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21  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Smallest Size Seed Bead? on: March 19, 2013 10:55:48 PM
After coming across a bunch of imported antique Venetian seed beads and stashing them over time, I think I have enough color variation to really play with them.

I was curious how many other people have made a project with some of the super small sizes.  So what is the smallest seed bead you have ever used for a stringing project? 

I have one pack of 22 or 24s that I want to try out, mostly the rest are 15, 18, 20.  The project I really want to start is going to use some of the antique 18s and hanks of modern Czech 15s.   
22  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Beaded Triangle Boxes on: February 07, 2013 01:21:43 AM
I had a couple of fairly involved projects lately.  My Mom's birthday was February 4th, and my work partner, Betty, had her birthday on the 6th.  Both of them love purple, so I ended up stitching two (slightly) different triangle boxes. 

I made one for my Mom first, since I had to mail it out in advance.  Unfortunately she decided to change her plans, so even though it arrived on her birthday, she wasn't home.  It looks like she will get home in the morning (the 7th) so I'll get her reaction soon.

The feet and lid pull are amethyst cut with little facets.  It is peyote stitched size 11 delica beads.  The pictures came out fairly well color-wise. 

Lid Top.

Inside, plus soda tab for size.

Open Box!

Yes, my apartment is small and I have a ton of stuff on my shelf. 

I showed Betty my Mom's box before mailing it and she adored it.  What she didn't know was that I had already started one for her!  Wink  She was thrilled to bits when she opened it!  The lid wasn't quite done, so I only wrapped the body of the box and let her open it on her birthday.  She laughed when I explained I needed to steal it back to do the last 6 rows on the lid, but didn't mind.  I finished the lid tonight and rewrapped the whole thing!

Betty's box has slightly different colored beads, these pictures came out kind of crappy.  I'm not really sure why.  I think my boyfriend used up the camera batteries taking pictures of the bunny.
Her box includes darker purples, one is translucent and the other metallic.  The gold is darker than the gold I used on my Mom's, and the light bead is a gold lined. 

I tweaked the picture a little, and the true color is sort of between this one and the prior photo.

Picture failure, but the pattern is really cool.  Pretend it isn't blurry anymore.

Slightly different pattern on the inside hem of the lid than what I did on my Mom's.

Betty's box taught me some lessons.  I need some of that fray resistant line when using the translucent beads.  The brighter purple thrashed my Silamide, so I had to keep restarting threads (UGH!) and going back if the beads started gapping from a broken line in the middle of the pattern- ie more starts and stops (ARGH!!!).

Not bad for my first couple of boxes.  Until now I stuck to regular cylindrical peyote pouches and pen sleeves.  If only I could find time to make something to keep!
23  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Beaded Snowflakes on: February 07, 2013 12:50:42 AM

I had a lot of fun making beaded snowflakes as little Christmas (and a couple of birthday) gifts for friends and family.  Instead of plain white and clear, I decided to go with the recipients favorite colors.  I spend too much time looking at real snow this time of year anyway!

The first picture is of the whole group.  Here are some more detailed shots:

Those are the smaller snowflakes.

There are the big ones!

They were really fun to make, and a quick project.  I was impressed, since I had never really gotten into bead netting.  Smiley  They were a big hit!
24  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Beadwork Leather Pouch on: November 26, 2012 09:39:45 PM
Here's the main item I created for a Secret Santa swap on another forum.  My swapee wants to get into doing mountain man or voyager style reenactments in Wisconsin area set around the mid to late 1800s.

I didn't have enough time to make a bandolier bag, but there was enough to create a beaded panel for a small belt pouch.  (Could be a tobacco pouch or whatever little trinket carrier.)  I left the tie long, in case he would rather use it as a necklace type or what not. 

The pouch is very soft buckskin leather, with an antler slice button for decoration.  The lacing is also all deer leather, and the decorative tassels sport brass cone dangles. 

The seed beads are size 11 square stitched together.  The pattern I used was inspired by a large Sioux beaded bag.  I took one of the aspects of the pattern and graphed it out on KG-Chart so I could stitch it more easily.  The original appeared to be lazy stitched on the bag - but I'm surprisingly horrible at that.  So I ended up fabricating the bead cloth first and then stitching it on the leather. 

