Monday, April 30, 2012

Tagua nut necklace

Do you remember me telling you about EcuadorianHands, the supplier of wonderful tagua nut beads?   I thought their wonderful beads would be good to feature during Spring Fever Month, along with one of my favorite suppliers of great vintage plastic, Vintage Beads from Europe.  Here's an easy-peasy stringing project that includes a tiny bit of wirework.

1. Loop wire through the pendant hole and wrap one wire a few times with the second.  Create two bail loops with the wire ends.  Clip one end off even with the wrapping and use the other end to wrap over the first wrapping and the clipped end. 

2. String the tagua nut beads and vintage plastic beads in a pattern that pleases you.  I strung 5 size 8/0 seed beads between each accent bead.  I started from the middle with the pendant and strung outward towards each end in order to keep the colors balanced.  Note: the two sides are not identical, but they are balanced in weight and size of beads.

3. Use crimps to add a toggle closure to your necklace.  

Copyright 2012 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, April 28, 2012

Jewelry artist: Natalia Bodre

Website: Natalia Bodre

My name is Natalia Bodre and I am an artist originally from Poland.  I finished school of Art in Poland with advertisement designer degree, but soon enough I understood what my real passion was- jewelry designing.

I started designing jewelry in second year (of 4 year school) and I was soon successful in creating and selling jewelry in Poland.  Right after school I moved to Ireland looking for adventure and inspiration.  I was successful with selling jewelry, and showing my art in galleries.  Somewhere along the way I met my (now) husband and fell in love.  He is American, and that's why I moved here to be with him, where I live and design for almost 4 years.

My jewelry is truly unique because I never make two of the same pieces and all designs come right from my creative mind.  I love to use natural gemstones because every single stone is different and holds it's own story.  I can do anything you dream of- just contact me with your custom order, or choose one of many already created items.

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Inspired by the spring flower, Andrew compiles a list of trillium themed jewelry components. 

A Bead A Day
Are you making jewelry for your summer vacation this year? Stop by A Bead A Day to share your plans! Jewelry Making
Tammy gives a nod to onyx, one of her favorite gemstones to make jewelry with.  

Art Bead Scene
Erin provides a variety of ideas about custom jewelry tags, a fine personal detail for professional jewelry makers.  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Do you wear a lot of brooches? Carmi has devised a way to make wearing them easier!  

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie is having a special springtime sale! Check out the Earthenwood blog for more details!  

Resin Crafts!
This week we have anew caps featuring Japanese paper and french owl stickers...quite the combo!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
While continuing to follow her A-Z Alphabet Blogging Challenge, Jean reviews an Unutterably beautiful jewelry design book, Showcase 500 Rings !  

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jean Yates: to infinity and beyond

Artist: Jean Yates
Snap out of it Jean! There's beading to be done!

I've got to tell you about the honeymoon Jim and I took in 1990.  We went to Walt Disney World, which Jim hated, and then to Cocoa beach to the Satellite Inn motel, which is where all the astronauts stayed in the early days of the very first launches.  Now you can see (until just recently) the space shuttle take off from the beach right in front of the motel.

Jim and I endured an extremely uncomfortable night in  this historic dump which was wretchedly ill-kempt, but we were very excited because Jim has always been a Trekkie and an Outer Space freak.

In the morning we got there into the stretch of beach  before dawn, as we were supposed to.  There were tons of people already was like being a hippie again!  And then, alas, after a wait of over two hours, the shuttle was scuttled. What disappointment, but what a honeymoon memory! 

