The Second Ten


I tried filling shapes with watercolour paint one evening while watching tv, which didn’t turn out quite as I imagined because the card sucked in the paint more than proper watercolour paper does. I may revisit this idea, though not replicate it exactly, on better paper.

Then in the next sit down session I got the courage up to try some stamps, growing more confident and creative as I went. Some I coloured with pencils, others I used coloured stamp inks.

The green one was tweaked in a later session.


The one with the little kiss stamp will have a “Thank you” or “Congratulations” stamped on the front depending on the purpose I use it for.

More Blingle, With Tinkle

A late jewellery-making post, delayed because this was a gift and I kept forgetting to give it to the recipient…

Ages ago I bought some colourful Tagua Nuts, otherwise known as ‘vegetable ivory’, and made this necklace:


While I liked it, I never wore it. Mostly because it didn’t go with anything I was wearing. It was dismantled, and I was considering putting it and the other tagua nut pendants among the jewellery supplies I’m culling, but when I put them all together, I realised the colour combination reminded me of a friend. What could I make that used all pendants in the one piece?

A bracelet, it turns out. A charm style bracelet:


It makes a very satisfying clatter, this one. Unlike the one I made for myself a year ago, which makes a wonderful tinkle. Sound is an under-appreciated aspect of jewellery. I’ve bought pieces because they made a lovely noise. Maybe I should consider other, more deliberate musical jewellery designs next time I get the itch to make some.

The First Ten


Despite being surrounded by stamps, for my first cards I played with washi tape. Ideas evolved with each card, and by the end I had moved on to using stickers (the little cats and red dots) and then stamping (the roses on the red dots). The card with the map washi tape feels unfinished to me – perhaps I’ll stamp an appropriate sentiment on the front when I go to use it.

My First True Sampler

Okay, I have made a sampler before. I wove one when I first got my table loom to familiarise myself with it and working with four shafts. But this is the first sample I’ve done one for a project.


Why? I couldn’t decide which colour yarns to match with two of the three metallic yarns I want to use as borders of a shawl. Weaving a sample helped me work out which combinations appealed most.

The answer? Gold with the redder purple. Silver with the bluer purple.

What it has also told me is that the two purples and the navy look great together. Unfortunately, Bendigo Woollen Mills isn’t selling this yarn in 200 gram cones any more. You have to buy 500 gram cones. And at $35 a cone that makes multi-coloured projects a touch expensive.

The Seed of an Idea

I’ve been watching the Classic Car Show of SBS and, probably only because I’m in jewellery making mode, I’ve been fascinated by Jodie Kidd’s. In one episode she was wearing very long chain earrings that just about brushed her collarbones. I haven’t work earrings in years. There hasn’t been much point since my current haircut hides my lobes. But what if I made them long enough that the sparkly ends dangled below my hair?

Of course, I had to make a necklace to match.


I seem to be at the end of the jewellery-making twitch. There’s something I’d still like to make, but after that I think I’ll pack it all away again.

At the moment the dining table is covered in my carved and commercial stamp collection and my head is full of ideas for making greeting cards.


Hunky Hank Blanket… Jacket… Rug… Shawl

I finished the last square for this months ago. Since then I’ve sewn then together only to pick them part again twice. Why? Well, I was going to crochet them into a blanket, but on a whim I tried ‘draping’ them on the dress model and came up with an arrangement for a jacket that I was pretty excited about.


But I had second thoughts as I was joining the squares. It was looking, well, ugly. I blamed it on using the crochet method of joining, which made the seams stand out and the squares pucker a little, so I undid that and started sewing the squares together instead.

Yet I was still getting an ‘ugly’ vibe. The fabric was a bit too thin and open for a jacket. And a little scratchy. So I put it aside, my jewellery-making providing a mental break from the project. After a few weeks I decided I had to trust my instincts. I unpicked what I’d done and went back to my original idea of a blanket or rug, only this time I’d sew not crochet them together.

