Book Giveaway/Interview with Diane Hyde

April 15, 2014, 14:55 pm  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

The sheer creative genius within the pages of Diane Hyde‘s book Break the Rules Bead Embroidery is gonna knock your socks off. Diane gives herself permission to include the most innovative materials in her bead-embroidered jewelry: pen nibs, toys, spoons, old keys, mini bulbs, and that’s just a start! This book will inspire you and kick-start your imagination. So how does Diane do it? Read on!


Q: Diane, what caused you to look for materials someplace other than a bead store?
After learning basic bead stitches, I wanted to set my work apart from what everyone else was doing. I began by incorporating metal stampings and simple filigree pieces. Once I saw they worked, I wanted to go deeper and darker, so to speak. I chose to use nuts and bolts on a major crystal-and-pearl piece for a competition. It placed first in the category I entered. After that I viewed everything as  fair game.

Q: You incorporate some completely unexpected items in your beadwork. For example, readers of your book will see doll heads, guitar picks, hardware-store hinges, wine corks, eyeglass lenses, spoons, pool balls,  and vintage thimbles used in the projects. How do you know when something unconventional is perfect for your designs? How you come up with the actual ideas?  
A: They come to me like lightening flashes. I might be walking through the toy department in a store and see a little plastic figure that pleases me. I stroll through hardware stores and craft stores and things just jump out at me as viable for my work and how they might fit into a piece. Most often I first become mentally locked on a specific color, or combination of colors, and then look for the components and beads that will bring that piece to life. Other times I could be thumbing through a book of Art Nouveau jewelry and some element jumps out as inspiration for a design.

Even the lowliest rusty bottle cap has some beauty to it, so you just have to look and think of everything in this new way. Try to tell a story with your work. If you can envision an unusual item within the work, there’s usually a solution for how to make it work within beadwork, whether it’s a wearable piece of jewelry, something to sit on a desktop, or hang on a wall. Sometimes trial and error is the only way to find what it will take to make something work as you have envisioned it. Just jump in and try. Often times you’ll figure it out as you go.


Q: What are some unexpected items you plan to experiment with in the future?
I have tubs and boxes filled with things that are begging me to give them a whirl—from holiday decorations to sticks and twigs,  vintage toys to flatware. Plastic and glass containers are especially intriguing to me right now. Dolls and doll parts are always my favorites. I’m also fascinated with the idea of creating a series of eclectic found-object pin cushions.


Q: The book contains 22 jewelry projects, plus there’s an additional set of instructions we’ve posted online. Do you have a favorite project from the book?
I love the Spoon Angel Necklace, because the iced-tea spoon I used once belonged to my grandmother. The smaller demitasse spoon in the alternate version is equally special to me. I inherited both my grandmother’s and my mother’s spoon collections from the mid 1900s. I have dozens to choose from and I just get giddy when I look at them all. These spoons impart a sweetness that, in the end, surprised even me.


Q: What would you like people to take away from your book?
I want readers to allow themselves the freedom to break away from using the expected components or items typically seen within beadwork. I want to encourage them to look with a new eye, to see everyday things and think, “what if…” and imagine them as possible focal points or additions to their work.



To be eligible for the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Click here for the official rules (don’t break those!).



Tune in this Monday, April 14 from 10am-noon EST to see artist Dale Armstrong debut the upcoming Dallas Lovett’s Woven Bead & Wire Jewelry (Lark Crafts, $24.95, May 2014) on JTV’s Jewel School. Armstrong will be featuring Lovett’s “Carre Bracelet” design on-the-air and selling copies during her demo. Read more from Dale about this week’s projects on her blog.


You can watch live online at Jewelry TV, or use their Channel Finder to tell you where you can view in your area.


About the book:

Dallas Lovett’s elegant-yet-graceful project designs capture the look crafters want now—sophisticated and stunning. He presents 25 of his most unique designs, all luxurious, with layered twists, and showcasing the creative potential of silver wire and beads. A basics section covers every technique in the book, and step-by-step photos provide the guidance crafters need to create these magnificent pieces, from the undulating, geometrical Cleopatra necklace to the shimmering Crown Jewels Pendant.


