Wednesday, 23 February 2011

My creative space

I'm still working on my chain maille. The creative space was cleared of one sewing project (see here) and then it was right back to the pliers and a gazillion little metal jump rings. This is the latest 'in progress' project.

It's another Vertebrae Weave chain - this time it's being constructed from gold coloured anodized aluminium and stainless steel rings in 2 different sizes. I wanted to see if stainless steel made for a sturdier chain. This puppy is tough! The stainless steel does make the chain stronger but boy, stainless steel is hard to work with! This one will hopefully be a necklace with a focal hammered silver ring in the middle. I haven't found the right sized ring yet but at the slow rate this one is progressing (good closures are so hard to achieve in the stainless steel), I'll have plenty of time to look for the right ring.

To find out what's going on in other creative spaces around the globe right now, hop over to the home of My Creative Space here.

Have a creative day, friends.

Centipede necklace finished

My first chain maille necklace is done. It would've made a great choker but I don't wear chokers at all so I decided to make it a bit longer and go for a necklace.

This is the Centipede Weave with a tiny Japanese seed bead on each of the larger rings. The larger rings have an internal diameter of 6.8mm ... yep, small! And the smaller rings have an internal diameter of 3.4mm .... even smaller! The beads are 4mm across.

It turned out really pretty, don't you think? I read somewhere that this weave is also sometimes called the Cleopatra Weave.

I'm on the lookout for some nice silver beads now to make an all silver Centipede weave bracelet. I think that would look amazing.

Hope your week is going well so far, friends.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The dinky zipaway jewellery pouch

I started this sewing project a while back and finally finished it tonight. Sorry it's taken so long.

Remember my zipaway tote bag? Well, I wanted to try to make something else using the same bag base template and the same zip-away concept. I thought it might be nice to make a jewellery pouch.

There's a little sausage-like thingey for rings in the middle, a zipped pocket on the one end and a flapped pocket on the other end.

This prototype turned out OK, I think. The zip around the outside and the bias binding was a little tricky to sew on given the extra bulk. This pouch now holds all my chain maille jewellery - bracelets in the flapped pocket and necklace and earrings in the zipped pocket.

Here it is all zipped up. What do you think? I'll have another go at making a second one sometime soon and try to document the process for a tutorial.

It's half-term here in Birmingham and I've taken a day off from work tomorrow to hang out with DinoBoy. We'll go watch a movie at the cinema (we quite fancy watching Gnomeo & Juliet - have you seen it?), have lunch somewhere nice as a treat and spend the afternoon at home doing a few chores around the house.

Wishing you a fabulous week ahead, friends.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

My creative space

In my bid to research new chain maille weaves to find the best ones for a forthcoming project, my creative space is still awash with mini jump rings and my trusty pliers. This one is newly finished (finished it just last night) and needs a but more adjusting for size.

This is the Kingscale or Vertebrae Weave. The red rings are the biggest I've worked with so far with an internal diameter of 9.9 mm. Big rings means that the bracelet makes up faster with fewer rings to an inch of chain.

Hop over to the home of My Creative Space to see what's happening in other spaces.

Wishing you a creative day, friends.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

More chain maille

Remember my in-progress project last week? The Byzantine chain with the 3 linking rings in 2 colours? I finished it and had rings left over to make a pair of Byzantine weave earrings. This was made using a bracelet kit from one of the UK suppliers of jump rings for chain maille enthusiasts.

I bought another bracelet kit from the same company but this time, it had both anodised aluminium rings and black rubber O rings. I'd not used the rubber O rings before so it was an interesting project - and a very quick one too as there was nothing complicated about this weave at all.

The rubber O rings are stretchy so I didn't bother with a clasp and just made it a continuous cuff. I love this. It'a got aluminium rings in 5 different colours. A fun bracelet.

My next project is a necklace in something called a Centipede weave. Here's a few links hanging off the end of my tweezers. See those small golden seed beads? They are a mere 4mm across and those little silver rings on the side are just 3.5 mm in diameter .... sooooo small! But very pretty though, right?

I hope you're having a great week wherever you are, friends.

Friday, 11 February 2011

My pretties

It's amazing what you can do with a couple of pairs of pliers and a whole lot of itty bitty jump rings. Remember my blue Byzantine bracelet? I made a simple pair of earrings to go with it.

I liked it so much I made myself another Byzantine bracelet and earring set in matt gold.

This is such a pretty colour combination. The weave makes the bracelet beautifully slinky and as the rings are made from aluminium wire, it weighs next to nothing.

Missy Moo refers to her plastic beaded jewellery as her 'pretties' - as in plural of pretty ... which as we all know is not a proper word but Missy Moo does not care. She tells me that these chain maille bracelets and earrings are my 'pretties'.

