Jun 102014
 

Hello and happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday, all! My workdesk today consists not so much of working, but unpacking and sorting.

2014 06 11 woyww fire mountain gems order (1)

Spread out before you is my rather, um, largish, order from Fire Mountain Gems. (No, I’m not going to tell you just how large, that would be the one time the hubs would read my blog, lol.) I got some new tools, pliers, clay, sterling silver wire, and lotsa beads.

I’m especially excited to try that metal thingie in the middle with the holes in it. It’s  draw plate, and if done right, one should be able to take large gauge wire, pull it through and get any finer gauge you want.

I’ve got tons of 12 & 14 gauge copper wire the hubby reclaimed for me from electronics, and I want to make it into more usable 16, 18 & 20 gauge. I’ll let you know how it works out.

2014 06 11 woyww fire mountain gems order (2)

They were having a sale on Swarovski crystals, so I got LOTS of those. I love using them in my jewelry designs.

2014 06 11 woyww fire mountain gems order (3)

Here’s a closer look at the draw plate, some glass pearls, copper beads, turquoise donuts, et al.

The calculator is out in the top photo because before I put things away, I’ll mark all beads & components with individual costs. This will help in pricing jewelry that gets sold later on.

So that’s my desk today. If you’d like to see what’s happening in the workspaces of other crafty creative people check out the weekly blog party over at Julia’s. It’s always a fun time!

P.S. FMG isn’t paying me to promote, I just think they’re a great company with excellent service and awesome prices. 🙂

Jun 092014
 

I’ve shown you other ladder weave bracelets before, but this one is interesting in that the weaving takes place through the links of lengths of chain.

ladder & chain bracelet still

Even though you string with elastic, the bracelet is not stretchy, but it does have a nice drape and some comfortable weight.  It’s fairly simple once you get the pattern down.

ladder & chain bracelet version 2

Here’s another version I made, this time using stringing wire instead of elastic.  The beading was faster and easier although a little trickier to get the tension right. To secure the ends I just passed each wire end through a crimp, one from each side and flattened the crimp.

Enjoy the video. Happy creating!

Tools & Materials:

  • triple loop clasp
  • 30 8mm beads
  • 30 metal spacer beads
  • 3 6.5 inch pieces chunky chain (make sure pieces all have exact same number of links)
  • seed beads
  • 2 yards 0.5mm elastic cord
  • sharpie marker
  • scissors
  • chain nose pliers

See video for detailed directions.

Jun 032014
 

This Wednesday finds me using my kitchen table as my workdesk to cut up 90 yards of fabric into the 66 pieces needed for 11 sets of curtains for my church.

2014 06 04 woyww cutting out curtains

You can’t see it here, but I have the curtain and lining fabric rolls feeding off a couple kitchen chairs at the end of the table. When I need more fabric I just grab a bit from each side and pull.  (Yes, I’m sure I’ll be exhausted by the end of the day!)

The piles on the floor and windowsill are the offcuts. The piece on the table is for one of the swags. It will be pleated along those jaggy edges, making the pretty drape.

Butterick 3804 swag & jabot curtains

This is the pattern I’m using. It’s quite classy & elegant, I think. It may appear complicated, but the shapes are simple; it’s the pleats that give the drapey look.

110 yard fabric

In case you wondered what 90 yards of fabric looks like, the two bolts on the ends are each 45 yards. The one in the middle is 20 yards for the sheers which will go underneath.

A7914 Leaf | Greenhouse Fabrics $26.95 wholesale

This is the fabric we choose, btw, it’s from Greenhouse fabrics and has a lovely shantung look in the background. Now that the cutting is done, I’m excited to get them sewn and see how they look hung up!

Wondering why I posted a photo of my messy work table? Then you need to get acquainted with the phenomenon that is What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. It’s a weekly blog hop where we all get a peek into the creative inner workings of folks from all over. Julia is our hostess and you can find all the details over at her place.

Happy creating!

May 312014
 

Crystal & Filigree necklace still

These bib style necklaces are popular now and this one goes together quickly. And there are so many design possibilities!  The metal components can be anything you like: flower connectors, wire rings, stamped metal bits. Of course the beads can be any color or type you like.

