Monday, January 31, 2011

More Twists & Turns


I've been playing around again!  I saw a really neat tutorial on It reminded me of making macrame pieces at camp as a kid.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Jumping thru hoops!

Tonight's project was really very fun as well as educational for me. I've been wanting to make these for a while but have been busy making other pieces until now.

I picked up a tutorial by Bobbi Maw of Bobbi's Imagination's Jewelry about a month ago and decided to give them a try.  One of the great things about doing this piece is getting practice twisting and wrapping square wire. Two concepts you really need to master in order to make your pieces stand out.

I worked on these for about 30 minutes or so at the dining room table. When I was done, I showed them to my husband.  He usually looks over my finished projects, says Hmmm, and passes them back.  Tonight I got a different response and I must say, I was very pleased.  Instead of the usual, "Hmmm", I got a "Wow! These look REALLY good!!" Of course I had to tease him and say, "What?  You didn't think I do good work?"

He's used to seeing me tackle new things head on, but there is often a bit more of a learning curve where he hears my frustration and then sees the fire of enthusiasm for the new interest die out. This time I think he realizes that the pieces I'm making are quality pieces or maybe he's just seeing dollar signs!  Who knows. :)  Either way, it was nice to hear his enthusiasm. Not like he's actually gonna wear it himself, but he can see that it's something someone would like to buy for themselves or as a gift. Yeah me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Holy Crochet Batman!

 An interesting thing happened last night.  I jumped the shark apparently and finally created a crochet piece that I think is worthy of a picture!  To digress a bit, I saw some pictures of a crocheted ring about a month or so ago and thought, "Wow! That looks really cool." So being my typical self, I said, I can make that!  Never having tried to crochet before I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I did try to knit a few years ago and almost ended up bald! I made one project and quit. NOT my cup of least not with yarn. I may try again with wire after seeing some neat stuff on the net.

Anyway, I didn't know didly about crochet. The thinnest gauge wire I had was a 24 and I had no hooks. As with most things, I threw myself into the idea and went on the search for some supplies.  I went to JoAnn's fabrics thinking they would have some hooks. They did, but mostly plastic and one very tiny crochet hook. I think the smallest they make!  Did I tell you I liked to challenge myself?!  I tried to use one of the plastic hooks with the 24 gauge wire and broke the tip off of it.  I then tried the smaller metal hook I'd gotten and it was just too tiny to hold the wire. The learning curve is steep sometimes.

I finally found some 32 gauge wire thinking the smallest wire would be the easiest to practice on. While it was much easier than the 24, it is very frail. I was able to make some very delicate rings, though nothing like the ring I'd originally seen that set me off on this quest.

I decided to put the hook away over the holidays as I was a bit frustrated with my efforts. In the meantime, I ordered some 28 gauge wire. It arrived about a week ago and has been staring at me ever since.  So last night I finally pulled it out and started playing with it and as if by magic, it became almost effortless!  The wire was so easy to work with and it didn't get kinked up because I figured out how to keep it on the spool and voila!  I made 4 pieces, the last of which was the bracelet featured above.  I'm sure I'd have made some more, as I was on a roll, but it was 3 am and being a homeschooling mom, school won't go on without me.

So this is my first big piece with crochet and it turned out great! I also made some birds nest earrings that someone has already got their eye on.  I think I've gotten over the first hurdle now. Onwards and upwards!!  Wheeeeeeeeee!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Bent & Twisted

It's been a long time since I have posted on this blog. I know it may not look that way since everything is now gone that was once here, but that is because I'm switching gears with this blog. This used to be a space where I'd post about homeschool activities and achievements for my children. Now it will be a space where I post pictures of my journey in jewelry making.

I started out beading about 2 years ago. Everything looked so complicated when I first began, but within a short time, I began to see the patterns and figure out how to replicate pieces just by looking at a picture of them. Each piece was pretty time consuming because I liked to challenge myself to do the most complicated patterns I could do. A couple of consequences to this were that my eyesight diminished and the time it took to create each piece increased. Neither was conducive to continuing along that beaded path. It was a good starting point. Though I did sell a few pieces, much of what I made I gave away as gifts to friends and family.

Next I started stringing beads. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, I strung them all. I liked these pieces better but didn't feel inspired when making them. They certainly took MUCH less time and effort to create so I could whip up a few new pieces in a fraction of the time it took to create the seed bead pieces, but I got bored.

I like a good challenge. I like to find things I don't know how to do and figure them out. I took a class at a local bead shop and learned to make the ring and a bracelet pictured above. I was amazed at how quickly I picked up on the process and how pretty the final product was. I was hooked. For the past 6 months I've been making pieces here and there as I've learned new techniques. I've enjoyed showing off the pieces I've made and given many away as gifts this past Christmas. Mostly though, it's been fun.

Every night I sit down at my dining room table while my husband and sons are busy watching TV or playing the Wii and just create. This past year has been full of creativity as I've updated the look of nearly every room in my home. These feels like an extension of that creativity. I hope to continue blogging about my progress and challenges along this journey while I open an Etsy store and start to sell my pieces.