Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

A reply to Random Thought 6/12

On the other hand, I love it when an idea I've been kicking around in my head for a while ends up looking as cool as I hoped it would.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Short, sweet, and to the point:

Craftster is my new crack.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What was that about "instant gratification"?

I saw a tutorial on Craftster for a beaded bangle and posted my interest in it at 7:40pm. I then dug two cheap, tarnished Claire's bangles out of the trash (not as gross as it sounds, the bag was only jewelry waste from the other night), bummed around Craftster a bit more, made some posts, and at 9:50pm I already have a new beaded bangle. Photos later.

As promised, a necklace.

Actually, make that plural. Necklaces. I think what appeals so much to me about beading is the speed with which projects can be completed. As I mentioned in my knitting heresy post, I'm really big on instant gratification, so the ability to finish a project in a night and wear it the next day makes it very appealing.

I made an illusion necklace while in the throes of sickness the other day.

It took longer than it probably should have, but I'm pretty out of practice with beading to begin with. Pair that with the not feeling so hot and it's not surprising that I had to redo it a few times, mostly because the cord got all crimpy and didn't look right. As it is, there's an odd crinkle in the final product, but it wasn't significant enough to make me want to redo it again.

All the beads came from the pallets I bought on clearance, and the clasp came from my pilfering the other night.

Now, as for what I was talking about last night (which was actually very early this morning by the time I posted it), I wanted to attempt making a pair of cherry earrings. I already had hooks up the wazoo, so I hit the craft store for jewelry findings (clasps, crimp tubes, etc.) and beads to use for the leaves and stems since nothing in the pallets really matched. Upon returning home and starting plan A, I discovered that there weren't enough red beads to make two sets of cherries. "Ok, plan B, let's make more fruit and make a necklace out of it!" After spending about two episodes worth of Mythbusters trying to make a mikan that actually LOOKED like a blasted mikan, I tried googling patterns for fruit charms to no avail. Then plan C hit: I would use the cherry pendant as the centerpiece, then link beaded kyu-pins (I'm not sure what they're called in English, but in Japanese they're named because they look like the number 9) to make the rest of the necklace.

I futzed with a few different combos before deciding on the green/blue/silver/clear color scheme. The bead pins are symmetrical up each side, but none of the patterns per side are duplicates. It had the world's tiniest, most obnoxious spring-ring clasp on it when I wore it today but replaced it with the much-easier-to-manage toggle clasp after work.

Here's a closeup of the cherries, I tried to get a shot of the beads up the side but was once again thwarted by my lack of camera talent, they all came out blurry. I may post a tutorial for the cherry charm later on, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out considering I just winged it and figured it out. I knew how to make "bead balls", and after that the stems were pretty much basic bead stringing.

I wrote up a tutorial and posted it on Craftster; I'll add it here with photos at some point in time that isn't when I'm sleepy and in need of a shower.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Random Thought 6/12

I really hate it when an idea looks a million times cooler in my head than in reality. On the upside, failure of both plans A and B led me to waste a lot of time make a necklace that I'm almost certain is made of awesome. I'll test that theory when I wear it to school tomorrow and hope it doesn't fall apart since my wire bending skills are a bit rusty. Photos tomorrow if it holds together.

Also, I completely lost track of time and should have been in bed an hour ago.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My hands smell metallic

I just spent a good chunk of time watching old Mythbusters episodes and dismantling cheap Claire's jewelry for parts.

Shortly after I moved to Japan, my mom sent me two huge bags of jewelry that a client who worked for Claire's HQ had given her. A few of the pieces passed inspection as things I would actually wear, but most of it looked too cheaply made or didn't fit my taste. I kept it all for a while, thinking maybe I'd use some of it as prizes for classes. I even gave a few pairs of earrings away to some junior high students who ambushed me and had me cook them dinner one day. But really, I had no use for it and pretty much forgot about it.

