Monday, December 29, 2008
I got busy beading this past weekend. I started out just using up some scraps of cord and these Victorian Lace earrings are just the thing. They don't require a lot of cord and so scraps left over from larger projects work perfectly.
But, then, I was having so much fun, I decided to try the pattern with some Omega nylon crochet thread...
These last two are my favorites, I think. I will be keeping the green and purple ones. After all, I deserve some new bling don't I?
I have begun listing them in my Etsy Shop in the "Earrings" section. I will be listing more each day. So, keep checking back.
If you want to learn how to make them yourself, you can find the pattern in the "Patterns" section of my Etsy Shop. Read more about this pattern here.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
This is a simple but elegant design in micro macrame, making it good for Beginners. The most difficult aspect to this project is in stringing 4 strands of cord through the 8mm focal beads. I provide a tip for doing this in the instructions .
Knots used: Mostly Half-Knots with a few Lark's Head Knots, Square Knots, and OverHand Knots.
Materials Needed: 8mm faceted Czech fire-polished rounds, size 11 seed beeds, C-lon nylon cord, and a button. You will also need a work surface (i.e. cork board, old style Puzzle Pad mouse pad, etc) pins, scissors, clear fingernail polish and glue.
Once mastered, this design provides plenty of room for creativity. By varying the different design aspects like color, shape (of beads), spacing, etc., you can create your own "Spirals" designs! You can also vary the tassel, go wild if you want! This one simple design has a multitude of possibilities. I hope you have fun finding them.
Want to try one out, but don't want to go out an buy all the materials in bulk? I offer kits for this pattern here.
I provide continued support in case you have questions regarding the pattern instructions. So, if you have any questions whatsoever, please don't hesitate to ask. You may contact me (see my profile) or leave your question in "comments" below.
"Thank you for always including more beads and thread than the project calls for, one never knows when there will be an "ooops!" moment and the extra will be needed."Believe me, I know about those "ooops!" moments!
"Beautiful colors -- I am always so impressed with the way you combine things!"I do love to play with color.
"Wish the patterns in the expensive beading books I've bought were this well thought out and executed."I was very happy to hear this, as I strive for my patterns to be easy to follow.
"Patterns are done with professional quality; writing lucid and clear, photography fabulous."
Find more feedback at my Etsy Shop
This bracelet is a lot of fun to make. Once you get the hang of it, it is pretty easy. It is not so much complicated, as it just takes a little practice getting the hang of the knots - mostly Double Half-Hitches with a few Lark's Head Knots. Basic Pattern instructions are for the top bracelet in photo above. Materials list is for an 8 inch bracelet.
Bottom bracelet in photo above shows a couple of ways to vary the "wedges" with different beads. Instructions found at bottom of pattern under "Variations".
I provide continued support and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Just leave your question or comment here. Or, you may contact me (see my profile, top left).
Friday, September 19, 2008
I have also been working on developing one of the two new designs shown in previous post. I will soon be starting work on photographing and writing up the patterns for both those two new designs.
I am waiting on delivery of my most recent bead order...come on UPS guy, hurry up!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
First, I tried them in a variation of my basic "Fans" pattern. Viola! "Frilly Fans". With the cream bracelet, I omitted the row of delicas (in between the rows of Double Half-Hitches) and used hex-cut size 6's seed beads in the corners. I put fringe beads in the two outer strands.
With the green bracelet, I omitted the size 6's and put size 11's in the corners. This brings the "fans" closer together.
As I gazed at the cream bracelet, I wondered how it would look to change the alignment of the Double Half-Hitches...and came up with a new design! "Serpentine".
Yes, I will be writing this one up as a new pattern. However, it may take me a few weeks as I have a lot on my "To Do" list right now.
I really wish I had ordered more fringe beads!
