Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sequintastic September blog hop!

My friend Sarah, who writes the delightful blog Saturday Sequins, decided to organize a blog hop in order to subvert our thinking to motivate us to think about using sequins in our bead embroidery.  Sarah makes bright, happy pieces, and it just wasn't happening for me.  Even though I often do make bright happy pieces.  Finally, I decided to stop trying to fight it, and gave in to the dark side.

That meant that there are an unfortunately small number of sequins on this piece, at least so far.  I used a wonderful piece of fabric that I've been hoarding saving for a special occasion.  To that I added a fabulous button that I found out in Portland OR when we went out to visit our daughter.  And then I started quilting with embroidery floss, antique gold sequins, and coppery-colored 11/0 seed beads.

After I was finished quilting, I added some color to the surface with some Inktense pencils ( Set of 72).  Love the misty, spooky effect.  Sometime in the future I will be posting the entire tutorial for this quilted piece on Mixed Media Artist, and I'll make sure to mention it here on Beading Arts for those who are interested in non-wearables.

Note 10/08/12: Here's part one of my tutorial on Mixed Media Artist 
Note 10/16/12: And here's part two on Mixed Media Artist

Set of 72






Karen W...




Dawn Marie...






























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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Friday, September 28, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew shares his latest win! Check out "Night of the Shaman" that top honors in Nina Design's most recent design challenge. Jewelry Making
There is still plenty of time to make some Halloween jewelry.  

Art Bead Scene
Heather shares some tips of the trade for jewelry designers who are interested in wholesaling.  

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows the results of the liquid clay slip application experiments she recently made.  

Resin Crafts!
This week Carmi shows you how to glaze a feather with resin!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Bead Soup, the great book by Lori Anderson, has arrived! Enjoy this review about Lori's delicious concoction by jean!  

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book review: Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies

Ready for the next book in the ever-popular Lark Beadweaving Master Class series?  Well here it is: Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies.  What a beautiful book!

One of my favorite things to do with seed beads when I'm weaving rather than embroidering is to stitch up a rather plain base and embellish it with multiple passes (like this embellished RAW necklace).  Bingo!  The very first chapter of projects in Sabine's book is called Embellished Bases, and I'm in heaven!  There is no reason to struggle with your beads.  By creating a very straightforward base of RAW (or cubic RAW for an additional challenge), you can create an embellished masterpiece without losing your eyesight or your mind!

As you work your way through the book, you will really come to appreciate Sabine's father's engineering influence in the chapters on creating bezels and other sculptural structures.  Some of the pendants and bangles you will swear must be built on an armature...but no.  Artistry and precision, that's what you'll find in this inspiring new book!

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Lampwork projects from the archives

These projects mostly focus on what to do with the beads once you've made them.  I don't consider myself to be either a lampwork artist nor, heaven forbid, a proper lampwork teacher.  I know just enough to be somewhat dangerous!  But if you've been fooling around with making beads, and you'd like some ideas for using them...browse away!  

Basic earrings 

Beaded Lily necklace 

Perth the Turtle necklace 

Stringing ideas for using lampwork beads

Antique key and lampwork glass necklace  

My favorite glass beads to make

Lampwork jewelry designs

A woven seed bead bezel for a lampwork bead

My Heart's Chatelaine necklace

Rock Candy necklace

Simple stringing for a glass pendant

Love is a Rose necklace

A Leftover Toggle necklace

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean falls for Erin Siegel's tutorial which she designed for Ornamentea and decides to challenge herself by trying it! It is irresistibly cool! Jewelry Making
Tammy says "yes" to wire hangers, especially when they become part of a pair of earrings.

7000 Bracelet Program
Lisa James has put out a request for more donations...around 500 families are still waiting for a bracelet!

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Friday, September 21, 2012

A funny thing happened on the way to writing a booklet

My booklet became a chapter in another book.  I thought that my e-book Every Bead Has a Story was going to be the end, but apparently not.  You might remember that earlier this year, I wrote a little e-booklet called Three Bezels Plus a Bonus.  Well, although I didn't know it at first, that e-booklet has turned out to be chapter one of a new book, Some Assembly Required.

While the first chapter dealt with adding Swarovski crystals to your bead embroidery, Chapter Two, Peyote & RAW Bezels Plus Peyote Texture turns to free form cabochons.  Combining two different stitches allows you to stitch these odd-shaped treasures right into your mixed media bead embroidery projects with ease and style.  Three different styles, in fact!  In addition, I'll show you how to extend the peyote stitch into ruffles which will add amazing texture to your beaded pieces.

