Sunday, January 29, 2012

Don't snitch

The blog has quiet lately because I'm not suppose to move my hands : (  I am typing with braces on my hands which isn't the easiest thing to do.  So I haven't been doing much but reading and watch movies,

My niece is getting married so we went to Solvang yesterday to the dollar store.  Usually they have lots of purple satin but we could only find 18 yards.  They missed the deadline to have the dresses made so my sister is going to make them.  It is a lot easier on their budget if the fabric is only $1 a yard.  I hope my niece likes it.  She didn't want the dress I bought so I started taking the dress apart.  I got out a seam ripper to remove the lace bodice.  Unfortunately it is well sewn and it is more difficult to remove the lace then it looked at first.  There is a lovely satin dress under all the frills.  I still haven't decided how to decorate it yet, though ribbon embroidery is what I like to do.

Dollar store satin

Yesterday we went to a bead store that had every delica bead I can think of.  Very inspiring stuff on display and the prices were great!  Wish I had bought some rivolis while I was there.  I need to order from Fire Mountain again,  I'm making pearl necklaces for the brides maids.  They are a simple double strand of pearls with a decorative clasp.  It is finding 5 beautiful clasps that is the problem.  Plus necklaces for both moms and roseries for the bride and groom.  So it is rather frustrating to not be allowed to use m hands.  Just a few weeks and I should be back to crafting!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Crocheted Wire Necklace Tutorial

How to make a crocheted wire necklace.  First you will need to decide what kind and color beads you want for the project.  I like to make my necklaces very open and lacy so almost any bead types and sizes will work.  However keep in mind that soft gemstones and pearl can get scratched because of the wire rubbing against them.  That said you can use just about anything and this is a good project for odds and ends.  If you want to include heavy gemstones or glass beads try using small ones to minimize weight with a few larger beads for accent.  The joy of this design is it floats around the neck.  Once you have chosen a color for the beads find a complimentary metal wire in gauges 24 to 26.  You can use a heavier gauge but much lighter and you risk the wire not supporting the beads.  If you use sterling silver I suggest dead soft and gold half hard.  The half hard gold is harder to work with but will stand up better.  So let's get started, please be patient this is my first tutorial.
Step 1

In whatever order you want including random, place the beads on the chosen wire.  Place on more then you think you will need.  The number of beads will vary acording to size and spacing between beads   I do not cut the wire off the spool. 

Lots of beads strung on wire spool

Step 2

Make a loop on the end of the wire and twist to close  If you are using a crochet hook make sure the loop is large enough for the hook.

Step 3

Just as you would make a crochet chain with thread, start pulling the long wire through the previous loop.  Then you will start pulling up beads and just continue to make a chain.  This I do in a pattern so when the chains are woven together the beads are more evenly spaced.  So for the first strand I make one loop and then pull up a bead and make a loop  Then two plain loops and then another beaded loop.  Making the loops large will create a lacy looking necklace.

Step 4

Keep making chain loops until you have the length you want  I usually stop at 18 inches but that doesn't make a very long collar length  This project is made with 24 inch chain strands and it makes a generous length and width after braididing.   When you have the length you want cut the wire with wire cutters and leaving 4 inches of wire.  Then wrap the wire around the last loop to end off.  For the next strand make two chain loops at the beginging and then start to add beads using the same pattern.  This offsets the beads by one loop.  The third chain strand is made the same as the first.

Step 5
Once the chains are finished take the ends and wrap them together.  Then using a three braid technique loosely braid the strands together. If you decide to shorten the strands after finishng, the wire can be cut with wire clippers and the wire end wrapped around the last loop desired.

Step 6
Once the braiding is done wind the ends like at the begining so that they hold together.

Step 7

Now the fun comes!  By gently pulling the braid apart it makes the piece shorter and wider.  It also looks lacier!  Sometimes it looks better pushing a bead into another place on the braid.  Just follow the wire loops move the bead under the wires.

Step 8

The necklace is done except for a clasp.  One finish is to buy a clasp with cone ends.  All you need with that is to cut the ends and glue them into your cone.  Or use plain cones and make a loop through the cone and attach a clasp.  Or the way I finished mine which is to make a loop at each end attaching the ends to rings for an s-clasp.  Below are instructions and pictures for the s-clasp

Step 9

In the picture below I am foldng the wire over a long nosed tool.  Anything flat with a 90 degree bend should work, so you don't need a tool, the edge of a hard counter may work for you. 

Step 10

Once the wire is folded over you will need a round nose plier or something like a dowel.  I like to wrap wires around knitting needles or even a pen or chopstick.  You are going to place the dowel on the opposite side of the bent wire.  Then bend the wire around the dowel  forming a circle. 

Step 11

It is important at this point to remember to add the ring from the s-clasp before the next part.  With the s-clasp ring in the center of the loop you have just made start to wrap the wire to close the loop.  Holding the loop between two fingers or a pliers helps. 

