Friday, May 29, 2009

Now for the other earrings...

Stealing another moment, just because I wanted to share my other wire-wrapping technique with y'all. The earrings started out as an experiment - and I really like how they turned out.

I have been wanting to try mixing metals for some time now, and it is a big trend in jewelry right now - the look is different and fresh, and gives a whole new flavor to designs! I basically just wove a thinner silver-color wire over and under around a thicker copper wire shape. They actually shaped themselves as I wrapped, which I thought was way cool. It was much easier than I thought it was going to be - and opened up a whole new world of possibilities! Look for more of these experiments in the very near future!!

Here are the earrings:

So...that's it! I would love to hear what you think of them.....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Never-Ending Story...

It just seems that once this ball starts finds a hill and goes down it! Got my new machine working....there was a conflict between my online backup ( - a great program!) and my anti-virus. The anti-virus lost, as the subscription was almost up - so switched over to Internet Security by PC Tools. So far am liking it - and no conflicts (meaning no 'blue screen of death').

Then had a problem with the host of 12 of my websites that I manage for a client....they 'help' folks were less than helpful. So....I just said, if we can't resolve it, I will go elsewhere. They didn't seem too I moved them. Found the BEST host ever! If you need a host for your website, with a reasonable cost, and a real commitment to customer service - check out - you won't be sorry! And, guess what....the problem the other folks just couldn't solve? Done - right away. Ahhhh....such a rare treat - someone who cares!

Needless to say....guess what suffered? Yep - making jewelry...sigh. I did get a couple of things done in between all this really fun stuff. They are all over at my site on iCraft - but I wanted to show them off here too....might be a tutorial on them coming...

Here's one - my cobweb earrings and necklace pendant:

And the necklace:

More to come!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Am I Back??

I hope so - it has been a literal nightmare trying to recover all my programs and data for the third time in as many weeks. Truly hoping that is over.

I am starting something new (aren't I always?) - trying to jump start my sales on my iCraft site. They are having a "Sellers Bootcamp" - and I signed up. It is already day 2 - behind already! But there is a wealth of good ideas - some of which I am already doing! Yay me!

I am hoping (so much!) to have some time tomorrow to go out to the studio and do something, anything! I am feeling 'crafting deprived!'.

Hope to be more organized and 'with it' tomorrow - to let you know what new things I'm learning at the Bootcamp - and hopefully some pics of my crafting....

Meanatime, you can check out my shop on iCraft - it is called Studio 2:14 - and let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Disaster de Jour...

This is the kind of 'deja vu' I can do without. After just 16 days of having my computer back and supposedly 'fixed' - it dropped dead again. Just shut off, and won't even turn on now, much less try to boot up. Wonderful.

Two upsides tho - one, I DID sign up with an online backup service to backup said 'dead' computer - and Sunday I'll find out if that's worth keeping and paying for - am on the free trial now. The second upside is that, since I no longer trusted that computer - I went ahead and got the 'pieces' for a new, state-of-the-art computer. I am blessed to have a son who builds them - and he is an invaluable resource! He told me what to buy....from the 1 Terrabyte hard drive ( a terrabyte? Wow!) down to a new DVD combo drive. The only things I'll be using from the dead computer will be the keyboard and mouse. All else will be new. It will be really beefed up in the graphics area so I can do my video editing etc. and never have to worry that the computer can't hack it!

Meanwhile, I am working from my 2003 laptop - which is filling in really nicely - I've even gotten used (again) to the tiny keyboard that is NOT ergonomic, and the really small screen. Ah, what I used to think was the be all-end all in laptops back then!

So...for the rest of this week - I'll be limping along here....

New and improved come Monday!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fun With Wire-Wrapping!

Took some time to go out into my studio yesterday and got in a little bit of beady fun! Sometimes that's hard to do - lots of stuff tends to get in the way....

I have had these pretty blue foil-lined square beads for a while. I love them, and was waiting til I found just the right thing to do with them. As I was straightening up the extremely slightly messy countertop, I found a package of pretty German silver by Beadalon, made just for wire-wrapping. The light-bulb went on, and I abandoned the cleaning in favor of trying my idea out.

