Firespinner and new tools

Another week has passed with about 36 degrees each day. It’s still too hot to seriously crochet, so I decided that beading is just the right craft for this heat wave. I am still in love with Kassie Shaws patterns from “Beading beyond the basics” and have eyed the firewheel spinner pattern for quite some time. I had the dagger beads and the seed beads but not the correct rivoli as a center accent. So I tried out Pontomac Beads Eu that recently opened up and has a huge selection of high quality beads and a real good price. It was amazing how fast they delivered – three days from ordering to delivery! Not even the stores in the UK can beat that. Pontomac definitely has not seen the last of me though I hope that they will stock up to the same size as the US online store. There it’s bead heaven <3. The pattern gave me quite a bunch of gray hair – not because it was written badly but because I was plain too stupid to read the pictogram correctly. I even got my hubby to check, why it does not work, and I have to give him credit that he at least tried to help me figure it out 😂. But as you can see, I was successful in the end and am totally in love with my new pendant.Additionally I got mail delivered last week. I was able to support Etty van Urk, the Cake Dutchess, via Kickstarter to bring her own modelling tools to production. She had a really tough time with them (lots and lots of throwbacks) but now they finally arrived. And I can tell you: they are amazing and are so worth the wait! Not only are they solid stainless steal, they are so well made that you’ll never want to use your cheap plastic tools ever again! The only bad thing is now that the weather is just too hot to try them out. My fingers are itching so much!

My new jewellery

img_0764I have the beading bug again. After I did the bracelet for my sister last week, I just needed to do some more pieces – this time all for myself (Yes I know, greedy me). I have had bought a lot of beads previously with several projects already in mind but they were stored well away until now.

So I grabbed my copy of “Beadweaving Beyond the Basiscs” by Kassie Shaw and searched for just the right project. I seriously love that book and want to make each and every project in it for myself. You can learn so many fancy new stitches with it! It’s kind of weird however that every time I think I have all the beads for a certain project, I end up being short on one or two bead colors. How come, if I go shopping for exactly that project? I guess I am always led astray by all the other beautiful beads in the store – at least I have lots I don’t know what I will do with….

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The first project finished was a bracelet with LRAW (Layered Right Angled Weave). The front side is beaded first and then the second layer in another color is added. I love the effect that the second color is always showing a little bit on each side – more visible on the lighter side – and that you can actually wear it both ways. The only problem is that I cannot decide which side I like best. I even tried out to mix them on one side but this just didn’t pop. So I stuck to the original design and am really happy with it.

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Then I made myself some tanglety-tangle earrings <3. I have been eyeing that pattern for a long time but those dagger beads were hard to come by. I had to order them online at one of my favorite bead stores (and of course I bought more than one set…). The pattern name is “Le Petit Trapeze” and uses DDRAW (Double Diamond Right Angle Weave). Why did I never try out right angle weave before? Now I seriously understand all those people totally enthusiastic about that technique. I wanted to add a bracelet to make it into a set but am missing some size 8/0 seed beads for the one I want to create. What more excuse do I need to go some more shopping 🙂

Last Wacky square, a bracelet and partying all day (and night)

This week was a little bit more on the party rather than the creative side. It was Pride week again which means lots of music and fun outside. On Saturday my sister came over and we had a lot of fun together checking out small street markets all around Vienna. There was the Prosi exotic food festival (we checked that one out on Friday already), the StrassenKunstFest (little stalls where creative people sold DIY jewellery and other handmade stuff), the Mexican food festival (very tiny and with less music than expected), the Joya Yoga convention and open house at a couple of art studios (very interesting pieces of art – and some really strange ones).  The climax was the Pride parade on Saturday afternoon which was as colourful and fun as every year. Afterwards we decided to also go to an after-parade party which actually was more fun then I had expected. I am not that much the party girl especially with strangers but the atmosphere was cool, open and very relaxing.

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So that’s the reason why I was not able to do much on the creative side. I finished the last squares of the Wacky Weave CAL though, so I am through with one set of squares. Now I will continue with the second set but will not bug you with pics until the joining and border phase. I have been practicing Micro Macramé jewellery making a little bit but am not happy with the waxed cord I have bought for that. So I will be trying out different cords and hopefully will have something to share next week.

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Additionally I made a small bracelet for my sister. It looks quite simple with twisted rows of beads but it was the reason for some of my gray hair :). That twisting made me miss some beads when joining together and therefore I had to remake it once after having it almost finished. But there was no way I would give away something with a fault in it… But even though I had some struggles, it was fun to bead again. I really need to do some more soon.

