360 Days of Doing-day 17

Last night’s almost two hour commute left me in need of tension release, so I whacked some wire. Today, I made with the pretty. Made almost identical one for my mums birthday and liked it so much I’ve made one for me! 

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A matching set

It’s quite hard to type while lying down, but here I am, trying to bring a little sparkle into a day that’s had me laid up with backache. My day did brighten a little when my sister texted me to say thank you for her present – a necklace and bracelet matching set.

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The problem with doing these bracelets as a surprise present means you have no idea what size to make them, and as my sister is a tiny greenfinch to my golden eagle, I had to come up with a fastening that would allow for flexibility of length. It’s not the prettiest, but it works. Plus the tie is underneath, but you know what? I’m actually loving the soft suede texture against the hard wire…..

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And there’s the fact I actually had cord that matched the colour of the beads I’d used, which was unplanned but serendipity!

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The necklace was a cheat recycle; I’d originally designed it as a ring, but the gauge of the wire was too low and made it bulkier than I liked, but adding a drop bead made it more pendant-like and I strung it on the same suede cord I’d used for the bracelet.

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I even managed to get them to her 350 miles away on time for her birthday, which is pretty good for me! She loves them and really, that’s all that matters, because that’s why I make things.

My to do is almost to done

Aaaaarrrrgggggh. That is the sound of my impatience. Or more rightly, my impatience being shouted down by my “if you’re going to do it, best do it properly” muse.

As per my last post, I’ve now replaced the plastic beads with prettier ones….they do look much better but boy do my fingers hurt! Straightening aged end pins enough to get the tiny red seed bead off, not to mention the big round white and brown ones turned out trickier than I anticipated. As did bending them back into shape when I’d replaced said beads. But I think it was worth it?

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And here they are in close up

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I attacked the charms with brass cleaner and the hearts have come up particularity well I think. And I think this is the order I’m going to put them on, with the ank in the middle.

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So why have I not finished?

Well, I decided to go with suede cord crocheted into chainlink to hang them from, as the one metal chain I had was too silvery and all my wire is either silver or green and I thought it wouldn’t look right against the brass charms and brown-toned beads. So I used my 4mm hook and chained a good length, trying as hard as possible to keep the cord straight and flat. But the natural stretchiness of the cord means I need to dampen it and flatten it overnight before I string everything on it. Like I said. Aaaaarrrgggh!

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So that’s tomorrow’s first task – at least I know what I’m doing when I get up in the morning!

Today’s to do

I used to have this choker, bought from a second hand market.

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I wore it a lot, and then the clasp broke. I fashioned a repair. Kind of. And then when I relocated it got left in the other house and I got used to not wearing it. Fast forward 18 months to our reuniting….and I’d kind of fallen out of love with it. Well, not so much the bits as the main – the chain just felt wrong. So I got to thinking a little while ago, that I’d take it apart and remount it.
So I did.

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But now I’ve taken it apart, I wondered if that was enough. I debated actually replacing the linkage but have talked myself back from that and instead I’m just going to replace the plastic-looking cream and dark brown beads, so now I’m just unsure of two things – what colours and what necklace?
I’m looking at browns and greens

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So my question, dear readers, how to string it? I could crotchet a chain with brown cord or maybe with wire. I could recycle another necklace and use that. Or I could do something I’ve yet to think of but you’re about to tell me…thoughts in a comment highly appreciated!

Recycling, up-cycling just not bicycling

Firstly, for those who’ve been along for the rid on the nest front, we’ve had two mornings of pretty hard frost in the last few days – like ‘having to scrape the car before I can see out’ frost. I’ve been worried about the my little egg guys, but yesterday saw mum and dad partridge very close to the nest, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’re checking in and know what they’re doing. So there’s that. And while we’re on the subject, we have a new addition to the window feeder – a blackbird. No-one’s told him it’s not meant for birds his size or weight and after a few bad landings and watching the others, he’s now got it figured out and manages to land and squeeze himself under the roof and eat all in one relatively graceful movement. He has also learnt that his tail wont bend no matter how much he tries to squish it against the window so that he can turn round. Smart guy. There also appears to be some kind of queuing system in place along the drystone wall amongst the blue tits, wagtails and bullfinches. The robins don’t seem keen on it, they’re queue jumpers, flying in from the other angle. Sneaky.

So on my to do list over the next couple of days is something thanks to my friend Annabel at work, who kindly donated some unwanted jewellery to anyone who wanted it. I picked three pieces and have plans….sort of.

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I’m thinking this pretty stone is going to become the pendulum piece in a wind chime, if I can find some little tubes when I go to the hardware store tomorrow. I’m thinking crocheted metalwork frame, and suspending the tubes either with clear fishing line or actually making it a feature and using ribbon and then either ribbon or crochet chain and bead up to a hanging point. It’s one of those “I’m not going to know until I start” things, I think.

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This bracelet is going to have several new lives! I’m looking at the little charms for…well, I don’t know yet, something will need charms sometime, I guess! The silver spacers I’m looking at for a necklace in crocheted wire, so it passes through and then fans back out, and also as a base for some biggish carved wooden beads, wrapped in fine wire. And the stones themselves can be used as centre points to a bracelet or necklace, I think.

A quick gift

See, I promised I’d do another post without a two month gap!

When you start down the road of New Crafts to Conquer, you feel a little bit like Alice once she’s gone down the rabbit hole. When I began to learn crochet, I quickly realised I wanted something different, not more complex, because I can barely follow a pattern, but just different. Somehow, I have no idea how, I thought of using wire instead and then realised there was a whole world out there that had come to that conclusion already.

Making normal bead jewellery had never really appealed to me but I knew I would need embellishments but if you google “online bead shops” boy. Big list. And when you’re starting out, you don’t know what you’re looking for, what you’ll need – even what size things are! So it’s hard to know which stores to choose, but I narrowed it down to two; Fred Aldous (which I’d shopped in when I lived up near Manchester) and Beads Direct – I recommend both, depending on what you need. When I was browsing Beads DIrect, they had a sale on and I spied a liitle something.

If you’ve read my previous post ‘Finally” http://wp.me/p2tp2d-1b then you’ll know about my mother’s dragonfly penchant. And there he was. A length of cord, two cord ends (and boy did I ping them across the room several times before I managed to work out the best way to squeeze them down!), a bit of invention with some wire because I ordered too small a jump ring (the ring that attaches the ‘thing” to the cord – see above statement of idiot newness) and a clasp, et voila.

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So quick and easy, but so pretty. And as always, a delighted recipient.