Bead Embroidery Stitches

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin Every Bead Has a Story ~ bead embroidery stitches by Cyndi Lavin Beading Arts Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin ~ Beading Arts, http://www.beading-arts.com 1

Transcript of Bead Embroidery Stitches

Page 1: Bead Embroidery Stitches

Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

Every Bead Has a Story ~ bead embroidery stitches

by Cyndi LavinBeading Arts

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin ~ Beading Arts, http://www.beading-arts.com1

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

Legal Notices

Copyright / Terms of Use:All information contained herein is copyright © 2010 by Cyndi Lavin. Allrights are reserved.

You are welcome to distribute this e-book freely via email or distribute print copies of it freely as long as all credits are left intact. Please do not link directly to this e-book’s .pdf file on my server to distribute it via a link, but you may link directly to the download page at Beading-Arts.com. You may not sell this e-book for any price, upload it to any server or service for distribution, or publish this e-book or any portion of this e-book in any medium. You may not edit the e-book in any way (including the removal or alteration of any hyperlinks herein). You may not rewrite the content contained within this e-book or create other derivative works from its content to be sold, published, or distributed in any way without the expressed permission of the author.

Disclaimer:All information contained in this publication reflects the personal views of theauthor, at the time of publication. The author has made reasonable effortsto ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, and shall not be held liable or responsible to any person or entity regarding loss or damage caused by, or allegedly caused by, the information contained in this e-book either directly or indirectly. The purchaser / reader acknowledges that the author has compiled this e-book for general informational purposes only.

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin ~ Beading Arts, http://www.beading-arts.com2

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About the Author

Cyndi Lavin is a mixed media artist, jewelry designer, and writer living in central Massachusetts. She strongly believes that life and art are intertwined, that we are all works of art, designed by God to be creative beings, and that part of our purpose in life consists of discovering the things that we meant to create. Cyndi's work appears in many art and jewelry books, as well as in popular magazines like Belle Armoire, Lapidary Journal, Jewelry Crafts, Simply Beads, Life Images, and Somerset Digital Images. She enjoys sharing her art adventures and tutorials through her daily blogs, Beading-Arts.com and Mixed-Media-Artist.com.

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin ~ Beading Arts, http://www.beading-arts.com3

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Table of Contents

Introduction......................................................5

Materials and Tools..........................................6

Bead Embroidery Stitches...............................9

Project............................................................35

Gallery............................................................56

Resources......................................................59

Coming soon..................................................59

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin ~ Beading Arts, http://www.beading-arts.com4

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Introduction

I decided early in my love affair with beads that bead embroidery was the art form that was most likely to take me to places I'd never been before. Once I got started embroidering with beads, it just seemed that there was no reason to ever stop. What would happen if I made my own cabochons instead of using cut stones? What would happen if I wanted to add more texture and dimension to my pieces? What would happen if I added embroidery to my bead embroidery?

Basically, I have always wanted to know what will happen when any technique that I learn in creating mixed media art is combined with bead embroidery. I may have started out by keeping my mixed media art world and my beading world separated, but that didn't last for very long. Soon, I began painting background fabrics for my necklaces, figuring out how to utilize ephemera and other found objects, adding interesting fibers and broken jewelry bits, and exploring strange new materials that I happened across.

I'd love to share some of that journey with you. In 1997, after a lifetime of making stuff, I began writing magazine articles and teaching local classes. That was fun, but the real fun came when I was introduced to blogging in 2005. I soon figured out that blogs would be the perfect platform to share my art adventures with whomever wanted to come along for the ride (you can join me on Beading-Arts.com and Mixed-Media-Artist.com anytime).

Five years later, I'm starting to gather up some of those myriad ideas into a usable form...plus new ideas of course! What you have in front of you is the first of a planned series of e-books. Although I want so badly to jump right into the projects, it always makes sense to get the basics taken care of first, so that is what you have here. I have covered the "beginner" stuff of bead embroidery –the materials and tools, stitches, a killer easy project, and my favorite resources. The project includes the story of its genesis, because I seriously believe that every bead has a story.

What's coming next? Oh, lots more stories – of techniques and projects using altered surfaces, re-purposed found objects and ephemera, unique handmade beads – lots more stories!

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin ~ Beading Arts, http://www.beading-arts.com5

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Materials and Tools

Beads

Anything that has a natural opening or has a hole drilled through it can be used as a bead. If you find yourself working with a lot of materials that don't come with holes already available, consider investing in a drill press or a flex shaft hand-held drill. Drill bits are available that will handle just about any kind of material, including diamond bits that will cut through stone and glass. For safety's sake, wear good eye protection, and stabilize your object in some clay if it's likely to roll.

