Trial and Error, Something New

So after writing my blog post the other day, I was set to work on the world traveler necklace from Fusion Beads.  It me a couple of nights to work and finally got to end of the project and ran into a problem,  the beading wire was too short.  I thought that if I remove the last row, it would be fine, but much to my chargin that did not work.  I will have to start over with the exception of adding a couple more inches to leave room to finish off with toggle, but was not incline to restart last night.  However, I was determined to get something done, so I created another necklace with the extra materials from the World Traveler project.

I was able to use the beading wire from the failed necklace attempt to make this 26 in necklace.  It did take me a little while to string it due to the seed beads, and figuring out the placement of them.  Actually I had the concept for this necklace in my head for a couple since knowing that I would have dalmatians beads left from the world traveler project.  I received an order from Fire Mountain Gems that includes round wood beads.  I an idea in my head a bracelet and necklace with the wood beads.

This weekend, I am to write a to do list of knitting, crochet, and jewelry projects.  Now I am going to get some rest because I think my body is getting ready for fall.  Ciao for now!


Rainy Day Project

It has been one rainy day on the East Coast, actually it’s been raining on and off since Sunday.  I have been waiting for some jewelry supplies to make necklace and some finally arrived on Monday and Tuesday.  I have a necklace project on the burner for a couple of weeks, but realize that I did not have enough size 6 seed beads to finish the project.   Upon ordering more seed beads I decided to purchase another set of beads and toggle clash as I am going to make another World Traveler necklace from Fusion Beads.  I am going to have dalmatian jasper beads left over, so I am creating an original piece.

I have another order from Fire Mountain Gems on the way with wooden beads to make some bracelets and necklaces.  I purchase some turquoise beads and getting some inspiration as what to make with them.  Also re-order some beads for a project to posted a couple of weeks ago because I think I lost my necklace which took me about two hours to string because they were 15 and 11 size seed beads (teeny tiny ones).  I just may for it after making the second.  If that should happen, then I will give it to my niece.

I really need to work on an inspiration board for color schemes and patterns for making jewelry and crochet and knitting ideas.  I will save that project for the weekend, but at least start cutting out photos from magazines to get my on my way.  Ciao for now.

Jewelry Resources

Toya from Life Happens be Positive blog asked me about resources from jewelry making, my latest hobby.  I gave her a couple of books and online jewelry supply stores, but today would like to give more book and online resources.  I started making jewelry back in January or February after a trip to the library to borrow a couple of books.  My local library has a few craft classes for individuals to attend and the jewelry making class was scheduled on the day I made the trip.  I went to the class on impulse, and now I have several pieces of jewelry.  I have more necklaces than bracelets, and haven’t made any earrings yet because I do not wear them because of scarring.  However, I do see making a pair of clip-on earrings.

There is one blog I do read on a regular basis and she also has a a few books published on beading.  Her name is Margot Potter of the Impatient Crafter blog, and she creates lovely jewelry and her musings are just great.  She is author of “the impatient Beader”, “the impatient Beader Gets Inspired”, and her current book, “Bead Chic”.  The Impatient Beader is written for the beginner and has easy projects for a person to create.  There is also the Naughty Secretary Club Blog, Jennifer Perkins creates multiple crafting projects including jewelry.  A website I find very helpful is jewelry making on where you can sign up for the newsletter, and get jewelry projects.

Here is a list of some other blogs and online jewelry resources:

A Bead A Day

Fire Mountain Gems

Fusion Beads

Shipwreck Beads


JNS Beads

Beading Path

Kathie Hacker

Rings and Things

Strands of Beads

Beading Daily

Art Beads

I find inspiration from reading Beadwork, Easy Wire Jewelry, and Stringing from Interweave; Bead and Button and BeadStyle are also magazines I read for inspiration and ideas.  Making a trip to the library and checking out books on beading and jewelry making can get me going as well.  I borrowed a couple of books the other day from the library, Beaded Allure by Kelly Wiese has 25 bead weaving pattern projects.  The other book, Handmade Underground Jewelry by Shannon LeVert.  This book has 25 projects for all occasions from easy to immediate, but most of the projects are easy to do.

