I have finished the first cab, with swirls at the base although I chose not to add gemstones in the centre of the swirls, as Jan had done.
I am never going to reproduce exactly, nor to the standard the wire wrapping as the guest designers do, they have many more experience than I do, and to be honest more interest. I have said on many occasions I am a bead weaver at heart, I love tiny seed beads and am also working on a challenge to create 2 5cm x 5cm beaded squares. In fact Laura Binding, another JM Wirework Guest Designer frequently states that she can never replicate a design, she can show you how she got there, but as much of the designing is freehand, and the gemstones are all unique, you are never going to reproduce an exact copy. I think that is an important point to remember, especially if you get disheartened because a piece isn’t the exact image of a designers piece, its always going to be unique to you.
So, this is my second Cab, wire wrapped really quite simply using the square wire.
So last weekend we had a birthday party! A jewellery birthday party, 7 girls, all around 12 years old all wanting to make different things.
My basket was raided, absolutely raided, I took seed beads, elastic, silk cords, waxed cords, sari silks, general findings all sorts of jewellery items and the girls had such fun.
The creative juices were flowing, initially we all made a sari silk bracelet with a magnetic clasp, they each chose a silver finding to thread on, and then as the glue dried they moved on to threading seed beads on elastic or wire, they made rings, bracelets, choker necklace, long stringy necklaces, sari silk and seed bead hair grips each taking home several items, in a pretty fabric party bag.
The party was hosted by #craftybetty and some of the stringing materials we used were from #jewellerymaker, the silk was from #yarn-yarn, it was great to see the girls having fun and learning too.
Inspired by the lovely JM designer Sheila Davies I have been busy working on this sari silk and gemstone collar piece, using a variety of sari silk ruffles & flowers meticulously sew in to place then decorated by a variety of gemstones from a bead scoop this collar piece is truly original.
It’s quite heavy so more of a winter piece of jewellery to wear than a summer collar, this means that the necklace needs to be durable and in keeping with the collar so I am considering kumihimo with sari silk ribbon intertwined with a length of chain.
Well, the Great British Sewing Bee is back on the TV, Celebrity Great British Baker too, why not combine the two and book a Crafternoon Hen Party at one of several beautiful venues? You can learn to sew, make a tiara, make jewellery using precious gemstones or pearls, combined with afternoon tea, and then add on a spa trip, or overnight stay to make your weekend complete.
Do contact Michelle @ CraftyBetty for more information including how to book.
In conjunction with Crafty Betty I am hosting a 3 hour workshop in Newark, in 2 weeks time, on the 15th November.
The idea is a simple introduction to jewellery making, we will be learning a beaded daisy chain, stringing glass beads to make a couple of bracelets, a nice pearl weaving technique, a woven christmas tree decoration that can be adapted to be a pair of earrings or pendant and a pearl illusion necklace, this means you will get to make, learn and then take home approx 5 items of jewellery, but most importantly you will take home the skills to make more!
More pictures to follow, but here is the same basic daisy chain pattern but with the insertion of a bugle beads in between sets of 3 flowers …. am going to test it out with some 2mm gems shortly too, that I have in Amethyst, from JM only 10CTs worth, but they are pretty – check out the code for when they are back in stock GDGP30
I absolutely love the tiny 2mm 3mm and 4mm rounds that JM produce, as I can reproduce some of my bead weaving techniques in genuine gemstones instead of glass japanese seed beads, and given that I tend to only buy Miyuki or Toho precision cut beads not the cheaper chinese, or czech versions widely available but it does mean they are more expensive for a pot than a strand of 2mm Amethysts from JM! how unbelievable is that ??
anyway, if you fancy joining me do contact Michelle @ CraftyBetty in Newark it will be fun! and if you have any technique requests I am more than happy to help you out
And I absolutely detest them, I apologise to any spider lovers out there, but seriously some of those monsters are just ugly and HUGE, I swear they get bigger every year but still I have my trusty Henry to hand, always plugged in and ready for action – of course I leave the hose pointed upwards at all times:) (sometimes I have been know to cling film the end too just incase the huge ones climb out ……I am just terrified of the eight legged hairy freaks
My friend has been invited to a Gothic themed halloween style wedding reception, its not really her thing..so I have created her a spider infused hair piece, which she can flatten the wire woven the web over her hair if she wishes, or leave it up ……Just hope she likes it she is more at home in a pair of lycra running shorts and tee shirts than a little black dress!!
