Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jewelry Making on Vacation

Jewelry Making
on Vacation
We just returned from a 4 days of camping. The weather in MA was hot and the Cape is always a good place to be when it is hot. We were lucky to have a great breeze and we enjoyed just hanging out.
But soon, I wanted "something to do".
I had packed a few jewelry things to do. I had ordered and received, just before we left, some materials to make a "Survival Bracelet".  I decided to start with the kit I brought along. Now, this was a new technique for me. It is basically macrame. Following the not so clear directions, I muddled through until I learned how to do the "Cobra Knot"
I discovered that sometimes following directions can be harder that just doing it. So, as I often do, I made up my own "directions". When I came home I found some YouTube Videos on the subject and found that many had made the same discovery.  ;-)
I'm still working on the finish as this bracelet came apart after I thought I had finished it. Oh, well, not the first time I've struck out on the first try. I have a second kit that I can work on and see if I can get this "finishing" thing down.
Well, still needing some thing to do, I got out the card of hemp cords I brought in my bag of projects. So, question: What can you do with a card of hemp cords? Last week I showed a Kumihimo bracelet made with these hemp cords but with my new macrame skill, I tried something else. I know this can be jazzed up with adding beads. The well known "Shamballa" bracelets use this technique, so that will be next on my list.
These bracelets go together rather quickly and I was able to make one in each color. I have to work on the ends by adding some beads to make a "clasp" as the knot end does not stay very well plus it would look nicer (I think)
I need to try different cords too as the hemp cords are a bit rustic looking. Maybe some silk cords?
Here is a close up though I know it is still hard to see. You can see the Cobra pattern a little better in the green bracelet. Look at the "Survival Bracelet" picture to clearly see the Cobra pattern.
It is always fun to learn new things and experiment even while relaxing while on vacation. However, I think I'll soon be back at my more traditional techniques.
Until  next week,

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Finding Things

Finding Things
(Lots of Luck!)
I have a habit, when I can't find something, of "cleaning". When I start doing that, if I find what I'm looking for, I can stop cleaning   ;-)
When you make jewelry, you have LOTS of little  things and it is very easy to lose some of them. They can, also, "hide" in plain sight.
Now think of a chain maille jump ring.
Even if you find a stray jump ring, the hunt is not over. Mostly because it is almost impossible to find the size you were looking for. I have a tin of smaller jump rings. They are mostly 20 and 22 gauge and inside diameters of  1.5mm to about 5.00mm. Yes, very  small!
I keep the tin in a sealed plastic bag. Reason for the plastic bag: I dropped a similar container with 6 mm crystals on the floor once. Youngest grandson helped me pick them up but I had to sort them. Sorting those small rings into the proper tins would give you fits. So, I try not to get into that kind of a situation.
Most of the jump rings I find on the floor are larger but still hard to match up with their mates. I have a pile of odd sizes waiting to be matched. I'll probably sort them out some day,  when I can't find what I want.
Anyhow, my recent cleaning led me to all my little plastic bags. Oh, there are many different size plastic bags! Most of them contained rings, beads etc. from my purchases. Some 2 inches by 2 inches and some larger. You really don't need big bags to hold beads.
Now I have one big bag of lots of plastic bags, sorted by size. Would you believe it? I'm not sure I do. But my desk looks much neater.
Unfortunately, I have not, yet, found what I started looking for. Actually, two things. I recently made a Kumihimo bracelet from hemp. I now want to make something else with the remaining cords - but they are MIA so far.
I am also looking for a small clip I use to start a particular chain maille pattern. The pattern is easy but starting is very hard with out the "trick" of using this clip.
I have a small bag full of these clips. This type are very hard to find. They make clips that are much fancier than these. They are small and boy, can they hide.
So, the cleaning continues. When I find what I'm looking for, I can stop cleaning and make a new hemp bracelet and a half Persian chain maille bracelet. No use in starting with out the clip!
I did recently make a new Magatama Kumihimo bracelet. More fall colors but nice none the less.
Until  next week,

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Silver Pendants

New Silver Pendants
I've been working on some new Silver Pendants. They vary in size, number of jump rings required and just designs. You have already seen the "Star Pendant". It has been quite popular. It is about 3/4 inch in size. (This is the smallest in actual size - the picture is a close up)
I wanted to make one a bit bigger just for a choice. Then I found this pattern called a Celtic Star. It is about one inch in size.
(The pictures make the sizes deceiving, this one is the largest of the three)

On a roll, I made one from one of my favorite chain maille pattern, Byzantine. For interest, I added a blue cat eye bead. This one could be easily changed by changing the bead. For example you could have Swarovski beads, round and bicone, in Birthstone colors or what ever you would like. This design has lots of possibilities. (This is a little less than one inch over all).
Do you have a favorite? For me, it depends on my current outfit. I like them all.
All are now available on the website. Click on the pictures or here to see.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Trinity Pendant - More Colors

Trinity Pendant
More colors
A few weeks ago I introduced the Trinity Pendant. At the time I only had one color, Red. Since then I have been able to find more colors.
I found a medium blue, green (for the Irish) and purple. 
Do you have a favorite color?

I also ordered a mixture of colors so, I can also make others, too. There is a gold, yellow and some other pretty colors that I can't put a name to.  I also can make some matching earrings but have not made them yet.
I've added the new colors to the website. Click on the pictures or here for more information
Here is a little test for you. Can you see a difference between the red pendant and the new colors? If you can see the difference let me know and I'll give you a discount on the purchase of a Trinity Pendant. I'll also explain why there is a difference. If you've taken any of my chain maille classes you might understand why there had to be a difference.