Tuesday, January 21, 2020

3-Tiered pendant

I thought I'd just show you my latest piece.  I don't have time to write too much about it right this minute, but just wanted to get it out there.  I broke my ankle, the holidays were busy, and I've not gotten much work done since the beginning of December.  This "retirement" thing is starting to actually creep up on me whether I want it or not!!

Copyright 2019 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 

Monday, November 18, 2019

Salvage bolt with beadweaving

I took a short detour from bead embroidery for my most recent piece.  Recently I showed you a bead embroidered piece of salvage (Davy Jones's Lock) that I stitched as a souvenir from our trip to Bermuda.  Here is the other piece of salvage that I got in the Dockyard...a bolt from a ship.  I just love the colors of the patina on both this one and the lock from the last piece.  The bolt is enlarged to show the details of the stitching...it is only about 2 1/4 inch long.   

This piece may look a little bit complicated, but it's really quite easy.  I stitched a center band of size 6/0 seed beads using right angle weave.  From there I added size 8/0 seed beads between each stitch at the bottom of the band and larger disks between each stitch at the top.  Those beads became the anchor points for diagonal stitches going in both directions to form an X through the central drop beads (light turquoise). 

At the top, I stitched a simple peyote stitch band in size 11/0 seed beads to act as a bail, and finished the edges with single bead accents.   

Copyright 2019 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Davy Jones's Lock - a bead embroidered piece of salvage

Not available for sale...sorry!

We went to Bermuda not too long ago with friends, partly to celebrate big-number anniversaries and partly to celebrate big-number birthdays.  It was a glorious week: beautiful weather, pink sand beaches, no agenda.  Loved it loved it loved it!

Each time I go to a significant place, I like to find at least one item that I can use in a "souvenir piece" that I make and keep.  Funny enough, I just showed you one last week that has taken me years to get around to turning into a pendant, my Petroglyph pin/pendant.  

So when I found this piece of salvage, I fell in love, even though it was a bit bigger and heavier than I usually use.  It's a metal keyhole, probably from someone's trunk, that's about 2 1/2 inches high, and covered with a lovely patina in front and deep deep corrosion in the back.  There was no flat back to this one!

It was so deeply rounded in the back that I pulled out a trick that I developed to use with an ammonite many years ago.  I thought you might like the instructions for one way to deal with a piece like this that is super deep.  Here goes!  If you want to see pictures of how this technique works, click on the link for the ammonite piece.

Cut a piece of thick felt (mine is 3/8") to serve as a foundation, and cut a hole in the felt to nestle in the thickest part of the object.  Add a back stitched row to the felt around your object, and bezel it with peyote stitch or whatever other stitch you like.  I've added some extra bead pathways across the top for additional security.  I also cut a hole in the felt to accommodate the key hole, which I decided to leave open.

Cut a piece of foundation fabric larger than the size of the felt, as big as you want your finished piece to be.  I added one row of size 11/0 seed beads in back stitch just outside the whole bezel (the dark blue beads), stitching through both the felt and the new foundation fabric.  It was a pain in the neck to do because of how thick the felt was, but it's only one row!

Cut the felt, but not the foundation, about 1/8 to 3/8 inch away from the bezel.

The next two outline rows were added in brick stitch, still with size 11/0 beads, anchoring the threads in between the beads in the previous back stitched row.  Follow that with a brick stitched row of size 8/0 seed beads, again anchoring around the threads of the previous row, and finally, finish with a brick stitched row of size 6/0 seed beads.  This brick stitched "surround" will easily drape and cover over the raw edge of the felt, and now you can attach it to the other foundation fabric.

Clip the foundation fabric just a tiny bit beyond the outer edge of the last row of brick stitch.

To do the edging, cut a piece of backing fabric exactly even with the top foundation fabric and stick them together with a piece of double-sided tape or a dab of glue.  Using size 8/0 seed beads, add edging brick stitch all around the edges, stitching through both pieces of fabric, and -- this is important! -- catching the threads running between the last row of brick stitch added in step 5.

I used size 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads and some drop beads to add a short stack stitch to each edging bead.

* * *

Adding a bead embroidered frame to a pin is super simple, but there are lots of other items that you can use for your embroidery that may not be able to be bezeled in such a straight-forward way. My e-book Arm Candy shows how to upcycle, attach, and integrate just about anything to your own mixed media bead embroidery work.

Copyright 2019 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, October 23, 2019

Petroglyph bead embroidered pendant

Not available for sale...sorry!

Years and years ago, my running group and I ran across the Grand Canyon.  We started at the North Rim on the North Kaibab Trail and then picked up the Bright Angel Trail, which took us up to the South Rim.  It's a run of about 24 miles, 2 miles shorter than a marathon, but much much harder.  It was the hardest run I've ever done, and it made me feel like nothing was out of reach.  The next day, I picked up a pin that was decorated with stylized petroglyphs common to the area.

Smithsonian magazine

I wanted to still be able to wear it as a pin, but decided to also turn it into a pendant.  It would have been easy enough to simply glue on a nice bail, but I like the few simple rows of bezeling and frame embellishment that I added.  Very simple...nothing to detract from the pin design.  And the back features a plain square stitch loop to accommodate the necklace cord. 

Adding a bead embroidered frame to a pin is super simple, but there are lots of other items that you can use for your embroidery that may not be able to be bezeled in such a straight-forward way.  My e-book Arm Candy shows how to upcycle, attach, and integrate just about anything to your own mixed media bead embroidery work.

Copyright 2019 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Another bead embroidered kitty pendant

Both have been sold and are on their way
to their forever homes!

I showed you the bead embroidered kitty pendant on the left yesterday, and then promptly spent the rest of the day doing what I almost never do...I made a second one like it!  Different colors, but same pattern :-)

To remind you, the focals are by Dorothy Supri of Skyline Beads.  Aren't they the cutest?

Copyright 2019 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 

Monday, October 07, 2019

Bead embroidered kitty pendant


Dorothy Supri of Skyline Beads makes these adorable little focal pieces on dominoes and mini-dominoes.  I have enjoyed stitching around some of her full-sized pieces, but this one caught my eye and it was just so darned CUTE!!  It's only 1 1/4 inches high, so the total size of the pendant is quite tiny too.  It was fun making one that worked up so quickly.

Here are two others that I've made with Dorothy's focals:

Peacock bead embroidered pendant
Winged giraffe bead embroidered pendant

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 my e-book Every Bead Has a Story.

Copyright 2019 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Green bronze bead embroidered pendant

Available!  Leave me a comment

Instead of starting with the focal, this time I started with the beadwoven bail!  The one I chose was a previously stitched piece that you can learn more about at the link above and below.

Now, that's not to say that I don't absolutely love the focal!  I do, and I've been saving it for something special.  It's a resin-coated polymer clay piece made by my friend Mary Anne Williams Knapp.  Mary Anne has online trunk shows that you can access through Facebook, but you better move quickly when her work is up for sale!  It gets scooped up with lightning speed.  I used some Miyuki drops on both an inner row and around the edging of this piece, along with some pearls and a lovely little raku bead by Amy Mealey of Xaz Bead Company.

My e-book, Some Assembly Required, covers making different types of bezels to enhance both regularly shaped and irregularly shaped cabochons, connecting your bead embroidered components with various techniques, unifying your piece with texture, and creating beautiful finishing styles.  Check it out if you're wanting to go beyond the basics!

Copyright 2019 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 
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