Because, I love these beads so much...I experimented some more and came up with another design. This one is still in the development stage, but I will give you a sneak peek:
This design needs a name. Any suggestions?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Since those nice flat beads are becoming so hard to find, I decided I wanted to show how these fobs can be made with other shapes. You just have to eliminate 1 strand of cord and the Half-Hitch Chains on my original pattern. There are all kinds of ways to vary these fobs, especially in the tassels.
Here is another pic:
Of course, I will be listing them in my Etsy Shop as time goes by. Right now, I am listing some old inventory under a FALL MADNESS SALE. So, if you are looking for a bargain, check it out. I only have a few things in that section right now, but am adding an item or two every day.
Take care and hope to hear from you.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
I have been working on Standardizing my kits and have made progress on that. Now, when I make up kits, I make up a couple in each color. Then I list one of each and re-list as they sell. That is working pretty good. I am saving some time in photography and in listing.
Today, I worked on Standardizing my system for listing. Previously, I have been posting the photo of the kit's contents as the first photo. But there is nothing to really distinguish one kit from all the rest. No good visual cues.
Beginning with the Diamonds Bracelet Kits I made up this weekend, I am listing them under a new system. I made an "icon" photo (see photo at top of this post). I am using it as the icon photo (first photo in listing) for all "KIT - Diamonds Bracelet" kits. That way, one can see at a glance that the listing is for that pattern. This will come in handy when I begin to make kits for some of the variations like "Frilly Fans" (based on Fans Bracelet Pattern).
I will be incorporating this system as I make and list more kits. Once the new system is fully in operation, it will be easier to browse my "Kits" section and see at a glance what kind of kits are listed. I hope this helps cut down confusion.
Here's another tip for finding a specific kit at my Etsy shop. Once you are at my Etsy home page, find "search" box at top. Type in KIT - Name of pattern (i.e. KIT - Diamonds Bracelet). That should get you a search results list of all "diamonds bracelet"(for example) kits.
I am sure this system will morph as I go along...As always, I am open to suggestions for improving my system. If you have suggestion or if you have a problem I need to address, you may leave your comments here (at end of post) or you may contact me (see profile).
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Today, I received a question regarding the skill level for each pattern. Oops. I forgot to put that in the description. I had it in the individual listings...well, now it is in this package listing, too. This brought me to think I should post the information here so it will be in one spot.
Determining skill level has been a challenge, I must admit. I call on anyone who has tried any of my patterns to add their input in "comments" at the end of this post. I am not very objective on this topic because I have been doing micro macrame for over 10 years and it is sometimes hard to remember what was difficult and what was easy.
In general, macrame is not that difficult to learn in terms of complexity. It just takes practice getting the knots to be uniform. I work hard to make my patterns easy to understand with plenty of photos.
If you have some cord lying around, check out Basic Knots and just practice the knots to see if you like macrame
For a free Key Chain pattern (and a chance to see how I write my patterns) .
If you have any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask. You may leave questions in the "comments" section at the end of this post or contact me (see profile).
Okay, Here is my assessment of the skill level of each pattern:
1. Spirals Anklet (as seen in Step by Step Bead Magazine) - Beginner. Mostly made of Half Knots (with a few Lark's Head Knots and an Overhand Knot).
2. Waves Bracelet (includes instructions for matching earrings) - Beginner. Mostly made of Square Knots.
3. Fans Bracelet - Intermediate. Mostly Double Half Hitches and some Lark's Head Knots. Tricky parts include determining number of beads per strand and performing Lark's Head knots into a split ring (at the end).
4. Fans Earrings - Intermediate. Same as for Fans Bracelet.
5. Lacy Ripples Bracelet - Intermediate. Mostly made of Lark's Head Knots and Double Half Hitches. Tricky part is alternating between the two types of knots.
6. Victorian Lace Earrings - Intermediate. Same as for Lacy Ripples bracelet.
7. Tapestry Bracelet - Intermediate. Mostly made of Double Half Hitches. Trickiest part is keeping track of where you are.
