Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Desert Princess - A Work in Progress Sept. 30

More work done on The Desert Princess yesterday. I completed the bottom 4 strands.

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

This "unit" in of itself looks very nice together!

Now, started on the top 4 strands. First, the Nacozari turquoise

Then, the green Kingman heishi

And more green Kingman turquoise. This one, I removed the silver beads I had originally placed in the middle, and I exchanged the silver beads I had at the end with the same silver beads as the strand with the Nacozari Turquoise. Looks better.

I hope to work some more on it today, and at least get the last strand added.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Crocheting Some More

I've done a couple more fun little crochet projects, trying to make the perfect little droid/iphone/ipod cozy. I am finding I have forgotten a lot about crocheting, but it's slowly coming back!

Here's three little projects:

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

Starting from the left - This one looks ok from the front, but it's a bit messy in the back. My joining leaves a little to be desired at this point. I tried to think of a way to use some of my beads as buttons. Here I used a fancy jasper faceted tear drop. It works well for decoration, but when I strapped the cozy with the droid in it to my belt, I felt like it wouldn't hold very well. The Droid fits perfectly.

This next one I like! It's a little bunchy on the bottom, but not too bad. The "button" is a crocheted flower. I'm not sure how well it will hold up with being squashed in and out of the button hole. When I strapped the cozy with the Droid in it to my belt, it felt very secure. The back looks ok. The Droid fits snuggly on the sides, the cozy is a bit taller than the Droid. No big deal.

The last one is just too wide to be a cozy, so I just added a shoulder strap to it. Kind of cute, but again, a messy back.

So there you have it. And here's hoping that eventually, practice makes perfect! :-D

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another Craft?? Oh, No !!!

But oh yes! :-D

Back in the 80's, I did quite a bit of crocheting. And now I'm picking it back up again, something to do while watching TV at night. At first I thought about organic cotton washcloths and soap savers but then I thought, I have SO much yarn around here from my weaving days, I might as well use it! Most of it is wool, some linen, I thought I had some cotton but I guess not. So I'm thinking felted bags, purses, cozies. The wool I originally bought for weaving rugs. Most of it comes from the Bartlett Yarns in Harmony Maine. Beautiful stuff! So I started practicing with little pouches.

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

The red one on the left I am using as a cozy for my Droid .. a perfect fit! It has not been felted (the cozy, not the Droid!)

The yarn for the light colored cozy on the far left did not come from Bartlett Yarns. I remember weaving a rug using that and it was the softest rug! I felted this piece. It came out ok, but not great. The little white pouch was made from some wool my friend Tricia spun up. Cute! :) I'll use it the next time I ship some earrings.

The piece in the middle is the first piece I practiced on. It's made with wetspun tow linen that I had originally bought to use as a warp for rugs. Extremely strong! I did this round robin - crocheting round and round without joining. It looks like a stairwell! LOL. Work on it is messy, but after 30 years, well, ya know! After washing it, it's very supple and soft. I have plenty of this linen, and I think it will make nice clutches and bags.

I tried to really felt the next 2 pieces, but they didn't felt the way I wanted them to. They just sort of fulled. :) I think because I was doing a double crochet, which isn't a very dense stitch. And the hot water took most of the color out of the blue one.

And now I'm getting serious! I have some Dark Sheeps Gray from Bartlett Yarns that is just gorgeous! It is a very bulky homespun yarn, natural, not dyed. I'm making a bag with shoulder straps. I'm using the half double crochet stitch, which is very dense. I'll be felting it. This is what I have so far

(Be sure to click on the photo to enlarge. This yarn is gorgeous!)

It's going to be large!!!

The Desert Princess - A Work in Progress Sept. 27

I am now in the process of putting this necklace together. I'll start with the bottom strand, and work my up.

I got the first strand attached. Easy peasy, as expected. This was much like adding a headpin to an earring wire, I used 18ga half hard sterling wire.

Then came the second and third strand, which are attached to each other by the double holed coral beads ... I took out the double holed sterling beads, they were just too big, it didn't work. Attached them to the reducers double crimping on each end. Well, this did not look quite right. The top strand just had too many beads and was not laying right.

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

So I restrung the offending strand. I ended up only removing 3 beads but what a difference!

