Archive | May 2013

Reuse, Recycle

You have a 2 inch head pin and a 1/4 inch pearl…you have a good inch of wire left over after making your loop.  Throw it out?  Of course not, now you have just the right amount of wire for a small eye pin.

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I am fortunate enough to have an Aunt that does theatre costuming.  The company was getting rid of a bunch of old jewellery that people had donated over the years, and guess who got it?   I have been happily deconstructing things from this treasure trove and every now and then, they come in very handy.  These earrings are made with glittery acrylic beads I got at McBead and I just happened to have these great glass crystal AB beads from something I had dismantled.  Let’s face it, there is NO such thing as too much sparkle!

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So in my previous post I confessed to a bit of a shopping spree at the local Michael’s.  Well, you can tell me if you think it was worth it 😉

image (3)I couldn’t resist these, they called to my Dutch heritage (2 generations ago), and I think they make a super cute bracelet, especially with the large white glass pearls framed in a filigree bead cap.

image (5)The main brass pieces of these came from McBead, they caught my eye the last time I was in the shop.   I didn’t know what to put with them though, and didn’t fancy anything in my stash with them,  I came across these glass bicones in a yellow, topaz and smokey quartz mix.  I only used the yellow and smokey quartz, I am thinking the topaz ones will look better with copper.


Until next time folks, I am going to attempt to crochet…wish me luck, and my husband, he has to sit beside me and listen to me swear.





I should not be allowed into craft stores unsupervised…

Last weekend, my husband and I went to meet up with my father in law at the local you-brew place. He was bottling some wine and my husband was giving him a hand.  We were going to their place for brunch afterwards, or I would have likely stayed in bed.  I was snoozy.  Anywho, they didn’t need a third pair of hands and near by there is one of those big box store stip malls containing three types of temptation.  A Chapters, a GLobo Shoes and a Michael’s craft store.  

I did have a reason to visit the  Michaels as I needed to pick up some wool to try and repair a sweater for my father in law.    Unfortunately for me, Michael’s puts their jewellery supplies and their cake decorating supplies right by the front door.   It takes a lot more will power than I have to walk right past them to the yarn.  So here I made my first mistake, I picked up a basket…by the time I reached the wool, I had about 10 strands of glass pearls, blue and white tulip beads (very dutch-looking) and I can’t actually remember what else…hmm…

I did find wool for the sweater repair, though, as well as a book on learning to crochet, three balls of brightly coloured crafting cotton (I am thinking washcloths), a beginner’s cross-stich and new 8mm knitting needles.   I was moments away from picking up latch hooking supplies when I realized it was time to make a run for the cash!

So as you may have guessed, and as I believe I mentioned before, I have a bit of crafting ADD, most crafters do, it’s quite common.  So I can’t just make jewellery, I have to knit as well, and sew, and scrapbook.  etc. etc.

Knitting is probably the craft I have done for the longest.  Both my brave grandmothers attempted to teach me how to knit throughout my youth.  My Oma, even had a neat rhyme in Dutch to help.  Sadly for them, it just didn’t take, I always ended up with strange numbers of stitches and the yarn so tight I couldn’t get the needle through it.  It wasn’t until my 20’s that I finally took it up again, and ‘lo and behold, this time it took.  I can thank my sister-in-law Carrie for that!  She is one of those remarkable women that can turn her hand to any craft and do it well, she has the patience not only to complete any craft, no matter how complex, but is an excellent teacher as well. 

So after many many MANY scarves, I finally started to attempt other items, hats etc.  I am quite good with baby booties as well.  Carrie has always been encouraging me to try more challenging patterns as well, including socks and intricate cables.  I wish I had a fraction of her patience.  My biggest challenge with knitting (aside from finishing what I start) is guage. Any time I have made a sweater it ends up in a strange size, the only successful one was for my husband, and it took the better part of a year to complete.  It had intricately cabled sleeves.  I somehow managed to make it too short in both the sleeves and body, but was able to add several inches to it in a matching garter stitch and the good man wears it proudly.

My most recent kniting attpemts include the Rectangela sweater by Berocco, which ended up too short, and too tight and all around horrid, I haven’t had the heart to continue the attempt to dismantle it.  As well as the Paulina tank top, also by Berocco, which actually turned out quite well, fit nicely, but is too short in the body, still, making progress. 

