Friday, June 29, 2007

Magpie Magic Special

Here's my Magpie Magic Special necklace. It's special because it will be the first item for sale in my MagpieMagic shop on Etsy. There will be more items soon, as I can get them uploaded. A detailed description of the necklace below can be found on Etsy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fimo, Magpies and Foxgloves

Been having fun today. I was off work and it seemed like a perfect day to get the Fimo out.

I am in the process of opening an Etsy shop and Ben suggested to make a special necklace for it - a Magpie Magic necklace. Like a real magpie I've been collecting bits and pieces for a couple of days now, some beads here, a charm there, special chain and everything that I thought might work. However, to pull it all together I wanted some feathers and so I made them.

Here's a picture of the beads I made today - the lot of them on the baking tray, fresh out of the oven.

Here are some of them - for the Magpie Magic necklace - in a close-up. I hope Toby won't mind that I nicked his idea for the round beads as I covered them in glitter, in just the way Penny explained it to me. Promise they won't all go together on a bracelet, but they're just so perfect for the Magpie Magic necklace...

And here are some more for the foxglove necklaces I made today. See further down.

Below are the finished necklaces:

This one is fuchsia with pink Czech faceted beads (not all of them as every single flower trumpet is different). Haven't quite decided if I can bear to part with this one.

Been wearing the black one ever since I finished it.
This one is a gorgeous bright red:

The final one is a deep burgundy red with glorious glittery bits - some were already in the Fimo, others I added to the inside of the flower trumpets.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Squares and Cubes - Earrings and Bracelet

Here's the rest of the set. Spent all evening till half past twelve at night to finish it.

Here's the bracelet in more detail. It looks so pretty and delicate in real life. For some reason it always look much heavier in the photo, however, these crochet wire creations are really light and delicate.

The earrings are quite long, but so light they're barely there. Lots of glam at very little weight.

Here are the earrings in a close-up shot.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Finished Tattoos

The tattoo on the hand came out quite well, but Ben smeared the dot in the dark area of the Yin and Yang centre so it's not quite as perfect as I'd hoped for.

This one came out brilliantly. Unfortunately, the camera decided that a flash was needed so the colour is not quite as intense as it is in real life.

Ben is really pleased with his tattoos although I wonder about his next choice, it would take me much longer, but he really wants a dragon......

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tattoo Madness

When I went to London with Ben to meet Toby and Penny, Ben and I went to Covent Garden first and Ben had a temporary henna tattoo done. He loved it so much that he wanted another, so I bought some henna on eBay. Here are my first two attempts with the original design underneath each tattoo.

This one is on his right hand.This one is on his left arm.

The biggest problem was to make Ben stay still. He didn't like that bit. I used free designs I found on the net and drew them freehand. Fingers crossed they'll come out okay. Now I just have to keep Ben from smearing the henna all over the sofa and not rubbing it off before time.

Squares and cubes

Been playing some more with squares and this is the result. Going to make a bracelet and earrings to go with this necklace. So watch this space! :-)

I've used three types of metal: silverplated copper wire, bare copper wire, and bronze wire (+ antique gold enamelled copper wire). To add more interest I've also used findings in silver, copper and bronze, and Miyuki cubes in gold, copper and silver; AND I've managed to find a two-strand rectangular toggle clasp which I think adds the perfect finishing touch.

Here's a close-up of the links.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flowers in the Garden

We've been gardening today and yesterday but I just had to take some time to take pictures of the flowers and plants in my garden. Here's the best of the lot. I love roses, as will shortly become apparent. However, not just for their beauty, they have to smell lovely too.

This is a yellow tea rose with the most wonderful smell and it's growing right next to the pink one further down.

This is a close-up of my jasmin. I love close-ups where you can see all the detail and the delicate way the flower / plant is 'engineered'.

The following picture made it onto this page because I like the flow or movement by the three blossoms.My favourite rose in the garden: Blue Moon. It has huge wonderfully velvety flowers. Gorgeous.

This is the pink rose flowering right next to the yellow one. It's scent is just as heavenly and it's a pleasure just to walk past the two roses.

Here's another picture of the same rose, this time a side view that shows off the intense pink colour of the rose.

Some hollyhock that's trying to take over my garden, never mind how much it's cut back every year. It frames the back of my garden bench and the green and pink of the plant is a wonderful backdrop for the cream/black of the cast iron bench.

And here are a couple of pictures of the false castor oil plant in my garden. I love the large architectural leaves and the wonderful flowers it has in spring.

This view is from underneath up into the light. It shows the delicate veining of the each leaf.

This is a bunch of roses I collected today because the rose plant had decided to cover the front window so I needed to cut it down to let in the light again. Unfortunately, the picture was taken inside. I should have taken the vase outside to take a picture that shows the true beauty of the rose. Shame I can't share the lovely scent with you.

Gooseberries, hemp and more squares

We've been sorting out the garden yet again as everything is growing so quickly right now. I still found time to make another two bracelets. :-) I added some gooseberries to the pictures just for fun or maybe because the colours of the fist one are so edible! ;-)

The brown one is made with three different coloured hemp (two natural and one of a rusty rose colour), more square rings and some lovely wooden cube beads with an interesting pattern, silver plated findings and a ring of seeds and another teeny wooden bead to hold the ring in place. I've used simple half crochet to create the little hemp squares. I am pleased with how it turned out, looking modern and natural at the same time.

