New ideas, new inspirations

I relieved a book the other day – it only took 3 months to get here, my fault, but all sorted with thanks to a lovely friend – I can’t wait to start trying some of the ideas in there.

Sewing,

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clay,

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And shrinky plastic are the new things I can play with.

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Looking forward to playing, very soon.
Jennifer 🙂

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Magical Pliers

They arrived today. Those magical pliers that in my head had reached urban legend status until I saw them at the craft fair a month or so ago.
I wasn’t able to buy them but they were never far from my mind. I needed to replace a pair of bent one pliers so decided to forgo a cheaper price to get them both from the same shop. eBay is awesome!

I’m not so bad at making loops, wrapped loops even are ok. But they are never even. One end would be bigger than the other, and in some pieces it becomes a tad lopsided.
I love these pliers. I tested them out. Made a few loops, added a bead and made a loop. You do need to close the loops slightly, but that would need to be done anyway using round nose pliers.
In a word. Awesome!!

The picture shows the basics for how to use it, and I can say I am going to enjoy this one.
My round nose pliers will not be forgotten – if I want wrapped loops or bigger ones thats what I can use.
There are different pliers for different purposes and these will fit in the family easily and compliment the others.

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Finally packed and new items

It’s only taken me all week, but I am now finally sorted for the market this week.

Ready for market

Ready for market

I had wanted to take along some brand new items, so those felt balls I bought a while back came out and seven new simple necklaces were made.

Felt ball necklaces

Felt ball necklaces

The colours are predominately blue, pink and red, with some black, green and neutrals added in for good mesaure.  I don’t intend to make bulk of one – or several – colours, it’s just the way it goes sometimes.  And that is fine, next time it might be purple, orange and green.

Also made were 7 new bracelets to add some excitement.

Bracelets

Bracelets

I found some buttons, handmade by the lovely Nat from Peruzi, and finally used them in a couple of bracelets as a focal bead.

Beads from Peruzi

Beads from Peruzi

Have a great weekend, and hopefully on Monday my new pliers will arrive and I can share the wonder that is the looper pliers. Magical things they are.
Jennifer 🙂

Wire wrapping part 2

After my first attempt failed miserably wasn’t quite what I expected I thought I might try out some of the ‘easier’ wire projects and some of those bird nest pendants I’ve been wanting to try for quite a while.

~ time lapses ~

First I have tried the ‘bound chaos’ pendant. I thought more of ‘bundle of sticks’ but I have to agree their name is better. If I want to sell them I have to find my own name.
The instructions say to use 22 and 24 gauge* wire. The first time I used 22 and 26 as I have no 24 gauge and I found the whole thing a little too delicate. The picture in the book makes it look delicate but still chunky. And that’s exactly what I wanted.
The next two I made (with gold wire) were with 20 and 22 gauge wire. Perfect. Chunky but not too big and still delicate.

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*the larger the gauge number for wire there’re delicate it is. So a 14 or 16 is quite thick and a 26 delicate. 32 usage is good for knitting or crocheting items.

~ some more time lapses ~

Hip to be square pin. Or it could be circle.
This is something simple that might take the place of a brooch to hold your scarf or cardigan together. I have a brown cardi that while comfy and warm doesn’t tie up at the front. Unless I want to look like a sack of spuds. This would work nicely. I can make the pin with whatever colour bead I like to match my outfit. One shape with many pins.

The wire the book uses is 22g sterling silver and 26g for an embellishment, with a square bead on the end of 18g wire for the pin. I chose to use 20g and 18g silver with a red cinnabar bead for brightness and fun.
I used 140cm of wire instead of 180 (that’s a lot of wire!) for the body of the brooch and the pin had a longer bead with a long wrapped loop rather than just one or two wraps as is the norm. I also thought the longer wraps would match the length of the bead and having the wire over the top of the bead acts as a focal point on its own.
Tell me. Should I add more wire, red or silver as an embellishment? Simply wrapped around the existing wraps. I quite like it as it is.