8. Diamonds Bracelet - Basic bracelet, Beginner. The variations are a bit trickier. Mostly made of Double Half-Hitches.
Added on 13 Nov 08:
9. Serpentine Bracelet - Beginner to Intermediate. Not so much complicated, but needs some practice getting the hang of the knots (mostly Double Half-Hitches and a few Lark's Head Knots).
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So. Murphy can't have that. Turns out that the reason the power supply was out on that computer was because the motherboard was bad...So, now a new power supply, new motherboard, and a new CPU, and yes, new RAM are installed and I indeed have a mostly new computer now. The only thing I did not have to replace was the hard drive and the case! Oh well.
But that is not all. We had ordered the aforementioned parts and they arrived last Friday. On Saturday, we were set to build the computer. Actually my Sweetie is the techie and I just help.
On Saturday morning I got the telltale visual "aura" of a migraine. Drat. I really hate those. I took a pain pill to forestall the headache and muddled through the day. I tried a few times to nap, but could not sleep much. I just can't seem to take naps - can't sleep.
Luckily my Sweetie did most of the work and late that night he turned it over to me to install Windows XP...that part went well, but then, I got another "aura". I have never had two in the same day before. Probably because of menopause, my hormones are confused these days. Oh well, I got to sleep most of this second one off as it was nearly time for bed anyway.
Sunday, I got the computer connected to the internet and of course downloaded my favorite internet software - Firefox (browser), AVG (anti-virus ), and ZoneAlarm (firewall) - all FREE and all GREAT. Late that night, I got another "aura". Now, this was getting tiresome. It really takes a lot out of me even when I just get the "aura". It leaves me befuddled - my right brain seems fine, but my left brain (logic) not so much. Okay, time will pass and it will go away.
I recuperated a bit on Monday, just felt like I had been through the wringer. Then, Tuesday, I got another one! I am getting nervous now. I don't usually get migraines very often - every couple of months or so and never before have I gotten so many "auras" in one week. I think menopause may be arriving with a bang. Thanks be to the Universe (HaHa).
I relate my migraines to my hormones because: I first got migraines during puberty (about 2-3 times a month). Then, they settled into a schedule of once a month...dwindling over the years to almost never. So, I gathered they were related to hormones. Some people get migraines triggered by foods, but mine never seemed to fall into that pattern - yes, I tested with various foods said to be triggers. I thank all that is holy that chocolate was not a trigger of migraines for me. What would I do without chocolate? In fact, chocolate seems to help.
Well, I am getting older and a few years ago, the migraines began to make a comeback. They are becoming more frequent and it would make sense for them to be connected to hormones (for me anyway) as both puberty and menopause are both times of hormonal changes.
So, I am subsequently behind on several of my projects. Until I have recuperated a bit more, I am just not able to concentrate enough to work on them. Hopefully, tomorrow, I will be back up to speed. Now, I think I will go eat some of that chocolate...
Thursday, August 7, 2008
This first one "Achat" is inspired by my "Waves Bracelet" pattern. She has substituted a button closure for the lobster claw and used smaller beads on the "spine" of the piece - giving front stage to the lovely gemstone chips along the sides.
And, this beautiful matching necklace "Achat2" was also inspired by "Waves Bracelet"...but she took it to a whole 'nother level!
Another beautiful piece "Eisprinzessin" (Ice Princess) inspired by "Waves Bracelet"...
This last one "Lila Welle" was inspired by my "Fans Bracelet" pattern. I love the transparent matte beads and the way she plays with the two colors...
I so love to receive photos of my customer's work! I love how they take the basic patterns and make them their own. That is the spirit of creativity.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I decided to make "Spirals Key Chain" available for FREE...
Great pattern for Beginners!
Find tip on adjusting basic pattern to accommodate the different types of focal beads here. If you would like a pdf version emailed to you, just contact me (see my profile). Below, are a few of my variations on the basic pattern...just to give you some ideas.
