Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Mookaite Unwrapped (Post 24)

Mookkaite - aka Australian Jasper (pronounced moo-kite)
Some time ago I came across some beautiful mookaite beads and just loved the smoothness and colours of the gemstone, which somehow have a very soothing effect.   Mookaite is a beautiful gemstone that varies in colour with lots of different tones to it.  It reminds me of marble but a lot creamier.

Properties of Mookaite
An Example from Crystal Wiki
It is a stone that is said to to help with self-esteem, facing fear and lifting depression.  It assists in decision making, providing guidance to the most appropriate answer at that time.  This then gives you new perspectives, enabling you to 'move forward' and socially interact more.  It is said to help you to accept yourself.  Quite enabling traits ... which enhance creativity.

Maisie Mink

Aside from 'gloating' over their beauty  I just could not decide what to do with them.  (That's funny, given their list of properties above).

I wanted to make sure I didn't lose the warmth and clarity of colours.  So after many moons of dithering, I finally had the inspiration to make this set of earrings and necklace.

Working with copper enhanced the colours really well.  I also love the little miyuki drop beads which have a staggered effect as their hole is slightly off centre.

Welcome to 'New Followers'
I'm pleased to say that I have another 3 followers, bringing the grand total to 36 - thank you all so much! 
May I welcome:
  • Clair - A creative lady whose multi talents are never ending, lucky for those of us who follow her blog.
  • Dawn - A Jewellery Designer, amongst other skills; Reki Master Teacher, Indian Head Massage Therapist.  
  • Carrie - A newcomer to the world of crafts, with a passion for knitting; who I hope will develop her range of skills further.

Not long until Christmas now, but I hope to post a few more goodies before then.

'Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging'


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

New Followers .... (Post 23)

Hello and welcome to 2 new followers:
  • wired4style - Terry, who is a multi-talented jewellery/designer and artist from the United States.  In fact looking at her blog she oozes creativity; ranging from jewellery, photography, art and sculpture to name just a few of her interests. 
  • lunad'argentodilulu - Lulu, from Bussero, Milan.  Lulu has some amazing wirework and a great eye for detail.
This brings my followers up to 33 - amazing!  Thank you all so much, I love the range of talented people that enjoy visiting.  

I have been busy 'knitting' - yes, really!  Something that I don't do a lot of but it has seemed to have taken up much of my time this week - so whilst I have enjoyed it, my jewellery has taken a bit of a back seat.  

Not to worry though, I have picked up on my mookaite project as well, although that's not been an entire success.  I've changed my ideas a couple of times - but I am now incorporating a little wirework into it; which I am hoping to complete in the next few days.

In the meantime, 'Keep Watching and I'll Keep Blogging'


Monday, 8 November 2010

Autumn Collection Part Three (Post 22)

Like buses ... you wait for ages then they all come together!  

For those of you who may not realise, this is my 2nd update tonight - so don't forget to look at Post 21.  Especially as the method is explained more there.

Glitter Cage

Another French Knitting creation.  This time I used wire, threading loads and loads of small glass beads straight on to the spool of wire.  

It was very interesting to see the contrast between this and 'Autumn Nest' - considering the technique was the same.  (See my last post, Post 21).

I found that with wire, the cord was too big - maybe my bumble bee would have made a smaller tube?  

I decided to use glass 'marbles' as a centre.  I didn't need to thread additional wire down the middle as it was quite robust as it was.

The 'marbles' I just put in the middle of the spool.  You will find that they need a gentle 'prod' to position them - don't be afraid to give that little push, the wire is strong enough to take it!
I added a black glass marble as a focal point.  The smaller glass beads enveloped the necklace bringing it all together.

Although the necklace is not 'too' heavy, it seemed as if it needed extra strength on the chain.  I used doubled chain which also gave a substantial added 'glitter' to the necklace.

I hope you enjoyed my autumn pieces.  Please feel free to comment, I'm always interested to hear your views.  

Its that 'awkward' time of year now, where I will be working on a few christmas projects - which I won't be able to show you ... yet.  In the meantime, I will still be flitting through my bead stash and keep the creation alive.

Keep Watching - and I'll Keep Blogging!


Autumn Collection Part Two (Post 21)

Welcome Milan
A huge welcome to Monica Catrullo a new follower, from Milan.  Monica is a truly talented lady and her work is just amazing.  Thank you for 'following' - I hope you will enjoy the voyage!  I get such a buzz when people whose work I admire, join my blog.

French Connection
Today's collection is centred around wire knitting on a spool.  Now for me, this is just like going back to my childhood - where I first found the pleasures of creating cords from wool.  Nothing fancy, in fact I learnt from using a cotton reel which had 4 nails hammered in to it.  You may know them as a 'Knitting Nancy or Dolly'?  I don't quite remember what I did with all the long rounded cords - although I remember stitching a few into coasters.  I've always been creative ever since I can remember. 

