Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Combining bead embroidery stitches for more complex motifs

From the moment I finished writing Bored By Back Stitch, I was pretty sure that there would be more to say on the matter. It took almost no time before I was starting to wonder how to make the bead embroidery motifs even more complex and interesting. There were different colors and shapes of beads to explore, certainly, but I also had the nagging feeling that these stitches needed to be able to be combined in order to reach their full potential. Since the stitches used are all bead embroidery adaptations of beadweaving stitches, it only seemed logical that the next step would be to work out ways to make them play well together, rather than always keeping them in their own part of the playground. 

And so I wrote a second chapter to Bored By Back Stitch.  This new chapter looks at how to combine the stitches from Chapter One into more complex patterns and motifs, allowing you to work seamlessly from one stitch to another as you desire, resulting in a more organic look like the examples shown here.  You'll learn how to create half-and-half bezel surrounds, separate and attached bands, puzzle piece designs, and quilt inspired designs.  There are also two more step-by-step projects included to help spark your creativity in combining these endlessly fascinating stitches.   

Combining Stitches for More Complex Motifs

Like Chapter One, which taught you how to create twelve different bead embroidery motifs, using nine different beadweaving stitches, this is an intermediate text. It presupposes you already know the stitches, which are widely available online, in every beading magazine, in every beginner book, and in the very basic Stitch Reference I included in Chapter One (page 97). So if you're ready for something more, gather up your beading needles and thread, foundation fabric, seed beads, and a few accent beads, and let's explore even more ways to embellish our projects with bead embroidery motifs!

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Recent publications: April 2014

1000 Beads (500 Series) by Kristina Logan

Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry: Stunning Pieces Made with Sea Glass, Stones, and Crystals by Eva M. Sherman and Beth L. Martin

The Complete Illustrated Guide to Beading & Making Jewelry: A Practical Visual Handbook Of Traditional & Contemporary Techniques by Ann Kay and Lucinda Ganderton

Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork by Lois S. Dubin

American Indian Beadwork (Beadwork Books) by J.F. "Buck" Burshears and W. Ben Hunt

Bead Crochet Jewelry: An Inspired Journey Through 27 Designs by Bert Rachel Freed and Dana Elizabeth Freed

Linked: Innovative Chain Mail Jewelry Designs by Karin Van Voorhees

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Yay for Pearl!

Pearl is the winner of the wonderful beads from Fire Mountain Gems:
Rubberized faceted glass beads
Glass Beads - Celestial Crystal

Congratulations, Pearl!

Bead Journal Project: April 2014

My necklace for April is called My Place in the Sun, because April started out in typical New England fashion this year (lousy!) and I was sure I'd never see a warm day again.  But here we are at the end of the month, and the warm sunny days are multiplying!

I received some metal blanks from ImpressArt of a brand new metal alloy called Alkeme, and so I used those for my stamped and textured cabochon pieces.  I'll be posting a tutorial, so stay tuned if you want to see how the cabochon was made.  The entire necklace was decorated with a mixture of back stitch and the bead woven embroidery stitches that I developed for Bored By Back Stitch.  This necklace, along with Turning of the Tides from last month will be featured in the second chapter of that e-book, coming soon!



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, April 25, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Painted Glass Beaded Mushrooms
Cherie makes some glass mushrooms for the garden.

Mixed Media Artist
Do you enjoy painting your own fabrics for your projects? Cyndi has compiled all of her fabric painting tutorials into one place for you!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Come and see the lovely online book which Rita Toltec made of the recent Blog Hop she hosted which included fifty designers: THE COLOR OF DREAMS ! It is such a beautiful book! So dreamy!

A Bead A Day
Love using jewelry making components in interesting ways? Lisa does too and is sharing a simple, but fun bracelet made on the beach!

Carmi's Art/Life World
I imagine that miniature vials will always appeal to those of us who like unique and unusual beads. This week I featured them in a necklace.

Resin Crafts Blog
Today's post features a classic one pour resin project!

Mother's Day Craft Tutorials
Mother's Day is coming up May 11th. Now's the time to start thinking about what you'll create for Mom or Grandma to show her your love.

Breaking the Yarn Bank
When is it okay to spend a bunch of money on super fancy yarn?

