Monday, April 16, 2018

Antique key and lampwork glass necklace - a tutorial

I found another necklace that I made many years ago, and was thrilled to see how well it went with the Spring/Summer palette from Pantone.  What *really* thrills me about it, though, is that these are colors I already like and have in my wardrobe!  After several seasons of being kind of disappointed except by maybe one or two colors, I'm a very happy girl.

The tutorial is in two parts.  The first part shows you how to make the lampwork glass rings that are actually torched using the key as a mandrel.  If you don't do lampwork, you could use metal rings instead, easily available online.  I'm sure you can find some that will fit over the teeth of your key, whether it's real or a reproduction key.  The wiring will keep it from slipping off even if it's a bit too big!

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2018 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, April 12, 2018

Book review: Inspired Bead Embroidery

And along comes the highly anticipated third offering from Sherry Serafini: Inspired Bead Embroidery.  Do we like it?  Drum roll please...well, duh.  Of course!

If you happen to have Sherry's other two solo books (listed below), please don't think that this is just more of the same.  Some of it is repeated...the basics are pretty much the same...but there is a greatly expanded section on creativity where Sherry spends more time than ever before explaining the different pathways into designing that you can choose.  For example, sometimes you feel like planning and sometimes you don't.  But if you always want your work to turn out fabulous, you need to take certain things into consideration, and Sherry shares all of them with you.

The projects are wonderful.  Sherry tells you right up front exactly what bead styles, color, and sizes she has used, but she also encourages you to take off in your own direction.  The focals that are used are original, fresh, and handled beautifully.  Even if you don't want to use the exact same materials shown, you are sure to gather lots of new ideas to try out.

Lots of shaped beads and chains make an appearance too, including the ever-popular rhinestone cup chain.  Personally, I have been a bit discouraged in recent years how shaped beads have almost completely taken over from regular seed beads in beadweaving projects.  The use of them in bead embroidery, however, is a trend that I am fully in favor of!

Reviews of Sherry's other two books:
The Art of Bead Embroidery
Sensational Bead Embroidery

Book review: Sensational Bead Embroidery

One of the queens of bead embroidery, Sherry Serafini has been tapped to write one of the Beadweaving Master Class series for Lark publications.  Sensational Bead Embroidery joins the series with 25 beautiful projects that she leads you through step by step.

Sherry covers all the fundamentals of tools and materials that you'll need to know to start stitching.  Many of her elaborately textured and beaded neckpieces are featured in this volume, and there is a gallery filled with a virtual who's who of bead embroidery masters: Diane Hyde, Heidi Kummli, Yoli Pastuszak, NanC Meinhardt, and more.

As with all the books in the Master Class series, a serious beginner will find the book enthralling.  Intermediates and advanced practitioners will find much to challenge and inspire.  Altogether, I recommend this book as much for its inspirational value as for its clear teaching.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Longer earrings for Spring - a tutorial

Chain and Pearl Earrings

Longer earrings are all over the runway for Spring and Summer.  I never really thought they went out of style, but sometimes they just seem more ubiquitous.  Now is one of those times!

These shoulder duster earrings could be made longer if you like, or shorter if you're more conservative.  How about making them with fewer strands?  With different colors of stone chips instead of pearls?  In gold, brass, or copper instead of silver?  A mix of metals?  With fibers added??

Oh my!  I'm inspired 'bout you?

Materials and Tools

Random chains, including rhinestone cup chain
Pearls or other accent beads
Head pins
Craft wire
Bead caps
Twisted jump rings (20 gauge, 8 mm)
Earring wires

Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters
Tape measure

1. Cut your chains to the lengths you desire.  I chose to cut mine between 2 1/2 and 3 inches.  Put each pearl on a head pin and turn a wrapped loop.

2. Use thin craft wire to create a loop for the cup chain.  Wrap around the last link and turn a small circle around the narrow end of your round nose pliers.

3. Turn the beginning of a wrapped loop on the end of a 3 inch piece of craft wire.  Pick up the chain ends and close the loop.

4. Add the pearls using decorative twisted jump rings.

5. Thread the wire up through a bead cap and turn another wrapped loop, adding the ear wires.  I decided to use slightly heavier ear wires than are pictured in the materials shot near the top.  Style is up to you!  

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2014, 2018 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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