Showing posts with label Beading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Beading. Show all posts

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Little Brag, A Big Confession

The Wilhelmina Shawl from the book What Would Madam Defarge Knit? (Creations Inspired by Classic Characters) is finished.   Your can read more when it was  posted back here.  So I am bragging that it is finished, and turned out pretty well.  See what you think:

The sun was not out this morning when I snapped the pictures, so the pretty greens look more muted in the picture than what your eye would see.  But you get the idea.

Over 500 6 mm glass beads were knitted into the border of the shawl in the last two rows.  It really did not take that long using the YouTube video from Random Knits:

But I will confess that I did not follow Chrissy Gardiner's exact instructions on the lace charts because I did not understand it.  The improvisations are ok, but her scarf looks prettier if knitted according to her pattern.  And I added those beads, because it was easier than knitting nupps.  So that is my story and I'm sticking to it.

(Knit pattern is from the first edition hardcover of What Would Madam Defarge Knit has been sold out, but you can order the digital download here.) Details on Ravelry are here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beaded Bracelets

Now that I have been knitting with lots of oranges and red yarns, some bracelet bling in those colors was needed for accessories So I went to Michael Sellick on YouTube for instructions about how to make a beaded bracelet.  (He has over 1,700 videos on YouTube about how to make various things.)

Here is the video I looked at to ensure I was making the bracelet correctly.

Using glass beads, I made two bracelets.  One has a toggle clasp and the other has a magnetic clasp.

For 34 free patterns to make even more beaded bracelets, this site from Favecrafts is an excellent web source.  I especially liked this cluster bracelet:

You might also like the Blue Malibu:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Make Custom Buttons the Easy Way

That clay you buy in hobby stores has so many uses that I completely forgot that it could be used to make buttons!!

It is an amazingly easy tool for creating beads.  A couple of years ago, I did a post on making beads for earrings, thusly:

(layering colored clay with gold leaf)

(rolled into a tube, cut into pieces, and then rolled again in the palm of hand for a bead)

There was a stash of clay still in my craft closet that had not seen the light of day since 2008.

Thanks to KnitDragonFlies and her recent blog post on making custom polymer clay buttons, she brought to light using polymer clay for making buttons.  So out came the Fimo from the box: a bit dry, but still pliable after exercising my hands with the stiff polymer.

It would be just the ticket to make one inch buttons to match my newly sewn Knitting Workshop Tribeca Shirt.

I mixed some blues and green Fimo together to create an aqua-ish color that matched the blouse fabric, then streaked it with purple straight from the package, layering them together and rolling this mixture into a tube.  Then the tube was cut into 1/4 inch circles and further rolled down to make a flatter circle.  The top of a pill bottle was used to cut out button circles, similar to cutting out biscuits from dough.

I also made some matching beads for earrings from the striped purple and aqua clay mixture.  Then the cookie sheet came out and the beads and buttons were baked for 30 minutes at 230 degrees F.

After cooling, I applied clear nail polish for a lacquer finish.   Here are the buttons pinned onto the fabric:

The aqua is not a perfect match to the fabric, but they will do.  And it was fun to create a one-of-a-kind accessory.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Knitted Wire and Beaded Bracelet

Attempting to make a bracelet with about two hundred 4-10mm glass beads, I was hung up on a technique relating to securing the beads to a flat surface. This video was helpful:

and here was good information and a free pattern to make another attractive bracelet.

With stretchy cord in hand, the first attempt was too bulky.  Rip.  Out it went.

There was another attempt at beading a bracelet, but the fiber was polyester, too thick to easily bead, and  too glitzy:

A third attempt at beading yet another bracelet using waxed weaving floss (a small diamater orange macrame thread) resulted in this clash of colors:

Below is a picture of the final cuff.  It was made in a similar manner to that found free at this site. Not only did I end up knitting on size 3 needles and copper wire, but also added embroidery floss crocheted edges.

At Spun Magazine, the author of this pattern says:
If you are one of those knitters that has to touch every yarn you see (and owns a good bit of it), then you probably look at the myriads of beads on the market with an envious eye. All of those colors and textures are just begging to be tried. But – how can you possibly knit with every yarn and learn to bead at the same time? Here’s a logical solution: knit with beads.
Like you, I like to try new ideas, but so many seem to take too long to learn or too much of an investment. That is what led me to design a beaded bracelet that a beginner knitter could do with expert results. While knitting jewellery is a bit more tedious, in just a couple of hours you will have a piece that costs hundreds of dollars at a jewellery show (and you can say you knit your original yourself). 
There are thousands of beads: glass, crystal, gemstone, clay, wood, etc. Any of which could be incorporated into a unique piece of jewellery, but for a basic bracelet (shown here in blue topaz, crystal quartz, and aquamarine) I recommend beads approximately 4mm in size.
Give it a go and made a beaded bracelet, if you have the will.  It is not a project for the faint of heart.   I'm thinking that was my last beaded bracelet knit with wire the size of dental floss.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Drop Scarf with Beads

