Friday, March 29, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up! Jewelry Making 
Make a cutie patootie little bunny charm bracelet. 

Resin Crafts 
Resin Crafts has a week of how-to's featuring Nunn Design and a great give-a-way for the winter Nunn Design collection. 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean discovered a great offer from Jewelry Making Daily and wants to share it with her readers! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
Using Now That's a Jig!, Andrew creates a fun ring! 

A Bead A Day 
Do beads and jewelry making components ever take you on a trip down memory lane? Lisa shares a song inspired by sparkle. 

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Seed bead tutorials from the archives

Here are all the seed bead tutorials from the archives, both off-loom bead weaving and bead embroidery.  Some of these are quick and dirty techniques, and some follow a larger project from beginning to end.  Enjoy!

Bead embroidery techniques

Free e-book on bead embroidery stitches

Treasure Chest: a basic bead embroidered project

Peyote stitch a beaded bead

The spiral stitch

A free form beaded pendant from a geode

Two drop peyote beaded beads

Right angle weave bezel and bail

Cigar box handbag

A simple square stitch bail

Twisted peyote spiral necklace

Simple cuff bracelet

A wrapped paua necklace

Free form seed bead necklace

Spiral square stitch

Autumn Arbor

Beaded cabochon pendants

A free form beaded bauble

Beaded flowers

Floral bead embroidered necklace

Interesting spiral

Deco scarab necklace

Lady of Shalott

Midnight at the Oasis

Floral seed bead chain

Embroidered cuff bracelets

Making barnacles with seed beads

Autumn Vines

A sparkling rivoli pendant

Dark Lady

Peyote spiral ring bracelet

Beaded postcards

Turquoise tube bead necklace

A free form peyote necklace 

Blossoms of the Moonlit Waves

A bead embroidered bracelet with cabochons

Making an easy bezel for a curved surface

Perth the Turtle finds a home (spiral rope)

Polymer clay beaded cabochon

Ocean Lariat

Beaded ornaments for your tree or table

Beaded ornament covers

Three Bezels Plus a Bonus

Seed bead necklace

Geometric bead embroidery

Beaded Lily necklace

Ancient Waves necklace

Lava bead embroidered necklace

Brass wire flower necklace

Beaded turtles

Woven seed bead bezel for a lampwork bead

Sequin and bead quilt

A beaded hair comb

Easy seed bead woven bracelet

Some Assembly Required e-book

Stringing up a beaded bead necklace

Metal mesh pins

Bead embroidered paua shell centerpiece

My TAST quilt for 2012

Myst of Avalon

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Bead Journal Project: March 2013

 March Cabochon, finished

I had a lot of fun this month coming up with what I wanted to work on for the Bead Journal Project!  I went back to a form of peyote stitch, specifically the Cellini Spiral.  I have previously published instructions for adapting this spiral to bead embroidery, and they can be found in Chapter Four of Every Bead Has a Story.

 In progress

My March piece is smaller than the ones I made for January or February, so I made a second one!

Second March Cabochon, finished

January plus explanation for the series

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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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunshine Shoppe for your crafting needs

Sometimes it can be difficult to find the type of supplies you need to make jewelry and accessories for children.  Not just children, though...also think weddings, garden parties, prom, etc.  Well, here's my suggestion for you to check out: our newest advertiser, the Sunshine Shoppe!  Bows, flowers, headbands, appliques, veiling...all those items that you've had a hard time tracking down, all available on one site!

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Epic Indie Book Fair of Awesome!

 Arctic Frost, from Some Assembly Required

My friend Sarah Sequins, who writes the fabulous blog Saturday Sequins, has put together a book fair of EPIC proportions!  I kinda thought that it would just be a round-up of some self-published books by a few of us arty types that Sarah knows, but I would sorta be WRONG!

Fiction, inspiration, business, art, beading, and an amazing list of self-publishing resources for those who would like to give it a whirl...

Sarah was kind enough to include my most recent e-book, Some Assembly Required, and for that I am very grateful!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew started a book club... with a twist! "Inspired by Reading Book Club" is a fun, interactive way to explore literature and create! Jewelry Making
Tammy takes another look at Jewelry Stringing magazine. 

Art Bead Scene
Brandi pulls out some delicious colour palettes from some of ChelleV2's beautiful handmade ceramic beads.

