Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Following On From Yesterday …… My First Wire Wrapped Bracelet

Well I am feeling a bit chuffed as my first wire wrapped bracelet has turned out pretty alright ….. meaning that I will actually wear it …….. instead of consigning it to the disassemble pile!
wire wrapped beaded braceletI took one of the plain wire bracelets Marc and I made and then took lengths of thinner, more manageable, coloured wires that I already had to attach beads that Marc and I had found in charity shops and a car boot during his stay.
wire wrapped bracelet 1 I remembered what Marc had told me and made sure that all the beads were secured to face outwards …….
wire wrapped bracelet…… and that I used the wire as my needle.
wire wrapped braclet 2I was surprised by the amount of wire it took to do all the attaching, but I didn’t want the beads to be secure and not move (or fall off) while the bracelet was being worn, but found that rather detract from the finished article it added extra colour, texture and dimension to make it all pull together.
Thank you Marc, you taught me well, I still need to do a lot more practising, but hopefully, one day, my finished items will be almost perfect!!!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Marc and I Experiment With Wire Bangles/Bracelets

You might remember a quite a while ago I raved on about the idea of making a wire wrapped bracelet……..
bracelethttp://pixiloo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/wild-woman-bangles.html but I didn’t have a clue where to start to make one. 
So when Marc said he was coming to stay I begged him to bring his jewellery making tools, namely his wire coiling gizmo (which he also kindly bought me) and his wire twister, plus some wire so he could “try” and teach me the art, because Marc is an expert when it comes to jewellery making.
I think I was a very, very frustrating pupil …… as Marc soon found out that I have no hand/eye coordination, my eye sight isn’t what it used to be AND I am not very patient!!! But bless him, he persevered!
We played with the wire coiler first, which I mastered pretty quickly, making these coil beads with basic experimentation ……. and I could see how I could develop ideas using the coils……
…… but it was the wire twister that I was really interested in.
This was our very first attempt (above) at a bracelet, with Marc twisting the end wires to make eyelet fasteners Then we got a little more adventurous and added beads to the wire as we twisted, again all very basic.
But this is what we came up with in the end, adding jump rings and a lobster claw to fasten it.
…… and then I tried adding a pendant.
In then end we made a pile of about sixteen bracelets of varying sizes which will now become the bases for me to attach beads and charms etc. by wire wrapping by hand for my own version of a “wild woman” bracelets.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Sorry, No Matching Wolf Fleece Jackets!

I wanted to give Marc a treat and so took him to the QVC Outlet shop in Shrewsbury (????????) where we were hoping to find a pair of wolf fleece jackets to wear whenever we are together to cement our relationship!!! Sadly there were no such jackets ……
But when I modelled an animal print jacket for Marc I got more than I bargained for, as I struck a model type pose with my hands jauntily placed in the pockets, I felt something …… it was only someone’s glasses and a tissue ……. which meant that they had worn it out and then returned it!!!! Cheeky B’s!!!!We must have mooched happily for an hour opening mystery boxes and asking what on earth is that for ….. but I am afraid very little was purchased. Marc managed to find, what we think were a pair of very sparkly Swarovski crystal, Kirk’s Folly sun-catchers for £3.99 (reduced by 70%) which he thought, after taking them apart, he could make fifteen pairs of earrings from each catcher, as seen artistically draped round our milkshakes……  we also each found a Silhouette Design CD – Block Party for 99p which was marked up for a retail of £33!
I know the days of finding crafty treasures like ProMarkers and Scrap kits are long since gone and as for the jacket………….. no, I didn’t buy it …… Marc said it wasn’t de rigueur enough!