Think outside the bead box when it comes to beading. A walk around your building supply store will turn up a lot of different items that can be used as beads. Nuts, washers, and springs come with ready-made holes. Electrical wire can be wound into bead shapes. Your craft supply store is also a great resource: beads can be formed by rolling up many different materials, including polymer clay, paper and fabric.

Some of my favorite things to use in beading which don't actually start out life as beads are the following: broken costume jewelry, computer circuit boards, buttons, stones, small souvenirs from my travels, old skeleton keys, coins, electronics do-dads, computer keyboard keys, small metal or plastic toys, bottle caps, watch faces and parts, small mirrors (shisha), anything inexpensive at the hardware or junk shop, or anything fun that I find on the ground or in someone's dumpster. Not all of these items need to have holes; sometimes you'll want to glue them down as cabochons or wire them up to use as charms. But all of them can be used in mixed media bead embroidery.

Like most beaders, I do have a list of my favorite "real" beads too. I love both Delicas and Czech seed beads in all their sizes, and I mostly use sizes 11/0, 8/0, and 15/0 (the smaller the number, the larger the size). I also love glass druks, Bali silver, semi-precious gemstone beads and chips, African trade beads, Swarovski crystals, Czech pressed glass, Venetian glass (especially the foils), my own lampwork glass beads, and beads which I scavenge from old costume jewelry. I have links to some of my favorite suppliers in the Resources section of this e-book.

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Support Fabrics

I love fabric and fibers of all types. Although I used to do all my bead embroidery on either buckram or a non-woven fabric like ultra-suede, over time I got to be more and more adventurous in my choice of support fabric. I really like to paint a background fabric (usually plain muslin) and then back it with a lightweight fusible interfacing. Thick interfacing works well for some pieces that need extra strength. The important thing is to pick your fabric based upon the function: will this be a wearable piece that needs a bit of give to sit properly? Or is it a beaded postcard that can be stiff as a board when finished?

If you are just starting out, I would recommend a fabric that can support some weight, but one that is soft enough to sew through easily: ultra-suede, buckram, or medium thick interfacing (you can paint the last two any color you want) are good choices for a first piece.

Needles and Thread

I like the English-style long beading needles the best, but occasionally I also use milliner's or applique needles, which are shorter. The important thing is to look for needles that have a longer thinner eye so that they don't get stuck in small seed beads. Just like with seed beads, the bigger the number of the needle, the smaller the size. Beading needles range from size 10 through about size 16. Sizes 10 through 13 will work well with the larger beads and with size 11/0 seed beads. For the smaller size 15/0 seed beads, sometimes a size 13 needle will work, other times you may need a smaller size 15 needle. It really depends upon the size of the hole, not the exterior size of the bead!

For thread, there are many choices available, and each has its adherents. Silimide is a popular choice and comes in many colors. Personally, I have always been happy with Nymo twisted nylon thread, unglamorous as it is. I have one really large spool of black and one of white, both in size O. The white can be colored with permanent markers if desired, but I usually simply use black or white. It's personal choice, and you should try several brands before you decide.

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Other Tools

In real hard-core mixed media bead embroidery, the tools that you might want to have are too numerous to list. In future e-books, I plan to discuss tools in more detail as the projects call for it. For getting started in bead embroidery right now, only a few additional tools are needed. Good scissors (large and small) for cutting fabric and threads, and a pair of pliers for easing stuck needles through a hole (or for breaking the bead when you can budge the needle). A white towel for your lap...you'll thank me the first time you spill your beads. Small ceramic dishes to hold the little darlings. A strong glue like E6000 for adhering cabochons to the fabric. Really good light (can't live without my Ott Lights, one floor model and one table-top task light)...that's about it!

Oh, and a comfortable work chair!

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin ~ Beading Arts, http://www.beading-arts.com8

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Bead Embroidery Stitches

Back Stitch

1. Attach thread to the back of the fabric by taking a few tiny shallow stitches. Pass the needle through to front and pick up 2 to 5 beads. I have used 4 beads for this example. Make sure the beads are snug against the exiting end of the thread and bring the needle straight down through the fabric right at the end of the row of beads.

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2. Bring the needle up between two of the center beads in your group, in this case between bead 2 and bead 3.

