Jul 212014
 

Sparkling Hearts Messy Wrapped Earrings 2

Sometimes it takes just a few simple materials and a basic technique to make something quite special. Orange isn’t my favorite color, but I love the look of these sparkling Swarovski Crystal Wild Hearts with their flashes of pink.

Sparkling Hearts Messy Wrapped Earrings

Simple “messy wraps” wire wrapping enhance the crystal charms without overwhelming them.

Watch the video and see how easy it is to make a pair for yourself. I even explain how to quickly make your own ear wires!

Happy creating. :-)

Materials:

  • 2 17mm Swarovski Crystal Wild Hearts pendants in color Astral Pink
  • 2 2-inch pieces 20 gauge wire
  • 2 12-inch pieces 22 or 24 gauge wire

Tools:

  • chasing hammer
  • bench block or anvil
  • wire cutters
  • bail making pliers with 7mm mandrel
  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • file or cup burr
  1. Center a crystal heart on a 12-inch piece of wire. Wrap one wire end around top of bead and go back through bead hole. Pull snug but be careful not to crack your crystal. (If using finer gauge wire, you may be able to wrap through the heart a third time.)
  2. Cross wires above heart and bend each slightly with chain nose pliers so they are parallel.
  3. Treating the two wires as one, grasp with round nose pliers and make a loop. Hold the loop with chain nose pliers and messy wrap the remaining wires around the wire above the heart.
  4. Trim excess wires and tuck in ends, filing sharp ends if necessary. Repeat to make second wire wrapped heart crystal.
  5. To make ear wires grasp end of 2-inch wire with round nose pliers and make a small loop.  Repeat on other 2-inch wire.
  6. Holding both loops together and treating both wires as one, place them on the 7mm section of the bail making pliers, loops facing away from 7mm section. Close pliers to hold and wrap wires around until they almost touch the loops. Remove wires from pliers and adjust shape with your fingers as desired. Use chain nose pliers to make a small bend 1/4-inch from each end.
  7. Use a cup burr or file to smooth the wire ends of ear wires.
  8. Use chain nose pliers to open each ear wire loop and insert a wire wrapped crystal heart. Close loops securely and enjoy your new earrings!
Jul 152014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, all!

2014 07 16 woyww reversible shorts

My workdesk this week shows an interesting fabric from Joanne’s. It’s a lovely lightweight cotton knit, sure to be comfy in the summer heat, but it has a different twist. It’s striped on one side and polka dotted on the reverse. (It’s comes in several other colors besides the black, btw.) I got it to make a pair of shorts and couldn’t decide which side to use, so I’m making them reversible. :-)

gbc curtains fellowship hall before

Many of you asked to see the church curtains when they were done. Here is the fellowship hall before….

gbc curtains fellowship hall

….and here’s the after. It’s a much more pleasant room to be in, elegant yet homey and comfortable.

gbc curtains parlor before

I was especially pleased with the transformation of the parlor. Before….

gbc curtains parlor

… and after. It’s such a pretty room now, there’s a fireplace on the other side and there’s talking of making it into a real parlor, a cozy place to sit & visit perhaps. Anyhow, that’s all I’ve got to share this week. If you’d like to join in the fun and see what other creative people are up to this week, but sure to join us desk hopping over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

Jul 132014
 

Green Peridot Wire Wrapped Earrings

These sweet little peridot beads are given center stage by being wire wrapped onto earring frames.  A simple central bead dangle in a darker green shade adds interest and contrast.

In the video, I’ll show you how to wire wrap the beads to a frame, and how to make your own simple headpin out of wire.

(To my blog readers who requested non voice over videos, I did just a few of these in advance. I promise to do future videos in real time!) 

Happy creating :-)

Materials:

  • 2 1.5-inch x 3/4-inch teardrop shaped earring frames
  • 2 ear wires
  • 22 4mm x 2mm peridot beads
  • 20 gauge sterling silver filled wire, dead soft or half hard
  • 24 gauge sterling silver filled wire, dead soft
  • 2 5mm round beads
  • 4 2mm round sterling silver spacer beads

Tools:

  • wire cutters
  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers

See video for detailed instructions.

Jul 082014
 

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I haven’t participated in Woyww for a few weeks as I’ve been working on the church curtains. Thankfully those are all done, hanging and look great, so now I can get back to other projects.

(Photos of the curtains to follow soon, I promise!)

2014 07 09 woyww  clay canes (1)

This week I have TWO workdesks for you. The first shows I’ve gotten back to polymer clay. The pink, blue & white circles are for a project that will have to be revealed after next week, as it’s a gift for someone who occasionally reads this blog.

2014 07 09 woyww  clay canes (2)

Here’s a close up of some of the clay canes I’ve been working on from a class on CraftArtEduDoodle Me Do Canes and Bangles with Nikolina Otrzan.

2014 07 09 woyww  clay canes (3)

After working through all these very graphic, linear designs I have concluded that I much prefer more organic shapes. The designs are rather cool, but just not me, ya know?

That’s ok, I learned  a lot from the class, so that was the point.

