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Showing posts from 2015

Happy New Year!

May the coming year be full of everything bright and beautiful for you and your family!

Merry Christmas to all, and see you next year!

Can't help myself, folks!  I've got to take some time off to be with my family...hope you have a wonderful rest too, and make sure you spend some time thinking about your art resolutions for next year :-)

Crazy for crazy quilting!

I showed you a little sample crazy quilt block that I made for Kathy Shaw's online crazy quilting class, and now I have more!  My first original modern crazy quiltlet has no beading, so I hesitated to show it here, but what the's my blog!  It does have a very few sequins, so that's alright.  It may not look like a crazy quilt to you, but it follows the rules of having all the seams decorated, and it has additional embroidery motifs for fun.  I call it 30 Second Hot Flashes .  Guess why?  :-) 30 Second Hot Flashes Cyndi Lavin, 2015 My second crazy quilt block is a bit more traditional, but instead of true patchwork, it uses faux patchwork with a single piece of cloth (raw silk), and "seams" that were first basted on by machine, and subsequently have been hand stitched with perle cotton thread.  Some of my patches are beaded, and some are not, and it's also not done yet.  But this is my last chance to show you before I'm taking a break

Yay for Richard!

Richard won the copy of The Bead Directory that we had to give away...congratulations!!

heART beats from other blogs!

Another Amigurumi Tip When you put together all the parts of your crochet toy, it is time to commit! Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Mastering Beadwork by Carol Huber Cypher is a must-have beadwork book for all avid beaders! See Jean's review of this classic, and consider it for a holiday gift.Everyone will love it! Art Bead Scene Check out Erin's adorable Hoots' Family Reunion! So cute! Alcohol Ink Ornaments These gorgeous alcohol ink ornaments require nothing more than alcohol inks, compressed air, clear glass ball ornaments and a sense of humor. Stitch Gingy So, you can't catch the Gingerbread man, but you sure can stitch him! The latest free chart from Connie Gee's Designs will make a great pillow or ornament depending on the count of the fabric used.

Great Interweave books for Christmas gift-giving!

Fine Art Wire Weaving: Weaving Techniques for Stunning Jewelry Designs By Sarah Thompson Interweave/F+W; $24.99 In Fine Art Wire Weaving , you'll explore working with super-fine wires (28 gauge - 30 gauge) to create 20 delicate, sophisticated pieces with a "wow" factor that's easier than it looks thanks to expert instruction. Using techniques in layering, symmetry, and dimensional shaping, you'll come away with a strong foundation in wire working, allowing you to create your own one-of-a-kind pieces. Paired with beautiful, full-color photography, you'll not only learn how to work with these fine wires successfully, but what to do when one of your projects goes awry as well. Everything you need to know about creating stunning wire jewelry designs in here! Simple Soldering: A Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Making By Kate Richbourg Interweave/F+W; $29.95 Metalworking is generally regarded as a skill that takes years of dedication, requires a

Fast projects for holiday gift-giving!

Glass vial necklace Flower Power button earrings by Rena Klingenberg Expandable wire bangle bracelet by SoftFlexGirl Glass vial necklace by Rings & Things Boot belts by Bohomia Cup chain bracelets by Jennifer VanBenschoten Classic charm bracelet by Rings & Things Transparent ombre earrings by Rena Klingenberg Resin charms by Ann Butler Technorati Tags: bead embroidery , handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

heART beats from other blogs!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean reviews a super beading book concerning a brand new technique: Albion Stitch, 20 Jewelry Projects, by Heather Kingman-Smith. This is a wonderful, energizing book for all the beaders on your gift list! Candy Cane Pattern A sweet treat for the holiday season that will be perfect for a card, gift tag or ornament. Felt Ornament Whip up some super easy felt holiday ornaments with this quick how-to video. Snow Glittered Cone Trees Snow glittered cone trees that don't snow glitter all over. Here's a way to create glittered white snow drifts that stay put with heat set embossing powder.

