Sunday, October 3, 2010

Attack of the Frogs!!!

Sometimes, no matter how pleased you (ok, maybe it's just me) are with a piece, let enough time go by and you can always find something wrong with it.  I was pleased as punch with the way the  kumihimo bracelet with the leaf clasp came out.  Really I was. (see for yourself here ).............that is right up until my friend tried it on - just to be a guinea pig she said.  Never a bad idea, right?  Well, it just didn't work on her.  Not only was the bracelet too big, the clasp was entirely too big for her wrist (she's a tiny girl - small boned and just small in general) and not only that, it flopped around too much.  I had to do something - so I rippppppp(ed)it, ripppppppp(ed)it, ripppppppp(ed)it (hence the frog reference) out the bracelet and started over.  With 560 of the same color seed beads............and this time I made a neckalce. 
This time, instead of using the cotton crochet thread, I used some 20lb test braided ice fishing line - it's called Cortland  Ice and I love it because it behaves like cotton thread, it is thin enough to use a big eye needle to load the beads and it's strong - so adding 560 size 6 glass beads is like nothing to this line.

While I was in the braiding mood, I made another bracelet - this time finishing it with a sterling lobster clasp.  The looped crimps ends hold really well.................I don't think I need to add glue to the ends - which I like because that step gets messy.
It may be too plain as is so for future ones I will play around with adding beads or another type of clasp - something a bit more decorative perhaps.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Autumn Leaves

The beginning of fall here in the Northeast always means an over abundance of leaves everywhere........on the car, on the steps, on the ground.............and since they're more at eye level, they provide a lot more inspiration - at least to this girl.

I created a leaf out of some recycled copper sheet (here) which I had planned to use in a piece of jewelry, but then once that leaf was done, the ideas for what to do with leaves took over my brain.  So, combining two of my most favorite things (right at this moment.......) I wove some deep green and dark bronze seed beads (kumihimo of course); cut a leaf out of my recycled copper sheet, hammered, shaped and drilled it and added it to the length of kumihimo as a clasp.
The leaf needs to be etched and oxidized - neither of which I have with me.......but you get the general idea.

This time, when I wove the kumihimo I used bead crochet thread (no idea what size it is).  Once I wove the first half inch or so, I realized it was a very, very thin braid........and I had the idea to use a fold over crimp end (you know the kind that is used on leather or satin cord necklaces) as the finish on the piece and they worked wonderfully.

The hold is nice and tight.  I added some antiqued copper cones which I secured onto the crimp end with some copper wire and then attached the clasp to that.