Monday, April 23, 2018

Turquoise bead embroidered soft cuff bracelet

It seems that I never get tired of the color turquoise.  No matter what material the beads are made from, I always end up buying the turquoise colored ones! Since I have a large collection of vintage beads, I decided to indulge myself with a mix of glass, plastic, wood, and fabric in this turquoise and kiwi colored bracelet.  I even had the perfect turquoise colored satin button to complete it!  And look how great it looks with the current seasonal palette:

My instructions below are pretty abbreviated.  If you need more detailed step-by-steps, please visit my page of bead embroidery e-books.  The first chapter of the first book, Every Bead Has a Story, is free.

Foundation fabric
Lightweight fusible interfacing
Fusible web
Ribbons, Offray 1/4" Simply Sheer Asiana, mallard and kiwi
Sewing thread to match foundation fabric
Shank button
Nymo beading thread, size O, black and white
8" rhinestone cup-chain
Size 11/0 seed beads, Ceylon rainbow white
Size 6/0 seed beads, opaque turquoise
Size 15/0 seed beads, opaque luster turquoise
Accent beads from 6mm to 14mm
Backing fabric, ultra-suede or other non-woven fabric
Sewing needle
Beading needles
Wire cutters
Straight pins

1. Pick a fabric for your foundation that will not compete with the ribbons.  Cut out a rectangle that will wrap your wrist by at least 1/2 inch.  Back the fabric with fusible interfacing and top it with fusible web.

2. Cut ribbons about an inch longer than your fabric and pin them in place, criss-crossing as you choose.

3. Iron the ribbons to the fusible web.  Wrap the ends to the back, stitch in place using the matching sewing thread and tiny stitches.  Trim the ribbon ends.

4. Stitch the shank button into place so that the bracelet fits your wrist with some give.  Add the cup-chain, pinning and then stitching it into place.

5. Add accent beads, stitching them into place with stop-stitch beads.  Cut some scraps of ribbon and loop them to form the "hook".  Stitch them into place on the end opposite the button, adjusting their length until the bracelet fits, still with some give.

6. Cut a piece of backing fabric to match the top and pin into place.  Using size 11/0 seed beads, stitch edging brick stitch all around the bracelet.

7. Add stack stitches to each edge bead except for the area near the button which will underlap the end with the ribbon "hook".

Step-by-step instructions for back stitch, edging brick stitch, and stack stitch can be found in the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique and Jesse James Beads

Copyright 2015, 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.

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.

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