ottbs – August

I’ve submitted something to ottbs. And joined the facebook group. I’m really glad I made the effort to finish something this month. The theme really spoke to me this month and I’m a bit gutted I didn’t have any time to beadweaving for it. I was inspired to do something a bit simpler by some of the entries in the July. They showed me, it doesn’t have to be huge and complex to still look beautiful.

My August OTTBS entry

I knew I had the earring findings in my stash and was then looking hard for beads to go on them. Then I did what I always do when looking for inspiration, I googled it. And among plenty of other gorgeous ideas I saw something like these. (I can’t find the same picture again)
something like the ones I used for inspiration

I really liked the use of the seed beads round the larger beads and the way some stick out giving texture. So I decided to use the idea of putting seed beads round the edge of some bigger beads. I have a collection of jewellery that I don’t like/don’t wear anymore, which I raid for the beads and findings. And this yielded most of the bead components. The black and green beads came from the same necklace. They were originally strung on wire and linked in a chain. I originally planned to use a two smaller green beads with the black one in the middle but there were only three of the small green beads. I’m a sucker for symmetry.

I have always made symmetrical necklaces/bracelets – even as a very small child. I always had to plan my necklaces before stringing them and got upseet when only one of a type of bead was contained in a kit. (Anyone else remember the plastic bead kits from the early learning center?). Apparently my mum had to teach me how to do this as I got upset when I ended up with unsymmetrical bracelets. I don’t remember this – which tells you how young I was. And I was still pretty upset that I couldn’t have symmetrical earrings. So I bit the bullet and tried to design unsymmetrical ones. I guess knowing that as a pair they have symmetry helps.
A bead kit like the one from my childhood

I had also found some purple drops and black daggers in my stash, so now I was only looking for something blue. I didn’t have any good larger beads – they were all to pale. So I raided my seed bead stash and found a bright blue and a purple that matched the drops. I was all set to go.

I tried several different orders for the bigger beads but once I found that having the big bead slightly before the middle stops it being able to move. This allows all the beads to stay on one side. Seeing as I’m being unsymmetrical, I might as well push the boat out. Adding the seed beads round the beads after I added the larger beads to the finding, was really difficult. I would do this differently if I do it again. This meant I kept it quite simple, which is a good thing.

Hanging Earrings
Hanging Earrings

I’ve worn them a couple of times since making them and had a couple of comments – always good when people notice. And I finally emailed the picture off last night  – for some reason I kept putting it off. I’m looking forward to seeing what other people make. The pics in the facebook group look so lovely. Hopefully one day I’ll share something.

Making Presents and Feeling Proud

Last weekend, as you know, I had my sewing machine out. On saturday afternoon I was intending to get started on a quilted teacosy. But after a chat with a friend that morning, where I was lamenting my current financial circumances (basically I go holiday too much – so don’t feel too sorry for me), she suggested that I make something and commented how much she liked the cushion covers I’d made for her. I rarely give stuff as presents as I never think its good enough. And I’m always worried about whether people mind being given homemade gifts, despite loving them myself. Anyway it gave me the confidence I needed. I was initally planning to make a simple zipped makeup case, with a lovely floral fabric that I inherited from my grandma. Its pretty but also not a fabric I’d use for myself. So I scoured my usual sewing blogs and had a good google for available patterns. There were lots of good patterns but nothing special that I thought I could manange in an evening. And then while on veryberryhandmade‘s tutorial page I saw her tutorial for the card holder.

veryberryhandmade's card holder
veryberryhandmade’s card holder
I took this picture so that I’d remember where everything went when I was sewing it together

I slightly edited her pattern, I didn’t use any interliner – because I don’t own any, and only used two colours – I have a very small fabric stash. I also decided after cutting all the pieces, that I was going to add a zipped pouch. Mainly because I don’t know anyone who only needs a card holder, we’re not really at the buisness card point in our lives but a small purse that fits in a credit card/ID/cash to go in our smallest handbags on a night out/day at the races/date is always useful. Figuring out how to add a zip with no raw edges took me ages. I must have pinned it together a hundred times. And then I ended up sewing the zip on at least 4 times. A couple it ended up one the wrong way round and then on the wrong end of the main piece. But I got there in the end. It’s possibly some of my best sewing, I guess I’ve been doing a lot of practice recently. I was quite proud of the top stitching as well, as I normally try and keep my actual stitch line out of sight.