This clapotis scarf finished off with dimensions of 61" x 6.5" and was decorated with 8 mm seed beads along the diagonal lines created by the dropped stitches.   The beads are glass, and in colors ranging from lavender to cobalt blue with various hues of lighter and darker blues interspersed.  They beads were sewn with one strand of Knit Picks Shimmer yarn, a combination of 30% silk and 70% baby alpaca wool.   Don't let a little wool in the fiber fool you, it is as soft as a baby's bottom.  This same yarn was used in the scarf construction.  Although it is lace weight, I held two strands together to construct the scarf; so it ended up more of a fingering weight.

The beads added a touch of more design into the scarf, and although they were tedious to apply, the look was worth the extra effort,  IMHO.

There was no ready model for the scarf, so an outside tree trunk accommodated the scarf for photographic purposes.

Here is a picture of the clapotis scarf half way through:

Combining beading and knitting was a first attempt at gilding the lily.  The pattern for the scarf is free and available here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One Clapotis Finished; Another Clapotis Begun

Silk and wool, a 50/50 blend from Lorna's Laces, was used to complete the Clapotis Scarf begun in August. I added a crocheted edging, and the scarf/shawl finished off in an 18" x 70" size. 

Since the clapotis pattern was a fun one to knit, I started another one, decreasing the width.  This time I'm using the very affordable Hand Dyed Knit Picks Lace Weight Shimmer Yarn (70% baby alpaca wool/30% silk) and will add beads to the perimeter of the scarf.  This is what Knit Picks says about the lace weight Shimmer yarn:
From subtle to striking, Shimmer takes lace knitting to the top of the statement-making meter. The silk adds a luxurious sheen to the softest baby alpaca, and the hand dyed colors are a visual treat. The alpaca and silk blend provides a level of warmth that disregards the feather light quality of the finished garment. A scarf in Shimmer will add a punch of color to your outfit, but a shawl could be the dramatic focal point of any ensemble.

This is the first lace weight yarn I've purchased. I am using two strands of the yarn while knitting, increasing the diameter of the yarn by 100% with this method, but the stitches are still light weight. The baby alpaca wool and silk blend has a nice feel to it: very soft!  The beads shown in the picture are 8 mm seed beads in blues, lavender and turquoise and will be added as a finishing embellishment.

The Clapotis Scarf pattern can be found by clicking on the highlighted text.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Faux Pearls, Satin Ribbon and Lace Bible for Brides

Are you looking for a unique bridal gift? Try using your embroidery and beading skills to embellish a Bible for use in the wedding ceremony.

If you would like to design a personalized Bible covering, here is a website where standardized sizes for Bible slip covers can be found for purchase. You can use this type base for cross-stitch, embroidery and beading to create a unique and beautifully crafted keepsake.

Aunt Mary George made me this Bible cover back in the 60's when I married my children's father. As you can see, I could not bear to discard it. Perhaps it can be repurposed for another wedding years later, if the bride cares to use it as a "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" sentiment to be carried for the ceremony.

The yellowing of the white lace adds to the vintage look, so perhaps only a touch of new ivory lace is all that will be added for a later bride.

Then again, if the bride and groom trade vows while skydiving or wearing hiking boots on an Australian walkabout adventure, this sentimental touch would be a bit anachronistic.

Maybe I'll just hang on to this vintage decorated Bible as a touch of the past.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Beading Knitting Markers and Copper Wire

While taking a break from closet reorganization, I started another lace shawl (The Beginner's Triangle from the book A Gathering of Lace.) The shawl is made from a brownish golden DK weight wool. It was the dickens to start, but thanks to knitting friends with savvy, it is off and running.

The only minor glitch in knitting the project is that it requires many, many marker rings for clear delineation of repeat designs.

And I had only a few (maybe 15) rings on hand that I had made last year. The photo below shows those rings already in place in another project.

If you are interested in making some of these markers, hop back to the post a year ago (using jump rings and directions for making them explained there) .

So now it was time for more markers and a new technique. The finished markers were made with beads and 20 gauge copper wire, shown below.

