Friday, January 31, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Courage and Heart
Cherie's art this week reflects Bible verses talking about courage.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi is taking her resolution to use up previously made samples veeeeeery seriously!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Marcia DeCoster's new book, Marcia DeCoster Presents, is a great inspiration! See Jean's review of this unique collection of interviews of 30 of the most remarkable beading stars in the world on jean's blog, and comment if you are a US resident for the GIVEAWAY, ENDING FEB. 6th!

Valentine Craft Project Ideas
Are you looking for some Valentine's Day inspiration? The Artful Crafter has everything from card designs, to decorated candles, recipes and more. Do you know what a bagalope is or how to make a multicolored heart shaped crayon?

Carmi's Art/Life World
I have never made a baby mobile. It was so much fun to create one with Peter Rabbit imagery from Crafter's Companion.

Resin Crafts Blog
You'll never wonder what to put in resin again after viewing the 60+ artist submissions currently on the Resin Crafts Blog. Twenty more will be added next week!

Hooking Up
Even the furry children need something soft to snuggle with. Here's an easy little afghan for them or a lap-ghan for you.

A few more folk art dolls before moving on to mail art!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Busy, busy, busy! Andrew shares some of the things he's been up to lately!

Art Bead Scene
Check out more Pinterest Inspiration Board advice from Kylie Parry!

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Yay for Wendy!

Lucky lucky girl!!  Wendy Kovin has won a class from Mastered on Tambour Beading!  I should remind all of you that if you visit their site, you can get a free trial period for any class that you're thinking about taking, so that you can see for yourself the great value offered.  Good think to think about to fulfill your New Year's resolution to learn something new!  

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The best books on lampwork and glass fusing

Most of these reviews that I've written are of books that show how to make lampwork beads, but I've included a few that cover what to do with those beads once you've accumulated a whole pile of them.  Let me just warn you right now that making glass beads is addictive.  No fair blaming me've been warned!

Lampwork Books

The Complete Book of Glass Beadmaking by Kimberley Adams
My current favorite book to recommend to beginners and intermediates.

Glass Bead Workshop by Jeri L Warhaftig
For intermediates and advanced artists.

Creating Glass Beads by Jeri L Warhaftig
More intermediate and advanced techniques, tested out by artists of various levels

Creating Lampwork Beads for Jewelry by Karen Leonardo

Using Glass Beads in Jewelry Books

Create Jewelry - Glass by Marlene Blessing and Jamie Hogsett
What to do with 'em once you've got 'em.

The Venetian Glass Bead by Kathy Fox
More simple projects to showcase beautiful beads.

Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel
A lot of wonderful designs that will work with large-holed beads.

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

Fusing Books 
I'm not involved in very much fusing, so I've had to go by the reviews that others have left on Amazon.  These seem to be the top 6 books:

A Beginner's Guide to Kiln-Formed Glass: * Fused * Slumped * Cast by Brenda Griffith

Warm Glass: A Complete Guide to Kiln-Forming Techniques: Fusing, Slumping, Casting by Philippa Beveridge, Ignasi Domenech and Eva Pacual

Introduction to Glass Fusing by Petra Kaiser

The Glass Artist's Studio Handbook: Traditional and Contemporary Techniques for Working with Glass by Cecilia Cohen and Nataly Cohen Kadosh

Innovative Adornments - Introduction to Fused Glass & Wire Jewelry by Jayne Persico and Wardell Publications

Kiln Formed Bracelets - Introduction to Glass Formed Jewelry by Jayne Persico

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lampwork glass tutorials

Working with hot glass or warm glass gets me excited! I hope that you enjoy lampworked and fused beads too, either making them or collecting and using them in your work. Here are my tutorials from over the years that will help you get started!

Getting started with Lampwork:

Lampwork Basics and FAQs

My favorite glass beads to make

Tutorials which use the beads you've made or collected:

Stringing ideas for using lampwork beads

Basic earrings

Beaded Lily necklace

Perth the Turtle necklace 

Antique key and lampwork glass necklace  

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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Monday, January 27, 2014

Bead Journal Project: January 2014

The Bead Journal Project has moved to Facebook this year!  The "rules" have also loosened slightly, since some people were feeling that they wouldn't be able to make the monthly commitment this year.  That is still the goal, but personally, my aim is to make a few larger pieces that more fully explore the bead weaving stitches that I worked on last year, adapting them for bead embroidery and leading up to my e-book Bored By Back Stitch.  Above is my first piece for the year, which I haven't named yet!  A tutorial will follow when I've managed to write it up :-)

Copyright 2014 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, January 24, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Mixed Media Anniversary Quilt 
Cherie starts a quilt with embroidery, applique, and mixed media items.