This is what I have so far on beading and jewelry making, but I am always on the look out for new blogs and online stores to purchase beads and supplies.  There is something very gratifying in making something you can wear that afternoon or the following day.  That is the satisfying thing about DIY.  Ciao for now!



Bag Passion and Fabric

I haven’t had the opportunity to purchase a cover for my laptop, and thought it would be better to just to make one.  I picked up a copy of the current issue of Sews News and it happened to have a project for a laptop cover last week, and finally made it to Purl Soho today to get some fabric and wool felt to make the cover.  I making a couple of adjustments to the pattern.  I decided not to use snaps and use Velcro, and not add a strap because the laptop does not leave the apartment.

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According to the instructions, the project should take under an hour to make.  However, I am not sure about the instructions suggesting a yard of fabric to make the cover because I think the fabric is enough to create two laptop covers.  I will see this weekend when I get to work on it.

I wanted to post my first bag purchase I have made in a five years.  Since animal print is the trend for the fall, I decided to get this bag.  I am bringing out my wild side.  Ciao for now.

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Sunday Musings

It’s a cloudy Sunday afternoon, and I spent some time looking through magazine to do an inspirational board.  There are a few things that jump out at me, and I have a Glamour magazine on my desk at work to bring home for the board.  As I was looking through the Marie Claire magazine, I realize how simplistic a like my fashion style and couldn’t agree with Coco Chanel’s sentiment of looking in the mirror before working out the door to take off one accessory as it probably one too many.

I also agree with Chanel that fashion is everywhere.  One of the definition of fashion is the make or form of something, and in that sense fashion can indeed by everywhere.   Inspiration is at the art of fashion, one can be inspired by a shape of a cloud, rain, sun, etc. to create something different.  I get inspiration from many things, looking at a Georgia O’Keefe’s art exhibit, the shape of a leaf, color of a butterfly and think of a way to transform that inspiration into something different.  That translation could be in knitting a leaf inspired scarf or bag.  The interruption of a the leaf does have to be literal, but could be an abstract or essence of the original.

I got a few things a few days ago to further my inspiration.  I picked up copy of Amy Butler’s new knitting pattern booklet from Rowan.  The book is a companion to the new Amy Butler yarn line.  There are some interesting projects to knit and most of the project are easy to knit, and the patterns are in line with the Butler Midwest Modern theme



While picking up the Amy Butler at Purl Soho, I picked up a copy of Octtobre design woman pattern book.  The pattern book is Finland and prints children and women books for the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter.  I picked up the book because there are a few things I like to sew particularly the maxi dress and trouser.  Well a version of the maxi dress because I am not feeling the straps.

My last book purchase is Debbie Bliss’ Design It, Knit.  It’s not necessarily a how to guide to knitwear design, but her discusses her process of designing knitting patterns from the construction, color, texture, and shape of the garment.  The book also contains 15 original designer patterns to knit, design workbook with templates and knitters’ graph paper, and a bonus stitch gauge.  It’s a great companion book to Shirley Paden’s “Knitwear Design Workshop” for a comprehensive guide to handknits.  I only wish that I had Debbie Bliss studio because I love the windows in her studio.

I brought some beads a couple of weeks ago and still thinking about what to make from them.  I know I making necklaces, but what to find a focus piece to add to them.  For now, I am going find something else to do until the idea of what to do comes to me.  I am going to say ciao for now.


Some Vintage Inspiration

As I went through my Google Reader list the other day, I read a blog entry from Burda Style and saw a dress that one of the members posted  onto the site.  It was a Butterick pattern 9029 from the 1950s, and it is a classic yet so modern.  The blogger made this dress from linen fabric and it has a long sash that drapes around and ties in the back.   This pattern is not available, but a sewer could make adjustments to an existing pattern with a similar style, and sew a fantastic sash to wrap around the waist.  This dress is also can create a waist and de-emphasized a belly.  In additional, I imagine myself wearing such a dress.  The author choose linen has her fabric, but I can imagine this dress made in a knit, wool gabardine and perhaps silk/linen blend.  I would have to make a necklace and think about more of a scoop neck.  I think the inspiration will can a person many places including making the sleeves three-quarter length.