Interweave books for Christmas, and a giveaway - part two

Here are two fantastic slightly older books that I think would make great holiday gifts.  And, in fact, I'm going to send one of them to one of you!  The giveaway information is at the bottom of this post :-) The Bead Directory: The Complete Guide to Choosing and Using More than 600 Beautiful Beads By Elise Mann Interweave/F+W; $24.95 Beaders and other artisans have knowledge and ideas at their fingertips with this comprehensive reference to more than 600 individual beads that are readily available and appropriate for contemporary projects. Chapters in The Bead Directory are separated by bead material, including glass, wood, semi-precious stone, and ceramic beads. Each bead is pictured from several angles, alongside descriptions of dimensions, color range, usage, special care, size of hole, weight, suitable stringing materials, relative cost, and suggested complementary beads. An extensive index lists suppliers in stores and online, making this reference an invaluab

Gift books for the holidays

Each year, I like to share a list of books with you that I think are really the top picks from all the books published in this past year.  I still think that many of the books from prior years' lists are good too, and if you'd like to see them, they are linked at the bottom of this post.  Also, I keep running lists of all the books that pertain to specific topics and media , like wirework, bead embroidery, etc, all linked up at the Books tab at the top of every page.  And finally, if you are looking for all of the bead and jewelry books published this past year , just scroll down to the bottom of the linked page and you'll find them all listed by month. My Top Pick for Everyone This Year: 26 Quick Stitched Elements by Thomasin Alyxander For Beginners: Easy Jewelry Making by BeadStyle Jewelry Making 1-2-3 by Karin van Voorhees 18 Beaded Jewelry Projects by Dorothy Wood DIY Wrap Bracelets by Keiko Sakamoto Fast & Easy Earrings by Erica Swan

Earrings to make as gifts - my tutorials

Chain and pearl earrings Dutch spiral Simple and fast Right angle weave Blue hearts and wire Leftover beads Chain and pearl Chainmaille Hanukkah  Shank buttons and beads Hammered wire and beads Chain drop with pearls Simple polymer clay beads Chainmaille and beads Pompoms Simple lampwork beads Pink bubbles Leaves Technorati Tags: bead embroidery , handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

heART beats from other blogs!

Back on the Needles A simple garter stitch shawl is back on the needles in anticipation of cooler weather coming, some day! Snap out of it, Jean! There's Beading to be done! Jean reviews a sweet and gorgeous book by Nicky Epstein: Enchanted Knits for Dolls, 25 Mystical, Magical Costumes for 18-inch Dolls. It is a winner! Accordion Fold Paper Angel Ornament Use up paper scraps to make this accordion fold paper angel. Hang on the tree or use on cards & gifts. They're quick to make, so why not do a bunch at one time. Holiday Freebie Connie's posted a new free pattern that reflects the holiday cheer she feels and she's also offering a great discount in her Etsy shop! My Kentucky Craft Room Just before Terry Jeanette of The Tappingflamingo sold their home in Kentucky and moved back to Louisiana, she had to take one last video of her craft room. She shows ideas on how to get organized, and hopes she will be able to replicate the same in their new home.

Interweave books for Christmas, and a giveaway - part one

It's funny how when you start to think about some "older" beading trend, somehow it starts to pop up again in your life!  I've been talking a bit about amulet bags , and lo and behold, Interweave sent me a copy of Jean Campbell's wonderful book Beaded Bags !  So, at the end of this post, I'm going to have a giveaway for you!! Beaded Bags By Jean Campbell Interweave/F+W; $16.95 This is a pure project book, not for beginners.  The instructions in Beaded Bags are fairly minimal, but the range of techniques is a delight—embroidery, on- and off-loom weaving, bead crochet, and bead knitting. Whether you're beading a bag for yourself or as a gift, you'll find beautiful photography, clear illustrations, and more than enough projects to inspire you for years to come. Bead Embroidery Stitch Samples By Yasuka Endo Interweave/F+W: $17.99 Now beaders can combine their love of handstitching and beautiful beads to make delightfully origi

