More on Hearts

I watched The Jewelry Making Professor’s Puffy Heart tutorial and recommend it to all my beading friends who want to learn how to make the Puffy Heart. The video is sharply filmed and the viewer is right on top of the beading action. The Professor describes each step as she makes the heart, and you can follow along and pause the video when you need to. While this is not a beginner’s project the video has some clever ideas to help it along, like laying out the beads in groups for each step. The Professor also recommends using bigger (6mm) crystals while learning the project-a good idea when you are trying any new beading technique.

As an added bonus, The Jewelry Making Professor shows two methods for attaching the heart to a chain; one by making a beaded bail and the other with jump rings. If you want to learn to make Puffy Hearts, this is the perfect video for you.

When you’ve made a few dozen hearts and are wondering what to do with them, go to Suzanne Golden’s site for inspiration. Don’t get so excited by all her fabulous beadwork that you miss what she does with her hearts. Thanks to my friend Jeri Schatz for telling me about this wonderful web site.

I Heart Crystal Hearts

I love those puffy crystal hearts you see people wearing on a chain around their neck. Each heart is made from 73 4mm crystals (Swarovski looks best) strung on one piece of monofilament. You start by adding four beads, and working in a three dimensional RAW stitch until you get the heart. The problem is that heart does not begin to take shape until you’re almost finished making it. And you change directions many times: down becomes up, up becomes down, and back again. Unless you have someone to show you, even the best beader in the world will have trouble with written directions. Phyllis Fogel taught me how to make the hearts you see above when I took her class at Jubilee Beads and Yarns.

The Jewelry Making Professor site offers a DVD with two full length video tutorials showing how to make the puffy heart and open heart designs. I haven’t watched the DVD, but the preview sure looks promising.

If you want to try your luck making hearts the old fashioned way, here are some links to get you started:  a beaded valentine heart, an open heart tutorial, a round heart tutorial and a flat heart tutorial.

And then there’s the Japanese company who first published the books that got the whole craze started. Go to their web page to find directions and diagrams for Bow’s Open Heart, click here and then click on “free projects.” Take some time to browse this site and discover the wonderful world of Japanese beading.