Monday, June 27, 2016

Book review: Hubble Stitch

Here is Melanie de Miguel's second book on the hubble stitch!  The first, Let's Hubble: A Journey into the Brand New Beadwork Stitch, came out last year.  This new volume, Hubble Stitch: Instructions and Inspiration, will give you a chance to truly perfect your understanding of the stitch through projects that are divided by technique.  

When a new stitch is introduced, it doesn't really deserve to be called a true stitch until there is a complete body of techniques to go with it.  Hubble fulfills that requirement: it can be done flat or in the round, it can be increased and decreased, inverted, and turned into 2-drop and 3-drop versions.  It can also be expanded (or "spaced out") horizontally and/or vertically.  Twelve projects take you through all these techniques.  You will be thoroughly versed in the lexicon of Hubble Stitch by the time you work your way through. This is an Interweave book, so you know that the illustrations and instructions are excellent.

I really like the possibilities for bezeling and for constructing ropes using the Hubble Stitch.  So, if you're ready for a new stitch and a new challenge, I highly recommend this book to get you started!

Friday, June 24, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Snap out of it, jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a soon to be released book with an original twist: Manga Origami!

Make It, Wear It
Crafty Princess vlogs about how jewelry designers need to wear their own jewelry designs.

Custom Size Card How-to
Don't feel locked into the size or proportions of a card layout that you're fond of. How to easily create custom size card using mockups.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Book review: Art Jewelry Today 4

I received a stunning book from Schiffer Publishing, the fourth in a series edited by Sandra Korinchak: Art Jewelry Today 4.  It features 400 works by 65 different artists all working in the area of personal adornment, and utilizing some surprising materials and methods along with ones that we've come to know and love already.  Some of the artists give much more information about their materials, motives, and processes than others, and for that I thank them.

As usual in a volume like this, a few of the works are totally unwearable, and are intended to be conceptual, but not many.  Unlike some other edited books, I didn't feel that the works shown here were chosen just because they were different, but instead because they have something to add to the contemporary conversation.

Alejandra Koreck

Ones that I particularly like, either because of interesting materials or incredible techniques, include Jacob Albee (Gibeon meteorite pieces set with gold,drusy agates, diamonds, and other gems), Patricia Alvarez ("coral" made from resin), Sabrinah Chappell (extraordinary wire wrapping with bezel-set stones), Alejandra Koreck (book pages written in braille), Susan Sanders (3D printed nylon), and Holly Stein (vintage art glass, colored cement, and sterling silver).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Albion stitch spark plug

Last year, I wrote a review for the book Introducing Albion Stitch, written by Heather Kingsley-Heath.  I liked how thorough the book was and I also liked all the projects that Heather included.  Albion Stitch is not difficult to do, but I recommend you get Heather's book so that you can see all of the variations she includes.  I will not teach the stitch in this tutorial, because it's not mine to teach, but you can take a look at either of these online resources if you need specifics.
And then you should still buy the book!  :-)

Introducing Albion Stitch
Free pattern on Heather's blog
Pdf from F+W Publishing

1. Anchor a row of seed beads around the middle of the spark plug.  Add a row of albion stitch, spacing it at regular intervals around.


2. Add as many rows as you need or want, to reach the top of the spark plug.

3. Go back to the bottom and embellish the structure as you desire.  I used large e-beads, crystals, and glass rounds.

Copyright 2016 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 17, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Easy Crochet Baby Dresses
You can whip up these super simple pinafore dresses in no time!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a very colorful jewelry design book by Kim St. Jean you will want to try right away! It's the clever, pretty book Colorful Wirework Jewelry: Twist, Wrap, Weave !

Picnic Wine Cooler Caddy to Tote and Chill Beverages
Sew a red, white and blue picnic wine cooler caddy to carry and keep drinks cool for your Independence Day outdoor dining or picnicking. Inside the caddy is a Rapid Ice Wine Chiller Sleeve.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Book review: Discover Torch Enameling

Here's a wonderful new skill for you to add to your jewelry-making repertoire!  In Discover Torch Enameling, Steven James teaches you from the ground up how you can make your own colorful components, pendants, charms, and wired shapes.  Although torch enameling isn't as difficult as you might think, there are technical and safety concerns to be aware of, and Steven guides you through them while still maintaining a light-hearted approach.

