Friday, November 29, 2013

In Progress

It was one of those days. I didn't finish anything.
 I started another kumihimo necklace.
 I worked on instructions for the next class. My usual pattern is to take copious (or some) pictures as I make the class sample so that by the time I have to write the instructions I don't have to figure it out from scratch again.


Apparently I neglected that part of the documentation for this design. At least I started with plenty of time to spare.
Did a bit of sewing.  That's going to be a light-to-medium coat. I was hoping to find a super-cool fabric for the lining, but all the solids (except black) were either too garish or the wrong shade of green, and all the patterned fabrics were too pale or too twee. Black and shiny it is.

Also in progress but not pictured: a skirt.

[Planned? A shirt using fabric I originally bought to make a dress for my daughter when she was about five. She's now twenty-three and (a) there's not enough fabric for s dress for her and (b) I'm pretty sure she'd hate the colour. Also a summer dress for my next vacation and a cushion cover or three. Perhaps another dress because actually I have plenty of fabric and I really should finish that skirt I started <mumble> years ago, but I think I'm getting ahead of myself.]

If I don't finish both this weekend, they're likely to languish for years. That's the pattern unfortunately, so it means that whatever else I have planned for the weekend (among other things: Dexter, season three) I must make time for sewing. I'm pretty motivated, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Better Yet

I like it much better hung at this angle, as the focal of a necklace. Plus: daggers with dots!
 And I finished off another closure on a kumihimo necklace.
The queue isn't empty yet.


I replaced the cluster of three baby daggers with a pair of small daggers and a larger one, changed some of the seed bead counts, and I think the proportions are improved.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Four Days

I love the beginning of a four-day stretch of No Work, and I love it even better when I can start it with something I've made.
 Or better yet, two somethings I've made.

It sets the tone in a way. There are projects on my ever-growing to-do list that may not actually take a full four days (or even close), but that are well, sort of annoying in that I hate to waste an entire weekend on them, so if I have twice a weekend, I have the fortitude to tackle them.

Like the first time I covered a sofa. I guess I was on the daunted side though it ended up not taking very long at all. A day maybe, and then I had three more days to do what I wanted, not what needed to get done.

The kumihimo necklaces do pile up though, waiting for clasps. There are three more right behind the orange one above.
What the photo of this little pendant doesn't show is that even though it's sort of flat, it has a very pleasingly raised midsection. I think it's not final, though I really love the colours of the beads together.

There's something off about the clusters of daggers that's out of balance. I'll need to work on that somehow.

I do have four days after all.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Moving Along

It seems like nothing has been happening in terms of Things I've Been Making and Finishing since it's been more like Things I've Been Starting and Then Cutting Up, but actually, there has been some progress.
 Super-simple chain, but with judicious colour choice and arrangement of the repeat, kinda pretty actually.
 And I have more ideas - it could prove quite versatile if I'm as creative as I'd like to be.

Of course there's bee kumihimo which is fast and fun, except until there are ends to finish. That part I love less, which is funny in a way since it's my regular kind of beading (which is to say bead-stitching or bead-weaving) but it feels akin to darning (as in socks; I have an old, old pile with holes) which I tend to put off.
 This green one was the last of these fabulous stone pendants I picked up at some bead show from an unremembered vendor but now I wish I had more since they work so well on the kumihimo ropes.
On the other hand, these borosilicate beads really juice me. I'm keeping this one (the only piece of the latest carpal tunnel-induced batch of kumihimo ropes I've grabbed for myself).

Unfortunately it seems I have to take it easy with the beads as well. Too much and my hands hurt the next day. I wish I had faster feedback.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013


So you know how it is when you need to make things: you have raw materials. You don't have only enough for the next project - why constrain yourself? - so you accumulate more raw materials so that when an idea hits, you can find the right stuff for your project.

What this means is that you keep getting more stuff, often faster than you can use it up. So you figure out a system to store it, and then you reorganize your stuff into your storage system, acquire more stuff (still faster than you use it up), rethink your storage solution and do some more organizing.

Ad nauseum.

Part of the organization process is prioritizing and figuring out what can go into hard-to-reach places (stuff you use only rarely) and what should be right where you need it. This means that things get taken out of one space, then they get shuffled around, then things get put into the empty spaces.

Sometimes people climb into the temporarily empty spaces.
They fit quite well, don't they?


Not wanting to tweak a new design after completing it for the first time is rare.

Sometimes the first time is hideous with germs of a good idea, and sometimes it's decent needing quite a bit of work, and occasionally all I really need to do is up my game on colours and figure out a good way to explain what I did (or do it in a less convoluted way - I kid you not) so that I can teach it.

This one falls in the middle of the spectrum.
While the colours all go well, they don't integrate throughout the piece - the gunmetal-and-pink layer is almost completeley disconnected from everything else except the tippy-top where the jump ring is attached, and the silver-lined beads while good and sparkly don't help define the shape.

Plus for instructions the hotos show nothing useful to someone trying to figure out what's going on in a picture.
While more shiny may have made for a glitzier piece, I'm happier with the way the second version turned out. The use of contrasting seed beads in more places, and fire-polished beads that accent rather than blending help to unify the different elements.

Shaping and slightly shrinking the outer layer makes for a more attractive (in my opinion), curvaceous and flirty design.

Much as I sketch and preplan, sometimes you just have to do it wrong first to get it right later.

Oh and by the way, I'll be at Bead and Button again this year - yay! This is the lineup (so far - things change sometimes):
Triangle Slide
 Dangerous Buds
Trivoli (again!)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Reversible Flower

 One pendant, both sides are the right side. Class sample
I keep flashing to Bambi: "Flower, pretty flower".

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Some months ago I made a few necklaces using pinch beads in a repeating pattern, but what I really wanted was some sort of focal motif for the necklace as it was a bit simple. I generated piles and piles of wiggly threads from all the cutting up because none of it worked.
 Turns out that the fire-polished beads I was suing back then were just too small, so once I picked out bigger beads, it just fell into place.