Thursday, January 31, 2013

Reader question: a chain that doesn't fit

Hi Cyndi,

I just purchased a copper pendant that did not include a chain, so I purchased one today online.  After I purchased it, I realized the 3mm snake chain is not going to fit through the round copper hole that is attached to the pendant.  Do you sell a copper part that I could attach to the existing hole on the pendant that will be large enough for the chain to go through?  If not, do you have any other suggestions?  When I retire, or maybe I should say if I retire (will be 70 yrs old shortly) I would love to create and make my own jewelry.   So I aspire to what you do everyday.  

Looking forward to your advice.   Continued joy and blessings in your jewelry making!

Best wishes,


Hi Carol,
Thanks for your question!  This is a common problem to end up with a chain that won't quite fit through the bail, but often it's because the end of the chain, and not the chain itself, is too big.  I don't sell anything that would help you, but I might still be able to help...not sure.  Not knowing what your pendant and chain look like exactly, I can make a few suggestions.  Can the end of the chain be removed to slide the chain through and then replaced?  Can you drill out the hole or have someone else do it for you to make it big enough to accommodate the chain?  Could you buy a couple of larger jump rings that the chain would fit through and add them?  Could you buy some copper wire and fashion your own bail?  Here is an example of that:
Charm Necklace

I hope you will be able to retire to a lifetime of making things.  It is a great life, and I have been very truly blessed.

Best ~

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Reader responses: my best piece of advice

We've got the #1, hands down, most amazing and generous readers here at Beading Arts!  I asked for your best piece of advice, and you responded with some great thoughts!  Thank you all.
Saturday Sequins said...
My answer is also related to bead embroidery, and it's a lot like yours: take your time!

The neater your stitches are, the nicer they look -- and also, the sturdier! The slower you go, especially at first, the more likely you are to make tidy little stitches and keep your spacing right.

My other advice is to play and experiment. A lot. :)

Anonymous Pat Gray said...
Copy the masters - find a piece you like and try to recreate at least a part of it. This used to be the method used to study art, and I've found it's a great way to learn or improve my skills, or to just get out of a rut.

By the way, I am NOT advocating the theft of the designs of others and/or representing them as your own. When you're done, rip the pieces apart and build something original using the same technique/colors or tuck them away for future reference instead.


Blogger MiddleEarthsJewels said...
Hello.. just would like to thank you all for these bits of advice..I am starting my first beaded project tomorrow after receiving a 'gift box' full of supplies from a very kind accomplished bead embroiderer, and they certainly help!

May I add my bit of advice? Don't be afraid to do what you really like or 'feel' is wonderful. It took me years to get the courage! Do not to be too influenced by what is the 'rage', what sells the best, or in is fashion. Your own 'niche' will make for the best art.


Blogger Jeanne aka Gem Chick said...
I agree with MiddleEarth's Jewels comment to do what you love.

I would like to add that if you are working with wire do practice first with inexpensive craft wire before moving on to sterling or gold.


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Jewelry education for 2013

What would you like to learn how to do this year? Personally, I'm looking into soutache bead embroidery a bit!  I hope you'll take the challenge, and pick something new to work on, and maybe even to master, in 2013.  Here are links to my updated posts about various jewelry education opportunities.

Free bead embroidery stitches e-book

Information and tutorials to get you started

Know your jewelry terms

Jumpstart your learning curve with a kit

Do you want to design for yourself?

Take A Stitch Tuesday 2013

Bead Journal Project 2013 

The Wearable Art Project 2013

Spring/Summer 2013 color and style forecast

Jewelry and beading shows with classes

Jewelry and beading school classes

Online jewelry and beading education

Creativity resources online

Online color training and tools

Online jewelry design tools

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Bead Journal Project: January 2013

Bead Journal Project 2013

I am so happy to be involved with the Bead Journal Project again for its 6th year!  I have been involved with it since the very beginning, but I've had life happen a few times during these years.  Last year, I knew I would be delayed in getting started, but I signed up anyway, thinking that I'd eventually catch up.  Didn't happen.  Oh well.

I'm charged up and ready to go this year, and I've decided to try something completely different: for a number of years, I've been intrigued by projects that combine bead embroidery with bead weaving.  Many of you know that I've been working on finishing up my second e-book, called Some Assembly Required, which covers the use of bead weaving to embellish bead-embroidered cabochons, and to create bridges between these cabochons to form a finished piece.  Well, my new idea for this year involves using bead weaving patterns to surround and enhance those cabochons in the form of fancy bezels and surrounds. 

So here is the first:

 In progress

    January Cabochon, finished

I used a beautiful peacock on black Czech bead that I bought from The Best Beads Shop as the center.  In fact, all of my pieces this year will use the same beads as cabochons so that I'll have a coherent color palette to work with at the end of the year for constructing a new necklace.  Yay!!  I'm so psyched to get going with the next! 

