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.