Friday, April 29, 2011

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up! Jewelry Making
Vintage style is mixed with modern alternatives in this new necklace tutorial.

Art Bead Scene
The Art Bead Scene offers up a few business tips.  

Barbe Saint John - Saints & Sinners
Barbe reviews Jen Cushman's "Explore Create Resinate" Book.  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has some eye candy featuring scarves and a big bauble.  

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
The week, Cindy's tangled up in a re-do of her studio.  

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie uses an unusual find of vintage leather postcards to craft a leather cuff bracelet  

Resin Crafts!
Carmi turns a feathered butterfly in a pendant with resin.  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
In this A to Z blogging challenge entry, Jean is surprised by "W" for a Wonderful thing which happens to her!

The Bead Dreamer
Vintage inspired jewelry components and a vintage pin from her grandmother come together in this special necklace from Charlene  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew gives a heads up about a great giveaway from Lark Jewelry & Beading!

A Bead A Day
Do you know "the bead" when you see it? Lisa came across one of those in a craft-store mix recently and couldn't walk away!  

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Faery Scents Jewelry by Sarah Reed

Artist: Sarah Reed
Faery Scents Jewelry

Sarah writes:
My creative process always starts with the beads. I could get lost looking at beads and making my own. The only time I start with a sketch or planned design is when I am using my loom. I then I just go with what strikes me.

As for me I am 33 years-old and was found to be disabled almost 2 years ago by my physician. I suffer from a rare liver disease that is called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. I have a 2 year old son named Nero. My husband's name is Nakoa. I began making jewelry as an escape from my woes and as a way to help my family make ends meet since I can no longer work. I started by making jewelry as gifts for my mom and mom-in-law. I have sold a few items on etsy but have a growing facebook page for my work.

The first piece, Arrows (shown above), was inspired by Native American designs and symbols. My great uncle was a shaman and my husband is Native American. My mother would read Native American legends to me when I was little. I have always had an interest in the Native American culture. I created the design before beginning the weaving process. I picked the colors just by what looked good to my eye.

The second piece, Bone and Shell necklace, was inspired by my mom. She would wear similar jewelry when I was a kid so I thought what the heck and made something that reminded me of my childhood. I used abalone shell and bone beads.

The third piece is made from amethyst nuggets and chips, aventurine, amazonite, and opalite. I love to put green and purple together. I just find the color combination to be calming and beautiful. I love to use real semi-precious stones whenever I can. Nature is my biggest inspiration. It is so amazing and awe inspiring that I rarely need anything else.

Sarah with her family

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Our trip to Guatemala

Mike and I took our second working vacation to Tzanchaj Atitlan, Guatemala last month.  You won't find Tzanchaj actually on the map at this link; it is located about 5 miles southwest of Santiago Atitlan, and is just a tiny little village right next to Panabaj, the scene of total devastation during the 2005 mudslides caused by Hurricane Stan.  Our first trip was in 2007 when our son decided to stay there for two years to work in an orphanage rather than come home and finish college.  Now he is married and has a three year old daughter, and has been back working there since February 2010. 

You can read my travel log, if you are interested, on Mixed Media Artist.

We did take an hour or so to go shopping in Santiago Atitlan.  Here are some fabrics that I purchased.  Since I left my clothes at the orphanage when we departed, our suitcase was no heavier than before! 

 Hand Embroidery

 Lightweight scarves

 Heavier shawls

Hand embroidered table runner

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Surprise package #2 from Cherry Tree Beads!

Ok, it's not a surprise anymore, but it's still very exciting! 

Have you visited Cherry Tree Beads yet?  Bill and BeBe Edwards, the owners, sent me so many wonderful beads to share with you that we have decided to give them away in smaller packages over the next month.  Or more!  So here we go...


Here's what's in package #2 (shown above):
Three strands of Chinese crystal tumbles

Would you like to win them?  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: May 2, 2011.  

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


A Bead A Day
Do you like glitter AND jewelry making?! You are going to love this project that Lisa found over at! Jewelry Making
What are your plans for your silver scraps now that silver is crazy expensive?

Art Bead Scene
Here's a fresh idea for spring - a garden gate clasp.  

Barbe Saint John
Barbe's giving away the latest Industrial Chic booklet and some charms!  

Carmi's Art/Life World
This weeks blog features the poppies of Paris and the jewelery it inspires.  

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Cindy's made some new blush pink drops, come see what she's done with them!  

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
We all scream for Ice Cream! Melanie shows how she designed and made a new line of sweet pendants.  

Resin Crafts!
This week Carmi has a short tutorial on using resin as a glaze.  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Rio Grande is encouraging a wonderful way of helping the people of Japan and it is SO EASY! Read about it on Jean's blog!  

Strands of Beads
Melissa is brooding about issues of originality this week.  

The Bead Dreamer
A lovely tree branch, soft pink flowers and wisps of silk inspired two necklace designs.
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton  
Andrew takes a peak at Anne Choi's new BRONZE beads!  

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yay for Shaiha!

Shaiha, author of Shaiha's ramblings is the lucky winner of the first package of beads from Cherry Tree Beads!  Stay tuned...there will be a new package for giveaway on...MONDAY!

It's the big button swap reveal day!

