Monday, June 29, 2015

Shamballa ribbon bracelet

How does your light shine?
In the halls of Shambala

Always popular for summertime, Shamballa-style bracelets have become year-round accessories for many people.  And that's great, because they are SO EASY to make!  I'm going to show you a version that's a little bit different, because frankly, you can get the instructions for the "normal" ones any-old-where.

Materials and Tools
36" Round or ribbon-style suede cord, 3mm
4 1/2" (stretched out) cup chain, 5mm
72" + 20" Champagne sheer Asiana ribbon, 1/4"
Or use 2mm silk fairy ribbon

Clear glue
Clip board
Tape measure
Wire cutters
Tapestry needle
Chain nose pliers

1. Fold your cord in half and clip the fold to the top of your clip board.

2. Fold the long length of ribbon in half and tie a macrame-style square knot around your two cords, about 5 inches down from the top.

3. Complete about 5 macrame square knots in total (covering about 1" of the cords), and squish the knots down to about 1/2".

4. Begin the next square knot, but slip the first rhinestone in your length of cup chain under the first pass of the ribbon.  Pull it snug and complete the second half of the knot between the first and second stone.

5. Add a complete square knot in between each stone.  Add another 5 square knots below the cup chain, but do not squish them together yet.

6. Using the tapestry needle, thread the ribbon ends through each of the last 5 knots on the back of the bracelet.  Add a dot of glue to each and clip the ends off once dry.  Squish the knots to about 1/2".

7. Taking the shorter length of ribbon, cross the cord ends as shown, and tie a square knot around all four cords.

8. Make 5 or more square knots and finish the ends as in step 6.  Do not make these knots too tight, since you need the cords to be able to slide.  Knot and clip the ends of the cords.  Most people choose to leave theirs a little longer than I did, but it is entirely up to you.

9. Finished!  Pretty, huh?

This post is sponsored by Offray, from whom I have received some of the products in order to create this project for you.  In addition, this post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique
Copyright 2015 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, June 26, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

WIP Update and Free Pattern
Connie's posted an update on her latest WIP (work in progress) and she's also posted a new free pattern for you to stitch and enjoy.

DIY Lanyard Ideas
Have you thought about making your own lanyard for work or trips? Here are some ideas, including a lanyard that can be worn as a bracelet or a long or short necklace.

Mixed Media Canvas: A Flower Blooms
Eileen took a class taught by artist Stephenie Hamen and had a lot of messy fun!

Art Bead Scene
Meet the Art Bead Artists who have responded to our monthly challenge!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Right angle weave earrings

I've found another way to recharge my batteries when I'm in between major projects!  Last week, I told you about just letting my fingers work on some weaving without having a real goal in mind, which resulted in a tube of Cellini spiral.  Well, I still didn't have a plan, so I went looking for another quick and easy little something-or-other to make.

I settled on a necklace that I made several years ago, but decided to use the pattern to make some earrings.  No, they don't match the original necklace, but they will go with a lot of things I'm currently wearing.  The instructions can be found here at the Beaded Lily Necklace tutorial.

I made three right angle weave units, as explained in the tutorial, topping them with Swarovski crystal chaton montees (ss16 to ss18).  The ear wires I made are longer than usual: I used 3 inch lengths of wire instead of my customary 2 to 2 1/2, simply because my hair is longer now, and I like a bit more length.  To make the ear wires, turn a small loop at the bottom, and use a pen to loop both wires up and over.  Do them both at the same time and you'll keep them identical.  Use chain nose or flat nose pliers to turn the ends up, clip them off even, and file them smooth.

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique
Copyright 2015 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, June 19, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Welcome Sampler Cross Stitch Pattern
Connie's added a new free pattern that is easy to adapt to your own personal taste. It would make a great gift when framed or finished as a flat-fold.

Art Bead Scene
Read all about Erin's experiences learning with the masters at Bead and Button!

Crepe Paper Magnolias
Welcome summer with a bouquet of hand made crepe paper magnolias.

Yummy Silk Blend Yarn
The Crafty Princess reviews Cascade Heritage Silk Paint yarn in this short video.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book review: Jewelry Making 1-2-3

Are you a beginner?  Are you sick of beginner projects that all look alike?  You are definitely gonna want this book, or you're gonna want to get it for someone you love who is a beginner.  Karin Van Voorhees has designed the projects and written Jewelry Making 1-2-3, and I am so so thankful that there is a designer who specializes in beautiful and interesting projects that will allow you to practice the basics.  Here we go...