Enjoy the video and happy creating!

Materials:

  • chain for necklace in length of your choice (18-24 inches is good)
  • 3 head pins
  • 7 eye pins
  • lobster clasp
  • jump rings
  • 10 8x6mm crystal beads
  • 9 15x17mm filigree components

Tools:

  • chain nose pliers
  • round nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • ruler
  1. Arrange your filigree components and crystal beads into rows that will be long dangles.
  2. For the beads that will be at the bottom of a dangle, make bead dangles by sliding each onto a head pin and trim wire coming out of bead to 3/8 inch. Grasp wire with round nose pliers and twist to make a simple loop. Straighten loop so it is centered above bead.
  3. To make bead links slide each remaining crystal onto an eye pin and trim wire coming out of bead to 3/8 inch. Grasp wire with round nose pliers and twist to make a simple loop. Straighten loop so it is centered above bead.
  4. Connect bead links and dangles to filigree components by twisting loops to the side to open. Slide on filigree and close loop securely.   Repeat to make all long dangles.
  5. Use jump rings to connect center dangle to center link of necklace chain. You may have to use two jump rings in order for the flat filigree components to lie properly on the necklace.
  6. Connect all remaining dangles to necklace chain on either side of center dangle.
  7. Use a jump ring to attach lobster clasp to one end of necklace chain.  Attach a jump ring to other end of chain if necessary.
May 272014
 

Happy Wednesday again, everyone!  I hope all of you who had the day off for Memorial Day on Monday had a wonderful day and took a little time to remember and give thanks for those who gave all for us.

We had a lovely, quiet day at home. I spent the afternoon planting flowers and the evening sewing.

My new overlocker (serger for those of you who asked) arrived and I’ve been having fun. So far I’ve whipped up the pink denim skirt and a white knit top. Turns out the white knit fabric was a leeeetle bit too thin for comfort, so I’ll need to line it before showing it to the world. And of course I can’t show the skirt without a top, now can I? 😉

Hidden under the left side of the sketchbook is a reversible knit top I’m working on. Why is it reversible? Well, that’s a story for another day.

2014 05 28 woyww zentangles (1)

Also on the desk today is another new thing I’ve been trying, Zentangles. You could call them “doodle art.” I’ve never been much of a drawer, my strengths lie in color and composition, but one thing I learned in art school is that with enough practice anybody can draw.  There have been occasions when I’ve wanted to doodle, but always ran out of ideas for designs.

2014 05 28 woyww zentangles (2)

These are kind of fun. You learn a few new patterns every day and they’re actually quite relaxing to do (hence the “Zen” part.)

This is the perfect kind of project to have for those moments you find yourself waiting around and wishing you had a little something to occupy yourself. So, I plan on picking up a small sketchbook that I can keep in my purse.

In case this sounds like something you’d like to try, here’s a link to the book, there are lots of others out there, but so far I’ve been quite happy with this course.

Btw, a few of the reviewers griped about all the supplies listed that you might need. But I’ve found all I need is a sketchbook, a Pigma Micron pen and a mechanical pencil. I also made myself 3.5-inch and 1-inch square templates out of index cards.

Wondering why I posted a photo of my workspace? Believe it or not, there are those out there who are interested!  We meet up every Wednesday over at Julia’s for What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday. Many have been inspired, gotten new ideas and even started new friendships and hobbies as a result. Check it out if you have a little time. 🙂

Happy doodling, sewing & creating!

May 242014
 

Back in April Diana over at the the Suburban Girl Studio blog decided to host a waxed linen twine blog hop. Since some of my first jewelry videos were done using waxed linen twine, I thought it would be fun to participate.

ombre kumihimo bracelet (1)

She recommended we incorporate an art bead, so I pulled out a few green & gold lampwork beads I’d made a while back. Then I started digging through my bead stash.

ombre kumihimo bracelet (2)

Imagine my surprise when after piling every possibility onto my workspace I discovered I had an ombre blend of colors!