From Dale Armstrong:

“Known for using square wire to create intricate jewelry designs myself, when I saw Dallas’ new book featuring such stunning round wire patterns, I simply had to be able to personally present it to JTV’s Jewel School customers!”




Introducing 1000 Beads

April 03, 2014, 10:55 am  Posted by Julie

A sparkling new collection that focuses on the timeless creative practice of beadmaking,1000 Beads features a diverse group of handmade beads in glass, clay, metal, paper, and fiber from an international roster of artists. As the companion volume to Lark’s 2004 title 1000 Glass Beads, this impressive new volume provides an illuminating look at contemporary practitioners of the form.   The pieces in the collection were selected by Kristina Logan, who is known internationally for her glass beads. The techniques used—image transfer, appliqué, and traditional flameworking, among many others—are as diverse as the materials.

Whether they’re depicted individually or as part of a necklace, bracelet, or brooch, the beads in this dazzling book are examples of consummate craftsmanship on an intimate scale. Enjoy the images below and pick up a copy of 1000 Beads. You can find it at Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold.


Cubes, of Course! by Ann Klem

Thera by Holly Cooper

Spiral by Wiwat Kamolpornwijit 



Purple Fibers by Lee Schein

PB2 by Lily Liu


Break the Rules — Get a Free Book!

April 01, 2014, 15:14 pm  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

No, no, no, I’m not suggesting you shoplift…or break any other rules like sneaking into a movie theater or peeing in a swimming pool. I’m talking about Diane Hyde‘s new book, Break the Rules Bead Embroidery—I’m giving away an advance copy to one lucky person!

This book releases in stores on May 2, and the creativity within its pages is gonna knock your socks off. Diane gives herself permission to include the the most innovative materials in her pretty bead-embroidered jewelry! We’re talking pen nibs, toys, spoons, old keys, brass hinges, guitar picks, mini bulbs–and that’s just a start! This book will inspire you and kick-start your imagination.

Getting in on the giveaway couldn’t be simpler. To be eligible, leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 7, 2014. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Click here for the official rules (don’t break those!). This giveaway is over; the winner is Nancy Ludvik. Happy beading, Nancy!

Diane Hyde


Simple Soldered Jewelry and Accessories

February 26, 2014, 20:14 pm  Posted by Becky


Jewelry of all kinds, home decor, and lots of inspiration! That’s what you’ll find in this new paperback version of Lisa Bluhm’s playful how-to, Simple Soldered Jewelry and Accessories. Holiday ornaments featuring ribbons, pendants, and Victorian clip art; a turquoise jewelry set; a necklace made from a broken porcelain plate; and bedazzled antique bottles are just a few of the fun-expected projects you’ll find!












Lisa takes readers through the basics, including what you’ll need and some simple techniques, and she shares lots of experience that can only come from having learned the hard way. After teaching all about soldering, she shares a few jewelry-making techniques too, which are followed by more than 40 projects. Think of this as your incredibly comprehensive Intro to Soldering course!


Marica DeCoster Presents—Now Available!

February 11, 2014, 15:08 pm  Posted by Kevin Kopp


Marcia DeCoster interviews 30 leading beaders on inspiration and technique

Just published! Beadmaster Marcia DeCoster delivers page after page of inspiration by offering you the personal stories and latest creations from 30 leading jewelry designers in her latest, Marcia DeCoster Presents.


Through interviews conducted by Marcia, these artists open up about their beginnings, their successes, their muses and influences, their favorite materials, their membership in the worldwide beading community, and their future beading dreams.


In addition to the insight and innovation present in these discussions, this volume is filled with gorgeous color photos that showcase a number of the most beautiful pieces from each contributor.