Resin Crafts!
Making a mold and then working with the duplicated item can create stunning new wearable art! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Tammy Powley has a super giveaway going on on her blog! Read all about it on Jean's!  

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Reader question: binding the edges of a bead embroidered piece

Edging brick stitch
Picot stitch

Hi Cyndi,
During one of my searches I came across this 2007 post to the Bead Journal Project and noticed your response:
Cyndi L said...
Hi Caren! I like to bind the front piece to a backing layer in order to cover not only the raw edges, but also the thread ends and knots. There's a picture on my blog today of nothing but the edge of my first piece. After I took the picture, I added 3 smaller beads between each of the edging beads you see there, picot style. That covered the threads and finished the whole thing :-)  {Defunct Link}
June 21, 2007 at 1:35 PM
This link doesn't work anymore and I can't find the article at your beading arts website. I would like to see how you did the edging. Could you please send me the link to this article?

Thank you,

Hi Meryl,
I can do one better than that!  You can download the free first chapter of one of my e-books, and it shows you step by step how to bind the edges with edging brick stitch and how to add picots.  Here's the link to the e-booksFollow the link to Every Bead Has a Story and you'll find the free download.  I'd love to see what you're making!

Best ~

Photo 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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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book review: Project: Earrings

I love earrings, and I love making earrings...if nothing else, they are practically instant gratification!  And they are also a great way to use up small quantities of left over beads.  Kalmbach Press has a great little book called Project: Earrings which I think you'll like.  There are 44 different designs, plus some with variations, in every different style you can imagine.

These projects are all by different designers, and have been previously published in either Bead&Button magazine or in the Beading with Gemstones special issue.  I love the quality of the projects that have been chosen, and it is really nice to have them all gathered up in one spot.  Plus, I swear I don't remember seeing all of these...there are at least half a dozen I want to make now!  Maybe over the next few months I'll be able to fit that in and will have some pieces to show you.

Some of the designs are beaded or bead-woven, some are made with just wire and chain, and some branch into mixed media.  I think you'll be very pleased with this collection if you're an earring junkie like me!   

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My TAST quilt for 2012

I'm sorry to say that even though I really wanted to do Sharon Boggon's Take A Stitch Tuesday project through all of 2012, I ended up getting behind and then just sort of dropping it.  Even though I visited the site to see the new stitches each week, I didn't manage to follow along after less than half a year had passed.  That said, I still enjoyed the time that I did spend on TAST, and I'd definitely recommend it if you'd like to improve your embroidery skills.

I posted information and some tutorials on Mixed Media Artist about the construction of the quilt top, including the manipulated fabric pieces.  Some of the stitches included beads, others didn't, but I thought I should post this here just to finish off my planned series.  If you'd like to see links to all of the stitches I added, they are under the label TAST.  

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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Monday, March 18, 2013

Bead embroidered paua shell centerpiece

Quite a number of years ago, my beading friend Ellen gave me a couple of pieces of paua shell that made great cabochons for the bead embroidered pieces that I was just learning to make.  I found a little picture of this piece waaaaay back on my blog, but realized that I had never posted the in-process pictures for it.  It seems like such a simple piece to me now, but I actually wear it quite a bit.  And I always think of Ellen!

All the instructions you will need to make a piece similar to this one can be found in the free first chapter of my bead embroidery e-book, Every Bead Has a Story.  Visit the link and download it for yourself: it covers all the stitches you'll need (back stitch, stack stitch, adding tube beads, and edging brick stitch), plus shows you how to finish off the back and edges, and even how to add a simple beaded strap. 

Here are my process photos for this necklace:

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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Friday, March 15, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Did you know that the month of March is also National Craft Month? The Cousin Corporation of America does, and check out what they have to offer us just for the fun of it! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been working hard on creating pieces for the Fusion Beads 30 Day Bead Challenge! This is a recap of the second week of prompts.  

A Bead A Day
Making anything special during National Craft Month? Stop by to see Lisa's latest project and share your own. Jewelry Making
Add some luck of the Irish to your jewelry collection with these copper and crystal earrings.  

Art Bead Scene
Pick up some great photo editing tips in a Q + A session with Brandi.  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a step by step post explaining how to use tissue and resin on an open wire earring component.  

Resin Crafts!
Resin crafts blog has a great post explaining how quick and easy it is to add crystals to clay!  

