Monday, December 28, 2009

Wanna be Facebook friends?



I've been on Facebook for a good long time now just under my name, Cyndi Lavin.  Recently, I added a business page to Facebook too, called Beading Arts to follow just the highlights of this blog, the artist profiles and the tutorials.  My personal profile is, well, personal!  So if you don't want to learn about my family and friends as well as my work, don't sign up to be my friend ;-)

If you do want to be my friend, come on in...the water is fine!  I'm also ashamed to admit that I've joined Twitter.   I'll warn you that my tweets cover mixed media art and jewelry, and also cooking (which I also write about).  They usually don't cover what I had for breakfast or how many loads of laundry I did...

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

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Cindy Miller Hopkins
12x9 Photographi...
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Friday, December 25, 2009

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up! Jewelry Making
Yellow facted CZ fan pendants become gorgeous earrings with just a little chain.

Art Bead Scene
It's the ABS annual 12 days of Christmas free projects. Twelve days of last minute holiday gifts! 

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Eco Friendly Gift Wrap

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes huge resin baubles from an ice tray. 

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy shares her favorite things this week. You might be surprised to find out what they are!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie makes a chunky, funky necklace with some unusual wooden chain and findings 

Jean Campbell
Jean shares a free sparkly necklace project, just in time to whip up for your New Year's Evening wear

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei goes back in time to remind fellow Etsy sellers about Heart-o-Matic! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean offers a project called Supercool which features a great focal by Dustin Tabor!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shares some whimsical lampwork artistry by Debi Cogwell. 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Using a drilled resin piece from Lynn Davis and some filigree, Andrew creates a necklace paying homage to the faeryworld sanctuaries.

A Bead A Day
There is still plenty of time to make some New Year's Eve jewelry! Lisa shares an eye catching bracelet using velvety hearts and chandelier-like egyptian crystals. 

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Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lizard barrettes

Here is a totally silly little project for you to do, maybe with one of the little girls in your life! When Mike came back from a conference with a couple of little lizards in his bag (I have no idea why lizards were being given out at a data fusion conference!), he happily relinquished them to me.

I decided they'd look cute in my hair. And after I grow up a bit, I'll probably give them to some of the young girls I know!

Here's all you need: a barrette, a lizard, some wire, and wire cutters.

Wire the lizard onto the barrette, tucking the ends of the wire in between the lizard and the top of the barrette so that it doesn't snag your hair. Try to pick wire that either matches the lizard or that contrasts enough to look funny. Add beads if desired. Personally, I couldn't be bothered!

Copyright 2009 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.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

A Bead A Day
Lisa shares a special gift she received from a friend, SHRINKY DINK earrings!! Still a great product after all these years!! Jewelry Making
Sparkle plenty with this endless knotted red crystal necklace project!

Art Bead Scene
It's the last ABS monthly challenge of 2009. Are you running out of ideas and inspiration? ABS has just the antidote!

Carmi's Art/Life World
One shrunk sweater equals felted beaded mitts for me!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy explains why she chose Lee Krasner's painting "Untitled" for this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei tested out some cool chain from Rings and Things.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Would you like to investgate a lyrical book which explores all areas of your imagination and challenges your creativity? Try Lisa Crone's!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shares a cute find - sterling silver elephant clasps.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Thinking deep thoughts, Andrew offers up a sumptuous bracelet and adds a new bronze charm to his shop.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Make It Merry!

Victorian Snow Day
Put together a mixed media portrait using crafting scraps and this tutorial from Margot Potter.

Cookies in a Jar
Fun article with recipes and gift tags for making cookies in a jar.

Christmas Crackers
Make your own Christmas crackers this year (don't forget to add your favorite terrible joke for an authentic touch)!

Striped Stocking
A stocking knit in tow colors on large needles is a quick and easy way to hold gifts for the holiday. Use traditional Christmas colors or make one with stripes of the colors of your favorite sports team.

Crocheted Wire Necklace
If you can string stone nuggets onto wire, and if you can crochet a simple chain stitch, then you can make this pretty necklace. Visit Beading Arts for the instructions!

Stained Glass Votives
Here's a great easy project that's perfect for kids and fun for adults! We spend lots of time making great votive candles, why not dress them up even more with hand made votive holders?

Skating Penguin Cartoon
Add a cute penguin to your holiday cards with this step-by-step drawing tutorial from Helen South.

Lampwork Snowman Earrings
Use a few wire techniques to turn two lampwork snowmen beads into some holiday jewelry. These literally take minutes to make.

Greeting Card Album
Recycle a greeting card and create a holiday album using materials you already have around the house.

Cut Paper Trees
These three dimensional stand up cut paper trees can be used for table decorations or winter scenes. They're cut just like snowflakes from regular paper.