Red Planet Necklace on the cover of Jean's book Links

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TAST week 17 - wheatear stitch

Yay!  It's Take a Stitch Tuesday day again!  And again there is a stitch that will look good on my quilt.  In fact, I'm really excited about it, because it's got the look of seaweed about it: the fabulous wheatear stitch!  I decided to decorate mine up a bit extra, with a double chain stitch of two different colors, straight stitches of a different color, and added French knots (last week's stitch) at the end of each straight stitch...yet another color.  I think I might add more strands of these fun stitches around more edges of the quilt

TAST week 1 - fly stitch
TAST week 2 - blanket stitch
TAST week 3 - feather stitch
TAST week 4 - cretan stitch 
TAST week 5 - herringbone stitch
TAST week 6 - chevron stitch
TAST week 7 - detached chain stitch
TAST week 8 - chain stitch
TAST week 9 - couching stitch 
TAST week 10 - running stitch 
TAST week 11 - whipped wheel stitch 
TAST week 16 - French knot 
TAST week 17 - wheatear stitch

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Eileen Bergen: Shells, glorious shells!

A year ago, Eileen Bergen was able to take a vacation to the beautiful Sanibel Island, Florida.  And she was immediately swept away by the gorgeous ocean views...and the shells.  Eileen couldn't get enough of the shells!  See?

Eileen wrote:
I’m seeing charm-type bracelets, mosaics, collages, pendant necklaces, even shadow boxes of shells. Where to begin?

Does anyone know how to drill holes in shells?

Well, she must have figured it out, because before too long, Eileen had a picture of a beautiful Mother of Pearl necklace and earring set that she made featured on her blog, The Artful Crafter, and she also wrote up the instructions!  So if you too have a collection of shells sitting around waiting for inspiration, take a look at the link above and see how Eileen used some of hers.   

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Oahu Hawai'i: Bishop Museum

When we went to visit Hawai'i, I really didn't want to spend too much time inside museums (for obvious reasons, see above!), but one that I had to make an exception for is the Bishop Museum on Oahu.

The Bishop Museum has a fabulous collection of Pacific Island wearables, some of which I'll share with you here.  There are also amazing full-sized costumes made for various occasions, but I didn't feel any of my pictures did them justice. 

Feathered capes, 'i'iwi bird

Shell anklet

Whale teeth necklaces - all whale teeth automatically belonged to the chief
Samoa, Tonga, Society Island

Headdress of turtle shell, coconut fiber, pearl and clam shell

Earplugs of whale tooth

Whale teeth and plant fiber necklace
Austral Islands

Headdress of chicken feathers and fibers
Rapa Nui

Lei made from ferns

Leis made from bone, nut, and feathers

Lei made from dog teeth

Cotton and whale tooth necklace

Copyright 2012 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, April 21, 2012

Murano Italy - part two

The other day in part one, I showed you shots of the glass factory that we visited plus a video of the master glass maker in action.  Today, I want to share some shots from the The Museo Vetrario (Glass Museum).  This smallish museum is definitely worth the trip for glass and/or bead lovers!

I can't completely remember now why I didn't take any pictures inside the museum, but I'm pretty sure it was because they didn't allow it.  Too bad, because it was wonderful.  After feasting my eyes on gorgeous glass and ancient beads all day, I felt ready to start making Murano glass bead purchases, fairly certain that I would now know how to spot quality and avoid buying cheap tourist imports by mistake.  Here are some of the beads that I got:

Some things to look for: thick, high quality foil, glorious saturated colors, small holes with no bead release residue (except on beads with exposed foiling), and loose - not strung. 

Copyright 2012 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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Friday, April 20, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the new book by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel: Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry--it is marvelous! 

A Bead A Day
Have ring blanks, will hot glue! Lisa's looking for ideas on what to hot glue onto these simple ring blanks. Jewelry Making
Love fabric and beads? Then bead embroidery might be your cup of jewelry tea.  

Beads & Books
Michelle shares ideas on how to find craft shows for selling your work.  