Variation 1. Different type focal beads. Here I used wood.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
I did it! I finally finished the "Diamonds Bracelet" Pattern. This pattern includes the instructions for the Basic Bracelet (with the button closure) and instructions for 3 variations. Included in those variations are instructions for a lobster claw clasp. The basic bracelet (with the button closure) is fairly easy to make.
Find this pattern and more in the "Patterns" Section of my Etsy Shop. Want to try one out, but don't want to go out an buy all the materials in bulk? I offer kits for this pattern here.
What a week. I got the Windows XP for my "new" computer and got it installed. I then got it online and downloaded FireFox (my favorite browser) and AVG Virus protection (another favorite). I am still having some problems with audio, but my Sweetie promises to help me with that this weekend. I had to get a new computer desk for it and make room for it...you know how it is when you live with a pack rat - no room. Well, I found a corner and brought my retro wooden desk from a back room and made myself a "corner office". I call it my "Command Center" and threatened my Sweetie with "dire consequences" if he piled anything up in my area. I think he understands.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I have been admiring "Grannyx's" (Jeanne Wertman) work for about a year. She does some incredible micro macrame and other hand work.
She recently tried one of my patterns "Fans Bracelet" and the above photo is her result. I am honored by this piece.
In her words: "Here is one of the ones I made....as you can see I like the little dangle's you show on some of your others...I think it's a good way to end the cords." So, she likes dangles/tassels, too. They are a bit of fun, don't you think?
Let's all give this talented woman a great big hand and a big grin!
Friday, July 25, 2008
This week, we have been having some computer troubles. Nothing devastating, thankfully, but dealing with these troubles is annoying and time consuming We think we are getting close to needing to reformat the hard drive...
On a positive note, we have been putting together a second computer. A friend gave us a tower that only needed a power supply. And, because my Sweetie is a computer geek who never throws anything away, we had a perfectly good power supply in an older defunct computer. We also had an older monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I have just ordered a copy of Windows XP for it and should be online with my "new" computer soon. (Shhh. Don't tell Murphy).
Then, because we live on the outskirts of Hurricane Dolly's range, we have had a few thunderstorms this week. Nothing serious, but we live in a house with a tin roof and have lost computers to lightning before. And, even though we have our computer hooked up to an uninterrupted power supply with surge protection, I don't trust my computer to a Texas thunderstorm. I turn off everything and unplug it to be safe. Safe, but it cuts into my time on the computer when I could have been working on the new pattern.
Even so, I have done some work on the new pattern. I have finished the text and formatting for the basic pattern. I have begun uploading the photography for the "variations" segment and will hopefully get it finished next week.
Have a great weekend, do something fun. I am going to watch Cirque de Soleil's Dralion (rented from Netflix) with my Sweetie...bye for now.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I now have all the photography edited and about 1/3 of the text written. Then the pattern will need to be formatted for pdf...so, I now estimate it will take me at least another week to complete this project. I hope it will take less, but...I am trying to learn my lesson.
To anyone I previously told that this pattern should be ready in "a few days", I apologize.
This pattern will be comprised of two separate pdf documents - "Diamonds Bracelet" and "Diamonds Variations". The basic pattern is written for the button closure and uses heavier cord and no large focal beads. "Variations" will include instructions for closure with lobster claw clasp as well as using larger focal beads and C-lon cord.
While I was playing with this design for pattern making, I could not resist using the motif for a necklace to match one of the Diamonds Bracelets. Some of my cords ran short as I got to the centerpiece and I had to creatively work them out. As always, the prototype teaches me what works and what doesn't. I think my next one (whenever I get around to it) will be much better. In fact, I am hoping to make an improved set for the Fire Mountain Gems annual beading contest.
Well, I guess I should get back to work on writing that text...
Friday, June 13, 2008
Well, I did get around to putting together some kits. I have listed 4 Tapestry Bracelet kits and 2 Spirals Anklet kits. I am continuing to work on standardizing my kit assembly process so I can save some time - time I can spend on producing more patterns.