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And according to the book

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I’m quite happy with both of these, the brooch/scarf pin particularly. I’m pretty sure there will be a wire work parts 3 and 4 coming up as I work my way through the book.
What do you think?

Life is unpredictable

I do like my life. I love it actually. From be day to the next, I never know what might change. There is a certain amount of normal and routine, but with hubby’s work roster, he will often come home from a drive and tell me we are going somewhere. Regardless of what I had wanted to do. And for this reason I try to be as productive as possible when he is at work. To make up for the slack times when he’s at home.
This weekend is a prime example. Today, Saturday, I was going to take some photos of things and maybe make a few more. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day so whatever happened would happen, I was happy with that. Today, hubby took our eldest to work and on the way home organised that we are going out to friends for dinner. Leaving just after lunch in time to pick up son from work.
This is not all bad. I have to remember I can’t just go go go and not have some down time socialising. I do have two weeks to get everything in order – but then I have two weeks of distractions – argh!!!
So to end this, I will see you all during the week I between those pesky trips to the city that will take up half a day here, half a day there.

Have a great weekend and happy Mother’s Day to all concerned 🙂
Jen

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Wraptures – a new wave in design

It’s time to start working on another collection of Wraptures. I’ll be taking them to the new market and setting them front and centre to get some more interest.
I’ve noticed the first collection were very swirly and had lots of squiggles. This next lot will be different, mainly because they already have bails ready to hang.

I have a selection of glass pendants that haven’t sold so I will transform them instead. I just need to find out how they want to be made up.** It may not be all girls and swirls, and the glass is darker, so maybe subtle colours will be needed.
My new clay soon to be moulded.. L-R:  Ultra Blue, Metallic silver, metallic pearl, red, purple, white and magenta.
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 And the pendants ready to have a new lease on life.IMG_7038

These are a time consuming job as before I even think about conditioning the clay I have to get the design right. Then pick the colours and start work. After that, it’s the beady part of the job. So lots of doodling and looking at nature and the world around me for ideas.

** A few years ago I would have laughed at anyone who said they let the hosue tell them how it wants to be renovated, or the beads how they want to be made up… I have now reconsidered this treain of thought. It is correct. Many times I have had an idea and somewhere in the middle of the design and construction realised that it is all wrong. The bead dictates how it should be worked. And there is no trying to be boss and saying No. The bead is always right. Well, most of the time anyway. Somethings work well on paper or the bead mat, but when you string them up, it will either work or it wont.

I love my glass pieces and with some of the patterns and colours it will be a fun time. Mind numbing and exhausting, but fun.

Happy Beading, Happy Weekend 🙂
Jennifer

thinking, working, making time

I’m in a bit of a muddle at the moment with four blogs, two fb pages and my markets and website to upkeep. And that’s without even thinking about the family side of things. While being able to multi task and be busy with many things, I do tend to be a bit of a one track mind and some things get left by the wayside til it’s desperate to fix them. That’s where I am now, oops.

I will be taking some time off to get everything sorted. All my picture files and what I do and don’t have have on hand, getting the website loaded so I can hide and show items on a rotating basis to allow for markets and keeping all sites fresh.
Fixing up the pages here with pictures of my market evolution, a price list page. I will be getting back into the UFO box as well as a basket of necklaces that are ready to be undone and re made into new items. Sure they’re still nice, but they are old and haven’t sold, so the beads get a new lease on life.

I will be posting things here on and off so please don’t stray too far.
Thanks for your consideration, 🙂
Jennifer

Distractions…. all 365 of them

After being a busy little bee for 3 or 4 days with my UFO’s, I was going to have a quiet day and just chill, maybe read a book or two and of course deal with any housework that was sure to rear it’s ugly head. A day off to recharge.
Well, my body had different ideas. After waking at 3am to my son being sick, I woke a few hours later with that dreaded feeling myself and thus spent the day between the bathroom and sleeping. Today I woke feeling much better, ravenous to boot (although I know better than to stuff myself) and dying for a coffee. Achy, and tired, but better, alive at least.
The body is still in mending mode so I took it easy with a few chores and then went to see what the post office had for me.
A whole magazine full of ideas and… distractions. I was ready to get back into my UFO’s but I’m not so sure now.
My pre ordered “365 earrings to make” from the “Bead Style” magazine had arrived and flicking through I found a couple of things to get onto right now. As in, right now. Oh yeah, I’m feeling much better all of a sudden.

