The longest project?

Once upon a time, I was a broke student who wandered into accessorize and fell in love with some beaded purses. Due to the brokeness, I couldn’t buy them but it was when I was doing a lot of sewing, so I decided to make one.

The sewing of the bag happened in a day. Unfortunately that was so long ago, I have no idea if I used a pattern (unlikely) or made it up.

And then I began beading. Again I have no idea if I made the bead mix specially or if I owned it already. The drop beads came from a lady in my meetup group.

The reason I cant remember these details is because I started this bag approximately 4 years ago.

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The first fringe was small and made with beads I owned – seedbeads and drops. It took forever. So I made the decision to make the next layers longer. I also bought beads for these layers. The second layer is bugle beads and black and silver pips. The third layer is seed bead, bugels, seed beads and a mix of pips and drops.

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The last inch

 

I did a lot of the beading at the craft meetups I used to attend in London. I also used to take this project back to Chester a lot. I used to keep all the bits inside the bag hence the transportability.

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Its a fabulous handbag. Its a fairly spacious bag which I like. I wore it out to a wedding and felt fabulous. It was almost worth waiting for.

 

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Daisy bauble

This bauble began with the thought that it would be cool to cover a bauble in daisies. I had previously made a daisy swatch and used it in my embellished wall hanging. The swatch was made by sewing a daisy and attaching it to the nearest one. This worked for an organic shape but I had no idea how to make it work to cover a bauble.

Then at one of my beading groups, there were some magazines being given away and among the things that caught my eye was a necklace, where a cotton rope had been covered with daisies. For this necklace the daisies had been stitched in a chain and then the chain swirled around the rope and fixed. And there was my method of covering a bauble.

I started beading the daisy chain with a bead mix I had already made up. I still separated out the beads so each daisy is an individual colour. However I was then running low on the mix so I made up another one, and I made much more of the new one than I had of the original – oops.

To ensure I had a mixture of the old bead mix and new mix and not a gradient from one to the other I made a whole load of chains before starting to attach them.

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Halfway

The attaching stage was dull and tricksy. There is a reasonable amount of thread (fireline) showing but you have to look fairly closely for it to be distracting.

It took three rounds of making chains and attaching them. By some magic the last batch of chains exactly fitted the gap I had left. I have no idea how it happened but I am so glad the chains weren’t too long and I didn’t have to cut any off.

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Finished

I’m really pleased with the effect but I wont be doing another anytime soon.

 

September 2018

Back in July, I moved house and now I have a craft room. This meant that I unpacked all my supplies and saw how many things I have on the go and those I’ve planned for but not started. So in an effort to feel ok to start some new things and not feel too bogged down into long term repetitive projects, I decided to finish some things.

Admittedly I started with those closest to being finished but it’s still a different list from last month.

  1. Quilt – 3 handsewing panels have been prepped
  2. Beaded purse – no change
  3. Peyote card case – no change
  4. Jumper – no change
  5. Epp stars – Row 4/7 is complete
  6. Beaded ornament made from daisy chains – I’m now about halfway through but I will need to make more chains
  7. Beaded chain mail necklace – no change

Finishes this month are:

  1. Secret bead along necklace
  2. The beaded handbag
  3. Bead crochet – I turned it into a hoop

Pottery on the go is:

  1. Jewellery box
  2. Multiple divas

And finished pottery

  1. Tiny decorative bowl
  2. Whale statuette

I’m pretty busy again in September but I’ve decided not to give myself an epp quilt deadline this month, if I do stuff that’s great but if not that’s ok. I’m hoping to start some knitting but lets see what happens. Its probably also time to think about Christmas presents if I do want to make any.

The feature image is my craft room and desk. Although very busy in August, I didn’t take any pictures.

 

 

 

Secret beadalong 2018

During the 2018 international beading week (28th July – 5th Aug) I participated in Jean Power’s secret bead along.

The international beading week is sponsored by the beadworks guild and there are normally quite a lot of events going on aswell as some fab free patterns from some great designers.

I’ve been watching both the summer beadalong and the Christmas beadalong for a few years (since I got instagram), and have been intrigued. This year I felt I had the time and also the finances to be able to buy both the pattern and  kit from spellbound beads.

I used a kit as I didn’t have quite a lot of the beads needed and it made it less intimidating. I chose the orange kit, which was mostly gold. I swapped out the highlight colour delicas, the original was basically yellow and didn’t go with the gold of the other beads. I picked an orangy gold from my stash instead.

For the beadalong, there is some prep work to do, then some beading each day during the week. I managed to do about 80% of the prep work before the beadalong started on the Saturday.

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Day 1 and 2

I didn’t actually do any beading on day 1 as I was out of the house all day but on the Sunday, I completed the prep work and day 1 and 2.

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Day 3

During the week, I did day 3 and 4’s beading in the monday and then stopped.

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Day 4

I had a really busy week that week, with some evening activities and a trip away so I did as much as I could but wasn’t putting any pressure on myself to keep up.

