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1  FIBER ARTS / Weaving: Discussion and Questions / Porcupine quill / birch bark basket weaving on: July 28, 2011 10:21:25 AM
I really have no idea where this should go... After searching for anything similar, I'm really just not sure, so I'm putting it with weaving.  I'm looking for how to make porcupine quill baskets.  I've stared at the ones my friend's mom has and they really don't look hard, it just looks like something you have to know the how-tos for and then go at it and experiment... except I've looked up making birch bark baskets, which are the inside part that I can't really see since the porcupine quills cover the outside part (and I'm not even sure what they're set into to be honest).  I've looked at a few websites for Native American crafts, and I found stuff on dying quills or weaving giant baskets... but the ones I want to make are pretty small, and when I look at the baskets shown online and the inside of these baskets, it looks like whatever technique is used is either different or it's somehow lined differently.

My friend, her mom, and I are all looking for someone who knows how to make these things.  I guess several years ago an older woman in the Leelenau Penninsula (Michigan) was advertising to teach anybody who wanted to learn, but we can't find any information on her.  For specific sites on porcupine quill baskets, I can only find ones that sell baskets, which is cool and I understand because they sell for an absolute ton, but it also means I'm pretty much at a loss on where to look.  Same with the Odawa culture center up there, they sell them, but don't have anything on how to make them, at least not that we found.  (Correct me if I'm wrong and I will totally go back!)

If anybody knows a site, a person, whatever, you will make my year!  And if I'm posting somewhere completely wrong, I'm really sorry.  Please move this post to the correct forum.

Thanks!

2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Frog!! and pendants on: June 25, 2011 12:36:19 PM
My aunt makes beaded jewelry, so we had a craft night and switched crafts.  I showed her how to make a 3D frog, and she showed me how to make an ankle bracelet.  Didn't get a picture of the ankle bracelet, but here's the frog.


And a plethora of random 3D bead guys in the back... not the greatest picture.


I also experimented with some other jewelry, and made a pendant.

This was my first attempt (other than the ankle bracelet, which was macrame with beads now and again, like I used to make in high school and forgot about entirely) at making anything jewelry related.  I'm quite pleased with how they came out.  It's some kooky beads my aunt bought for us to play with and seed beads that I had.  I don't know what the sizes are exactly... the top are "regular" seed beads, and I didn't even see the tiny ones that are the rows in the body of it here. 

Here's the second one I made for my mom:

I used turquoise and hematite, then the top seed beads have silver inlay in them.  I didn't have matching tiny beads, so they're just a dark silver color, but I think they match pretty good.  The turquoise were a little irregular, not completely round, but they still worked.  I made another for my aunt, but the picture came out blurry.

The pattern I followed was super easy.  I could attempt to mark out a pattern on my computer if anybody's interested (though the mini beads, like I said, I have no clue what size they actually are, and I didn't see them in the craft stores here in America, I don't know about elsewhere).  The strips of tiny beads were a bit of a pain, especially with the turquoise one because the holes were too small to get the line through.  I used nylon string, 2 gauge... don't know what that translates to in non-Japanese craft talk (though if anybody knows and can tell me so I can find it when I run out you might just make my day).

Thanks for looking!!  Comments and critiques welcome!
3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Turquoise Book Thong on: April 30, 2011 12:35:22 PM

I'm not sure if I'm putting this in the right place, but it's beads, so uh.. yeah.  I just recently moved from across the globe, and I'm still unemployed and pretty depressed about leaving my home, so my aunt sent me to the craft store to buy some beads (I had to ship all of my bead stuff since it was too heavy for my suitcase).  She said to get wax cotton, which I couldn't find, but my mom had twine in the basement for her card-making that she let me use.  I used a snake knot for the top, but they didn't work so well with the twine.  The beads are turquoise, and I thought the starfish was cute.  It's a little short for a bookmark... but it's my first attempt at making one, and the snake knot used up more than I expected.

I've only recently tried playing with Chinese knotting, as in this is the first completed project with that at all, the rest got scrapped.  I know they're not intended for coarse materials, but if anybody has any tips on how to use them with coarser materials like twine or that papery cord stuff, or any suggestions on what to use to make book thongs, I would welcome them.  My aunt is visiting over the summer, and we were all going to try making them, so I'm collecting ideas.