3. Insert the needle through the last half of the beads in your group, in this case through beads 3 and 4. Pull the thread through snugly.

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4. Pick up more beads, from 2 to 5, and repeat from Step 1.

Tube Stitch

1. Attach thread to the back of the fabric by taking a few tiny shallow stitches. Bring the needle and thread up from the back of the fabric and pass it through an 11/0 seed bead, a tube bead, and another 11/0 seed bead.

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2. Insert the needle right next to the second seed bead and pull through to the back. Add as many more tube bead clusters as you wish.

3. The seed beads on the ends of the tube beads prevent the thread from being cut. The edges of tube beads are almost always rough cut and sharp. Match the color of the 11/0 beads to the tube beads if you wish.

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Flat Brick Stitch

1. Attach thread to the back of the fabric by taking a few tiny shallow stitches. Pass the needle through to the front. Insert your needle down through the center of a bead, keeping the bead hole vertical.

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2. Pass the needle back up through the first hole, coming up close to where you went down. Make sure to catch enough threads to keep the bead anchored to the fabric. Pass your needle down through the next vertical bead.

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3. Continue adding beads in this way, taking a small stitch on the back to anchor each one in a line.

4. This is what your row will look like from the side.

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Single Loop Stitch

1. Attach thread to the back of the fabric by taking a few tiny shallow stitches. Bring the needle and thread up from the back of the fabric, pick up a 6/0 seed bead and an odd number of 11/0 seed beads. I found that thirteen worked well for me.

2. Pass the needle back down through the 6/0 bead.

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3. Pull snug in the back and knot, or prepare to form the next stitch. You can also use the beads in a line of flat brick stitch to anchor your single loops.

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Multiple Loop Stitch or Bouclé Stitch

1. This stitch goes by two different names and can be anchored either on the fabric itself or through a line of back stitches as shown here. Create a line of back stitches. Run your needle through several stitches and bring the thread up between two beads in the back stitch row. Pick up enough beads to create a loop. In this case I used 11. Take your needle through the right side of the back stitch bead and continue through 3 more beads.

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2. Pull your loop snug around the back stitch bead.

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3. Pick up more beads for the next loop. Insert your needle into the right side of the back stitch bead and pass through 3 more beads.

4. Pull each loop snug as you continue along the line of back stitching.

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Simple Stacked Stitch

1. This stitch can be anchored either on the fabric itself as shown here, through a line of back stitches, or through brick stitches.

For the simple stacked stitch, attach your thread to the back of the fabric and pass the needle through to the front. Pick up as many beads as you would like to have in your stack. The last bead does not need to be a different color; I have used this to make it easier to see the stitch.

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2. Skip the first bead (called the stopper bead) and pass your needle down through all of the rest. Pull the stack snug against the fabric so that no loose thread is left at the top or the bottom.

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3. Pass your needle down through the fabric very close to where it came out. Repeat the steps as many times as you want to add more stacks. Anchor the thread with a knot on the back of the fabric after every couple of stitches for stability.

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Stacked Stitch with a Large Bead Top

1. Follow the directions for a Simple Stacked Stitch, except that you will pick up a much larger bead and then your stopper bead.

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2. Skipping the stopper bead, run the needle down through the rest of the stack of beads and pull it snug.

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3. Run the needle through to the back of the fabric and anchor it with a small knot for stability.

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Stacked Stitch on a Back Stitched Row

1. Run your needle through several beads and bring the thread up between two beads in the back stitch row. Follow the instructions for creating a Simple Stacked Stitch, except that you will anchor your stack by running the needle through several more back stitches instead of down through the fabric. Insert your needle into the next bead in the row so that the stitch sits between 2 beads.

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2. Create as many stacked stitches as you desire along the row of back stitches.

Edging Brick Stitch

1. This stitch is used to cover the raw edges of two pieces of fabric being joined,

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usually the foundation fabric and the backing. Attach the thread to the inside of one piece of fabric, up near the top where you will start stitching by taking several tiny and shallow stitches. Pick up two beads and let the first slide down to the fabric edges.

2. Stitch from back to front through both pieces of fabric directly underneath the second bead. Catch about 1/8 inch of fabric. Do not pull too snugly; you want both beads to sit with their holes facing away from the edge.

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3. Run your needle up through the second bead and gently snug it into place.

4. From now on you will add just one bead at a time, stitching from back to front after each addition.

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5. After each stitch, needle up through the bead you just added to get into position to add the next bead.

