Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Little Mermaid

Ok, maybe she is not a mermaid, but I would like to call her one. Ok?

A few days back, I saw this post on Copper Diem's blog: "Sweater Ribbon Bracelet Tutorial"

Totally fell in love with it, and wanted to make one too!

Saturday was my monthly craft meet with the girls (we have been meeting once a month for two years now!), and I decided I will use that time to make my ribbon.

I decided to use a deep purple yarn, hoping to add pink and green beads. I had seen two blog hops that I thought I could use it for. One for making something using purple, pink and green (sorry, I am not able to find a link to this one), and the other for the "Wrapped, Stacked and Layered Bracelet Challenge" hosted by Tracy Statler.

I was hoping to shoot three birds at once, but I think I managed...maybe two of my goals since I couldn't figure out a way to add anything green in there.

Here's the ribbon I made using the "Puff Stitch".

Took me three tries to get this made.

First try: I made a rookie mistake of using the same size hook for creating the base chain that I used for rest of the ribbon. And it was twice the length I needed. End result? A nice edging for a scoop neck top!

Second try: Ripped that one out (didn't want it sitting there tempting me to sew a top to go with it!). Made another about 7 inches long. Used a larger hook for the base chain, and it worked out quite nicely.
Why it failed? I added large bead cones to finish off the edges. That and the clasp added 3 inches! Was making this for a human person, not a baby bear, so FAIL!

Third try: I left the second ribbon and made a new one, 5 inches long. Perfect? Nope. I added the bead cones, and the mermaid and things just did not want to sit right, the mermaid kept flopping around. At, least the ribbon was fine!

So then, I removed the bead cones, and added regular ribbon ends. Works? Nope. Now the bracelet is too short! Its for an adult human person, not a baby human person. But I was quite fed up of making ribbons, so I added chain at the end to get the extra length.

And here is the final, PERFECT bracelet :-)

Here's a close-up of the mermaid:

I had originally attached the mermaid chain directly to the bead cone, which was probably why this did not work. But no worries, in the end, I like it flatter like this, and I like the two chains at the ends.

Not sure I can use this for either of the challenges though, one, since it is missing green, and two, I am not sure what I can layer with this.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Part of my heart!

This is a very special post...about...err...a part of my heart :-)

I was in India last month for about 3 weeks. Had a lot of fun, spoke to my friends and family about my plans for an etsy store. I was overwhelmed by the support I got. A friend brought me some very special seeds to make into jewelry. And then she found me some really pretty wood beads. She even came to meet me halfway between her office and mine on my last day in town to bring them to me. Another friend brought me some more beads in a pretty little box that I can use a prop for my photos, my sister's niece took me shopping for beads...I found the most amazing textile and natural beads where she took me, and sister's sister-in-law (yeah, that far down the relation heirarachy!) dug up her stash of embroidery supplies to find something for me. My sister gave me her own vintage jewelry to do-over. And on and on....I am ever so grateful for my family and friends and all their support!

My sisters and I got together the last night of my stay in Pune for dinner. One of my nieces' couldn't come because she had an exam the next morning and was preparing for it. As luck would have it, I could not make that flight (that is a story for another post..but it was not my fault...just saying ;-).

Everyone was expecting me to be upset about this, but I was actually glad to get an extra day there! I wanted to meet a few people, speak to some others and also got a chance to say bye to my niece.

So..the next day, my niece called me and said she would come to my parents' house in half hour. I told her I was leaving for the city my new flight was from in about 10 minutes. She sounded a bit disappointed and handed the phone to her mom. She right away explained...the girl had been baking a bead for me, it was in oven and would be done in 15 minutes! So I decided to drop by their home on my way.

She had made me a polymer clay heart. The perfectionist in her didn't like it, but I loved it! The colors were so vibrant, just the way I like it. I was so happy...her and her younger sister were sitting at the kitchen table making more canes. It was a school day and one of them had just finished an exam. They were spending their free time making beads for me, so sweet :)

I was thinking about what to make with it so I can wear it often. I ended up making a bracelet. And here it is...I will be wearing my heart on wrist :-)

I learnt how to make the beaded ring in the latest issue of "Stringing" magazine, and knew that is exactly what I needed for stringing the heart. There are quite a few "firsts" in this bracelet.

First time I used memory wire
First time I made the beaded ring
Not quite the first, but still learning how to make the wrapped loop that is attaching the red bead to the bracelet.
And of course, the first bead my niece made :)

Here are some close-ups...

The memory wire was a tad bit too big for my wrist. So I wore it around my neck :-) I need to fix it to fit me.
Here's another closer look...

Isn't it so pretty!

Photo courtesy: The hubby

Friday, March 2, 2012

And....here's what came out of the pot...

Welcome to the Bead Soup Blog Party! My blog is all dressed up and ready to go!

But before I get into full party mode, I would like to thank Lori Anderson of Pretty Things for hosting this hop. And what an amazing host she has been! She started an FB group for us to hang out at, I made SO many new friends there! She helped us with ideas for the hop, set us up with all kinds of cool links, even created a map of where all the participants are located! That was one amazing map! A global party! You want to see?

See...over here...

Lori, thank you SO much for all the effort you have put into this for all of us!

And I suppose I should get along and show you what I made now ;-)

Here's the soup I got from Kat White of Shiny Moon Beams: http://www.shinymoonbeams.com/

Like I had mentioned before, I had been in awe of Millefiore beads for the longest time, and was super thrilled to get this gorgeous focal!