Copyright 2013 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, January 26, 2013

Giveaway: Tagua nut beads from Ecuadorian Hands

Ecuadorian Hands has been a part of our list of suppliers for quite some time now as a bead supplier to consider.  They are also one of our advertisers, whom you will find in the sidebar!  Tagua nut beads, aka exotic ivory, are grown and harvested in Ecuador and crafted into beautiful beads and pendants that I know you'll want to try out yourself...

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

Would you like to win a nice selection of tagua nut beads from among those show above?  I can't tell you exactly what beads you will get because they will be shipped to you directly by Ecuadorian Hands, but I'm sure they'll be wonderful!  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, 2013

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
The Memories and Thanks Blog Hop which was orchestrated by the wonderful Lori Anderson was very moving to participate in. Jean thanks a young friend of her son Robert for her devotion and for everything she has done for Jean's family!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew shares three class samples he made using Premium Seed Bead Mixes and peyote stitch. Jewelry Making
Get hammered and make some pretty Valentine's Day jewelry. 

Art Bead Scene
Brandi gives us a thorough run down on how to select which metal to work with when designing: think of metal as colour.  

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reader question: your best piece of advice

Since we are focusing on business and technical advice and education this month, it seemed really appropriate to post this question from my friend Val.  Val has a site called Journey into Art, and she asked for our help:  

If you could give one piece of advice that helped you out the most when you first started, what would that be?

My answer, in relationship to bead embroidery: Pay attention to all the little details and don't crowd your beads!

So what about all of you?  What is YOUR best piece of advice for new beaders or jewelry-makers?   Share your comment here or in an email if you'd like to share an image too!  Send your reply and attachment to cyndi @ (remove the spaces), and please put advice in the subject line!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yay for Norma!

Norma, who writes Moonlit Fantaseas blog, is the winner of Simply Stylish Crystal Jewelry!  Congratulations to Norma!!

Book giveaway: Push Jewelry

You will find my review for Lark Publications volume Push Jewelry here, and now you have an opportunity to win a copy!  This seems like an especially appropriate prize for this month, since we are concentrating on learning new skills and techniques. 

***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: January 30, 2013.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beading and jewelry how-tos from the blogosphere

So, have you decided yet?  What new skill do you want to learn this year?  I'll be asking you again for real on Thursday, so think about it until then.  Here are some ideas I gathered up last year that may help you get started:   

Jewelry Making Daily by Tammy Jones
8 ways to set stones
Photographing your jewelry
Resin confessions and foolproof solutions
Intro to the flex shaft

Saturday Sequins by Sarah Sequins
Sequin sources

Beading Daily by Jennifer
5 Free projects for beading with lampwork glass beads

Tips and tricks

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Resin Crafts!
Now that ETI has a new resin clay, Carmi can work in 3d, hence her steam punk wolf cuff.

Snap out if it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean shows and tells: a piece she made using wonderful!!! Beads Mosaic shop components becomes "The Dragonfly Chatelaine"  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew experiments with bright neon colors and shares his method of dealing with a new color palette. Jewelry Making
Tammy continues to explore bead crochet with this new necklace tutorial: Lampwork Beads and Gold Thread Crochet Necklace.  

Art Bead Scene
Meet the newest member of the Art Bead Scene team - lampwork artist, jewelry designer and teacher Kerry Bogart - and the chance to win a copy of her jewelry photography ecourse, Snaptastic.  


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jewelry artist: Elisabeth DeCaprio

Each piece of Elle Desire Jewelry is gorgeously handcrafted by Elisabeth DeCaprio, mega-talented French born artisan, in her New York City studio of the finest materials & supreme workmanship. The self-taught jewelry maven produces small assortments and custom designs for private clients that include Drena DeNiro (daughter of the famed actor). Some items are even customizable to "build your own".

Elle Desire Jewelry brings us the most exquisite 1-of-a-kind pieces in high quality sterling silver, fine silver, tarnish resistant silver, and 14KT GF set with a wide variety of stunning gemstones and pearls.

Elisabeth has just released the "Love Collection", just in time for Valentine's Day.  Hearts dominate the “Love Collection” as they are the focal point but created with an incredibly contemporary spin.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book review and giveaway: Simply Stylish Crystal Jewelry

Easy stringing and wire work makes this a great book for beginners who want lots of sparkle in their designs!   Simply Stylish Crystal Jewelry contains 31 projects that have been previously published in BeadStyle magazine, meaning they've been editor-tested and approved.  You'll find the usual clear instructions in the basics section, so you'll be able to easily make any of the projects featured here.

Learn to take advantage of all the great new shapes available in crystals these days - leaves, links, frames, oceanic.  The project styles are as varied as the designers who created them!