The next decision was how to put them all together. Kumihimo seemed like a good way to keep all the beads close enough to enhance the gradient effect.

(Don’t know what kumihimo is? This link will bring you to a post with some links explaining the kumihimo braiding process.)

I used brown & black waxed linen twine to do the kumihimo braiding. Btw, I wouldn’t recommend going any larger than 12mm beads with kumihimo, as those dark green crystals just barely fit through the hole in my braiding disk.

ombre kumihimo bracelet (3)

Then, it seemed to be calling for some funky metal. I’d made a bunch of copper “Little Orbits” from Cindy Wimmer’s book, The Missing Link.

After trying all sorts of configurations with the long tail ends of linen twine, I finally just strung them over all eight strands of twine. Sorta like those sections full of jump rings you see.

I love all the different textures AND the color kind of continues the gradient.

ombre kumihimo bracelet (4)

It only took a few minutes to make  matching toggle clasp components, and those were just square knotted onto the twine. (That’s the lovely thing about the wax in waxed linen, those knots will never, ever slip.)

A few leftover beads were tied onto the tail ends, and that was that.

Oh, and I ended up not using the original lampwork beads that got it all started, funny how that happens quite often.

Here are all the other bloggers participating in this challenge.  Happy blog hopping and happy creating!

  1. Diana Ptaszynski
  2. Kelsy Vincent
  3. Susan Kennedy
  4. Linda Landig
  5. Kashmira Patel
  6. Jenny Davies-Reazor
  7. Vanessa Gilkes
  8. Sandy Huntress (You are here.)
  9. Kay Thomerson
  10. Sarajo Wentling
  11. Kari Asbury
  12. Rebecca Anderson
  13. Melissa Trudinger
  14. Ann Schroeder
  15. Shai Williams
  16. Blanca Medina
  17. Cheryl Brown
  18. Johana Nunez Rivera
  19. Lori Bowring Michaud
  20. Kelly Morgan
  21. Barbara Bechtel
  22. Kristen Stevens
  23. Heather Boardman
  24. Janet Bocciardi
  25. Kathy Lindemer
  26. Lesley Watt
  27. Susan Kolovson  
  28. Jayne Capps
  29.  Michelle McCarthy
  30. Cynthia Deis
  31. Karla Morgan
  32. Erin Siegel
  33. Becky Pancake
  34. Kelly Hosford Patterson
  35. Sharyl McMillian-Nelson
  36. Inge von Roos
  37. Carolyn Lawson
  38. Linda Younkman
  39. Sandi Volpe
  40. Toltec Jewels
  41. Michelle Mach
  42. Jen Cameron
  43. Dorothy Winchell
  44. Darlene Mansue
  45. Cory Tompkins
May 202014
 

Hello Wednesday, all! Today finds me excitedly awaiting the arrival of my new serger. My wonderful hubby bought me my first serger 22 years ago, but a part broke a while back and it hasn’t been the same since. I decided to go for the Brother 1034D. It’s due to arrive later this week, yay.

2014 05 21 woyww serger sewing projects

While I wait I’m prepping all the projects to be serged. Clockwise from the upper left are the pink denim skirt (I decided to go with the lighter pink side), an animal print skirt I’m going to recut to make a shorter version, three rib knits to make a top, black to make a copy of my favorite nightie – which is currently nearly in rags, white knit to make a copy of a purchased top, Cindy Wimmer’s awesome book, The Missing Link: From Basic to Beautiful Wirework Jewelry, my beloved MP3 player on which I listen to audio books, a few beads for an upcoming bracelet, and finally, a cool ethnic looking fabric for a skort.

That lot should be enough to keep me busy for a few days, eh?

Once I get all the tops done, I promise to take pics with the pants (trousers for you UK folks!) and do some pattern reviewing.

If you’d like to see what’s on the workdesks of other creative folks from all over the world, be sure to check out our weekly blog party over at Julia’s.

In the meantime, happy creating!