All the technical and basics information is right up front in the introduction, and then it's on to the projects.  Twenty-five projects are divided into five categories: projects to get you started and let you gain confidence; playing with different finishes, including raku; enameling wire shapes; manipulating the shape of metal; and creating enameled connections.

My favorite project is probably the raku bracelet shown just above.  Since you are using burning paper and leaves, you never know exactly how the pieces are going to turn out.  Whether you have done some enameling in the past and want to improve your skills, or if it's all new to you, this book full of projects may be just what you've been looking for!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Ametrine and vintage buttons - a unique strung necklace

The original necklace is for sale here

Who says that bead stringing has to be basic or boring?  Not so, if you think about adding layers!  I'm sorry to say that I do not have process shots to share for this tutorial, but if you've been stringing for awhile, you won't have any trouble figuring it out.

To make this necklace, I used vintage buttons with holes (not shanks), large ametrine nuggets, a charm bracelet chain, and a mixture of beads: size 8/0 seed beads, pearls, small amethyst nuggets, glass rounds and faceted rounds, and a few size 6/0 seed beads.  You should chose the materials and colors that most interest you.  You'll also need super-flexible beading wire, a head pin, and these tools: wire cutters, chain and round nose pliers.

1. Cut your bracelet in two so that the clasp side is about an inch or so long.  The clasp will go in the middle as shown above.  Create a loop of seed beads around one end of a piece of chain and begin to weave your necklace as follows.

2. Stitch through a button hole and pick up a size 6/0 seed bead.  Stitch back down through a second hole.  Pick up a few size 8/0 seed beads, a large nugget, and a few more size 8/0 seed beads.  Stitch up through a hole in the next button.  I suggest arranging the buttons so that they are graduated in size, keeping the largest in the center.  Pick up another size 6/0 seed bead and repeat around.

3.  Create a seed bead loop around the other piece of chain at the other end.

4. Add three more passes of stitching, but on the opposite side of each button from Step 2.  Stitching through each size 6/0 seed bead, add a strand of mixed seed beads and small accent beads, stitching from one size 6/0 to the next.  When you get to the end, turn and add another pass.  Repeat until you have at least 3 strands.  You can add more if the large seed bead holes will accommodate it.

5. Place a few small beads on the head pin and turn a wrapped loop around the end of the chain without the clasp.  Your necklace is now adjustable.

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2016 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.

Monday, June 06, 2016

See you real soon!

I'm taking a week off to visit with these goofballs!  See you back here next week :-)

Friday, June 03, 2016

heART beats from other blogs!

Heart Cutout Card for Dad
Eileen's flap fold card is just one way to create a manly gift with the downloadable heart cutout card plus shirt & tie templates.

Crafty Princess & Tappingflamingo Podcast Again
Knitting, crochet, scrapbooking (especially after taking a cruise), and yarn are all up for discussion in this podcast.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean's fired up over Discover Torch Enameling: Get Started with 25 Sure-Fire Projects by Steven James !

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Book review and giveaway: New Connections in Chain Mail Jewelry with Rubber and Glass Rings

Do you like chain mail jewelry, but wish it had more color?  One of the easiest ways to add color is to integrate glass and rubber rings into your work, and Kat Wisniewski shows you how to do this in her new Kalmbach publication, New Connections in Chain Mail Jewelry with Rubber and Glass Rings.  Other sources of color, like enameled copper rings and anodized aluminum rings are not ignored, but the projects in this book let the rubber and glass rings take center stage.

Kat goes over the basics and pays particular attention to good technique while opening and closing rings...and frankly, since that's mostly what you do in chain mail, it makes a lot of sense to get it right!  She also has a great chart on pliers, and she covers the basics of inner and outer diameter, wire gauge, and aspect ratio too.

But mostly this book is about the projects.  Each of the 25 projects has a list of exactly what you will need to make it as shown, plus some color options.  Kat explains which weave is the basis for the project, but this isn't really a book that focuses on weaves and their families so much as on projects.  No worries...there are plenty of books out there that teach all the weave families.  This book focuses more on the color and the fun!


Would you like a great book full of new projects this Spring?  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 will not 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, beadingarts at gmail 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: June 8, 2016
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