The sun was shining and I had the urge to make something light and summery:
I smile whenever I look at it. I just wish I had made it longer. Maybe I should wear another to go alongside it…….
Whilst at Spoilt Rotten Beads at the weekend I spotted a bargain. The sun was out and I was really drawn to the lovely bright summery colours:
I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them – make them into rings so I also bought some of this:
).8mm silver plated wire.
I made three rings:
So which colour will you wear to bring on the summer?
(ironically I am writing this listening to the pitter patter of rain!) Bring on summer!
I am not one to sit idle as you will be aware and last week was a bit of a challenge. The steroids that I was on made me shaky and I found it hard to concentrate on things for long. I was also mostly based around the bed thus ruling out many projects such as beading.
I have had a technique on my wish list for a while and I thought that this may well be the time to try…..viking knit. Viking knit is not knitting, really a weave. You end up with a rope like piece:
These can then be turned into jewellery pieces like:
I had bought the kit to do this when I did the celtic heart necklace with the wire mesh.
This is the kit I got. It comes complete with a pair of nail clippers!! There is also a simple wire gizzard and some wire to have a go with. It was this wire that I started to work with. I found the instructions easy to follow and was able to get going quite quickly.
I obviously made a mistake on the second day that I picked this up and ended up having to undo a load due to leaving one of the loops out, but that is normal is it not? Overall, I got on very quickly the second day.
The one thing that I did struggle with was that I knew that I would be ‘stretching’ the braid and had no idea as to how much it would grow. I simply didn’t know when to stop. In the end I decided to stop when it nearly reached around my wrist.
Pulling it through the draw plate means that you can set the desired width and length. I am hoping that this will help to iron out the ‘imperfections’ that occurred whilst I was ‘weaving’. I shall keep you informed…..
I have just read this post from Notsogranny. At the end I wanted to give her a huge hug. I so recognised the feelings that she was experiencing, in fact I had been so caught up in my own ‘problems’ that I had failed to see how she was feeling. (Bad, bad friend).
It is no secret that this has been a tougher than usual week for me and, yes, I had let myself get a bit melodramatic and caught up in it but perspective is a funny thing. I view Joanne’s life as a real achievement, something that is to be aspired to but failed to recognise that her life, like mine has its ups and downs too. Yes she has a wonderful family, built up an amazing business around her teaching, designing, tech editing and producing but there are times when burn out happens to her as well.
We all get so busy, caught up in all sorts of amazing, exciting opportunities that sometimes it is hard to step back and remember who we are and what is truly important to us. My illness should not really come as a surprise as I had been saying for a little while that something needed to give. It turns out that this is my health! I am a firm believer that everything that we encounter makes us who we are. I may have started today morose but I am not going to end it that way.
Last night I got out my wire and had a go at doing some wire hearts. I had a play and enjoyed myself. I relaxed a bit.
That is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed everything that I have been doing recently. I have. A lot. But I do push myself. Constantly. I am always trying to learn new things and take on something new. Even this week, when I was ill in my bed I ‘took the opportunity to have a go at Viking Knit’. Hmmm yes, even when ill I am pushing myself.
So, going forward I am going to try to step back a bit, and take a bit more time. I am writing this here so you can all remind me. Starting from now. I don’t think that I am going to defer my marathon. I may not be preparing in quite the way that I expected, or even, be able to quite achieve what I wanted to but I am not an elite athlete. I am going to go out there and enjoy myself. It is an experience that I am going to enjoy. I had a *cough* big birthday this week. Life is for living in the best way possible for you in the here and now. I am going to try to remember this. Always.
If you are having a wobble for what ever reason then please accept a hug from me. Life is busy, it even gets in the way but whatever you are doing try to enjoy it. xx
This will probably show my age but I didn’t attend a prom when I left secondary school. Did you? Now, it seems like all schools hold one. I have to say that it seems really nice, a bit like a mini wedding. You get all dressed up with a nice dress, get your hair done and organise a special (unusual) way to get there. Fire engines, limousine’s, VW vans etc. I am not sure what my shy and reserved 16-year-old self would think about it but now I think it sounds like fun.
The reason I am writing this is because we are coming into prom season and I was asked to make a bracelet and some earrings for a friend’s daughter. It appears that they had found the perfect dress but had been unable to find the right jewellery to go with it. As the dress has a high neck line a necklace would not work.
I have to say that the responsibility did make me quite nervous but I cracked on anyway.
They entrusted me with the dress so that I could choose the perfect beads. Yes I took it to the shop with me and had some excellent advice from them.
All I needed to do now was to make the pieces.
I was undoing this to add a border around the edge so that the beads were a bit more ‘contained’. However a friend that I was with said that it was great as it was. Seeing how she is completely OCD about symmetry I took her advice and left it as it was.
