The free tutorial for the Hop-Scotch chain is available now. In the tutorial I use a combination of Superduos and Rizos, however Rizos can be replaced with Superduos if necessary, or both can be replaced with twins, as I’ve used in the necklace below. To get your tutorial, go to this link, add it to your cart and checkout as usual. Your payment of $0 will be accepted and your tutorial will be emailed to you within 24 hours. (EDIT: I have just learned that I can share the PDF to everyone though this link, no need to go through the purchase rigmarole). Share it, teach it, sell your wares if you wish. Please don’t sell copies of the pattern though, this is free for everybody to use.
I have also now completed my tutorial for The Orient Express, which is available here.
But it’s not all tutorials, I’m still enjoying making jewellery. This week I’m getting back to wirework, starting with my Flutter Away necklace. I’ve been dying to use one of my Ultra Swarovski Rivolis and this pink one makes me very happy.
Yesterday, someone asked if I had a tutorial for my Mailye necklace. It was flattering to be asked, and although I’ve never sold tutorials before, I did in fact have a PDF instruction sheet made. My plan had been to get a bit of a library of tutorials before releasing them, but one must supply for demand, so I’ve now made my first tutorial sale. I’m pretty chuffed about it.
Mailye is actually a component which can be fashioned into all sorts of configurations. The tutorial is available in my store. Expect to see more tutorials in time.
I also have a free tutorial sheet for CRAW stitch available here, for use as a learning or teaching aid. Share it at your leisure.
It’s super simple, but it’s surprisingly effective. Mailye is a teeny little component jointed with jump rings. The first Mailye necklace was borne of experimentation, and I liked it so much I decided to keep it for myself.
Afterwards, while rummaging though my bead stash, I spotted some beautiful turquoise AB Swarovski bicones and the temptation was too much, so I made another. This amazingly sparkly one can be found for sale here.
Of course other configurations are possible too, it all depends on how you link them together. Here is my third Mailye installment, a pretty cuff in bronze and gold, with a handy magnetic clasp. This one is also available for purchase here.
Many of you are already aware of my key situation, but for those of you who are not, I’ll recap. After putting away my new beads from Fire Mountain Gems, then dealing with the Mountain of Dolphin’s Tears that had accumulated, I somehow lost the key to my bead cabinet. After much searching and wringing of hands, my mother told me she had a matching one for her china cabinet and she would get a copy made. This still meant that I had to go days without access to my beads though. It was rough.
On Wednesday I picked my new key, (HURRAY!) but ever since, I’ve been too ill to attempt anything beady (BOO!). I want to bead, but by the time the kids are in bed at night, I’m too exhausted. I did get a little bit of a bead fix yesterday. My 6 year old daughter had a day off school, so we got a have some rare one-on-one time while Mr. 3 was at kindergarten. She had her first go at peyote stitch using these giant plastic cylinder beads. She zipped her swatch up into a tube to use as a pendant.
If I feel up to it tonight, I’ll be playing with a Swarovski skull bead. I’ve already made one wire wrapped necklace using one of these guys, and now I’ve got a commission to do another. Exciting stuff. I’m hoping to figure out a way of displaying the bead so that his beautifully faceted cranium is visible, as much as I love the pendant below, I can’t help but mourn for the back of the bead and feel like I’m not doing it justice. I have a kernel of an idea, we’ll have to wait and see if it pans out.
I love Halloween, I love the crisp Autumn leaves, the beautiful colours that are all around us, the fresh pumpkin ready for harvest. I love the symbolism, a time to honor and reach out to our dearly departed, when the veils between our world and the next are like gossamer. I even love the novelties, the ghosts, witches and zombies. But what I really, really hate is that we celebrate it in spring. What. The. Hell? Ok, I get it, Halloween is a Northern hemisphere tradition, so we (or rather our purveyors of cheap sweets and Scream masks) jump on their pumpkin cart at join in their celebrations. But it’s all wrong! Halloween is meant to be seasonal! As in the season of Autumn. It is symbolic of the dying world slipping in to Winter. It should not be celebrated when lambs are prancing and birds are chirping, that’s Easter dammit!!
But one cannot fight the masses without looking like a lunatic, so I must accept it. I will give to those kids who come to my door each year, no costumes, plastic shopping bag thrust toward me and a mumble of “got any lollies?”. I will dress my kids up as dinosaurs and give them too much sugar and popcorn. While they eat, I will explain to them that they will not be knocking on strangers doors and asking for food while I still respect myself as a parent, miser that I am. I’ll introduce my darlings to the magical world of Tim Burton with a screening of Corpse Bride and all will be well. Then perhaps we’ll pick flowers and decorate eggs.
Anyway to show that I’m not a complete ghoul, I’m going to have yet another giveaway. I didn’t intend to do a Halloween giveaway, it didn’t occur to me until someone mentioned it last week. Why not, I thought, so I’ve been madly beading trying to get this beautiful netted necklace completed. Orange, purple and black always look fab together, Halloween or no Halloween. Enter using the rafflecopter app here. Entries are open worldwide.
Before I began this earring episode, I had another play with wire. I re-created my “Beginnings” necklace in silver wire and a beautiful Swarovski rivoli in medium vitrail. I mainly done this because I wanted to play with liver-of-sulfur. I’ve never tried any antiquing before, but I’ve admired it for a long time in the works of other artists.
After weaving the necklace, I found that so much bright silver looked quite tacky, like a gangster rapper – all bling and no class. I prepared myself before opening the bottle of liver-of-sulfur, I’d read all over the internet that the smell was straight from the sewers of hell itself. Clearly the people who thought that have never been to Wai-O-Tapu. It was an ever-so-slight whiff of Rotorua, nothing more – harden up guys!
Anyway, the wire didn’t darken as much as I would have liked, but it was enough to dull the shine, and make it more like a beautiful piece of jewellery and less like Lil’ Waynes teeth. The steel-like colour lets the rivoli really sparkle too.
I’m in the process of making custom ordered New Beginnings necklace too, a gift for the customers wife (take note husbands, happy wife, happy life). It’s deliciously gothic in black and purple, and makes me think of Disney’s Maleficent .
The manrobe belonged to my dear Nana. It’s blonde oak – not a wood I’m particularly fond of, but it was Nana’s so I love it anyway. It has six drawers up one side and a big cupboard. The drawers are empty except for the occasional toy – things of importance can’t really be kept in drawers that toddlers have access to. Last year the drawers were used as stairs for my little boy to climb to the top of the manrobe. I removed them and stacked them in my bedroom, along with all of the other bits and pieces that I try to keep from his busy hands. But he outsmarted me anyway, the gaps left by the drawers were now the perfect ladder.
The cupboard is where I keep my beads. It’s lockable and big, but not big enough. Finding the correct bead is difficult in this lost game of Tetris, the one I want is often at the back and on the bottom. My wires and completed pieces no longer fit and room has been made for them in the increasingly cluttered bedroom. The thin hardboard that comprises the back of the manrobe is losing it’s grip; the tiny nails that tack it into place are giving up the ghost. I will have to replace them soon before all of my beads go spilling out of the back.
My perfect world includes a room solely dedicated to my jewellery, complete with a display area for finished pieces, a large work table and an extensive and organised storage area for tools and components. I’m fiercely jealous of artists who have studios in their homes. One day I will too, but probably not until the kids have grown and abandoned us. In the meantime, I can dream. Dreams of longing, of workspace and storage solutions.