Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Flashback to the 50's

I was asked to make a poodle to go on a donut skirt for a 1950's costume.  I used some vintage pink embroidery floss and a felt base.  I used a bullion stitch to make the poodle curls.  It is pretty cute I think, but a little heavy.  Hopefully my next post will be sooner.  I am working on a latchhook rug. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not Your Grandma's Pearls

Pearl Necklace
Close up of Mermaid
I got a strand of freshwater pearls to make a necklace.  I didn't want to do the standard plain pearl necklace.  Typically silk or nylon thread is used and there is a careful knot placed between each pearl.  I decided to mix it up a little.  I used a nylon cord to string the pearls but the outer visable cords in the macrame are linen.  I cut a silver spreader to look like a mermaid, and then I cut out little starfish and sand dollars to accent the necklace.  I made a metal sand dollar shaped button for the closure. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

What a difference a cord makes

Owl necklace
Close up
Size comparison

I just finished my second owl.  I used a smaller cord for this one, a blend of cotton and linen called cottolin.  I did the exact same number of cords and knots as for the first owl, but as the picture shows the new owl is much smaller.  It took much longer to make the cord for 2 reasons, first I didn't leave gaps and it took many more knots to fill an inch.  I used a piece of a spoon handle for the branch and for the closing button. This necklace is much shorter and the owl's tail has been left longer to dangle.  Hopefully my next post will have something with pearls.  I just got some really neat ones to try.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Knot a Hoot Owl

I decided to practice my macrame skills.  I had not done any for at least 15 years and when I had done it before, I was just using square knots and half knots.  Well, I decided to try to make an owl pendant.  It uses mainly half hitches.  I used square knots and half knots on the cord leaving spaces to show the black holding cord.  I think it looks ok for a first try.  My owl is just a little lop-sided.  Instead of a branch, I used a piece of flattened copper wire for the perch.  I hope to post some more later this week using different cord.  For this one I just the old waxed cord that holds the knots well.  The problem with it is that it feels sticky and has a tendancy to look ashy if using dark cord.  My next attempt will use cottolin, which is a blend of cotton and linen.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

cigars, cigarettes, MATCHBOOK COVERS

jewelry box as purchased
close up of matchbook covers
covered jewelry box
I recently got an old jewelry box at the thrift store.  It had a paper-like covering on it.  I had planned on stripping it down and painting it, but when I took it apart I found out that the top and bottom were heavy cardboard and the back, sides and front were wood.  The drawers ended up having metal fronts.  This made for a lot of different substrates to figure out how to cover to make it look good.  I decided to use old matchbook covers.  I glued them over the whole jewelry box and put on two coats of high gloss varnish.  The drawer fronts and hardware I painted with black enamel.  I then put match books in the center of the drawer fronts so that a black bevel shows.  I think it turned out nicely.  I am now working on practicing my macrame.  It has been a while since I have done any.  I hope to have a post on that later this week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

It's not spring yet, still slipper weather

I have been busy and haven't gotten as many projects done as I would like.  I have been scouring thrift stores trying to find other items other than spoons to use for jewelry.  I am trying to gather new ideas.  I did some mending this week or rather re-lining of slippers.  Every fall I make new slippers for winter using old felted wool coats or sweaters and scraps of leather to reinforce the soles.  I decorate them with wool and embroidery floss.  I line them using terry cloth, flannel, or other heavy fabric.   I normally have to re-line them at least once each year.  The pattern I use for the slippers is the same for both feet so I decorate them differently so I keep wearing them on the same foot so they end up shaping to fit the foot. I thought that I would post some of the slippers that I have made before. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Past projects

Dead housewife

Surfer boy
Teddy bear
Opra lady
I thought that I would share some of the doll projects that I have made in the past.  I enjoy making bears and dolls.  I use what I have around the house to make and decorate the dolls.  While I have used patterns for the basic bodies of these, I have changed them some.  All of the dolls shown have button and thread joints and the bear is fully thread jointed, even his head turns on a thread joint.  The surfer boy's tattoo was hand applied with india ink and a toothpick.  His surfboard was cut out of balsa wood.  He has embroidery floss hair.  The dead house wife's green hair is wool roving.  I quilted the opra lady's hair  to give it texture before putting it on.  Her shoes are made from leather scraps.  The teddy bear is made from an old moth eaten cashmere coat and his foot pads are cut from an old leather purse.   I hope that you enjoy seeing these as much as I enjoyed making them.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dreaming of spring

Bird in a tree
Momma bird in nest

Side view of baby birds

Soup spoon bird in tree
Once again it is snowing.  So I was looking to work on something a little more spring like.  I bought some really nice hand dyed silk cording and used it to string up some new pendants that I cut from spoons.   Originally I had planned to use a strand of cord for the pendants, but I decided they looked better with two strands of silk cord.   I made a mommy bird in her nest and then two different bird in tree pendants.  I put hand made hook clasps on all of them.  I think they look great.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

work in progress

Pendant being cut with jeweler's saw
Partially cut pendant
Finished pendant
I thought that I would take this time to show how I cut a pendant.  Starting after the pattern is marked and the pilot holes are drilled.  This shows the cutting and how the pendant looks after it is filed.  It still needs a cord or beading.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Handmade clasp


Split for hook and loop

Finished hook and loop

Hook and loop together
Using the handle from the spoon I used for the dragonfly pendant I made a co-ordinating clasp.   I think it turned out well.  It reminds me of a buckle.  First I cut the handle into two sections and marked it for cutting out the center.  I ended up cutting out more than first planned.  Then I drilled holes and cut the handle with a saw.  I bent the hook part using a vise.  It should finish off the pendant nicely.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


hummingbird pendant just started

Cattail and dragon fly pendant
 I have started some new pendants made from spoons.  First I draw a design on the pendant.  Then using a tiny drill bit I drill pilot holes so that I can put my saw blade in to cut out sections.  After I cut out the sections using a jeweler's saw I take needle files and file out the holes smooth.  That is how you get a finished pendant.  The next step is making a clasp which I will try to post later this week.  I normally make my own from leftover spoon parts.