Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I finally finished my photo album for my May trip with a friend to Cape Cod and Boston. Yay! The endeavour took an unusually long time for me. Usually I've got it done in a week. My tardiness tarnishes my reputation for extreme photo album efficiency. Now I can rest easy until my next trip in the fall.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just about the only green in my backyard

Here's a bonus pair for a colleague who has lost at least one set of earrings I've made for her, but is very apologetic about it. Some women really seem to have bad earring luck. I offered to make her another pair since I'm still suffering the sting of losing a beloved earring. I've never lost an earring before (actually I think in my entire life I can count on one hand the number of things I've lost), so it's especially annoying that the missing earring was an amazing handmade silver one I bought at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco. I wonder how long it will be before I stop looking for the errant earring, and before I stop thinking I see it in random places. Maybe cosmic forces are telling me I need to return to SF. Hmm . . .

Purple haze

Here's my second go at the purple earrings. The beads are simple - mostly seed beads with a few crystals and triangle beads for interest. I think they'll look nice when they're in and the dangles are, well, dangling.

The lavender in the photo is from my garden. I picked a bunch earlier for a bouquet and the aroma was amazing.

Friday, July 18, 2008


This is another request from a co-worker who simply asked for purple earrings. I'm not sure if I really like these. (Although the flowery background does make them look quite pretty.) So now I'm fiddling with another purple pair of earrings. Stay tuned to see those. Hopefully I'll be entirely happy with my second effort.

Maybe my ambivalence is due to the difficulty making them, and this happens more than I care to think about . . . The first pair accidentally came together perfectly - without a plan even. Then of course my effort to duplicate the effect was a disaster. And so was the second try. I think I finally settled with the third go. But still it was no where near as perfect as the first one. So apparently beginner's luck counts for crafting projects too.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

All grown-up candy bracelet

This bracelet started with gorgeous bamboo fibre. I bought the little package of hand-dyed bamboo in Port Hope, along with equally beautiful packages of tussah silk, seacell/silk blend and soy silk. They're like little bags of candy — and the fibre is so glossy. But I couldn't just look at them in the bags forever. It was time to make something so I could wear the fibre — so I could enjoy a close look all day.

I got out the felting needles and started making little balls. A few jabbed fingers, and two broken needles later, I had enough for a bracelet. I tossed in a few milky glass bead and put it together with a magnetic clasp.

The bracelet is modeled by a stuffed bear made by my mom. Oddly the bear has a bigger wrist than I do because the bracelet was snug on him.

Here's a close-up of the needle-felted bamboo beads. I can't wait to wear my new creation.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dainty and Dangerous

A co-worker asked me to make her a pair of earrings in copper or gold. Any time I get a broad request like that I end up sitting at my craft room desk, rummaging through my bead stash, pulling together different combinations and seeing what can work.

I found these coppery beads I bought long ago - just five of them - and never found the right project. They're a sort of mottled colour with a twist in the rectangular shape. Oddly I also have copper-lined clear beads I love, but rarely use.

I grabbed some thin copper-coloured wire and started playing. I ended up slipping on the beads and using the jig to create a neat flourish on the bottom. And voila - a new earring design!

Taking the picture was the tricky part. I'm always distracted by the rugged beauty of the Prickly Pear, and forget about the prickly part of its name. Too late I remembered the danger as I brushed off some spider webs from the cactus, and embedded dozens of microscopic spines into both my hands. After the photo was snapped, I started the tedious task of plucking the spines from my hands.