My other “workdesk” is the photography area where I shoot jewelry tutorial videos and take still photos.  In case you’ve wondered why I can’t seem to keep the occasional cat hair out the the shots, well…..

cheech w summer skies earrings (1)

….this may explain it.

cheech w summer skies earrings (2)

Quite pleased with himself, eh? But he’s so cute I just can’t get mad at him. :-)

If you’re wondering why I’m sharing pics of my workspaces, it’s because it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Check out the blog link party fun over at Julia’s.

Happy creating!

Jul 072014
 

Here’s a different twist on wire wrapping beads to a frame. Instead of center drilled beads today I used top drilled teardrops and wrapped the wire around the tips between each wrap. The wire adds interest & texture and the spiky look of the beads sticking out from the frame is kinda cool.

Summer Skies Crystal Earrings

You don’t have to use all the same beads, either. How about graduating them in size from larger in the center to smaller on the sides? Or, you can place the bead ends pointing inside the wire ring, rather than outside.

This is a great design to use your imagination and come up with your own variations.

By the way, I’m trying something different in my videos, speeding up the action and doing a voice over. It makes the videos shorter, but perhaps the steps are more difficult to follow?

Let me know in the comments which way you prefer.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Materials:

  • 2 ear wires
  • 2 1 1/8-inch diameter wine glass charm hoops
  • 10 13mm x 6mm top drilled teardrop crystals
  • 2 20-inch pieces 24 gauge wire

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  1. Leaving a 1/2-inch tail, tightly wrap one piece of wire around a hoop four times, keeping the wraps close together.
  2. String on a crystal bead and hold the tip against the hoop. Wrap the wire one time around the hoop, then wrap four or five times around the hole area of the bead.
  3. Wrap wire four times around the hoop, again keeping the wraps close together.
  4. Repeat steps 2-3 four more times. Trim excess wire at both ends.
  5. Center beads on hoop if necessary.
  6. Bend down straight end of hoop approximately 1/8-inch and tuck into loop.
  7. Open loop of an ear wire and attach to loop of hoop. Close securely.
  8. Repeat all steps for second earring.
Jun 302014
 

Stretch bracelets are easy to make AND you don’t have to be quite so precise with the sizing, which is excellent for gift giving.

pearl & crystal stretch bracelet still

Using pearls & crystals gives this a bracelet a classic and classy look. Of course, you could use any beads you like: How about a rainbow of colors, several shades of your favorite hue or all mixed metal components?

Whatever you decide to use, enjoy the video and happy creating!

Materials:

  • 36 6mm glass pearls
  • 24 6mm bicone crystal beads
  • 48 4mm spacer beads
  • 4 6mm x 20mm 3-hole spacers
  • .5mm stretch elastic

Tools:

  • sharpie
  • super glue
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • bead stoppers
  1. Leaving stretch elastic on the spool string the following pattern four times.
  2. glass pearl> spacer bead> crystal bead> spacer bead> glass pearl> spacer bead> crystal bead> spacer bead> glass pearl> end hole of three-hole spacer
  3. When stringing is complete, trim elastic from spool, leaving a few inches extra for tying knots and secure each end with a bead stopper.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3, using the center holes of three-hole spacers.
  5. Repeat steps 1-3 one more time, using remaining holes of three-hole spacers.
  6. Tie ends of elastic into secure knots, pull into holes of three-hole spacers to conceal and add a dab of super glue to knots. Wait until glue is dry to trim excess elastic.

 

Jun 282014
 

This week I’ve been sharing with you the sewing I’ve done for my summer wardrobe. Wednesday I shared a skirt, Thursday I told you all about getting perfectly fitting pants and yesterday I showed yet more tops copied from a well-loved purchased garment.

pants & tops fuchsia & black

Here are the same crop pants in black. The top is a fuchsia crinkle double knit with the yoke in a yummy quilting cotton.

pants & tops khaki & purple

Aaaaand here are the crop pants in khaki with the top in solid purple. I also made black & khaki pants in a long version. Enough pants, already!

skirts & tops tribal skort & original black

Here’s a cute little skort. I’ve had this tribal print for the longest time, but never had enough to make anything with it. I solved the fabric shortage problem by making the shorts underneath out of a solid black fabric, and you can’t even tell. :-)

You can find the free Sporty Sarong Shorts pattern here. In order to forego lumps around the belly (where I don’t need any more) I skipped the tie and attached the two sides with hooks and eyes. This also saved on fabric.

Oh, and that black top is the one that started all the copies.

skirts & tops leopard & black ruched

Finally, remember this leopard print skirt? I think we all agreed that the length was awkward, just too long. So, I pulled out the pattern and found I could easily cut the shorter version out of the longer. And I did. Much better, eh?

Now I actually like wearing it. :-)

So that’s it for now. Hope you’ve been inspired to try something new, perhaps copy a garment you love, get a great fit on pants or redo something that isn’t working and make it just right.

Whatever you do, happy creating!

Jun 272014
 

Yesterday I told you my process for making a perfectly fitting pair of pants.

pants & tops swarovski & white

Here’s another pair made the same way. They are accompanied by yet another incarnation of them “top with rounded yoke,” as I call it.