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Gaea shares some small beady indulgences she is dreaming of to distract herself from tax season  

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cherie Burbach: Pictures of Paris

Artist: Cherie Burbach
Cherie Burbach

My most memorable trip was to Paris when we got married. I had always wanted to go to Paris and found myself taking pictures nonstop so I could remember it all. I loved just walking around the streets of Paris and seeing everyday life. I found myself taking pictures of a lot of things that I wanted to paint later, or those that just inspired me to do so. I also wrote a lot of poetry while I was there.

It's funny what I took pictures of in Paris. I photographed the usual things (Eiffel Tower, architecture) but I also snapped a lot of "regular" pictures of Paris life, like parks, people eating at cafes, or shop windows. The two pictures attached are from a park and the window of a bakery. The picture I painted (below) is an area we walked past on our way to the Monet Museum.

One of the poems I wrote was about a funny story from one of our dinners. Paris has such wonderful food - food is actually an artform there - and I got all caught up in trying new things while I was there. During one dinner, our waiter tried to gently warn me against trying one of the dishes, and I didn't listen. I was so caught up in the excitement of the trip. Well, the poem reveals what happened.


We sit at a café in Paris
and the waiter
so professional, jovial,
good at his job,
tells us the specials.

I order the chitterling
my husband, steak béarnaise
and the waiter asks
“Are you sure, Madam?
It is not for every taste.”

I am caught up
in this trip,
this city,
for a week
we have tasted

the finest foods
I never thought I would eat
and everything
without exception
has been superb.

I feel invincible
there is nothing
I could eat
that I wouldn’t like.
I’m sure of it.

I order away
yes –
chittlering –
let me try it!
I’m here to try!

Half an hour later
the waiter will pass by our table, and grin
at my husband,
plate of chittlering before him,
and I, with steak béarnaise.

Copyright Cherie Burbach, all rights reserved

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Murano Italy - part one

Murano is quieter and slower paced than Venice

A few years ago, our poor little art student was forced to go study oil painting and rock carving in Orvieto Italy.  It was a hardship, but she went off bravely.  And we went off bravely at the end of her four-month semester to pick her up!  As a part of that trip, we traveled up to Venice, and of course we had to make a side-trip to Murano to drool over the glass.

Yes, the tower is leaning.  No, it probably won't fall over.
We started our visit with a glass factory tour, of course.  Since we chose the factory at random, we felt pretty fortunate to have found a master glass maker who liked to show off.  Maybe they all do...I don't know for sure!

Here is a short video that I shot, followed by some wonderful still shots that Dani took:

Saturday - part two

Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 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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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TAST week 16 - French knots

I've ended up not adding the last few stitches in the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge to my quilt, but I have used them for other projects.  Back on track this week, with a stitch that I felt would enhance several areas on my manipulated fabric quilt: the French knot.  So simple, so lovely!

TAST week 1 - fly stitch
TAST week 2 - blanket stitch
TAST week 3 - feather stitch
TAST week 4 - cretan stitch 
TAST week 5 - herringbone stitch
TAST week 6 - chevron stitch
TAST week 7 - detached chain stitch
TAST week 8 - chain stitch
TAST week 9 - couching stitch 
TAST week 10 - running stitch 
TAST week 11 - whipped wheel stitch 
TAST week 16 - French knot

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Artist profile: Leslie Rogalski

Artist: Leslie Rogalski
Leslie Rogalski Bead Jewelry & Art
Sleepless Beader blog
Sleepless Beader etsy shop

Leslie, unless a beader has been living under a big beaded rock, they will know your name!  When you're not creating specifically for a magazine or company, how do you describe your own work? 

I’m definitely best known by my own name as a seed beader and from doing TV shows.  I have a geometric approach to design. I'm also recognized for my use of rubber O rings and rubber tube, industrial ephemera as well as Swarovski crystal elements within my designs. I’m getting great feedback for my method of drawing out bead diagrams right in front of you, I call this "Doodlebeads" and I have DVDs which use this method to teach basic seed bead stitching. I use my name because I appeared on the bead scene in 2005 as the editor in chief of the now defunct Step by Step Beads, and people know me from that as well as my contributions to other magazines from many publishers. But I also have the name Sleepless Beader linked to me from my Etsy shop and blog—a name that is trademarked.

