Braided beads

This weeks crafty excursion is just a small one, as I have a big assignment due next weekend and I’m trying very hard (and failing very badly) not to get distracted…

20140827-103623-38183592.jpg

I saw a few versions of this necklace pop up on various blogs last year, and always thought it was a nice way to add a pop of colour to an outfit without going full on beaded-statement-necklace. It was easy to put together, I think the hardest part was choosing what coloured beads I wanted! We’re lucky to have a great bead store in Wellington, with a massive selection of seed beads. I went for 8mm beads, as I wanted a slightly chunkier braid but didn’t want to have to thread more than six strands of beads! I really am lazy.

20140827-104254-38574776.jpg

To make it easier to string the beads, I safety-pin my knot to the knee of my jeans. This stops it flopping around, and makes it less likely that I’ll drop it and spill all of the beads! I knotted my threads to a jump ring, and the covered the knot with a crimp cover to make it look a bit tidier. I had a bit of trouble tidying the other end of the braid up, I just couldn’t get it to stay neat and tight, and you can see some of the black thread showing at one end. But I decided I could live with it, and I don’t think its too obvious now that its finished.

20140827-104849-38929844.jpg

The only thing I’m unsure about is the
length. Above is the length I’ve made it, but I wonder if I should make it shorter, like in the below picture…

20140827-105228-39148926.jpg

What do you think?
I also got my hair cut last week, I quite like it. I’m working my way shorter every time, I’m curious about a pixie cut, but not brave enough to lop it all off in one go!

20140827-105428-39268461.jpg

Advertisements

Tiny shiny pretty things

20140610-112159-40919567.jpg

This weeks make is just a small one, as I am trying desperately not to be distracted from writing my final report of the trimester! Its not going so well, and tomorrow I have to go back to the dentist to continue with the root extraction extravaganza, so I’m betting that that last thing I’ll want to do is carry on with writing tomorrow!

I haven’t made any jewellery for a while, so I thought that would be a quick and satisfying job! I’ve been admiring the delicate chain and bead bracelets that keep popping up on Pinterest, especially these ones…

20140610-112507-41107285.jpg
I knew I could make something similar, it would just be a case of finding the right beads and some super fine chain. That was the hard part! I just couldn’t find what I was looking for in the local bead shop, or in any of the craft stores around town. Then last week I walked past one of those cheap jewellery stores that always have a sale on, and decided that I would just repurpose some of the components from some cheap costume jewellery!

This is what I started with

20140610-112842-41322220.jpg
The two necklaces were ones I chose because I liked the pendants and the chains they were on. The small ring is meant to be a ‘midi ring’, worn between the first and second knuckles of your finger (I don’t really get that look, and it was a bit big for my finger anyway). I also threw in some extra chain and the eye pins I had left over from another project, as well as some random beads I had. The first thing I did was break down the jewellery into useful parts.

20140610-113330-41610125.jpg
And this is what I ended up with! You can get quite a lot of useful bits out of cheap jewellery…

I spent quite a long time playing around with different combinations, until I found a look that I liked. I put the heart onto an eye pin and joined it in the middle of a length of chain, rather than just leaving it strung on the chain, as I knew it would annoy me if it kept slipping around to the underside of my wrist! This way it always stays centred. I did the same for the purple faceted bead. For the ring, I looped two short lengths of chain around it, and attached a clasp to each end. (Probably easier to see in the photo than to picture from that description…)

20140610-114024-42024425.jpg

My first hint of trouble came when I tried on the ring and chain bracelet. It was the right length, but trying to do up the parrot clasp was super fiddly with one hand. Its probably something I should have thought about when I was getting started! In the end, I got some nifty magnetic clasps from the bead store in town on my way home from work the next day. These are really cool, and much easier to use than the parrot clasps, but when I put one on the end of each bracelet they all stuck to each other and made a god awful tangle on the underside of my wrist! Again, in hindsight thats a pretty obvious flaw in my plan…

20140610-114505-42305217.jpg

In the end, I decided I liked the look of these three bracelets together, its just a bit less chaotic than having the five I had originally planned on. To get rid of the birds nest effect, I attatched all three to the same magnetic clasp, which has the added benefit of making it easier to get on and off.

20140610-114805-42485166.jpg

They don’t really look like the bracelets which originally inspired me, but I like them anyway! I like simple, delicate jewellery, and I feel like these fit nicely in with the other pieces I wear routinely. And I have enough pieces left over to make some more, if I decide that I do occasionally want the more layered effect 🙂

February Roundup

So, February has been a crazy month! We moved house in the first week of February, were on holiday for ten days in the middle of the month, I started my postgraduate study, and it was my birthday (downhill to 30 from now, as people seemed to delight in telling me. Thanks a bunch!). So luckily I didn’t really have any ambitious projects planned.

This month I made…
One necklace
A jewellery organiser
Two refashioned items (cardigan and shoes)

I didn’t really learn any new skills, other than how to dye leather! I really wanted to get my Deer&Doe Datura top made, but I just didn’t have time. And now summer is over (so soon!), so it might have to wait until next spring. In my to-make pile is some silk/cotton to be made into a Grainline Archer shirt, and the merino to be made into a long sleeved Briar. I also need to figure out how to use the overlocker that I have access to, as that’ll make sewing the Briar much easier!