May 192014
 

Here’s a bracelet to match the Hammered Paddle Headpin Earrings from a couple weeks ago.

crystal & floral bead bracelet still (1)

The spring colors in this bracelet make me happy!

crystal & floral bead bracelet still (2)

If you need practice making wire wrapped loops, this project is for you. 🙂

The concept is fairly simple: make wire wrapped connectors of largish (10mm or so) beads, connect them with jump rings and hang several wire wrapped smaller crystals (4mm) on each  jump ring.

crystal & floral bead bracelet still (3)

I needed a little more length and so added five pairs of jump rings to one end, thus making it longer and adjustable.  There were four stray crystals left on the table (couldn’t have that) so I add three to the end of the chain and one next to the clasp.

For details on how to do the wire wrapping, check out the video. Happy creating!

You can watch the Crystal Dangles & Roses Bracelet Video Tutorial over at YouTube.

Materials:

  • 6-8 10mm ceramic beads
  • 15-24 4mm Swarovski crystal bicone beads
  • 15-24 head pins
  • 3mm silver plated beads (optional)
  • 6mm silver plated jump rings
  • silver plated lobster clasp
  • 20 gauge silver filled wire

Tools:

  • round nose pliers
  • chain nose pliers
  • wire cutters

Directions:

Use 20 gauge wire to make wrapped loops on each end of 10mm ceramic beads. Wrap enough beads to make the desired length of bracelet less one inch.

Slide each 4mm Swarovski crystal onto a head pin and make a wrapped loop.  (If desired add a 3mm silver plated bead first.) Make enough of these for three to go between each ceramic bead.  Wrap extras if you’d like some near the clasp or at the end of the chain.

Open a jump ring and slide on loops of two ceramic bead units and three wrapped crystals. Close jump ring securely.

Repeat to connect all ceramic beads together with crystal on jump rings in between.  Use a jump ring to add lobster clasp to one end (and crystal, if you like) and several jump rings to the other end.

May 132014
 

Happy What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday again, everyone! If you’re a regular desker, welcome back. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, go check out our fun weekly blog hop of creative desks from all over the world, courtesy of Julia.

Today’s desk shows I’ve been, once again, sewing up a storm.  I mentioned a few weeks back that I’d ordered 11 yards of fabric with which to make six pairs of pants. Four are now done, two pairs of long pants and two crop pants, one of each in black and khaki. (Photos and a pattern review coming soon.)

2014 05 14 woyww sewing pants & drapes

In the upper right is the pattern and the green fabric is the sample we settled on for a very large project, 11 sets of drapes for my church’s fellowship hall.  One hundred ten yards of fabric will be arriving here soon. That’ll keep me just a little bit busy. 🙂

Also on the desk are the remaining two pants fabrics, the white which will be crop pants and the pink, which I’m thinking of making into a skirt, rather than the pants.

The big decision here is whether to use the hot pink side or the lighter pink side. Your thoughts or opinions are welcome! I tend to stick with neutrals for bottoms, like blue jeans, black, khaki or white, so am feeling a little apprehensive about either pink.

memory quilt

Several of you asked to see the completed memory quilt. Here it is, no thing of beauty except to those to whom the memories belong. To them it’s quite precious and I think the young man is going to enjoy it. His sister and mom especially loved the photos, and the fact that I’d stitched the little Pooh backpack on in a way that items can be tucked into it.

Sorry about the distortion in the photo. I couldn’t get far enough away from it to photograph it straight on, so it was quite key-stoned and I had to straighten it in Photoshop.  

So that’s what’s happening in my crafty world lately. Whatever you are doing, may you find a bit of time to be creative!

May 102014
 

Just thought I’d mention that Craftsy is having a birthday flash sale this weekend. 

wire-wrap-class-jpg

Select online classes at up to 50% off until May 11th at 11:59pm MT, including a favorite that I’ve mentioned several times, Wire-Wrapped Stones Crystals and Clusters.

If jewelry making isn’t your thing, they also have classes in knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, cake decorating, photography, fine art and more.

craftsy-free-classes-wigets

If you haven’t tried Craftsy yet and want to know what they’re all about, try some of their free mini classes. You’ll love ’em!

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day.  Happy creating. 🙂

(This post contains affiliate links which means, I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking these links.)