I wanted the wire to all be one piece, add decoration, wrapping, and a loop at the top - and it was surprisingly easy! I was thankful the holes in the pretty beads were large enough to pass the 24 gauge wire through twice!

Here is what they look like - and you can find all the rest of the details on them on my site at iCraft!

I have more to come - but I want to try my hand with the camera again - see if I can get creative with the photos! Stay tuned....!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Petit-Point Tutorial - Part Two

Picking up from where we left off yesterday....

Now I am ready to do the petit-point. I used to go across on both sides of the paper – making it look the same on both sides, but it was much thicker, and made it very difficult to attach it to anything else, as the thread on the back got in the way.

I do all the stitching on the diagonal, because I want to hide as much of the background as I can. Once you’ve done one, you’ll find yourself experimenting with other stitching patterns – endless fun!

First stitch:

I just hold the end of the thread against the back as I stitch, as I have found making a knot unnecessary. I just keep the loose end out of the way of the stitching.

Few more stitches done here:

Here is where you get creative – you can make the line of stitches as thin or wide as you like – and then start moving it down the paper, or across the paper – making different patterns as you go – there is no set way to do this, just follow where your fingers want to go!

On the back, I return the needle through the hole next to the stitch I just made, to go back across the paper. Here is a picture of how the reverse side looks.

You continue in the same way – going across the paper, down the paper, or down a ways, then across, as in the following pictures:

I have gone down the paper – starting from the upper right hand corner in this picture. I went down and then I decided to go across the paper – look how the colors are changing as the stitches are made! Once I went across, then I went down the other side of the paper – as above. Here is how the reverse side looks:

Then I continued with the second pass of miniature needlepoint.

and the reverse look like this:

Here you can see where I crossed over the back of the paper to continue in a blank part of the front of the paper. This will not show in the front of the piece.
Keeping on, I continued to fill in the blank parts of the paper, watching how the fiber keeps changing colors as I went. Each one of these is totally unique, as you will never start from the same place or make the exact same stitches – to me, that is part of the real charm of doing these!

As you can see, this completed filling in the bottom part of the paper.
Here is the reverse view:

Now I will have to jump across the back of the paper to reach the upper blank parts, to begin filling them in.

Here’s the next section done:

You can now begin to see how the finished piece will look – on this fourth pass, I did have to separate another piece of fiber from the two plies that were left. Happily, that simply doesn’t matter in this, as the change in color becomes part of the pattern!

And here’s the reverse:

Now we are just about done – one more pass will do it! There is something so satisfying about finishing one of these up – a little bitty masterpiece!

I am really liking the color combination here! And to think there’s SO many color combinations in the Caron Watercolours fibers! It would take years….

And that is it! You now have a miniature needlepoint paper canvas – a totally unique little work of art!

The Petit-Point Tutorial - at last!

Yesterday it was not looking good - had myriad errands that had to be run, and the weather was not sunny - so the light wasn't ideal for pictures - but too many delays make for never doing things at all - so out to the studio I went.

This tutorial will be in two parts - I did run out of time to do it all at once. Plus, there's a lot of pictures, so I didn't want to overload you with graphics!

Without further ado - the Tutorial!

Petit-Point Tutorial

Here is a picture of one of my petit-point pieces – the finished product that we will create – in a different color!

The first thing we need to do is gather together the materials to make the petit-point. You will need:
Perforated paper
Caron Watercolours Fibers – color of your choice
Colored markers
Big Eye Needle (one that the eye is the entire length of the needle)
Perfect Paper Adhesive

It has been my experience that some of these materials will not be at your local craft store, and you will have to obtain them online. I will give you the sources I use – and if you find more – great! Let me know what they are!!

Where I buy:
Perforated paper – heavyweight paper with little holes punched – it is made to resemble Aida fabric used by cross-stitchers. The source I use is one that not only has the paper, but also the Watercolours fibers – love it when that happens.