Today is the day!  All of the button swappers in Michelle Mach's swap party are showing off our projects today!  I'm very excited to show you the buttons I received from my fabulous partner, Lody Steward, and share with you one of the pieces that I've far.  The picture above has all the buttons EXCEPT for the one that I used first :-)

Ta-daaaaa!  Here it is:

It is a large pierced shank button in a bronze color that I decided to turn into a charm holder pendant.  I'm going to write up the instructions and share them with you in a couple of's an easy project, and lots of fun.  Here's the finished necklace:

And here is a bracelet that Lody made, using a little antique steel-cut button that I sent to her as part of her new stash.  Isn't this cool?  I love using buttons as part of a clasp:

Here's a list of all the button swap partiers...hope more of you will join in next time!  Michelle reminded us to tell you that she is hosting a button giveaway, and any comment that you leave on any of these blogs will count as an entry, so get hopping ;-)

1. Cat - Boo Beads

2. Cindy - Sweet Bead Studio

3. Cory - Art with Moxie

4. Cyndi - Beading Arts

5. Dita - Alankarshilpa

6. Donna, Marti, and Michelle - Beads & Books

7. Erin - Treasures Found

8. Hope - Crafty Hope

9. Inca - Zerenity Design

10. Katrine - Army of Sock Monsters

11. Krista - French Elegant Jewelry

12. Kristie - Artisan Clay

13. Linda D. - Lutka and Co.

14. Linda L. - Linda's Bead Blog

15. Lody - Lody's Beadworks

16. Lori - Pretty Things

17. Loretta - Loretta's Boutique

18. Malin - Beading by Malin de Koning

19. Mary - MK's Creative Musings

20. Maryanne - Zingala's Workshop

21. Melinda - Melinda Orr Metal & Clay Jewelry Designs

22. Saskia - Perlendistel

23. Shannon - For My Sweet Daughter

24. Shirley - Beads and Bread

25. Stephanie - Confessions of a Bead Hoader

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yay for Mandy!

Stitch Workshop: Peyote Stitch: Basic Techniques, Advanced Results 

Mandy, who writes Beads for Brains, is the winner of the book Stitch Workshop: Peyote Stitch.  Congratulations, Mandy!

Book review: Beading Across America

Beading Across America: Jewelry Inspiration from Coast to Coast 

Beading Across America is a new Kalmbach publication, with the usual high standards for photography and illustration.  What is unusual is that there is really no controlling theme to the book other than the personal style of the artists who were invited to participate.  How I wish there were 50 projects!  There are 30, and they are at all different skill levels and use all different types of techniques, so everyone is sure to find something new to challenge them. 

Some of my favorite artists are represented here: Carol Wilcox Wells, NanC Meinhardt, Margie Deeb, and Beverly Ash Gilbert to name but a few.  And I came across some artists who are sure to become new favorites of mine...people whose work I didn't know before, but which has captivated me.  Suzanne Golden is one, the creator of a fabulous black and white tubular peyote bracelet that I am lusting after.  And then there is Darcy Horn, who created a freeform peyote bracelet, very different from Suzanne's but equally drool-worthy. 

Great fun, and lots to choose from to either inspire you or to challenge you to try something new!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Penland book series


I recently received copies of two Penland books that I need to bring to your attention: The Penland Book of Jewelry and The Penland Book of Glass.  Bead artists need to broaden our view of artwork, and feasting on one or both of these books is a good start.  The Penland series is not designed to take you step by step through the basic skills and techniques of a new craft: rather, they are inspirational looks at the creative process behind the most gorgeous ground-breaking pieces being made today.

The Penland School of Crafts is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, and has long been renowned as a top-shelf place to learn.  The Penland Book of Jewelry contains the work of 10 contemporary jewelers who have taught at the school, giving an in depth look at the inspirations, history, and techniques of each artist.  The beautiful photographs of work included illustrate both the range and the depth of their technical expertise.  Each artist has written a how-to section with illustrations and photos of the jewelry-making innovations they are best known for.   

The Penland Book of Glass likewise showcases 10 contemporary glass artists and provides 10 fabulous master glass classes.  Penland's involvement with hot glass and the studio-glass movement in the USA dates back to 1965, and they were one of the first schools to integrate torch work into the program.  Bead artists will already know Kristina Logan and probably also Paul Joseph Stankard, but will you be familiar with names like Shane Fero, Elizabeth Ryland Mears, and Inglaena Klenell?  You need to be!  There are photo galleries included that have works by dozens more artists who you will also want to know.

This post contains affiliate links

Monday, April 18, 2011

Flapper necklace

Do you like the Flapper look of the Roaring Twenties, or the extravagant long strands popularized by Coco Chanel?  When I found the long knotted strand of glass beads shown above, I knew that I needed to re-knot it and add some fun!  And there it sat for quite sometime...

The opportunity to give these glass beads new life came with a challenge by to combine some of their very cool Kabela Design brass components with something old that I already owned.  Perfect!  I ordered some raw brass items that I thought would be fun to use with the beautiful glass beads, and I was very pleased with the style and quality of the items I received.  

Materials and Tools

Long strand of vintage glass beads
FF Black silk beading thread
Hypo-tube cement
4 clamshell tips
3 Antique Brass Filigree Beads
2 Antique Brass Diamond Deco Links
22 Gauge Bronze Wire
Antique Brass Large Butterfly Pendant
5.5mm Antique Brass-Plated 21 Gauge Open Jump Rings
Brass-colored chain (about 3 inches)

Hole-punch for metal or a drill
Twisted wire needle
Measuring tape
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters

1. Drill holes in the brass butterfly pendant and use jump rings to attach it to short lengths of chain.

2. Use brass wire to create beaded links with the filigree beads.  Form wrapped loops around the Deco links and at the ends.

3. Cut apart a long knotted glass necklace.  Re-knot into two strands with black silk thread (a longer one for the top, shorter for the bottom), adding a clamshell at each end.  Glue the knots and allow to dry before closing the clamshell.  See instructions for silk thread knotting here. 

4. Loop the clamshell tips over the ends of the two brass linked sections.

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received Kabela brass components 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.

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 entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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