 

 

About survival, new squares and sharing the beading bug

img_0725How come that weeks are passing by so quickly? It seems that as soon as I have published one blog entry, it is already weekend again. I am lucky that the Wacky Weave CAL is actually pretty fast to whip up – otherwise I would not have much to show again. I actually was able to almost catch up. I finished two squares of week 1 and 2 and have one and a half squares finished of week 3. I calculated however with the size of the squares and figured out that I’ll probably need 4 squares of each design to cover my hubby with the finished blanket. This will mean more yarn shopping as this yarn is used up pretty fast.

img_0720Next I went shopping with my friend amigurumi_craze for a basic set of beads. When I made a pendant for her last Christmas, she told me that she would like to try that out herself. The hardest thing was to figure out which pattern to use with the beads we bought – of course I did not do that beforehand :). We went with a design by Victorya Antipova – the Metalic Sunshine. It is an easy to follow Youtube video that really works up pretty! Didn’t my friend do well? I love her color choice <3!

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And last but not least I did run with my team in the Vienna City Relay Marathon. My part was the 9k and it started out pretty well. People were nice as usual and spirits were high. And then the sun hit me – it actually was 28 degrees with no wind and running without shade felt like hell. I survived however and did not do too badly: about 1h 17min with a 8:22 pace was pretty good compared to my training runs before. Our team made it in 5:08h which is only slightly slower than last year where we were shivering in 12 degrees windy wet weather… Maybe next year will finally be a comfortable run 🙂

 

A necklace finished and Jacaranda Update

I am a little bit late, I know – but I took a day off and with the Easter holidays I wanted to spend a couple of very relaxing days. I was able to finish my PWAT necklace after what felt like ages. I really love the technique but 45 cm take a really long time. I had a huge struggle with the ending and adding the magnetic claps but love how it worked out in the end. I plan on doing some Russian leaf earrings with a similar look but have not started them yet. Not sure if I will also do a bracelet to create a set though.

I decided to continue my Jacaranda instead. It was laying around now for quite a while and the CAL is almost finished. I finalized part 3 and – having fun again with it – continued with part 4. Love the corners and how it is squared of. It also fits perfectly with the pillow I want to put it on. Not sure how many parts I will need to finish it but I will keep on going. So watch out for an update soon!

Easter tatting and another PWAT project

Easter is approaching fast and I am still working on my Easter decoration. I strongly believe that someday I might be able to produce countercyclical so that I will be ready when the seasons are approaching. Not this year though as it seems … First items on my list were some needle tatted easter eggs. I tried different techniques this time – first using seed beads and second tatting with two different yarns. I still love the simplicity of tatting as all you actually need is a needle and some yarn. I tatted one egg while traveling to a friend by train and did not need to take more than a very small crafting bag with me. With more practice and after realising how simple tatting with beads is, a couple of project ideas keep coming up. I’d love to try my hand on tatted jewellery – maybe some celtic motives inspired earrings or a fragile looking neclace for special occasions.

However I started another beading project with my newest favourite technique – Peyote with a twist, not crochet. This time I picked a pattern that is elegant and sleak without being over complicated – or so I thought. The pattern I used is the Tina Hemr Ribbon pattern and is in my opinion a very classical design. I was over confident as it seemed though. I struggled with joining as I interpreted the pattern wrongly and I tried so many time that I was really frustated when it did not work out. Sometimes I should just read what is written and NOT THINK at all! It took me two evenings and the help of the group to figure out where I went wrong. On the other hand it helped me a lot to understand the maths of a PWAT pattern. This method is a slow process though and therefore I still have not finished my project – also because this time I am aiming for a necklace. I will show you the WIP though as I am totally in love with the pattern and my colour choice. I guess by now every regular reader already knows that my favourite colours are purple and magenta 😂

Busy, busy, busy – or why not being productive makes me unhappy

There are those weeks when I run from one appointment to the next and at the end I realize that I was not able to squeeze anything creative into the last seven days. This week was definitely one of those.

My hubby and I love to go to the cinema but did not have time to do so since end of December. Therefore on Monday we went to watch “The shape of water”, a movie I can highly recommend. It’s a modern fairy tale but not in a happy-go-lucky world but with a dark, emotional background. I love the subtle pictures the movie paints in between the obvious.