Thanks for looking!  Comments and critiques are welcome (and mods, if this is in the wrong place, I'm sorry!!).
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Help with Swarovski colors on: March 27, 2011 08:45:49 AM
My question is less vague than the title, but first, let me show you what I mean.  I'm making my niece a train car every year for her birthday.  Her first birthday was red, this year she's two, and I wanted to make her orange, but I've run into a really big snag in that I can't find the right shapes in the colors that I want for either orange or yellow.  This is supposed to be a rainbow, and I hate going out of order, but birthdays having deadlines and all, I went ahead and made the green one.




In every other color of the rainbow, I've managed to find a color for the car and a slightly darker color for the candy and wheels, like the green one.  The wheels and candy are all made of the same color.  For the red one, the round crystal (#5000) was slightly darker than the daisy crystals (#3700) and wheels, which was fine.  It still looked good.  For yellow, I think jonquil or maybe citrin would look good for the bicones of the car,  but I'm having the same problem as I'm having with the orange, the colors that would look good for the candy/wheels don't exist or I just can't find them.  For the orange one I've made it out of sun colored bicons, and I thought hyacinth would look really good for the candy/wheels except I can't find the daisy crystals in it.

This is the orange one so far:

I thought about making the train car out of a milder orange and using sun for the candy/wheels.  I can't find sun in the right size of the round crystal, but there hyacinth would work fine I think.  But then I spent a ton of time looking for a good orange that's a bit lighter and everything was brown tinged.  They really don't have many oranges.  Undecided  So I'm stuck.  If anyone has any suggestions I would  more than welcome them.  I tried putting sun wheels on the orange car and, ironically, the bicones made the wheels look really dull.  It's just not a good mix.  I've been looking for something since I decided to do this project a year and a half ago, and orange and yellow have me completely stumped.  The book I got the idea from doesn't have an orange or yellow car... it's a yellow car with orange wheels and an orange candy. Undecided  Now I  know why. *sigh*

Any thoughts?
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Peyote Omusubi and Piano on: March 27, 2011 08:22:58 AM

This was from a kit my friend asked me to make for her.  She gave it to me last year, and this was my fourth and fifth attempt at making it.  I could not, for the life of me, figure out what the pattern was trying to get me to do.  I'm also used to working with the fishing-line type material rather than a needle and waxy thread, so that was new for me.  Anyway, I'm pleased with the one with the ball in the middle.  The other one, well, to me it looks like a home-made musubi, which is what it's supposed to be, but I was trying to make it a little less lopsided.  I got tired of fussing with it though.




So then when I finished I figured I'd give this a try.  It's based on a pattern I got for free at the local bead store some time ago.  I've tried doing peyote stitch (apparently that's what this is? Didn't know that...) without knowing what it was before, but that doesn't work so well with fishing line....  It didn't occur to me until I finished the musubi charm to try the needle and thread.   Shocked  I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes. Tongue  I think it could use a slightly bigger flower, but that's what I had.  The bell is a left-over from an attempt at Christmas-ifying my elephant (which I ended up sticking a Christmas hat on top and the bell underneath then decided it looked really dumb and made something else).    I think I like it, though the bell might make it too Christmasy...  I have no clue what I'm going to do with it, but it was fun to make.

I've been beading for I guess two years now, and I never realized until I was poking around this forum that there were actual techniques that had names.  I just kinda figured people with better 3D imagining skills than me (mine aren't so good) were figuring these nifty patterns out by trial and error... which I know goes into it, but it's neat that there are techniques and stuff that have names... which is mostly just me being ditsy and not realizing the obvious (see above, slow on uptake) and being super excited about it now that I've realized it and got to play with it a little.  I'd definitely like to learn more of them so I can figure out my own patterns better.  /babbling

Comments and critiques welcome.  The black rose is a bit hard to see in the picture.  It's matte and stands out a lot more in the full-sized picture I took and in reality.

Thanks for looking!
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Candy Pandas on: March 23, 2011 09:53:35 AM
I'm leaving my job (I teach English at Jr. High in Japan), and I wanted to make something for my co-worker who has been super helpful to me for the last two years.  Unfortunately, as I'm now unemployed and in the process of moving across the globe, I didn't have the money to buy any fancy beads, so I used what I had and made a panda.