Document Craft Project Steps so You Can Replicate Them Even Years Later 
Some crafters and artists keep notebook journals of their ideas and projects. Eileen has fine-tuned a digital system which works really well for her. With digital cameras, it's easy to take step-by-step photos as you go.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean makes a Winter Tree of Life Pendant, inspired by a friend on Facebook who is creating Trees of Life as he swelters in the heat of summer in Australia!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has started a new collage quilt, featuring one of her favorite birds...the chickadee!

Charlene Sevier
Charlene mixes elements from different worlds and cultures. Can it work and can you do it too?

June's been making a few folk art dolls...

Resin Crafts Blog
A wonderful series has begun on Resin Crafts blog. I am sharing over 80 different artists submissions featuring a pocket watch. You will be so inspired!

Bye Bye Mess!
The mess is corralled for now, and that means time and space to design some jewelry!

A Bead A Day
Looking for Valentine's Day project inspiration...Lisa's sharing heartfelt projects created by her fellow Cousin Corp ambassadors.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
What's up next for the Inspired by Reading Book Club? Andrew shares the reading list for the next round of books!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New online tambour beading class available...and a giveaway!

We've only spoken about tambour beading a few times here on Beading Arts, mostly because I know nothing about the technique other than how it looks.  Recently, I was contacted by Mastered, a British company offering online fashion and jewelry master classes, and guess what they have added to their line-up?  A class called "Couture embellishment: Tambour beading"!  Mastered offers a free trial of every course, so I visited the this one and found that the whole set up is very user friendly and thorough.

This course is being taught by artists at Hand & Lock, a 246-year-old embroidery company which has worked with the finest couture houses in the world, as well as created work for the Queen and Royal family, and the British military.

Within each module you'll find a mix of HD video content, written tutorials and exercises. They take you from learning the chain stitch, to working with the beads and sequins to advanced tambour techniques and working with beads of different types. You'll then learn how to design your own pieces of beading and how to apply the designs to different mediums.

The course is split into three modules:
1. Tambour technique
2. Advanced tambour
3. Tambour design

You can ask questions at any stage. These are answered by the course tutors and other members of the community. You are welcome to upload pictures of your work in progress so that you can get feedback. You also get exclusive access to the 'Mastered Meets' online seminars which are discussions/Q&A with industry insiders. Finally you get support to take your work further, whether that's introductions to the press or buyers or business advice.

***Giveaway Alert!!!***

Pretty cool, huh?  How would you like to win a free course in tambour beading from Mastered?  Please read this carefully!  What we want to know from you is which of the other courses Mastered offers would you like to try as a free trial?  Leave me your answer here and include your email address.  If I don't see your email address, I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  You are welcome to spell it out if you'd prefer, for example, cyndi at mazeltovjewelry dot com.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice! Deadline: January 29, 2014.  In the meantime while you wait, you are invited to go try out that free trial for any class that interests you!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The best books on wirework

Here are my book reviews on the topic of wirework for you:

Kumihimo Wirework Made Easy by Christina Larsen

Woven in Wire by Sarah Thompson

Colorful Wirework Jewelry by Kim St. Jean

New Connections in Chain Mail Jewelry by Kat Wisniewski

Play with Chain Mail by Theresa Abelew

Wonderful Wire Jewelry by Erica Swanson

Chain Mail + Color by Vanessa Walilko

Jewelry Designs with Knitted Wire by Nealay Patel

Handcraft Wire Jewelry by Kimberly Sciaraffa Berlin

Handcrafted Metal Findings by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson

Freeform Wire Art Jewelry by Gayle Bird

Modern Chain Mail Jewelry by Marilyn Gardiner

Soldered Alchemy by Laura Beth Love

Decorative Wire Findings by Melody MacDuffee

Advanced Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop by Karen Karon

Wire + Metal by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson

Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry by Beth Martin and Eva Sherman