6. This is what the stitches look like from the side. When you get back around to the beginning, you will take your needle down through the first bead you added and take a small 1/8 inch stitch back to front to straighten up the first bead.

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Picot Stitch

1. Picot stitch is a good way to hide the threads that show at the top of the edging brick stitch. Working in either direction that is comfortable for you, bring your needle up through one edging bead. Add 1, 3, or 5 beads and stitch down through the next edging bead without catching the fabric.

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2. Still without catching the fabric, pass the needle up through the next edging bead and repeat the first step. You can add a picot between every bead pair this way, or you can make a second pass to place another picot between the pairs so that there is a picot between every edging bead.

Fringe Stitch, aka Stacked Stitch on Edging Brick Stitch

This stitch is the same as a stacked stitch, except that you will be anchoring it through edging beads instead of fabric. Bring your needle up through the first edging brick stitch and add the beads for a stacked stitch. Skipping the stopper bead, run your needle back down the stack and through the edging bead.

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2. Pull snug and take your needle up through the next edging bead to repeat the first step. After every couple of fringe stitches, stitch into the fabric, following the thread path that already exists to help create stability and security.

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ProjectSunShower Necklace

Take the warm colors of a sunny day with you all year round! This project shows you step-by-step how to combine many of the basic bead embroidery stitches that I've shared with you in this e-book into a necklace medallion that will brighten up any day. I have included a pattern that you can use if you'd like to make a necklace just like this one, but feel free to experiment with the design, and the colors too! Would you prefer a blue background for the sun? Go for it! Would you like to mix red and orange into your sun? Please do :-)

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In the future you can easily continue to apply the basic flow of these directions to designs of your own. This project also covers how to finish off the medallion with strung neck straps, adjustable so that you can get maximum use from your new necklace. I love to see what people have made, so I hope you'll consider contacting me through Beading Arts and sharing your work!

Materials and Tools

ScissorsBeading needles, size 12Fine tip marker penMeasuring tapeRound nose pliersWire cuttersFlat nose pliersFile2 pieces of ultra-suede, each 4” squareCabochon face, approximately 7/8” across (mine came from Earthenwood Studio) E6000 adhesiveWhite Nymo beading thread, size OMixture of yellow 11/0 seed beads (my mix included transparent light and medium yellow, and opaque yellow)Mixture of brown and gold 11/0 seed beads (my mix included gold hex cuts, light bronze, copper, transparent rootbeer, and iris bronze)Size 8/0 seed beads in opaque yellow, iris bronze, and goldAmber chips (with holes)2 soldered gold rings or figure eights24” of beading wire, 0.019” diameter2” of gold French wire (aka bullion wire)4 gold crimp beadsAssorted beads, 4mm to 10mm, approximately 17 to 18” strung3” of gold chainGold hook clasp with loopGold head pin

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Instructions

1. Glue the cabochon to one of the pieces of ultra-suede using E6000. Let it dry thoroughly.

2. Back stitch two rows of mixed yellow 11/0 seed beads around the cabochon. Make the inner row a multiple of 4 if possible. As each circular row is completed, run your thread through all the beads and pull snugly.

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3. Create loop stitches all along the inner circular row of back stitches with the same mixture of yellow 11/0 seed beads. The outer row will cause the loops to stand up well.

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4. Still working on the inner row, add stacked stitches between each pair of loop stitches. Pass your needle through 3 beads in the inner row after each stitch. Use the same mixture of yellow 11/0 seed beads, with an opaque yellow bead at the top of each stack.

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5. Draw on lines for the “rays” of the sun. You can use this pattern if you'd like, or you can just draw them freehand until they look the way you want. All of the foundation fabric will be covered by beads, so don't worry about neatness...any mistakes with the pen will be covered!

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6. Back stitch the rays with opaque yellow 8/0 seed beads.

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7. Back stitch in circular rows between each ray with a mixture of gold and brown 11/0 seed beads. Pass the thread on the back side of the fabric beneath each ray; do not simply slide the needle and thread through the line of 8/0 beads.

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8. Once you have filled between the rays, back stitch a row of bronze iris 8/0 seed beads all around the outside. Back stitch a second row around approximately three-quarters of the outside, leaving the bottom center quarter with only one row of back stitching.

9. Using flat brick stitch, fill in the bottom center quarter where the second row of back stitching leaves off, using the bronze iris 8/0 seed beads. Add a second row of flat brick stitch just outside of the first row. My rows were approximately 28-30 beads each.

