Pulling together bits and pieces

There is nothing more effective to wake me up from a craft haiatus than an impending trip that requires some promised gifts and other extras to be assembled.  So I’ve been gathering pieces that are halfway done, redoing some that have been redesigned in my head, and I’ve been trying not to go overboard with creating even more.

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The piece above is a woven chain bracelet I am making out of white AB glass crystals and various floral shaped Czech pressed glass.  It’s a rainbow of colors chained together, instead of beads being strung onto an existing chain.  It takes some practice to make, but chaining the beads together assures me of the integrity of the entire piece and that the beads will not fall off of the stringing.  It also helps prop up the beads on top of one another for a fuller look.

There are many earrings that I am trying to finish as well, and a few rosary bracelets.  I am trying to be mindful about not bringing too much because they can get rather heavy.  (Baggage allowance reminder to self!)

One of the perks of being able to create jewelry is seeing my work appreciated by the people I give them to.  There is a special reward in seeing someone’s face break out into a wide smile of joy upon getting something crafted specially for them.  I always find that most fulfilling.

My most recent weekends have seen me going through my containers and bins, and I have found quite a bit of almost finished (but not quite done yet) items.  My work process entails an assembly line that begins with focusing on a set of colors or materials, like beads in color schemes that I want to pull together.  I would create parts of the earring without finishing the entire piece, maybe saving the addition of charms or links for later.  The finishing touch usually entails putting in the clasps or the earwire hooks, and only then can I say it’s done.

My bracelet is almost done but not quite there yet.  I am still trying to decide if the medley of beads is enough, or if I should add a round or two more.  I also need to decide on the clasp.  To be continued… soon.

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Working with Sari Silk Ribbon

There are times when I see some material that just calls out to me even before I know what I am going to do with it.  Sometimes I am prodded to buy something with an end product in mind.  I’ve found that it’s a little dangerous to do the former more often that not, because you end up with something you end up not using.

I can’t remember now what brought me to sari silk, but I do have quite a stash.  I think it was all those beautiful ideas for incorporate a piece of ribbon or a strip of this and that in my research.

Over the previous weekend, I came up with this new idea to actually wrap some brass bangles bought at a deep discount in one of the many accessory stores here in NYC — and that was just for starters.

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These are bits of literal saris that have been cut and repurposed to form continuous strips of say 10 yards and color coordinated to provide a colorful ball of fabric yarn.  The edges are not finished, but the raw quality actually lends a bohemian feel to the material.  The width of the strip varies from batch to batch and is not straight, so it makes for a very versatile ribbon.

Sari Silk yarn

Looking back now, I seem to remember the idea I had in mind was to actually use these to string beads or to provide a necklace for a pendant.  They are available in single colors of varying or solid hues, or in combinations like the above.  Pretty, don’t you agree?

They come in batches of 10 yards and that’s plenty for a necklace or two.  I have even tried crochetting with it, but it’s a little difficult even with the bigger chunky hooks, and the end product is a tad stiff.  So that one, I think I will need to develop first.

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In addition to my sari silk ribbon, I had also acquired some hand-dyed silk from a local designer here in New York, one time she was trying to get rid of her fabric scraps.  I used her silk scraps for the rightmost bracelet you see in the picture above.

I am definitely not done yet with these bracelets, because even from the get go, I had made up my mind that they were just base bracelets I will decorate and embellish.  I’m thinking about adding freshwater pearls, gemstone chips, and some hammered wires.  I’m taking it slow with the creative process here because I want to come up something fun and happy and colorful yet something that makes a statement.  (Now, that’s a bit of pressure there.)

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These gorgeous pinks were part of another batch of sari silk yarn.  The baby pink was actually sewn into the batch and while I could’ve easily cut it and start wrapping the bracelet from where the magenta began, I thought it would be a fun way to actually blend two different shades into one piece.    I think it came out pretty well.

So let’s see how these bracelets end up in, given a couple of days or maybe a week or two.  I’ve been carrying them in one of my vanity bags for inspiration.  If they don’t make it to the store, I might actually end up wearing them.  How’s that for some happy arm candy?

Gift inspirations

I always find myself scrambling to create gifts when I head home to Manila, or when I take a trip to see friends or relatives.  This time around, I managed to scrounge up some last minute pieces which have actually inspired new designs I’m hoping to develop in the coming weeks.

#InspiredToCreate ; #SmokyQuartz and #mysticquartz  #formysister . #gothamchickEtsy #GothamChickinManila @handeagted #SpecialPiece #accesorjes #bracelet #handmadeI’ve had a fun time bringing together smooth smoky quartz nuggets and treated quartz chips together in a chunky bracelet that is simply strung together with eyepins in gold.

Another version has chunks of agate punctuated by treated quartz chips again.  It’s a contrast of plain color against metallic hues.  There’s something about larger and bulkier beads hanging from wrists that loosely instead of clinging onto the arm like they would if the beads were strung together that has me thinking of other combinations and possibilities.
#InspiredToCreate: #agate and #mysticquartz #bracelet #formysister #gothamchickEtsy #crafts #handmade
The shop has been dormant so I am actually seriously planning on starting to repost the expired listings.  Summer’s here and it’s actually the perfect time to work with materials that I cannot touch during the winter months for lack of pliability.  Polymer clay has started to appeal to me again, primarily because I have a ton of them in my supplies and they are dying to be transformed to something beyond the cubes of clay they are right now.

Well, this is a start.

I have actually created maybe 3-4 necklaces that I gave away but failed to photograph.  (My bad, I know.)  I have also managed to string up some rose quartz and then disassemble them later because the headpins had oxidized into the beads.  I so love rose quartz but find them very tricky to work with.  I am still trying to find a workable way to create pieces with them.

Updates soon, more so as BFF Donna is bugging me to send some pieces over down under with her birthday looming in the horizon.  Like I promised, soon.