I have also been busy trying to learn to garden. What with the cost of food on the rise, I thought a garden might be nice. I have done some gardening in the past, but really I am an amateur. So many things to do, never enough time...
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
That I have been busy this week helping out a friend who recently underwent oral surgery. I am back home as of last evening...then as I was getting ready for bed, one of my migraines struck. Luckily I was already headed for bed and was able to sleep off most of it. Today, I am in the tail end and so will not be able to get back to work as I had planned.
I have kept an eye on orders and so have been able to get them shipped out. However, I have not had time to put together any more kits...
The article in Step By Step Bead magazine seems to have increased business for me and so getting those kits together is a priority on my "To Do" list. Hopefully soon, I will be able to list some at My Etsy Shop.
Thank you for your patience.
As always, comments and questions are welcome.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I am so excited. My Spirals Anklet Pattern has been published in Step by Step Beads magazine (Jul/Aug 2008 issue). I received my copies in today's mail.
Of course, the first thing I did was show my hubby and then called my mother. Sorry, Mom, you were second only because you were not here.
Then, I called several friends.
I have never been published before and I really want to milk this one!
So, for any of you who would like to try your hand at "Spirals Anklet" - you should soon be able to pick up a copy of Step By Step Beads Magazine (Jul/Aug issue) at your local news stand. They have some other interesting projects as well...
Friday, May 23, 2008
With 8 patterns (so far), I am finding it time consuming to keep kits in my shop. Up until now, I have put kits together based on what I had on hand at the time. It takes time to decide what beads and cords to use and it takes time to photograph them...
I have decided to standardize my kits. I am working towards having a standard set of about 10 kits per pattern. I will save time on photography as each kit will only need to be photographed once. As a kit sells, I can just refill it with the same colors of beads and cord. I will save time on listing. As a kit sells, I can just relist it.
This system will eliminate some of the creative color combinations, but the efficiency of it will help keep costs down. I figure that once someone decides they like a particular pattern, they can experiment with color combinations to their heart's content.
I have started with Fans Bracelet and Fans Earrings Kits:
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
When I lived in Austin, I got my buttons at Hancock Fabrics. The had such a great selection.
Alas, I now live 50 miles away and it is not so convenient to go there for buttons. So, the past few years, I have been getting most of my buttons at Walmart. Walmart has been cutting back on their sewing department and their selection of buttons is sadly lacking.
So. I went surfing for an online source. I chose to try The Button Drawer and have just received my first order from them. They have a wonderful selection. I bought a sampling of various buttons so I could get an idea of their quality. I am happy with their quality and I am very happy with their fast delivery. Their prices are reasonable and I will probably order from them again. The only drawback to their site is that the photos of their black buttons are not very clear. But, I do know the difficulty of photographing black items! - So, I will not hold it against them.
Now, I need to get some kits put together...bye for now.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
I have come full circle. Since I began my online jewelry adventure, I have tried several website variations, only to return to Blogger. I am happy to be back. I realize I may sound a bit "eccentric", shall we say; but I feel as if I have come home.
Blogger is very easy to maintain and that is a big plus. Now, that I have the frustration of getting my domain name to point to this blog all behind me, all is well.
Actually, Blogger has not that often been difficult for me. When I bought the domain name for KnotGypsy's Kitchen Chronicles, I bought it through Google and I had no headaches at all. Google has everything automated through GoDaddy (where the domain is registered).
I ran into problems with this blog because I had my domain registered at Bravenet and had to handle the configuration myself. I had additional problems because I had used the domain name with another website and the configuration retained some of those settings. I am not much of a techie, so I did not realize I needed to get rid of those settings. I did not even know what they were for!
Live and Learn. Sometimes we jump over the fence because the grass looks greener only to find that, actually, we had just left the greener grass! So, we try to return.
A few years ago, I sent some jewelry to a friend to put in her seamstress shop. Her business has grown and she no longer has room to keep my jewelry on consignment. She has returned it to me along with several pieces of display equipment! What a friend!
