Archive | September 2013

Back home and back at it.

Well, Halifax was absolutely beautiful!  here is what I have been up to since we got back.

glass pearl bracelet

glass pearls make great beads for bracelets.

frosty chandeliers

I never get sick of chandelier earrings.

coloured chain maille earrings

fun with coloured jump rings.

chain maille ball

I love this chain maille ball pattern!


That’s better!

I redesigned the earrings for the wedding next weekend,  not quite as spectacular, but at least my ear lobes won’t require reconstructive surgery after wearing them.


While I was at it, I also made these from a pattern in a wire jewelry magazine.  They look simple but were actually rather frustrating.   I am happy with the outcome though, I think I will keep them for myself.


See you when I get back from the coast!

You think I would have learned by now…

Remember the post I did some time ago about how important gauge is when dealing with wire or jump rings?  Well, as Alice once said when she was lost in Wonderland, “I give myself some very good advice, but I seldom ever follow it”.

I really wanted to do this Romanov design chain maille and I also wanted to try this pattern for a chain maille ball that I saw Pinterest.  I have jump rings of various sizes in my stash and started with my usual go-to rings for most chain maille designs. 6 and 7mm outside diameter, I believe they are 19 or 20 gauge.  Well…


The 7mm rings gave me the blob you see on the right which is supposed to be the first half of the Japanese Ball pattern (just google Japanese Chain maille Ball Pattern), there is obviously too much space between the rings so there is no firmness in the structure.

On the left is what I ended up with from my attempt at the Romaov pattern (also googleable), which didn’t work with either the 6 or the 7mm rings, or any beads that I had…dang it.

So, I gave up on the Romanov, but with the 6mm rings in the heavier gauge, the ball pattern actually worked out.

chainmaille ball

I also made another chain maille piece with some shell disks (I made a similar style before) and a shell pendant my friend Meghan had given me.  Sections of Byzantine in 7mm Silver plate separated by Shell disks and 6mm clear cut-glass beads.

chain and shell

And another pair of Belly Dance inspired chandelier earrings.

chandelier in green and pearl

You know…wine glasses make good earrings props for taking photos.


just for me

So, I had an order to fill for a bracelet the other night, just a simple strand of white glass pearls.   When I finished it, I still felt like working so I picked up a chain maille bracelet I had started the earlier in the week.

The first kind of chain maille I ever learned was the Celtic Wedding knot and one of the first pieces I did was a triple strand of if in black nickel and silver.

Picture 451

After more than a year of wear and tear, a few rings have fallen out and it has tarnished quite a bit.  So I wanted to make a bigger better version.  Please note, I still love and wear this piece.

I found a black nickel slider clasp with 7 holes on it and I figured I would make a 4 or 5 strand of the same.  Sadly, the sizing didn’t quite add up right and I really would need an 8 or 9 hole clasp.  But I had already finished 1.5 lengths of silver on black wedding-knot.  So I finished the second strand and hummed and hawed over what else to put with it.  Chain?  No.  Strung beads? Nah.  Copper full Persian? Nope.  Hmm…9mm black nickel in Byzantine?….YES!


Like so many of these things, trial and error is a major factor.  I knew if I didn’t attach the three strands together they would crumple up, but how to do it when the large central strand is something like byzantine?   Well, what I ended up doing is adding 3 6mm silver plate accent rings on each side of the connecting Byzantine rings that lay flat (every other set) to the black nickel ring that encompasses the silver rings in the wedding-knot.  hmmm…I think this is going to need a chart…

chain detail

Admittedly not a very good chart, but hopefully you get the idea.  The red rings represent the 6mm silver rings in the bracelet.

I am itching to get home and down to my craft room tonight because I have at least two more chain maille pieces I really want to make!

huh..Apparently your earrings CAN be too big.

I would never have thought so, but I discovered yesterday that there is a limit to the amount my ear lobes can handle.

My husband and I are going to a wedding in Halifax next week and I wanted to make myself a new pair of earrings to go with my blue party dress. I have earrings already for this dress, but I decided I wanted something more…well…MORE.

So I decided on a tassle look, with a 12mm Sappire Rivoli in a stud style setting from which hangs a large bead cone out of which drapes various pieces of chain (total of .5 of metre), all in black nickel, each culminating in a 6mm sapphire crystal. Looks fantastic, then I tried them on and my ear lobe almost reached my knee! Ok, I am exaggerating. But they are way to heavy to be wearable. Time for a re-design!


Fumbling Towards Entropy

Why is it, that my craft room can never stay completely tidy or organized?  I swear things move around and displace themselves when I am not watching.

So after a fabulous week at the cottage, I spent the last couple of days doing a little organization of my beading workspace.  The reason it takes a couple of days is of course I tend to get sidetracked very easily.

I had gone down Thursday evening around 5pm, to start tidying and didn’t surface until 8pm having done little to no tidying but I did make this…

Picture 529

Picture 530

I love working with wire, but I would not say I am all that good at it.  Braiding 12 gauge aluminum wire is hard on the hands, I like the effect though.

So yesterday and today I did actually get things sorted out, at least the beading part, the sewing section is still a disaster.  I also took another crack at making a wire bracelet, this time I used a bench vise to steady the three wires while I braided them.

Picture 527 Picture 528The biggest challenge is getting the wire to harden enough to make a solid bracelet, as well as shaping it to fit.  I had dreams of also weaving thinner wire with beads on it through one of the cuffs, but I didn’t like it.

One of the other reasons I like to organize and re-organize my beading stash occasionally is that I get inspired and re-discover old items.

Today was no exception, I came across a purple teardrop bead that I had made into a pendant with freshwater pearls previously and turned it into this…

Picture 532

I also took some metal beads I had combined ages ago with a bunch of chain and recombined them with freshwater pearls and brown glass pearls.

Picture 531

What will I discover next time?