As an added extra I recently added a ring as well. I had some beads left over and, having begun to get a bit more comfortable with ‘proper’ jewellery making I was keen to have a go.
Luckily everything has gone down really well. A huge relief although we did have plenty of time to rectify the situation had it not been.
I am a bit late joining up with Handmade Monday this week as my computer had a bit of an issue with the internet yesterday. (oh the joys!) I hope you all have a great week. Xx
I need a lot more practice at this!! For fuller instructions head over to here.
For fuller instructions head here.
Do you remember this?
It is a pendant I made a few weeks ago see here. (I have re-done the photos!)
I decided that some earrings might also work well with this technique so had a go:
I used a 1mm hook and 3.25mm wire and seed beads.
They still curve up giving them a 3D effect. I think they work well and judging by the response on my Facebook page so do other people. I have even had a commission for a pair!
Talking about commissions I have been very busy working behind the scenes towards opening an online shop as an outlet for selling some of my work. I have spent hours and hours on Photoshop in an attempt to come up with a banner:
The next major decision, and the one that has probably taken the most time, is where to sell. There is something about Etsy that screams no to me – it is so busy and there seems to be a lot of things that you are expected to be part of it. I know that a lot of you sell on it, but it all seems a bit alien and unknown. I then found Zibbet which is free but appears to be more for the American market. Finally, as reading through the wonderful blogs on handmade harbour I saw that some sold on a site, similar to Etsy but called Misi.It is based in the UK but I am not sure how much traffic they get on there. Oh dear decisions, decisions. I really do need to get on and take the plunge!
Enough waffle – what I really want to do is to go and catch up on the other wonderful blogs over on Handmade harbour. Hope you all have a good week and if you have any pearls of wisdom then do please share:)
I have to say that all day I have been umming and ahhhing as to whether to write a post tonight or not. As always the lure of Handmade Monday over on Handmade Harbour is just too strong. I know that I shall be visiting blogs there so thought that I may as well put my penny’s worth in.
The last few days I have been doing some research to try to find other people who use wire and crochet / knitting to make jewellery. It has been totally inspiring and I have loads of ideas bubbling around in my head. Now before you worry, I am not going to copy what they do, it has been a case of looking at what they are doing and using it to inspire me to move on with my journey. Obviously there are some overlaps but largely what I am doing is my thing and what they are doing is theirs. I shall share some of these blogs / shops with you later. Today I want to keep things fairly short so shall move on.
Whilst making the second (well actually my first) bracelet I made one of those happy mistakes:
I have now gone on to make this little mistake into something within its own right:
What I really like about this is that it is slightly curved:
Don’t you just love it when a mistake turns into something lovely and new? Has it happened to you recently? My next project….earrings 🙂
I am now going to head over to catch up on all the other blogs over at Handmade Harbour, do come and follow me.
Hope you all have a great week 🙂
So it would seem that I have been writing this blog for a year now. Wow. I can hardly believe it. It has certainly been a really positive thing in my life. I have ‘met’ so many completely amazing people through this. I have always known that I am a ‘people’ person who cannot survive without contact with people and this has opened up a whole new world of people (almost literally!). If you are one of these people then do please help yourself to piece of cake and join me in my celebrations. (I would love to have had a giveaway but am sadly not that organsied – will do better next year I promise.)
Today is the day of the week where I eagerly await the ‘biggest’ regular coffee (tea or wine) meet up with fellow crafters through Handmade Monday.
Through a special link everyone shares their post about what they have been making during the week. I have to say I have learnt so much through each of these wonderful people and eagerly await the time when the children are in bed and I can sit down and have a good read. A big, huge thank you to all (with a special mention for Wendy whose idea it is and who hosts it every week.)
Another marker in my week is the creative ‘meet up’ called Creatives Unite that happens on a Thursday evening.
This is simply a time where you can sit down and know that others are also crafting away too. There is a great sense of community on twitter throughout. It is the time that I set aside each week to create my object for handmade Monday if I have not got around to making anything for the rest of the week. A huge thank to Anna for organising this one.
So what have I made this week? Following on from my experiments last week with Tunisian crochet I was very keen to have a go with wire and beads. I chose the queen lace stitch and created this:
Believe it or not this took 2 hours. Unfortunately it is not long enough to go around my wrist so cannot technically be called a bracelet although this is what I am hoping it will end up as.
I do really like this as I think it works really well.
The idea was to add beads to the ‘loopy’ (technical term!) bits that go across. I added 4 seed beads to each loop this time although I would also like to try using 1 larger one each time.
So there you have it. A work in process for this week. This is because I am also in the middle of a test knit which has taken a bit longer than I anticipated getting going. It is now on its way but I have a long way to go yet.
As for now….. well I should be knitting but fear that I shall not be able to avoid the lure of Handmade Harbour!! Hope to see you there 🙂