Sunday, 26 February 2012

Extended absence - but not from designing!

So its been quite some time since I posted on the blog, but that's mainly because I have become a jewellery making machine! As well as the various DT projects, I've been experimenting with my new "gizmo" and making a multitude of creations with the coils of wire as a result. So pretty much all of this blog post is going to be pictures! - feedback appreciated as always.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

How busy can a week be!!!!

It's quite astounding really, and I don't have the additional work created by having children as well! All my friends who have children tell me they don't have any free time, which worries me as I don't have any now, so what will it be like if I had children!!!

To be honest, it didn't really start as a good week anyway, as on the way home from work on Monday, I had a small misfortune, resulting in me having a knee the size of Jupiter, and looking just as colourful as well. It hasn't completely gone down yet, which is why I have chance to write this, as OH says I should be resting it. It hasn't stopped him mocking me all week for not being able to stay upright though!

So after my little trip, I went in to work early every day, as walking to work just wasn't going to happen - lots of overtime, but still, it's work right? I've found that while I love working in IT, it renders me pretty useless in the evenings - I'm no longer able to sit in front of the computer when I get home and spend hours looking at websites or reading what's out there in web-land. It's a sad state of affairs - I'm even writing this blog post on my iPhone!!!

So I'm sitting here, with my leg up on the sofa, thinking about what I have managed to get done this week, and what I might do this afternoon. There'll be no surprise that either of these involve jewellery! Here's a piece I made this week from shell beads and mystic smoky quartz. I'm off to make something with jasper which I'll post soon. Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Another creation!

If you've seen my posts in recent days, or if you talk to me often, you'll know I've become shamelessly addicted to the jewellery channel! Well, my beads have arrived and I was so excited to get my hands on them!

Now I promise this is related, but for Xmas, I bought my mum a black cashmere roll neck jumper - just begging to be accessorised!

So what else could I do when I received these beautiful gems but make my mum a striking necklace! Here, I've used wire wrapping techniques to accentuate yellow jasper and puffy jade ovals, and connected them with jump rings and alternating pearls and red agate rounds. Might have to make one for myself now!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

WOYWW and How to make Russian leaves

Another busy week in Kittyville! Unbelievably, I am actually working at my desk this week - I have tidied it! I haven't tidied the rest of the room, but we are mid-decorating, and its a shocker - I can't wait to get all my storage in place and then we are good to go!

So the first thing you'll notice is my computer is on and streaming some TV shows (Grey's Anatomy - I am totally addicted!) from the US, cos I like to be ahead - I really hate crafting with nothing to watch on TV!

There's a few goodies scattered about - some shrink plastic that I'm very excited about using, a bit of bling that will go on a card to my mum, along with a bit of glimmermist that will be going on some flowers most like! There's also a necklace that was given to me ages ago which needs some fixing, and some yellow seed beads which I haven't decided what to do with yet, along with the usual tools and gubbins. You can just about see on the right a piece of paper, which leads me on to what I was doing while taking this pic - coming up with the instructions for the Russian leaves on my DT piece.

Cut a length of Nymo or narrow wire - I used 0.3 mm - about 50 cm in length. Use two contrasting colours of seed beads (I refer to these as A and B in the following instructions). Thread 1A and 5B onto your wire/thread and push them to the centre.

Pull the left thread through the 2nd B bead.You will end up with this:

Keep your column of beads to the left and add 2 more B beads. The wire will come out of the top of these beads, turn the wire back through the 2 B beads to the left of the two you have just added
and pull tight. This will leave you with this:
Then add another two beads and thread back through the two on the left in the same way. This will give you a column of 2 x 4 beads, like so:

Add two more B beads, sitting these at the right hand side of those just added. Your wire will be exiting the top of the work, and you will have two beads sticking out at the side, like this.

Thread an A bead, and then travel back down the first three B beads.

Thread another A bead, and then thread the wire through the 2 B beads you added in step 6. These A beads form the picots at the edges of the leaves.
Add two B beads and rest these on top of the two B beads where the wire exits.
Add two more B beads at the side of the last two added, and pass the wire through those last two added beads.
Form another picot where the wire exits at the top and the bottom.

