Wednesday, July 31, 2019

An open-centered triangular bail

Earlier this month, I showed you some beadwoven bails that I was working on to top off and embellish my bead embroidered pendants.  Well, I found another one that I like very much in Diane Fitzgerald's book Shaped Beadwork.  On page 33, Diane shows a double-layered triangle with an opening in the middle.  Instead of stitching the whole thing together around the edges, I stitched only the top edge.  Since the two layers are joined in the middle around the opening, that forms a nice little tube along the top for your necklace strap to go through.

I found through experimentation that the size of the entire triangle needs to be enlarged from Diane's instructions.  It's simple to do this, just adding as many more rounds as you like.  An alternative, which is what I did in the sample shown here, is to just peyote stitch increases along the top edge of one layer, and then zip it to the other side.  That keeps the entire bail smaller, but still accommodates the necklace.   
Copyright 2019 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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Fuchsia swirls bead embroidered pendant

Available! Leave me a comment

I bought this set of polymer clay and resin cabochons from Mary Anne Williams Knapp at one of her online trunk shows.  There were so many different color possibilities that it took me awhile to decide. 

I don't usually sketch out a pattern for myself before I begin, but in this case, with all the spirals and interweaving, I needed to do that, but not with the chosen colors. I simply grabbed some different colored markers and sketched the pattern, keeping a chart of which color was used in which order.  Then it was much easier to recreate it in the colors I wanted without having to draw it on the foundation fabric, fumble around, or rip out sections.

If you want to learn how to make bead embroidered pieces, I show you how to do it with over-sized beads and lots of pictures in the free first chapter of my e-book Every Bead Has a Story.  There are also free instructions there for back stitch, edging brick stitch, and more.

Copyright 2019 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Green floral pendant with butterfly bail

Available!  Leave me a comment

Once more, I've turned to my favorite metal clay artist, Jennifer West of Off the Grid Designs.  Jen made both the focal and the charm, which feature dandelion fluff.  I used one of the beadwoven butterfly bails that I stitched on vacation for this piece.


Further instruction on making bead embroidered pieces can be found in Every Bead Has a Story, where the first chapter is free to download.

Copyright 2019 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 

Monday, July 22, 2019

How to Make Pandora Style Beads with Resin

Here is a guest post from Resin Obsession!  They have all the materials you need for your resin projects.  The links throughout the tutorial are not affilate links, and I have not been paid to share this project with you.  

We’ve all seen Pandora beads. Trendy and stylish, these unique beads can be customized on bracelets or necklaces for endless combinations. They are beautiful and fun to collect. But did you know you can create your own? There’s something very satisfying about creating your own beautiful jewelry, and even more so when you get compliments on it! Here, we will give you all the details you need to know about making your own Pandora-style beads with resin. This project is also appropriate for beginners. New to making beads? Head over to our tutorials to learn more about how to make your own beads and other must-knows for beginners!

Tools you will need for this project:
  • Mixing cups
  • Rubber gloves
  • Stirring sticks or toothpicks
  • Bead mold
  • Clear resin epoxy and hardener
  • Dye, glitter, or metallic powder
  • Bead grommets

The majority of these supplies can be purchased online from arts and crafts suppliers and retailers or found at your local craft store.

Let’s get started!

Prepare Your Work Station
First, lay down some wax paper or plastic that will protect your work surface and allow for easy cleanup should a spill occur. The last thing you need is to be cleaning up a catastrophic resin spill on your dining room table!

Gather all of your supplies and place along the edges of your table within reach for easy access. Rubber gloves are important for protecting your hands from resin. You may also prefer to have a trashcan within close range for disposal when finished.

Mix the Resin
A superclear resin kit is an excellent choice for making beads. Though curing times vary amongst kits, most kits take 8 hours to cure though you can always wait the full 24 hours in non-peak curing conditions. When choosing a crystal clear resin, you may also decide to add colorants for a little extra color and flair!

You will need to measure and mix your hardener with your resin according to the kit directions. Be sure to scrape the sides of your cup as you are mixing, and carefully mix the two parts together to avoid bubbles.

Once you have finished mixing, pour the resin into the mold, and set aside, allowing the resin sit.