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book review: Packaging Your Crafts

Your beautiful handmade gift is what?  Do you ever wonder how to make the package as beautiful and unique as the contents?  Wonder no more, my friends!  Viola Sutanto has a brand new Lark Book called Packaging Your Crafts.  Whether you make jewelry, clothing, edibles, or decorative items, you'll find fabulous ideas for adding a professional edge to your packaging.

There are three sections to this book: materials and how to use them, designing for your specific contents, and a resource guide.  The first two sections are really fun to leaf through while fantasizing about your own work.  There are so many examples given, plus helpful tips from experienced designers, that this book is a good introduction to the fine art of branding as well as being a helpful how-to.

The resources section has a selection of printable packaging templates, sizing charts, and measurement conversion charts to help you bring your own packaging to light.  

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Monday, April 21, 2014

Beads giveaway!

I've made a couple of giveaway packets from the new product stash I received from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads last month, and here's the first that's up for grabs!  Stay tuned...the next gift packet will be metal!

Rubberized faceted glass beads

Glass Beads - Celestial Crystal


Would you like to win these bead strands? Here's what you need to do...please read this carefully. Leave me a comment 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: April 28, 2014  

Friday, April 18, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Mixed Media Artist
You can never have too many image transfer methods in your bag of tricks. Cyndi has gathered up all her tutorials for you!

Spring Postcard Art
Cherie makes a postcard for June's spring challenge.

From Dollar Store Plastic to Elegant Easter Eggs
By the time you're done, no one would ever know these elegant Easter eggs are made from cheap plastic eggs!

Snap Out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reposts a review of Jamie Cloud Eakins most recent Bead Embroidery book, and exceptional work!

Crochet Cuteness
The Crafty Princess cracks open a new super cute crochet book.

A Bead A Day
New ideas for summer jewelry are circulating over on a bead a day blog. Lisa's thinking about summertime pearls and ankle-bracelets as necklaces!

Resin Crafts Blog
With Jewelry Clay as a new medium in my jewelry zone I have found that I can create so many new wearable pieces.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The best books on mixed media and recycled jewelry

I tried to stick with books for this list that really embodied what I consider the spirit of working with mixed materials and recycled components.  There are many other books that could have been included, but you'll find them listed under the major media that they deal with: polymer clay, wire, metal clay, etc.  I hope the reviews linked below will help you in your jewelry work.  If you're looking for mixed media books that focus on non-wearables, check out the reviews on Mixed Media Artist!

Absolute Beginners Guide to Jewelry Making with Resin by Theresa Abelew

Book reviews on Mixed Media Artist, 2016

Discover Torch Enameling by Steven James

Origami Jewelry Motifs by Julian Laboy Rodriguez

Beautiful Elements by Heather Powers

Unexpected Findings by Michelle Mach

Finding Style by Irina Miech

Earringology by Candie Cooper

Organic Wire and Metal Jewelry by Beth Martin and Eva Sherman

Enameling Made Easy by Anat Silvera

Patina by Matthew Runfola

Simple Soldered Jewelry & Accessories by Lisa Bluhm

The Jewelry Maker's Design Book: an alchemy of objects by Deryn Mentock

Foxy Epoxy by Kristal Wick

Soutache by Anneta Valious

Resin Alchemy by Susan Lenart Kazmer

Vintage Revised Jewelry by Co-Co Nicole Bush

Heat, Color, Set and Fire by Mary Hettmansperger

Bohemian Inspired Jewelry by Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel

Necklaceology by Candie Cooper

Vintage-Style Beaded Jewelry by Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell

Vintage Redux by Brenda Schweder

Custom Cool Jewelry by Melinda Barta

Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee

Beadalicious by Sonya Nimri

The Naughty Secretary Club by Jennifer Perkins

A Charming Exchange by Kelly Snelling and Ruth Rae

Making Designer Mixed-Media and Memory Jewelry by Tammy Powley

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book review: Create Three Dimensional Jewelry

Gazing at a book that featured the jewelry of Miriam Haskell provided Heather DeSimone with her big "light-bulb moment," showing her that jewelry could be built in more than just one direction, thus in more than just two dimensions.  But her turning point was when she acquired a huge warehouse full of Lucite beads and jewelry components.  Now she wanted to not only build really cool 3D jewelry, but she also wanted to show the world that plastic is not a dirty word!  Create Three Dimensional Jewelry, published by Kalmbach Press, will help to make that dream a reality.  