The thing with guage is that I always figured I should make a smaller size to compensate for my larger knitting, but after some discussion with Carrie she suggested adjusting my needle size instead…aha!   This is what I did for Paulina and other than not making the body long enough (I should have added a few more inches), the fit was fine.  So now, armed with this knowledge and experience, I am ready for my next knitting challenge.  But first, finishing cuff reconstruction on a 40 year old raw wool sweater, learning to crochet and cross-stitch, and many more sparkly episodes.

I have attempted crochet (which I can do with wire and beads no problem) as well as cross-stitch before, but with little success.  This however is not enough to stop me.  I am always willing to give a craft I have failed at another try.

You can call it determination or gluttony for punishment if you like, it could go either way. 😉

Disasters and Design Changes

I was going to title this post “There is no such thing and too much sparkle”, however, as the new title suggests, there were changes.

There is nothing quite as demoralizing as having to start a project over again.  Most of us crafters have been there, gotten farther than halfway through a project and realizing that you made a mistake back at the beginning.   Well, I spent the better part of an hour stringing these big pink pearls between bead caps with a teeny 2mm silver bead between each one, and these things were a pain in the butt to get on.  As I held it up to check the length…the enter thing slipped off onto the floor of my craft room…AARRGGG!   All that work undone in the fraction of a moment.  I probably sat there for a good 5 minutes staring at the floor in disbelief.    So that was the disaster, now for the design change.  After picking up all of the pink pearls and bead caps (I didn’t even try to retrieve the 2mm silver beads), I decided that the universe didn’t like my original design, so I left out the tiny silver beads and went back to back pearls.  I like it better.

pink pearl

Now, for the sparkly bits!  I also created a few pairs of earrings that satiated my love of things that sparkle!

fire fall coppercrystal clusters

That should hold me for a while, but I also made a really neat bracelet, called Zipper that I learned at the shop the other week.

teal zipper


As you can see, it was a pretty productive Sunday.  I also made strides to finish my knitted tank top, which is almost done!

Now though, after enjoying a roast chicken dinner with potatoes and asparagus and (not to pat myself on the back too much), really good gravy, we are watching the Leafs battle the Bruins to force game 7.  I was raised a Leafs fan and saw my first game at the Gardens in 1985.  Now that I live in Ottawa, I have an appreciation for the Senators and the great love this city has for them., but I still love my Leafs.

So if you need me, I will be biting my nails and staring at the screen.

Until next time.

Beady Eyed

Yup, that was me this afternoon.  I got home from work and *POW*, I got hit with the urge, the urge to bead! The urge to make fun and funky earrings, (again with the earrings).  So, I popped down to the magic factory as soon as I got through the door and into my comfies.

I had some new goodies from my Bead Bop ( bag, and was keen to get going.

I actually kept working past 7pm (and that means I missed an episode of Big Bang Theory),  but it was worth it in the end.  Here is what I came up with.

danglesIt’s hard to tell from the picture, but the earrings are studs, with Swarovski flat backs.  The large crystals at the bottom are 8mm Swarovski rounds in Light Azure, a really pretty clear blue.  The trick with these was getting the side closing bead tips for the chain to secure, I added some glue.

flowersflowers 2These were fun, white acrylic flowers with green seed beads and fire polished glass for the stems.  I went for a tiered effect, unlike the blue ones  showed you before which were clustered.

pretty in pinkphoto (2)A bracelet idea ended up as an entire set.  3 strands of pink fresh water pearls, and the peach silver-lined seed beads that came in my Bead Bop bag.  I made the bracelet and figured that while I was at it I should make earrings since I had more pearls…then I found my previous stash of pink pearls and decided, well,  I might as well make a necklace too.  Voila!

So, that was just this afternoon.  I also made a really neat necklace with 9mm silver jump rings and size 2 seed beads in a transparent teal ab with some large pale aqua lamp work style beads and a shell pendant with matching  earrings.  I forgot to take a  picture of it though, so I will have to remember to post one next time.

I have also been knitting, but that my friends, is a story for another time.

Oh, before I go.  For anyone who doubted I had a bit of an earring addiction…here is a picture of part of my collection.  Just the ones I have made, it doesn’t include the ones I have either bought or been given.