The site is:

The paper you will find under “Stitching Accessories”. There are two sheets per package – I always buy white, but it does come in colors too.

The Watercolours fibers are made by Caron, and are found on this same site under – amazing – thread! There is a huge selection of color combinations, it
will be hard to choose which ones to buy! You have been warned!
Colored Markers – these are available most everywhere. I use Prismacolor Markers, but any kind will do. I like these because there are so many color choices!

Big Eye Needle – this same site: has these too.
The eye of the needle is the length of the needle, and it is long enough to hold onto while making your stitches.
Scissors – any household scissors will do – make them small enough to cut the
Paper along a line of holes and cut the fibers.

Perfect Paper Adhesive – This I only use if I am attaching my finished piece to something else. Any kind of paper adhesive would work as well. This is widely available at craft stores.

The basic materials:

Step One: Cut the paper to size. You can make the petit-point any size you like. My little pieces are 24 holes wide by 19 holes tall – measures approximately 1 ½ by 1 inch.

The whole sheet of paper:

I have found that making a ‘master’ petit-point piece is very helpful – I cut one to the size I want, but then only use it for a pattern to cut out the ones I will be using – saves on measuring, counting, etc…

The basic materials photo above shows the cut-out piece of perforated paper before coloring.

Step Two: Color the paper
I usually use two different markers to color the paper – it gives depth, and looks better in the background. There will always be a tiny bit of the background showing – along with the borders around the outside.

I first colored the paper with red-pink:

then with orange:

Don’t forget to run the marker around all the edges – leaving them white makes them stick out! Not a good thing!

Step Three:
Then cut off a length of thread from the Caron Watercolours – I usually measure out as far as my arms will stretch out – and cut it that length. (Think that measures out approximately a yard). Here I have used the color Deep Sunset.

Here is the thread cut:

The thread is 3-ply, and I only want to use one, so I have to separate it from the cut piece. This does mean your thread will go three times as far….and that’s a good thing!

Step Four:
Here is one ply of the fiber separated from the other two:

That's it for today!! Tomorrow we'll get to the actual stitching and finishing up this tiny project!!

I would appreciate any comments/feedback on this tutorial - as I have never done this before - just wanted to give something back!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Enough already!

Beginning to think that I should never have mentioned the word 'tutorial' - for it seems that things are conspiring against me! Last Friday I was trying to upload a picture to my iCraft account and computer just shut off. No warning, no nothing....

I thought "How odd" - and pushed the button to re-start it....and got this really ominous message from the computer (kinda scary that it talked to me!) - 'system failure....system failure...system failure' What truly ugly words. No matter what I tried ( in my limited knowledge of hardware) - I got nada. No computer at all...disaster!

Off we went to the computer guru's store....turned it in with a list of the incomprehensible error messages I got - and paid extra to get same day service.... Of course, Friday is the evening when our church plays softball - and as I am the resident score-keeper and my hubby is the 'reporter-extraordinaire' - we had to head out to the game around 5 pm. No call...

The call came in to my cell at 8:08 pm (the store closed at 8 pm) - telling me that the computer was ready. sigh... had to wait til Saturday morning... and we were there the minute the store opened! Not too! Picked up the computer - paid the bill (which included a re-install of the OS - and all my programs and most of my data....GONE...)
and took it home. You can imagine how I felt when I booted it up, and got the 'blue screen of death'....and more terrible error messages. Not good. Took the computer back...just a tad upset...and not gonna pay again...this time they said my other two drives (yes, I had three hard drives) had failed. Hm.....why did they not test this out in the first place?

Took it home again...and voila! It's back - but now I don't trust it at all....kinda like living waiting for the other shoe to computer in the works (good thing I have a son who can build it for me!). I then spent the last few days putting back all the programs, re-connecting to all the internet sites, website hosts....amazing how much stuff I used everry day and never noticed til they were gone...

Now...back to sorta normal....and going to do that tutorial! Meantime you can check out the sets of cards I just posted to my iCraft site....see what they look like....stay tuned....tutorial coming up!