Book review: Country Living's Christmas Joys

Christmas Joys is a lovely coffee table book, just full of decorating, gifts, and food!  What could be better, as we start off the holiday season?  It's a big lush picture book of inspiration, with a few how to's and some good recipes too.  It would make a great gift book for the Christmas lover on your list. In the decorating section, there are ideas for the front porch, doorway, alternatives to wreaths, entryway, plants, gift tag ornaments, alternative color schemes, lots of table tops, kitchens, bed and bath rooms, lots of trees, garlands, wreaths, and mantels.  Many are both clever and budget friendly! In the gifts section, you'll find pillows, embroidered items, kitchen items, cards and notepads, office items, cookies, candies, breads, infused honey, salts, sugars, and vodkas, and beautiful gift-wrapping ideas. In the final food section, there are four ideas for themed parties, full holiday dinners, and even more desserts than in the gift section! Techn

Yay for PK!!

PK is the winner of our giveaway book, Resin Alchemy !  Congratulations!!

My crazy quilt block is finished

I told you a few weeks ago about the basic crazy quilting online class I signed up for with  Kathy Shaw .  Well, I'm here to tell you now that it was great.  The last part included adding beads, buttons, lace, and other embellishments.  It was a lot of fun, but then I found myself balking a bit.  Even though I admire really jam-packed CQ squares, it's just not my style.  I like space between the elements and to allow the fabric to speak as well.  Go figure, because I'm certainly not like that with my bead embroidery!  Here's what I added: Antique sequins Beads Two tri-colored butterflies I decided to fill the corners with a templated version of blanket stitch, which is what I use (the plain variety, that is), to finish all my hand-stitched quilts.  You can see the dots in the photo below.  I finished the block by turning it under, setting it on top of a larger piece of wool felt with some cotton batting in the center just to plump it out a

heART beats from other blogs!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! In her ongoing series of great gifts for the holidays, Jean reviews Heather Powers' lovely new book, Beautiful Elements. Easy Mold Making for Resin or Clay Do you know how easy mold making is? Eileen duplicated a 3/4" diameter metal pendant of a frog on a lily pad after losing one from a 3-piece set of jewelry. Can you tell which of the 3 is the copy? Art Bead Scene Michelle is hosting a challenge - and she wants YOU to play along! Crochet Pattern Review Here is a video review of Lion Brand's free wristers crochet pattern. December Diamonds Connie's posted the next two section of the free SAL. There's still plenty of time to get started!

Book review: Veranda - The Romance of Flowers

If you are familiar with the magazine Veranda , you know that it's all about gracious beauty.  Well, here's a coffee table book for you that will help you to drift away into that romantic, gracious, and stress-free zone as the holiday season descends upon us!   The Romance of Flowers , by Clinton Smith , and published by Hearst Books, an imprint of Sterling, is an enormous book that you can just fall into and forget all about life for awhile.  And don't we all need that from time to time? There are photos of flowers in close up, floral arrangements set in beautiful rooms, and flowers in lovely still lifes.  There is also a running commentary by Clinton Smith about the flowers, the fashions, and the fashion makers...but to be 100% candid, I haven't read it all yet!  I got so mesmerized by the flowers that I decided to look first and read later.  This is a book that I think I will find myself dipping into a little at a time when I need to refill my well or just g

Recent publications: November 2015

A few new books to get you ready for a new year, featuring a new stitch and some new markets! Introducing Albion Stitch: 20 Beaded Jewelry Projects by Heather Kingsley-Heath 2016 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market by Mary Burzlaff Bostic Technorati Tags: bead embroidery , handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Book review and giveaway: Resin Alchemy

