Friday, July 28, 2006

A really good seed bead book

I just finished reading through Tammy Powley's new book and was really happy with what I found! There is a lot of solid information on different off-loom seed bead techniques, and lots of wonderful projects to try that will use those skills. I really don't think that there is a single project in the book that a determined beginner would not be able to do. Illustrations are clear and directions are very understandable.

If you've been thinking about tackling seed beads, this is a great place to start!

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The cover piece comes home too

handmade beaded jewelry

Crocheted Pearls

This is the piece that ended up on the cover of the July/August issue of Jewelry Crafts Magazine! I was pretty psyched. It made its way home the other day.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

"Les Chats" comes home!

handmade beaded jewelry

Les Chats

"Les Chats" showed up back home yesterday. I think that means the how-to article that I wrote will be in the next Jewelry Crafts magazine.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The triplets

You've got to see these incredibly cool vases that my friend Derek makes! He calls sets like this "Triplets". This is Triplets 2, which is already sold ~ no suprise.

Read more about wood turning on Derek's blog.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Recycled holiday necklace


Vintage cut crystals and Lucite, glass pearls, and opalized glass...all of them recycled from older out-of-date or broken necklaces!  Flurry is a snowstorm around your neck!

Monday, July 24, 2006

More holiday jewelry

Another of the holiday projects that I completed during last week's heat wave :-)

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Paint just like Jackson Pollock

No lasting value, but lots of fun.

Holiday time already?!??

One of the cruel ironies of the publishing world is that projects for Christmas and Hanukkah have to be created in the middle of the summer.

The cruelest aspect of all is that I HATE THE HEAT. Not just the humidity...the stinking heat!

We had quite a nasty stretch of hot humid weather this past week in New England. So when I learned that it was time to make holiday projects for the magazines, I was not completely thrilled. My first thought was "How???" My second thought was "This could be kind of fun." An excuse to take a really cold shower, sit in front of the air conditioner still dripping wet, and watch "It's a Wonderful Life." Works for me!

I did three projects and articles this week, most of which I'm not going to share with you until the mags come out (insert "nyah nyah" noise here). Well, I'll probably end up sharing some of my pictures, but certainly not any of the techniques :-)

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Website updates

I've been working my way through my major website over the past month and a half, a slow and tedious process at best, but very satisfying as I start to see the fruit. If nothing else, the navigation is more consistent and (I hope) easier to...well, navigate, I guess! Soon I will be turning my attention to my other two websites.

Since I'm not the sharpest crayon in the box when it comes to computer stuff, I decided to take the online courses offered by J. Bailey, known far and wide as "Cricket." The courses are well-organized and will take you step-by-step through the process of fixing what ails your website. And did I mention that they are free?

A new session is starting soon, Monday July 24! Here's the information for those who would like to utilize the dog days of summer to actually get something accomplished:

Registration Steps for Classes

Overview of The Classes

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nate's school kids

More cute kids

I've just got one more set of Guatemalan pictures to share after this one, I promise!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More music with the kids

The kids were very popular performers in their old town. Guatemalans will always stop and listen whenever someone speaks or performs publicly.

In the new region, many local people come to the church service that the orphanage holds. People just wander over as soon as they see a gathering.

Music is popular with the crowd, whether in Spanish or English.

Progress on the new home

The construction on new house in Santiago Atitlan is going very well. The decision was made to leave the rental house in San Cristobel (outside Guatemala City) and move to the new area even though it meant living in the midst of construction. Tom, the director, felt that he could oversee things better that way, arrange for work crews more efficiently, and prevent the theft of materials. That's an ever-present problem in the country, unfortunately. One of their out-buildings has been broken into at least twice, with a great loss of personal property that was being stored there.

There's always time for music!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It was a dark and stormy night

Winners in the 2006 Bulwer-Lytton bad fiction contest

Life around the orphanage

I've decided that today I have to show you some of the cute kids my son works with:

Nate teaches "Rake Repair 101"

Nobody minds working when chocolate's involved

School work usually only takes up the mornings

Monday, July 10, 2006

Making bottle cap pins

These pins can be made from all recycled materials with the exception of the paints and glue!  But if there's anything you can't find in the trash, I've links some resources below.
Foam core (used is fine!)
Acrylic paint
Decorative paper (preferably from the trash)
Diamond glaze, Liquid glass, or resin
Used bottle caps and pictures sized to fit
Decorative fibers
Gold-leaf pen
Pin back (salvage from old jewelry)

X-acto knife
Foam brush, small paint brushes

1. Cut out a foam core back for your pin, using an X-acto knife. Peel the paper off of one side.

2. Paint the peeled side and the edges of the foam core with acrylic paint. Let it dry completely.

3. Cut a decorative paper top and adhere it to the unpainted side of your foam core.

4. Paint the entire piece with Diamond glaze, Liquid glass, or resin, allowing it to dry completely.

5. Cut out a picture to fit inside your bottle cap. Place a thin layer of glaze inside the cap to create a flat surface. When it has dried to the tacky stage, place the picture inside and cover it with another thin layer of glaze. Let this dry completely before filling the cap up as much as you desire. Let it dry overnight.

6. Glue the bottle cap to the pin front with E6000. Let it ooze out slightly from underneath the cap. Wrap decorative fibers around the cap, anchoring them into the E6000.

7. Use a gold-leaf pen to rim the front edges of the pin.

8. Glue a pin-back on using E6000.

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Copyright 2006 Cyndi Lavin. 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.

Nate's furlough is over

Nate left at 3:30 this morning to return to Guatemala. Over the next few days, I thought I'd share some of the pictures that he dumped onto my computer last night. I think I know what most of them are, but he didn't have time to go into a lot of details.

The orphanage recently moved from San Cristobel, outside Guatemala City, out to Santiago Atitlan, near the volcano region.

Tom and Susan Stukenberg ~ aka Daddy and Mommy to all the children

Nate boxing up some of the things that need to be moved to the new house

A typical Guatemalan "taxi" or "bus"

The new region

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A fabulous jewelry print ad

Try it on for size
Isn't this clever?

My other favorites are the Wonderbra ad and the Atmospheric pollution ad from Singapore!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bottle cap pins

recycled jewelry

I'm going to write and post a tutorial on how to make these. Probably next week, after my son returns to Guatemala (pout) and I'll have a lot more time on my hands.

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Remember the scene from "Signs"?

Where Mel Gibson's character walks into his living room to find Joachim Phoenix (his movie brother) and Mel's two movie children sitting on the couch with tin foil hats? Now they don't have to look like such total fashion dweebs!

You'll find these at Eric is Great (kind of says it all, no?). He calls them Tin Foil Hats for the discriminating lunatic!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

"A Charmed Life"

lampwork glass bead

I started a group project this spring with 8 of my closest personal online friends! I don't believe that any of us have ever met in person, but this project is designed to give us a glimpse into each others' lives!

We are each making a charm that will be gathered into a very special charm necklace. Eventually this necklace will be auctioned off to raise money for a yet to be determined charity. Before that event though, it will be making the rounds to visit each of us, where we'll have the chance to have pictures taken of ourselves wearing it on fun outings. All of the pictures will be compiled so that we will all have a better feel for just who each of us is :-)

Sound like fun?

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Walnut inks

I just ordered a set of walnut inks from Joann's online store. I use a lot of vintage photos in my collage and mixed media work, and I've been wanting to try these. You can see my non-jewelry work at Why Not Art. Check out Joann's ~ they'll send you coupons for both the store and the website if you register.

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