Friday, 25 March 2011

Folksy Friday...yet more favourites

Another Folksy Friday selection this week picked from my ever expanding favourites list...I have trouble thinking of themes so I might stick with this way of doing things for now, unless inspiration strikes!


1.) Cute laser cut vintage pendant necklace by From Laura With Love

2.) Fantastically intricate wirewrapped jewellery set by Reverie

3.) An adorable felt budgie boy (because I love budgies!) by The Felt Menagerie

4.) Another cute birdie, this time a kingfisher upcycled from a jumper by Clootielugs

5.) Fabulous felted earrings with a lovely landscape scene, complete with sheep, by Aileen Clarke Crafts

6.) A floral necklace made using string knotting by Sun Studio

Hope you like my picks for this week...happy Friday!


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Bead shopping...the best kind of shopping!

I haven't got any finished work to show on my blog - beginning to sound like a broken record here! But I have been doing a fair bit of bead shopping in the last week, so I thought I'd show you what goodies have been dropping through my postbox and what I hope to create with them...

Here we have a LOT of silvery grey delica beads...35 grams to be exact! These size 11 cylinders have been bought for the Laura McCabe beadweaving workshop I'm off to on the 30th March at Stitchncraft, which I am very excited about. I can't afford to buy one of the kits on the day so I have plundered my bead stash for suitable colours and have only had to buy a few things I didn't already have that were on the materials list I received in the post a few weeks ago. The other main thing I needed to buy for this workshop is below...

Crystals!! In a gorgeous vibrant capri blue shade, these are a more unusual size of Swarovski rivoli. I didn't think I'd be able to find them in this country but a quick search on Ebay produced a seller who had some in a variety of colours and I plumped for these babies. Sparkly huh?

The other main thing I have been bead buying for is supplies for a competition entry I want to make. I've had a practice of the design elements I want to include and they seem to work, so then I had to buy supplies in the colours I wanted to fit with the competition theme. I still have to buy a few more seed beads, as I don't think I have enough of the colours I need to finish the whole thing, but I now have most of what I need, including...

...miyuki long magatamas. I had never looked at these until I saw a fabulous bangle project featuring them in a recent issue of Beadwork magazine, and when I saw the competition theme I thought these beads in this dark gunmetal grey shade, would fit the bill.

What project would be complete without Swarovski bicones? The blue ones are to go with my rivolis for the Laura McCabe workshop project, but the other two shades (dark indigo and crystal silver night) have been selected for my competition piece. I love the dark indigo ones...although I am not sure they will replace the purple velvet ab2x ones I have as my favourite Swarovski colour!

My final purchase for the competition piece is yet more Swarovski sparkliness - 3 medium vitrail coloured rivolis in 2 different sizes, and one of their Cosmic rings. So much fantastic sparkle and colour in these - I can't wait to put them to (hopefully) good use.

I am currently working on a custom order of some bridesmaids bracelets for a friend, but once they are complete, it will be full steam ahead with the competition entry; so check back here to find out what the finished article looks like.


Monday, 21 March 2011

Sock Knitting Fail

If you follow me on Twitter you might have heard me tweeting about knitting my first pair of toe-up socks with some fabulously funky hand-dyed wool from Wharfdale Woolworks.

Well...things started off well. I love the magic cast on technique for starting socks toe up - so much neater than my attempts at kitchner stitch! I don't get much time to knit, so most of the first sock was done on my bus journey to/from work, which is only about 15-20 minutes. I turned the heel and carried on with the hearts and flowers lace motif and did a picot bind off to which I'd never attempted before.

The finished article...looks like a sock right? So let's put it on, shall we?

Uh oh...looks like we have a little bit of a problem here!

Yup, this is as far on my foot as I could get it!

I have discovered that I am apparently a very tight sock knitter, resulting in a sock that probably will only fit someone will size 3/4 feet...I am a 6/7. That'll teach me not to do a tension square. True sock knitting fail.

Fortunately, I have not had my sock knitting dreams crushed by this disaster. I have cast on again on bigger needles and this sock is definitely going to fit!

I'm particularly liking how the bigger needle size has changed the effect of the yarn from super stripey, to more graduated mixes of the colours.
And the original sock will be getting a good soon as I can bear to unravel several weeks hard bus knitting!



Monday, 14 March 2011

Busy, busy, busy....

The blog has been getting a little neglected of late. The reason for this is that I am now well and truly in the final year of my postgraduate studies and the pressure really is on to get everything done ASAP so I can start writing my thesis. I no longer want to carry on in academia, so I therefore have added incentive to get finished on schedule.

A big career change is in order - having given up my artistic pursuits whilst at 6th Form College to go down the academic route, I now feel like if I don't give myself the chance to have a creative career now, then it'll never happen. Having been making jewellery as a hobby for around 4 years now, my aim is to turn my hobby into a career, by re-training in jewellery manufacture and seeing where that takes me. I am fortunate that I have some money saved up to allow me to do this, plus a very supportive boyfriend and family who more than anything would like me to do something I enjoy and am passionate about.

But enough of the big talk...alas I still have no new work to show. I am currently still working on bridal/bridesmaid jewellery, and also on a competition entry - I hope to have the competition piece done within a month, and rest assured once it is complete and uploaded onto the competition website I shall be blogging in the hope of securing some votes ;)

The only other news of note I have is that I was excited to receive an email the other week to tell me some of my work has been shortlisted for possible inclusion in a new beading book! I submitted about 14 images and of those pieces, 7 have been shortlisted, and were hand delivered by my good self to the publishing company. They are there for a short while to be professionally photographed, and once all submissions have had their images taken, the publishers will make the decision on which pieces will be included in the final article - so fingers crossed at least one of the 7 makes it. Below are a couple of the pieces that are on the shortlist - they are still available in my Folksy shop, but as made-to-order items, since the originals may be with the publisher for a few months.

That's all for other crafty news, I am off to visit the Stitch & Craft Show at London's Olympia this coming Saturday, so expect a report about what I discover there (i.e. how much temptation to buy crafty supplies can I resist!?)