Quick Beaded Valentine Cards, Plus New Reader Gallery

Reader Gallery:  Heart-Felt Designs

From charm bracelets to a Victorian-style beaded bag with size 15 beads to a bead embroidered pin, you'll find something to love in this gallery!  Here are some highlights from the first reader gallery of 2009:

Beading Daily reader Tresna Wulan selected the focal bead for her necklace and her daughter picked out the complementary colors of the Swarovski crystals.  Tresna then created the necklace and named it after her 7-year-old daughter, Dara.  I can't think of a better gift than the combination of time spent together creating memories and a beautiful finished keepsake.

We also had our first gallery submission from a couple, husband-and-wife designers, Audrey and Chad Stephens. 

Isn't their work amazing?  Chad and Audrey met while participating in a medieval reenactment group and have transitioned their love of chain maille from a hobby into a job. If you enjoy the designs, be sure to leave a comment for the designers!  Your positive feedback and encouragement could be just what they need to keep creating.

Valentine Greetings

While you might not have time to create a heart-themed jewelry design, you still have time for a quick postcard or greeting card.  Here are two ideas:

1.  Fiber Valentine Postcards

Fiberarts magazine hosts an annual contest asking readers to submit fiber Valentine postcards which are hand-stamped at the Loveland, Colorado post office with a special poem cancellation stamp.  Techniques used for the postcards have included beading, dyeing, appliqué, marbling, and weaving.  Check out the cute penguin Valentine from 2008 by Bonnie Smith. The April/May 2009 issue will have a gallery of this year's winners–be sure to subscribe so you don't miss it.  (While you wait, check out the previous winners.)  If you prefer paper to fabric, take a look at this week's free project: 

2.  New Free Project:  Valentine's Day Cards by Jean Campbell

Valentine's Day is tomorrow (February 14), but there's still time to whip up a quick beaded card.  These instructions from the Beadwork archives include five easy ideas for cards that each take only few materials and less than an hour to make.  This project is an easy way to get kids or non-beaders interested in the world of beads.  If your tastes run more to wirework or beadweaving, there's no reason you can't take your talents and apply them to a card.  Either attach your work to the card permanently with glue or create a pocket that lets the recipient remove your work from the card as a keepsake.

Michelle Mach shares free projects every Friday on Beading Daily. If you have comments or questions for Michelle, please post them on the website.

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