(Last summer I started making copies of a favorite knit top, see details and other versions, and yet more variations.)

new tops pants & skirts turquiose swarovski

This top may look like the one I did last year, but it isn’t, I made another. I didn’t care for the length of the first one and also the crystals were a combination of hot fix and glue on. The hotfix crystals stayed on great through the wash, but the glue on ones were constantly falling off.

I finally ripped off the crystals to save and threw away the top. The new longer version with all hotfix crystals makes me much,  much happier. :-)

pants & tops blue sparkle & white

This top has a cautionary tale for ya.

2014 04 23 woyww sewing spring clothes (3)

First, take a closer look at the fabric. See all those pretty raised sparklies? Aren’t they lovely?

Now imagine them on the inside of the garment, rubbing against your skin.

Yeowch, indeed. The first time I tried it on I instantly began to twitch, couldn’t get it off fast enough.

new tops pants & skirts blue sparkle

So what did I do? Well, if you look closely at this pic you’ll notice there are NO little sparklies on the folded over back neck & armhole edges. If I’d bothered to show it (seemed like a boring photo) you’d see NO sparklies on the inner yoke facing either.

That’s cuz I picked them all off with my fingernails. Ruined a thumbnail, too, but it was worth it, lol.

So the cautionary tale is this: Don’t put roughly textured fabrics on the inside of a garment, find something kinder next to your skin… unless you like to twitch. :-D

Check back tomorrow for the final installment in the summer clothes series.

Happy creating!

Jun 262014
 

Yesterday I showed you a skirt I made from Simplicity 1887.

pants & tops blue embroidered linen & black

Here are the pants I made from that same pattern… sorta.

You see, way back in December 2012 I made a custom drafted pants pattern using my measurements.  (The link will bring you to the blog post with details.)

I made fleece pants from that pattern and wore them all winter long. Both winters.  Comfy, squishy, warm, AND they fit well. LOVE.

But then it was time to make something that could be worn out of the house, and so I went looking for a pattern with pocket and waistband details I liked.

simplicity 1887 pants & skirt

Simplicity 1887 fit the bill perfectly. You can see my review of the pattern here. 

After making one pair I realized they were way too wide at the bottom, and so applied the helpful tips in Tapering or Widening Pants, a great article by Threads Magazine.

new tops pants & skirts blue embroidered linen

Here’s a close up of the pocket & front details. I was very careful of the placement of these embroidered motifs. Didn’t want flowers blooming out of awkward places!

I’m working on a white top to wear with these, I think it will look better than the black one.

For more of my summer wardrobe, check back tomorrow!

Happy creating. :-)

Jun 252014
 

This spring I went a little wild sewing myself new clothes. They were mostly variations of the same few patterns, or ones I’ve made before.

Since I made so many clothes and have so many pics, I’m going to share them with you over the next four days.

skirts & tops pink denim & black ruched

First up is this cute denim skirt. I’d originally bought the hot pink stretch denim to make a pair of crop pants but upon thinking about it decided a) the hot pink was a bit much, and b) a skirt might be nicer.

new tops pants & skirts pink denim (2)

So I decided to use the wrong side, also known as “the other right side.” Here you can see the original bright pink, along with the inside part of my serged blind hem.

Btw, I’m VERY pleased with my new Brother 1034D Serger/Overlocker. The instruction books are great with all the details for doing different kinds of seams. Earlier this week it did nearly eighty yards of rolled hems, two hours at top speed, with no problem.

simplicity 1887 pants & skirt

I made view D of Simplicity 1887 and am loving it.

new tops pants & skirts pink denim (1)

Here’s a close up view of the waistband and pocket details. My review of the pattern follows.

Tomorrow I’ll show you a pair of pants made with the same pattern.

Happy creating!

 

Simplicity 1887 Pattern Review

Pattern Description: Pants, Shorts & Skirts with elastic back waist.

Pattern Sizing: I made the 18.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yup.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were fine, although I changed how I inserted the waist so to have a neater inside finish.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the yoke around the front with the rest of the waist elastic. The comfort of elastic with the nicer look of a smooth finish at the waist front is perfect. And, of course, pockets are awesome. :-)

I didn’t care for the pleats and made mine into darts for a more flattering look. Also, I would never use the front ties. Who needs more lumps in that area of the body?

Fabric Used: A hot pink stretch denim from Stylish Fabrics. I used the lighter pink wrong side as my right side.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As mentioned, making darts instead of pleats, eliminating the front ties and changing how I did the front band.

After step 10, understitching, press under 5/8-inch along one long edge of waistband, then sew unpressed edge to pants. Carefully pin the pressed edge in place, then stitch in the ditch from the right side to secure the pressed edge to the waist, making sure to leave an opening for inserting elastic. This gives a much neater and less lumpy finish to the waistband.

I also added six inches to the skirt length when I cut it out, but then had to chop some of that off after trying it on.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I HAVE already sewn it again, six more times! I frankenpatterned the pants pocket and waistband details onto a custom drafted pair of pants to make four pairs of crop pants and two pairs of long pants.

Conclusion: This is a great pattern with nice details and a wonderful wardrobe staple.