Monday, April 16, 2018

Antique key and lampwork glass necklace - a tutorial


I found another necklace that I made many years ago, and was thrilled to see how well it went with the Spring/Summer palette from Pantone.  What *really* thrills me about it, though, is that these are colors I already like and have in my wardrobe!  After several seasons of being kind of disappointed except by maybe one or two colors, I'm a very happy girl.


The tutorial is in two parts.  The first part shows you how to make the lampwork glass rings that are actually torched using the key as a mandrel.  If you don't do lampwork, you could use metal rings instead, easily available online.  I'm sure you can find some that will fit over the teeth of your key, whether it's real or a reproduction key.  The wiring will keep it from slipping off even if it's a bit too big!


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.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Book review: Inspired Bead Embroidery


And along comes the highly anticipated third offering from Sherry Serafini: Inspired Bead Embroidery.  Do we like it?  Drum roll please...well, duh.  Of course!

If you happen to have Sherry's other two solo books (listed below), please don't think that this is just more of the same.  Some of it is repeated...the basics are pretty much the same...but there is a greatly expanded section on creativity where Sherry spends more time than ever before explaining the different pathways into designing that you can choose.  For example, sometimes you feel like planning and sometimes you don't.  But if you always want your work to turn out fabulous, you need to take certain things into consideration, and Sherry shares all of them with you.

The projects are wonderful.  Sherry tells you right up front exactly what bead styles, color, and sizes she has used, but she also encourages you to take off in your own direction.  The focals that are used are original, fresh, and handled beautifully.  Even if you don't want to use the exact same materials shown, you are sure to gather lots of new ideas to try out.

Lots of shaped beads and chains make an appearance too, including the ever-popular rhinestone cup chain.  Personally, I have been a bit discouraged in recent years how shaped beads have almost completely taken over from regular seed beads in beadweaving projects.  The use of them in bead embroidery, however, is a trend that I am fully in favor of!

Reviews of Sherry's other two books:
The Art of Bead Embroidery
Sensational Bead Embroidery

Book review: Sensational Bead Embroidery


One of the queens of bead embroidery, Sherry Serafini has been tapped to write one of the Beadweaving Master Class series for Lark publications.  Sensational Bead Embroidery joins the series with 25 beautiful projects that she leads you through step by step.

Sherry covers all the fundamentals of tools and materials that you'll need to know to start stitching.  Many of her elaborately textured and beaded neckpieces are featured in this volume, and there is a gallery filled with a virtual who's who of bead embroidery masters: Diane Hyde, Heidi Kummli, Yoli Pastuszak, NanC Meinhardt, and more.

As with all the books in the Master Class series, a serious beginner will find the book enthralling.  Intermediates and advanced practitioners will find much to challenge and inspire.  Altogether, I recommend this book as much for its inspirational value as for its clear teaching.




Monday, April 09, 2018

Longer earrings for Spring - a tutorial

Chain and Pearl Earrings

Longer earrings are all over the runway for Spring and Summer.  I never really thought they went out of style, but sometimes they just seem more ubiquitous.  Now is one of those times!

These shoulder duster earrings could be made longer if you like, or shorter if you're more conservative.  How about making them with fewer strands?  With different colors of stone chips instead of pearls?  In gold, brass, or copper instead of silver?  A mix of metals?  With fibers added??

Oh my!  I'm inspired now...how 'bout you?





Materials and Tools

Random chains, including rhinestone cup chain
Pearls or other accent beads
Head pins
Craft wire
Bead caps
Twisted jump rings (20 gauge, 8 mm)
Earring wires


Tools
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters
Tape measure



1. Cut your chains to the lengths you desire.  I chose to cut mine between 2 1/2 and 3 inches.  Put each pearl on a head pin and turn a wrapped loop.



2. Use thin craft wire to create a loop for the cup chain.  Wrap around the last link and turn a small circle around the narrow end of your round nose pliers.



3. Turn the beginning of a wrapped loop on the end of a 3 inch piece of craft wire.  Pick up the chain ends and close the loop.

4. Add the pearls using decorative twisted jump rings.


5. Thread the wire up through a bead cap and turn another wrapped loop, adding the ear wires.  I decided to use slightly heavier ear wires than are pictured in the materials shot near the top.  Style is up to you!  

This post contains affiliate links: Beadaholique



Copyright 2014, 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.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

New gallery at Fine Art America

Particle Shower Do-Si-Dos
Cyndi Lavin, 2018


Last month, I mounted some of my paintings and got them ready for sale.  In my stumbling-around way, I eventually landed on FineArtAmerica, and decided that would be my new gallery home.  Right now I have a selection of pieces from my physics series available, and I am planning on adding more pieces: trees, geometrics, more from physics, and other abstracts.  If there is a particular piece that you'd like to have, please just message me at beadingarts at gmail dot com, and I will be happy to upload it there for you.

Prints are available in quite a few sizes, from 5.5x8 inches to around 3x4 feet!  And they start at only $20 for the three smallest sizes. 




Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Color palettes for inspiration






When I need to refill the well, browsing through beautiful color palettes is one of my favorite activities.  Before I know it, I'm heading for the beads or the paints!  So far, I've been concentrating on mostly lights and brights.  Warmer, darker, richer palettes will have to wait for just a bit :-)

Monday, April 02, 2018

My final selection of crochet samples and tutorial links


I found my production level starting to slow as March approached, but I was still churning out more scarves than I had friends to give them to!


I made countless infinity scarves (aka mobius scarves), using double crochet, netting, or any combination of the two.  Eventually I settled on the wave pattern shown at the top of the post, and made half with the waves going lengthwise and half with them going crosswise.  I'm now officially obsessed with waves too!






Waves scarf (shown above and at the top of the post)
Somehow I didn't end up getting a picture of one of them where the pattern goes crosswise!


V-scarf
These were really fun and easy to make.  I made two in super-bright colors (not shown) for my grandchildren.  You can make these in stiffer yarn, like above, or extra-soft yarn like below.






Yoga socks and boot toppers
My final obsession was to make these yoga socks, with the heels and the toes uncovered.  With only a few tweaks (make the ribbing taller and the under-the-arch section shorter, you can easily make them into boot toppers.  I made a half dozen, I think, but neglected to photograph all of them before they left the building!


Part one
Part two
Part three


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, March 28, 2018

Zipper craft adornments




I have made several pieces of jewelry over the years that prominently feature zippers, but the more recent wave of zipper jewelry and ornaments completely takes my breath away.  Here are a lot of links to tutorials, and lots of pictures for inspiration on my Zipper craft Pinterest board. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

More crochet samples and tutorial links

Fingerless Gloves

Last week, I shared some tutorial links with you and some sample pieces that I made to try out various stitches. I used to crochet a LOT when I was much younger, but I haven't for awhile, so my fingers needed to get back in practice.  I think it's a really good idea to "cross-train" on different art forms from time to time, don't you? :-)

Here are a few of the pieces that I ended up obsessively compulsively diligently making over January and February when I was so sick.  It felt good to just hunker down and stitch away.


I've been doing my own version of this hyperbolic spiral form to make a scarf, shown directly above and also on last week's post in brighter colors.



Fingerless gloves
Shown here and at the top of the post.  Here are the component parts:

Ribbing...





Dragon scarf
My suggestion is that you use a very soft yarn for this one.  I used yarn that was stiffer, because I though it would hold the shape better, but each of the points rolled so badly that I finally ended up taking the whole thing apart.  A super-soft yarn just lies limp and the points don't curl.

Part one
Part two
Part three

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, March 21, 2018

Raise your hand if you like chocolate!!




Something for everyone here!  My Chocolate recipes Pinterest board has candy, cookies, cakes, pies, frosting...

Monday, March 19, 2018

Free form crochet samples and tutorial links

Hyperbolic Scarf

It seems kind of funny to say that there are tutorials for how to do free form crochet!  After all, isn't the point that there is no pattern?  Yes, true, but I'm finding that it's really helpful to learn some of the fancy stitches, patterns, motifs, and techniques first, which will help you put together a more polished, lovely finished piece.  It's like free form beading...you still need to know how to do peyote stitch (for example) before you launch into making a decent looking finished piece!

So, here are some of my samples and the tutorials that I used to teach myself how to do them.  You can find much much more on my Pinterest board, Crochet.

If you haven't crocheted much (or at all) before, I highly recommend Theresa Warrior's series of video tutorials.

Magic loop (not shown)



Free form spiral
I stitched into the back half of each chain and added a single crochet row to the spiral to emphasize it.




Nautilus shell
I didn't follow the instructions exactly, because I wanted to learn how to make bullion stitches...  Here's another good tutorial for the bullion stitch.



Free form hyperbolic scrumble
I stitched into the back half of each previous row, and added more rows of single crochet and reverse single crochet (aka crab stitch) to this form.


Crab stitch or reverse single crochet (shown on samples above and below)




Spiral flower petals
Again, you'll need to know the crab stitch

Next week I'll show you some of the pieces I made and share the links to the tutorials, including the cool scarf at the top of the post!

Part one
Part two
Part three

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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Spring Crocus - for sale

Spring Crocus 
Agate, glass, wire, and wood
$45


Spring Crocus adjusts from 20 to 25 inches with a clasp and chain that has a floral pattern.  There are Swarovski crystals in a sparkling lime punch color.  Altogether, these are the perfect colors for Spring!




Hit the button above, or leave me a comment if you are interested!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Upcycled, recycled, and refashioned fashions!




I am collecting pictures and tutorials about all the different ways you can get more use out of your clothing, jewelry, and thrift store finds!  I have always enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together in new ways, and I would bet that lots of you do too!  Visit my Upcycled fashions Pinterest board and get inspired for Spring :-)

Monday, March 12, 2018

A large beaded bead for Spring!


I found this pretty beaded bead that I made two years ago, but it looks just perfect for the Spring palette, so I wanted to bring it to your attention again.  It uses a combo of RAW and peyote stitch, or netting, whichever you like best.  With long-chained pendants still popular this Spring, I thought it was worth digging out again, and maybe I'll make a couple more in different colorways!



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