Monday, April 30, 2012

Dutch spiral and a mystery solved for I Might Make That! Monday

Well I'm still cranking out that class assignment, but I didn't want to miss another I Might Make That! Monday, so here, quickly, are a few patterns I've spotted 'round the Web lately that have struck my fancy.

My original plan was to find a tute on Dutch spiral to share, because it's a stitch I think that has a cool effect and I've been meaning to try it. However, I only had a few minutes to surf the Web, and didn't come up with anything I immediately liked that also came with instructions. So I'll share some links to tutes, and I'll share some images I pulled off the Web, but they don't go together.

A basic Dutch spiral tutorial can be found on About. com and a variation of it at the Beading Banshee (I don't mean to be critical of this second design, it's just that the photograph isn't well lit, so it's hard to see the pattern in these dark beads.)

Dutch spiral necklace from the Bead Society of Cape Cod
And here's a lovely example of Dutch spiral that I found on the blog for the Bead Society of Cap Cod. The group apparently featured this stitch in its March meeting.

The necklace below uses Dutch spiral as a gigantic beaded focal, strung on cord. I found it at Shibori Girl, and it's featured there in several colorways. She got the original as a kit (unfortunately, she doesn't list the source), and then made several others from her own beads.
Dutch spiral necklace from Shibori Girl

And since I promised a double edition of IMMT!M last week, I'll throw in this pattern, featured recently on Beads Magic. It's called Bilberry; I didn't see a designer listed. It's simple but elegant.

Bilberry from Beads Magic

But wait, there's more! A few weeks back I featured this mystery pattern, below, and asked if anyone could identify it. Well, it took a few weeks, but the lovely Pam has unearthed the source. Since she added her comment a few weeks after the I published the post, I thought readers might not have seen it.

Her eagle eyes discerned that this was made with beading wire, not wire wire. That sent her to the Softflex website, where she found the instructions here. Thanks, Pam!

(Although I doubt that I will be making this with the 24K beading wire that is recommended--it sells for $36 for 30 feet. )

Softflex necklace

Monday, April 23, 2012

No "I Might Make That! Monday" today--I'm on deadline

The above image came up when I Googled "ink-stained wretch."

I'm cranking out my team's final digital communications plan for my master's class. I promise a double feature when I resume blogging next week.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

An ostentation of peacocks

Source: via Geneva on Pinterest

A flock of peacocks is called an "ostentation," "party" or muster, depending on which Google hit you believe.

I love all shades of blue, but I really think peacock blue is my favorite hue these days. I began collecting peacocks recently on Pinterest. At first I was collecting only beadwork, but I branched out to purses, scarves and other works of art and craft.

These shoes, for example. I couldn't even stand up on those spindly heels, much less walk in them. But a girl can dream, can't she?

Apparently lots of others are fascinated by peacocks, too. Many Pinterestesses (I just made that word up!) have boards devoted to them.

When I was my 20s, I was hugely into Flannery O'Connor (into that Southern Gothic thang, y'all), and one thing I remember about her is that she raised peacocks for a living. That is the sum total of my knowledge of the actual birds.

But this is a jewelry blog, so let's show off some beady peacock bling.

Source: via Geneva on Pinterest

Source: via Geneva on Pinterest

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dyed pearls from Martha for I Might Make That! Monday

Dyed pearl and ribbon necklace
from Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart certainly doesn't need any promotional help from me, but this tute is old enough that I thought it might be new to readers.

At this link, which dates back to March 2008,  Martha shows how to use plain ol' Rit dye to custom-color glass pearls. It looks easy-peasy, and there is a video as well as written instructions.

I think it would be cool to make a lot of pearls with varying saturations of color for a monochromatic color palette--just by simply leaving them in the bowl of dye for longer and longer intervals.

There are separate instructions for threading the dyed pearls onto the ribbon. Lots of people have done this, but I like the twisted effect of hers. I also adore the richness of her chocolate version, above, and how the pearls have been dyed to match the ribbon perfectly.

I do love pearls, both freshwater and fake.
Crocheted ribbon earrings

And here's a bonus tute for crocheters (unfortunately, I am not): crocheted ribbon and pearl earrings. Wouldn't they be cute to pair with the ribbon necklace? They are from Valerie for Mommy Tyme Gifts and showed up on FaveCrafts.

P.S. I've noticed I've gotten a few new followers recently. Welcome! If you're new to this weekly feature, an archive of past I Might Make That! entries can be found at the link in the top right-hand corner.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Color your own brooch for I Might Make That! Monday

This one's similar to my nail polish patina post from a few Mondays back--not so much a jewelry tute as a technique I'd never think of trying. I originally spotted this on Pinterest, and the original source is the blog Cupcakes and Cashmere.

In this January post, Emily demonstrates how she used nail polish to jazz up a flea market find. I  think it's a clever way to give life to a piece with discolored or unattractive glass.

Source: via Geneva on Pinterest

On a somewhat related note, the stylish Maegen of ...Love, Maegan has some clever riffs on upcycling brooches 10 ways. I used to follow her blog all the time but somehow lost the link and forgot all about it. But Pearl of The Beading Gem's Journal featured her bejeweled shirt collars recently and that reminded me of the existence of her blog.

I do love the clever things artists are doing with brooches these days. I do not have any use whatsoever for a brooch bouquet, but I think they are lovely and original. Here are some Pinterest finds.

The first one links to a tute. The ones that follow are just for admiration and inspiration.

Source: via Kim on Pinterest

Source: via Katie on Pinterest

Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dancing with color

Source: via Sally on Pinterest

Isn't this an absolutely awesome color wheel? Sally of Wild Sally Road pinned in to one of her Pinterest Boards recently.

And this vid isn't remotely about jewelry-making, but it's a great partner to the above. I love watching these two tango their way through the color wheel.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Mystery bead and wirework necklace for I Might Make That! Monday

Well, this post will be a tad different from my usual Monday offerings. As I mentioned back in December when I first started this weekly feature,  I wanted I Might Make That! Monday to be my personal to-do list of bead and jewelry projects.

I have all kinds of bead necklace designs and tutes saved on my hard drive, but it's never easy to find things. Take the necklace above. I know that I downloaded this pic at least two years ago, because it was in a folder marked "Jewelry files from Dell" and I retired my PC and went Mac in 2010. The photo was labeled "free project_15" but the image has become detached from the instructions, which I can't seem to find.

Since many of you subscribe to the same e-newsletters and surf the same sites that I do, does anyone recognize this lovely necklace? I offer it here, tutorial-less, because I think you might be able to figure out how to make it without instructions.

I just love the proportions of it--the way the loops frame the cylinder beads, the way the double tiers provide substance. I'd love to give credit to the artist.

(For first-time visitors, the archive of past IMMT!M posts can be reached via the link in the top right corner of my blog.)