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Seed bead artist: Val Enders

Val and I have had a bead-inspired correspondence going for a number of months, and she was kind enough to allow me to show you her progress.  Val has a "can do" spirit that I believe everyone should strive for, especially when it comes to doing something creative, artistic, or just plain fun!  As a postscript to this letter exchange, Val recently let me know that she was able to sell some of her pieces this past Christmas at a local art gallery show...enough to help out with birthday gifts for all the grandchildren!  Isn't that great?

Here we go:
April 2012

Hello Cyndi,
Would you be kind enough to tell me where I can learn about the bracelet blank you mention in step 2 of your tutorial (Destiny Bracelet tutorial). I am just starting out and have downloaded your beginning E book. ( thank you so much for this information for free).  I have no information on making bracelet blanks or where to learn or materials to use. Can you please tell me how you traced out the one you use in this tutorial?
I love you webpage and thanks for sharing.

A new beader,
Hi Val!
Welcome to the wonderfully (addictive) world of beading.  Run away now!!  You've been warned ;-)

You're still here?  Good!  There are a number of places you can buy bracelet blanks online, but here's a really good one: Designers Findings

To make your pattern, you just sort of roll the bracelet form along the fabric and trace it as you go.  Some people make their own blanks using soda bottles and the like, but I like something a bit more stiff but bendable.

Please share what you make!!  I would so love to see it :-)

Best ~

Hey Cyndi,

I am doing my first piece on a piece of heavy interfacing that I glued a piece of black felt on. Brutal on the fingers. But I plan on finishing it as my prototype. I used a great button someone gave me , and am designing as I go. ( Not a great plan, but hey I am too anxious to get going). I did a another partial peice on just felt as well, and am still working on that.

Can I ask one more question?.... I am using 06 beads for the project and miscelleaneous stuff from my bead box. My thread is wldfire from Beadalon, and it works well, but on the really tiny seed beads I don't have a needle small enough to get through the holes that is strong enough to go through material. Do you have any suggestions? What is the smallest seed bead that you use?

Hi Val,

Heavy interfacing isn't a bad surface, but you do have to contend with the little fuzzies.  Same with felt.  Personally, for the top (or foundation), I prefer using either buckram for lighter weight projects (you can paint it), or some sort of faux leather for heavier ones, the same material that I always use for backing.  I only use heavy interfacing if the cabochons have a pointed back or need to be "sunken into" the surface.  The fuzzies drive me crazy, but sometimes I just have to live with them :-)

Size 6/0 beads are the largest size of seed beads.  They are readily available in 6/0, 8/0, 11/0, and 15/0.  You can also find some brands in 10/0 and 12/0, and antique seed beads that go all the way down to 22/0 or even smaller.  I work mostly with 11/0 and 15/0s, and you can buy a pack of beading needles in mixed sizes that will work with these.  My favorite thread is Nymo, but there are lots of other brands.  You'll have to see what you like best by trying some small spools.  Make sure you get beading needles though...regular embroidery needles will not fit.  The sizes of the needles are like the beads: they get smaller as the number gets higher.

Best ~

November 2012

I had asked you about making the cuff bracelet, and you were kind enough to answer all my questions. Well one of my cuffs turned into a Wonder woman head band and you can see a picture of it when I finished it. It never got on a cuff as it was too stiff and ugly to boot. hahaha
Here is the picture and story to go along with it.
 Note: I don't think it's as bad as Val does!  Apparently her husband doesn't either :-)

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book review: I Can Herringbone

I told you awhile ago about a new series that Lark Books started, called the I Can series.  I shared my review with you about the first book, I Can Right Angle Weave, written by Mabeline Gidez (my review is here if you'd like to see it).  Now that I've received and read through the second book, I Can Herringbone, written by Melissa Grakowsky, my impression of this series is solidly positive.

Like the RAW book, this one is just full of photos and illustrations to show almost each and every single step in the basics and the projects.  The projects are beautiful, and I believe that Melissa has really worked hard to bring a wide range of styles to the volume, so that you'll get a very good idea of what herringbone is able to do.  Melissa fully covers flat herringbone and all its variations, tubular herringbone and all its variations, and as a bonus, you'll learn how to use herringbone to bezel stones...very very cool.  Work your way through the book in order, and you'll find that each new skill builds upon the ones before.  This is the very best way, I think, to really master a stitch!

Do you like to try before you buy?  Lark has generously made two projects available for you to download and try out...or maybe just drool over before you commit to getting the book.   