A close-up of one of the ends connected to the reducer -

That's as far as I have gotten. I hope to be able to work on it today.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Desert Princess - A Work In Progress Sept 22

So, I left off with 5 strands done, 3 more to go. I knew I wanted the green Kingman turquoise heishi, just a plain strand of it with no embellishments.

Like this:

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

For the next strand, I was debating between a blue (either iolite or azurite) or some more green turquoise. I finally decided on more green turquoise.

I don't think I like the 3 silver pieces in the middle. It seems to irratate me, like a disconnect or something. I may be taking those out.

Another pic:

And now the strand I really love! Blue blue blue Kingman Turquoise with plenty of silver! It gets top billing. :)

Wait for it ...

It's going to be .....


Yeah?? What do you think?! Look ok to you? :)

A few more pics:

Well, folks, all of this has been the easy part. Now comes the hard part - getting all these strands connected to the reducers. If you hear lots of cussing and yelling and screaming coming from Tucson, don't worry, it will just be me! :)

Edited to add:
I'm definitely going to take out the 3 silver beads in the middle of the green turquoise. AND on the top strand, I'm going to exchange the last turquoise bead on each end for a red coral bead.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Desert Princess

And the winner of the "Name the Necklace" contest is .....

The Desert Princess

Suggested by Becky, of The Soap Sister

Thank you, Becky! I love that name! :) Just let me know, would you like a pair of earrings, or would you like a couple of bars of handmade soap? You can contact me at nan [at] or nan [at]

And thank you to everyone that participated! I had some great choices to choose from!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Statement Piece - Work in Progress Sept 16

*To read the beginning of this project, scroll down to Sept. 8th entry.

I managed to do quite a bit of work on my necklace yesterday. And I'm really liking it!!

Since I will be utilizing 2 four-strand-reducers on each side of the necklace, I am thinking in terms of 2 groups of strands. The bottom group and the top group. I completed the bottom group by adding a bold strand of lapis lazuli. Take a look .....

(Click on any photo to enlarge)

I was very careful to make this strand a good 2 inches shorter than the strand below it to make sure the large lapis beads didn't intrude. The silver spacers between each of the smaller lapis beads adds a bit of weight. Whoever wears this necklace is going to have to have a strong neck!!

Here's a close up

I also completed the lowest strand of the top group. This I really like! Blue blue blue blue Nacozari Turquoise!

Yeah, I like that!! Here's a couple of close ups

Those are 4mm sterling silver round beads in between the tear drop turquoise beads.

Now I'm thinking of the next strand to put in. My next strand is going to be a plain strand of green turquoise heishi beads, from the Kingman mine, put in fairly close to the blue Nacozari, sort of like this

And here's a few pics of some other arrangements I am thinking of for the rest of it

That top strand of turquoise is definitely going to be used!! With lots of silver! Those beads are from the Kingman mine. The other strand is Nacozari Turquoise heishi.

Or maybe some more green. This is green Kingman turquoise.

I also have a very pretty strand of iolite that would look nice.

And of course, I could go a completely different way, and use some carnelian, or some fancy jasper. We shall see!!! :)

Don't forget, I'm having a contest to name the necklace! Winner gets their choice of earrings or soap!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Contest - Name That Necklace !!

* Scroll down to see photos of the necklace I am creating, and documenting about as I make it.

OK, I can't keep calling this necklace my Statement Piece. It NEEDS a name! So I propose a contest! And *I* get to choose the winner!

And the winner gets their choice of either:

A. A pair of earrings of your choice, up to $15.00 in value. You can even choose some stones that you may see in any of the pictures of The Necklace as I am making it, and I will make the earrings for you. Earrings can be seen in my Etsy shop Jewelry From Tucson


B. Two handmade soaps of your choice from Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soap!

Just enter your idea for a name in the comments. I will choose the winner this Sunday, Sept. 19. And make sure to leave your email in the comments so I can get in touch with you if you are the winner!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Statement Piece Work in Progress - Sept 14

*To read the beginning of this project, scroll down to Sept. 8th entry.

Today I completed the bottom most strand of my Statement Piece Necklace. It's nothing like I said it was going to be. :-D

(click on any photo to enlarge)

It is actually 6 strands of seed beads! All of them joined together in a sterling silver cone. The cones will be attached to the reducers. I've added a few stray beads - turquoise, lapis, carnelian, sterling silver - through out the 6 strands, along with one large lapis lazuli bead as a focal.

Three strands down, five to go!! :) For the next strand, I'm thinking lapis. But .............