Another whim had me sew them together in this pattern:


Which, because of the thin and open fabric, put me more in mind of a shawl. It made a long, narrow rectangle, too – more shawl-like than blanket-like.

So I crocheted around the outside and called it a shawl. Which I like very much.




Without really thinking much about it, when I started tinkering with making jewellery again a few weeks back I set myself a challenge to finish or abandon most of the pieces I’d left incomplete last time I had a bout of diy-jewellery-itis along with refashioning and exploring new ideas.

I had these paper beads made from the pages of a book. I tried stringing them, knotting the string between each bead, but the result left me feeling ho-hum. As I cut the threads I lined the freed beads up in a row, and that’s when inspiration struck.


I used a beading technique from The New Beader’s Companion called ‘square stitch’. The result has drape, and a pleasing nubbly texture.

The other batch of paper beads I’d made were from Japanese paper. I tried joining them in a hexagon pattern to make a triangle, bib-style necklace, but they wouldn’t sit flat. So, once again, I separated them. I started playing with them on my beading mat. They put me in mind of beaded curtains, so I lined them up in a triangle that way instead, and I liked the effect.


(Necklace stand bought from Waverley Antiques Bazaar. It’s a bit small, but works okay for my shorter necklaces.)

New Weave

An empty loom. Two empty looms. We can’t have that!

So I’m doing something I never do – weaving a sampler. I want to weave a couple of shawls with a metallic stripe at each end. Only I can’t decide which colour warp to match with the three metallic yarns I have.


The idea was to see how the three metallic threads looked with a few different warp yarns. Only I’m rather liking the combination of colours.


I use an old cordless drill to wind my bobbins. The battery lasts for one or two before it runs out of puff. And it takes days to charge it up. It was flat when I wanted to start the sampler, so I turned my attention to the rigid heddle loom.

I had bought some brown warp to go with this olive handspun ages ago.


The handspun is interesting enough that I don’t need a weave structure more complex than plain old tabby. I’m using the finest reed. 12.5 dpi, I think.


I don’t know what I’m going to make out of it yet.


Paul wanted to go to the tip shop the other day, after a friend said there were some vintage cameras there. I tagged along, and found myself trying to untangle some necklaces. I wanted some of them for the beads, but boy were they tangled! I wound up buying a fistful of beaded strands because it was easier than separating them. That and a beaded bracelet cost me $2.

Once home, I washed everything, pulled apart the bracelet and untangled the necklaces. Turned out that the reason half of the strands of beads wouldn’t separate was because they were joined with a small circle of beads to make one necklace. I liberated them, but got to thinking about how they, and two other strands, went really well together.

So I started exploring how I could hold them together. I tried this snap clip first:


Works, but is a bit ‘industrial’. What I wanted was a ring that could open and close. The next morning, as I was putting the clip away, I noticed my bag of old buckles. Particularly a fancy one I’d always wanted to try incorporating into jewellery. So tried it:


It works and looks better than I expected. The tongue is not inclined to hinge open, even when there’s no pressure from the strands holding it down.

The whole exercise has had me thinking about jewellery-making again. I did a pile of it around this time last year. First I had a critical look at the costume jewellery I have already, finding a few pieces in my collection I wanted to cull or alter. Then I looked in my supplies case, reminding myself about projects I didn’t get around to last year.

So I got playing, and had some winners:

This is a re-de-refashion, or something. I liked the original bracelet…


…but the crimps holding the beads in place were scratchy. So a couple of years ago I did this instead:


But I never really liked the result. I preferred the look of the first bracelet better. So this time I remade it using beads instead of crimps, threading the tiger tail through them twice to keep them from moving:


I made this a couple of years ago:


Then later made a matching bracelet using a washer for the closure. I didn’t love it, and I was going to simply cull the necklace. But looking at the washer closure gave me an idea:


I’ve also tweaked two more necklaces – including one that must be 15 years old. The ideas are flowing. The visual diary has some new sketches in it. Looks like I’ve tipped over into one of those short-term craft obsessions again. That’s fine. It never lasts more than a month or so, and I’m having fun.