Archive for September, 2010

{week 16} wire jewellery

You may have realised that even before I started this project I’d dabbled in a lot of crafts and I have a lot (understatement) of craft supplies. So this week I decided I needed to try and use some more of them up – it’s fun picking out new supplies but if I bought new stuff every week I’d soon be eating baked beans for dinner.

So this week I decided to get out my long neglected jewellery making supplies and make a necklace. I’m also having a go at a little tutorial for you this week.


You need:
A focal bead – I bought mine a couple of years ago in a bead shop in London
A few inches of silver wire – about 0.5mm/24 gauge
About 6 inches of thinner silver wire – about 34 gauge
Two pairs pliers (round nose)
One pair of side cutters

I got my wire and tools from Jillybeads.

It’s impossible for me to take photos of a lot of the fiddly bits but I’ll try my best – let me know if anything isn’t clear and I’ll try to explain.

1) Make a loop with your thicker wire – leave a tail of about an inch. (note: I’m recycling an old piece of wire which is why it’s bent!)

Step 1

2) Hold your loop with one pair of pliers and use the other pair to wrap the tail around a few times. Snip off the excess with the side cutters.

Step 2

3) Thread your bead on to the wire. Then make a loop at the other end and wrap the tail around again in the same way as you did the other end. Snip off the excess again.

Step 3

4) Take the thinner wire – wrap it around one end a couple of times to make it secure. Take it down the side of your bead and loop around the other end so it’s tight. Take it up the other side and loop again. Keep going until you’re happy with the look you’ve made. Loop it around one end a couple of times to make it secure and snip off the excess.

Step 4

5) Now you can make another one and turn them into earrings or just make one and thread it onto a matching chain.

Finished pendants

Hope you’ve enjoyed the tutorial – let me know if you have a go at making a pendant of your own.


{week 15} sashiko embroidery

I love the look of sashiko embroidery – its clean lines and elegance have had me wanting to have a go for some time.

1. Sashiko apron, 2. sashiko envelope inside, 3. Sashiko pouch, 4. sashiko, 5. Sashiko Pillow, 6. sashiko embroidery

Traditional sashiko uses a special needle, thread and thimble. I substituted them for a normal embroidery needle and thread – and I don’t have a thimble so had to manage without. The traditional designs, like this one from Purl, are lovely but I wanted to do something very simple, and colourful. I decided to make a simple envelope cushion from simple linen and a colourful backing fabric (by Anna Maria Horner).

Sashiko uses just a simple running stitch where all the stitches are equal width. I picked three colours of embroidery thread to match the backing fabric. I drew lines on the linen with a water soluble marker so I kept my stitches straight and arranged the leaves that I’d cut out of the backing fabric until I had a design I was happy with.

Embroidered cushion cover

The design came together very quickly – you don’t need an embroidery hoop and you work several stitches at a time.

I’m very pleased with the finished cushion – I definitely want to do more sashiko embroidery and try out a more traditional design.

Sashiko embroidery

{week 14} scrapbooking

I’ve never really got into scrapbooking despite being a major lover of all things paper. But this tutorial from Creativity Prompt and my impending wedding anniversary (paper is the traditional first wedding anniversary gift) persuaded me to give it another go.

I used phrases from our wedding readings and vows printed on white card and dug-out loads of photos from the last year and printed them onto photo paper. Then I got cropping and sticking. I also used the free journalling tags to add hand written notes and comments about the photos.

Anniversary mini-book

I haven’t quite finished it yet but I’ve got a couple of weeks until the big day (wow, this time last year was a flurry of last minute preparations). I hope Ben likes the finished book.

Anniversary mini-book

{week 13} needle felting

Some weeks nothing feels like it goes right. This was one of those weeks.

I’m in the middle of a huge craft room clear-out and tidy-up and the other day I found all my old needle-felting supplies that I bought on a bit of a whim a few years ago. Perfect I thought!

I decided to try this technique albeit with “normal” foam and needles.

Needle felting supplies

I’ve done a bit of needle felting before but I’ve never done it this way where you cut a shape out of your felted piece and attach it to wool.

In the spirit of recycling, the wool is from the jumper I used for Mr.Rabbit and the felt was left over from my felt garland project. I decided to make a simple needlebook as I’m always losing needles!

I first stabbed at the pink roving a lot with the needles (quite good therapy). Then I cut a heart out of the resulting matted fibres. Does it look like a heart to you? No, me neither. Oh well, I tried to make the best of it with a little scrap of fabric that I stamped “sewing” on.

A heart??

It’s certainly functional but not really the look I was aiming for. I think my needles need replacing and the felt heart was too thick to attach properly to the grey wool.

Needle book

You win some, you lose some! If you have any needle felting tips I’d love to hear them!


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All images and text are © Christine Evans unless otherwise stated.