Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Book review: Woven in Wire



Did you read Sarah Thompson's first wire book, Fine Art Wire Weaving?  If so, then you'll be completely thrilled to see that she has a second, more advanced book out: Woven in Wire.  May I just say...Oh. My. Gosh!  Sarah is a master, and she is a true artist.  These are challenging projects that are not designed for beginners, but even if you are a beginner, you're going to at least want to see this book for examples of what to strive for!  I was totally blown away by the beauty, complexity, and power of Sarah's art work.

Ok, so let's just get this out there again so no one will be misled: to master projects like these will take a LOT of practice.  This is not a book of easy afternoon or weekend projects.  The two main focus points of Woven In Wire is dimension and symmetry: adding depth through sculpting and careful precision in design.  But more about that later.

Sarah starts off with a discussion of tools, and though you won't need an entire room-full of them like with some art forms, it's important to have excellent tools in order to go beyond beginner work, especially in your pliers and hammers.  For materials, Sarah prefers pure silver and copper round wire in dead soft, though she lists and compares other wires as well.

On to techniques.  There is a detailed discussion on weaving properly by hand, including the all-important hand position in order to not end up damaging yourself over the long haul.  Sarah covers straightening wire, creating various basic shapes, hammering, creating points, filing, torching, adding beads, patina, and polishing.  Then she covers, in great detail, the three basic weaving styles that she uses for most of her pieces: figure 8, modified soumak, and the lashing weave.


Following the basics (which are basic, but not simple!), Sarah turns to the projects.  The first chapter of projects teach sculpting the wirework by hand or by tools.  There are two pairs of earrings, a ring, a clasp, and two bracelets in this chapter.  My favorite is the clasp called Tempest, which is shown above.  Gorgeous, huh?  I would never wear that clasp in the back, I can tell you that!

The next chapter has 5 projects and focuses on mastering symmetry.  There are 3 pendants, a pair of earrings, and a bracelet.  The last chapter has 2 super-challenging projects that combine some of the previous components in complex and layered ways.  Just in case you thought you'd mastered it all, you now find out that there is an entire world of exploration yet to go!  And isn't that what you want in a technique book?  To be able to go beyond just what's inside of it?

You won't be disappointed!



This post contains affiliate links: Amazon 

Copyright 2018 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, July 16, 2018

Embellished peyote rope - a beading project


Last week I showed you my first beaded rope of the summer, a pretty variant on Russian spiral.  This week, I've got a plain peyote rope that I embellished for some extra fun.  It was super-simple, and you could make it in any color and size of seed beads that you want!  Just use all the same size, and as many colors as please you.

I chose size 11/0 seed beads, and worked with purple iris as the base rope and matte copper as the embellishment beads.  I chose to slide it onto a black cord necklace with a clasp already attached.  So easy! 

1. String on 12 seed beads and make a ring.  Leave a 4 to 6" tail to weave in later.  You will be adding 6 beads in each round of peyote stitch: pick up a bead, skip a bead in previous row, stitch through the next bead in previous row.  Repeat around and "step up" through the first bead added in each row to start the next row. 

2. When the rope is as long as you want it, weave your thread end back into the work on both ends. 

3. Measure to find the center of the rope.  Measure out from there to find where you want to start and end your embellishments.  This is assuming that you don't want to do the entire length of the rope, which is also fine!


4. With a rope of 12 beads, you can choose to add 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6 rows of embellishments.  Stitch up through a bead, and add an embellishment bead in the "ditch" between that bead and the next one in the same peyote row.  Here is a super good picture of it if you aren't sure what I mean: stitch in the ditch

5. When finished, I simply slipped my rope onto the black cord necklace. 


This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2018 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, July 09, 2018

Russian spiral rope necklace - a quick beading project


I have an extremely busy summer ahead of me, including lots of things that have nothing to do with beading, jewelry, and art!  So I decided a few weeks ago that my summer project was going to consist of a series of beaded ropes that I could work on a little bit at a time without having to figure out what I meant to do next each time I pick them up!



I started with a Russian spiral variation that was taught in the June issue of Beadwork by Carol Ohl.  You can find instructions for plain Russian spiral at this link, but I like Carol's version better since you can get almost a plaid effect with it.


I used size 11/0 seed beads and size 15/0 seed beads for the rope.  When I got is as long as I wanted, I narrowed both ends slightly with size 15s and slipped the rope onto a cord.  As you can see, I used 18 gauge copper wire to wrap the ends of the cord around the closed rings for an S clasp.