Christmas Tree Seed Bead Earrings
If you're in a pinch for some holiday cheer upon your ears, then these simple seed bead earrings are just the holiday miracle you've been looking for. With just a little wire and a handful of beads, these can be made in just minutes.

Gingerbread Ornaments
When you don't have the fragrance of a real Christmas tree, fake scents just don't do it. Make a batch of these ornaments every few years and hang them from your tree, the scent will last for two or three years!

Want to Join Make it Merry to show off your holiday crafts? We will showcase your crafts and recipes of all holiday traditions. Learn more.

Artist profile: Geneviève Crabe

Artist: Geneviève Crabe
Business name: Amaryllis Creations
Location: St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada

Websites & Blogs:
Amaryllis Creations
Amaryllis Creations etsy shop
Crafters' Internet
Geneviève Crabe blog

I would describe my work as bold, colourful, eclectic wearable art. I get my inspiration from everything from flowers to architecture; everywhere I look, I see shapes, patterns, and colours to incorporate in my work. I enjoy learning new things so I read books and take classes in a variety of subjects including painting, beading, bead embroidery, polymer clay, and mixed media. I enjoy the cross-pollination that happens, and I like to incorporate a variety of components in my work: hand-painted wood, pen & ink, glass, beads, fibers, Kumihimo braids, etc.

My mother was an artist, and I have been surrounded by arts and crafts my whole life. While I enjoyed artistic pursuits in my spare time, after a 30-year career in hi-tech, I now enjoy being a full-time artist. An important part of my artistic life involves networking with other artists. I belong to three local art guilds, and I attend as many bead shows and decorative painting conventions as I can. I find that just being around other artists, whatever their medium, is very inspirational. I also enjoy teaching, which is often a learning experience for me, and more recently creating and selling kits and handmade jewelry.

I also like sharing my knowledge through writing and I have two published books under my belt. In 2001, I combined my computer and crafting skills in a book titled Crafters’ Internet Handbook: Research, Connect, and Sell your Crafts Online. I am now working on The Crafters’ Internet 2.0, a blog dedicated to informing crafters about resources available to them online.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yay for Pam T!

Pam T is the winner of our book giveaway, Seed Bead Fusion! Congratulations!!

Pam wrote: "
what fun! i love to bead leaves, any and all kinds...."

Recent publications: December 2009

Steampunk Style Jewelry by Jean Campbell

Beaded Colorways by Beverly Gilbert

More Seed Bead Stitching by Beth Stone

The Rings Book by Jinks McGrath

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Making a crocheted wire necklace

Making a necklace like Moonstone Rainbow is very similar to the instructions previously given for making Blue Bells. I strung moonstone chips onto 28 gauge wire and crocheted a chain that ended up being folded into thirds. Most of the technique is outlined in the tutorial for Blue Bells, and I suggest reading it now if you haven't already!

1. Using 20 gauge wire, twist around the ends of the crocheted sections to keep them together, and take the wire through a large bead on each side. Create a wrapped loop.

2. Crimp a piece of beading wire like SoftFlex to each wrapped loop. Add beads for a strand that's as long as you desire on each side.

3. Crimp one beading wire strand to a hook, and the other to the end of a length of chain. Make a dangle on a headpin, and attach it with a wrapped loop around the free end of the chain. Easy peasy, huh?

Copyright 2009 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.

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Yay for Kitty!

Kitty is the winner of the giveaway!

She wrote:
I love tigers eye beads! They come in so many shapes and sizes; I can't get enough of them!
Congratulations, Kitty! I hope you'll soon be surrounded by your beloved tigers eye beads :-)

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Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton:
Each representing a different spectrum of lampwork glass, Andrew shares the new additions to his bead collection from two different artists.

A Bead A Day
If you find yourself in need of a quick holiday gift, don't overlook memory wire! With this simple design, you can make one for all your friends. Jewelry Making
Thinking of making some beaded ornament covers? Then you'll need to know the size bulb to use too.

Art Bead Scene
It's the first day of Art Bead Scene's annual Twelve Days of Free Projects!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Barbe gets all steamy over the new Steampunk Style book!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi wonders if anyone else is working on Spring.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Inspired by Grandma's necklace, Cindy creates an edgey look with CZ's.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows a sneak peek of a pair of earrings she made for the upcoming book Steampunk Style by Jean Campbell.

Jean Campbell
Jean shares 3 easy tips for making holiday gift production a little less stressful.

Katie's Beading Blog
Katie's making tons of earrings this season. Here are a few fun ideas for your own last-minute gifts!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei is saying Thank you and Merry Christmas by giving away a gift certificate to!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
When you check out this ornament kit which is available for you to make, it will REALLY put you in the spirit!

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Giveaway: Seed Bead Fusion


Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!! Back in September, I wrote a review of Seed Bead Fusion by Rachel Nelson-Smith. Well, I now have a copy to GIVE AWAY!!!