Just like with the first e-book, I'm offering this one chapter by chapter, so that you can download only the parts that interest you, and so that no one has to wait until the entire book is finished ;-)  For only $3, you can download your own copy of this 52 page chapter if you're interested in this topic.  Here is the direct link:
Some Assembly Required

Or you can see all of my e-books available here: Bead Embroidery e-Books

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Glass artist: Joy Scott

Joy Scott
Coastal Art Glass

My jewelry is dramatic and bold. I am inspired by my surroundings, my pieces all have an organic and abstract quality. Colors and designs play an important part with each pendant.

I retired from the business world and moved to Maine with my husband and poodle. I was always interested in art and was a potter for many years. On a trip out west I took a fused glass class and it was love at first piece.  Since I live on the coast of Maine my company name is Coastal Art Glass.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Czech beads straight from the source!

Do you love Czech beads as much as I do?  And how about the buttons?  Wow!  Beautiful Czech pressed beads have long been a favorite of mine for adding to my bead embroidery.  No other pressed beads have that clean edge and beautiful true color that these beauties have. 

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to gain a new sponsor for our site: Best Beads, who bring you Czech beads directly from the Czech Republic.  Yup, you read that right...directly from the source!  You will find their colorful banner ad right over in the sidebar.  I'm also adding them to our suppliers list, which you will find at the tab at the top of this page.  Please go visit them!

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Book review: Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue

Everyone who knows seed beads is aware of the gorgeous body of work being created by many Japanese artists these days.  What is it about the culture or the artistic sensibilities of artists like Sonoko Nozue that makes their work so gracefully elegant and distinctive?  I don't know the answer for sure, but there is certainly a long tradition of exquisite design in many art media in Japan.

Lark Books has chosen Sonoko to write this next addition to the Beadweaving Master Class series: Japanese Beadwork.  While the instructions and illustrations are superior, as you always find in this series, this is not a beginner's book.  There are layers and layers of details worked into most of the projects.  Certainly an extremely motivated beginner would be able to make some of the projects, but it would most likely take a few practice pieces first!  No problem...there are dozens of ideas to try.

One of my favorite ideas from the book is how Sonoko triple-embellishes a "simple" spiral bead rope.  I love the basic spiral, and just when I thought I'd seen everything that could be done with it, Sonoko comes along and adds a few more layers!

Would you like to try out one of the projects for free?  Here's a free download from Lark with instructions to make the Sonoko Wave necklace!

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book review and inspired projects: Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art

Last month, I read through and shared about my new favorite book, Exploring Dimensional Quilt Art by C. June Barnes.  You'll find my review of the book here on Mixed Media Artist.  To say that this book has been inspirational to me feels like the understatement of the year...I am still pouring back through it for new ideas to try.

Also over on MMA, you'll find info about these two projects that I made based upon that inspiration.  You see, this is not a project book, but is still full of more ideas than I'll ever have time to explore.  Here are the pieces I made:

A mobius strip bracelet

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Glass artist: Dolores Barrett

Fly Me to the Moon

Dolores Barrett
Glass Artistry

I am a California based glass artist who specializes in atypical glass art adornment. I began my career in this medium in 1999, when I discovered that dichroic glass added a nice accent to my porcelain painting. The allure of fused glass completely took over as I segued from my life as a music teacher and choir director, to that of a professional artist. Many bouts of experimentation have resulted in the unusual and cutting edge designs I currently produce for glass enthusiasts and galleries across the country.

All Eyes Are Upon You

All Eyes Are Upon You 
This piece was a result of trying to combine glass work with my experience as a porcelain portrait painter. The eyes are colored glass with hand painted details and accents. The fused glass "covers" are mounted 1/4" over the pupils and create the illusion of following the viewer when seen at different angles.

Precious Beads

Precious Beads 
My ongoing love affair with gold (and how to incorporate it in glass). Pure gold foil is fused between layer of clear and colored glass. I can then fuse it to any shape desired. These beads were shaped in hand carved molds I designed for a more organic/natural look. The multiple holes are reminiscent of aquatic life.

Fly Me to the Moon (at top of post)

Very structural/dimensional piece (up to 2" in depth). I was highly influenced by mid-century modern design and the optimism of the "atomic age". Fused glass "moons" adorn a series of fused orbs and hemispheres.

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Glass artist update: Mark Hamilton

Butterfly Galaxy Cremation Pendant

We met glass artist Mark Hamilton three years ago at a time when he was concentrating most of his efforts on creating beautiful glass pendants that he sold on his site, Solstice Glass.  At the time, he was experimenting with making deeply meaningful glass cremation pendants.  You can read Mark's profile here.

Clear Spiral Cremation Pendant

Since then, Mark writes that he is now focused almost exclusively on creating glass cremation jewelry for people and pets, and has set up a second website to feature them: Psyche Cremation Jewelry.  He also makes marbles for those who would prefer a non-wearable memorial.  I find this concept and Mark's work extremely moving.  

Sunrise Cremation Pendant

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up! Jewelry Making
Tammy takes a look at a bea-u-tiful bead weaving book.