Making the Resin Beads
Depending on the type of resin you have mixed, there are several different ways you can go about achieving the desired color and shape of your Pandora-style beads:
  • Clear Resin: Simply pour the clear resin into your bead mold. It can help to use a toothpick to guide the resin into the mold. Fill the mold completely for the best results.
  • Color with Neon Pigment: Bright neon beads are great for kids who love the brilliant effect of neon colors (or for those of us that are kids at heart!) Mix your neon pigment into the resin until it is well combined. Pour into the mold, following the same instructions outlined above in the “Clear Resin” section.
  • Metallic Powder: Mix your metallic powder into the resin and pour into the mold, following the same instructions outlined above in the “Clear Resin” section.
  • Chunky Glitter: Make your resin sparkle by mixing in glitter! In this method, mix your glitter into the resin, making sure the flecks are thoroughly mixed and suspended before pouring into the mold as outlined above.
  • Color with Transparent Pigment: Semi-transparent beads allow some light to pass through and look great when outside. Mix in the pigment and pour into the mold as outlined above.
  • Colored Alcohol Inks: In this method, first pour the clear resin into the mold as outlined above. Then add one or more alcohol inks in layers or spots to achieve your desired effect.

    Resin Bead Tips
    Once you’ve poured your resin into the mold, don’t forget to top it off completely! You can do this by placing your toothpick into the mold and dripping the resin mixture down the side of the toothpick. Once filled completely, just sit back, and let the beads cure. Once cured, gently twist and pull the beads free from the mold.

    If you end up with leftover resin, DO NOT dispose of it down your sinks or drains. The easiest option is to let it fully harden, and then dispose of it in the trash.

    Attach Grommets
    Once your beads have fully hardened and have been removed from the molds, you may notice that you have a little bit of a mess and overpoured on some beads. This can easily be corrected by sanding the beads down with fine-grit sandpaper and a little water.

    Once you have reached your desired smoothness, use a strong, clear adhesive to attach your chosen grommets to both sides of the beads. Try your best to use the right amount of adhesive so that is doesn’t overflow onto the bead surface. But don’t worry if this happens. A small amount of sanding with fine-grit sandpaper can help diminish the appearance of excess glue.

    Get Creative
    Once dried, you can use your Pandora-style beads to make bracelets, earrings, or wear as a pendant on a necklace. The combination possibilities are endless! You can even make beads that glow in the dark for the next nighttime party you attend! Add metal flakes of mock gold, silver, copper, and bronze for shine. Dry brightly colored flower petals and incorporate them into your beads for a colorful springtime look!

    Pandora-style beads make great gifts for any occasion, and making your own beads is a great project for beginners, so get your buddies involved and make it a fun group project!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Raku bead embroidered pendant

Available!  Leave me a comment

Once more, I have combined pieces by the talented Amy Mealey and Jennifer West!  I just love the look of raku and metal together, don't you?  I was tempted to use mostly turquoise colors again on this one, but I seem to be stitching a lot of those lately, so it seemed to be time for a change :-)

The focal is bezeled with peyote stitch and a final row of right angle weave (RAW).  The bail is one of the ones I stitched on vacation.  You can see more of them and get links to the instructions at the link above. 

Copyright 2019 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Beadwoven bails for pendants

You know that most of the time, I like to just stitch a square stitch loop onto the back of my bead embroidered pendants, like the one shown below:

If it's set down low enough, it doesn't show on the front, and if you want it to show, you can set it up higher or even weave it off of the edging brick stitch row on your piece.  Instructions for stitching these can be found in chapter 3 of my e-book Every Bead Has a Story.  But today, I want to look at some other forms of bails!

While I was on vacation recently, I took along just enough beads to stitch up these triangular (and one cylindrical) bails.  Here are some sources for the instructions for these fancier bails:

How to make beaded beads with brick stitch

Shaped Beadwork by Diane Fitzgerald (book review and link)
Page 20 - triangle
Page 25 - elongated triangle
Update: Page 33 - an open-centered triangle

Shaped Beadwork and Beyond by Diane Fitzgerald (book review and link)
Page 40 and 45 - butterfly triangle

Copyright 2019 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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