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

Would you like to win a copy of Simply Stylish Crystal Jewelry?  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: January 23, 2013

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The best business advice - part one

There are several blogs that I read regularly for the astute business and technical knowledge they contain.  I have pointed each of these blogs and their authors out to you over the years, and I've encouraged you to subscribe to them.  If you're thinking about starting a jewelry or bead business in this new year, or you'd like to improve the one you have, I thought you'd benefit from some of the best posts my favorite authors had to share this year:

Art Biz Blog by Alyson Stanfield
Make it legal - 4 steps to an official art business
Ripping through the veils of illusion around online art marketplaces
Why I never advise you to follow your passion
Peek inside a catalog of your art
10 Things to know before you throw your hat in the art licensing arena

ProBlogger  by Darren Rowse
The blogger's guide to google authorship
How to hit content scrapers where it hurts
Turn Twitter followers into blog subscribers in 2 steps
6 Powerful guest post tactics
Why bloggers should self-publish
Creating online courses 101
13 Ways for bloggers to make money with advertising

Jewelry Making Journal by Rena Klingenberg
How to get found on Etsy
Can you really make a living making jewelry?

Part one
Part two

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Spring/Summer 2013 color and style forecast

"Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors."

Now here's a color that I can get behind!  Emerald!!  And here are the rest:

How much attention do you pay to the Pantone and style predictions each year?   I pay attention to general sizes and shapes for clothing and accessories, and to color only if I happen to like it ;-)

The current colors

Large statement pieces

TextWorld fashion trends for 2013

Color schemes for 2013
Put together by Rena Klingenberg so you can see how emerald mixes

Fashion "must haves"
If you believe that sort of thing...

Gemstones and Fashion
Which stones match the pantone colors best?

What jewelry goes with which trends?

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Memories and Thanks blog hop

My friend Lori Anderson invited me to take part in a Memories and Thanks blog hop.  Lori's events are always fun and meaningful, so I signed up.  Plus, it was back in November, and how could anyone possibly know back then that there wouldn't end up being any extra time between November and January 12!

Some of you know that my husband Mike had heart surgery right after the holidays.  He is recovering very well, but we won't know if it's been successful for several more months.  It was a non-open heart procedure called cardiac ablation, intended to cure atrial fibrillation.  Cardiac ablation is considered minor heart surgery, but you can go tell that to someone who isn't in love with the patient!

Like many people with moderate to severe A-Fib, Mike is athletic, lean, and extremely healthy in all other ways.  We have great hopes now that after the monitoring months are over, Mike will be able to go completely off all of the nasty drugs that have been making it hard for him to live his life.

So, long story short, I have had to pull out a previously made piece, and I am dedicating it to my DH, whom I am very very glad I did not lose last week.  I am planning on sharing the tutorial for this pin, which is beaded onto metal mesh, in a few stay tuned.  I think it's a joyful pin, don't you? 

Here are the full list of the participants if you'd like to visit:

Hostess, Lori Anderson       Pretty Things

 Adlinah Kamsir                   Dream Struck Designs
 Aimee Biondolillo               Aimee's Jewelry Treasures
 Alicia Marinache                 All the Pretty Things 
 Andra Marasteanu               Handmade by Indra Marasteanu 
 Andrea Trank                      Heaven Lane Creations
 April Grinaway                   Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Barb Solem                         Vivi Magoo Presents
Becky Pancake                    Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery                         Stories by Indigo Heart
Birgit Klughardt                  Gites Beads
Bonnie Coursolle                Jasper's Gems
Cassi Paslick                       Beads: Rolling Downhill
Catherine King                    Catherine's Musings
Cece Cormier                      The Beading Yogini
Chandra Leitz                     Juniper Goods
Charissa Nesler                   FireStorm Designs
Charlie Jacka                       Clay Space
Christina Hickman              Vintage Treasures Jewelry
Christine Murrow               Charis Designs Jewelry
Christine Stonefield            Sweet Girl Design
Chrizette Bayman               Bead Soup Mix
Cindy Wilson                      It's My Sea of Dreams
CJ Bauschka                      4 His Glory Creations by CJ
Crystal Thain                      Here Bead Dragons
Cyndi Lavin                        Beading Arts
Debbie Rasmussen             A little of this, a little of that
Denielle Hagerman             Some Beads... and other things I like
Diana Gonzalez                  Arte y Poemas
Diane Hawkey                    diane hawkey
Dita Basu                            ankarshilpa
Donetta Farrington             Simply Gorgeous
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell     Deeliteful Jewelry Creations
Elena Adams                      ~~TBA~~
Emma Todd                        A Polymer Penchant
Erin Kenny                         beadiful therapy
Erin Prais-Hintz                  Treasures Found
Gina Hockett                      Freestyle Elements
Gloria Allen                        Innovative Dreams Jewelry
Heather Marston                 CSW Designs
Inge von Roos                    Inge's Blog
Iveth Caruso                       Creative Atelier
Jacqueline Marchant          Fiddledeedee Jewelry
Jami Shipp                         Celebrating Life!
Jean Yates                          Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading to Do!
Jennifer Reno                     Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Jenny Robledo                   Peppa's Dream
Jennifer VanBenschoten    Jewelry, Art and Life
Jessica Klaaren                  Cellar Door Jewelry
Jessica Murray                   Whimsical Monkey
Joan Williams                     lilruby jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton            It's a Beadiful Creation
Joanne Browne                   josjewels1
Jodie Marshall                    Jodie Marshall Lampwork Beads Wearable Art
Johanna Rhodes                 Fire Phoenix Creations
John Rasmussen                 Rasumussen Gems and Jewelry LLC
JuLee Wolfe                       The Polymer Penguin
Julie Bean                           Blue Pig Blog
Karen Mitchell                   Over the Moon Designs
Karin King                         The Sparklie Things Blog
Karin Slaton                       Backstory Beads
Kat Douglas                       Washoe Kat's
Kay Bolton                        Toodles and Binks
Kayla Potega                     The Eclectic Element
Kelly Hosford Patterson     The Traveling SideShow
Kim Ballor                          Vitamin C ... A Daily Does of Creativity
Kim Dworak                       CianciBlue
Kim Houston                       The Pink Martini
Kym Hunter                         Kym Hunter Designs
Laren Dee Barton                Laren Dee Designs
Lea Avroch                          LA Jewelry Designs
Leanne Loftus                      First Impression Design