The second bracelet included some beautiful shells, teal and natural hemp, pale blue square catseye beads, and some pale blue rippled matte glass beads. I've used the same square rings and silver plated findings as in the brown bracelet. Neither of the two bracelets has a fastening but they slip quite happily over the hand onto the wrist.

Friday, June 08, 2007

More Square Rings - Black Daisy Set

I said I'd make some black square rings. Here's the set I designed with them.

Black Daisy:

I've used thicker black enamelled wire to create split rings - rather than the silver plated ones these are double rings because the wire was thinner and I wanted some extra stability.

I then made little square 'beads' using crochet. Each of the square beads is different, one (the one in the centre in the close-up picture below) even using a weaving technique. The gorgeous flat square Millefiori beads in black, deep yellow and white were added with eye pins and jump rings in black plated metal.

Here's the close-up showing the detail of the crochet and the Millefiori beads.

This is the necklace I made to go with the bracelet:

Again, all four squares are different and everything is held together with black plated findings. I am so pleased with the set. I think it's really special and modern without being sterile, organic and abstract at the same time.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Shells and Black Glamour to Cheer Up a Miserable Day

When I arrived home from a miserable and very stressful day at work I found a parcel hidden away just for me. :-) It came all the way from Lancashire and contained the two necklaces I'd ordered from Toby. The most wonderful surprise to cheer up a grey day.

See for yourself:

This is the necklace featured on the Natural Attrill website and that I fell in love with straight away. It's like carrying a little bit of seaside around with you. All the lovely shells and beads, the different coloured hemp all work perfectly together. If I close my eyes I am somewhere on a beach - almost as good as a day out! ;-)

And here is a picture of the black and slate necklace Toby made to match the bracelet I got in a swap for the scarf I am making for Penny (promise, it'll be finished soon!). It's all very complicated this swapping business, but great fun. As Penny says, it's so much more fun to buy from an artist you know than from some shop... Far more personal and it's such a special feeling to know that someone sat down and made something just for you. :-)

Here's a close up of the beads used in the lariat style necklace and the bracelet together with the lovely box the jewellery arrived in.

This hemp jewellery is lovely to wear. I have another set in sea greens which I am wearing right now (picture on the Natural Attrill website) and a pink necklace that can also be worn as a bracelet.

The hemp is soft and silky, the beads are all chosen perfectly to match each other, including vintage and handmade beads and buttons, and the jewellery even makes a lovely sound when the beads click against one another. Check out the Natural Attrill site and order your own. I can only recommend it!

Square Rings and a Thousand Flowers

Thanks to my friend David I now have a square rod to make square rings. :-) Which of course I used straight away to make a bracelet.

It wasn't quite as easy as I had imagined as the technique is the same as for jump rings, however, I pulled the wire a little too tight and then had no end of trouble and a big blister to get them off the square rod. In the end though I got them all off and bashed them a bit with the help of my son (who was very excited about being allowed to use a hammer) and my special gadget (the Bead Whacker or some such thing) which made the rings harder so they hopefully wouldn't loose their shape when I started the crochet.

The wire I've used is silver plated copper wire and bent perfectly in the square shape I wanted.

A little more silver plated copper wire (much thinner though) and some crochet and I had my links which I mixed with the most gorgeous clear and white square Millefiori beads. I am really pleased with the result as it's very different. The square rings give the crochet more stability and holds the square shape perfectly. It still looks organic but in a nice clean way.

Below is another close-up on a teal background which shows the lovely Millefiori beads better than the white background.

Got to make some more rings, in copper, black plated wire, and bronze to make more bracelets (and anything else that springs to mind at the time). Bought more square beads as well. AND I want to make a necklace to match the silver/white bracelet I finished today.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Old and New Designs

On Saturday I made this lovely purple necklace. The design is similar to the red one I posted a few days ago but with a black suede and a purple rattail cord. Rattail - despite the horrible name - is a very beautiful silky cord, soft to touch and pleasant to wear.

The beads, as shown here in the close-up, are as per usual too numerous to list. I have used everything from shells to Magatama and Miyuki drops to Czech to Indian glass beads. All in shades of purple, of course, with black plated findings.

After that I felt I had to make something very different. :-) Remember, if you see it anywhere else, you've seen it here first.

I think of it as my 'prom bracelet' because of the organza ribbon that can be tied into bows in at least four different ways. If the organza ribbons are all tied into a bow together they'd look like the flowers girls sometimes wear around their wrists for proms.

I started off with some lovely Lyscordet cotton in black and made the 'frame' of the bracelet. I then added organza ribbon in silvery grey and black. Finally, I crocheted the little abstract flowers with black wool threaded through with shimmery lurex and the middle one with natural hemp. Each of the little flowers has a black crackle bead in the centre and grey/black Magatama drops respectively to make the petals as shown below.

This would make a stunning bracelet - either for a night on the town to dress up a pair of jeans and a pretty top, or with a little black dress or for a ball. Very versatile as it can be worn many ways. It would look really pretty as a choker, too.

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