Continue to work on the right hand side, until you have made six picots.

At this point, turn the work over and mirror the left hand side. You should now have a flat piece which needs to be joined. Where the wire exits on the right, thread 8 B beads.
Pass the wire through the last two B beads and the picot on the opposite side to join them together and make a complete unit.
Pass back through these B beads, and four more along the top.
You can now add veining if you wish, which I did on the leaves, or why not be creative and add anything you like in the middle - a pearl or crystal for example!

I'd love to see what you do with Russian leaves - especially as elements on cards or scrapbook pages!

Happy WOYWW everyone!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

DT Challenge #1: Purple and Green

For those of you that don't know, I am a frequent visitor to It's Crafting Time, and I couldn't have been more flattered, when following their DT call, they picked little old me to be their DT member for jewellery. Since I got the themes, I've been beavering away, and I'm proud to show you my first piece!

I've made this bracelet using a pattern for Russian leaves that I found through, and have been desperate to try for ages. I chose to use a couple of shades of each colour to create a bit of depth with the flower, and I added some texture using crystals and pearls on the stamens. The cuff itself is made with a tight right angle weave - I decided that the delicate nature of the flower needed a sturdy base.

For the Russian leaves, I used a mixture of thread and wire, and even though fiddly, once you have the technique you're well away! Instructions to follow on these. In terms of materials, this is relatively easy and inexpensive, as I probably only used about three pots of seed beads for the main bracelet, although obviously pearls and crystals are more.

Materials: 5g of rainbow purple seed beads, 13g of amethyst seed beads, 5g transparent nucleus dark green seed beads, 5g very pale sage greenseed beads, amethyst crystal rondelles 6mm, Pale Pink 3 mm bicone crystals, Pale Pink 6mm Pearls, 0.3mm copper wire in a complementary colour (I used red), Pale Green Nymo, Lobster clasp, crimp tubes, jump rings. Tools needed: Beading needles, scissors, crimping pliers.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


Well, this is my first WOYWW! I must feel invigorated after my first day back at work (groan!) Having spent most of Monday and Tuesday painting (and shopping for gems as well, but don't tell anyone!), it was actually quite nice to get back into the swing of it.

My work desk this evening is actually my lap - on a tray while hubby watches the football (groan!). I'm working on a piece that I was saving for a DT challenge, but got too inspired and excited to leave it alone, so I'm working on my pebbles necklace. I say working on, because for the second night in a row I've finished a piece of jewellery - looks like I'm on a roll! So here you go, here's the finished piece!

Happy Wednesday everyone - nearly the weekend!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Well, I'm a couple of days late with the new year wishes, mostly because I have been very busy! We were away for the New Year, and when we returned, I started on the traditional Bank Holiday pursuit of the DIY! Having had an extra day off today, I started painting a room in our house, and managed to get the front door and the banisters painted. I think hubby was quite pleased when he returned from work, although when we went to get Dixie from the cattery, I don't think she was so pleased as it restricted her domain to the kitchen for a while! Never mind, she's sleeping on the bed now, so normal service is resumed.

In addition to the decorating, I've been exploring some new jewellery ideas - using jump rings not just as findings for clasps, but actually forming part of the pieces themselves. I'm quite pleased with the results, and this has given me some good practice on turning eye pins as well!

I made this bracelet using ball head pins which I threaded a seed bead and a smaller green bead onto, then turned an eye pin at the top. For the larger beads, I used wire and made an eye at either end of the bead. I then connected these all together with jump rings to make quite a chunky, but very light bracelet.

I've used exactly the same technique for this necklace, although this time there are no additional beads attached. I've used some tigertail wire to make the back of the necklace, rather than having beads all the way round. Of course, you could use ribbon or cord to finish off - I just happened to have this colour in my stash!

For this last piece, I've used peacock blue pearls as spacers between blue beads which are dangling from varying lengths of jump rings linked together. I've used flat head pins and created eyes at the top to affix them to the jump rings.

I've just ordered some gemstones from - hope they come in time for the weekend so I can post the results!