In part one, Karin teaches six basic skills, each followed by projects that will help you practice the skills in a FUN and beautiful way.  She covers jump rings, plain loops, wrapped loops, top-drilled loops, crimps, and knots.  There are no sources given for the materials used, but all items are commonly available through online jewelry making catalogs and at stores such as Michaels.

In parts two and three, Karin covers more design-oriented skills, such as using spacers and beadcaps, creating multistrand pieces, choosing between symmetry and asymmetry, designing with brights and neutrals, and swapping out different findings (like clasps) for different design looks.

Each of the basic and design skills is covered with a brief but clear series of photos and instructions, and is then followed by three or more beautiful projects.  I just can't think of any better way to introduce these skills than to end up with pretty pieces to wear when you're done.  Great job, Karin!

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Monday, June 15, 2015

The versatile Cellini spiral

Many times when I'm between projects, I will simply pick out some beads and start a beadweaving pattern with them.  I particularly enjoy doing this when I don't have to think about the pattern too much, and can thus allow my mind to wander freely until it hits on whatever the next major project will be.

The best part of this type of wool-gathering?  I usually end up with a piece that I can use sometime down the road!

My most recent "thinking with my hands" session involved stitching up this Cellini spiral tube.  Will it end up being a bracelet?  Part of a necklace?  A sculptural piece?  I don't know yet :-)

If you know how to do tubular even count peyote stitch, you're all set with the Cellini spiral. Make a circle with undulating sized beads in pairs. Tie a knot and reinforce your base by stitching through it again. The rules are simple: For the current row you are stitching, pick up the same bead that you have just exited in the row below. When you get to the end of the row, you will have to step up to start the next row, but that's the only thing that is even remotely tricky about Cellini spiral.

The beads I used: Seed beads in sizes 15/0, 11/0, 8/0, and 6/0 (listed smallest to largest sizes)

Happy stitching!  And let me know if you have a great idea about what I should do with this's about 8 inches long.

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2015 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, June 12, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Connie Gee's New Pattern
Connie has added a new Welcome Sampler Cross Stitch Pattern to her Etsy shop. It is colorful and suitable for stitching on Aida or Linen. She's also added a new free pattern to the site, so be sure to check out recent blog posts.

Father's Day Craft Ideas
Father's Day is June 21st. Here are 18 project ideas to check out.

Much Crafting!
Crafty Princess published another crafting podcast where she shares all the crafting madness, crochet, knitting, and beading!

Guitar String Bracelet Tutorial
Here is a fun idea for recycling old guitar strings. Terry shows how to make a bracelet, and gives other ideas to make out of old instrument strings.

Art Bead Scene
Check out Heather's beautiful colour palette from our gorgeously vibrant monthly challenge piece!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Book review: Bead Play with Tassels

One of my favorite bead embroidery artists, Jamie Cloud Eakin, has written another book compiling her years of wisdom!  This one, as you can see, is called Bead Play with Tassels, and in it Jamie takes you through step-by-step how to add these delightful elements to your work.  Tassels can stand alone as pendants, or they can be added to other work, and Jamie covers both.

She starts with what she calls minimal and standard tassels, and moves you gently into creating pom pom and spiral styles.  The spirals are particularly arresting, and I love the way they look on their own.  The illustrations are very easy to follow, and I particularly liked the chapter on how to attach the tassels to your work.

Coupled with her book Bead Play with Fringe (my review), Jamie has put together a helpful guide that you are going to want to have.  Bet you didn't know how many types of tassels it was possible to make!

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Monday, June 08, 2015

Lilac button pendant...fresh for summer!

I bought this beautiful mother-of-pearl button the last time I was out in Portland OR, visiting my daughter. You can probably find something similar to it online.  I would recommend a Czech glass button as an alternative.

Because the button is so beautiful, I wanted to keep the bead embroidery around it fairly simple so that it wouldn't compete.  For that reason also, I chose seed bead colors that matched the button colors.  The shank is fairly shallow, so I didn't have to worry about cutting it off.

1. Using white interfacing as the foundation material, I stitched on the button and surrounded it with two rows of back stitch in size 11/0 seed beads. I was able to get the outer row to be a multiple of four, which gives me the greatest number of options for finishing it off with a decorative stitch.  Using the inner row as a base, I added two rounds of peyote stitch to create a bezel.  The first row is also size 11/0 seed beads, and the final row is size 15/0 to help cinch it in and cover the edge of the button.