DSC_3646_largeAnother dress that gives me a couple of ideas came from the online store Mod Cloth.  The dress is no longer on the website, but thought about the interesting cowl neck.  Again, you probably could take a pattern that is similarly close to this dress and create this dress.  The dress could be more tapper at the knees, not add the faux belt, one could add sleeves are leave dress sleeveless, and thinking that perhaps knit is a good fabric choose for the dress.  The buttons can be changed, and could create a brooch.

021809_21_LI just thought I would share these dresses and think out loud how I would make these dresses my own.  Ciao for now as I feel my head nodding.  Time for some slumber.

Mid-Week Musings

I was thinking about my blog post on jewelry making, and certainly will write the post before the week is over.  However, I wanted to post a photo of a necklace made tonight.  This is not my photo of the necklace, but it is a creation from Fusion Beads.  I actually purchased the supplies for this necklace several weeks ago, but I forgot what to do with the materials because I had it in my head that there was something missing.  That was not not the case.  It did take my while to bead this necklace because it called for using 11 and 15 seed beads which are teeny tiny tiny.  I suspect I will need a stronger prescription lenses next year.  The colors are copper findings with brown and purple beads.  It is an easy necklace to make, but it will require some patience due the size of the beads.

Forgotten Necklace 004I picked up a copy of fall issue of Sew Stylish, and found some of the projects in the magazine very interesting.  Designing your handbag caught my eye, and would be open to make that project.  I know faux fur is one of the trends for fall, but I have a thing for handbags.  I really like this bag and made a copy of the pattern supplied in the magazine to make it.  The bag will be cheaper than buying out any store in Soho (New York, NY).

Forgotten Necklace 006 This is a short post tonight because it is late, so I am going to say ciao for now.

More About Yarn and No Unwanted Visitors

I am back!  Earlier today, I wrote a blog post about my experience with a spider and jewelry making project.  Trinilove asked me almost a couple of weeks ago about jewelry making, and with that in mind, I am going to write a post about it this week with some books on the subject and online jewelry supplies resources.  However, I promised to write about more yarn.  Some I have used and some new yarns on the scene.  Upon the last blog post, Lion Brand came out with a couple of new yarns and colors to its line.  Pam Allen, knitter, author, and former editor of Interweave Knits Magazine has a new line of yarn, and Berroco has a new yarn along with a pattern book in its expansive line of yarns.  I am going to talk about the dreaded arylic yarn that I use with some home decor projects.  Debbie Stoller partnership with Red Hearts and created the Stitch Nation yarn line.  I am going to attempt brevity when writing this post, but give you as much information as possible.

Quince and Co. – A new yarn company created by Pam Allen, Carrie Bostick, and Bob Rice.  Pam and Carrie are knitwear designers and an owner of a spinning mill with a bias toward natural fibers decided to create a company where create a line “thoughtfully conceived yarns spun from American wool or sourced from overseas suppliers who grow plants, raise animals, or manufacture a yarn in as earth- and labor-friendly a way as possible. We think we can have our yarn and knit it, too.”  The currently has three yarns and 37 colors.  The yarns are all named after birds, Chickadee is the dk weight yarn with 181 yards for $5.75 a skein, Lark is worsted weight with 134 yards for $5.50 a skein, and Osprey is an aran weight yard with 170 yards for $10.75 a skein.  Three three yarns are 100% wool.  I have not worked with this yarn because I only heard about it only a couple of weeks ago while reading Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Review newsletter.