The Missing Link by Cindy Wimmer

Making Chain Mail Jewelry by Lauren Andersen

Build Your Own Wire Pendants by Kimberly Berlin

Bead Meets Metal by Kay Rashka

Artisan Filigree by Jodi Bombardier

Making Chain Mail by Lauren Andersen

Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop by Karen Karon

Unconventional Chain Mail Jewelry by Laura Poplin

Weave - Wrap - Coil by Jodi Bombardier

Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry by Suzanne Tourtillott

Spotlight on Wire by Melissa Cable

Absolute Beginners Guide: Making Wire Jewelry by Martine Callaghan

Show Your Colors by Jamie Hogsett

Making Wire & Bead Jewelry by Janice Berkebile

Rustic Wrappings by Kerry Bogert

Handcrafted Wire Findings by Denise Peck

New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry by Margot Potter

Simply Bead and Wire by Lark Books

Chains Chains Chains by Lark Books

A Bounty of Bead and Wire Earrings by Nathalie Mornu

 Lacy Wire Jewelry by Melody MacDuffee

Classic Chain Mail Jewelry by Sue Ripsch

Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders by Irina Miech

Making Beautiful Bead and Wire Jewelry by Linda Jones

Wire Wrapping by Linda Chandler and Christine Ritchey

101 Wire Earrings by Denise Peck

Contemporary Copper Jewelry by Sharilyn Miller

Chain Style by Jane Dickerson

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bead embroidered pendant with an antique button

It's official...I'm crazy about these little pendants and I can't seem to stop making them!  It's great though, because they've allowed me to play with combining various stitches and I've been thinking a lot about making my next large piece, probably by assembling components rather than using one large necklace template.  So just as soon as I settle on a color palette and/or some focal points, I'll be getting started on that.

But in the meantime...

1.  Add two rows of back stitched size 11/0 seed beads around the button.  This button has a shank, and so I've sunk it below the surface of the foundation fabric in order not to have to damage it.

2. Using the bead embroidered form of African helix, I added a first row to the inner ring of back stitched beads.  Using the outer row of back stitching as a base, I added the full African helix motif, and stitched 4mm and 6mm rounds into the "holes".

3. Cut out the pendant and the backing fabric to match and add edging brick stitch around the outside.  Stitch small stacks or picots of seed beads around the edge for embellishment.

4. Stitch a square stitch bail to the back.

Materials sources:

The button came from a market in Portland Oregon.

Instructions for motifs:

Bored By Back Stitch will teach you how to create twelve different bead embroidery motifs, using nine different beadweaving stitches.  Learn how beadweaving stitches can be morphed into beautiful bead embroidered motifs, created to surround and enhance your cabochons or accent beads.

The specific motifs you will learn are designs that use embroidered forms of basic peyote, Cellini spiral peyote, brick, Russian spiral, herringbone, chevron chain, right angle weave, square, African helix, and double or single St Petersburg chain.  In addition, there are step-by-step instructions for three projects to help you use your motifs.  The e-book is available now, 127 pages, $3.00 US.

Copyright 2014 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.

Friday, January 17, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Teal and Brown Afghan 
Cherie makes a new afghan to keep the family warm.

Do you amigurumi? Why or why not?

Mixed Media Artist
Mobius strip scarves, part two! Cyndi shows you how to work with thicker chunky yarn this week.

Snap out if it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews an excellent book on jewelry design from the great Cathy Jakicic: Jewelry Projects from a Beading Insider--it is wonderful!

Mirrored Wall Cabinet Jewelry Holder
This jewelry organizer is not only very decorative hanging on the wall, but also allows you to keep your most-worn pieces organized right at eye level. Put them on and check yourself out in the mirrored front. What could be more convenient?

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew reveals where his porcelain pendants will be at during this year's Tucson Gem Show!

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wirework and chain tutorials

Wire has never been my primary material, although I love the look of it...especially when someone who really knows what they're doing uses it!  However, even a fumble-fingers like me can put together some fun projects that incorporate wire in different ways!