To create the comb, I took a pile of assorted wire, Silver in 1.00mm, 0.40mm and Blue coated 0.25mm, a comb, and a couple of bags of JM bead scoops, some bugle beads and a few seed beads. All of these products came from JM, with the exception of the bugle & seed beads, but are of course available in many other outlets. If you only wanted to get equipment from JM, the gemstone strands mostly have bugle beads separating the gems so you can utilise those and they sell the most wonderful 2mm gems strands which will work well too as legs.
I will say, the JM bead scoops are simply one of my most favourite things, I own a few, and usually can’t resist when I spot them on TV. They consist of a small bag of assorted gemstones in a colour theme, I used a purple pinks selection, and a black white selection to create the spiders. I picked out some larger shapes for the body of the arachnid and smaller ones for the heads.
To create a spider, I simply took a head pin, dropped on a large “body” gemstone, a small “head” gemstone and made a loop to secure, then I took 4 strands of wire whether it be the twisted wire, or the 0.25mm blue coloured wire and wrapped each strand in the centre of the beads to create the legs. I left some spiders with just wire legs, and added loops for the feet (do spiders have feet??) I was going for the daddy long legs version of the creepy crawlies. The couple created with hearts as the body I added bugle beads and seed beads to add some chunky funky legs to resemble those freaky small fat spiders you see climbing up the walls of your living room.
Each spider was attached to the web, which was just wire wrapped 1.00mm & 0.40mm wires, then attached to the comb. I couldn’t not add a few pearls, after all its for a wedding reception, but to blend the pearls I also added some black agate rounds, some smoky quartz ovals, and several other darker beads for that halloween twist.
I quite like the effect, when placed in the bubble wrap bag the spiders actually gave my mum a fright because they looked real! So I might make a couple more, but as tiaras this time with more a wedding theme, its definitely different to the traditional pearl tiara most brides wear.
Not the best picture, but a simply amazing strand of gems, so summery, light, sparkly, with 50 shades of pink!
These are another one of my favourite purchases, little squares of Amethyst, all varying in size, and varying in colour. Obviously they are all the traditional Amethyst colour, but the sheer awesomeness of these gems is that colour graduation. They range from virtually clear chunks of the Amethyst, to deep purple.
I kept the strand pretty much in the order it came to me from JM obviously it arrived on a temporary strand so I re-stranded using a multi wire strand of beading thread (this one was 19 strand by Beadsmith available from most good quality bead stores).
The graduations in the gems range from the smallest 3mm x 1mm up to a chunky 5mm x 2mm in the centre of the necklace. As this is a light toned summer piece, I matched the Amethyst with some pretty chain, and isn’t that toggle clasp beautiful, it isn’t small I can assure you, its a good couple centimetres in depth, and silver plated copper. The toggle clasp makes life easy when putting the necklace on, as there are no fiddly levers to get jiggly with or get stuck your hair (yes that has happened and it hurts!)
I actually own another strand exactly the same so am thinking bracelet and for the smaller squares at each end making a pair of earrings …how summery is that!
The finding pack was a JM special, and came with the bead scoop bundle my mum bought me a few weeks ago, it is lovely to work with, but more excitingly I have purchased my first ever Jewellery maker kit today, and dropped a mystery box in the order too, why? well I really liked the kit, it has Emeralds included I am unbelievabley excited about it. The mystery box is a gamble, but the great thing is, if I don’t like my surprise, I will return it (its easy to do i’m told but never actually felt the need previously!)
Last day of term from my beautiful little boy, so proud of him – he was desperate to give his class helper & teacher a present so after much rummaging around my left over stock from the weekend selected a couple of bracelets, both cubic right angle weave, and both with Amethyst’s running through but 2mm rounds to make them much more subtle. (fingers crossed they like them!)