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Showing posts from 2016

Recent publications: December 2016

Casual Bead Elegance, Stitch by Stitch by Eve Leder Global Style Jewelry: Inspiration and Instruction for 25 Exotic Beaded Jewelry Projects by Anne Potter

Merry Christmas!

To all my friends who celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ:

Blessed Hanukkah

To all of my friends who celebrate the Festival of Lights

Book review: Casual Bead Elegance

Eve Leder has written a new book, Casual Bead Elegance , published by Kalmbach , which doesn't make you choose which stitch to learn...instead, Eve wants you to try them all!  And then she wants you to learn how to combine them!   Using beads that any beader will most likely have on hand (seed beads, crystals, pearls, a few gemstones, and a couple of shaped beads), Eve leads you through ladder stitch, right-angle weave, cubic RAW, herringbone, square stitch, circular brick stitch, peyote, and then finally combined stitches.  You'll find three main projects for each stitch, plus variations.  The first project teaches the stitch path and reinforces good habits from the start.  The second project allows you to practice the new stitch with a more elaborate result, and the third challenges you to apply the new stitch in even more challenging ways.   If you've been wanting to brush up on off-loom beading stitches, work your way from the ones you already know int

Daisy chain bracelet

I was leafing through a few older books (meaning 2013 in this case...not exactly OLD), looking for a quick and easy piece of jewelry I could make for a friend.  I came across a bracelet designed by Nancy Zellers in her book Metallic Seed Bead Splendor (review at the link and link to purchase).  It's a super cute bracelet that she calls "Going Baroque with Pearls".  I didn't have the right size and shape of pearls, but I found with just a few adjustments, I could use 8mm faceted fire polished beads . With some 8mm accent beads and two different colors of seed beads in size 11/0 and one in size 15/0, I made this bracelet in one afternoon.  It's a modified and embellished daisy chain stitch, and I kept my tension tighter than Nancy did so that my bracelet would twist a bit since my friend has a narrow wrist.  You could also leave a link or two out...or add more if you need them. This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Book review: Simple Metalwork Jewelry

Have you been hankering to add metal to your work, but haven't been quite ready to invest in a torch?   Judy Freyer Thompson's new book, Simple Metalwork Jewelry , published by Kalmbach , may give you just the boost you need to take that next step!  Judy teaches you cutting, drilling, filing, etching, texturing, riveting, sawing, and adding patina all while creating wonderful wearable jewelry designs. As you work your way through the earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings, you will find your confidence growing in your new basic skills, and maybe next year you'll decide to add a torch after all!  But even if not...Judy sets you up for lots of wonderful fun working with metal and cold connections!

Coiled bangle bracelet

I was rather enchanted with Sonia Davis's "Coiled Kumihimo Bangle" which appeared in Beadwork Magazine , the December/January 2017 issue.  I don't really enjoy kumihimo though, so I thought about how to change it for my own use.  I ended up deciding to use tubular brick stitch around wire instead and accent it with glass pearls .  The kumihimo project probably weaves up a lot faster than my version, but I didn't really mind.  These are size 11/0 seed beads , so it could have been worse!  Since it was really the construction of the bangle, with the three segments that overlapped, that intrigued me rather than the stitches, I definitely owe a debt of gratitude to Sonia for such a cool design!   This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Book review: Micro-Macrame Jewelry

The designs you will find in Kelsy Eason's new book, Micro-Macrame Jewelry , published by Kalmbach , are lighter, more open lacy and airy designs overall than you usually find in micro-macrame books.  Kelsy has decided that she wants her designs to be appropriate for everyday wearing, not just special occasions, so she has concentrated on easy-to-find materials and easy-to-learn knots. Most of the designs use the slightly larger size 6/0 seed beads, C-Lon or S-Lon cords, waxed linen, or 1mm round leather cording.  All of these are readily available online and in beading or craft stores.  There is only one piece of specialty equipment needed, and that is a padded bead board.  If you don't want to invest in one, Kelsy shows you to make one!   The knots used are ones you probably are already familiar with if you've done any macrame in the past, and they are all easily learned if you are a beginner: Lark's head (both horizontal and vertical), square knot, half

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: The Embroidery Book by Christen Brown For Beginners: Learn to Use Two-Hole Beads by Teresa Morse Make It Sparkle by Lindsay Burke Cool Copper Cuffs by Eva Sherman Colorful Wirework Jewelry by Kim St. Jean Hubble Stitch by Melanie de Miguel Discover Torch Enamel

