Friday 8 January 2016


On Wednesday I wrote about trying the (new to me) "Curl and Swirl" wire-weaving style by Making It Easy With Liz that I'd read about on Pearl Blay's blog. You can read about my less-than-successful efforts here.

Meanwhile, my real job intervened and I didn't get a chance to go back and try, try, try again until a few minutes ago. Yes, minutes. Once you figure it out, and kind of have an idea of what you want to do with the particular stone you're using, this is quite a quick technique to do. Meaning, it either works or it doesn't because if you goink the wires at all then you pretty much have to start over: the beauty of the swirls lies in their smooth, sinuous, unbroken curves.

The primary reason my first efforts weren't successful is because I didn't use two wires in parallel.

Here are my two do-overs, using the same two citrines from Wednesday. Finally the fronts look marginally better than the backs!

As a comparison, here's the picture of my first efforts:

These first two (above) maybe don't look so bad -- but they're very wobbly and look kinda wimpy. You'll also note in the video that Liz is quite specific about crossing the pairs of wires behind each other early on. This interweaving locks the entire piece together, giving you a very sturdy base on which to attach and tighten the stone.

Closeup of the the asymmetrical citrine pendant:

Closeup of the tall citrine pendant:

I will have both of these strung on Greek leather and for sale at the market tomorrow morning. I have a small selection of copper chain, as well, if you prefer. Please email me if you're interested in either (I take PayPal, Interac/email transfer, cash works, too!). I will definitely be making more of these pendants in different stones, and I am always happy to do a special request. Yo, guys? Only five weeks 'til Valentine's Day.

Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you at the market tomorrow!

Wednesday 6 January 2016

Working On A New Wire-Weaving Skill...

The other day I opened Pearl Blay's Beading Gem post on How to Make a Swirling Double Wire Pendant by Making It Easy with Liz, and my immediate response was "Oooooooh". I've been seeing these double wire swirls around the Internet more and more frequently but hadn't attempted any of my own. Time to break out the one-pound rolls of copper wire I bought just before Christmas at Robert Hall Originals in St. George.

In the midst of all my oooohing, I kind of glossed over Pearl's warning about this project not being for beginners. I also didn't really read the part of the title underneath the video on YouTube where it says "Experienced". The result became more Oopsies than Ooooh.

Last night, I queued up the video and watched again as far as the materials list (I'd previously watched the entire video through once). I dug out some very chunky citrine beads I acquired who knows when or from whom, cut some wire and forged ahead doing what I thought I remembered. The first part went well but, yet again, where I screwed up was finishing off the pendants. I ended up with pointless clumps and lumps of twiddles going nowhere. Because the wire was hardening at an alarming rate by now, I also bent and goinked the wire and the whole pendant got really floppy.

With my first attempt, I also ended up with the back looking better than the front and therefore showing the bail (which in Liz's design is intended to be hidden). The second pendant went a little bit better in terms of initial swirls, but failed even more miserably as a functional pendant.

Here is Liz's picture of what the pendants are supposed to look like:

Here are my first two efforts. The fronts of my two pendants, where the top bits are working well... but then it kind of all falls apart, doesn't it!?!?

...and the backs. The swoopy swirls work on the one side of the back of the pendant on the left, but... again, they're on the back, and both wraps kinda fell apart on me anyway:

All I can say is, good thing I bought a pound of wire -- each of these pendants took about two feet of wire, the bottom halves of which are going to have to be tossed. I'm thinking I might be able to recoup the top bits, hammer the wire ends into curves and wire-weave them into something else.

By this time it was getting late. I still had all the citrines dumped on my bead mat anyway, some large matte black obsidian beads were in close proximity, so I threw this together in only a couple of minutes. This is one bracelet I really like:

So far so good this morning: there is no typing, and so it's back to the drawing board, but first I'll watch Liz's video a few more times.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday 3 January 2016

Yet More Stacker Bracelets...

New Year's came and went, and I am soooo confused. Today is definitely the 3rd of January -- it says so in the lower right of my computer. Remember the old days when you had to manually reset the date on January 1st and February 29th and when daylight saving began or ended? That was a long time ago in a land far away. I have to keep reminding myself that it's Sunday today, though perhaps Stunday is the better word.

I spent two days making bracelets with all the loot I got from Toronto, and of course I'm sitting here wishing I'd bought more of one type of beads, bought others rather than the ones I did buy... etc. As for the trip, Lacy Tools on Queen East closed -- months ago -- which I did not know. I never made it to the St. Lawrence Market, so no chocolate-covered ginger for me. And Lavish & Squalor has replaced skulls on everything with foxes!?!?!? Not cool. No Christmas presents for me. I'm so sad. Instead, I bought a big bag of howlite and copper-coated hematite skull beads from Hi Beads and I definitely should have bought more of the copper-coated ones.

Here is my New Year's weekend production. All are for sale, the prices are running $25 and under for this selection. Email me for availability as most are OOAK.

Made these New Year's Eve, was told they'd look better with the skulls alternating rather than in a band:

A comparison between the new alternating riverstone (whatever that is, possibly limestone?) and white howlite skull bracelet and the first iteration above:

I think you're right, Winter. Thanks!

Teensy howlite skull bracelets, white and parti-coloured B&W:

Shoulda bought more of these teensy skulls -- and more colours.

With this bracelet, I was trying to pick up the white & sand colours of the "terra" part of the acqua terra beads, and highlight the riverstone with pewter birds, but Ruth thought it didn't work, that it was too big of a jump.

This was kinda sorta her suggestion, to use a pinky-orange bead to represent sunrise/sunset, and to place it asymmetrically. I swapped out the lumpy birds with a turtle:

Trying here to stretch out my rapidly diminishing aqua terra beads with inexpensive dyed mystery stones, variations on a theme...

...and all which ended up kinda meh. If anyone has suggestions, please leave a comment,

Switched over to more skulls (copper-coated hematite & matte black obsidian)...

Lovelovelove the matte black obsidian and the blue titantium coated beads:

This isn't really doing it for me...

...but I like this one:

Really pleased with these!

All these bracelets will be available at the Woodstock Farmers Market on January 9th so come and check them out. I think out of all of these -- I see them with new eyes when they're photographed and put online -- I'll be continuing primarily with the last style of bracelets, at least until I run out of the black, which is going to be quite soon. Guess that means another pesky trip to Toronto goofing off with Ruth.

Thanks for stopping by!