Surprisingly I only stabbed my finger once with the glover's needle when stitching the bead work to the bag! 

It was a lot of fun, the first bead work I have ever stitched onto leather.  I've usually stitched it on felt or something first.  I wanted to keep it somewhat authentic to what was around during those times in that setting. 

I am NOT Native American in any means of which I have claim.  I'm not claiming to be Native through this piece.  I don't usually stay this close to real Native American patterns in bead work unless they are for my own usage at home.  I only kept this one close, since my giftee has serious interest in this particular type of reenactment.  I made sure to stress in the note included that this is NOT authentic, nor is it Native handcrafted. 
25  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Halibut Otolith Earrings on: November 26, 2012 09:22:11 PM
I haven't made earrings, or even wire wrapped anything in a few years.  This project gave me a good kick in the butt to get going on it all again.  This was made to be a part of a Secret Santa Swap on another forum.

I wire wrapped a pair of halibut otolith (ear bones) with 26 gauge wire adorned with a few size 11 seed beads, a pair of drops, and one cube each. 

My giftee has a fiancee who's favorite colors are black and neon green.  The iridescence on the cubes is actually a lot more green than the photo shows, and one of the drop beads also has a nice lime-ish shimmer. 

It was very fitting to make a set with green and black for colors.  The fish ear bones came from this August when I was out with my boyfriend and his dad on their boat for a fishing trip in Prince William Sound.  We anchored up overnight at a good spot, and ended up pulling big ones up left and right.  When the fish took a break, and after I scared off a sea lion that was a little too interested in a few halibut we left on a stringer over the side of the boat, we reset the lines and got ready for bed.  We killed off the lights, and saw something amazing. 

It was pitch black out there, since we were away from civilization.  Everything that touched the water lit it up with a green trail.  All of the lines, the outline of the boat, anything we put in the water- the bio-luminescent plankton was very active.  It was one of the most amazing things I have seen in my life. 

Not only are the earrings made in someone's favorite colors, but they are a perfect reminder of the night the fish they came from was caught. 
26  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Spirit or Mojo Pouches for Twins on: October 23, 2012 12:01:42 AM
One of my long-time friends is pregnant with twin boys.  Since one of my hobbies is fur and leather stitching, especially creating items to be used for some ceremonial or spiritual intent, she asked if she could commission me to create little Mojo Pouches or Spirit Bags (whichever people care to call them) for her babies.  They are something special that she wants to use to keep small tokens as her boys grow.  That way she can give them to the boys when they are old enough if they wish to have a special keepsake.

Of course I didn't let her commission me - I made them for her as a gift for her Mother's Blessing! 
She gave me all of the specifics:  the size is approximately 3" X 5", she wanted the materials to be entirely deer plus the other chosen animals (including the stitching), the colors were to be natural browns along with blue and green. 
Anything else was to be the sort of good fortune, happiness, protection type symbolism for a child.

Here they are with closed flaps. 

There are the open flaps- the toggle button area is more visible in this one. 

Both bags have the same base, and are of the same pattern.  I sort of made the pattern up as I went, since I had the brilliant idea of designing something totally different starting around midnight one night.  On the cool side of things, when I went to bed I had a dream about finishing them- so my subconscious figured out the bumps in the road as I slept.

The bags are entirely deer leather, including the lacing.  The super skinny lacing on the sides and the toggles was hand cut from a regular lace piece, I used some large sheers and cut each strip into thirds.  The blue and green drawstring laces were originally white, and given new dye jobs by my super helpful boyfriend.  (For some reason I couldn't find any colors at the usual stores this year!)  They are tipped with little copper cones to add a bit of jingle, and for the beneficial properties of copper. 

All of the stitching is done with real deer sinew as well.  That is seriously hard work as compared to thread.  I'm not sure if I will undergo that again for a while...  All of the holes had to be made with an awl or a punch, good thing my boyfriend does some leather work so his tools were handy!  It would have taken ages and been inaccurate if I was left to my own devices with a razor knife or box cutter.

