Tuesday, 30 August 2011

'Hollyhock' necklace

As my crafting friends reliably inform me,  they have been busy for the last couple of months making gifts and cards ready for Christmas (in fact I suspect some have already finished! You know who you are!).  So I decided this week to make a start on my gifts.  I’m not the most organised of people – I confess to being quite fickle with the concentration span of a goldfish: when it comes to ‘sparkles’ I get very distracted!
But this year it’ll be different! This week I’ve been working on a real statement piece of a necklace.  I’m using a pattern that I’ve had for a while but never felt that I had the patience to complete it.  I’ve tried making the flowers before but without much success.  But I like a challenge and have persevered.  This time it’s been much easier (probably due to experience). 
At the moment I’m about two thirds of the way through the band (which is more like a flattened rope in appearance).  Even though it uses herringbone weave, it seems to be taking an age so I keep stopping to make the flowers which I think look like Hollyhocks.
Now that I’m on the home straight, I’m already making plans for scaled down versions and maybe corsages.  Anyway, I’ve made a start...Christmas: bring it on!
Hope you like...x

Monday, 22 August 2011

Little Geisha

Some time ago I made a mini kimono using Japanese beads.  Although these beads are slightly more expensive than regular beads they are perfect for weaving with as they have flat edges, sit square on to each other and create no gaps.
The kimono stands about 5cm high and has a cherry blossom design (can’t quite remember but cherry blossom is significant in Japanese culture).
This week I varied this design by producing a one-dimensional kimono; tiny blue flowers on a black background.  I often use black as a background as it seems to have more of an impact on the other colours.  I intended to make it into a necklace but, after struggling to decide how to attach a cord, I added a face.
Now that it’s finished I’m thinking it would look better as a brooch; either backed in leather or on a large brooch back.  Either way I’m pleased with the design and it makes quite a cute piece.  The fact that my Geisha is made from Japanese beads seems very apt!
Hope you like...

Monday, 15 August 2011

'Summer' ring

I’ve been working hard this week building a new website to show off some of my bead work.
I’ve also started selling a few items through the online craft site ‘Folksy’.  At the moment there are only three of four items for sale but there’ll be more very soon!
One of the items I’m selling is my beautiful ‘Summer’ ring.  I’m not really a great wearer of jewellery – I prefer to make for others, but this piece is gorgeous (modest? Me?).  It’s quite a chunky ring embellished with crystals, pearls and glass on a red/green/blue theme (a theme which I tend to gravitate to quite a lot).  It earns lots of comments when worn!
What I love about making rings like this is that, when I start, I never quite know where I’m going with it or how the colours will work together.  I just follow my instincts. 
If you have time, check out my shop on Folksy and tell your friends!
Hope you like...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Right Angle and Ribbon Cuff

I’ve spent lots of time this week trying to get to grips with my ever-expanding work box!  The problem with beading is that many projects require only a few beads of a certain shade for which, however hard you try to find existing beads from your stash, you never quite have the right shade/size so end up buying new tubes of beads.  Consequently, I have many opened tubes of beads languishing in my work box.  There are projects which use mixtures of (usually) left over beads, known in the beading world as a  ‘bead soup’.  My ‘Ribbon cuff’ is such a piece.  I started with a right angle weave base (dead easy ‘cos this stitch is mainly space!) using shades of blue, green and yellow, then wove thin ribbon along its length.  A recycled button and cube bead to secure the ribbon and ‘Bob’s your proverbial’!  May even make another one, seeing as my work box is on a diet!
Hope you like..