I’m quite proud that I’ve had this going for two months now, I get so excited when I see people have liked or commented on posts. How do people manage having thousands of followers?

20140228-210023.jpg

20140228-210045.jpg

20140228-210303.jpg

Just because I think all text posts are dull…some assorted photos from the Able Tasman National Park, to remind me that we did get some summer this year!

Jewellery display frames

I have a bit of a jewellery problem. I had several jewellery boxes overflowing with strings of beads and single earrings, all tangled up together. I could never find anything, and it really wasn’t good for my jewellery to be all jammed together like that! Plus I hated the clutter on my dressing table. So I took inspiration from Pinterest (I also have a bit of a Pinterest problem), and made myself some jewellery organisers that not only displayed all if my favourite pieces, but got them off my dresser and organised them neatly. Win!

20140218-104409.jpg

The frame organisers I saw on Pinterest were often single large frames with necklaces and earrings mixed together, but I decided I wanted separate frames for my earrings, rings and necklaces. I bought three cheap wooden frames, and some assorted screw in hooks from the hardware store, as well as some pretty lace from my favourite craft shop.

20140218-104820.jpg

The necklace frame was the easiest, I used the biggest frame and screwed a row of hooks along the inside edge of the frame. I love the way nothing gets tangled up because they all sit flat against the wall, it makes it much easier to pick one necklace out!

20140218-105122.jpg

20140218-105136.jpg

The ring frame was slightly more challenging, I have a lot of rings that I hardly ever wear, and a few that I wear a lot. In the end, i put two hooks on either side of the inside edge of the frame, and stretched a length of lace between them. I can string the rings I don’t often wear on the lace, and just unhook one end if I want to get one off. Its not a perfect system, but it works ok. Along the inside bottom edge of the frame I screwed some long right angled hooks, which the rings I routinely wear are sitting around.

20140218-105811.jpg

The earring frame was pretty simple, I just stapled lengths of the lace across the frame, and then covered the staples with superglue for a bit of extra security. I think hot glue would have worked better, but I didn’t have any hot glue sticks left! I love the lace, it looks like tiny bunting. Its really good for hanging my earring in too, as studs can go in the smaller holes in the top and longer earrings can be hooked through the triangles.

I’m on holiday in the South Island at the moment, its lovely down here.

20140218-110522.jpg
This is the start of the Able Tasman National Park, isn’t is beautiful? Art Deco Weekend is this weekend, cant wait!

January roundup

I can’t believe its already the last day of the month! In January, I have…

Made: Three garments (one dress and two tops)
One piece of jewellery
One accessory (hat)

Learned: How to sew with knits!
How to cut out and match patterns on the bias

Not bad for my first month! I’m not sure how I managed to post two things in my first week, thats a bit odd. Just too keen to get going! Out of my new bits and bobs, I’ve worn my Briar tee shirt the most (unsurprisingly) and my necklace. I haven’t worn the hat or the Jasmine blouse yet, they’ll have their first outing at the end of February. I’m especially excited about getting into sewing knits, I’ll have the use of an overlocker soon, so that will make it even easier to whip things up!

February is going to be a super busy month, we’re moving house next week (waah, I hate moving), then we go on holiday for 10 days. Oh, and I have a set of night shifts in there somewhere too. So I will be taking on smaller projects next month! Though I did get this in the mail the other day, so no promises…

20140131-113930.jpg

The Fickle necklace

I’ve been wanting a simple necklace that will go with pretty much everything in my wardrobe for a while now. I couldn’t quite make up my mind about what I wanted though, I didn’t want a pendant, but i didn’t really want a string of beads either…so I popped into the bead store yesterday, to see if anything caught my fancy. And it did, a bit too much! I couldn’t make up my mind. I wandered around, picking jars of beads up, putting them down, picking them up again, wandering around a bit more, until I had narrowed my selection down to three. The only problem was, I didn’t want three necklaces. Then inspiration struck, I would make three different, interchangeable sections which could be swapped into the same length of chain (it seems so obvious in hindsight)! So I got some pins with a loop in one end, and threaded the beads onto them.

20140110-163948.jpg

Then I wrapped the open end of the pin around my round nosed pliers to form a loop the same as the other end. I also cut my length of chain in half, and added a clasp in one end. Whenever I want to swap a new set of beads into my necklace, i just need to open both of the loops a little bit with my pliers, and hook the free ends of the chain into the open loops, then close them again. Easy! I can also make new segments whenever I find new beads or need a necklace to go with a new outfit. I’m quite pleased with it, really.

20140110-164055.jpg

I particularly like the turquoise beads, though I think the black faceted beads will be the basic necklace that I was wanting. Simple, but still a bit interesting! I'm calling it the Fickle necklace, because I can change it up as often as I want (and because I was waffling so much in the bead shop). If only my current sewing project was coming together as smoothly as this…