Saturday, September 05, 2009

Dichroic Glass Pendant Necklaces

Wendy from Guru Creations has been changing her focus and therefore selling off a lot of her work. I have managed to buy quite a bit of stuff that I'm looking forward to using over time. Here are two necklaces I've made recently. Both are simple but still a little different.

This first one is an experiment. The circles of colour needed to be featured but I didn't want them to be over taken. What I decided to do, after attempts at Kumihimo and other braids, was a simple plait. Except that the amount of wires wouldn't fit through the holes of the beads. Hmmmm. So, ever the improviser, I made that a little feature too. I found tigertail in colours that were in the pendant, continued the circles in the round shapes of black glass beads, some faceted, some not, and this is the result. It's actually lovely and light and sits well on the neck.

The second one I attempted began with the black lines on the glass. I've always wanted to achieve a simple spiral rope. Every other time I've tried the thread is too thick, the needle too big, and I haven't been able to pass through the beads enough times to make the spiral. This time it worked. Again, I found some beads in the colours used in the pendant. These are scattered throughout the rope. The main part of the rope is in various types of black seed beads. There are delicas and myuki beads used and several sizes also. After all, making a rope all the one size gets boring! I decided to see what would happen if I increased the number of beads in the outer beads. Once I reached the pendant I changed the size of the inside bead and kept increasing. The asymmetry of the necklace is quite fun, I think and takes a simple piece just that little bit out of the norm.

I'd love to know what you think of these necklaces. Also, I played a little bit more with arranging my photos. What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas in comments.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pattern and Colour

I have discovered over the years that I simply love pattern and colour. I love scrapbooking paper with all the patterns and different materials. I'm particularly fond of geometric shapes and muted colours.

You can imagine what I thought when I saw all the wonderful materials used by Melanie of Bags by Melanie. Melanie sews beautifully. Her work is simple yet eye catching. My aunt makes bags and is always looking for great material. She'd also love Melanie's taste.

Here are a couple of items she has for sale in her etsy shop.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Childhoods and Inspiration for Creation

I ducked over to Rae Anne's blog today. She has a blog that is so fun to read. She is raising two kids who she's obviously adores buckets and the grins on the kids speak volumes. I loved the caption on this picture. It reminded me of the care free days out I used to have with family and friends. None of all that health and safety stuff that becomes so exhausting now-a-days. Just days in the sun with family doing fun things. She writes....

"Grandma is holding the chair so that Q doesn't fall off the slope. We are all about the safety. Not pictured? Open flames. And sharp sticks holding lots of ill-refrigerated processed meat. Parents of the year."

Full of pictures, this one caught my attention.

When I finally make it into my new house (could be as little as a month now) I want to get out mum's old slides of the orchard (before it became a nursery) and also of some of her travels to see if I can make them into beaded scenes. If I had a picture like this I'd be looking at bead colours immediately.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I have all these buttons at home. Some are from old sewing projects, some I bought simply because I liked the look of them. I want to make things with them but am often at a loss as to what to do. I make things and then just don't like them. Here is a ring that I made recently that is not too bad. It will need to be worn by an arty person being large and purple and orange (the colours I always associate with art teachers from school). So, tell me what you think.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Importance of Little Things

Every now and then I remember to take some time out. After a tough couple of weeks I sat down on the porch in the sun with a cup of tea. As afternoon gradually became twilight I watched a couple of Kookaburras on the lawn in front of me having their dinner. As the shadows lengthened these two beautiful birds would sit in the tree branches waiting and then land on the ground and kill whatever it was they found. All was peaceful and quiet. I could hear their wings flap and their beaks snap. I brought me to a place of calm.

It's been ages since I've seen Kookaburras at home. When I was growing up they used to sit on the washing line and we'd see them almost every day, especially as mum would put out the scraps of meat from cooking dinner.

It really is the small things that make life worthwhile. Mum used to love the colours of the rain on the trees as the sun glittered through. She would have loved to sit and watch these two birds with me. And I thought of other small things that make life that much better. My friend Nifty spending ages finding just the right eyebrows for my mini-me on her Wii last night.

And then there are the beautiful illustrations and artworks of Gretchen of Chichiboulie. Earlier today, the childish fun and simplicity of her drawings made me smile. How can you not smile when faced with this?

Or this?

There is so much joy to be had on Gretchen's blog and in her shop. I can tell you, you'll enjoy the time you spend.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Using my Kumihimo

A couple of posts ago I showed some of the necklaces that I'd managed to incorporate my braids into. I have also made a couple of bracelets. The first one is incredibly simple but then the braid itself is so pretty it didn't warrant any other detail really. It was with this one that I made the coil that makes for a very simple end that makes the braid very usable and also keeps the attention on the braid rather than the link.

The second braid is not quite so successful. I love the look of it but the wire at the side needs a little adjusting as the plait comes out of it. I love the effect of the button but it is a little heavy for the braid. Looks great though. I also love my picture as, after lots of fussing I finally managed to make it look great and uncluttered.

I really must put more time into the photos so I can get myself some sort of portfolio to show people. That is for another day though.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wonderful packaging ideas...

