Monday, January 30, 2012

Byzantine Revisited

The Byzantine weave has always been one of my favorites. It is super easy to make but looks really intricate and impressive when finished. So this year for Christmas I bought myself a little gift. It was a book about chainmaille and beading and all of the patterns were based around the byzantine weave. I had used this weave in many of my necklaces but never realized all of the possibilities. The book illustrated many different ways to attach small segments of the byzantine weave to create very interesting designs. So I flipped through the pages and found a pattern that I really liked. It was super fun to make and now that I have experimented with lots of different ways to use the segments I can't wait to come up with some more original designs!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Excuse Me Jessica Simpson, Stop Stealing My Ideas.

For the longest time I had refused to get my ears pierced. Not for any reason in particular. I wasn't afraid that it would hurt and certainly didn't find pierced ears offensive, I just felt no compelling need to do it. Finally one of my good friends said, "enough is enough" and took me to get them pierced. As a jewelry designer I was so happy to have a brand new variety of jewelry to make and kicked myself for not doing it sooner. So this year, before Christmas I was browsing the Macy's jewelry counter for my first pair of big girl earrings!
I wasn't able to find a pair that called out to me but as I was looking I found something else that made me stop in my tracks. I looked up at a rack of necklaces and came face to face with the necklace that I had just finished working on the night before. It was a necklace of bugle beads tied in a knot connected to a chain. I looked at the label and saw that it was from a Jessica Simpson collection I couldn't believe it. A few days before I was shopping at AC Moore and the bugle beads caught my eye. Since I had never used them before I figured it would be fun to experiment. I played around with the design and eventually settled on the one pictured on the right. I was so proud of my new original design. Turns out Jessica beat me to the punch. At least she has good taste in jewelry!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Crochet Jewelry

A little while ago I was browsing in Etsy and came across a cuff made of crocheted wire. I was so excited when I saw it because it combines two if my favorite hobbies, crocheting and jewelry! Of course I had to try it. The cuff that I saw was made with gold filled wire. Since I didn't feel like spending a flobbity gillion dollars on this project I went to AC Moore and picked up some 24 gauge silver craft wire.

Next I had to choose a hook size. The stitches in the cuff on Etsy were fairly large but since I wanted to use crystals in the design I needed a smaller stitch. I chose the F hook and it seemed to work well. Although I would suggest using a metal hook. I made the mistake of using a plastic one and the metal wire chewed it up and I ended up having to throw it away.
I started with a bracelet. To begin I chained a row of about twenty. I started adding the crystals on the second row. This part was a bit tricky. Before making each stitch I had to string a crystal. This means I had to unwind the whole spool of wire to string the crystal from the end. I crocheted about five rows making the bracelet about an inch wide. When I finished I cut the extra wire and wrapped it around the last stitch. I added two thin chains on either end of the bracelet and attached a clasp.

I loved the bracelet so much that I decided to make a matching necklace. I made the pendant a bit shorter than the bracelet and added a crystal tassel and a simple chain.