Then I decided that the pastel purple made it a tad bit too girly considering my co-worker is a man, so I changed to a darker purple for the candy beads.


I can't claim credit for the panda pattern, I got it out of a book.  I did spend hours in a bead store a year or so ago trying to think of a neat way to make it into a strap with my friend though.  This is one of the originals.


Apologies for the ghetto photo there, it was taken with my cellphone, which, at the time, had a not so great camera.  I made a white one similar (white bow tie, white candy beads, white puffy thing) and gave them to the guys from Dacco, a crack band that I enjoy despite their lack of vocal talent.  They have a thing with pandas.  Anyway, long story short, I don't have either of the originals, and I lost most of my old bead pictures, and that's the only one that seems to have survived.

Comments and critiques welcome! Smiley  Thanks for looking.
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Practically Perfect on: March 05, 2011 04:37:15 AM
While working on one bead project yesterday, I was watching Mary Poppins and decided I needed to make a Mary Poppins bear.




I'm super pleased with her, though the pictures really came out dull.  The pattern for the face is from Sasaki Kimiko's bears, and the rest I spent hours fudging around with until it came out.  Unfortunately, because her skirt is a lot tighter than the other bears I've made, she won't stand on her own.  Even propping her up she kept falling.  I used Swarovski crystals for her hat, and I'm actually surprised that I'm happy with the berries.  Those are the part of her hat that I always notice the most (for some strange reason), but on something this small I couldn't exactly fit all the details.  It probably took around six hours because I kept having to take it apart and redo parts.  I have no idea how to make an umbrella, and the only bags I can figure out how to make are way to big for her, but hopefully she comes off as Mary Poppins. Smiley

This is the project I was working on when I decided to make Mary Poppins.




I can't take credit for her though since I only moderately modified the pattern... though after I'd already attached the arms I realized the staff was in the wrong hand (in my pattern book)... and it's gold, not silver, but I'm going to go with I'm just being a perfectionist.  Thirty one Swarovski crystals in this one... I love those!  They're so shiny!  The new cut they have (used to be 5301) are so ridiculously sparkly.  I bought the purple ones recently for this project, so they're the super-sparkly ones (not that you can tell in the picture).   Anyway, I'm in love with the sparkliness of her... and Mary's hat.  This is the book I used for Malificent.

Comments and critiques welcome, and thank you for looking!
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Belle Bunny on: February 27, 2011 05:46:04 PM
This is my first project that I'm posting here.  It's also my first 3D bead project where I altered a pattern this much.



*A few more pictures





I don't know how I feel about the colors, and so far nobody has recognized her as Belle until I said something.  She took about five and a half hours.  I modified a pattern for an Aurora bunny by Sasaki Kimiko.  She has three different shades of yellow seed beads and 16 Swarovski crystals in her dress.  She also has an iridescent petticoat, but it doesn't show in the picture.  Neither do her feet, but her shoes are the same pale yellow as the main skirt.  Her gloves have a lighter yellow border at the top that also doesn't show in the picture. Sad

Comments and critiques are welcome. Cheesy  I'm thinking of making Disney princess ornaments like this, or a doll house, for my niece when she's a little older.  Right now I think she'd just put them in her mouth.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Idea's for an elephant on: October 15, 2010 07:22:11 PM
This is my first post here. Hi. (^_^)/

I'm trying to think of Christmas presents this year, and I've pretty much exhausted beaded things with Christmas themes over the last two years.  I think everyone in my family has at least one, and my immediate family has two or more... So I was thinking of making something a little more simple that I could just decorate.



The picture's a bit blurry, and his right foot is on a bit of an adventure, but we're working on that.  He's just my prototype since I did it a little different than my book suggested.  Anyway, in a perfect world I would have him sitting on one of those grape lights and attach to a regular Christmas tree light, but I really don't have the know-how, and I'm in Japan right now where Christmas tree lights run about $20 a strand, unless they're $1 and work for about 20 minutes.  So I don't want to spend a bunch of money messing around and trying to figure out how to get that to work..

I'm kind of at a loss on how to make him Christmasy though.  That was my initial idea, then once I finished I realized that really wasn't something doable this year.  I've seen so many cool crafts on here, and some super creative people, so I figured I'd ask.  How do you make an ornament out of an elephant?
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