The finished object
Folded up

I very nearly forgot to take pictures, I actually had to unwrap it in order to take them. And I got a lovely text thanking me for it once my friend had unwrapped it, which is a very nice feeling. So hopefully I’ll have the confidence to carry one giving stuff as presents, its been a good experience.

All ready to be rewrapped

A new month already? + ottbs

Where does time go? Sorry about the delay I was on holiday and enjoying the lack of internet. It makes a change these days to be so cut off. This year is running away from me and as I am away again for half of august, I’m going to combine my monthly list post and the operation tackle that beadstash commentary (I’ll be very surprised if I manage to make anything).

So what have I got in progress:

  1. The Blanket. I still haven’t made it to John Lewis
  2. A tapestry pin cushion. I made a lot of progress while away but there are a few small sections to finish.
  3. A knitted summer scarf. I bought some fun died wool and started an eyelet pattern scarf. I did a lot at the beginning but haven’t picked it up for awhile. I’m also not sure I bought enough wool to make a full scarf, at least not of the width I have chosen but I am two thirds through the wool so we’ll see.
  4. A necklace of wire wrapped seaglass. This was inspired by the ottbs July challenge – on the beach. I wrapped roughly half the sea glass I own, one evening and then put it away for a bit.
  5. A Christmas Star made from twisted peyote squares. I made the first square so only 4 to go. I was intending to make lots of these for people for christmas, but we’ll see how long it takes.
  6. A quilted teacosy. I had my sewing machine out for a bit in July an did all the patchwork for a teacosy. I chose a pinwheel style, it looks very cool if not perfectly aligned. I then managed to quilt one side before running out of time and putting my machine away. While reading the quilting blogs I follow I’m always incredibly jealous when they mention their sewing rooms. Also one of my friends went to the same quilting course that I did, earlier in the year, this weekend and made a beautiful quilt. She chose her fabrics brilliantly.
  7. And the green scarf. I’m not happy with this, I know there isn’t enough wool for a scarf and I’m not sure how I’d add another colour. So I’ve taken it off the needles for now and put it away. Hopefully one day I’ll come up with a way to fix it or use it which doesn’t involve taking it all apart.
  8. My sisters necklace – yeah its not going to be done for her birthday.
  9. The fringed handbag. I started the second layer but ran out of beads~ 1/3 of the way across so need to go do some shopping

Wow. I thought I might have managed to shorten it this time as I finished a fair few things. But nope its even longer – oh well, we live in hope.

And on to the things I’ve finished

  1. A knitted sunglasses case. This has had a lot of use.
  2. The gold zigzag necklace. I wore it a couple of times, but seeing as I bought some wire I will go back and edit it at some point.
  3. A beaded key ring for the ottbs June challenge. This has gone into my gift tin for future use.
  4. A beautiful purse, this was a present for a friend and also the first thing I’ve made and given to people outside my circle of crafty friends. I will write a post about this one as I’m quite proud of it
  5. The beaded purse panel – its finally off the list. And it looks beautiful.

Actually at least this list is pretty long as well, and quite a few things on the WIP list are new, so I guess that’s progress.

And Augusts OperationTackleThatBeadstash’s theme is blue, purple, green and matt black. These are so my colours, it’s such a shame I have no time. Although one thing I noticed was that while everyones entries are beautiful, not all of them are big projects. There was a few gorgeous fun pairs of earrings. So maybe I should stop planning major projects and just try and make something to enter. I’ll have a think and see what I can whip up over the weekend.

And thats it. One long blog post, sorry about that.