On Tuesday I came home late and did some homework as I knew I would not have time the coming weekend. Wednesday was the last of my beginner’s Yoga course which took the whole evening. Thursday there was a company event taking place I wanted to participate and Friday I prepared everything for a weekend trip to visit some very good friends. My friend is singing in a choir and they were giving a big concert together with other choirs, an orchestra and a percussion group. The theme was songs from movies – so I just had to come. It was such a great performance that I do not regret going there but as the concert was scheduled late and it was far from home, we had to stay over night. I did take some needle tatting project with me but hardly could find time to work on it. On Sunday we went to a nice little Zoo with our friends so that we had some time to chat – therefore we travelled home pretty late. I finished my needle tatting afterwards but it is still drying on my blocking board.

So as you can see, I was busy but not in a way that makes me feel like I achieved something. I actually hate it very much when days slip by like this and I have not much to prove that anything even happened. With crafting I am always able to look at the finished product and can remember the happy times. In search of a picture to go with this blogpost, I actually stumbled over one of those happy moments I have not shared with you yet. These are the first pieces of jewelry I made in October last year as practice pieces for the Christmas presents I had planned. I carried one set to the concert this weekend and am still very proud of them. And guess what: my friend asked me to make her some earrings to match the pendant I made for her. This really gave me the shivers as that means she really likes it! Now I have to figure out how to change the design to make it smaller and more fit for earrings. I love a good challenge!

Peyote with a twist and H for hare

Another week has past and this time I have not been as productive as I would have liked to be. The problem is probably the cold weather – we have snow and freezing temperature right now again and spring seems still a long time away. This makes me want to just snuggle up and fall asleep all day long. I did however try out a new beading technique: Peyote with a twist – not crochet that was invented by Gerlinde Lenz. It’s much easier than crochet as soon as you wrap your brain around the join. The stitch itself afterwards is similar to the classic peyote stitch. You can find detailed instructions and lots of help in her – of course – FB Group. I started with a basic pattern in order to test the technique and used some cheap rocaille beads. Just in case I would mess up totally. I struggled a little with the finish but overall I think it really looks nice. Sadly it ended up a little bit too big, even though I used my Argyle bangle as measurement. It tends to slip of my hand if I don’t take care.

Then there was one entry on my ToDo board that I kept pushing back over the last weeks. But now I was forced to tackle it as it actually is the only one on my list with an actual deadline. Remember me writing about the Cake Duchess Alphabet Collaboration I signed up to last year? Well, the deadline got extended in January but it will expire on the 28th of February. So I just made myself jump over my shadow and tackle it. I needed to stop thinking of how embarassing it would be to totally mess this one up and to confess to everyone that I just couldn’t do it. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. The letter that I had picked was H and I came up with Hare as the thing that stands for this letter. Don’t ask me what made me pick that – have you ever tried to figure out the difference between a rabbit and a hare? I am now an expert in that and probably have read every page on the internet on it. But knowing and modelling are two different things. My hare still looks too much like a rabbit for my taste as I did not bring it to sit up as straight as a hare would. I painted on the fur rather than colouring the modelling paste and I love how it looks. Overall I am really pround of the little fellow.

A happy hubby and a happy me

temp-12This week I got squishy mail and only other yarn addicts can understand the amount of joy such an event brings. Remember that scarf for my hubby I ran low on yarn? Well, I ordered some yarn at Loveknitting and they sent them to me right the very same day! Now I had enough yarn to finish the scarf and a little bit extra just in case. Therefore my hubby is the very proud owner of a new soft and cosy scarf . It’s also a very manly scarf as it is done solely in moss stitch. And it was finished just in time as it started snowing again this weekend. I am so tired of grey and cold and am looking forward to spring and some colours….

temp-13After finishing this project I decided to finally finish another one of my half finished WIPs. I posted a sneak preview of that bead weaving project a couple of weeks ago but then lost the drive a little and got distracted by other stuff. I decided that I would not stop until this is finally done. It’s my first time using the netting technique and I really love the final result. It’s the Argyle Bangle and it is just the right size to slip it on easily.