The artists in this book represent an international roster of the best in the field:

Daeng Weaver, Miriam Shimon, Patrick Duggan, Kerrie Slade, Melissa Ingram, Beki Haley, Betty Stephan, Sian Nolan, Debi Keir-Nicholson, Nancy Dale, Martina Nagele, Helena Tan-Lim, Heather Kingsley-Heath, Elke Leonhardt-Rath, Riana Bootha Olckers, Cynthia Newcomer Daniel, Isabella Lam, Petra Tismer, Marsha Wiest-Hines, Christina Vandervlist, Linda L. Jones, Gabriella van Diepen, Idele Gilbert, Kinga Nichols, Susan Blessinger, Ann Braginsky, Heather Collin, Patrizia Tager, Zoya Gutina, Edgar Lopez
























And don’t forget the best-selling companion book in this Spotlight on Beading series, Suzanne Golden Presents


500 Series Giveaway: Lark Jewelry and Beading Books

November 25, 2013, 12:10 pm  Posted by Julie



The holidays are officially here, so we’re channeling Santa: In the spirit of the season, we’re giving away ten jewelry books from our 500 series. One lucky person will win the fabulous stack pictured above, which includes the newest entries in the series (Showcase 500 Art Necklaces and Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry), as well as old favorites like 500 Wedding Rings.*

To enter for a chance to win, simply leave a comment on this post by 11:59 EST on Sunday, December 1. One winner will be selected at random, and the results will be announced on Monday, December 2. Please click here for the official rules. This giveaway is now closed. A winner has been selected. Thanks for entering!

*Gingerbread man not included.


Diane Fitzgerald’s New Book = 2 GIVEAWAYS

November 22, 2013, 07:55 am  Posted by Nathalie Mornu

Diane Fitzgerald‘s new book, Shaped Beadwork & Beyond, released a few weeks ago. This follow-up to Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork features 40 projects—count ‘em…40!—and almost every one of them is accompanied by instructions for variations. It’s a mind-boggling array of beautiful beaded jewelry for you to make!

There's the Temari Beads...

...and the Five-Pointed Star...

...and the Moorish Tile Beads...

...and the Pillow Beads...and that's just the tip of the beadberg!

And because it’s that time of year, in this posting we’re doing not one, but TWO giveaways!

GIVEAWAY #1: One lucky person will win two copies of Diane’s NEW book, one to keep and one to give to a friend (or, well, that’s what I’m assuming you’ll do; you could give both of them away, or keep them both, or whatever you like!)

Giveaway #1

GIVEAWAY #2: The other happy winner will get one copy each of all three of the books that Diane has published with Lark: Diane Fitzgerald’s Shaped Beadwork, Diane Fitzgerald’s Favorite Beading Projects, and Shaped Beadwork & Beyond.

Giveaway #2

Getting in on this giveaway couldn’t be simpler. To be eligible, simply leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 1, 2013. Two winners (one for each of the giveaways described above) will be selected at random from among all eligible entries on Monday, December 2, 2013. Click here for the official rules.THE GIVEAWAY IS OVER. THE WINNER OF GIVEAWAY #1 IS SHARON MCKIM OF LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO. RESULTS OF GIVEAWAY #2 ARE PENDING.




November 18, 2013, 09:23 am  Posted by Kevin Kopp

Candie Cooper and I have just finished working on her wonderful next book with Lark, Earringology: How to Make Dangles, Drops, Chandeliers & More. This follow-up to Candie’s previous offering, Necklaceology, will be available in June but can be pre-ordered now. I recently sat down with Candie to ask her a few questions on a range of topics.

Lark:  Candie, as you may not know, in a former life I used to catalog phone conversations for the National Security Agency. A couple of my former colleagues have informed me there was a unicorn sighting recently in north central Indiana where you live. What can you tell me about that?

Candie:  You did?!? That’s crazy. But yes! There was a unicorn sighting on Halloween weekend here in town. In my backyard actually! Ok, it was me. My husband got us horse and unicorn masks to wear for Halloween this year. They were creepy and fun and strange all at the same time. I made a special crystal rainbow necklace to wear with it. It was pretty fun!

Lark:  I see. A lot of horsing around, I imagine. So now that you’ve wrapped work on your latest writing effort, you must have all kinds of time on your hands, right? What are you up to when you’re not sleeping late and watching daytime TV?