Books don't have to be brand new to be good choices for holiday gift-giving!   Resin Alchemy was published in 2013, but there are still a lot of people who are excited about the techniques it teaches.  My original review is at the link.  So, who would be interested in maybe winning a copy, for yourself or to give to someone else? GIVEAWAY ALERT!!!  I've got a copy that needs to go to a good home!  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: November 30, 2015 Resin Alchemy: Innovative Techniques for Mixed-Media and Jew

heART beats from other blogs!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean reviews a great book for holiday gift giving, Resin Alchemy by Susan Lenart Kazmer. What a fabulous book to own and learn from! Jingle Bell Wreath Ornament Jingle bell wreath ornaments are fun and easy ornament to make from wood curtain rings, hot glue & bells. They make great gift toppers or wearable pins too. Get Edgy  This video review talks about a new book for crochet edges. DIY Ninja Stars...or Suns...  This video shows you how to make a Ninja Star. Terry made these for a gift exchange on a recent cruise and everyone loved them. One person told her she was excited to use it in her scrapbook of the trip Art Bead Scene Claire interviews Kathrin Kniedl - take a peek behind the scenes at her stunning clay work! 

Book review: Chain Mail + Color

Do you love chain maille, or do you find it intimidating?  Do you love the sleek minimalism of it, or do you wish there were a way to jazz it up a bit?  No matter what your opinion of classic chain maille, I think you're going to be enchanted by Vanessa Walilko's book Chain Mail + Color , published by Kalmbach . Never fear if you've not tried chain maille before.  Vanessa introduces you to three very simple weaves that you will be able to master quickly.  She teaches you all the little tricks and techniques to working successfully in the Basics section, and (YAY!) gives you a list of suppliers who carry the various materials that she uses. The main body of the book is broken into three sections.  Once you've learned the weaves, you can then choose to add colorful aluminum scales, disks, or washers to make your designs really pop, but without adding a lot of weight.  Oh, and did I forget to mention that the jump rings themselves that you'll be working wit

Book review: Beautiful Elements

I love Heather Powers's work, especially her glorious polymer clay beads, but also her finished jewelry which she puts together using a lot of her own wire and metal elements.  In her new book, Beautiful Elements , published by Kalmbach, Heather brings it all together in a delightful celebration of designs from the heart. Even though I would consider this an intermediate book, the thorough Basics section in the beginning, covering materials, tools, and techniques for making jewelry, working with polymer clay and metal, mean that a beginner can play too.  If you like Heather's style, grab this book and learn from the very beginning how to make your own findings, links, drops, pendants, and beads, rather than buying manufactured ones that everyone is using. Heather's book will teach you how to "sketch" on metal, add amazing texture and personal imagery, create your own charms and drops, and make custom beads from polymer clay.  Throughout, there are p

Book review: Jewelry Design with Knitted Wire

Nealay Patel has put together some lovely projects for this new Kalmbach book, Jewelry Designs with Knitted Wire .  You might remember that I shared a project with you, using metal mesh as a design element in a necklace named Midnight Sky of Distant Stars .  We also looked at using it in the third chapter of Bored By Back Stitch again as a design element.  Nealay's take on this material is broader and slightly different from mine, so I was very interested to see what he was doing with it. Wire mesh in three forms is explored in this book: hollow (flexible, the type I used), flat (stiff), and mesh filled with leather cord.  There is a good basics section included, with the tools and special findings you will need to add this material to your repertoire.  You probably already have most of them! There are 32 projects included.  Most treat the mesh like an armature: stitch through it, fill it, treat is like soutache braid.  But other treatments push a little further: slip

Starting an amulet bag

I've become convinced that some people are not finished with making amulet bags quite yet!  When I asked that question a few weeks ago, it got me to thinking that I had never shared with you how I start my bags, and I really think it's a technique worth knowing. I am not a fan of stitching a flat peyote stitch piece and then zipping it up when finished.  I find it too limiting, and there is absolutely no room for freedom or error.  Yes, you will end up with a perfect little bag...IF you get all the counts exactly right.  No, there is nothing wrong with doing it this way, but here's the method I prefer and why I prefer it. 1. Start by picking up an odd number of beads.  Pick up another bead and pass through the third bead from the end of the first row, pulling the last bead of the first row sideways.  Stitch back towards the beginning of the first row, and when there are two beads left, pick up one more bead and stitch through the tail end of the first bead added