Liddy McLaughlin               Liddy McLaughlin Art
Linda Florian                       Lily's of the Valley Jewelry & Creative Creations
Linda Inhelder                     Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Hamilton                      Simply Irresistable Jewelry
Lisa Suver                            Fancee That
Lori Bowring Michaud        Artfully Ornamental
Lori Poppe                           Adventures in Creativity with Lorillijean
LouAnn Elwell                    Southpass Beads
Mallory Hoffman                 For the Love of Beads
Mandi Effron                       Craft-o-licious
Marcia DeCoster                 MadDesigns
Marcia Dunne                     The Alternative Foundry
Marcy Lamberson              ~Studio Marcy~
Marie Covert                      Creating Interest
Marjorie Savill Linthwaite     bennubirdrising
Marlene Cupo                        Amazing Designs by Marlene
Martha Aleo                           Ornamento
Marti Conrad                          Marti's Buttons -n- Beads
Mary Ellen Parker                  BeeTree by m.e.
Mary Govaars                        MLH Jewelry Designs
Mary Lindell                          Mary Lindell Artisan Jewelry
Maureen Connolly                 Mrs Beadsley's Workshop
Maybeline Tay                       The Jewelry Larder
Melissa Elgin                         The Addicted Beader
Melissa Mesara                      one-eared pig beads
Menka Gupta                         Menka's Jewelry
Michaela Pabeschitz              la mar de bonita
Mischelle Fanucchi               Micheladas Musings
Mona Rae Baroody               Who Does She Bead She Is?
Nan Emmett                          Spirit Rattles -- Spirited Earth
Nancy Pedersen                    Something Heartfelt by Nancy
Natalie Davidson                  NorthShore Days
Nikki Douglas                      Bead It and Weep
Pam Farren                           re-maker
Pam, the Crazier Sister        The Crazy Creative Corner
Pam Traub                            Klassy Joolz
Priya Krish                           Hellopalz 
Rebecca Anderson               Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag                 Becca's Place
Robin Kae Reed                   Artistry HCBD
Rochelle Brisson                  a creative chelle
Rosa Maria Cuevas              Helena de Troya
Sabine Dittrich                     perlendschungel
Sandi Volpe                          Sandi Volpe
Sandra McGriff                    Creative Chaos
Sarah Goode                         Pookledo
Sarah Singer                         String a Song of Sixpence
Serena Trent                         All Things Made Jewelry
Shai Williams                       Shaiha's Ramblings
Sharon Palac                        Sharon's Jewelry Garden
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson    Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
Sheila Davis                         Stone Designs
Shelley Graham Turner        Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey                       Knot Just Macrame
Sherry Baun                         Unicorns Jewels
Skylar Bre'z                         Brising Beads
Stephanie Haussler              Pixybug Designs
Tania Spivey                        Moobie Grace Designs
Terri G.                                Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter                         Tapping Flamingo
Terry Matuszyk                    Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
Toltec Jewels                       Jewel School Friends
Tracy Kruse                         Goldkisses Art
Tracy Martin                        Nutkitten's Jewelry
Zia Parks                              Anzi~Panzi's Work Shoppe
Zoe Marcin                          Beads, Tea and Sweets

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