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10. Stitch up through each flat brick stitch in the outer row and add a stacked stitch with an amber chip at the top. I like to make mine graduated longer in the center. To do this, count the number of brick stitches you've got in the outer row and divide in half. Decide how many beads for the longest and shortest stacks, and graduate up and down from there. I chose to use 4 seed beads at each end and 12 in the middle. That gave me enough foundation beads for 2 of each number. That is, two stacks with 4 seed beads, two stacks with 5, etc, until I reached 12 at the center.

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11. Add a second row of stacked stitches with amber chips at the top, using the flat brick stitches of the inner row as the foundation. This time I graduated my stacks from 2 to 8 seed beads.

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12. Holding your scissors perpendicular to the bead work, carefully cut out your circle, being sure not to snip any threads. Try to leave a very thin strip of fabric that extends past the edge, approximately 1/8 inch.

13. Stitch either soldered rings or handmade wire figure 8s like these to the back

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of the bead work, near the top where you'd like the neck straps to attach.

14. Optional - Cut a lightweight cardboard or plastic circle approximately ¼ inch smaller than the bead work. It is more important to do this step with larger pieces because it gives stability to the shape of your bead work and prevents it from bending when worn. Lightly glue it in place with E6000.

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15. Keeping your glue away from the fabric edges, lightly glue your second piece of fabric to the cardboard lining as a backing. Let the glue dry well before proceeding any further. Cut the extra backing even with the top piece.

16. Start just to the right of the stacked stitch fringe and add a row of edging brick stitch with gold 8/0 seed beads all the way around the circle (including underneath the fringe). Make sure that you catch both pieces of fabric as you

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add each stitch.

17. Starting at the same point as in step 16, just to the right of the fringe, stitch a picot between each pair of gold 8/0 seed beads in the edging brick stitch row, using 3 gold 11/0 seed beads for each picot stitch. Stop when you reach the fringe on the other side.

18. Flip the piece over and add one more row of stacked stitch fringe by coming up through each edging brick stitch at the bottom. I graduated this row from 4 to 12 seed beads, just like the row above it.

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

19. Stringing the necklace straps: Cut 2 pieces of beading wire, 12 inches long each. Cut 4 pieces of gold French wire (aka bullion wire), ½ inch long each and slide one onto the end of one wire.

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

20. Using a crimp bead, attach the wire to one of the exposed loops near the top of the bead work.

21. Choose beads of various sizes to use for the straps. I used beads from 4mm to 10mm, and included some bronze iris 8/0 seed beads and amber chips.

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

22. String them in a pattern that is pleasing to you. I alternated each bead or amber chip with seed beads and included approximately 8½ inches of beads. Slide another crimp bead and another piece of French wire onto the end of the beading wire.

23. Crimp around one end of a 3 inch length of gold chain.

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

24. Repeat steps 20 and 22, and crimp the wire around the loop of your hook clasp.

25. Place a few beads on a head pin and turn a loop, using your flat nose and round nose pliers.

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

26. Attach the dangle to the end of the chain, and wrap the loop. Cut flush and file if needed.

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

27. This is what your finished piece will look like. The chain gives you 3 inches of adjustment in the length so that your necklace will suit many necklines!

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

Gallery of Designs

Ocean Depths, 2009

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

Orinoco Flow, 2007

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

Midnight at the Oasis, 2010

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Every Bead Has a Story ~ Mixed Media Bead Embroidery Lavin

Resources

Since companies come and go, especially online, I will maintain a Suppliers page on the Beading Arts blog which I will be able to update as things change. Please feel free to leave me a message there with the link to any source you've found to be particularly helpful.

Beading Arts also covers many other basics of jewelry making, including tutorials to get you started, a series on design, jewelry education, and business tips. I invite you to subscribe to Beading Arts today! Just visit the blog and scroll down until you see the Subscribe area in the sidebar. There are many different ways to subscribe by various blog readers or by email.

Coming soon...I hope!

My plan is to write a series of e-books to follow up on this one. Here you have the most basic stitches that I use and a beginner project to get you going, but there is so much more! My favorite art form is mixed media bead embroidery, and that involves techniques like dimensional beading, altering surfaces, using ephemera, re-purposing found objects and old jewelry, incorporating other types of fibers, and making your own unique beads.

Please let me know if you want me to write these! I'd love to hear from you. Tell me if you've found this first e-book on basic bead embroidery stitches helpful, and let me know what you'd like to see in the future. Blessings on you, your needles, and all of your beautiful beads!

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin ~ Beading Arts, http://www.beading-arts.com59