I think it only took me about 4 nights to make these, complete with troubleshooting time. 


This bag has a flap made of Caribou hide.  The scrap I cut it from needed a little help, as someone prior managed to get glue or paper mache or something all over the fur on one side.  A little work with a wet paper towel and some brushing brought it back to life!
The beads and buttons are slices of caribou antler, and the tip of an antler tine. 

This bag is the Buffalo bag.  The flap is a piece re-purposed from what was once a pillow.  I ran the fur brush through it a few times to fluff it back up and take out any mats. 
The toggles are buffalo teeth with some horn (hypothetically buffalo) beads to add dangle.     

On the inside:

Each bag has an identical packet.  They are made of the last bit of leather that the bags were cut from, and tied with a piece of elk leather lacing.  I put together some special stones from my collection, so they each have the same things inside. 

She was blown away when I let her unwrap them!  All she expected were some basic square drawstring pouches with maybe some accents.   Grin  I was really happy to do something extra special for her, since we have been good friends for over 12 years! 

Now I really want to make one for myself with some wolf fur scraps I have hanging around, and possibly some salmon leather if I see some available at the store!

Questions or comments welcome!  If you would like more detail on stitching with sinew, or fur and leather stitching in general, feel free to ask.  I have a ton of pictures of the pouch process and would be happy to share or write a tutorial on that type of stitching if people are so inclined.
27  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Stitching Experiences with Scarlet Quince Patterns on: October 17, 2012 12:31:17 AM
Has anyone here ever tackled any of the Scarlet Quince cross stitch patterns before?

I've been poking around their webpage, and kind of want to try one when my massive dragon stitching project is finished.

Just curious what experiences anyone has had.  Obviously they are epic stitching projects, but how do you like the result as compared to the art which they are created from?
Thanks for your opinions!
28  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Salmon Stuffy (the fish not the color) on: July 22, 2012 11:00:47 PM
Has anyone seen a pattern out there for a salmon?  Specifically a Coho (Silver)?  Ocean phase preferred.   So far after searching, all I have come up with is bait AKA salmon sushi patterns.

I'm thinking of a bigger sized pattern, or one able to be enlarged to at least a foot or a foot and a half long.  

Hopefully something that is downloadable, so I don't have to wait for shipping...  I want to have three created by the middle of August.  Wink

If not, I'll just make my own and post the results!   Grin
29  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Black Lab for the Boyfriend on: June 11, 2012 01:23:48 AM
Since I knew he would be recovering from surgery on his birthday, I wanted to give my boyfriend something special.  He loves labs, and this one was too cute to resist. 

The back came out looking as neat as the front, so it ended up in a float frame for equal opportunity viewing.  (And I need to add a picture of the back.)  Don't mind the oven and what not, my kitchen floor worked the best since it is darker cross stitch!

It would have gone faster, but I ended up playing nurse during his recovery and was distracted by other random stuff for a month or so in the middle.  I started it in March and finally finished the back stitching last week.

Even though it wasn't finished ON his birthday he had a great time watching me stitch and picking out the frame.
30  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / If I Did... on: February 06, 2012 01:02:53 AM
Here's a little something I stitched up as a birthday gift for my awesome partner at work!

"If I did I don't remember!"  Is a long running joke within her family regarding someone forgetting if they picked up a large chest freezer.  So whenever something comes up and no one can remember if they did it or not we say, "If I did I don't remember!"  and end up laughing like mad. 

It shows up sort of funky in the picture, but it's stitched with mostly DMC metallic (Light Effect) flosses, and one of the old discontinued rayon colors.  Plus the middle question mark on each side of the border is stitched with beads.

I can't seem to get a good picture of all of the colors, but it's super sparkly, and all in shades of purples (even the beads are a transparent sky blue with purple centers) since purple is her favorite color.

I hope she likes it!   Grin

It's just mounted on some of that sticky board.  That way if she wants to keep it in the work van I can just add magnetic tape to the back and it will stick to the metal rack behind our seats where we can see it!

It was so nice to design and stitch something in just one weekend.  I have way too many ongoing large things that keep getting put aside.
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