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Showing posts from January, 2011

Bead Journal Project: January

I am so happy to be involved with the Bead Journal Project again for the 4th year! This year I decided to do something quite different...I'm going to do a series of buttons which each feature a watch face, and they will probably end up being used as cabochons in a larger piece.  Or I might just stitch them together into a piece without using a secondary backing.  For right now, until I decide, I'm constructing them as buttons, hoping that will give me the most options for the future! In a week or so, I'll share a little tutorial with you on how these are constructed.  If you've never covered buttons before, it's super easy, as you can see.  They can certainly be much more elaborate than mine turned out.  Last year I made a bead-embroidered fabric cuff bracelet each month, and the time commitment was much higher.  I think it makes sense for me to alternate doing easy and harder projects each BJP season. Added February 7: Link to tutorial Technorati Tags

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

  The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Can you feel it? Andrew is on the verge of many big projects with limitless possibilities ahead! A Bead A Day Lisa continues to hammer happy thoughts into wood jewelry pieces over at A Bead A Day Blog! Jewelry Making Sign up for this fun e-course themed around "love." Perfect for the up-coming Valentine's Day holiday.   Art Bead Scene Believe it or not, sometimes an Art Bead Scene editor just can't come up with the right words.   Beads & Books Michelle reviews a "top 20" list of craft tools from Martha Stewart and compares it to what's in her own studio.   Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi creates a very soft and warm felted bead necklace.   Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva Cindy has chosen one single word to keep her creative juices flowing. What do you think it is?   Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Bang, bang, bang! Melanie makes another Response

Jewelry education for 2011

Every year, I feel that I need to add some new techniques to my repertoire. Last year, I shared a lot of education opportunities with you, and I feel that the series was very successful in spurring some folks on to try some new things.  I hope you'll take the challenge again this year, and pick something new to work on, and maybe even to master, in 2011.  Here are links to my updated posts about various jewelry education opportunities: Information and tutorials to get you started Spring/Summer 2010 color forecast Fall/Winter 2010/2011 forecast Jewelry and beading shows with classes Know your jewelry terms Jewelry and beading school classes Online jewelry and beading education Jumpstart your learning curve with a kit Do you want to design for yourself? Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Book review and giveaway: Making Elegant Jewelry

  Making Elegant Jewelry for Special Occasions was put together by Kalmbach Books and is full of easy classic designs that you can make very quickly but will still get lots of attention.  The projects are what you would find in BeadStyle magazine, so they are very well suited to beginners or to those who would like elegance fast !  Not limited to stringing, there are some wire projects, chain, and even pearl knotting. ***Free Stuff Alert!!!*** Would you like to have a copy of this book?  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice! Please make sure that your link will lead me to an email address, or else I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  Deadline: February 2, 2011 .  Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry ,

Recent publications: January 2011

  The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making: More than 700 Large Format Color Photos by Tammy Powley Glass Beads: Tips, Tools, & Techniques for Learning the Craft by Louise Mehaffey Modern Expressions: Creating Fabulous and Fashionable Jewelry with Easy-to-Find Elements by Fernando DaSilva Creative Crochet Jewelry by Esther Zadock Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Jewelry and beading school classes

American Jeweler's Institute in Oregon Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Tennesee Boca Raton Museum of Art - The Art School in Florida Colorado School of Jewelry & Metalarts Idyllwild Arts in California Jewelry Creations Workshop in Florida John C Campbell Folk School in North Carolina Lillstreet Art Center in Illinois Miami Jewelry School in Florida Northwest Gemological Institute in Washington Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in California Rye Arts Center in New York Studio Jewelers Ltd in New York City 3rd Ward in Brooklyn, New York And just in case your interests are broader, here's a site that lists many places where you can earn an MFA! MFA Degree I'm sure there are more schools and non-profit organizations that offer classes. Can you think of any to add?  Leave me a comment with your suggestions and I'll add them to the list! Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , neck

Beaded postcards - part two

A bead embroidered postcard, backed and finished In Part One , I showed you how I go about preparing a fabric postcard (or other sized piece) for bead and thread embroidery.   Today I want to explain how to finish off your piece so that the edges and back are nice looking too! Once you are finished with all your embroidery, both threads and beads, cut all layers of your piece down to the proper size, in this case 4x6 inches.  Cut a backing piece of fabric to size as can just see it peeking out from under the batting in the picture above.  Using embroidery thread, probably 2 to 3 strands, stitch around the edges with blanket stitch.  You can add beads to some or all of the stitches if you wish.  Here is another piece that I finished around the same time as the one above.  FREE e-BOOK CHAPTER Copyright 2011 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that en

Yay for Noemi!