So, for another return to a beginning, I decided to post photos of some of these older pieces (including the photo above). These bracelets and matching earrings were the results of my experiments with my "Lattice" series. I will be listing them at my Etsy Shop (at a discount) over the next several days. So, keep checking.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Now, I get to go change a few notices...
And, when I get some time, I will post my findings on that Google Help Group forum...perhaps save someone else the frustration.
However, I cannot seem to get it to work. I followed the instructions "How do I create a CNAME record for my custom domain" and created the CNAME record 2 days ago. Then, whenever I change my Blogger publishing settings to reflect the custom domain name and try to access my blog, I get "DNS not configured - no match was found".
Some of you who tried to view my blog over the past 24 hours probably got the same error message....sorry. I left those settings in hopes that as time passed, the DNS servers would update and reflect these changes. I have decided to switch the Blogger settings back to the "blogspot" url for now. At least the blog can now be accessed.
I have been searching the "help" forums both on Google and Bravenet (where I have my domain name registered), to no avail. I cannot seem to figure out what the problem is.
I have a support ticket in (to Bravenet), but the replies I am getting are not helping...
First, they ask me about nameservers, but the Blogger Help instructions do not mention anything other than CNAME's. So, I replied to the support tech with a link to those instructions. Next, I get them telling me to create the CNAME as per the Blogger Help instructions. I replied that I had already done that (as I had mentioned when I first submitted the support ticket!). And I only get one reply from them per day it seems.
Friday, May 9, 2008
So far, I have canceled my other webhost account and created a new CName.
But, when I change the Blogger settings and test it, I still get sent to the previous website. I think I may need to wait a day to let the old website disappear. I will try again tomorrow.
Wish me luck in getting this ironed out.
A few weeks ago, I was bitten by our first mosquito of the season. Yes, we are already warming up down here in south central Texas...So, I was reminded of one of my favorite Etsy Sellers...
...The woman who owns and operates Purefire Waxworks - Gently Hand Crafted Candles & Incense. She specializes in using natural ingredients in her incense and candles.
I originally ordered some citronella incense from her last year. It really does keep the mosquitoes at bay - even Texas ones! So, I have become a regular customer. Anything that chases mosquitoes and smells so very nice while doing so is a wonderful thing in my book.
I have gone on to try some of her other incense and some candles - all very nice. And, she provides excellent customer service.
So, if you like candles and incense and want some that is hand made and of natural ingredients, I don't think you will find a better place to go. She should have some of that citronella incense out soon, or you can contact her and ask her about it. (I would not mind if you mention my name...smile)
I was playing with my new beads (again, still) and I really wanted to use the new bugle beads. The problem was that I only have a couple of designs that utilize bugle beads...so...I came up with a new variation on the basic "Diamonds" pattern.
This orange and red one was the first I tried (after making a sampler). I used a button closure because I wanted to see how it would work for this design. I like it alright, but it is a little bulky. So, I get to keep this one!
Then, I wanted to use colors of storm and water...and I varied the "diamond" segment by omitting the 6mm round focal and making it a "double diamond lattice work" segment. I also extended it with a 3rd motif set to make a large bracelet. The harmony of colors gives the "double diamond" a textured look. I did rather like this one...
Next, I wanted to play with contrast in colors. I also experimented with leaving off part of the beginning/ending segments to make a medium sized bracelet. I am not sure I like where I put the "pearly" seed beads...a little too busy? Ah, well, I have learned that sometimes when I think something did not work, someone disagrees with me - turns out, that is the piece they like best!
Lastly, but certainly not least, I wanted to use those cream and brown marbled focal beads...they look like chocolate, cream, and caramel...mmmmm...yum. Here I used the "pearly cream" seed beads in a more focused way and I do like the results...I want to keep this one even more than I want to keep the orange one. I love fire and I love chocolate! Can't I keep both???
Want to learn how to make these yourself? Check out my patterns and kits for sale at My Etsy Shop.