As I wrote in my review, Rachel enjoys mixing it up. Even if you don't have a lot of experience with seed beads, I can still recommend it to you. As complicated as the projects appear, they are all based upon a few very basic stitches and wirework, all of which are profiled in the techniques section. Even if you've only started beading recently, if you are willing to practice the basics, you'll be able to follow along with Rachel's instructions. There are very clear illustrations and photos to take you through each and every step.

So here's my question for you: if you work with seed beads already, what do you most like making? If you don't work with them yet, what would you most like to be making? :-) Leave me a comment below, and you will automatically be entered into the drawing, which will take place next Wednesday evening.

Note: I've also got giveaways for different books starting today, Dec 9, 2009 on Jewelry & Beading and on Mixed Media Artist. Feel free to sign up for those too!
As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received this book free of charge from Interweave Press in order to be able to offer it free to you. I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Are you making holiday gifts this year?

I’m making some more of my fabric stuffed hearts, but this year, I’m going to add beads! Here are the instructions for them, on my mixed media art blog.

So what are you making?

You can either post your answer here in the comments, or even better, send me an email with your a list of what you’re making, a link to your site or blog, and a picture of your work if you can…even if it’s in process! Send it to cyndi @ (remove the spaces), and put BA Gifts in the subject line.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Deco Scarab necklace

After several false starts, I finally came up with a beaded necklace style that suited the gorgeous Deco Scarab pendant that my friend Melanie Brooks sent me to play with. If I do another of these, I will probably make one change, and that is to look for size 6/0 seed beads for the base strands that are rounder, less cylindrical. The rounder shaped beads generally sit together in a smoother line than the cylinders, oddly enough. Still, the weight of the pendant holds the beads straighter when it is being worn than is shown in the photo above, so I'm satisfied with it for now!

Materials & Tools

Deco Scarab pendant from Earthenwood Studio
Black Nymo thread, size O
7 AB red glass rounds, 11 mm
8 AB topaz glass rounds, 7 mm
8 topaz glass rounds, 6 mm
Gold seed beads, 11/0
Matte frosted AB brown seed beads, 8/0
Silver lined rootbeer seed beads, 6/0
2 jump rings, 7 mm
6" copper wire, 20 g
4 copper bicones, 6 mm
2 textured copper rounds, 4 mm
4" copper chain and lobster claw clasp

Beading needles, size 12
Flat nose and round nose pliers
Wire cutters
Tape measure

1. On a doubled Nymo thread, string enough beads to create your base strand. As you string, add drop-down beads at regular intervals in this manner: string 5 base strand beads, string larger bead plus another base strand bead, go back up through the larger bead and through the last of the 5 base strand beads added above. Your needle should exit going the same direction as before so that you can add the next 5 beads.

2. Create two wrapped loops with 3 inch pieces of wire. Tie them onto the ends of the base strand. Leave the tails long so that they can be worked into the beadwork later.

3. Start down the base strand again, this time splitting off and adding 4 beads in between each of the drop-down beads from step 1. Add 5 beads in between each set in the from 5 to 7 inches so that the piece will curve nicely when worn.

4. Slide a couple of large holed beads or a bead cap over top of the wrapped loops. Add a smaller round bead, and create wrapped loops around the chain and clasp.

5. Attach the pendant to the center bead by slipping a jump ring into the size 6/0 bead in the lower base strand. Use another jump ring to hang the pendant. Glue the knots and trim.

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received the Deco Scarab pendant free of charge from Earthenwood Studio in order to write an honest review and/or create a project free of charge for you. I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.
Copyright 2009 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.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

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Friday, December 04, 2009

An giveaway!

Here are some gorgeous Cubic Zirconia beads that I just received from so that I could create a project to share with you. That will be coming soon in the new year! For now, feast your eyes on these:



image001 has also made it possible for me to give away a $25 gift certificate here on Beading Arts. If you win, maybe these CZ beads are something you'd like to have. You can choose anything you want from their online catalog!

To sign up for a chance to win the $25 gift certificate, leave me a comment below, telling me what type of beads or supplies you'd most like to have. In a week, I'll be randomly drawing a winner from all the commenters below. Please make sure you type your email address correctly!

And has another way for you to win too: visit their facebook page and sign up there to win a $100 gift certificate!
As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received the CZ beads shown free of charge from in order to create a project free of charge for you. I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

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Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Jewelry & Beading
Cyndi is sharing a series of Gift Guides for handmade jewelry lovers!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!

The ever breathtaking beadmaker Kim Miles pulls out all the stops for the Holidays and gift giving. But that is not all! If you have the "secret word" on the secret day" every week, you get a fab discount! Jewelry Making
Give a beaded jewelry gift that gives twice.

Art Bead Scene
Be Inspired! Think about creating jewelry that tells a story.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi is selling jewelery in a show for the first time and is trying not to "jinx" her favorites!

