Sunday, 21 October 2012

Happiness permeates...

An endless round of head colds, school holidays and various other bits and pieces of life have got in the way of blogging lately although I've managed to keep up with things on the making side at least.

I recently bought some vintage sari silk ribbon from Australian etsy seller plumfish.  She makes the most beautiful tattered scarves and accessories. The silk comes in skeins made up of frayed lengths tied or sewn together - incredibly eclectic and quite beautiful.  I've used them in a few pieces including this Hamsa nekclace and wrist wrap:

As individual lengths the ribbon can be quite fragile and I was a bit worried about using it in my work - it's just so lovely though, and I'm obsessed with lots of color lately.  I road-tested both the above pieces and they seem to be holding up OK.  I've also used  it to wrap bangles:

And a more recent experiment - making fabric beads by wrapping little bits of the ribbon around straws, treating with mod podge and then pulling off the straw when dry.   This talisman assemblage necklace is an example of how I'm using them - the charm on the left just above the crucifix.  I've found they look much better if the ribbon is patterned or multicolored rather than plain.  Incidentally, I debated whether to use the angel wing in this necklace.  It stared life as a large silver metal charm reclaimed from a pendant which I painted and embossed to age.  I'm not keen on all the cutesy guardian angel stuff but I love the shape of the wing and I think the tribal beads, including some bamboo coral, and grungy white wavy leather necklace offset.  

I'm trying to find away to incorporate some yarn in my work - anybody got any suggestions?  I've got so much in my stash, which is stored at the top of my husband's wardrobe, that he can't close the door properly.  

My daughter and I were in Melbourne over the weekend - she had a dentist appointment so we stayed over for the night.  It was so lovely spending time with her (despite my second head cold which meant I didn't have as much energy as I would have liked).

The weather was warm and it seemed as though everyone in the city headed to the river - the restaurants and bars were packed and there were loads of people on the bridge taking photos of the sunset.  Just shows you how sun starved we've all been!!  There was a lovely vibe going on - a sort of general happiness permeating through the layers of the sometimes cynical Melburnians.

We had to catch a bus back home (a 2 1/2 hour journey) because they were doing some work to the rail line. One of the shops we visited over the weekend was selling little blackboards:

I see I'm definitely not alone when it comes to having reservations about stringing. Both Barbara and Richelle made some really good points that it is somehow counter intuitive but, if you can master it, adds a new dimension particularly if integrated into an assemblage aesthetic.  I have to confess though, despite buying a one step beader,  I haven't overcome my reservations yet.  I'll have to get those tips of you Barbara.

'Til next time.


  1. don’t string beads cause mine have fallen apart like garnets alls over my friends floor...I have such a hard time making necklaces because of my lack of ideas to find something to put the focal on...oh well we keep at it right?...I slave over everything and I am sure my stuff takes about 10 times longer than anyone else...and nothing seems to be selling and I’m bummed and then i see people selling stuff that is a bought charm a bead and a chain...crap..maybe 15 minutes to make...they sell like 1000 of these kind of things...and my stuff which takes like 5 hours to make doesn’t sell and for me its hard and I get depressed....whew! is that your daughter? beautiful!

  2. The yarn: Do you macrame? Braid? I made some interesting cords with some yarn--I macramed four strands and then braided those to get a nice thick, interesting cord. Waxed the whole thing to give it a bind. I didn't bead it because I don't know enough about its individual-strand durability, and the yarn I used was vintage.

    1. To clarify: I braided three macramed cords (which were each made with four stands of yarn.)

  3. We've been very sun starved over here too! Your daughter looks beautiful and I'm sure you both had a great time despite the dentist.
    When I thread necklaces I use wire guardians and the smallest crimps I can get away with. The wire gaurdians stop the bead thread from fraying and a very snug crimp keeps the thread secure. Don't use sterling silver crimps they are not strong enough, I always use copper.