Beaded Bead Necklace

What is your creative process like? 

My blog and Etsy shop are called Sleepless Beader ™, which says a lot about my working hours! I am most inspired by playing with a mess of materials, mixing and matching, stitching and cutting apart… trying various things, an endless process for designs. Though I rarely draw actual designs first,  I do keep a sketchbook and will draw shapes or jot notes for styles and looks that grab me, be they textural (clockworks) or just  notes such as "think medieval banners." And, I have the TV on almost all the time, listening to reruns of favorite shows. I also listen to show tunes more than anything else, keeping up with my daughter who is a musical theater major in college.

What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
I hold a degree in illustration and design from the University of the Arts. This formal training definitely helped hone my visualization and conceptualization skills, and most definitely gave me the craft to develop my Doodlebeads illustrations.  Also I grew up around artists and always the arts since childhood. I started out to become a childrens' book illustrator. I have sketchbooks filled with fantasy illustrations and always loved to draw. I evolved into fabric art by teaching myself how to sew because I couldn’t find clothing I liked that I could afford!  I created fiber sculpture and also had a line of wearable art which I marketed through the ACC and Buyers Market Craft shows. So I have a lot of experience in many things that all contribute to what I do now.

Steampunk Cuff

Is there a tool or material that you can't imagine living without?
I know I could make art from any materials. But I must say I'd miss my computer the most, since I work from home, which can be isolating. I love having the world as my library on my desk!

What inspires you to create? 
The materials themselves give me ideas for bringing things together in final forms, but certainly specific historic eras and objects inspire me: medieval, tribal and ethnic arts, medallions and insignia, steampunk, the color black, metallic surfaces, Cirque-du Soleil, futuristic shapes, almost anything. I'm not a very flowery or frilly artist, I have to say. I love organic forms especially aquatic, but seem to need more control over my work. Symmetry is my inclination more than freeform.

Pasta Beads

What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
I have many projects going at once, so can put something down and work on something else for a while.  I never have a total block, ever.

What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry? 
Keep honing your technical skills, keep learning new skills, and definitely find your OWN voice. Stick to what you like, I don’t care what people say about stretching by using colors you don’t like and all that.  Make what you’d wear yourself or find a muse to design for. Pay attention to what catches your eye and ask why. AND BUILD A GINORMOUS STASH. If you have only one toy and it gets used up, what then? Won’t you get bored?

Tribal Cuff

What takes up the majority of your time besides your art?
MARKETING. Maintaining my online web site, FB pages and Etsy shop. Blogging.  Travel for TV shows including Beads, Baubles and Jewels, and Jewelry Television. Running a business is a huge part of my life outside just making the art itself. And of course my real priority: my family, friends, and being a stage mother!

Much of what I do as a working bead artist is for industry clients, using their products, teaching how to use their tools, featuring their specific components. I LOVE the challenges of all this, and it makes me reach beyond what I would otherwise, so it's a great, fun ride, no question. My sponsors are the best.  I love being on the TV shows on their behalf and enjoy a wonderful working relationship with companies for instance as a Beadalon Design team member and a CREATE YOUR STYLE with Swarovski Ambassador. But if I could spend my days making only what I wanted … with the materials I love best. SIGH. That would be a dream life.

What's your favorite comfort food, book, and other favorite things?
Salty pretzels, coffee, martinis with lots of olives. Law and Order. Star Trek TNG. LOTR, and Pirates.  Classic old movies. I'm also a major Disney World freakazoid and would visit as often as possible if I could afford it. I like to tap dance. But for beading time: Broadway tunes, TV and movies: I adore fantasy and sci fi, especially really bad movies with giant, genetic mutations of snakes, sharks, gators, etc. Perfect beading movies!

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