This is a really fun book.  The organization is excellent, teaching you first how to build some of the basic pieces that will be the "building blocks" of dimensional design.  The materials are a little different from what you might be used to, so Heather has gone into quite a bit of detail in this section.  Section two has the projects, with step-by-step instructions, but also lots of suggestions for using alternate materials or colorways.  The last section covers some of the basics of jewelry making that you'll always find in Kalmbach books, so never fear, even if you are a complete beginner!

Heather stresses that there is no "one way" to do things.  In the step-by-step photos and instructions for the 21 projects, you'll learn how to effectively layer components, make beaded clusters, rivet metal pieces, and lots lots more!

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mixed media and recycled jewelry tutorials

Time to Run...both mixed media AND recycled materials!

This is probably the biggest and most inclusive category of posts that I have to share with you.  You will find that there is some overlap between this list of mixed media and recycled jewelry and some of the tutorials that have been assigned to other categories.  Well of's unavoidable!  If a project uses found objects and bead embroidery, it will inevitably show up on both the mixed media list and the seed bead list.  There's a lot to share with you, so let's get started:

Chandelier-style optical lens pendant

Bluebird Singing in the Dead of Night

Pink yarrow, Flame, and Greenery pendant necklace

Leather bracelet with oval metal links

New life for a boring bangle bracelet

Another reclaimed bangle

All Buttoned Up

Copper & turquoise necklace

Twisted ribbon necklace

Shibori silk wild rose necklace

Milk chocolate cuff bracelet

Bittersweet Wrap-sody cuff bracelet

Metal mesh earrings...not so much something I'd want to wear!

Cloth and Sparkle: a mixed media button bracelet

Mixed media earrings

Christmas Memories pendants

Hanukkah earrings

Hinged metal bracelet with resin

Drum Beat necklace

Resin-polymer clay bezel

Wired button earrings

Insulator pendant

Metal mesh pins

Beaded polymer clay pendant

Ammonite necklace

Brass wire flower necklace

Antique key and lampwork necklace

My Heart's Chatelaine

She Walks in Beauty

Ethiopian crosses

Easy bezel for watch face

Mixed metals and resin necklace

Passion flower necklace

Cuff bracelet

Framed necklace

The White Woman from Rosenegg

Wild Caterpillar bracelet

Sublime Spring bracelet

Blow a Fuse necklace

Sea glass necklace

Rubber glass necklace

Always Time for Cats bracelet

Resin paper

Autumn Vines necklace

Found Objects and Unusual Materials

CopprClay disc necklace

Fishing for Trout necklace

Stamped resin pendant

Wrapped paua shell necklace

Wire and ribbon necklace

Optical lens pendants

Treasure necklace

Key to My Heart pins

Assemblage necklace

Cracking Copper

Treasure Chest necklace

Cigar box handbag

Multi-strand necklace

Beaded assemblage

Polymer clay frame necklace

Vintage treasure necklaces

Tape measure bracelet

Pink bubble earrings

Fun in the Sun

Time to Run

Carnelian pendant

Champagne Bubbles necklace

Freeform beaded necklace on silver wire

Piano keys necklace

Destiny bracelet

Bottle cap pins

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Bead crochet yourself a happy bracelet!

I realized it had been a couple of years since I sat down and made some crocheted bead bracelets, and now I had the perfect opportunity!  The bright pink rubberized faceted glass beads.

Using a #4 crochet hook and some C-Lon cord from Marion Jewelry in Fiber, I strung on all of the FMG beads plus some size 6/0 seed beads in between.  Then I sat down to crochet while a certain show that I won't admit to watching was playing in the background :-)

I found that one stitch was fine for each of the seed beads, but I needed to add an extra stitch on each side of the larger beads.  The bracelet grew and grew, which made me really happy!  I wanted one which wrapped four times around my wrist, and it turned out to be exactly the right length, without me having to add extra chain stitches.  Lucky me!

Such a simple, easy project...and just perfect for spring.