That is, until I went on this beading kick. Suddenly I remembered, "hey, I have two big bags of ugly jewelry that I can raid for parts!" I ended up with two necklace clasps, several sets of earring hooks, a buttload of jump rings, and even some beads. Score!

Looking back at yesterday's entry, I probably should have taken better photos to show detail on the pins and the colors of the yarn. Maybe when I'm unsick I'll reshoot them. Better or not (though mostly better), I'm headed back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Crafts that aren't made of yarn (and some that are)

Not quite sure what's gotten into me, but I'm on a major beading kick right now. I had been working on a pin which I mentioned in my massive WIP entry, but I hit a sort of mental block about it. It's been years since I've worked with beads, and when I was younger it was mostly in the vein of beaded flower necklaces and things of that nature.

Anyway, I finally finished the pin and made another one as well.

(The DS is there to provide a point of reference on size. Oh, and to show off the nifty Plusle and Minun cover I bought at the Poke-center in Fukuoka).

The one on the right is the one I mentioned in the previous post, the pattern came from a Japanese book called Beads Box. It looks ok if you don't look to closely at it, but it's a little funky if you do. I've decided to keep that one and use the one on the left as part of the present the first one was originally intended for. The one on the left is a star from All Info About Jewelrymaking.

Here's the circular pin in action:

It's now officially the clasp for my Sweet Pea Shawl from SnB:HH. It's made from Denim something-or-other, 100% cotton. I found the yarn at my craft store, petted it, and knew I had to have it, so I bought the last 3 skeins of the purple colorway. Then I crocheted away with my typical disregard for gauge, knowing I wouldn't have quite enough anyway (mine ends with 3 shells left at the bottom instead of 1, and it's not quite as wide). Because it's a bit smaller, tying it is somewhat awkward, and I decided a snazzy pin was the answer, so there you have it.

As an added bonus, here's a scarf I made a hella long time ago:

It's a Yo, Drop It! scarf from SnBN. I made several as gifts out of some Joann brand ribbon yarn but don't have photos of those. This one is made from Lion Trellis on size US 13s instead of the recommended 11s (I was trying to stretch my yarn). It occasionally doubles as a belt.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Random Thought 6/9

Between all the forums, communities, and blogs, sometimes I think I read about crafting more than I actually do it. I just joined Craftster.

I also figured out why I haven't wanted to knit: it's because I want to bead! Pics later, after sleeping. Being sick and on bed rest for a week has really messed up my internal clock since I haven't had to get up for work.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I should be unconscious by now....

I'm sick. Again. It sucks. After almost fainting at my bathroom sink yesterday, I dragged myself to work, only to be taken to the doctor before first period, put on an IV drip, and sent home with a bag of prescription drugs (because the Japanese love prescribing a multitude of pills to treat various symptoms). I stayed home today and slept for hours, which is probably why I'm awake despite the fact it's almost 2am and I have work tomorrow (though depending on how I feel, I might call in again).

Seeing as how I'm stuck in bed (same old "ack, I'm dizzy and going to pass out if I stand up" as last time, when I went on a crocheting binge and made a bunch of hats), I need to find ways to amuse myself. I started looking up Linsner's Dawn images, since although I don't know if I'll ever make it to Dragon*Con (and certainly not this year, since I'll only just have moved back to the States by the time the con rolls around), it's fun to think about what sort of costume I'd want to make for the annual Dawn Lookalike contest. Tonight I came across this outfit, and I was immediately smitten with it, mostly because of an overwhelming desire to make that duster. Knitted or crocheted, not sure yet, probably crocheted given all the openwork on the skulls. It's probably far-fetched and ridiculous and the product of a frustrated, bored, ill mind, but dang, I want to make that work somehow.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Random Thought 6/1

If you told me that, from now on, I'm only allowed to use blue, green, and purple yarn*, I would have no problem with that.

*Well, maybe with some occasional black and pink mixed in. It's funny, I never even realized that I actually like pink until I moved to Japan. I never drank coffee, ate egg yolks, or enjoyed yoga until I came here either.