Archive for July, 2010

ECF – Retrospective

I have already mentioned that Jamie has been an inspiration to me. I’ve said that she’s the whole reason that I’ve gotten back into seed beading.  If not for her I would not have rediscovered my love for the tiny beads.

It all happened sometime last year when she asked me if I wanted to join in on one of the Needle and Thread classes at her shop. From there I took off as only the madly obsessed do.

One of the first projects I did when I started back up again, was a Spiral Peyote Bracelet. For some reason, I chose pink with pearls.

I was very happy with how it turned out, but I didn’t think it really belonged to me. Somehow I knew the bracelet was meant for Jamie as a thank you.

Right now, it resides in a counter on display at the shop. It feels pretty good knowing that Jamie and Jason think it’s good enough to have a place in such a prominent place.

Back in the here and now, despite my resolution to finish what’s on the needles, Megan has concocted a knit-along. She’s roped a few of us into knitting the Haruni, which is  a truly beautiful shawl.

I’ve already decided to use some yarn in my stash for it.

I love me my blues and I love me that yarn. I can’t wait to start! That means I have to do a bit of speed-knitting on the two shawls I have going on. I figure if I finish one of them, I can cast on for another.

What better way to speed knit then to have a totally blissed out cat by your side?

Happy Friday, everyone! Have a great weekend!

Gaman!

Since I finished the shawl for Jamie, I’ve unearthed the Lyra. I started that way back in April 2009, if you can believe it.

I left it on row 111 or something like that. I know it was before the start of the corners which is on row 113 and the corners scared me. :P

Since I deciphered the instructions for the corners and figured out where the “bold” lines were on the pattern, I’ve been at it as much as time allows.

The rounds are starting to seem like an eternity to knit though. In my head, I’ve started to refer to the shawl as the “Black Hole”. I mean, look at it. It even looks like a black hole. It’s black and because it’s circular, there’s a bit of  hole.

All that negative thinking must be thrown out the window. I must be “gaman”, which is Japanese. My friend May says it means “to endure, persevere, to overcome”. She also said if someone calls you “gaman-zuyoi”, it means you don’t give up or “wimp out.”

I want to be that person.

She and I have much love for “gaman”. I even made her a bracelet.


I think I need to make one for myself.

While I was at it with the metal stamps, I made a few pieces for the shop.

I’m finding it easy to balance my time between knitting and metal stamping, which is a huge surprise to me. I wonder how long that will last. I suppose the fact that metal stamping after 10pm is out of the question (as its too noisy) helps.

I’m also finding Scheyer’s company quite easy on the soul. Isn’t he a handsome little devil?

Happy Thursday everyone!

Yet another hobby.

Back in the 90’s I learned how to do Kumihimo (Japanese braiding) on a marudai. Recently, The Bead Gallery started teaching Kumihimo on foam discs like these.

The reason I lost interest in Kumihimo was because I really didn’t know what to do with the braids once I was done with them. This time around I took a class on how to braid with beads!

The class was on Saturday and I was able to finish the bracelet that night.

I used Czech Fire Polish beads, Swarovski pearls, and Magatama drops for the bracelets.

I’m eager to make more bracelets, but I don’t have the supplies and I need to watch that budget!

So I’ve been metal stamping in the hope that it will stamp out my craving for those supplies. (Ha!) Here’s a glimpse of what I did yesterday.

There was another tear drop charm that said “hope”. I had planned to make earrings out of that and the “love” charm, but I’ve lost “hope”.(Haha!) I don’t have anymore blank teardrops either, so I’m not sure what to do with the “love”. (Hahaha!)

Quincy is all about appreciating my sense of humor. :P

This is what happens when I don’t get enough sleep.

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I’ve got more stamping to do!

For Jamie

A lot of you might remember me mentioning Jamie in past posts. She and her husband own my favorite bead shop, The Bead Gallery. I’ve been shopping there since the ’90s when they were in another location. I can’t believe it’s been that long.

Jamie has always been an inspiration and a great teacher as well as a wonderful friend. I wanted to show my appreciation for just having her in my life in my own way. I’ve made her jewelry, but let’s face it, she’s the queen of all things having to do with jewelry. So I decided to make her a shawl!

Pattern: Shetland Triangle Shawl

Yarn: Fearless Fibers Superwash Merino Sock in Chastity

Needles: Size 4US / 3.5mm

Started: June 30, 2010

Finished: July 21, 2010

Talk about stepping out of my color range! I normally stick to blues and purples. This was a major departure from that comfort zone!  Megan and I teasingly called it the “Miami Vomit” shawl because it was like Miami Vice* vomitted all over the shawl. :P

Not a pretty thought, but the two of us are weird like that.