The donut itself is so pretty, adding anything else to it without making it look too busy was a big challenge! I googled a bit to see how others had used these donuts. And I was right...most people had simply added a nice ribbon around it to emphasize the focal. 

So I started breaking down the problem...
What stringing material did I want to use? Definitely not chain, and absolutely not a simple lark's head knot. Kat had sent me some seed beads I could use to make a loop out of, and she was sweet enough to even put up a tutorial for me. But I did not have the string I would need to use with the seed-beads, they were a very tiny size. And no time to go shopping for it either. So that option was out.

I did want to use some kind of "fiber" , so settled on waxed linen. I did have to use the Lark's Head knot, but then I did two of them instead of one...like this....

Next, what beads did I want to use? My main concern again, was not to overwhelm the design. So I picked a few and have kept the rest for future use. Also, I didn't want to simply string them in the cord one after the other (nothing wrong with that of course, I usually like to complicate things, haha :-))

What should I do with these spacers? I tried real hard to add the spacers to this, but nothing came to me. So they are not in there. I did add one of my own spacers, that I had wanted to use for a while, but had not had an opportunity yet. So this is what I did with the co-ordinating beads:

Yeah, I know...these two pictures don't really seem to gel very well, isn't it? But wait till you see the whole, its kinda unexpected, and quite pretty :-)


Here's another view...with the clasp. I did use the clasp Kat sent as well.

I was aiming at making something "unusual" and I think I did achieve that. I didn't quite like it at first, but had to live with this one, as I was traveling the next day to go to India. I took it along to show my family and friends, and everyone, even my Dad, loved it (he didn't like anything else...he is the old-fashioned, "why-are-you-wearing-this-and-not-gold" kinda guy ;-)).
So I suppose I achieved the "prettiness" goal as well :-)

I wanted to make a pair of earrings for one of my closest friends in India (thank you, Internet, she is still in my top 3 in spite of the distance!). Now here was another challenge. She does not wear jewelry. Maybe occasionally...very very rarely. She said if you really want to make me something, make sure it is small and subtle. And maybe blue. Blue I can do. Small...is difficult.

A couple hours before I was to leave for the airport, and I still did not have anything for her :(( Finally, the blue beads Kat sent, spoke up and said they wanted to go to India, hahaha :-) So here's what I made...rustled them up pretty quickly once I knew what I wanted:

Both the beads are from the soup Kat sent to me. I added the leaf from my own stash, and made the earwires from eyepins to keep them short and simple. My friend LOVED them. The first thing she noticed was the leaves...she is a landscape architect :-) Funny isn't it how everyone notices different things, and a random choice, like the leaves, becomes a special one!

I wanted to make some more things from Kat's beads. I have a small focal made out of the rest of the beads, but did not have time to finish it off. Maybe soon...

Thanks Kat for sending me this wonderful soup! I loved each and every thing in there, and promise I will use them soon!

I think I will wear my necklace to work today :-)

Here are the other participants...do go on and party with everyone else!

Hostess, Lori Anderson Special Book Sneak Peeks, Cindy Wimmer

1.  Adlinah Kamsir (Singapore) and Hajer Waheed (Kingdom of Bahrain)
2. Adrienn Lukacs (Hungary) and Agata Grygiel (Poland)
3.  Agi Kiss (Hungary) and Carolien Muller-Genger (the Netherlands)
4.  Agnes Asztalos (Hungary) and B.R. Kuhlman
7.  Alicia Marinache (Canada) and Dita Basu
15.  Bonnie Coursolle (Canada) and Fay Wolfenden (Canada)
16.  Carmel McGinley (Australia) and Tracy Stillman (Australia)

21.  Cheryl Brown (Canada) and Diana Ptaszynski
22.  Christina Stofmeel (the Netherlands) and Eva Kovacs (Hungary)
24.  Cilla Watkins (Canada) and Elaine Robitaille (Canada)
25.  Sabrina Straub (Switzerland) and Kathy Combs
32.  Dee Elgie (UK) and Joanne Lockwood (UK)
33.  Dian Hierschel (Germany) and Eniko Fabian (Austria)
37.  Doris Stumpf (Germany) and Eszter Czibulyas (Hungary)
39.  Elke Leonhardt-Rath (Germany) and Marjolein Trewavas (UK)

41.  Erika Nooteboom (the Netherlands) and Giorgia Rossini (Italy)
43.  Evelyn Duberry (Canada) and Gaea Cannaday
45.  Ginger Bishop (military, Okinawa) and Martina Nagele (Germany)
48.  Helene Goldberg (Australia) and Karen Vincent
54.  Joanna Matuszczyk (Poland) and Julianna Kis (Hungary)
55.  Joanne Tinley (UK) and Michaela Pabeschitz (Austria)
65.  Kristina Johansson (Sweden) and Penny Neville (Canada)
66.  Krisztina Erlaki-Toth (Hungary) and Nicole Keller (Germany)
76.  Lori Finney (Canada) and Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp (Canada)
78.  Marta Kaczerowska (Poland) and Milla Starchik (Canada)
83.  Michelle Jensen and Sandra Young (Canada)
92.  Rosa Maria Cuevas (Mexico) and Tejae Floyde
93.  Sabine Dittrich (Germany) and Sally Russick
95.  Shanti Johnson and Tracy Mok (Canada)
97.  Sonya Stille and Traci Zeller (Canada)
98.  Stefanie Teufel (Germany) and Tania Hagen (New Zealand)