Friday, 31 August 2012

Craftyfolk Round Robin

This beautiful lady has been travelling the country as part of the Craftyfolk on Etsy team 'Round Robin'.  As she goes round, each crafty person adds a little adornment to what will eventually be the prize for the next team giveaway.  She already had beautiful hair, a lovely printed top and background and a felted flower and vintage style brooch by the time she arrived at my house.

I love her colour combinations of purples and pinks, and as there were butterflies in the background print, I thought I might add to the theme with a dragonfly charm necklace with some colourful drawbench glass beads.

I hope she likes her additional adornment.  By the time she has got round the others in the team, she will be well and truly accessorised!

Further updates on the lady's progress of this poster will be posted on the Team Crafty Folk blog here.

Alison x

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Handmade Monday: drifting into Autumn

Metal clay - well, it was fun while it lasted, but I couldn't get the bronze clay to fire properly and some pieces broke, and yet another gas torch bit the dust!  Really, the little torches are probably better suited to scorching the top of a creme brulee rather than being kept on continuously for eight minutes.  So it's the end of clay.  Or is it?  I've only just discovered that you can get air dry clay in a lovely terracotta colour.  Hopefully there will be some pictures next week...

A bumper week in the shops this week, so I seem to have been doing more packaging up and sending out than making.  Not that I'm complaining!  And I've reached a milestone with 100 sales in my Folksy shop.  It's worth it when you get lovely feedback from customers who really appreciate your work, and makes all the effort worthwhile.  This week I've sold necklaces for two people as birthday presents which is really special too.

So, I'm still working on a Viking knit chain for a pendant and the tutorial to go with it, but in the meantime I have been weaving.  It's so straight forward and therapeutic once you have the main structure done.  Here are a couple of creations...

I love the shape on this one - it took ages to get it (nearly..) symmetrical - if only I'd paid more attention in geometry at school!

This is for days when you feel like a square peg in a round hole...

And this is more scroll work than weaving, based on a technique demonstrated by the fabulous wire work queen, Laura Binding, on Jewellerymaker TV.

Meanwhile (in the world beyond my wire-work obsessed mind!), we seem to be drifting toward Autumn.  Here are the blackberries already out behind the lake near us.  They are not very sweet yet though...

I love the sunshine, and wish we'd seen a bit more of it this Summer, but the colours of Autumn are really my favourites.  But before we head there, here are some dragonflies making the most of the current season.

Hope everyone enjoys the Bank Holiday, whatever the weather you're having, and gets time to relax, craft and make.

Here's a link to see what other lovely crafty folk have been making this week.

Alison x

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Handmade Monday: Beaded flowers

An exciting time for Blue Forest Jewellery, as my wire rose necklace and earrings were featured in Bead Trends this month.  I'm waiting for the hard copies to arrive so I can show it to you, as the mag is only available in the States.

While I was thinking about that, I started to list and make some more wire rose items

 I took these to the filming of the BBC show 'Handmade Revolution' in Hanley at the weekend, but was too chicken to show them in the end! 

And while I was making those, some daisies popped into my head as well!

 I've been mad on flowers for a while now, and thought I'd share the technique for these beaded beauties.  I've been turning them into rings.

 Here's a quick run through how to make them.

You will need:
5 4mm beads in your main petal colour
1 4mm bead in your chosen centre colour
Jewellery glue (optional)

Thread three of the beads, including the centre one, on to a length of monofilament.  Cut more monofilament than you think you will need so that you have enough to feed back through the flower for strengthening at the end.

Take one end of the monofilament (it doesn't matter which) and thread it back through the two main colour beads.  Pull tight to form a triangle of beads.

Thread the other 3 main colour beads onto one end of the monofilament.  Again, it doesn't really matter which end.

Take the other end of the monofilament and go back through the 3 beads you just added.  Pull the thread tightly and the flower forms.

When you pull, the centre bead will automatically become raised as it get pushed up by the other beads.  Go through all the main colour beads as many times as you can with the monofilament and the flower will gradually strengthen.  Knot the ends or continue to work them, and add a spot of jewellery glue if desired.  Done!

Here's a link to see what other lovely crafty folk have been making this week.

Alison x

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Catching up

New on Folksy - heart charm necklace

This poor little blog has been neglected recently and I keep promising tutorials that don't materialise!  I must be more strict with myself.  I've missed handmade Monday for a couple of weeks too.

Wire woven leaf earrings

Mostly my excuse is restocking my Folksy shop, when I've now got a substantial number of items back for sale and have had a good number of sales.  Etsy is good too at the moment, with a recent big order for bag charms and my lovely wire work dragonfly has flown away to the US too.  Here are a few things I've put in since.  Weaving, charms and wire work continue to be themes.  I went a big paisley crazy with the earrings - they are quite big and bold.

Paisley earrings
Quartz swirl earrings
Vase bag charm
Next week I'll be a better blogger.  Already planning a tutorial, and hoping to show some more metal clay creations.  Honestly!
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