Friday, March 31, 2017

Closing out National Craft Month

Since March was National Craft Month, I thought it might be fun to close out the month by reminiscing about the various crafts that have engaged me over the years.

As a young girl, I watched one grandmother sew gorgeous outfits and another crochet and knit like a champ. I don't think I ever wore store-bought gloves until I was in high school. Does anyone remember the smell of wet wool as gloves lay on the radiators, drying from a day of playing in the snow? My mother could pretty much do it all: sewing, crochet, doll-making. The wedding dress she made me is still one of my life's great treasures.

Here's one of my grandmother's crocheted table clothes. I think this must be 40 years old and it is still beautiful. I used it regularly until we replaced our rectangular dining table with a round one.

In high school, I started embroidery and needlepoint and continued that into my early 20's. I made many beautiful wedding and baby keepsakes and wish I had thought to photograph them. Here's a more recent wedding keepsake I made for my step-son and his wife. The photo quality is a little fuzzy but one of my favorite things is the little beaded pocket in the left corner where I have stored a ring that belonged to his grandmother.

I didn't discover beading until my mid-40's. Can you say late bloomer? But what I lacked in early years of experience, I made up for in enthusiasm and in purchases! And now I have started to mash-up my passions. Photography, Photoshop, embroidery, beadwork and even a smattering of sewing here and there all combined like in the wedding gift for my cousin Anna.

And just like my Mother and Grandmother, my family and I are involving the next generation in learning the joy of making. Here's a photo from last fall where I joined my sister-in-law, a champion knitter, her mother, a champion quilter, and three nieces to craft away a week-end. Apologies to Te-te for catching her with her eyes closed. She's such a terrific quilter, she could probably do that with her eyes closed!

And speaking of my sister-in-law, she's also a champion cook. Here we see her with a yummy mid-crafting snack she just seemed to throw together. After all, crafting is hard work and we needed sustenance to finish our projects.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Swoon: metallic suede gold

It all started with this YouTube by Stephanie of BronzePony Beaded Jewelry. It calls for about 30 grams of mini duos which I did not have so off I went to order them. I order most of my beads online and I'm sure others can relate to the disappointment of something that looks very different in person than it does online. It's not because sellers intentionally steer you wrong, it's just the alchemy of small photos and computer pixels sometimes trip us up.

Summer Daze Necklace

I was so happy when the metallic suede gold beads I ordered were even better in person than they looked online. And even more so when I realized that the drops and 11/0's from my stash complemented them perfectly.

So off I went to start the project and I am so enamored with this color, I had to restrain myself from placing more orders.

Here's the finished necklace with earrings to match.

And, obsessive that I am, I started the matching bracelet that Stephanie posted last year. These designs are absolutely addictive, especially the bracelet which has a puzzle-like satisfaction when you connect the round daisy shapes.

And yes, I had to place another order to finish up the bracelet. Yay for metallic suede gold!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

My beady St. Patty's Day

I was not among the revelers drinking green beer or other similarly-colored libations yesterday. Instead, I took a break from one beading project to try another one. I really need to stay away from YouTube for awhile because it sure doesn't help my beader's ADD when I see project after project I want to try. I came across this tutorial by Spoiled Rotten Beads for a yoga necklace. Now I haven't done yoga for years but I loved the look of the necklace - especially the cute little tassel.

Spoiled Rotten Beads Yoga Necklace Tutorial

And they even have another tutorial that tells you how to make the tassels. Since green was the color of the day, I grabbed some green cord and made these tassels.

Then I remembered that one of my shipments from Bargain Bead Box had some perfect little St. Patrick's Day charms.


The design uses knotting between the beads so it gave me a chance to use my knotting tool. And here is the finished necklace. The tutorial suggests that you make the beaded portion about 30 inches and, as I was making it, that seemed a little longer than I wanted, so I made mine about 23 inches. I should have followed the instructions because a little more length would have been ok but it looks just dandy and it gave me a chance to use some beads and charms that were languishing in my stash.

St. Patty's Day Yoga Style Necklace

Friday, March 10, 2017

Self-improvement by Rob Reiner

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