Supplies: a small roll of 20 gauge copper wire from any craft store, beads, crimper beads, wire cutters, a round nose pair of jewelry pliers

Directions: I doubled up on the wire, making the strands stronger, then twisted the wires together, added beads, and closed up the ends with crimper beads. This is an easy, quick project (several pink ribbon markers are going to knitting friends). Be sure to crimp the wire together closely so that the ends will not nick into the yarn fiber while knitting.

If you make some of these beading markers with wire, please show me your designs (or just email me) and give hints on improving them.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Beaded Earrings for Hospice Fundraiser

Hospice of Western Colorado will host a fundraiser and an appreciation dinner for their volunteers in April. The theme for the fundraiser is "Art for Hospice".

My contribution to the effort is a dozen pairs of handmade earrings , some made by using the Japanese method of Makume Game technique using polymer clay, and others with glass beads and purchased findings.

If you have any extra glass beads or earring supplies that you would care to give to the Hospice of Western Colorado, please email me at nmccarroll at mindspring dot com and let me know, and your beads will be used in making more earrings for this fundraiser. (Some of you who read this blog make lovely things, and if you have some extra pieces not being put to good use, this would be a nice gesture on your part. Please be sure and let me know your website, and I will pass that along also.)


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Glass Beads, Wool Yarn and Wooden Buttons

Q: What favorite souvenirs did I bring back from New Zealand?
A: Anything from the Christchurch Artisan and Craft Galleries.

This artisan center (map shown above) houses several dozens of working artisan shops. Their website says:

Once the University of Canterbury, The Arts Centre today is a unique and colourful complex that promotes community education and the growth of arts and crafts in Christchurch. Located in the greenest and architecturally most harmonious part of the city, The Arts Centre is only six minutes walk from the central city, and 15 minutes drive away from the Christchurch International Airport.

West on Worcester Boulevard, The Arts Centre’s role as a venue for cultural recreation in the heart of Christchurch is enhanced by it’s immediate neighbours; the Canterbury Museum, the Christchurch Art Gallery and the Botanic Gardens.

Here are some glass beads from one of the largest bead stores where I have ever shopped, the Beadz Unlimited store. (Photo courtesy of Beadz Unlimited.) Aren't they gorgeous? I found some unusual glass beads in colors that are difficult to match, and also purchased a few beading staples.

This is NZ wool fibre from Fibre Artisans located within the gallery. It is a "Kid Mohair/Merino" blend, produced by Touch Yarns in New Zealand. The quantities and selections were vast, and I had a hard time choosing from their inventory.

Hand carved buttons made from prolific rhododendron branches were another souvenir. An artisan there makes buttons from about a dozen different native woods. Each button in each set was unique. Unfortunately, this artisan is retiring soon. Maybe someone else will take over his trade.

That gives me an idea...Grand Junction is in the heart of wine/vine country in Colorado. Perhaps cutting circles from grape vines and using the Dremel tool to make tiny holes could result in making some grape vine buttons. Hmm...that does not sound too difficult.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Making Knitting Markers Using Beads and Acorns

In a previous post about making knitting markers from beads, and with references given on a previous post, these colorful markers were made with beads and wires.

Having recently returned from South Carolina visiting with my daughter and her husband, we picked up lots of acorns from around the area. Many acorns were perfectly separated from the seeds, and looked like little leprechaun hats.

Although it is not a new idea, I decided to glue several atop a few wooden knitting needles, using Sculpey or Fimo clay and regular craft glue to hold them on securely.

The steps to making the acorn topped knitting needles are:

1) Choose your needles (NOT double points);
2) put a bit of malleable molding clay atop the end of the head, ensuring the acorn cap will easily fit over it after baking;
3) bake the clay on the needles according to directions on the clay (about 25 min.);
4) let the knitting needles cool, then adhere the acorns atop the clay with any good crafting glue.

Here is a pictures of the finished product using size 11 knitting needles :

This is an inexpensive craft, and one children will enjoy. You can read about a first grade teacher's project she accomplished several years ago with her students at Burrobird Blogspot. The children even made their own bamboo knitting needles. By now, some of them are possibly accomplished knitters, having been inspired to make their own tools.

Good job, Burrobird!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Paper Beads used in Earrings

In yesterday's posting about making paper beads with instructions given by Instructables, I wrote about how to use magazines for cut-outs and showed pictures of the glued papers.

Here are pictures of some of the completed earrings made with paper beads, glass, spacers and wires.

These are some of the earrings now sold at the Wooden Horse Gift Shop

...managed by the St. Mary's Hospital Auxiliary, the Wooden Horse Gift shop features a variety of "get well" gifts including flowers, cards, stuffed animals, and novelty items. The gift shop is located on the hospital main floor across from the Columbine Cafe.

