Wednesday, December 26, 2012

See you in a week!

Love you all!  I'm taking the week off, and I'll see you bright and early in 2013!!

Image: The Meta Picture

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


A Bead A Day
Easy & Effortless...two great words and when they describe a jewelry making project, EVEN BETTER! Stop by A Bead A Day for an easy & effortless project idea! Jewelry Making
Time to make the snowmen, as in jewelry and other crafts that is!

Art Bead Scene
Erin shares a fun and festive free project as part of the Art Bead Scene's 12 Days of Christmas blog project series. 

Resin Crafts!
It is never to late to try and permanently capture Christmas in a vial with resin!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean discusses a project she found while reading her superfun email from Cloth Paper Scissors.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yay for Kay!!

Kay, who writes Kayz Kreationz, is the winner of  A Bounty of Bead and Wire Necklaces!

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Book review and giveaway: A Bounty of Bead and Wire Bracelets

So, last week I featured A Bounty of Bead and Wire Necklaces to give away, and this week, our final week, it will be A Bounty of Bead and Wire Bracelets! Yay!!

This volume is full of the same high quality projects as any Lark Publication: well-designed projects by well-known designers.  The instructions are easily followed, and there are certainly more than enough included that you're bound to find many that you wouldn't mind having for your own...or making for gifts!

***Free Stuff Alert!!!***

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: December 24.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Yay for Becky!

Becky Pancake, who writes Becky Pancake Bead Designs, is the winner of the adorable bead kits from The Bead Shop!  Congratulations, Becky!!

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Yay for Debra!

Debra  has won a copy of  A Bounty of Bead & Wire Earrings!  Congratulations!!

Maruti bead comb

Here's a project that will take a bit of time to design and put together, but is really worth it if you enjoy having hair ornaments to wear at this time of the year.  Using these pretty Kashmiri beads makes the comb very festive and sparkly.  Here are two other projects which also use beads from

One-of-a-kind beaded link necklace

Beaded bracelet with handmade clasp

I used 28 gauge silver-toned craft wire so that it would blend well with the silver-toned comb.  You'll need a handful of focal beads, some smaller support beads, and some seed beads.  I also threw in some crystals for extra sparkle.  Hey, it's the holidays!

The tools you'll need are wire cutters, chain nosed or needle nosed pliers, and a lot of patience.  Be careful when you are pulling the wire through beads and wrapping it around the comb: it can kink easily if you don't work slowly enough.  If that happens, secure the wire, clip it off, and start the next part of your comb with an unkinked section. 

1. Choose a selection of focal beads for your comb.

2. Wrap a long piece (3-4 ft) of 28 gauge wire around one end of the comb.  I started the beading by adding a small branching seed bead and crystal twig, but then I decided to add the rest of them on the second pass.

3. String on the focal and support beads, separated by seed beads and small crystals.  Wrap the wire around the comb, moving towards the other end and wrapping several times in each spot to secure the bead groups. 

4. Wrap the wire several times at the far end and then make a return pass, adding small branching twigs as you go.  Wrap the wire several times to secure back at the beginning, and clip off close.  

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received beads free of charge from in order to write a 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 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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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Making a sparkly button ring

A guest post by The Bead Shop, where you can shop for all your jewellery making needs!

With Vintage style products popping up everywhere this season, this cute and sparkly button ring is right on trend and is just the thing to wow your friends with.  It’s so simple to make and can be made in minutes with just a few basic ingredients. 

You will need:
1 metre of 1mm Craft Wire
12 x 4mm beads
1 x 2 hole button, approximately 20mm
12 x headpins in corresponding colour.
Ring Mandrel
Wire Cutters

First of all take 12 4mm beads, and thread each one onto a separate headpin.  Now make a wrapped loop on each of these.  We have chosen to use 4mm Czech faceted beads in 2 colours for this, however any 4mm beads or crystals will do.

Next take approximately 1metre of 1mm craft wire, fold this in half and thread on all the wrapped loops in a random order until these all hang in the bend of your wire.  Now thread the 2 ends of the wire through the two holes of the button and pull tight.  You should find that all beads fit snugly next to each other.
Now take the ring and place it onto the mandrel at the point that is approximately 2 sizes bigger than desired.  Now wrap each side end of the wire around the mandrel alternately, until each side is wrapped twice, tightly.

Now with the ring still on the mandrel, tightly wrap one end of wire around the base of the button and then repeat this with the other side.  Do this a couple more times until the button is secure.