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Day 5 and 6

I then completed the rest of the beading the following week.

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Completed pieces

I didn’t follow the final instructions as I don’t wear bracelets, and I wasn’t a massive fan of the necklace described. So I joined the carrier beads together and created some loops to add chain to.

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Finished

I really enjoyed the process and seeing what others where making on instagram and Facebook. It was less beading each day than I anticipated and some really fun techniques. I will definitely consider participating in the Christmas one.

August 2018

I very nearly forgot to do this one. It only just feels like I finished the last post. Its been an interesting month craft wise I’ve simultaneously done lots and made no progress.

One exciting progression is that I now have a craft room. Its been fun setting it up and now I have to make the most of it.

  1. Quilt – no change
  2. Beaded purse – no change
  3. Peyote card case – no change
  4. Beaded handbag – no change
  5. Beaded crochet – no change
  6. Jumper – no change
  7. Epp stars – Row 3/7 is complete and pieces cut and basted for row 4
  8. Beaded ornament made from daisy chains – no change
  9. Beaded chain mail necklace – no change
  10. Dishcloth – 3/4 done
  11. Secret beadalong – I’m participating in the international beading week secret beadalong run by Jean power. I’m not entirely upto date but its been really fun.

Pottery looks like this

  1. Mug – needs glaze firing
  2. Door sign – needs firing
  3. Jewellery box -needs firing
  4. Decorative dish – needs firing
  5. Whale statuette – needs firing
  6. Decorative tile – needs firing

Completions are all pottery based again

  1. Decorative bowl
  2. Decorative bird dish
  3. Elephant statuette
  4. Ring dishes x 2

The last batch of pottery I bought home was really fab. Its amazing how much more accomplished this batch looks. I will how some pictures soon. Looking at the other list I really need to put some time into some projects and finish them off. Lets see what happens in August.

My feature image is from our holiday in Scotland. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and had a fab week there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2018

Woo, I’m on time this month. Its been an odd month craftingwise. I’ve done a lot of prep for epp and pottery but nothing else, so it isn’t particularly photogenic. I finally posted about pottery as well, so that’s something.

  1. Quilt – no change
  2. Beaded purse – no change
  3. Peyote card case – no change
  4. Beaded handbag – no change
  5. Beaded crochet – this has grown a bit
  6. Jumper – no change
  7. Epp stars – I’ve made 14 panels and edged them all, so that’s 2/7 rows. I’ve made 3 more panels, and prepped pieces for 7 more panels. I’ve also cut about enough for another panel. I also figured out I can sew in the car, hence the prepping.
  8. Beaded ornament made from daisy chains – no change
  9. Beaded chain mail necklace – no change

My pottery list is like this:

  1. Cactus ring dish – needs glazing
  2. Stamen ring dish – needs glazing
  3. Shallow bird dish – needs glazing
  4. Mug – needs glazing

My finishes are all pottery based

  1. An elephant statuette
  2. A decorative bowl

All of my craft stuff is packed as we are moving and traveling in July, so I’ll either get nothing done or lots for a little while. Lets see

My featured image is from the hotel we stayed in, in the lake district. Its a pretty cute way of not throwing away old walking boots.

 

Pots and bits

So as you know I’ve taken up pottery. I have a very long list of things I’d like to try (weaving, spinning, glass blowing, woodcarving are some of the others), and so when some friends mentioned, a local drop in pottery class, I was pretty excited.

The class is held at eastcott studios. The classes are informal drop in sessions, with advice and tutelage provided by Jo. I end up going about every other week, as this works with my work schedule. Fortunately due to all the time needed for drying and firing over the stages, this works quite well.

The sessions only cover handbuilding. I will one day try out the wheel but that requires booking and therefore some organisation from me.

Over the last three months I have tried slab-building, pinching and coiling. My favourite so far is slab-building but I’m trying to be open minded and keep trying the other techniques out.

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The first things I bought home: laceprinted pot, flower and diva

Slab building involves rolling out slabs of clay and using something as a template to build a structure. While rolling the clay you can imprint it, with lace or stamps. I’ve used this technique to make a laceprinted pot, stamped mug and a shallow dish, a pendant and some ring dishes.

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My plant trays and the flower

Pinching is where you take a ball of clay and pinch it into the desired shape. This is fun but I found it really hard to get a smooth final product. I have used this technique to make a 2 plant drip trays, a diva, a flower trinket and a small elephant statuette.

Coiling involves creating coils or strips which are then joined together to build a shape. I found this tricky to keep making the shape I wanted desired as when you join it together it squished the shape out of sorts. I used this to make a vase and a teaspoon dish.

Not all of those projects are finished. I have also been glazing projects. Mostly I’ve kept it fairly simple, but I did have a go at bubble painting the small vase.

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I have some ideas for future projects. I want to make some more divas, ring dishes and plant pots and drip trays. I might have another go at a mug (my current one is huge). I’ve also seen some beautiful things in the pottery studio and get new ideas every time I go.