 Step 12

Once the wire is wrapped at least a couple times clip off the rest with a wire cutter.  Repeat on the other end and slip the rings onto the s part of the clasp.  That's it!  As you can see from the pictures the hardest part is putting on the clasp.  So if you don't want to try the s-clasp, try the cone clasp and jewelry cement.  Any craft store will be glad to help you find the right supplies  If you are in the Santa Maria CA, come to the best Beverly's Crafts ever! Though this can be made without tools except wire cutters the tools do help and can be purchased from craft stores as kits some as low as $7.00.  This project cost $1.99 for the clasp, approx. $5.00 in wire and the odds and ends beads around $4.00, $11.00 total isn't bad for such a lovely necklace  This project took about 2 hours to make.  Just remember to let the necklace lay flat when not in use.  I like to decorate the square flat cigar boxes to hold them in.  If you find a better way to better explain the project, pictures or spelling please let me know!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Wedding dress

Yesterday after Beverly's morning crochet group, Lee and I went to a local thrift store just to look around.  I found a light blue skirt and jacket to wear to a wedding.  In a back corner I also found this lovely oldish wedding dress.  I believe it is from the 1980's from the style and abount of dust.  The satin has yellowed very beautifully.  You can't easily see that there is a sheer fabric with lace edging over the dress.  I had started looking for a wedding or bride's maid dress to alter for a ongoing magazine contest.  My idea was to take an ugly wedding dress and torch the outer skirt leaving the underskirt in tact and punk it all.  But the dresses I found were to ugly to believe.  So that idea got shelved and yesterday I found this dress but it is to beautiful to burn.  So I am going to give it a second chance as a wedding dress.  The bodice has a rather common design of machine made lace, so I though of encrusting it in beaded embroidery and I'm toying with adding color.  Why should Queen Victoria still set the trend in wedding dresses?  Why not some color or goldwork or even tiny silk roses embroidered onto the lace?  With a lot of care I am going to scan the bodice and bring it into Corel and design on the conputer before starting to embroider.  Play with color and crystals on the screen.  If someone in my family wants the dress I will take their ideas and start working immediately, so speak up!  One thing I do know is the sleeves have to go!

Partial veiw of back of dress.

Bodice on dress makers dummy from view.

Front of bodice again.

Sleeve cuff.

Back bodice.

Back bodice again.

Lower back of dress.

Back skirt.

Bottom of skirt front.

Most of dress front.

Most of dress front again.

Dress back part of train.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Crazy as usual

The cat is feeling a little better but I'm still concerned.  We are keeping an eye on her. 

I've gotten the social Security forms filled out and the confirmation faxed to my insurance company.  Just going crazy looking for one last piece of correspondence from the company to send to Social Security.  Thought including my correspondence might help.

Tonight I'm getting ready for a class in wire crochet jewelry.  Hope my instruction come out clear and I won't get laughted at for my terrible drawings.  Then back to baking and making truffles to mail out on Monday!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I agree with the hobbits we should give gifts to others on our birthdays for putting up with us for another year!  Against all odds I have made another birthday.  Wanted to see alpacas today but the people at the Ranch of the Oaks in Lompoc were to busy today.  Hope to have a tour in a couple weeks and pictures to post here.  I've met the owners and hey are very nice.  Maybe my sister will post about them on her blog to, hint.  She has a lot more followers then I do.  Thanks to all three of them for their support : )

Today we found a piece of mail requiring me to fill out some forms for disability and I missed the deadline.  I knew they could not go so long without a new form and I'm kicking myself for letting the christmas season distract me from calling to see if they needed anything.  I just kept forgetting.  When I called the insurance company earlier to find out what I could do the agent hung up before even saying hello.  So tonight I was working on the forms and as I was finishing a long one the server closed down.  So I am almost done with the forms after a marathon of typing while lying in bed.  I hope that they don't cancel my insurance because of this but if they try I will get a lawyer.  Not thinking well because of the meds isn't fun.

Worse then that is my cat isn't herself.  I look in her eyes and can see she isn't well.  She has a small fever but doesn't seem to be in any major pain.  She acts like she has an aches and a flu.  So she is curled up on my/her chair and is sleeping.  I turned on the oven so she would be warm and just leaving her alone.  She has been really grumpy today and doesn't want company.  Things will seem better when she is better.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Starting a new year by enjoying books.  Jane Nicolas's book Stumpwork Medieval Flora is a really lovely book.  The detail she puts in her book is always wonderful and easy to follow.  I don't know which of the five flowers I want to do first, any of them would make a wonderful unique gift.

After Christmas I came down with the flu and seem to be better.  While sick I made a hat and scarf in multicolored yarn for my great nephew  Didn't use a pattern. I've knitted so many hats but I still make them with double pointed needles  Also wrapped a stone in 18 gauge silver.  It was very hard to wrap and took more strength then I had.

Hat in progress

Silver wrapped stone

Tomorrow I get back to making chocolates always a happy event.  Maybe another 12 dozen and I will be able to experiment wirh freeze dried raspberry truffles.