I do appreciate how cheerful these colors are and they certainly make Jamie happy! See for yourself.

If she’s happy, then I’m happy. :)

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

*I can only imagine how horribly that dates me! *L*

Crazy for Rings

I’ve been on a ring making craze. They’re easy and fun to do while I rest up in my recliner. I didn’t realize exactly how many I made until I took some photos for the blog though.

I’m really happy with the way one of the Earth Swirls rings came out. Even though I rarely wear earth tones, I’m thinking about keeping it.

Earth Swirls Ring w/ Glass Beads

I was really surprised when my Mother requested a ring in that style. She wanted it in silver. I was a little afraid of graduating to Sterling Silver, but since she asked, I forged ahead and made a couple. This is the ring she chose for herself.

Sky Swirl Ring w/ Semi-precious Gemstones

I used Amethyst, Fluorite, Tourmaline, and accented it with some Swarovski Crystals.

Here’s the second one.

Sky Swirls Ring w/ Semi-Precious Gemstones

The reason I was so surprised by my Mother’s request is because this style of jewelry is just not her style. She likes the simple streamlined designs. Designs more like these.

Eye of Horus Rings

This one is by far my favorite. I do so love Amethyst. :)

Of all the rings I made the hardest one to do was the Eternity Band.

I have no idea what kind of gemstones those are, but they are very tiny. Wrapping the wire around them was a bitch and I had to make four passes. But I really love the way it looks, so more of these may be in my future.

Rings haven’t been the only thing I’ve been doing. I managed to do some metal stamping and I have some links that are ready to be oxidized.

Before that, I went through a lack of self-confidence crisis yesterday upon attempting to metal stamp. Thank goodness for good friends like Blogless Dayna and Megan. Their pep talks got me going again. :)

I also have a mystery shawl blocked and drying. Hopefully I’ll be able to give it to its recipient over the weekend, then I’ll be able to blog about it next week.

Actual knitting content! Yay.

Alas! The there are no gratuitous kitty photos. Right now, the felines are hating the camera. Weirdos! Who wouldn’t want to be bugged by a crazy woman with a light beam?

;-P

Happy Wednesday, everyone! Hope you’re having a good one. :)

Weekend Frenzy

On Saturday my friends and I headed over to Karen’s shop, Bella Beads. She taught me a new technique that can be used to make earrings, bracelets, rings, pendants, and necklaces.

It’s not entirely new to the blog as this is the technique she used to make the base for the UFO’s I completed for her. This was my opportunity to see how the foundation was done though.

Then on Sunday, we had another BSG marathon. This allowed me some time to go a little bit crazy with the jewelries. Maybe more then just a little bit.

I made a ring, a necklace, and three bracelets. I used Vintaj bronze wire and I would have made more, but I was beginning to run out of suitable beads for the wire.  I was also beginning to wonder what to do with all the jewelry I was making.

Earth Swirls

I needed a name for this style of jewelry, so I turned to my trusty friend Megan for help. It was she that coined the name “Earth Swirls” and that’s what this particular line will be called.

The ring is a little crazy.

If you’re wondering what’s up with the bronze fixation, I felt I needed a bit of practice. The bronze wire is a lot less spendier then Sterling Silver, so there you have it.  Plus, I tend to gravitate towards blue and purple so this was also a great way to break out of my color box.

I think I like the necklace the best.

The thing about this new technique is that it’s quite hard to stop. The possibilities are endless. My mind is in a tizzy with ideas and designs.

At the same time, now that I have the house to myself, I can finally get some metal stamping done. Since Mom was home Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I’ve been looking forward to doing that since Thursday night!

Don’t mistake me. It’s not that I don’t love her company. I just need to get some hammer time. ;-P

Only I think Etsy sucked the life out of me. I listed three things today and now I’m pretty sure brain death is imminent. The sad thing is I didn’t finish listing everything. *

That’s just going to have to wait for tomorrow. Health first!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. :)

*Yeah, that’s how easily I tire. Fibromyalgia is a bitch. Blahblahblah. :)

Funky Bling Bling Gemmy Rings

On Saturday, I took Janna & Jamie’s Gemmy Ring class over at The Bead Gallery. I had a great time. Janna and Jamie are terrific instructors as well as being fun people to hang out with.

This is what I did in class.

I had to cut this one up because once it was done it didn’t fit a single finger on my hand. Not even my thumb. I was obviously yapping at the mouth too much and not paying close enough attention to what I was doing. :P

This is take two.

For the second try, I added a really big Aquamarine Quartz briolette. It’s very bling bling and it really stands out when you wear it.

I made a third ring and ended up with a much different look.

I used heishi pearls, freshwater pearls, garnets, onyx, and some other kind of stone that I can’t remember the name of.  :P

It sits just a little high on the finger as I stacked the pearls on top some beads.

One thing I know for sure is that this style of ring is not for everyone, but I’m really looking forward to experimenting with the technique.  I think  I can go simpler if I could just get the sizing right.

At the same time, I have such a good time  going crazy with the beads. It’s very freeform so I can really let loose and go wild.

Funky is fun!

Happy Wednesday, folks!

Culmination

Once the metal stamping and oxidization process were completed, the jewelry fun could begin. I just had to choose which pieces to start from.

I thought I could use a little serenity in my life, so I chose that piece first. I used moonstone and rhodochrosite as my stones.

I did the lettering at the Metal Stamping Studio over at The Bead Gallery. Jason cut a piece of sheet metal for me.  Then off I went. Only once I got home and added the design stamps? I went a little gonzo.

Serene it was not. To try to rectify the matter, I used one of my texturing hammers to try to erase them. It didn’t quite obliterate them like I hoped it would, but I did get a nice weathered effect.

The next piece I chose to use, has the word “strength” on it. I’ve been in a shoppy mood and I truly need the strength to resist. Etsy can be such a devil.

I used garnets and onyx as my stones for this bracelet.

I like the fact the lettering on this piece is nicely spaced and that I got good impressions with the design stamps.

That’s just a bit of what I got done over the weekend. I also have some rings done and I completed a custom order which consisted of two bracelets and two matching pairs of earrings. I also squeezed in some spinning and knitting time.

That was all thanks to a marathon session of Battlestar Galactica. Somehow I managed to get my Mom addicted to the show. We ended up watching about 12 hours worth of television yesterday.

Crazy.

Crazier still is waking up at 5:30am on a Sunday, which is what I did yesterday. So really? All I could do was sit in my recliner and watch the boob tube.  :P

I’ve been waking up around that time every day for the past week and I’ve been going to sleep around midnight. That’s not enough sleep for me, because it triggers my Fibromyalgia.

Blah.

Sammy is taking this lack of sleep pretty seriously.

On the other hand, if my flares aren’t too bad, this leaves me with more waking hours to create. There’s always a bright side, don’t you think? :)

Happy Monday, people! Keep looking for the shine in life!

Stick to the plan. What plan?

I’ve been metal stamping pendants and whatnot for friends as practice. Megan chose the word “laughter”.

I did two pendants with that word as things did not go according to plan with the first one which is on the left. The one on the right has also been slightly improvised.

The placement of the letters on both pendants aren’t to my liking. I mean, look at the pendant on the left! The “h” was so out of place I figured I might as well get whimsical with the rest of the word.

Maybe one day I’ll revisit the word, but for now I’m shelving the word “laughter”.

Instead, I shall remain grim and stoic.

Plbbt!

I had a hard time with the design stamps too. It was tricky getting good impressions. I’ll continue to practice because practice makes perfect!

Right?

Bah.

I’ve decided that any plans I have for a metal stamped piece are going to have to be loose and flexible. Because until I’ve got more experience under my belt anything goes.

Also, I think it would be best to try not to stamp when I’m bleary eyed from lack of sleep.

O.o

Well, there’s one thing that’s coming along well. My Tour de Fleece progress of the week.

I’ve been spinning every day since the Tour started. I may not be making monstrous skeins of yarn, but at least I’m still participating. That’s a big home run in my book!

But what’s this?

What is Sammy looking at?

He’s looking at the weekend, folks! And what a great weekend it’s going to be!

I have a class at The Bead Gallery.  Hopefully I’ll have the energy to share a ring with you all on Monday.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Filled with fun, flexible plans!

The process.

Some of you may remember that I’ve recently taken up metal stamping. I thought I’d walk you through the process a bit.

I take these and stamp them.

Then I blacken them.

Finally, I sand them down.

As you can see, I still need a lot of practice. I’m not getting even impressions and my aim/placement is not so good yet. I do think that the “strength” piece came out nicely.

Of course I’ll need to make these into actual jewelry. All of which will be bestowed upon my hapless friends, since they’re not quite ready for the shop just yet.

If you’re wondering why I’ve suddenly been blogging and metal stamping so much. The answer is that I’ve cut out three of my Facebook games. They were sucking the life out of me! Not good.

Now that I’ve done that, I’ve been able to get so much more done. I’ve even been able to start getting back into the blog reading! So don’t be surprised if you actually see me comment.  ;-P

Lookie!

Sammy’s curled up on my desk!

He looks pretty upset with the mess.

Time to clean?

Happy Thursday! I’m off to polish those links and pendants!