Crystal Ribbon Bracelet

Following on from my lessons in brick stitch and ladder stitch I have been having a go at right angle weave. I have done this before (just never known what it is called) and so managed this with little incident. I made an amazing bracelet (there I go again – praising myself. I must stop this habit):

Sparkly, heavy enough and pretty.

Sparkly, heavy enough and pretty.

The right angle weave is basically a series of square joined together:

A basic square starts this bracelet off.

A basic square starts this bracelet off.

Another square is added, using silver beads.

Another square is added, using silver beads.

Another square finishes the row off.

Another square, with different coloured crystals  finishes the basic row off.

The first square on the next row.

The first square on the next row.

The second row completed.

The second row completed.

When the bracelet is long enough you taper the ends by making two triangles on the outer edges. The middle square stays the same.

A triangle is made instead of a square to begin the making of the clasp.

A triangle is made instead of a square to begin the making of the clasp.

The middle remains as a square.

The middle remains as a square.

An extra square is made in the middle.

An extra square is made in the middle.

Seed beads form a loop for one end of the clasp.

Seed beads form a loop for one end of the clasp.

The other end of the clasp. Built up in the same way but making a t-bar to fit through the loop.

The other end of the clasp. Built up in the same way but making a t-bar to fit through the loop.

The finished bracelet.

The finished bracelet.

I can see myself making these in different colours to go with different outfits.

I have also had a go at making some earrings to go with the bracelet. They are very similar to one of the sections of the bracelet:

The finished item!

The finished item!

See you soon. xx

i will3

2015 Marathon Countdown begins!

Having got through the disappointments of the last couple of months, this week was the week that I picked myself up and began to evaluate where I was.

I realised that:

  1. I really hadn’t been enjoying running for quite a while. I had found it really hard going and demotivating. The concrete measures about my distance and speed didn’t match up to what I know I can do and the mental feedback wasn’t a lot better. Sure my legs didn’t physically ache after the longer runs but that just underlined how the different parts of my body were simply not in synch. It was just not happening for me.
  2. I was able to admit that nagging feeling deep down that I hadn’t really been well since February.
  3. I had probably been expecting too much of myself – too many hard runs, a demanding job, a demanding family life and my many commitments outside of that all contributed to the situation that I found myself in.
  4. I had done something that was really brave and exciting when I shared my story and experiences with the paper – I am still meeting people who are pleased and amazed that I did it.
  5. I have another whole year to prepare myself for the marathon.

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In fact I think that I am really lucky. I have the opportunity to learn from before, to really savour the whole year-long journey, to possibly have another article somewhere else to help raise the awareness of PND and, more than ever, to prolong the amazing expectations as long as I can. The people who I have spoken too that have done it are generally of the view that I am lucky to have a second chance and if they could do it all again, they would.

i will3I have already started along this road and will share more details as we go along. At the moment it is enough to say that I have been out running and feel as if I am getting back to my former self. For me, at the moment, that is enough. Underneath it all however, there are bigger changes beginning to happen. I am very excited and promise to share my journey with you. But for now I have whittled on long enough. See you all very soon. x

Diamond Beaded Earrings

This last week I have been working on beading techniques, and producing some lovely bits of jewellery as well (yes, I do say it myself!). Firstly I made some earrings:

The earrings.

The earrings.

In order to make these I had to master ladder stitch and brick stitch. It took a bit of practice but I managed it in the end as the photograph above shows.

Can you tell which one is my practice one? (the one on the left!)

Can you tell which one is my practice one? (the one on the left!)

As I mentioned the first stitch that I learnt how to do was the ladder weave. This was the starting point and was the way I built up the row of pearls in the middle.

The last three steps are repeated until you get the length you require.

For this pattern it was 7.

For this pattern it was 7.

To begin with I found it tricky to get the holes all facing the same way (up and down and not facing the beads adjacent), with practice and a bit of manipulation this became easier. We are now ready to start the brick stitch. This is where you realise the importance of the position of the holes in the ladder stitch row as you thread the needle under the thread that runs along the top and bottom of the beads.

Brick stitch automatically forms a triangle shape so you end up with a piece looking like this:

IMG_0560For these earrings I chose to add 4 pearls to the top as a loop to add the earring hook onto:

IMG_0561The thread has to be brought back down to the pearl row so you can complete another set of brick stitch:

IMG_0563This end I added a larger pearl sandwiched between two smaller ones as a final detail.

IMG_0564I have had real trouble with the photography of these earrings. I wish you could see the true colour of these earrings – they are a lovely bright green/turquoise colour and look amazing. I am really looking forward to the chance to wear these with a lovely summer dress. ;)

This is a pattern that I really like and shall be doing again. I have an idea for a bracelet………

The other stitch that I have been working on is right-angled weave which I shall be sharing with you very soon. I really hope that you are having a wonderful weekend and not eating too much chocolate.