Art Bead Scene
Rebecca's breezy necklace commemorating the end of summer and featuring fun artisan materials is available as a free project!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's Beading to be done!
A wonderful book deserves a good review! Jean reviews the fascinating and terrific jewelry design book, The Spirit of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli!  

A Bead A Day
Do you like to put a little craftiness into your jewelry making? Lisa's altering a filigree component with a paint pen.  

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Glass artist: Florence Vicil

Florence Vicil 
Vicil Anaya - Jewelry and Gifts

I like making fused glass pendants, rings, and other pieces. My designs are simple and uncluttered and function more as statement pieces because of the size, weight, and look.. You will not see many different colors of glass and dichroic glass lumped together in one piece or the uninteresting shapes found in typical fused glass jewelry. I complement the glass with silver (my primary metal) and gemstones. My inspiration comes from Art Nouveau, period films, my Puerto Rican background, and personal experiences.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Giveaway on Mixed Media Artist!

Don't miss our Artful Halloween book giveaway, running until September 19 over on Mixed Media Artist!  No, it has nothing to do with beading, but I thought some of you might be interested anyway ;-)  Visit the link above to enter.

Book review: Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry

Maggie Roschyk is a name that is quite familiar to fans of Kalmbach's Bead&Button magazine.  So what a treat to read through her book, Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry and catch a glimpse of how that amazing mind works.  Here's the thing: Maggie wants to turn us all into designers, able to move beyond simply following directions and into designing for ourselves. 

Learn Maggie's tips for choosing the most wonderful bead colors and finishes, auditioning your beads, and choosing the best stitch for the job at hand.  Maggie will give an advanced beginner the confidence to step out and begin designing original beadwork.

So Maggie, just where do you get your ideas?  This book answers that question!  A good deal of attention is paid to the inspiration and creative process for each of the gorgeous 13 projects.  These are not beginner projects, but there is a technique review in the back of the book that could make it possible for a highly motivated beginner or advanced beginner to create these pieces.  In addition, Maggie shows some smaller variations wherever it's practical, and some of these might be better for less-experienced stitchers.  Oh, and there are color variations too, to further tickle your own inner designer.

My favorite piece is the African Turquoise Tubes necklace on page 78.  I have stitched plenty of brick stitch frames around larger beads, but Maggie has a slightly different method of creating the thread bridge that I really like.  A lot!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Lampwork basics and FAQs

All the Daughters of Eve

I don't have pictures of myself actually making the beads, but there are plenty of places online where you can see that, just not with me in the picture ;-)  Instead, what I've got for you here is a round-up of all the basic posts and tutorials that I've written on lampworking in the past.  Here are just a few of the stages that my poor beads go through.  In this particular example, I needed to make a large batch of basic spacer and nugget beads.  Since this can get to be very dull, I allowed myself to play around every so often and make some "fun" beads, like the female-shaped beads in All the Daughters of Eve shown above.

After the pictures is the informational round-up.


Lampworking FAQs 

Lampwork and hot glass forums

Safety concerns with lampworking

An Introduction to lampworking by Ann Scherm Baldwin
An excellently photographed introduction to the steps involved in making lampworked beads.

Best books on lampworking, fusing, and glass bead design

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Monday, September 10, 2012

A woven seed bead bezel for a lampwork bead

Using a left over lampwork glass beads that I received from Beaded Lily, I decided to figure out an easy way to bezel it with seed beads.  I'm always tempted to do this with large beads, because the hole is just so darned convenient for holding the bead weaving in place while you're working.

You'll see in my photos below that the bezel often slipped off of the exact spot it was intended to end up, but this didn't matter at all.  In fact, it actually made it a bit easier to stitch, and I just had to remember to shove it into place and check the fit after each round.  No bad surprises at the end, please!

1. Using size 11/0 seed beads, ladder stitch with two beads in each stitch around the outer rim of the focal bead.  Make an even number of stitches.  Run the thread back and forth through the lampwork bead hole to anchor the bezel.

2. Brick stitch a row on both edges of the ladder stitches.  Depending upon the thickness of your bead, you may have to adjust how many total rows of brick stitch you add.  I only needed one on each edge.

3. Add a bead between every pair of brick stitches on both edges of the band. 

4. Add a row of peyote stitch on one edge.  Pull tight and work the thread up to the other edge, which will now become the top or the front.

5. Using peyote stitch, add size 8/0 or 6/0 seed beads between the beads from step 3.

6. Add another row of peyote stitch, adding size 11/0 or 15/0 between each larger seed bead and pulling the work tight.  The band needs to come up just over the edge of the focal bead.      

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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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Yay for Liz!

Liz, aka KipperCat, won the free class from!  She said that she loves the peyote buttons class, but I wonder if that's what she'll choose, or if another class will turn her head... :-)

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