The winner of the book giveaway is Noemi , from beautiful Spain.  She has won a copy of Metal Clay Origami Jewelry by Sara Jayne Cole!  Congratulations!! Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

  Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Using lovely design elements from Artbeads, Jean creates an evocative pair of winter earrings which remind her of seasons long past... The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton This week one lucky winner will take home a beaded brooch by Cenya AND score some Soft Flex flexible beading wire!   A Bead A Day Lisa's experimenting with alphabet stamps in wood. Please stop by to share your experiences with metal, wood or polymer clay stamping. Jewelry Making What do you get when you combine yarn, crystals, and metal? A very cool double strand bracelet!   Beads & Books If you make a mistake with a piece of jewelry, do you throw it out, start over, or try to fix it? Michelle shares a mistake she made trying to create a pendant using copper, ink, and a gloss sealant.   Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi creates a special set of felted brooches for a Canadian company.   Cindy Gimbro

The road to Tucson!

Do you belong to a bead society?

It seems that we've become a society of people who shy away from joining groups.  Why do you think that is?  Is it because we're really so terribly busy?  Or is it because the internet offers us the illusion of the group without having to venture out into the cold?  I'm not sure what the exact answer is...I'm just asking what you think. I have several groups of friends that I get together with from time to time, my gym buds, two book groups, and a cadre of artists.  I wish I had a local foodie group too!  I'm not much for formal organization, but I do love my groups.  I'm wondering if I should add a more focused jewelry-making or beading group to my life.  Sara Hardin helpfully posted a list of many bead societies that would be a good place for you to start it you think you might want to get together with other fans of small shiny things :-) So, do you or don't you?  Do you think you should? Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art

More social networks for jewelry sales and research

Now that we're all starting to get more familiar with social media sites like Facebook , MySpace , Twitter , and the rest, I thought I'd share a list with you of some specialized sites for those who are interested in fashion. Any of these sites can become a part of your marketing strategy if you're interested in selling your jewelry.  Some of them might be good for you to join and to network in...some are only really useful for researching trends.  A couple of times each year, I like to "get out there" and see what's hot and where fashion is going. That doesn't mean that I always start making pieces to fit the trends - actually, I usually don't - but I still think it's a smart thing to keep on top of. Why? Because you'll have a much tougher time selling pieces that are completely out of phase with the current looks. That doesn't mean that you can't, just that you'll have to work harder to find the niches where your style will

Know your jewelry terms

Don't know your dohickey from your whatchamacallit? Well, it's past time to learn. There is a specialized vocabulary for most disciplines, and jewelry making and beading are no exceptions. Here are some resources to help you get your vocabulary straight and up to date! Jewelry making supplies A fabulous chart of terms by Jean Campbell Seed bead finishes, sizes, types, and manufacturers Susan Mandel...bless her! WigJig Dictionary of Beads and Jewelry Making Terms Glossary of Jewelry Making Terms on All Info About All About Jewels Illustrated dictionary FDJ Tool Dictionary Rings & Things Frequently asked jewelry making questions Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Beaded postcards - part one

Mixing bead and thread embroidery   To make beaded postcards, I started with some fabric that I painted and foiled , cutting a piece to slightly bigger than 4x6 inches.  I backed the fabric with fusible shirt-weight interfacing and also lightly adhered it to a piece of cotton batting.  I decided on a path for the beads and embroidery to follow, and started by adding several passes of embroidered cross stitches along that path, with a different color each pass. The next step was to add the largest beads, spreading them out and anchoring them well. The fun really begins when it's time to start adding the seed bead path. The way I do it is to keep making passes back and forth along the path, adding a different color seed bead each time, or more than one pass with the dominant color. Below is a detail shot of the path: Next week I'll show you how I finish these off in Part Two FREE e-BOOK CHAPTER Copyright 2011 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

  Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei tries her hand at an online class to make a Wire framed Bead- a meager attempt but fun at any rate! Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean has reviewed a fascinating, beautiful book, 500 Enameled Objects. If you are curious about this form of beautiful jewelry and object crafting, check out her review!   The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Want to win a FREE class from Beaducation? Check out this week's installment of Thursday Giveaway for your chance to win! Jewelry Making Finally, Tammy's latest jewelry book is out on bookstore shelves!   Art Bead Scene ABS announces the January monthly challenge.   Beads & Books Michelle shares a list of beading and jewelry-making challenges and contests with deadlines through the end of March.   Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi turns a clasp into a necklace pendant. Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva Cin

Book review and giveaway: Metal Clay Origami Jewelry

  Calling all metal-heads! Have you been wondering what was the next new thing with metal clay?  How about origami? Metal Clay Origami Jewelry: 25 Contemporary Projects by Sara Jayne Cole will introduce you to an amazing combination of art forms.  Using metal clay sheet, Sara introduces us to 25 gorgeous projects that will leave you gasping in awe.  Metal clay sheet, says Sara, does not dry out so that you've got plenty of time to make your pieces perfect before firing them.  And guess what?  I've got a SIGNED COPY of this Lark Publication book to give away!! ***FREE STUFF ALERT*** Would you like to win a free copy of Metal Clay Origami Jewelry ?  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!  Please please please make sure that your link will lead me to an email address, or else I won't be able to contact you.  No

Seed beads from Auntie's Beads

Look at those seed beads !  I am particularly enamored of the gunmetal ones in the front of the picture, and I also really like the dark bronze ones.  The package with the mixed colors is called granite , and I'm looking forward to using those too.  The shape and size of these beads are very very regular, which is a big advantage if you wanted to use them for weaving as well as for embroidery.  You know me...I never met a bead I didn't like, but some are more universally useful than others, and I'm very pleased with the quality of these.  They are Miyuki's , so it shouldn't be a surprise. Thank you to Auntie's Beads for sending such a nice selection for me to work with.  I use the larger size 8/0 beads pretty often, but turn to size 6/0 much less frequently.  However, I had the perfect project waiting to try out the lovely silver-lined gold beads in size 6/0.  My needle felted and embroidered leaf pin needed some accents, and these beads provided the fini

Jump start your learning curve

Earring kit by Laura McCabe available from Beads East If you had it in mind to learn a new technique or two this year, but you still haven't gotten started on that goal, here's something to consider. There are lots of sites where you can buy a kit or a pattern, where you will learn in excruciating detail how to perform a certain task. Sometimes we just need it in excruciating detail, huh? For example, my friend Dulcey Heller creates kits and patterns for a site called simply Buy the Kit . Despite the name, they also sell "bead-less kits", a clever way to refer to patterns, as well as kits that contain everything you will need, just add hands and eyes. This site specializes in seed beadwork. If you are more interested in learning wire techniques, check out Jewelry Lessons . There are lessons on polymer clay and beadwork too, but wire is king (or queen) at this site owned by Eni Oken . Etsy is another place that you can check out for kits and patterns. I

Book review - The Absolute Beginners Guide: Stitching Beaded Jewelry

Beautiful designs can be very intimidating to someone who has never done any bead weaving before.  The title of this book, The Absolute Beginners Guide: Stitching Beaded Jewelry: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started by Lesley Weiss, tells you everything you need to know about it! It is about beaded jewelry that is stitched, and it does not assume that you know anything about it before you start through the book.  This volume, published by Kalmbach, is definitely worth a look. Each new stitch is beautifully illustrated and photographed so that you will know exactly what to do next to master the technique.  Then each stitch is folded into a stunning project, simple to do despite appearing very complicated.  This would be an excellent first book for you to learn bead weaving, if that is one of your new year's resolutions!    Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making

  The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making is my friend Tammy Powley's newest book!  Tammy has a long list of books to her name already, but all I could say when I received my copy of this monster was "How the heck did she find time to sleep last year?"  There are more than 700 photos in this 300 page book, and it (unbelievably) covers all major forms of jewelry making: stringing, wire, chain making, metal fabrication, soldering, metal clay, polymer clay, fiber, resin, and mixed media.  Ok, a disclaimer here so that you will know that I am prejudiced, even though I really do think it's a great book.  Tammy asked me to do the projects and techniques for the polymer clay and the mixed media chapters.  So I can't be completely unbiased.  But anyway. The format of the chapters is as follows: Each chapter begins with an overview of the materials and tools that you'll need, moves on to cover basic techniques (especially those needed for the projects which f