Jump ring earrings

I have made a lot of bracelets, a few rings and some necklaces. I need more earrings.

A simple string of jump rings with beads attached.

A simple string of jump rings with beads attached.

Smaller beads for those preferring less of a statement.

Smaller beads for those preferring less of a statement.

These are very versatile as you can change the size of rings and beads, the length and colours. Something for everyone.

These are very versatile as you can change the size of rings and beads, the length and colours. Something for everyone.

Getting myself tied up in knots!

I am really enjoying my knotted jewellery at the moment. This one is a variation on the pearl one from last week, more knots and less beads. (I also have a little confession, due to not really having enough beading thread it, ummm, fell apart when I had finished it!) Oh well….the principle remains the same ;).

I again used my makeshift macrame board (i.e. my unused, clean cat litter tray and clips).

4 lengths of satin cord and 3 lengths of beading thread.

4 lengths of satin cord and 3 lengths of beading thread. 6 square knots on the left hand thread.

6 square knots on the right hand beading thread.

6 square knots on the right hand beading thread.

Moving one bead up and then 6 square knots on the centre thread.

Moving one bead up and then 6 square knots on the centre thread.

Bead up on the left followed by 6 more square knots.

Bead up on the left followed by 6 more square knots.

Repeat on the right.

Repeat on the right.

 

To finish off tie some more square knots  then tie some square knots over all of the remaining strands in the middle.

To finish off tie some more square knots then tie some square knots over all of the remaining strands in the middle.

IMG_0530

This is the finished bracelet. The beads should be in a diamond shape like the ones to the left but I have managed to pull them all out of shape!

I hope you get the general idea?

I hope you get the general idea? There should not be all those gaps. Oooops.

 

A knotted Pearl Bracelet

I tied the cords on using square knots.

I tied the cords on using square knots.

I then put a bead up on the middle string.

I then put a bead up on the middle string.

Using the threads closest to the bead do a square knot over the middle thread to encase the bead.

Using the threads closest to the bead do a square knot over the middle thread to encase the bead.

To bring the other cords down I did 2 square knots on each of the outer threads. The knots are now all level.

To bring the other cords down I did 2 square knots on each of the outer threads. The knots are now all level (ish).

I know brought up a bead on the left hand thread, securing in place with another square knot. I then pull the bead up on the right hand thread.

I now brought up a bead on the left hand thread, securing in place with another square knot. I then pull the bead up on the right hand thread.

This is then repeated again with the middle thread. Continue in this way until the bracelet is long enough to fit.

This is then repeated again with the middle thread. Continue in this way until the bracelet is long enough to fit.

Finish with a middle bead. On each of the outside threads do 2 square knots as at the other end.

Finish with a middle bead. On each of the outside threads do 2 square knots as at the other end.

Bring all the threads with the beads on together, along with the two inner satin cords.With the outside threads tie 2 square knots.

Bring all the threads with the beads on together, along with the two inner satin cords. With the outside threads tie 2 square knots.

Apply glue to each end to secure.

Apply glue to each end to secure.

Finish off with the findings

Finish off with the findings

Finished with the findings.

Finished with the findings.

I am very pleased with this :)

I am very pleased with this :)

Thank you and …….sorry.

I have been completely overwhelmed by all your supportive comments regarding my last post. Thank you, as without you all I would never have managed it. Trying not to be sensationalist, without you all, I would never have got to where I am today. The weekend would not have happened.

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I would also like to thank everyone that has sponsored me. I am amazed.

But…….here is the bad news………

I am unable to run the marathon on Sunday.

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I feel that I am letting everyone down but my wonderful doctor (who was so brilliant when I was suffering from PND) has advised me that it may not be the most sensible thing to do seeing how poorly I have been this past month (+).

I am really, really gutted but deep down know that it is the right thing. My training has not really gone as planned and I am not nearly as fit as I would have liked to be before running a marathon. Simply put, my health has to come first. I have seen enough people collapsed at the side of the road during half marathons to know that you cannot take any run lightly.

Luckily I can defer my place until next year.

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Yep, I can do it all again next year, the running in the dark, the long races, the boring posts….. My husband is delighted! (but is obviously very supportive at the same time ;)) The money that I have raised in sponsorship can be forwarded onto next year too. I am going to use this year as a spring-board for next year. I am going to take this opportunity to raise even more money for this brilliant cause that I have chosen. I will learn from things that I felt went wrong for me this year and hopefully reach this point, next year, stronger than ever.

So sorry to let you all down but the journey does not finish here – we are simply half way along the road.