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Perlen Poesie

In the world of non-English language journals about beads and beading, Perlen Poesie stands apart. It is so beautiful, both inside and out, and the editor, Verena Greene-Christ, is a complete delight to work with. She recently contacted me for more information on the necklace that I made using Rubber Glass. We ended up chatting about this and that, and Verena asked me about reviewing my e-book Every Bead Has a Story on Perlen Poesie. Well, I was thrilled to have the opportunity, and I sent her copies of all the chapters.  Perlen Poesie will be doing a giveaway this month, so if you are a subscriber, please stay tuned...

I don't read German, but my translator says that Every Bead Has a Story has been identified as an extensive collection on embroidery, using beads and other materials, covering 53 different techniques and stitches, and featuring 12 projects. Thank you for including my e-book in your beautiful magazine, Verena!

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Metal mesh pins

This is a fun project for an afternoon! These little pins work up so quickly that you can literally make one today and wear it tonight. I think it actually took me more time to gather up the beads and do-dads that I wanted to use than it did to stitch them together.

This is also a great way to use up leftovers from other projects. If you keep a jar of “spares” sitting around, this is the time to reach for it! 

2-part round mesh bar pins, 25mm
Delica 11/0 seed beads
Nymo 0 beading thread
Assorted glass beads and crystal, 4-12mm
Assorted Lucite or glass flowers and leaves
Assorted metal charms or Indian bells
A very small scrap of felt or pellon interfacing
Fabric glue

Long beading needles
Fabric scissors
Chain nose pliers

1. Anchor a piece of Nymo thread to a small piece of pelon or felt by taking several stitches close together. Bring your needle up from the back of the mesh dome in the middle, and begin to cover the background of the dome with Delicas in the color of your choice. I did an outline stitch pattern out from the center in a spiral, stitching on 5 beads at a time and overlapping the stitches.

2. When the entire surface is covered with beads, bring your needle and thread back to the middle of the dome and stitch through to the front.

3. Begin to add your embellishment beads. To add flowers, make a short stem of several Delicas, stitch through a Lucite or glass flower, through another Delica, and back down through the flower and stem. Add larger beads and leaves the same way, and add dangling flowers on longer stems if desired. To add several dangling charms or flowers, add a longer strand of Delicas, stitch through the charm, and back down through several of the Delicas. Add more charms by branching off and adding more Delicas ending in another charm. When you’ve added all the branches you want, bring the needle and thread all the way back down the original strand and to the back of the mesh dome. Anchor your thread occasionally to the small piece of felt in the back. Add as many of these branched strands of charms or flowers as you want.

4. When you’ve finished adding all the embellishments you desire, stitch through the piece of felt several times and clip your thread, dabbing it with fabric glue. Allow the glue to dry and attach the back of the pin, carefully bending the pins down over the top dome to hold it in place. You may have to nudge some of the Delicas aside gently to do this; they will move back into place and cover the pin when you’ve finished.

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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Friday, March 08, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Resin Crafts!
In a two part post Carmi explains how she made a vintage piece of trim a necklace component by encasing it in resin.

Snap out of it, jean! There's beading to be done!
Gestures of friendship: a complicated story of the travels of a Kelly Russell bead, halfway around the world

A Bead A Day
While waiting on spring to arrive, how about entering to win a surprise bead giveaway? Stop by A Bead A Day! Jewelry Making
Yers, it is possible to craft a seed bead career. Find out how this designer did it. 

Art Bead Scene
Erin picks out some inspiring finds on Etsy for this month's Art Bead Scene Challenge.  

Carmi's Art/Life World
You wouldn't think that quilling and fish leather would go together...but they do and create the loveliest flower rings!  

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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Seed bead artist: Victoria Pearman


Artist: Victoria Pearman
Blog: Art N the Heart

Victoria sent me updates on the marvelous mixed media beadwork that she is doing these days.  Visit her blog for more up to the minute works!

BeBop (shown above). An anthropomorphic creature inspired by beader/artist Betsy Youngquist. BeBop was a stuffed bookworm that was transformed and now is bead embroidered and has a porcelain face made by a friend.

Diaboli diceri et apperebit (Latin for Speak of the Devil) features the combined efforts of my bead embroidery and lampworker, Wayne Robbins for the devil's head. While the devil is a dark subject, I added whimsy with the sneakers.