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Meet the newest addition to the Through the Looking Glass Nugget Charm Family - Alice Blue!

Jean Campbell
Jean discusses how Steampunk jewelry design fits into a larger "Poetic Couture"

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Artist profiles master list

One of my favorite sources of inspiration over the years is to read about what inspires other artists. I certainly do not want to copy their work, but I do want to learn from what they're doing and how they do it.  The full list will be linked over in the sidebar under The Basics so that you won't need to bookmark it.  I'll be updating it as we add new Artist Profiles here!

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Make It From Scratch carnival

The newest issue of Make It From Scratch is out today! Find fabulous treats to cook and to make in this post!

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A false start, but an interesting spiral

Well, I started working on a beaded strap from which to hang one of Melanie Brooks's gorgeous new pendants. Once I had a few inches done though, I decided that this spiral was going to be much too thick and ornate to be a good match for the ceramic Deco Scarab.

However, there's no reason why I can't explain how to make this spiral, because it might be just perfect for something you've got planned ;-)

Here is my original tutorial for the spiral stitch (check out those terrible hand drawn sketches!). You'll notice in the image above that I've strung the entire central core first and then just added the spiraling loops. It can be done either way, but the trick is to make sure the loops you are adding are just a bit shorter than the core beads that you're adding them to. This is what makes the piece kink slightly and twist around.

The pattern I used was this: central core from size 6/0 seed beads. The loops each contained 1 size 15/0, 1 size 11/0, 2 size 8/0, 1 size 6/0, 2 size 8/0, 1 size 11/0, and 1 size 15/0. Each loop spanned 6 of the core beads. I then brought the thread back down through 5 of those core beads and exited in order to start the next loop one bead higher than the previous loop.

Copyright 2009 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.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

The Lady of Shalott - finished!

Here are all the construction steps:
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four

All of the materials and tools are listed in Part one


Copyright 2009 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.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

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Friday, November 27, 2009

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Strands of Beads

Melissa is thankful for generous friends - who share their beading supplies!

A Bead A Day
Stop by A Bead A Day for a wonderful week of cubic zirconia sparkle sponsored by Ideas are always welcome! Jewelry Making
It's is so easy to get into the holiday spirit when you have the perfect lampwork beads to get you there. Just think of all the jewelry possibilities.

Art Bead Scene
Are you a Twilight Fan? If yes, then check out the Twilight inspired jewelry on the Art Bead Scene!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi uses embossing powder to make a bird pendant...a fun idea!

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
It's Double Dippin' Week - a week full of ideas for the Double Dips. Try a necklace and become "Entwined."

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie gives her review of Enchanted Adornments, and gives a reminder to enter the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge for your chance to win a copy of it and some other great beads, including new Earthenwood beads!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Ah, Etsy! So many of our problems solved by visiting Etsy for gifts for our dearest friends at this time of year. Take a look at this premade pendant, which also comes in a kit so you can teach yourself if you prefer. It's all jump rings and it's all beautiful. The Alchemist's Star!

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Make It Merry!

Happy Thanksgiving, folks. Welcome to another edition of Make it Merry, where talented crafters share their holiday how-to's.

Snowman Ornament
Sherri Osborn will show you how to create a cute snowman face using a clear, glass ornament. It's a great project for the whole family.

Recycled Pine Cone Gnome
Get a glimpse of this pine cone gnome at the Recycled Crafts blog. It's a cute reason to collect a few pine cones around the yard.

CopprClay Pendants
Try your hand with pendant making this year with a little help from some winter foliage. The Beading Arts blog will show you how.

How to Make Paper
Handmade paper not only makes a great gift for the avid scrapbooker in your life, but you can also create tags and cards for every present on your list. Marion Boddy-Evans shows us how.

Little Town of Bethlehem Cross Stitch
Get down to the true meaning of Christmas with this simple cross stitch pattern from Connie G. Barwick.

Mitten Earrings
Tammy Powley shows us how to make these cute mitten earrings using lampwork beads.

Christmas Stocking
This cute two-color Christmas stocking is a breeze to knit, even if you've never knit a sock before. Worked with bulky yarn on big needles, it will be done and ready for you to embellish in no time.

Advent Garland
If you are looking for something a little different when it comes to counting down to the holidays this year then take a look at this pyramid box garland. Use the free template to make the boxes and decorate them with your favorite festive stamps.

Miniature Gift Boxes
Have a little gift to give? Check out these free printable miniature gift boxes for small gifts or advent calendars from Lesley Shepherd.

Manga Holiday Card
Instead of a traditional Christmas card, you could go with something a little more contemporary this year. Helen South has tips on how to create a manga style card.

Want to Join Make it Merry to show off your holiday crafts? We will showcase your crafts and recipes of all holiday traditions. Learn more.

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