Last year, I went to my first ever Craft Show for jewellery and all the wonderful goodies connected with it.  I was very surprised to see some chunky jewellery that was apparently done using this type of spool.  Needless to say, I just had to have it.   The one that I bought is a more 'suped' up version; called 'Clover Wonder Knitter' What I like about this one is that it has a wheel that rotates the pins, rather than forever turning the reel around.  It was easier on the hands.  Admittedly, this is the first time I've used it but not the last!

It wasn't the packing that caught my eye - as it looks a little childish; but the end product is good.  In fact I think the demonstrator was also embarassed as they didn't have the tool on display just the jewellery they made from it.  They put it straight into a bag and it wasn't until I got home that I actually saw it.  (Probably one of the reasons why I held off using it?).  However, the beauty of French Knitting is you can use yarns, string or wire to produce entirely different effects.  

I've also got another smaller reel, which should be interesting to compare the difference.  Now this is a bumble bee - I know ... obviously still catering for kids!!  We'll have to prove them wrong!

Autumn Nest
With colours like this, how could it possibly be called anything else?  

So, its just a case of threading the beads on to the yarn before starting to knit.  Winding the thread around the hooks and passing the thread over each hook.  This drops the yarn through the middle.

Initially I knitted a few rows, then I pushed the beads (already threaded on the yarn), between the hooks after each stitch, until I had the length I wanted.  You then need to do a couple of rows without beads.  

It was at this stage that I decided to add some wire to make it more flexible.  I just thread wire through the centre of the spool.  I was later able to use this to wrap around the edges of the finished bracelet and create a wire wrap loop.  

I threaded the wired loop through some silver plated cones and added the jump ring and clasp.

Voila!  Autumn Nest ...

Next Part 3 - Glitter Cage ...
I'm going to do this as a separate blog, (don't worry, its following now - well as soon as I can get it written down).

See you later ...



Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Autumn Collection Part One (Post 20)

Well, I know that holidays are meant to relax you; but I've been a little too laid back and have been neglecting my blog and loyal followers.  So, here's me getting back on track.  I haven't been shirking and have if anything been overloaded with creative thoughts.

The world wide web is a wondrous thing, yet daunting and if I could offer one piece of advice is this:  'Be inspired by all those talented artists out there, but uniqueness lies within'.  What I have discovered is you have to believe in yourself. Put away the green-eyed monster and just do what comes naturally.  Yes, be inspired but RELAX because there are many forms of talent and you really do just have to 'create' for yourself - unless your in to mass marketing - I guess then it would be different?  As you know, I like 'unique' pieces and always aim for that individual touch.

So ... I'm back!  Hope you enjoy my Autumn Collection.  


This time of year sees an abundance of beautiful colour with leaves falling from trees and the huge variety of tones of colours, quite a cosy season.

This bracelet is made with square glass beads, black crackle beads with silver plated findings and wire.

It would be possible to use 'eye' pins for this but I used a reel of wire, making up wrapped loops then adding lengths of wire and threading on seed beads before adding the square bead.  I was then able to free form shapes of wire using pliers.  Lastly, ending with a wrapped loop.

I then made links of black crackle beads linking them to the orange beads.  The colours are quite rich and complement each other well.

Top Tip: 
Always add an extender chain to your jewellery, its looks nice and it can also adjust the size of your bracelet/necklace to suit your wearer.


In our garden we are very priviliged to be visited by grey squirrels, which I think are so cute, NOT tree rodents (which a certain somebody not a million miles away from me, refers to them as).  The squirrels are forever pinching the nuts I put out for the birds and acorns off the trees.  In fact, let's face it - anything roundish they can get hold of!!  They then bury them throughout the garden.  I find all sorts mixed in with the potted plants.

The beads used for this bracelet reminded me of all those hidden wonders, that I come across on a daily basis.

Now this autumn gem is totally different to what I set out to do ... hey ho ... I'm not disappointed.

The pendant is an oval bead which I've 'beaded' over with tiny orange seed beads.  Would you believe this took me nearly an hour!  It was at this point that a 'design change' came into play.

The cube beads are 'goldstone' gemstones.  A man-made stone first created by alchemists trying to make gold.  Its really more of a glass stone.  Very popular throughout the world.  The properties are said to be: to renew strength, induce happy thoughts, help keep your feet on the ground and has been known to encourage faith.  Warming thoughts, don't you think.

The other beads are glass seed beads and various coloured acrylic beads.  I just love the colours which blend in seamlessly with the leaves.  Talk about leaves!  I must have bagged up at least 3 bags this last week - yet if you were to look at my garden its covered with more of the darn things!

I threaded these on to a Memory Wire and added a clasp, for extra support.  Mind you, its quite a lightweight necklace but I like to have the security of a clasp and the good old chain extender.

Still to come, in Part Two 'Autumn Nest' and 'Glitter Cage'

Look forward to hearing from you, and if your just browsing - why not become a follower.

Keep Watching, and I'll Keep Blogging - honest!