Proceeds from sales of gift items go to St. Mary's Hospital. They are priced at $10 a pair.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to Make Paper Beads (for Earrings)

This YouTube video is an excellent "how to" regarding making paper beads. But wait, there is more information below!

The instructables website gives written directions on paper bead making. This source says to use archival paste for making the beads, which sent me on another search of how to make archival paste. I found a good source here at handboundbook paste. So I gave making the paste a try, cutting down the ingredients to 1 Tbsp. of wheat flour sprinkled atop 1/3 cup of water, whisked it together until the lumps were gone, and then cooked it for about 10 minutes until it had a glue-like consistency.

But you know what? This glue was not as good as Elmer's white glue which has been around for generations, and was what I ended up using instead of the flaky archival wheat glue. So much for that little experiment in making glue. I'm sticking with Elmer's.

Another website for making paper jewelry can be found here at Craftside.

And just in case you need to make a wrapped loop for holding the paper bead, will give you a quick tutorial on using wire or a T-pin for a wrapped loop.

Altered Paper Jewelry: Artful Adornments from Beautiful Papers (Paperback) by Jenn Mason (Author) is a book on my wish list. She has lots of good ideas in that little gem of a book. So check it out if you want to go further into paper embellishments.

Here are a couple of pictures of some of the beads I made, both with archival glue from the directions given at handboundbook paste, and with using Elmer's white glue. The more uniform colored green beads were rolled from patterned wrapping paper, and the rest were made from colored magazine photos.

The last step in the finishing process will be to cut the beads at both ends to make consistent sizes for each pair of beads, and then spray them with an acrylic finishing spray. Tomorrow's post will show pictures of the finished beads made into earrings, complete with glass beading.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Beads and Sequin Ornamental Balls: Make it Yourself

Ten years ago, I came across a magazine article that gave a tutorial on making ornamental holiday balls to use either as gifts, tree ornaments, or to group together in bowls for light reflection. They looked especially nice with candles placed close to the sequin and beaded balls, because the light played off the surfaces giving a soft, glowing effect.

In total, I have made about 20 of these sparkly ornaments, all in different sizes. Not being able to track down the original source, a Google search came up with directions on how to make these decorative balls. The only difference I found in the directions provided by Thrifty Fun and the explanations in the older, previous version was that my steps included:

1) spraying the Styrofoam with acrylic paint (silver or gold being the preferred color for Christmas, ensuring a base of color which will show behind the sequins);

2) after the paint was not quite dry on the Styrofoam, I generously sprinkled silver or translucent glitter on the ball;

3) various sized Styrofoam balls make for a pleasing effect when grouped together

So here are the basic supply needs and further instructions given at the website for making these ornaments. This is from Thrifty Fun. Go there to read step by step instructions and see photographic illustrations for each step in the process.

2 1/2 inches foam balls
8 mm sized sequins
3/4 inch sequin pins
Beads with a hole big enough to fit on the pin and small enough that it won't slide past the head of the pin (size 9)
Ribbon, optional for hanging

Here are a few of the sparkling sequin and bead balls which we display each holiday season:

Remember to individually wrap and carefully store them away, and the balls look fine year after year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Beading on Fabric

If you like to work with beads, eventually you may want to try sewing beads onto fabric.

Several years ago, I made a lined jacket and wanted to embellish the lapel with beads. I tried various methods, and ended up sewing the beads onto the jacket with nylon fishing line. If I were to do this over again, regular cotton floss would work just as well.

I decided to put an iguana likeness onto the lapel. It was just a basic tracing from a picture of an iguana, and the beads were sewn on in a more or less random fashion.

Here is a picture of the close up of the beaded iguana, and then the entire jacket:

The edging of the jacket also has attached beads.

For a tutorial on stitches, here is a good website I found: Coats and Clark

Basic Beading requires only a needle, thread and beads. There are just two stitches to learn—a stop stitch and a running stitch. Other stitches are variations of these.Basic Beading requires only a needle, thread and beads. There are just two stitches two basics.

Running Stitch: This is a stitch with a bead in it. Cut a length of thread no longer than 15”. Knot one end of the thread. Bring needle up through the fabric to the right side and thread a bead onto the needle. Bring the needle back through the fabric to the wrong side right next to the bead. Continue sewing beads using this running stitch. On straight lines, depending on the size of the bead, several beads can be threaded on the needle and sewn on in a single stitch. Every 3 or 4 beads, take a back stitch to secure.

