Friday, May 28, 2010

Herringbone Blues

My aunt admired my green herringbone necklace, but she's not really into green. She's very into blue. So I had to rack my brain to remember how to start off the tubular twisted herringbone stitch. You'd think I would be able to remember after making one necklace and two bracelets! Once I get the twist going, it's all about staying (mostly) focused and keeping a good rhythym going.

For those interested, these are 8/0 Toho seed beads, frosted silver-lined blue and transparent blue. The thread is Nymo D and I'm using a #10 needle. The wooden picture frame is from Valu Village and used to have a print in it of dark, shiny butterflies. It's great for keeping everything I need in one place. It's not completely cat proof, but nothing ever really is.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I just have to share with you some amazing art/buttons that I found while surfing around the web today. (The heat is making me lazy!) I started at Handmade News Blog, and after much farting around, found this awesome Etsy store: Bas Relief: Handmade Buttons and Fashion Accessories. These buttons are definitely works of art. I was only going to post a sampling of 3, but there were so many cool ones, that I posted 5. I would love to use one of these on a peyote cuff.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lovely Lambeth

I now have six of my bracelets on consignment in Lovely Lambeth. Check out the bead supply store called Jewellery Werx in the Foodland strip mall.

Gift for Ma.

I love my mother-in-law. While she may not have properly taught her eldest son (my hubby) to clean up after himself, she's still fabulous. It doesn't make up for all that she does for us, but I wanted to make her a bracelet as a thank you. At first she requested something blue, but admired these purple beads and my other herringbone bracelets, so voila!

Well, not really. The memory wire that I had experimented with - all my creations can properly be called experiments - kept poking out the ends. I had put loops on the ends, but they weren't big enough. Also, the wire had been exposed to the sea air and had started to rust. So, the bracelet came home with me on our last visit for a repair. I wanted to put silver ball ends on a new piece of memory wire. I bought some new memory wire and I already had some ends on hand. I tried gluing with GS hypo cement. I tried gluing with E6000. I tried gluing with super-glue-like Bead Fix. I have some 2-part epoxy on order, but I'm going to save my gluing experiments for another future bracelet.

I ended up putting large loops on the end of the wire. Man! Is this wire hard to work with! It put up a good fight, but I finally got the loops made. Apparently, you can heat the wire to soften it. More experimentation is definitely necessary. The bracelet didn't look quite right, so I added a dangle with some purple quartz chips.

I don't think I could make any two pieces of jewelry alike. I would always find ways of improving/modifying the second one. I wonder how many I'd have to make before I got the perfect version?...

Herringbone, herringbone.

This is the one project that I really wanted to finish while in Grenada. It's for me, of course, and is definitely not for sale. I love green and a really like this twisted herringbone stitch. The wrapped wire clasp on the necklace was a challenge, but not too bad for my first attempt. Well, my first attempt with .925 sterling silver wire. I practiced first with some cheap copper wire!

My whole life, I have had bad luck with losing bracelets. Yes, I lost the original bracelet for this set somewhere near the Lagoon in Grenada. So the bracelet was actually made in Canada and just finished this morning. This clasp is called a "trailer-hitch" and works well, but would be really hard to operate if you had stubby finger nails.

(For those photography buffs out there... Christina did NOT take this picture.  I'm improving, but it's definitely not up to her standard, so I wouldn't want to mislead you into thinking this was hers.)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Is it May already?

My goodness. See the effect that Grenada has on me? It's taken me this long to get back into blogging!

I wanted to update my fans (I know you're out there even if you never leave any comments - hint, hint) on some of the jewelry that I made during my 2 month stay in Grenada. I wasn't as productive as I had hoped to be:
  1. The in-laws were with us for 2 weeks. (Love you Ma and Pa!)
  2. I was there during Independence Day, so had lots of requests for necklaces, bracelets and rings in the national colours
  3. Children are very hard on jewelry and I ended up doing quite a few repairs.
  4. The constant sea breeze made outdoor beading very challenging.
  5. The sun sets early, and I didn't have a task lamp so light was limited.
Here are 2 items that I have just listed on Artfire, "Crytals and Lace" and "Spice Festival":

You can read more about them at