Making a wrapped loop

Basic wirework information and supplies

Garnet Skies chain necklace

Bluebird Singing in the Dead of Night

Golden harvest necklace

Night Sky necklace

Pearl and crystal cuff bracelet

A simple wire wrapped pendant

Free-form wire wrapped stone with beads

Blue Rainbow

New life for a boring bangle bracelet

Another reclaimed bangle

A wire bracelet featuring beaded beads

A wire bracelet featuring Murano beads

Super simple, fast and easy earrings

Faerie Bells, revisited

Blue heart wire earrings

Twisted ribbon necklace

Double-wrapped ribbon bracelet

Leftover bead earrings

Royal Pearls necklace

Chain and pearl earrings

Chain maille earrings

Winter Dreams bracelet

Snowflake pendant or ornament

Shower of pearls pendant

Drum Beat necklace

Seed bead and wire bracelet

Hammered wire earrings

Wire fitting for a found object

Wired button earrings

Insulator pendant

Easy wire pendant bail

Twisted wire copper bracelet

Maruti bead linked necklace

Maruti bead wire bracelet

A sparkly button ring

Beaded comb for your hair

Button charm holder

Crocheted Pearls necklace   

Chain Drop earrings

My Heart's Chatelaine necklace 

Wire link bracelet

Brass and wire flower necklace

Circuit breaker necklace

Faerie Bells

Chain maille bead earrings

Freeform peyote on a wire armature

Black Sparkle Ring

Antique Key necklace

A freeform seed bead necklace on a wire armature

Copper necklace with wire links

A wire wrapped beach rock

A Crocheted wire necklace

A "sea glass" necklace

A multi-strand necklace with wrapped loops

A "leftover" toggle necklace

Creating a wire and ribbon necklace

Tutorials by our wire guru, Paul Bishop:
   Making a wire wrapped flower

   A free-form wire wrap
   A spiral on a flat pendant
   Sodalite Delightful
   Briolette suspension
   Wire wrap bracelet
   Midnight in the Garden of Good and Medieval

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book review: Hot and Cold Jewelry Connections

Do you find the idea of soldering metal intimidating?  Then perhaps this book will help you change your mind: Hot and Cold Jewelry Connections by Kieu Pham Gray gives you choices with each project.  You can chose to do the "safe" cold connection, or you can branch out and try the "dangerous" one!  Either way, you'll end up with a beautiful project.

This is a good beginner's book on working with metal.  About a third of the book is devoted to the basics of metal tools, materials, and working techniques, including wire, sheet metal, riveting, patinas, annealing, soldering, and polishing.

Next, you'll be challenged to work your way through ten pairs of projects designed to show you both hot and cold options for construction.  As you advance through them, you'll have the opportunity to compare, for example, soldered hinges with rivets and jump rings, soldered jump rings with wire binding, and soldered prongs with filigree tabs.

Whether it is made with the hot or the cold techniques, my very favorite piece is also a very simple one: a lovely spiral chain shown on page 74 (and shown above).  I want to make this in both methods!  

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Red bead embroidered pendant with drops

Well, it was bound to happen.  I am now officially on a "kick" of creating these small pendants in every color combo that I can manage.  I didn't take any process shots of this one because it all happened too fast!  But I can tell you how I made it:

1. Stitch down a round(ish) flat bead for a central cabochon.  Stitch a peyote bezel around it with size 11/0 seed beads and size 15/0s at the top.

2. Add the bead embroidery form of chevron chain stitch around three-quarters or more of the cabochon.

3. Stitch size 8/0 seed beads into the "holes" formed by the chevron stitches.

4. Add some pressed glass flowers, leaves, or other shapes to the remaining empty space.  Stitch small stacks with size 6/0 and 11/0 seed beads around the outside of the chevrons.

5. Cut out the pendant and a matching piece of backing fabric.  Stitch them together using edging brick stitch, and add stacks of size 11/0 seed beads topped with size 15/0s around the edge.  Stitch through the edging beads to add some drop beads to the bottom, using size 11/0s.

6. Add a square stitched bail to the back of your pendant.

Materials sources:

The Best Beads   +   Beadaholique

Instructions for motifs:

Bored By Back Stitch will teach you how to create twelve different bead embroidery motifs, using nine different beadweaving stitches.  Learn how beadweaving stitches can be morphed into beautiful bead embroidered motifs, created to surround and enhance your cabochons or accent beads.