Finally you will have to secure the ends of your wire in place.  Do this by first taking the ring off the mandrel and then wrapping each end of the wire 3 times around the band on either side of the button, now check the ring fits, if it is too big wrap the ends round a couple more times.  This will make the ring smaller.  Next trim off the excess wire and you lovely ring is finished.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Snap out of it, jean! There's beading to be done!
Can you "tat" yet? Curious and want to give it a try? Jean gives you the lowdown on this wonderful and historical craft! Jewelry Making
With a few simple crochet stitches and some Czech beads, you can make a sparkling necklace with the help of this new tutorial. 

Art Bead Scene
Brandi Hussey shares a tutorial on making gemmy jewelry clusters.

Resin Crafts!
Now and again you need to push the envelope and make a really spectacular resin sample.  

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Book review and giveaway: A Bounty of Bead and Wire Necklaces

So, last week I featured A Bounty of Bead and Wire Earrings to give away, and this week it will be A Bounty of Bead and Wire Necklaces!

What do you do after you've mastered stringing?  Many of us take up wire and chain, so this volume is perfect for those who are ready to expand a bit.  There are a lot of asymmetrical designs included, which will help you train your eye as you read through it.  There is a wide range of materials featured by the designers, and the sizes of different pieces are given so that you can substitute items as you please.  Once again, I am disappointed that there is no suppliers list for the most crucial pieces needed, but at least you will have the sizes.  Some of the pieces use store-bought chain, but some of them feature make-your-own chains, which is really really cool!

So hang on!  Next week I'll be featuring Bounty of Bead and Wire Bracelets for giveaway! 

***Free Stuff Alert!!!***

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: December 19.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gift books for the holidays

Here are the books that I would most recommend for gift giving this year, whether they're for you or for a beading friend! 

For Beginners: Do you know someone who wants to get started with beading and jewelry making? These are all good books which teach the basics of their various media.

Working With Polymer Clay by Lori Wilkes

Necklaceology by Candie Cooper

Rustic Wrappings by Kerry Bogert

The Absolute Beginners Guide to Making Metal Clay Jewelry by Cindy Thomas Pankopf

Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel

Making Wire & Bead Jewelry by Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley

The Venetian Glass Bead by Kathy Fox

New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry by Margot Potter

Endless Sparkle by Aimee Carpenter

The Absolute Beginners Guide: Stitching Beaded Jewelry: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started by Lesley Weiss

Making Elegant Jewelry for Special Occasions by the editors of BeadStyle

Beading in No Time by Linda Peterson

Jewelry and Beading Designs for Dummies by Heather H Dismore & Tammy Powley

Designing Jewelry with Semiprecious Beads by Kim Gover

Create Jewelry - Glass by Marlene Blessing and Jamie Hogsett

Chain Style by Jane Dickerson

Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald

Metalworking 101 for Beaders by Candie Cooper

Crystal Brilliance by Anna Elizabeth Draeger

Bead Embroidery Stitches by Cyndi Lavin (free download)


For Earring Lovers: What more can I say? You can never have too many earrings!

Simply Earrings by Lark Publishing

101 Wire Earrings, Step-by-Step Projects and Techniques by Denise Peck

A Year in Earrings: 365 Designs and Variations by the Editors of BeadStyle magazine

Earring Chic: 35 Hand-Selected Projects by Jennifer Claydon

A Bounty of Bead and Wire Earrings by Nathalie Mornu

30-Minute Earrings by Lark Publishing


For Those Who Want It All: So many media, so little time. Any of these books will help you take your work to the next level!

Metalwork Jewelry by Linda Peterson

Classical Elegance by Maggie Meister

Bead Riffs by Rachel Nelson-Smith

Patterns in Polymer by Julie Picarello

Sensational Bead Embroidery by Sherry Serafini

Handcrafted Wire Findings by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson

Mixed Metal Mania by Kim St Jean

Lacy Wire Jewelry
by Melody MacDuffee

Classic Chain Mail Jewelry
by Sue Ripsch

Embellished Beadweaving by Laura McCabe

Totally Twisted
by Kerry Bogert

Enchanted Adornments
by Cynthia Thornton

Ancient Modern Polymer Clay and Wire Jewelry
by Ronna Sarvas Weltman

The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Jewelry Making Techniques
by Vannetta Seecharran

Seed Bead Fusion
by Rachel Nelson-Smith

Custom Cool Jewelry by Melinda Barta

Heat, color, Set and Fire by Mary Hettmansperger

Metal Clay Fusion by Gordon Uyehara

Metal Magic by Kim St. Jean

Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry by Laura Poplin

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