The biggest surprise of the past couple of weeks has been the interest in my specs’ keepers. They are one of those accessories which disappear off the scene for awhile, and then for no apparent reason — return. And that’s what’s happened, and I have found myself stringing beads for hours on end for this seemingly simple creation.
Not that they are difficult to make, but when you no longer have nimble fingers, can be very fiddly and a source of great frustration, plus the occasional cuss, especially when — as happened to me today — all the beads fly off the thread into every corner of the room. Would you believe I have just found a dozen beads caught up in my hair too!
So for those who are looking to keep their goggles to hand, back in my Etsy store, as of today, a couple of new summery colours, and as usual, the possibility to contact me with your own colour choice. Use the personalisation box on the listing page to let me know.
Take a pile of paper clips and clip them together to form a long ‘chain’ necklace — you can do multi-strands if you have enough clips. Then take an old magazine or some other sort of paper (old gift wrap for instance) and cut into strips. With white glue, wrap around each paper clip to cover the open ends and block them together. When it’s all dry you can give a coat of varnish to the paper wraps if you like. Obviously if you used plain paper, the kids can do some drawing on each ‘bead’ before the final seal. A bit sticky and messy, but fun. Here I am in the process of doing a multi-strand with some turquoise coloured wrapping paper I had salvaged.
The paper strips needn’t be any longer than about an inch — depends on the size of the clips of course, but make the strips just long enough to overlap around the ‘height’ of the clips. The width will obviously be determined by the actual length of your clips leaving just enough room for the rounded extremity to be free.
Download the project details here.
One of my most interesting discoveries in recent months has been kumihimo braiding, a Japanese craft which has been around for centuries. The beautiful braids have been used for all sorts of situations that go from swords to cushion trimmings to traditional clothing. At its best, and probably most refined level, the braiding is combined with beading decoration, and certainly in this part of the world, is frequently used to enhance jewellery. In my research I have also come across some amazing articles of clothing which have been ‘constructed’ using yard after yard of flat kumihimo braiding in an incredible array of colour combinations.
In my own experimentation with the craft, I have been creating mono and multi-colour braids using techniques for 7, 8 and 10 warps for both rounded and flat braids. I have combined the braids with pendants of varying types, and with large round wooden beads which I have painted by hand, and also with semi-rounded wooden beads which I have covered in fabric. Some of the pendants are previously loved pieces of Indian jewellery which I presented in here some time ago.
The results of my endeavours are available on Etsy if you are interested in purchasing any of these ‘one-of-a-kind’ articles.
I always think that it’s a lot of fun being able to change my earrings often — I am not too bothered about having expensive jewellery, and out of preference have quite a few pairs of inexpensive ones to be able to change around as the mood takes me. And this is the thinking behind the offer I have put on my Etsy page at a time when people are looking for inexpensive gifts for friends and family So take a look and see if anything catches your eye so as to take advantage of the 5 pairs for only €15.00 which includes shipping to Europe. Here are just a few pairs as examples of those you can choose between.
We have recently added some new colours for the multi-strand recycled textile necklaces which have proved so popular this year. You can now find them in purple, white, coral, turquoise and mid-brown, in addition to the black, navy, light green and dark red previously listed. Contact us if you are interested and we will put your preferred colour up for you as a personalised listing to purchase on Etsy.
Been out and about sourcing materials for our very own personal ‘Boho’ look for our handmade and combined creations. Here is just a taster of the kind of thing we are looking for – gorgeous vintage look amulets and pendants which we will be combining with ribbons and textiles to create wearable and unique pieces of art.
This particular piece in silver is of Indian origin – I already have a mind to create a OOAK pair of earrings with this and an identical piece I managed to find the other day.
The second piece I am showing here, yet again of Indian origin, is in brass. I am giving this one some thought and have several ideas in mind though what it becomes eventually will depend to some extent on what textiles I source to create the finalized piece.
Thanks for the visit and come back soon to check out what we have been up to!
Been getting myself tangled in Celtic knots to produce this attractive upcycled knotted brooch, created using industrially upcycled fashion fabric yarn. Set on a felt backing with metal closure, I added some hand beading with glass Rocaille beads. For the time being this is the only colour available – a lovely brick tan with black beading. I’m sure others will follow.
Seeing the grey skies outside, I felt a sudden need for colour, and here is the result. An explosion of colour like a firework display at a Mexican Fiesta! I decided to throw in the earrings for good measure — I reckon all this would look great against a plain summer frock or top.
Following an unexpected couple of requests, I have now added a couple more specs’ keepers to the collection. The one you see in the image is made with old gold silver lined Rocaille glass beeds and has an amber colour glass bead at each end of the thread and gold findings. The other one is a lovely midnight blue with cobalt blue glass feature beads and silver findings. I will be posting the image for that very shortly.
As promised, here are some earrings, and there are more on the way. These are super chunky and great fun – not for the weak hearted! All made using upcycled stretch fabric, and then ‘garnished’ with some lovely felted cord. Dangly glass beads at the base in coordinating colours. A sure way to get noticed this winter!
When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.