Amethyst tree necklace tutorial - part three

Over the last two weeks, I have showed you how I put together the centerpiece of this bead embroidered necklace (links at the bottom).  Finally this week, I want to show you how I made necklace strands that would echo the colors of the center, but not compete with it for attention. 15. On the center of a long piece of beading wire , I added enough seed beads to loop through one of the bails.  I used a crimp tube , covered with with a large-holed glass bead , and filled that bead with tiny little seed beads for stability. 16. I strung each strand of wire separately, bringing them together in the middle through a small donut of amethyst . 17. I worked to keep the colors, textures, and sizes of the beads balanced on the strands, larger beads towards the bottom, and smaller towards the top. 18. At the end of one strand, I added chain and a handmade wire hook. 19. At the end of the other strand, I added chain and a wire dangle. 20. And here is the fin

Recent publications: November 2016

Hubble Stitch 2: Further Adventures into Planet Hubble by Melanie de Miguel Learn to Use Two-Hole Beads with 25 Fabulous Projects: A Beginner's Guide to Designing With Twin Beads, SuperDuos, and More by Teresa Morse Exotic Adornments: 18 Luxurious Beadwork Jewelry Projects by Kelly Wiese More 3-D Butterflies in Peyote Stitch by Sheila Root Making Wire Jewellery by Janice Zethraeus Crafter's Market: The DIY Resource for Creating a Successful and Profitable Craft Business by Abigail Patner Glassenberg

Amethyst tree necklace tutorial - part two

Last week, I showed you how I decided to trap this unusually shaped slab in a wire cage in order to add it to a bead embroidered necklace.  Starting where we left off... 8. I trimmed the foundation fabric close to the outside edge of stack stitched beads, and removed the guide thread. 9. Since this is a heavy piece, I decided to add another piece of interfacing (see step 3), this time to the entire piece.  I chose Lutradur, because it is extremely strong even though it is quite thin. 10. After cutting a backing piece of fabric, I used edging brick stitch to cover the raw edges all the way around. 11. Around the sides and the top, I added a simple stack stitch to each edging bead. 12. Near the bottom, I added heavier beads and stitched the stacks longer so that they became fringe. 13. I tested the piece for balance and chose two spots on the sides near the top where I wanted the necklace strands to attach.  At those points, I stitched two square

heART beats from other blogs!

3D Goofy Turkey Place Cards Put smiles on guests' faces this Thanksgiving as they search for the goofy turkey place cards clutching guest names in the beaks. How-to and downloads. Pattern Mix & Match Card: Eye-catching & Easy Peasy If you enjoy mixing and matching patterns in your decor or art, then you'll love making this pattern mix and match card!

Amethyst tree necklace tutorial - part one

Sometimes you have to get more than just a little bit creative when adding a stone or other item to a piece of bead embroidery.  I have used wire wrapping many times to help secure a cabochon or donut (like in Orinoco Flow , below). The wire gives you more places to catch a thread and stitch the odd-shaped item down. But this slab of amethyst crystals had me stumped for awhile.  Until I decided to create a cage for it that didn't actually wrap around it! I'm going to share many of my steps with you over the next few weeks.  If you are a beginner to bead embroidery, please help yourself to a download of the first chapter of Every Bead Has a Story .  You will find step-by-step instructions for putting together a bead embroidered piece, including back stitch, edging brick stitch, stack stitch, all the materials and tools, etc. I can't give you an exact materials lists or exact measurements and details like that, but I've shared the techniques many many times, inc

Amethyst tree necklace

Here's what I just finished working on...a tutorial is coming soon! Copyright 2016 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 

heART beats from other blogs!

Dream Create Inspire — Making Art Happen Eileen made a fun piece of postcard art from start to finish this week! If you sometimes get stuck and have trouble completing projects, she has a tip for you. Snap out of it, jean! There's beading to be done! Jean reviews the beautiful book by Christina Anton, Creative Leather Jewelry

Mixed media art books

Just trying to catch up here today!  I've posted quite a number of reviews of mixed media art books over on Mixed Media Artist since the last time I shared a comprehensive list of them here on Beading Arts .  That was back in! In chronological order, here's what's been posted since: Favorite Fabric Bowls, Boxes and Vases Creative Strength Training Acrylic Expressions Double Vision Quilts Art Quilt Collage Pigments of Your Imagination, 2nd edition Making Art from Maps Painted Paper Art Workshop Artful Improv Fabricadabra

Bead embroidered rhodochrosite pendant

This will be the last little bead embroidery pendant for a short while, because I finally started working on a BIG one!  This stone is rhodochrosite, and like the others from the past few weeks, it's been sitting in my bin of crazy-beautiful stone cabochons for too long.  It's a small stone, and so the seed beads are mostly size 15/0s with a final row of size 11/0s.   It's an odd shade of pink, and I felt that if I wasn't careful, it could end up looking like pepto bismol.  The stone has some crystalline "flaws" in it, so it wasn't terribly expensive; therefore, I felt pretty free to experiment with the bead colors.  The background of the stone has a peachy cast, but the swirling foreground is a cool pink, so I was a bit ambivalent about bead colors.  In retrospect, I think the deeper red color should have been cooler, but when you are looking at it straight on, the red doesn't show quite as much as in the angle of my, the bead