Have a great weekend, friends.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

My Creative Space

My creative space has been temporarily hijacked by a bunch of teeny weeny jump rings and two pairs of pliers.

I'm working on another Byzantine bracelet. This one has 3 linking rings in two different colours. It's very pretty. I'm hoping there will be enough rings left over to whip up a pair of matching earrings. I love that this project is so small - apart from my pliers, the project fits easily into an old Altoids mints tin. Cool huh?

Find out what's happening in other creative spaces here.

Have a creative day, friends.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Excessively diverted!

Mr CraftyAdy thinks I have the attention span of a flea and is about as flitty as a butterfly when it comes to crafts.

I am the first to admit that I am very easily diverted. I have a gazillion projects on the go and when something neat comes within range of my craft radar, I have a tendency to drop everything and dash off to throw myself 110% off the bridge and into the deep.

My friend, Debs and I have been mulling over a project for a little while now. I am tasked with the design of said project. Can't say too much about it yet as it is in the early stages of development. In the course of my research into ideas to incorporate into the project, I stumbled across the ancient art of chain maille. Yeah ... chain maille ... as in armour - like in Lord of the Rings.

A brief shopping spree on the internet and a couple of days waiting on Mr Postie later, I had myself some nice shiny aluminium rings. Armed with a couple of pairs of pliers, a pair of tweezers (damn but those rings are fiddley and small!) and a little bit of patience, I launched myself into my first chain maille project. Here's the result.

Using about a hundred small blue aluminium rings and 50 or so even smaller silver aluminium rings, I made this 6.5 inch bracelet (I have small wrists) using a popular weave called the Byzantine weave. It's a really cool metal link chain with an interesting texture, don't you think?

My jump ring closures are not as neat as I'd like them to be but it is not bad for a first effort. Chain maille work is incredibly addictive ... one bracelet and I am chomping at the bit to try more weaves!

There were enough blue rings left over to rustle up a pair of matching earrings. I am pretty happy with my new bracelet and in fact, I've started a second Byzantine bracelet in some matt gold aluminium rings and the leftover teeny silver rings.

In the words of the lovely Elizabeth Bennett in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, "Oh! I am excessively diverted. But it is so strange!"

Friday, 4 February 2011

Plans for the weekend

I always have a whole bunch of CraftyAdy plans for the weekend ... and they have to be fitted in between the normal weekend stuff I have to do. Stuff like laundry (how do two little kidlets manage to generate so much washing between them?!), grocery-shopping, cooking, blah blah blah. That's the thing about working full-time. All the chores have to be squeezed into the weekends - hence the weekends can get awfully busy! Sometimes the CraftyAdy stuff gets done and sometimes not. I do try to get at least one thing done.

This is my half-finished jewellery pouch. Recognise the shape? One of my plans is to finish this project. It's further along in the making process than the new handbag is. So I think this one might have to be bumped up to the top of the 'To Do' list this weekend.

So what are your plans this weekend?
Whatever they are, I hope you have a fabulous weekend, friends.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

My creative space

I just finished this cute glasses case. How darn cute is this piggy fabric?!!

My creative space has still got a couple of WIPs floating about in it. There is this one ... no progress still on this. It's cut out but still waiting for my attention. I'm using a 12 inch internal flex frame. I'm thinking that the same process used to make the glasses case would apply to this bag. I'm hoping to get back into this project at the weekend.

Hop over to the home of My Creative Space to see what's happening in other spaces.

Wishing you a creative day, friends.

Kung Hei Fatt Choy!!

"Kung Hei Fatt Choy" means "Wishing You Prosperity and Wealth".

It's Chinese New Year. And this year, it's the Year of the Rabbit. Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate change. My grandmother used to say "out with the old and in with the new." When I was a kid growing up in Malaysia, we had to spend the days before Chinese New Year cleaning the house from top to bottom, doing the laundry, cooking etc. In order not to 'sweep' away the good luck (or wash it down the drain!) there was to be no sweeping or washing done on the first day of the Chinese New Year. The upside to all the chores was that Chinese New Year meant having a lot of fun with friends and family, no school (national holiday! yay!!), new clothes, new shoes and the excited anticipation of receiving lucky money envelopes from the grown ups. I miss being back home in Malaysia the most during this time of the year. Chinese New Year is all about the family - my brothers and their families all gather at my mum's house for the reunion dinner. I miss that a lot.

In Malaysia and Singapore, pineapple tarts are very popular during this time of the year. I made some last year which I blogged about here and this year, I've made them again. Mmmmmmm ....

Not much sewing's been happening as I've been baking a tray of these every evening since Sunday! By Thursday I should have enough to take into work. LOL! I have a lot of colleagues and as these are exactly a mouthful each, they disappear very quickly at coffee time!

For all my friends out there who celebrate Chinese New Year, I wish you a very happy and prosperous year ahead. Kung Hei Fatt Choy!