The specific motifs you will learn are designs that use embroidered forms of basic peyote, Cellini spiral peyote, brick, Russian spiral, herringbone, chevron chain, right angle weave, square, African helix, and double or single St Petersburg chain.  In addition, there are step-by-step instructions for three projects to help you use your motifs.  The e-book is available now, 127 pages, $3.00 US.

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2014 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.

Friday, January 10, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

It's a mail art call!!! Come on over and join in!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Participants of the Inspired by Reading Book Club share their creations inspired by "Bridge of Birds" by Barry Hughart and "The Journey to the East" by Hermann Hesse.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi utilizes a "saved" crazy quilt block and turns it into wearable art in this special blog post.

Resin Crafts Blog
Wondering what is better to mold with? We have a post showing you how great Jewelry Clay and Jewelry resin can be!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Making tiny jewelry takes just as much thought and planning as designing full sized regular pieces. See Jean's blog for the details!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi has come up with a fun variation on the ever-popular infinity scarf!

Fishers of Men
Cherie uses the "Fishers of Men" passage to help create mixed media prints.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Knit and crochet combine in Red Heart Sashay Yarn. Did you know you can create "crocheted" scarves, shawls and the like without picking up a crochet hook?

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Thursday, January 09, 2014

The best books on polymer clay

So many great books on how to work with polymer little time!  To help you make the most of your time and money, I've compiled a list of all my book reviews:

Exploring Canework in Polymer Clay by Patricia Kimle

The Absolute Beginners Guide: Working with Polymer Clay by Lori Wilkes

Enlightened Polymer Clay by Rie Nagumo

Jewelry Designs from Nature by Heather Powers

Patterns in Polymer by Julie Picarello

Ancient Modern Polymer Clay and Wire by Ronna Sarvas Weltman

Polymer Clay Beads by Grant Diffendaffer

Making Polymer Clay Beads by Carol Blackburn

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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Book review: Kumihimo Basics and Beyond

Quite a few years ago, I took my first journey into kumihimo territory, and bought a few books by Jacqui Carey, whom I still consider to be an amazing kumihimo artist and author.  So I was excited to see the newest book on this topic, Kumihimo Basics & Beyond by Rebecca Ann Combs.  For organization and clarity of instructions, I have to recommend this new book, even though it never moves beyond the most basic style of round braid.  There is something to be said for exploring all the possibilities in one form before moving on to others, many of which you will find in Jacqui's books.

Kumihimo is simply the term for traditional Japanese braiding, either the act of braiding or the braid itself.  These braids are great for hanging your special focal beads or pendants, but they can also be beaded in their own right.  Rebecca has arranged her book so that if you work through it in order, you'll pick up all the tips and tricks that you'll need to go off and move beyond what is contained here.  She starts with information on the tools (very few), the fiber types, how to chose an end cap, and includes some handy cheat sheet charts.

The first section of projects teaches the basic round braid in fibers only.  Rebecca covers how to start, the basic pattern, binding, and finishing with end caps.  She shows lots of color patterns that you can try in the future, teaches the no-knot start variation, and explains how to combine fibers in the slots.

The next section covers adding beads to your braids.  You 'll learn the additional tools needed, how to make a basic beaded rope, how to use different sized beads together, how to braid around a core, how to use shaped beads like teardrops and magatamas, and how to add focal beads and pendants.

Throughout, the instructions and photos are crystal clear.  It's been years since I played with kumihimo, but I found myself nodding along as I read through Rebecca's directions.  Even though the book only covers the one style of braid, I think you'll find more than enough variation here to keep you busy for a long long time!

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Polymer clay tutorials

You know there have been some years that I actually skipped Polymer Clay month, right?  Please don't hate know that it's just not my strong suit. But other years, thanks to the encouragement of talented friends who are also polymer clay artists, I got inspired to pick up my polymer tools (very very basic) and make some new projects for you.  Here is a collection of those projects from over the years!

Resin-polymer clay bezel

Polymer clay and nail polish head pins

Patterned polymer clay cabochons

Jelly roll polymer clay cabochons

Beaded polymer clay pendant

Polymer clay frame necklace

Silver leaf polymer clay cabochons

Simple polymer clay earrings

Passion flower necklace

Polymer clay swirl necklace

A textured polymer clay pendant

A polymer clay frame pendant

Making an assemblage style necklace

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