Baba. This is one of my 12 BJP (Robin Atkins') challenges. Baba was the result of a visit to the Tucson Rock and Gem show, African Village. We were trying to purchase some glass beads but could not locate the vendor. His friend kept screaming "Baba, Baba" which is Swahili for the word brother. Baba never showed up so I made a Baba in his honor. The colors used reflect those found in a African mud cloth design.

Egyptian motif. My beader friend was struggling trying to make this bead embroidered piece for herself. She had basically given up after several attempts when I offered to "get it started" for her. Well, one thing lead to another and pretty soon the piece was done! She received it as a surprise in January for her birthday!

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Yay for everyone!!

But especially for Monique, Becca, and Paula!  Congratulations!  You three are the winners of the fabulous beads from The Best Beads in the Czech Republic.  Everyone else, you are going to receive a gift card from Ekaterina.  Isn't that great??

Calls for entries and submissions

Deadline: 04/15/13 
Deadline: 04/26/13 

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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Monday, March 04, 2013

Yay for Mona

Mona is the winner of Enlightened Polymer Clay!  Congratulations!! 

Stringing up a beaded bead necklace


Several years ago, I shared a tutorial for a simple way for a seed bead beginner to make beaded beads.  Looking back at it, I realized that I never really finished it up.  My photos were pretty bad back then, and I apologize in advance for that, but I think if you've never tried making a beaded bead...well, it's about time you started! 

There are dozens of places you can find directions to make more complicated beads once you've mastered these.  They are so simple that they're a great way to practice getting your tension right.  The original instructions for the beads are posted here: Peyote Stitched Beaded Beads   

So what do you do with the beads after you've finished them?  String them up into something you can wear!

10 mm light purple resin drum beads, 5
8/0 crystal aurora borealis seed beads
11/0 silver hex Delica seed beads
Nymo O white thread
G-S Hypo tube cement
.019” diameter beading wire, 2 ft
10 mm crystal aurora borealis faceted bicones, 6
6 mm pink tip drilled pearls, 12
3 mm sterling silver rounds, 24
2 mm sterling silver crimp tubes, 2
Sterling silver toggle set

Beading needles
Wire cutters
Flat nose pliers
Measuring tape
1. Cut a piece of beading wire and string on beaded beads, pearls, and 10 mm bicones, each separated by 3mm sterling silver rounds. 

2. Add additional 8/0 seed beads to each end until the necklace is almost as long as you want it. Add a crimp tube and another seed bead to each end. Take the wire through the toggle clasp parts, and back down through a couple of beads. Pull the wire snug and flatten the crimps

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, March 02, 2013

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi organized a blog hop featuring eleven great artists/jewelers featuring fish leather. This is a link to the hop! 

Resin Crafts!
Carmi demonstrates a faux soldering technique on glass pebbles!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Elizabeth Owens sent Jean an amazing collection of beads and materials for the are invited to come and not believe your eyes!!!  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Competing to win a $100 store credit, Andrew created a pair of earrings for a Design Challenge hosted by Nina Designs. Vote now and help pick the winner!  

A Bead A Day
How do you approach a design when you only have an hour to select beads and create? Lisa shares her strategy and 1 hour project. Jewelry Making
Catch a mini-review of Cyndi Lavin's completed bead embroidery book, Some Assembly Required. 

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Friday, March 01, 2013

Celebrate "Seed Bead Month" with Beading Arts!

You must know by now that this is my favorite month of the year!  Not March, per se, which we lovingly refer to as "mud season" in New England.  Rather, I mean the month that we Celebrate Seed Beads and all the amazing things you can do with them: string, weave, embroider, loom, etc etc.

During this month, I'm going to share some new projects for those of you who are old hands at working with seed beads, plus some super simple projects and information for beginners.  We'll be looking at a round-up of information that's in our archives here on Beading Arts too,  and I'll also point you to the fabulous work done by artists you may not know.

I want all of you who love seed beads to join in too. Whether you string, weave off-loom or on a loom, embroider, glue, or whatever else you can think of doing with seed beads, either wearables or non-wearables, we want to see your work. You don't have to be a just gotta tell us why you love 'em! Please send your artist statement of one to two paragraphs, and up to three images (72dpi res) of your work, along with a link to your site to cyndi @ (remove the spaces). Please put Seed bead artist in the subject line.

Here are a few links to get you started on the seed bead quest:

The Best Seed Bead Books

The Best Online Instruction

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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