand, is sometimes passed off as Sleeping Beauty turquoise, which is over a hundred dollars per strand!

There is nothing wrong with using imitation turquoise in your work.  It is often beautiful, and should be considerably less expensive.  Just don't get taken by unscrupulous dealers on eBay or at shows...know your materials!

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise


Imitation Turquoise


Imitation Turquoise with Matrix

Mosaic Turquoise



Dyed Howlite



Dyed Magnesite



African "Turquoise"




Czech glass



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Monday, August 07, 2017

Bead embroidery pendant with blue pearls tutorial - part one

Gimme the Blues!!
A piece of bead embroidery like this might look complicated, but it's really pretty easy when you break it down.  And that's exactly what I'm going to do today and next week!  So grab your seed beads, a pretty focal, some foundation fabric, and join me in this project.  The focal and pearls were provided by Fire Mountain Gems.

Materials & Tools

Focal mix, magnesite (dyed / stabilized), mixed colors. Sold per pkg of 3.



Pearl mix, cultured freshwater (dyed), mixed colors. Sold per pkg of (5) 16-inch strands.

Size 8/0 seed beads (I used Dyna-Mites)
Color-lined aqua blue

Size 11/0 seed beads (I used Preciosa and Dyna-Mites)
Opaque blue
Opaque sea blue
Iris blue
Black

Size 15/0 seed beads (I used Dyna-Mites)
Black

Nymo, black, size O
Beading needles
Scissors
Foundation fabric, like ultra-suede

Double sided tape



1. Stick your stone down with a small piece of double sided tape, or glue it if you prefer.  Back stitch around the stone, stitching size 11/0 seed beads in groups of four.  If you absolutely can't make it work out to be divisible by four, you can add a second row of beads outside of this one later and try again.  I usually find that if I cull my beads properly and find some smaller and some larger, I can make it work.  Run your thread through all the beads again and cinch it up by taking a few stitches in the back of the fabric.



2. Add a row of peyote stitch to the foundation row, and step up at the end.  



3. Add as many more rows of peyote as necessary to reach the top of the stone.  Add one more row of either slightly smaller size 11/0s or add size 15/0 seed beads to cinch in the top and keep the stone secure.  My stone was curved in such a way that I could stick with 11/0s...this is not always the case!



4. I decided to add an African helix stitch pattern to the bezel.  The first row stitches through every fourth bead in the foundation row (this is why you need to stitch it in multiples of four, although you could choose other multiples and adjust accordingly).  Each stitch consists of two size 15/0s, three size 11/0s in one color, and two size 11/0s in a second color.



5. The second row of African helix also starts with two size 15/0s, and increases the first color of 11/0s to four.  The thread loops between the two size 11/0 colors in the first row, and that point is also tacked down to the fabric by stitching through.  Now the embellishing fun really begins!!

Part two will be posted next week

Step-by-step instructions for putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, and stack stitch can be found in the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.  Chapter two has instructions for stitching a peyote stitch bezel, and Chapter three teaches the square stitch bail.  If you need more help with African helix or other stitches, my e-book Bored By Back Stitch has instructions for twelve different motifs that you can stitch around your bezeled stones.

This post contains 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.
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