Stop Stitch: This is for attaching two beads-usually a large and a small bead. Bring needle up through the fabric to the right side and thread first the larger then the smaller bead onto the needle. The small bead is the “stop”. Bring the needle back through the first larger bead to the wrong side of the fabric.Fence Stitch Bring needle up through the fabric to the right side and thread a bugle bead, a seed beadand another bugle bead onto the needle. Take a short stitch so that the bugle beads stand up creating a “fence”.

Loop Stitch: Create a dramatic edging with this stitch. Bring needle up through the fabric to the right side and thread several (8 to 10 depending on the size). Use the last 6 or 7 beads as the “stop”. Bring the needle down through the first couple of beads and to the wrong side of the fabric.

Vermicelli Stitch: This is the basic running stitch, but each stitch is taken in a different direction. It can be a pattern such as a zig zag or completely random.

This winter, I want to try more bead embellishment on vintage blouses and shirts. And THIS time I'll follow the directions.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Repairing a Beaded Watch Band

Wouldn't you know that the watch band I made here at beading-watch-bands a few months ago broke? Luckily, most of the beads were recovered from off the floor. (I hit my wrist against a heavy suitcase, and only injured my pride instead of the watch.)

No worries; a simple repair put it right. This time, however, I used fishing line (black, 14 lb. weight and thin). The fishing line is sturdier than the stretchy bracelet cord I previously used for the watch band. It is also smaller in diameter than lots of the plastic types of threads used in beading. Even very small beads can be strung on fishing line.

Then the beads were re-strung on double strands of the fishing line, knot tied between beads, and finished off with a circle and arm closure link from the craft store. A dot of jewelry glue at the junction of the last bead and the end link sealed the deal.

Ta da! Fixed! And it should be even stronger than the first watch made with stretchy plastic cord.

Monday, September 8, 2008

How to Make Altered Beaded Broach Jewelry

In Friday's blog post, Carol's Pin Swap was mentioned. Over the weekend, I made two altered art broaches for this exchange. One piece was made from a silver heart broach, and one from a polymer based "sun face" pin.

The two broaches are altered art projects. Heavy cardboard was cut from scrap material to make the backing, and also for stability of the pin. On the back of each broach, coordinating fabric was cut in the shape of the back base, glued to the cardboard and trimmed when dry.

Black, white, blue and green were the predominant colors in the sun faced broach, surrounded by coordinating colored glass and polymer beads threaded onto head pins; those threaded beads and more tiny green seed glass beads were glued to the plastic backing around the sun face.

The silver pin was a heart shaped broach which I altered by using a photograph of my mom, then embellishing it with gold leaf and the burnished photo cut to fit the inside of the heart. Beads were threaded onto headpins, turned for closing with needle nosed pliers, and then attached to the silver base heart with jump rings. Further embellishment with gold colored glass beads were then glued onto the photo face.

Again, the The Sassy Art Goddess' rules for this swap are:

Create a brooch/pin no larger that 2 ½ x 2 ½ inches. Anything goes for the faceas long as it implies a human face and has some beads. Polymer clay, buttons, paper, clay, felting, image transfer, bead or regular embroidery, what ever strikes your fancy. This is a 1 -1 swap. Due to me by September 26th. You must include return postage of $5.00 or a Priority Stamp and return mailing label. If you do not send return postage, your pin is mine. International swappers welcome and encouraged. Please include a note with your real name and screen name, mailing address, title of your piece and any other info you think might be nice to know about your piece. All pins/broaches will be swapped and mailed the first 2 weeks of October. This is a fun, fast swap and great opportunity for all you newbies to try your hand at creating something.
Can't wait to see what comes back to me in the mail in October!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Beaded Pins and Broach Contest

The Sassy Art Goddess is having her fourth annual beaded face pin contest. Click on her link and see the darling entrants from the 2007 exchange. All you need to do is send in one "faced object" of any medium and $5 in return postage, and you will get back a whimsical piece of art someone else has created in exchange for your own.

This is such a fun idea. More information about this contest can be obtained here; then click on the Yahoo Group to join.

Here is one broach submitted by Maggie Robinson last year that would be fun to wear:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Making Sculpey Beads for Jewelry

Yesterday's post was about making Sculpey (or Fimo) polymer clay beads with an overlay of colors, accented with gold leaf. With an arsenal of close to fifty beads from that batch, I made some up into earrings.

Here are a couple of pairs of earrings that I made from the beads using the Japanese silversmith method of "Makume Gane".

The beads could be a bit more glossy, which means that more intense buffing with wet sandpaper after the baking process would be required.

The earrings were made in the same manner as discussed in a previous post on making earrings. Here is an excellent video explaining how to string, wire and finish off earrings: