Friday, November 28, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Grace and Hope
Cherie thinks about grace and hope this week as she paints and even does the dishes!

Holiday Crafting with The Artful Crafter: Kids' and Christmas Card Projects
Looking for little crafty gifts or something to keep the kids busy on a snow day? The Artful Crafter has just the thing!

Beautiful Paper Art!
Take a look at cards decorated with intricate looking quilled paper techniques.

Carmi's Art/Life World
The pendant I have featured can be located on my computer in a file called "Resin Disasters." How I saved it is on my blog.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Magazine review and giveaway: DIY Holiday

Interweave/F+W; $9.99

DIY Holiday 2014 is the premiere issue of a new publication that is being released as a special edition of Interweave's Stitch magazine!  If you are a lover of all things hand-crafted, this is for you: 25 beautiful projects that you can make for the holidays, or make just because you want to learn something new!  And guess what?  I've got three of them to give away!  More on that in a bit...

There are eight different art areas that the projects fall into: crochet, knitting, quilting, modern sewing, needlework, jewelry making, mixed media, and weaving.  As you can see, there is something for everyone, and a lot of inspiration to help you kick-start your next obsession.  Personally, I'm really intrigued by a new-to-me technique called ply-split weaving.  Many of the projects are marked as "cool crafts on the cheap".  That's helpful too, don't you think, especially at this time of year?


Would you like to win a copy of this magazine?  I've got three that need to go to good homes!  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: December 3, 2014  

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Recent publications: November 2014

Animals: 20 Jewelry and Accessory Designs (Magpie) by Tansy Wilson

Flowers: 20 Jewelry and Accessory Designs (Magpie) by Sian Hamilton

Jewelry For All Seasons: 24 Bead and Wire Designs Inspired by Nature by Linzi Alford

Sabine Lippert's Beadwork Evolution: New Techniques Using Peyote Stitch and Right Angle Weave by Sabine Lippert

Convertible Crystal Jewelry: Reverse it, Twist it, Wear it Many Ways by Diane Whiting

Making Silver Jewellery by Louise Mary Muttitt

2015 Crafter's Market: How to Sell Your Crafts and Make a Living by Kelly Biscopink

Beautiful Bracelets By Hand: Seventy Five One-of-a-Kind Baubles, Bangles and Other Wrist Adornments You Can Make by Jade Gedeon

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Bead Journal Project: November 2014

I didn't get this Bead Journal Project piece finished for October, but now at last it's done for November!  I used metal mesh ribbon from Fire Mountain Gems, Czech glass beads from The Best Beads, and the embroidered forms of St Petersburg chain stitch, African helix, chevron stitch, and Russian spiral  from Bored By Back Stitch.

Soon, very soon, I will have a tutorial to post!

Here are the rest of my Bead Journal Project pieces so far:




Friday, November 21, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Children of God
Being God's child was the inspiration for these prints.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Who knew that scissors designed to shred your private papers could create gorgeous flowers too?

Christmas Stocking Advent Calendar
This charming Christmas Advent Calendar will add to your holiday decor, delight kids of all ages, and be used for years to come.

Knitted Sampler
When you can't figure out which knit stitch to use, why not use all of them?

Art Bead Scene
Check out our Art Bead Palette Inspiration from Brandi and Zesty Frog!

What can you say in 30 words?
Over the past year, Andrew has participated (off and on) in Erin Prais-Hintz's 30 Words Thursday Project. Erin has selected entries from different participants of the challenge to create a book to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book review: Micro Macrame Basics and Beyond

If you're thinking about heavy dark hemp, forgetaboudit!  Try this instead:

This is the style of macrame done by the Raquel Cruz, author of Kalmbach's new book Micro Macrame Basics and Beyond.

I have been fascinated by macrame since childhood.  Of course back then, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, think and colorful cords were hard to come by.  I think everything I made used that terrible brown shreddy rope that ripped your hands apart while you worked.

Then came beautiful C-Lon and other brands of nylon cord.  All the colors of the rainbow, and no shreds!  As you can clearly see, micro-macrame looks nothing like the old style.  I've done a bit with half knots and square knots, but Raquel shows you how to combine these with lark's heads and half hitches to create beautiful patterns and gorgeous jewelry that are a far cry from the scratchy hippy jewelry and friendship bracelets of the past.  But, if you want to make a beautiful friendship bracelet, now you'll be able to do that too!

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Making pleated silk shibori ribbon flowers - part two

This week, I want to take some of the individual pieces (petals and leaves) that we looked at last week, and show you a couple of ways to use them together in a finished flower.  And very very soon (I promise), I'll be posting a tutorial for the flowered necklace I made several months ago.

Wild Rose

1. Make 5 petals according to the instructions given last week for single petals.  Make each one from a piece of ribbon that is 1 1/2" long.  Cut a small circle of interfacing and stitch each petal to it.