2. Using the outer row as a base, I added one row of Russian spiral stitch, still in the same colors.  Instructions for bead embroidered Russian spiral can be found in Bored By Back Stitch, chapter one.

3. I added a resin opal cabochon below the button, surrounded it with a peyote stitch bezel, and cut out the entire pendant, leaving a 1/8 inch margin for edging.  I used ultra-suede as a backing fabric, and did edging brick stitch around the entire outer edge, using size 15/0 seed beads.  I then added a two-bead stack to each edging stitch.  (See note below for more in-depth instructions.)

4. Add a square stitch bail to the back of the pendant.

5. Finished!

Step-by-step instructions for putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, and stack stitch can be found in the free first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story.  Chapter two has instructions for stitching a peyote stitch bezel, and Chapter three teaches the square stitch bail.

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2015 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.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

heART beats from other blogs!

Making Beaded Stitch Markers
Learn to combine beads and findings to make pretty beaded dangle stitch markers for knitting.

More Glass Bottle Flowers
Cherie's still making bottle flowers for the garden. This time with paint and beads.

Father's Day Pocket Album Card 
What's in your stash? Almost all the supplies for Eileen's pocket album card were free. A mini photo album for Dad lifts out of the pocket for viewing.

Friday, June 05, 2015

"Arm Candy" is now available for download!

Thanks to having a huge collection of vintage jewelry, much of it broken, I was inspired to work on a new series of jewelry pieces which integrates broken treasures more fully into my mixed media bead embroidery. What fun it was to make these pieces, and it's even more fun to wear them!

The techniques section covers a dozen ways to attach your broken pieces to your beadwork. What do you do when traditional peyote stitch bezeling won't work? Try one of the other eleven ways! This is followed by four compete step-by-step bracelet projects, which include design tips, detailed instructions that will help it turn out right, and all you need to know to finish the back and edges of each piece professionally.

My biggest personal challenge in putting this e-book together was realizing that you probably won't be able to find identical pieces to work with as the ones I have. If you read through the materials and the techniques section before you start any projects, I believe that they will help you come up with creative alternatives based upon what you may already have available. Because of this, I have refrained from giving exact bead counts and measurements, but have instead emphasized the principles of my design choices. For this reason, Arm Candy is not really a beginner book, although a determined beginner will learn from the start how to make pieces that are truly her own!
Arm Candy, 62 pages, $3 US

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Book review: Decorative Wire Findings

I love love love Melody MacDuffee's work!  We've seen it before in Lacy Wire Jewelry (my review), and now she has done it again in a brand new Kalmbach book, Decorative Wire Findings.

No matter what your style, you can learn to make findings to suit yourself and compliment your work.  Do you like color?  Tradition?  Romance?  Gothic edge?  Melody shows you how to take basic designs and, with very few tools, adapt them to make them truly your own.

Uniquely, the projects section comes first, covering earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pins, and rings.  As you browse through, you will notice the findings and how certain techniques are used in different ways to different effects.  And you will drool.  A lot.

I especially love the spiral chandelier earring components

Next comes a very brief materials and tools section, just to make sure that everyone is on the same page.  And last come the instructions for the basic techniques (the building blocks), followed by the components used in the many projects.  Included are earring wires, headpins, dangles, clasps, other closures, bails, wraps, caps, links, connectors, spacers, bezels, pin backs, and wire beads.

Though this may seem a bit backwards at first glance, it's really quite a brilliant arrangement for the book.  As you browse the eye candy, each project gives you a list of tools and materials needed, the components you need to make ahead, and the pages where the detailed instructions are found.  No time wasted with things that don't interest you!

But I'll bet at some point they will ALL interest you :-)

Monday, June 01, 2015

Arm Candy...a new e-book coming soon!

I have been working on a new series of bracelets that will allow you to upcycle broken commercial jewelry pieces into wonderful components for mixed media bead embroidered cuffs!  Having a huge collection of vintage pieces...much of it broken...inspired me to see what could be done.  I decided to stick with bracelets this time since they work up quickly.  All the techniques that are included will work equally well for making necklaces and pendants too, of course!

I'm hoping that by telling you this, it will force me to buckle down and get the e-book finished before the end of the month.  Here are the pieces which will be included, along step-by-step instructions, and all the information you need to design your own pieces.

Copyright 2015 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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