My Creative World…
Archive for February, 2010

Frankenstein Necklace

A couple of months ago my sister-in-law gave me a box of costume jewelry that she had picked up at an estate sale. I’ve taken apart everything that is made of beads to reuse in other projects. Some of the other elements take a bit longer for me to decide how to use them. This necklace is a combination of a gold colored chainmaille, a very large earring, some hammered and pierced galvanized sheet metal, and three quartz crystals. The result was kind of a funky, glitzy/industrial look. I had fun with the challenge of recycling the random bits and pieces to make something different from the original style. Welcome to my laboratory….Bwhaaaaa haaaaa haaaa!

Learn Something New

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to learn something new as often as possible. I had always been intrigued by Viking Knit, but it looked just too complicated to learn on my own without an instructor. “Viking knittingā€ is not actually knitting in the way you might think (i.e. with two needles), but is actually a type of weaving. Chains are made from long pieces of wire that are worked by hand into interconnecting loops. Examples of these chains have been found at various archeological sites in Scandinavia dating back to the 8th century A.D (the Viking era). Similar chains have been found in other areas of the world, so the technique may not have been unique to the Vikings. (Quote from Janra Jewelry)With one of my “geeky side” interests being archeology, that makes this technique even more appealing. I decided to do a search on YouTube to see if I could find any instruction that would make this seem less daunting. This is one of the videos that I found that made it seem fairly simple.

I first started with some plastic coated 20 gauge wire which worked really well because it is less prone to tangle. When you are working with 10 feet of wire, that is a big consideration. After success with that, I tried 20 gauge copper wire which was a little trickier, but not too difficult.
Above are my first two attempts. Each chain took around 3 hours to complete, but most of that can be done while watching a movie or riding in the car. It is a very portable project.

It just amazes me, the wealth of information that is on YouTube. I plan to post other newly learned skills in the future. I challenge all of you to see what you can learn too.

Winter’s Beauty and Two Artsy Ladies

Winter is not my favorite time of year. All of the other seasons are more to my taste. Winter, however, does have its moments. The sunrises and sunsets rival any other season. The colors are so much more vibrant, and the silhouette of the bare trees makes a beautiful contrast.
And then of course, there is the beautiful starkness of the snow. We have gotten to enjoy that view this winter way more than any year that I can recall. We may usually see one snowfall if we are lucky, but this year we have had at least three separate occasions of measurable snow. The schools have used up all of their snow days legitimately. That is a rarity here.

This has given me a good excuse to stay cozy in the house and stitch away at my little projects. I have created a couple of cuffs and necklaces to honor two famous artsy ladies. The first one needs no introduction.

The second set is in honor of Frida Kahlo which inspired the bright colors. All of these are made from vintage and recycled fabrics and buttons.

On The Softer Side

I was recently inspired by the creations of Les Bijoux Dodette and decided that I would try my had at making appliqued and embellished fabric jewelry. Winter just seems like a time when it is comforting to sit in the evenings and stitch on something. I have really enjoyed working in this medium and have several more pieces that I haven’t gotten to photograph yet.
They are all sewn on a base of recycled sweater felt, with strips of fabric from vintage flour sacks, other vintage clothing, and old jewelry that I’ve taken apart and re purposed. It’s fun to take a handful of bits and pieces and turn them into something interesting. They are kind of primitive and the stitching is uneven, but I kind of like it that way. I like art that shows the hand of the maker.

More to come.

Stone Faced

I have this love affair with rocks. I have as long as I can remember. My mother was always frustrated I’m sure by my pockets being full of them. Now I know what to do with them.

The top bracelet is a variety of stones in bezels, with a sampler of textured copper links.
The necklace below is made from a carved stone face that Steph gave me that came from Mexico. It has a bit of Mexican opal showing on the forehead. The chin was very thin and delicate, so I had to stop the bezel at his cheeks. The beads are bone, carnelian, glass, and some handmade clay ones that Steph also gave me. I think he needs a name.