2. Here are all the petals, slightly overlapped, with a small space left open in the middle.

3. Stitch one or more large beads to the center.  I cut a small hole in the center of the interfacing so that the center bead could be suspended.

4. Optional, but nice: add wired stamens.  These are double-tipped, so I bent them in half and inserted them through the hole in the interfacing.

5. I stitched the stamens down to the interfacing in the back so they wouldn't shift around.  It's messy, but no worries; the back will be covered in the project I'll be showing you in a few weeks!


1. Make 2 light-colored petals, each with about 1 1/4" of ribbon.  Don't gather them tightly at the bottom, but stitch them to a small piece of interfacing as shown.

2. Make 2 dark-colored petals the same size, and stitch them on below the first set.  Insert a wired stamen between these petals.

3. Stitch 1 dark-colored petal that is slightly bigger, about 1 1/2" and stitch it on in the center-bottom of the flower.  I used a permanent marker to color the stamens yellow.

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, November 14, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

Carmi's Art/Life World
The Happy Flappers Necklace with Fabric by Kelly Panacci features a new fabric line!

Personalized Thanksgiving Clothespin Magnets
Use these cute clothespins as place cards for the kids at Thanksgiving dinner or clip them to gift cards or a few photos of each child. After Thanksgiving, the kids can use them to post their artwork on a magnet board or refrigerator or just hold papers together.

Bears, Bunnies, and Birds!
Enjoy some cute amigurumi goodness with episode 8 of Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast.

Peace I Leave With You
Cherie reflects on John 14:27 and the topic of peace.

Andrew shares that he'll be co-teaching two classes with his sister at the Bead&Button Show 2015 in Milwaukee! Check out pictures of their class samples!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Making pleated silk shibori ribbon flowers - part one

I've been promising you tutorials on making pleated silk shibori ribbon flowers for awhile now, and I have finally made the time to figure out which are the most useful and the best to share with you.  The problem is, I went down a LOT of rabbit holes in the process of coming up with just a few that I really liked!  So this week and next, we'll take a look at the styles that I think will be the most useful for everyone.

Hollyhock or Rose

1. Cut approximately a 10" length of silk ribbon.  With right sides facing, stitch the short ends together.

2. Baste along one long edge, leaving thread tails.

3. Gather the stitching and fluff the flower out.  As is, it makes a fine hollyhock.  To make a rose, make another flower the same way, but with a shorter piece of ribbon.  You can layer as many as you want to make a full rose.

Single Petals

1. Cut as many pieces as you will need petals.  I make mine from 1" to 1 1/2".  Stitch a U-gather, starting at a bottom edge and stitching around three sides as shown.  Leave the thread tails long.

2. Using one tail, gather up the side and whip stitch around the bottom edge.

3. Use the other tail to gather up the other side and whip stitch it.  These petals, in various sizes and colors, can be used to form lots of different types of flowers.  I'll show you two next week!


1. Cut a piece of ribbon 3 to 5".  Fold in half crosswise with right sides facing.  Starting at the fold, stitch along one long edge through both layers.  Take tiny stitches, keeping the ribbon flat.  Do not pull to gather, but rather, anchor the thread at both ends.

2. Turn the ribbon right sides out with the stitched seam in the middle of the front as shown.

3. Pull the back edge of the ribbon down to meet the front edge.  Stitch from the middle seam out to one edge through both layers as shown, and gather.

4. Stitch back to the middle seam and then stitch out to the other edge.  Gather and anchor it.

5. Stitch through the corners and gather tightly.


1. Cut 1" lengths of ribbon.  Starting in the middle, anchor the thread on the back and stitch through the folds out to one edge.  Gathering the pleats, wrap the thread underneath and back to the center, anchoring it again.

2. Repeat for the other side.

3. Using small sharp scissors, snip into the flower, creating ragged petals.  Use one of the thread tails to add beads for the centers.

Next week, I'll show you how to assemble some petals and leaves into a Wild Rose and a Pansy.

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, November 07, 2014

heART beats from other blogs!

More Mini Canvases
Cherie plays with some mini canvases.

Acrylic Paint Stamping Technique
Pigment inks are the most common media for art stamping, but there are others. Eileen experiments with acrylic paint stamping as she starts designing her Christmas cards.

A Bead A Day
You've heard of sampler quilts and even a candy sampler, how about a Swarovski pearl sampler? Lisa was so taken with her sampler bead strand, she made it into a bracelet.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Book review: Animal Kingdom

Ok, I'll admit that I never really grew up.  I still like a lot of very juvenile things, and I don't apologize for it.  In fact, I'm willing to bet that there are at least a few more people out there like me...

Do you still enjoy coloring?  Doodling?  Are zentangles your thing?  If so, then I think you're going to love this new book by Millie Marotta.  Animal Kingdom is a remarkable adult coloring book, with 96 pages of Millie's detailed and charming "doodles" (if you can even call them that).  Some of the pages leave spaces for you to fill in with your own designs, and all of them simply cry out for you to get to work with some markers or colored pencils.  The pages are quite thick, so you don't have to worry about markers bleeding through...a real plus!

Why would you want this book?  What does it have to do with beading?  Oh, let's see...relaxation, fun, cross-pollination...shall I go on?

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Monday, November 03, 2014

Double-wrapped ribbon bracelet

I was given a wonderful opportunity recently to work with Offray Ribbon, creating some jewelry pieces for their totally updated website.  I've always bought this brand, since it was available in all the local craft shops and is always consistent in color, size, finish, and general beauty.  And now it's available online as well, direct from the company.  You can learn more about Offray Ribbon here.

And guess what?  We've been given a coupon code that you can use to online to get 15% off an Offray order from now till the end of November!

Offer: 15% Off One Order
Details: Use BEADING15 during checkout on to receive 15% off one order. Offer expires 11:59 PM eastern time on Sunday, November 30, 2014. Discount excludes applicable tax and shipping costs. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Discount cannot be applied to previous purchases. Subject to change or cancellation without notice. Other restrictions may apply.

Materials & Tools

2mm cord, 48"
Soldered copper hoop with hammered design
3/8" Natural grosgrain ribbon, 8'
2 lengths of 20 gauge bronze wire, 18"
1 length of 20 gauge bronze wire, 12"
Large holed wooden beads, 4 round, 4 hoops
Copper open hex beads with pierced holes, 5
12 gauge bronze wire, 8"
1/4" Champagne sheer Asiana ribbon, 3'
Decorative copper beads, 3
3 lengths of 20 gauge copper wire, 6"
Copper jump rings, 10
Copper circle charms, hammered, 10

Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Alligator clip
Wire cutters
Small file
Large-eyed beading needle

1. Fold the cord in half and make a lark's head knot around the soldered copper hoop.

2. Tie a single knot around both cord strands with the grosgrain ribbon.  Tie it so that the short end is pointing away from the hoop as shown.

3. Pull the ribbon through the hoop to cover the cords.  Wrap tightly several times around the knot and the top of the cords.  Use an alligator clip to hold in place for the next step.

4. Bury one end of an 18" length of wire in the ribbon near the hoop.  Wrap up and down several times around the ribbon and cords to secure.  Finish with the wire down at the end furthest from the hoop, but do not bury the second wire end yet.

5. Wrap the ribbon in a figure 8 around the two cords, keeping the ribbon flat.  Do not wrap too tightly.  Wrap for approximately 4".

6. Grasping the bottom twist with one hand, push the wrapped ribbon up towards the wire.  The 4" of wrapped ribbon should compact to approximately 2".

7. Using a large-eyed needle if necessary, thread both cords and the ribbon through a large-holed round wooden bead.

8. Continue wrapping and compacting the ribbon, adding wooden hoops, copper open hex beads, and more round wooden beads as desired.

9. To make a 16" double-wrap bracelet, wrap and compact approximately 14", not counting the end hoop.

10. Turn a spiral with 8" of heavy gauge bronze wire.  On the last spiral loop, take the wire up and over your round nosed pliers, and then bend the wire by hand to create a pleasing hook shape.  Make a small bend at the end of the hook, and clip the excess wire off.  File the cut end smooth.

11. Leaving the ribbon free, thread both cords through the base of your hook, tie a double knot around the cords at the base of the hook, and thread the ends back down through the last bead.

12. Pull the ribbon through the base of the hook to cover the cords, and wrap several times to cover the knot.  Using the large-eyed needle, thread the ribbon back down through the last bead.

13. Using your second 18" length of wire, wrap back and forth over the knot and the base of the hook, burying both ends of the wire into the ribbon.

14. Secure the end of your sheer ribbon under the piece of wire you left loose in step 4, and bury the wire end into the ribbons and cords.

15. Wind the sheer ribbon around the previous strand, passing over the round beads and through the hoops and open hexes.  Use the large-eyed needle to add several decorative copper beads along the length.

16. Use the 12" length of wire to secure the sheer ribbon just below the last round wooden bead.

17. Using 6" lengths of wire, wrap loosely on both sides of each decorative bead, around the sheer ribbon, to keep them from shifting and sagging.  Bury both ends of the wire in the ribbon and cords.

18. Open 10 jump rings, and attach charms to two holes on each copper hex bead.  If your hexes don't have pierced holes, just attach your jump rings around the bead instead.

19. The finished bracelet.

Here's a second bracelet that I made, using basically the same instructions, but taking advantage of Offray's satin ribbon.

This post is sponsored by Offray, from whom I have received some of the products in order to create this project 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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