Red Heart – This yarn company has been around longer than I have been alive, and the yarn I used when I learned how to crochet when I was a kid.  Yes many of the yarns in the line is arylic, but it’s great for making afghans because although I love wool, it’s not economical or practical for knitting or crocheting a blanket or afghan or caring for it as washing either by hand is not idea either.  Red Heart has put on some new yarns in its line in the past couple of years such as its eco yarn line including the bamboo wool blend yarn that sells for $3.99 a skein, a 87 yard worsted weight yarn.  There is not a yarn in that line that cost over $6.00 a skein making it very affordable for creating afghans, pillows, potholders, and stuffed animals.  The newest line for the company is Stitch Nation, a collaboration with Debbie Stoller to create natural fiber yarns at an affordable price.  There are three yarns in the line, Full O’ Sheep 100% wool, and 155 yards, Bamboo Ewe, bamboo/wool blend, 177 yards, and Alpaca Love with a 80/20 mix of alpaca and wool, 132 yards.  All three yarns are worsted weight at a price of $4.99 a skein.  It is my hope that Red Heart will create fine and dk weight yarns to the line.

Berroco – I love this company more for its pattern books.  Norah Gaughan is the design director for Berroco, and has done a great job at creating designs for the company’s yarns.  The company was once known for its novelty yarn, but has spent several years with creating yarns with natural fibers.  Not to many yarn stores in my area sell Berroco, but it is a good thing that Webs exists for to purchase the yarn at reasonable prices.  When the company creates a new yarn, a pattern booklet is created showcasing the yarn.  I believe Ultra Alpaca is one of the more popular yarns with good yardage at $9.00 a skein for 215 yards worsted weight.

Aussi Wool – This is one of the first yarns I learned how to knit.  It is a nice heavy worsted yarn that comes in the many colors with 126 yards and priced at $6.00 a skein.  It is a hand wash yarn, and it a great yarn to use for felting projects.  It does pill after a while, but it’s the reason why someone created lint removers.  It is a soft yarn to use.

I have more yarns to talk about like Spud and Chloe that is a part of Alpaca Blue Sky, but will save that for another time, and write about my adventures in jewelry making well mostly beading in the next post.  Ciao for now!

Sunday Morning, A Spider, and Jewelry Making/Ideas

While sitting at my computer and finding the words to write this blog, I am little friend just literally drop in between the laptop and me.  A spider.  That’s a right, a little black spider.  I have a spider problem in my apartment and I do know if had anything to do with living around so many trees, but it is bothersome.  I have to make a trip the hardware store and get something for this problem.  What a great way to get your Sunday going with having unwanted guests dropping in on you. 

I am not writing the entire blog about a spider, but wanted to discuss my jewelry project.  There are times when I do my own original creations and times when I see a project from Fusion Beads that are good to make as well.

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I brought the materials to make this necklace weeks ago, but forgot to order the toggle to finish the piece until a couple of weeks ago when I finally purchased one when getting materials for another project.  And you can guess along with the second project, I once again forgot to order another component to the necklace to complete it.  I am having too many senior moments.  Getting back this necklace, it is an easy necklace to make and my first making simple loops for the dangling pieces.  My loops are not perfect because I think I made them too big, but managed to adjust them to make them a little smaller because I did not want the beads to go through the loops.  I am getting requests to make men’s jewelry as one guy said to me men like jewelry as well.  I have to think about using leather cords and more masculine stone beads.

I received the August/September issue of Beadstyle Magazine in the mail a couple of days ago, and became inspired by the cover.

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I like the concept the flower bib, but not everything metal and think it needs some softening.  I am thinking about ribbons and a perhaps some small pearls.  I may not use the open metal flower component and move the bigger flower focal piece more to the other side, but not placing it to the center.  I like the fact that the huge flower is not in the center.  I just see the necklace a little differently than the designer of the piece.  It needs balance and there is too much metal, but cannot deny that her piece has given inspiration to make something of my own.

There are a couple of pieces that inspire me.

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I love the concept, but not feeling the color choices.  I like the bracelet and love the flower focus piece on the necklace.  I am thinking about briolette beads, and may some orange beads, but making a trip to the bead store will help me figure it out.  Now I am going to write my next blog post about more yarn.