Easy-peasy, a little at a time, finished!



This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2018 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, July 02, 2018

Beadwoven flower pendants from dagger beads


I don't often make pieces using other people's instructions, but I had to make an exception for this pretty little pendant that Nora Toth designed for the June 2018 issue of Bead&Button!  Above on the right is the one that I made following her instructions, but then I decided to change it up slightly.  I didn't really like how the back row of daggers was covered, even though it does make the flower wonderfully full.  So I made a second one, shown on the left, using shorter beads for the top row.  Since the leaves that I used were thicker than the daggers, I used only one bead in each top spot rather than the two that the original directions call for. 

Either way, the pendant is very pretty.  A few weeks later, though, I ended up reworking the blue one, as shown below.  I would recommend pips, leaves, or chilis for your top row of petals if you want to make it like I did.   



This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique


Monday, June 25, 2018

Lilac button bead embroidered pendant - a tutorial


This sweet little bead embroidered pendant is a great match for the pink lavender color that is everywhere this Summer!  So of course I had to dig it out, both from my jewelry stash and also from my jewelry tutorial stash :-)  I might change out the ribbon to get a bit closer to the color below, but then again, a little less matchy-matchy is better contrast!  The tutorial is at the link.



Copyright 2018 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 18, 2018

Embellished right angle weave earrings – a tutorial



These earrings are so quick and easy to make, even for a beginner, despite the elegant appearance.  I only made one pair of them when I was between major projects a few years ago.  Now that it's summer and I'm looking for more quick and easy projects, these might be just the ticket.  Made up in the newest popular colors, or your perennial favorites...it makes no difference!  The tutorial is at the link. 


Copyright 2018 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 11, 2018

Shamballa ribbon bracelet for summer!


I love love love this bracelet that I made several years ago, and I still wear it a lot.  But with all the gorgeous summer colors that are available right now in suede cord, cup chainand ribbons, I think it's worth revisiting and maybe making some more!

Instructions for this unique take on the Shamballa bracelet are at the link!



This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Monday, June 04, 2018

Chandelier-style optical lens pendant necklace - part two


Last week, I showed you how to make an optical lens pendant that matches the popular chandelier-style earrings you see everywhere this Spring and Summer.  This week we'll finish up the project by making a simple but elegant necklace to go with it!

Materials for necklace: 
Beads of your choice for the necklace strand.  I used:
52 - 8x4mm fire-polished Czech crystal rondelles
6 - 4mm fire-polished Czech crystal rounds
9 - 8mm fire-polished Czech crystal rounds
Size 8/0 seed beads
2 - 2mm sterling silver rounds
sterling silver bead caps
Pendant bail with loop
sterling silver cones
24 inches beading wire, .019 inch diameter
crimp tubes
6 inches 18 gauge sterling silver wire
3 inches sterling silver chain
jump rings
Lobster claw
Head pin

Tools:
2 alligator clips
Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
File
Measuring tape
Small paint brush
Hole punch, 1 ½ inch (optional)

Creating the necklace:

1. Push the pendant slide to the center of your beading wire.  Place an alligator clip on one side to secure it.

2. String the first half of your necklace in any way that pleases you for approximately 8 inches.  The pattern I used is as follows: Bead cap, 5 rondelles alternating with seed beads, another bead cap; 4mm round, 8mm round, 4mm round; bead cap, 21 rondelles alternating with seed beads, bead cap; 3 – 8mm rounds.  Finish with an alligator clip to hold the end.


3. Remove the first alligator clip and string the other side.  Add a clip to that end.  Add a jump ring to the pendant slide.

4. Cut the 18 gauge wire into 2 pieces.  Make a small turned loop in one end of each piece with the round nose pliers.  Slide a crimp tube onto each end of the beading wire.  Pass the wire through the loop and back down through the crimp and a couple of beads.  Pull it snug, crimp the tube, and cut off the excess beading wire.  Bury the ends in the next bead.



5. Slide a cone onto each 18 gauge wire and push it down to cover the crimp.  Create a wrapped loop at the top.  Wrap one of them around the end of the chain.

6. At the other end of the chain, add a wrapped loop dangle that you create on a head pin.

7. At the other end of the necklace, add a jump ring and the lobster claw clasp.


8. Add the pendant to the jump ring attached to the pendant slide.


Part one - making the pendant


This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2018 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 01, 2018

heART beats from other blogs!