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received some of the above products free of charge from Fire Mountain Gems in order to write a review and/or create a project free of charge for you. 

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, April 11, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Blue Glass Sculpture With Glass Beads 
Cherie makes a glass sculpture with dollar store beads, bud vases, and blue charger plates.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi puts the finishing touches, including beads, on a small slashed and woven quilt.

Spring and Easter Craft Projects for You Crafty Peeps
Find directions for everything from unique Easter eggs to holiday table d├ęcor and jewelry at The Artful Crafter.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews PATINA by the wonderful author Matthew Runfola! What a book!

Art Bead Scene
Take a peek at Mary's etsy picks, inspired by this month's challenge piece from Degas.

Carmi's Art/Life World
I am very excited to share my recently published necklace project in Perles et Cetera magazine!

Resin Crafts Blog
It is wonderful to know that you can embellish any blank surface with some Jewelry Clay. This shawl pin needed a little bit of bling.

No Stitchin'!
Like fabric but your sewing skills are not up to snuff? Or maybe you are looking for some fast fabric loving projects. This book maybe just what you need in your crafting library.

A Bead A Day
Spring has finally arrived which means time for new jewelry! Lisa shares her beach inspired necklace. What are YOU making?

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Book review: Enameling Made Easy

A small hand-held butane torch...that's not so scary, is it?  You don't have to have a large torch set-up or a kiln to made gorgeous enamel projects, thanks to Anat Silvera and her new Kalmbach publication, Enameling Made Easy.

This is a great book for beginners because Anat starts with the absolute basics.  But not just enameling basics: metalworking techniques too!  There is so much more than just basics, though, and every technique is backed up by an included DVD!!  The book also has a clever spiral-bound design so that you can leave it open as you work through the techniques and projects.

And the projects...oh, the projects!  You might not want to do every single one of them, but it would a really good idea to look at all of them and read through carefully since the skills build upon earlier skills.  I said before that it's not a book just for beginners.  If you follow along the journey, you can try your hand at cloisonne, plique-a-jour, sgraffito, stenciling, and more.  Not baby stuff, huh?  But the directions are so clear, I swear even I could do it (maybe!).

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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The best books on seed beads

Beading Arts e-books:

All Beading Arts e-books

Free e-book on bead embroidery stitches

Every Bead Has a Story e-book

Some Assembly Required e-book 

Bored By Back Stitch e-book

Arm Candy

Other books:


Bead Stitching Handbook (all the stitches!)
Hubble Stitch
Introducing Albion Stitch
I Can Herringbone
I Can Right-Angle Weave
Stitch Workshop - Herringbone Stitch
Stitch Workshop - Right-Angle Weave
Stitch Workshop - Peyote Stitch  

Mastering Herringbone Stitch
My older favorite books - a list with links

Bead Embroidery

Inspired Bead Embroidery
Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples: Motifs
Textured Bead Embroidery
Break the Rules Bead Embroidery
Bead Embroidery Jewelry Projects
Beading Artistry for Quilts
The Spirit of Bead Embroidery
Dimensional Bead Embroidery
Sensational Bead Embroidery
The Beaded Edge 

Bead Weaving

Casual Bead Elegance
Modern Beaded Lace
Fast Peyote Stitch Jewelry
Jewel Loom Inspirations
Beadweaving - Beyond the Basics
Bead Play Every Day
26 Quick Stitched Elements
Bead Play with Tassels
Beaded Chains and Ropes
Bead Play with Fringe
Shaped Beadwork and Beyond
Beads in Motion

Metallic Seed Bead Splendor
Beautiful Beaded Ropes
Beaded Fantasies
Japanese Beadwork
Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry 
Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects
Classical Elegance 
Bead Riffs
Bead Tube Jewelry 
The Absolute Beginner's Guide - Stitching Beaded Jewelry
Tapestry Bead Crochet 
Embellished Bead Weaving
Shaped Beadwork   
Seed Bead Fusion 

Shaped Beads

Two-Hole Bead StitchingLearn to Use Two-Hole Beads
Stitching with Two-Hole ShapedBeads
Beautiful Designs with Super Duos and Twin Beads
Great Designs for Shaped Beads
Contemporary Cube Bead Designs


Suzanne Golden Presents
Marcia DeCoster Presents

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