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So coffee in hand, I am off to my desk to hunt out a few beads and use this new found inspiration.
My first idea are these blue curved beads.

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I thought I still had the black ones that are slightly longer, but not to worry. I’ll just make a pair each of gold and silver. Same beads, two completely different looks.

The silver pair have two strands of delicate chain with dangles of Swarovski, lapis lazuli and pearls.

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The gold has glass, Swarovski and Aventurine rounds. Once I started to assemble them I noticed it needed something else

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…. Enter the dark blue Swarovski, which adds contrast, yet brings them all together nicely.

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They are slightly longer than the silver, with both being chunky but still feminine and delicate.

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I think my UFO’s might get lost for a week or so while I work my way though a few new sets of earrings.
Here’s a better look at both of them…

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$20 each
While they are quite long, they are very light, something you could easily wear all day. I might even make a pair for me.
Happy crafting 🙂
Jennifer

Portable Beading, take 2

Some time ago I wrote a post about portable beading and how I made up a container with everything I needed. Well I’ve changed it. For something better.

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I found this basket in a second hand shop and thought it would be perfect for my needs. It is more than perfect, it fits my container I will be using brilliantly. And if I need to take a beading mat it is simple to take the other portable beading kit. I will also be getting one of those half size mats, perfect for bracelet sized pieces to put in my basket.
This basket has handles on the side, but I though this would upset the contents so I found an old belt and looped it through to make a handle in the top.

The storage container I was given at Christmas will work well I thought. Not just well, I sized it up, and it is exactly the right width to sit nicely on the bottom of the basket. This will then hold all the bits and pieces, findings, like pins and clasps, ear hooks and spacers. The beads and wires I want to take will go into snap lock bags. A purse I made will hold all my pliers – so they don’t get caught on anything, and I may just include a notepad and pen.

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As you can see, I haven’t fully filled it yet. The pill holder currently has some ear hooks, jump rings and crimps. The rings and crimps will stay in this set up while the bigger items will go into the other container. The loose bags are for any beads and wire, and the cute little stripy bag has my pliers in it.
Next time I take it away I will get a picture of it all packed up to show you.

I took this set up to the last market I did, well most of it. All I was doing were memory wire bracelets, but the basket worked well. It will be for any portable beading and a repair kit/boredom killer for the markets. If I am able to shorten a chain, or add a few extra loops while they are waiting it can make the sale. Especially as a lot of the visitors are from out of town.

Ideally it will be always ready to go, and I just have to add my beads and tough pliers if required.

Can your craft be portable? How do you organise it? Does it work?
I’d love to hear from you,
Jennifer 🙂

What can I say… I had a great day!

Just to reiterate. I had a great day!

Sunday 25th: market
Monday 26th: sorted and re packed my boxes
Saturday 1st: packed car ready for early start.
Sunday 2nd: re packed car so mr 8 could come along for the ride, attended market – very relaxed.
And I was packed and ready literally just a minute before hubby rocked up. Not bad going, and he was on time too. I’m actually liking this new set up, it seems to be easier and quicker to pack away. 15mins from start to finish.

Last night, Saturday, I was the most relaxed I have ever been prior to a market. And it felt weird. Not that I am usually running around stressed, but it was weird to be so calm.
Calling into mum’s to pick up my earrings she took to Launceston for her Quilters meeting and market, I found $25 inside the top container. Woohoo. I was in front before I’d really even left home.
That meant market space and petrol was paid for. Everything else was a bonus from here on in.

Long story short. Beautiful weather, plenty of people in a steady stream and lots of sales means this is one happy camper beader.
Now if only my next two markets can be in the same ball park somewhere.

Tonight will be re packing for the next market (9th Dec) and then I can relax for the week. I may make a few more bracelets, but it is not needed.

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Have a good week, 🙂
Jennifer