Packaging and presentation of your work to buyers is always important but not always thought through. Susy from Earth Expressions has given some very simple and practical ideas on her blog. You can read her suggestions here. Susy makes a whole range of things. Lots of paper is used, vintage findings and wire. Her work ranges from bookmarks to pendants and earring and decorating other objects. I especially love her simple tins. Susy presents her pendants and pendant necklaces in these.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Full Family Life

Amanda has a busy family life. She keeps a blog with pictures and stories at Confessions From HouseholdSix. I have to say that reading it reinforces my love of life with only the kids I teach and can hand back with lots of time to myself. Amanda obviously loves her family though and lets us laugh and groan with her day to day life. Somehow she also finds time for a little bit of crafting and I really like this computer scrapping she did and made into a tumbler.

Monday, June 22, 2009

For Friends

I was having dinner with some friends of mine a few weeks ago. One of them asked about my jewellery and how it was going and I ended up with a couple of requests. One friend, Meryl, asked me to string some pearls. "Of course", I said, so I've taught myself to string pearls. I had fun. I bought all the proper silks with the needles attached and made use of my embroidery knotting skills. I started three times and it's not a professional job to my inquisitive eyes, but I'm quite pleased with myself.

The request from my other friend, Aline, was even more fun. She had a necklace of her mother's that was too heavy to wear but that was Venetian Glass Beads from her trip to Venice. Was their anything I could do? Here is what the necklace was originally.

So we decided to make a series of necklaces for her daughters and granddaughters. Eight in total. It took me a while to get going which isn't unusual, but I love what the results were. I made each necklace a different colour and mostly different styles. Because there were nineteen beads and I had to divide them into eight, some necklace have three of the original beads while others have only two.

On gold tone fine chain with Swarovski crystals.

Red tigertail with fresh water pearls and Swarovski Crystals.

Silver tigertail with Swarovski Crystals. Pendant is a chinese cube from a pattern by Valerie Hector. Smaller beaded beads are made using Right Angle Weave.

Fresh water pearls with Swarovski Crystals and silver tone chain. Pendant is a chinese cube from a pattern by Valerie Hector.

Purple Velvet
Silver tone chain with Swarovski Crystals.

In the next three designs I even incorporated some of my Kumihimo braids. I am so pleased that I can find different ways to incorporate them.

Kumihimo braid with delica beads and Swarovski Crystals. Beaded beads are made using Right Angle Weave. Can be worn assymetrically or symmetrically.

Kumihimo braid using tigertail, hand made gold tone clasp and Swarovski Crystals. Beaded beads are made using Right Angle Weave.

Light Amethyst
Kumihimo braid using tigertail, hand made gold tone clasp, fresh water pearls and Swarovski Crystals. Beaded beads made using Right Angle Weave.

So there they all are. Aline loves them although I might have to rework the Blue one so it fits the personality of who it's going to better. If I do change it I'll show you what I do. I really enjoyed the challenge of using the same beads in so many different ways.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

For the Love of Paper......

I have always loved paper and stationery. I have always made my own cards and loved wrapping presents. Kim is a woman after my own heart. She sells paper products she designs herself. Her work is simple and effective and wonderfully personal. I recommend taking a look at her store. Kim's blog is a comfortable insight into her life as a WAHM (work at home mum). She looks at her discoveries and everyday events. My personal favourite is the this picture of her dog. I guess he just reminds me of one of my soft toys. It also comes at the end of her story about the day at the chocolate shop - another subject close to my heart.

Kim's posts are personal and show her delight in life. And this post shows the shows the importance of working hand in hand with local businesses.

Monday, May 18, 2009


I have a shop on etsy but haven't updated it for ages. With moving and house shopping and many other reasons and excuses I haven't kept it up. I popped along to Jenny's blog today and she is very involved in etsy. There are challenges she is entering that I didn't know existed and she participates in a great way that helps promote her own work but also the work of others. The last challenge she was in was a beadweaving challenge and the works on display are wonderful. I love seed beading work. Go and check out her blog. Hopefully soon she will tell us how she went in the challenge.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Braiding - Two

Because I was experimenting with different materials that I had around the house I also tried the braiding with different wire combinations. Some I used wire only and for other braids I combined wire with different widths of satin cords. The picture below shows exactly the same satin chord used with the same wire/cord width and show the different effect that is created. The wire, once braided doesn't stretch or give in anyway and so gives a completely different effect. While I'm not so keen on the gold wire, the textural result is quite fun.

This next picture shows other experiments also. The top 3 use only craft wire. I'd like to do more of these and make some bangles out of them. Once curved they sit really comfortably on the wrist. They work better with the thicker gauge wire, I discovered.

The pale braids are some of my favourites - satin cord with tigertail. I most certainly with be making lots of those to hang my pendants from. And then the black one is stain cord with leather.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Braiding - One

My house is up for sale and it is difficult to sit down and bead and craft. It always makes a mess and I need the house ready at the drop of a hat. What I started just before this though was braiding. Japanese braiding or 'Kumihimo'. I have had tremendous fun using bits and bobs I've had around the place, experimenting with textures and widths.

I have only really tried with two basic patterns. I like ribbons included. Especially if they have metallic thread on the edges as it gives just a little bit of glam. I'm going to have to invest in some more ribbon I think. The thinner ribbon is better. It fits into the weave neater.

When I bought my Kumihimo disc I also bought some micro macrame string and some texture ribbons. I think the textured ribbons give a beautifully soft finish but if used in necklaces I think they might stretch too much.