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Showing posts from August, 2008

Book review: Ceramic Bead Jewelry

Ceramic Bead Jewelry: 30 Fired & Inspired Projects by Jennifer Heynen What makes Jennifer’s beautiful (and colorful!!) book really unique is that she spends time covering both the making of ceramic beads AND the construction of finished jewelry that features them! I love this book. I don’t do any ceramic work at all - just a little bit with polymer clay - but Jennifer has got me convinced that I can. And that I want to! Her pieces are so vibrant and fun, and her writing style is so friendly and inviting that I’m really tempted to try. If you’ve ever had the urge to try your hand at ceramics, or if you’re a ceramicist who’d like to try your hand at jewelry making, this is the book for you!

Twisted peyote spiral necklace

Tubular peyote stitch is really easy to do. You can find basic directions at many of the links listed on my Online Basics post . Try Beadwork at to start. The first place I ever personally saw the twisted peyote spiral was in Carol Wilcox Well’s The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving , in a bracelet designed by Suzanne Golden. Since then, I’ve seen many variations on this simple idea, including a recent article in Beadwork Magazine (Jun/Jul 2008). If you want a true step-by-step tutorial complete with illustrations, I would recommend one of these two sources. However, if you’ve already got familiarity with peyote stitch, and odd-count tubular peyote in particular, you won’t have any problem figuring this out on your own with my simple instructions below! Twisted tubular peyote stitch is also very similar to Cellini stitch, which is simply an even count variation.   Materials and Tools At least three sizes of seed beads in different colors Beading thread Beading n

Book review: Polymer Clay Beads

Polymer Clay Beads by Grant Diffendaffer This is the book that polymer clay artists have been waiting for! Not for the faint of heart, and definitely not for beginners, Grant takes you on a whirlwind tour of what’s next. The book is gorgeous, and all techniques are well-documented, but it still took me only moments before I realized that I was way out of my league! Which is fine…lots of gorgeous inspiration is not a bad thing, even if I can’t hope to make any of them (at least not yet!). Truly, this book picks up where the others leave off. Grant explains mica-shift and how to achieve it, lathe-turned beads, recursive molded beads, hollow-form beads, and mandrel-formed beads. Seeing what beautiful, beautiful objects he makes, I almost want to play with clay. Beginners, drool over this book. Intermediates and advanceds, buy it now!

A simple square stitch bail for a donut pendant

Materials & Tools: Large donut of desired color (40 - 60 mm is a good size range) Brass mesh necklace, 18 inches ( Fire Mountain Gems and Beads ) 11/0 Delica seed beads Beading thread Beading needle Basic directions for square stitch can be found at many online sites. 1 Using a mixture of bead colors, square stitch a small band that is long enough to wrap through the donut hole and around the mesh wire necklace, with just enough slack to keep it from rubbing or binding. 2 Continue following the square stitch thread path to attach the ends to each other. 3 Enjoy different color combinations! Copyright 2008 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.

Starry Night…making a cigar box handbag

My inspiration picture My friend Dee recently asked me about cigar box purses, so I thought I’d dig this one out! Starry Night started out as an old cardboard cigar box. I considered several different techniques for creating beaded pictures on it before I settled on my old favorite method, but with a new twist: the beads are embroidered directly on the box, using wire and a couching technique. Materials and tools: Black gesso Black acrylic paint Foam paint brushes Awl or nail 24 gauge silver-colored wire Wire cutters Chain nosed pliers Lightweight paper (like tracing paper) and pen (optional) Beads in appropriate colors and sizes for your design 18 gauge silver wire Interfacing or quilt batting to line the box Fabric for the lining Glue 1 Coat the entire box, inside and out with black gesso. Let it dry. Apply two thin coats of black acrylic paint. Let it dry overnight. 2 If you want to have a pattern for your work, cut a piece of very lightweight paper to the size of each side you pl

Book review: Wire Wrapping

Wire Wrapping by Linda Chandler and Christine Ritchey Pages and pages of wirey goodness! This book will lead you step by step through the skills you need to tackle advanced beginner and intermediate wire projects. It’s wonderfully organized so that each new skill builds upon the previous ones, making this book similar to actually taking a course in wirework. Small confession…I am by no means a skilled wireworker myself, but these beautiful bracelets, rings, and pendants make me want to break out my pliers and start my own collection of bangles :-) The fabulous writing team of Linda Chandler and Christine Ritchey have two other wire books already, a few years older, but still very worthwhile and still in print. Getting Started Making Wire Jewelry and More is their beginner book. Beautifully photographed step by steps take you through all the basics. If you haven’t done much with wire, this is a great first book. The most advanced of all their books is Woven Wire Jewelry . This book is