Candie:  I actually do tune into Rachel Ray and listen while I work. I like her. But I’m onto the next series of projects, working on some top secret product development stuff (ask your NSA buddies about it), new book ideas, and filming craft videos for different craft companies. I’m also doing a lot of holiday projects for Plaid’s website, Paint Me Plaid.

Oh, and how did I almost forget  . . . I’ll be representing Beadalon and Jewelry Television to teach on a Country Music Cruise leaving from Fort Lauderdale in January.

Lark:  That’s a full agenda! Now, in all seriousness, tell me why you were excited to write a book telling your readers how to make beaded earrings. (By the way, they are all really pretty, and the instructions are easy to follow, the materials are readily available, and the photos in the book are fantabulous. But of course, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must make it clear that I work for the publisher—and also never really worked for the NSA, but as a running joke it’s a fun story to imagine.)

Candie:  Well, writing books is kind of like watching a good movie that you don’t want to end. I loved it when I was offered the opportunity to write Earringology, which is the sequel, so to speak, of Necklaceology. Plus, earrings are so instantly gratifying. Most anyone can make them in an evening, and that always feels good. I also had more techniques and new tools I wanted to share with people!

Lark:  It’s mid November. All thoughts turn to the coming holiday gift-giving season. What are a couple of the favorite items you’ve made in the past as gifts?

Candie:  I love making beaded beads into pendants and earrings with Swarovski crystals. They’re especially great around the holidays. In fact, here’s a link to my blog tutorial.

For my family, I usually make everyone an ornament. This year it’s going to be stenciled burlap ornaments with everyone’s initials on them immersed in glass. Sounds weird, but trust me, they’re cool! Should I be worried any of them are going to see this?!

Lark:  Well, we want as many people as possible to see this blog, but I’ll talk to my buddies at the previously mentioned top secret government agency and have them monitor your family’s internet traffic. We won’t let them near larkcrafts.com.

Other than telling us to start making projects ten months ahead of time, what advice or thoughts can you offer about making your own gifts for the holidays?

Candie:  Mmmmmm, keep it simple. I’ve learned over the years that if I try to make everyone something really involved, it gets tedious and exhausting. Holidays are supposed to be fun! If I do make something tedious, it’s usually for my mom (because she is AWESOME). My second tip is to wrap your gift as pretty as possible (but still simple). The presentation is just as much part of the gift (at least for me it is). I love tying a sprig of evergreen onto packages with a lace ribbon.

Lark:  Speaking of gifts, we are offering up two sets of signed copies of Metalworking 101 for Beaders and Necklaceology. Just leave a comment on this post telling us about an piece of beaded jewelry or any handcrafted item you made as a gift for someone by Tuesday, November 26 at noon EST. We will choose two names at random from among all eligible comments and will announce the winner on Wednesday, November 27. (Click here for the official rules.)

Candie:  Woot!  Woot!  THAT is a great idea! I’m all for it.












Candie Cooper is the bestselling author of Metalworking 101 for Beaders and Necklaceology. In addition, she is a featured guest on the popular PBS series, “Beads, Baubles, and Jewels.” Currently working on product development for the jewelry industry, Candie also designs new products for craft companies and teaches creative beading workshops. Visit Candie’s website for the latest on what Candie’s been up to lately.



GIVEAWAY: Jamie Cloud Eakin Collection

October 30, 2013, 11:53 am  Posted by Nicole McConville

In celebration of the publication of Jamie Cloud Eakin‘s brand new book, Bead Embroidery Jewelry Projects, we’re offering up a giveaway featuring her ENTIRE collection of extraordinary Lark books: Beading with Cabochons, Bugle Bead Bonanza, Dimensional Bead Embroidery, and Bead Embroidery Jewelry Projects. So fantastic, right? For a chance to win, simply comment on this blog post: any comment will do! Leave your comment/entry by 11:59 EST on Wednesday, November 6th. One winner will be selected at random from among all eligible entries and contacted Thursday, November 7th. Click here for the official rules.This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Diana in Wisconsin!