Last but not least – as I had my beading tray already out – I tried myself on a new technique: Peyote with a twist – not crochet. Now this one is a lot of fun! So look forward to next week when I can show you the finished project for sure. I am totally in love with beading again at the moment even though I am supposed to work on my Jacaranda. I am running behind with this week already …

A challenge and a Jacaranda

A couple of months ago, at the same time my beading passion started, I began experimenting with the Japanese craft of kumihimo – an ancient braiding technique that only recently started to spread. Usually students are not allowed to share the patterns they had learned from their masters and written patterns were strictly forbitten. It was learning by watching the masters only. Well, no art form can be kept hidden forever and therefore we are now also able to learn this craft. Essentially it’s not very difficult – you have a disc (historically it would be a wooden marudai but today for easier work it’s a simple foam disc) and several strands of thread. Then you braid in a certain pattern – and voila, out comes a beauty. So the theory. Practice showed that it’s not so simple as that. I started with a simple 8 strand braid with three colours that worked out really well. Then Pru from the Facebook group Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends suggested a challenge themed “Valentine”. I’m always up to a challenge – so I aimed for a simple but nice looking pattern: a 16 strand two colours heart pattern. Sounded simple, looked simple on youtube – and was a total desaster. No hearts, just a multicoloured mess. Tried several times, failed several times. Got help from a really nice group member – and failed some more. I already thought myself stupid. Then all of a sudden they appeared – not perfect yet as tension is key and I am not using a weight at the moment but definitely hearts. Well long stories end: I added a heart bead on a square stitched bail to spice it up a little bit. Even though it’s not perfect, I love it because it thought me never to give up. Just like you should do for the love of your life.

Facebook will be my doom one day – especially those groups that show new designs. I really did not wanted to start a new CAL. I already have too much in progress and planned. But this nice little CAL just keep popping up – Jacaranda. It comes – of course – with another Facebook group. But look at this beauty – isn’t it pretty? And it will become still more pretty over the next couple of weeks. Sadly I got really sick after finishing part one of the CAL as my hubby decided to share his flu with me. I can tell you, this year’s flue is one terrible virus. I felt like hell for two days and was not even in an way motivated to do an crafty stuff. Can you believe that? Gladly after only four days I am back to the world of the living, so look forward to some more crafty business next week 🙂

Of blog-aniversaries and successes

When I started this blog one year ago I did it only for myself. I wanted to give myself a reason for staying on track and finishing things rather than leaving them halfway done. I never thought that it would be so much fun actually writing the blog and also to interact with fellow bloggers. I got to know a couple of really great people out there and would not want to miss them in my life any more. I am also really amazed that people find my blog interesting enough to read it – and looking at statistics they are from all over the world. So I say hello to the world and to anyone following or reading me – you are the ones that make it so much more enjoyable to create things and share them with you than I would have ever imagined.

img_0613Now it’s also the last week in January and therefore it’s time to review what I planned and actually achieved. I used last weekend to practice my hand lettering using a practice session from the Creative Hand Lettering journal. I know it’s not spring yet but I am so sick of grey and cold that I wanted to dream a little bit ahead. I so much enjoyed adding flowers and greens to the lettered word. I really will consider using that technique again.

img_0614-1I also continued with the Solar System CAL but as it’s only rows of rows of black I will not bore you with a new picture. Instead I’ll give you a sneak preview of some beading I did in between – I just could not wait to start when the postman delivered the supplies I ordered for that project. It’s not finished yet but I am really in love with it already. Even though it is a simple technique it takes some focus to not mess up the colours.

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I couldn’t prepare my lace bobbin patterns as my printer decided to quite collaborating with me. As well the little fish is still half way done. Those two will be moved to February – top prio, I promise 😉

Spirits finished and a little beading in between

This week I was really busy and it paid in regards of my January plans. First of all I finished preparing my bullet note journal and it helps me already a lot in bringing order to my daily chaos.

temp-2Then I was working hard in finishing my Spirits of the Orchid and was finally successful – even though the border rows took one hour each! I switched the final round to crab stitch rather than single crochet as in my opinion it makes a more stable finish. I don’t want my edges all floppy. I really love the final look – many thanks to Tasiana Kupryianchyk from LillaBjörn’s Crochet World for this gorgeous design. Rather than the Hygge wrap that came out too stiff and small for using it confortably, my Spirits of the Orchid it big enoug to snuggle into. Now the only thing I need is some spring weather so I can use it. We currently have another bout of winter though with snow showers.

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temp-1As usual, finishing a project leaves a feeling of lost purpose. So I had to find something quick to keep me occupied while watching Stranger Things on Netflix. I had been shopping at one of our biggest shopping malls last Saturday for boxes so that I can clean up my storage room. I stumbled over some gorgeous little swarovski bicones I don’t know yet what to do with but also a diy kit for a memory wire bracelet. I had just the right colours, so I needed to give it a go. I had never done wirework before and this was an easy start. Just stringing and making a loop at each end with some round nose pliers. Well let’s say I need a lot more practice – making a loop is not as easy as it sounds. I like the look anyway, even if it’s not perfect.