Earthly Bounty necklace with video tutorial (shown above)

Rainbow embroidery sampler - imagine doing this with beads!

Red India earrings - video tutorial teaches how to use special shaping pliers

Desert Rose beaded necklace video tutorial

Desert Traveler necklace video tutorial (shown below)

Layered tassel earrings tutorial




This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique and Jesse James Beads

Monday, May 28, 2018

Chandelier-style optical lens pendant necklace - part one


With chandelier earrings being so popular right now, there are more interesting filigree findings available than ever before.  By cutting one of them in half with my trusty wire cutters, I now had the means to create a necklace that would match the style of many of my earrings.

This week I'll show you how to make the pendant, and next week, we'll put it together into a necklace!

Materials for pendant:
Optical lens (email beadingarts at gmail dot com)
Picture
Plain white paper
Clear fixative spray
Polymer medium or jeweler's resin
Silver filigree piece
3 – 2 inch head pins
5 - 4mm fire-polished Czech crystal rounds
1 - 8mm fire-polished Czech crystal rounds
6 - 2mm sterling silver rounds
3 sterling silver daisy spacers

Materials for necklace: shown next week
Beads of your choice for the necklace strand.  I used:
52 - 8x4mm fire-polished Czech crystal rondelles
6 - 4mm fire-polished Czech crystal rounds
9 - 8mm fire-polished Czech crystal rounds
Size 8/0 seed beads
2 - 2mm sterling silver rounds
8 sterling silver bead caps
Pendant bail with loop
2 sterling silver cones
24 inches beading wire, .019 inch diameter
2 crimp tubes
6 inches 18 gauge sterling silver wire
3 inches sterling silver chain
2 jump rings
Lobster claw
Head pin

Tools:
2 alligator clips
Wire cutters
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
File
Measuring tape
Small paint brush
Hole punch, 1 ½ inch (optional)


Creating the pendant:



1. Choose a picture that will fit the 1 ½ inch size of the optical lens, or manipulate one with photo imaging software.  Print out on quality white printer paper.  Spray the picture lightly with fixative and let it dry.

2. Assemble all the beads, tools, and other materials that you will be using.  Choose beads that will enhance your picture.

3. Cut out picture with a 1-1/2 inch hole punch or scissors. Cut out a 1-1/2 inch-circle from plain white paper too.


4. Apply a thin coating of polymer medium to the back of the optical test lens, brushing from the center outward to the rim. Quickly center and stick the picture down with the picture facing the glass, burnishing with your finger from the center outward to the rim.  Set it aside to dry 



5. Snip your filigree piece into the shape you want.  Create three dangles as shown  on the headpins, and attach them to the filigree with wrapped loops.

6  Apply a thin coat of polymer medium to the back of the picture and stick the filigree piece with the dangling beads in place at the bottom of the lens.  Let it dry.  Apply another thin coat of polymer medium and cover with the plain white paper circle. Let it dry and coat the back of this circle with a final thin layer of polymer medium or resin.


Next week: Part two - the necklace


This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique

Copyright 2018 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.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Summertime style!




New colors, new decor, new styles, new everything!  Summer is almost here...are you ready?  Visit my Summertime board at Pinterest for lots of ideas and inspiration!



Monday, May 14, 2018

Tiny pendants for Spring and Summer

This pendant is smaller than a quarter!

I'm still seeing a lot of teeny tiny little charms and pendants on strings and chains for the Summer.  The really good news is that even with bead embroidery, it doesn't take very long to make one!  Give the one shown above a try, or pick a small focal that you love and seed bead colors that suit!  The tutorial is at the link.


Copyright 2018 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, May 07, 2018

Re-making a bead embroidered pendant

Several years ago in the Spring, I made a bead embroidered pendant with ribbons as the background.  Once Spring was over, I started thinking that the Easter egg shape wasn't as versatile as I wanted for long term wearing.  I put a lot of thought, work, and time into the original design, so I was kind of hesitant to change it and possible "ruin" it.

Before
But, as it turns out, change can be a very good thing!

After
I cut the binding off (edging brick stitch and stack stitches) first, and then I snipped away at it until I liked the shape.  I realize that this can be a risky method, but this time it worked out very well for me.  I wear it much more now.

Instructions for edging brick stitch and stack stitch can be found in the first free chapter of my e-book, Every Bead Has a Story.


Copyright 2015, 2018 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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