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

My Attempt At A Marc Type Necklace

Following on from yesterday I think I may have overegged my first attempt at a charmed necklace, my usual rule is less is more, but I am afraid I didn’t stick to it and have just created what looks like a random, unstructured jumble of charms and beads.
altered necklace 3I wanted it to look interesting, but it’s a bit too much, and all those interesting bits have just got lost, but as Marc told me, with jewellery making if you don’t like what you have done you can just undo it and you will still have all the bits to do it all again!

altered necklace 4I started off with this necklace that was selling pieces for 3 for £1 and removed the ribbon that went through the chain ……
altered necklace 1beaded metal tassle
…… and replaced the small tassel with something a little bigger and more extravagant …….
steam punk charms……. but after that I am afraid I lost my way by adding too many large pieces, I wanted layers but in the end I got a tangled mess.
altered necklace 2So now I have photographed it, I am going to take certain bits off it, like the tree of life and see if I can arrange it a bit better (below).  I also need to practice opening and closing my jump rings, I don’t have the knack yet, and Marc makes it look so easy!
002I just need to keep practising!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Marc Makes Me Look at Old And New Jewellery In A Whole New Jewellery Making Light.

I found out that there was a Monday second hand market while Marc was staying with me so we both thought it would be most rude not to give it a go …… however when we were greeted by only about six stalls my heart sank, but the last stall we looked was its salvation, as it at was selling old costume jewellery at 3 for £1 and it was then that Marc started to tell me what to look for if I wanted to make jewellery on a shoestring. He pointed out old and new pieces that could be taken apart, for chain, jump rings and charms/pendants/beads etc. instead of spending a fortune in hobby stores.
……. and it’s amazing what I began to see and find through fresh eyes.
altered necklace.jump rings
For example this necklace (above) must have been made up of over 200 antique finish jump rings, 6 charms and a fastener ….. and we paid approx. 33p for it in the 3 for £1 deal!
altered necklace 5
Then, throughout the rest of Marc’s stay we must have gone into every charity shop we saw, goodness knows how many and Marc would challenge me by taking me to the jewellery section and asking me which pieces he would buy and why …….
P1160253So these necklaces (above) were bought because of the en trend metallic/industrial style of the beads, the number of them and the fact that once broken up and used with other similar beads they would take on a totally new look.
001While this jumbled up pile would provide me with thousands and thousands of spacer beads bought again for about 33p.
Poundland Purple Ivy BraceletWe also discovered that Poundland now have a range of jewellery (Purple Ivy) that when disassembled would provide another a very cheap source of bits for jewellery making and my jewelled mirrors.
P1160252By the end of the week I had massed a very interesting collection …… both of pieces to take apart and others, mainly bracelets that I can embellish further. All I now need to do is do something with them.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Marc’s “Steampunk” Necklace

I am not sure if this is pure “steampunk”, but this is the necklace Marc put together and wore for most of his stay with me.
He came down one morning wearing it and I can remember feeling a teensy bit envious and then thought …… except the chain, I think I have got some very similar bits and pieces in a box somewhere amongst all of the other boxes on my shelves, so perhaps I could try and copy it.  Then later, when I openly admired it Marc said “You dozy mare, they’re your bits!” LOL,  because Marc doesn’t sleep very well, he’d gone into my craft room and played ……..
…….. and this was the result! When he arrived, he had been wearing the ball chain with different  appendages on, then five minutes fiddle-farting in the middle of the night …… and he comes up with this! Aghhhhhh, I am so jealous,  I just wish I had a  quarter of his imagination and flair of putting things together …….. however,  during his stay he has made very valiant attempts in an effort to teach me ………..

Friday, 15 August 2014

OMG!!!!! Please Someone, Take Marc Away!!!!!!!!

I was hoping to post every couple days re: Marc’s visit ……. but we are having such a wonderful time …..

………..there hasn’t been a spare second to do it,  if you know what I mean …… however I just had to share this morning with you ……..

As I lay in bed contemplating the adventures of the coming day I heard the rumble of the Jacuzzi and thought “ahhhhhhhhh” Marc’s having a lovely relaxing five minutes …… a little treat …….

…….. then I heard the plaintiff calls for help ………..

…….. and saw thick, soapy bubbles pouring from under the bathroom door ……. and remembered I that had forgotten to tell Marc to be VERY sparing with the foam bath ………!!!!!!!!!!!!! And though I would never, ever disturb a gentleman during his ablutions ….. and would certainly never kiss and tell, there was no way I was going to let this one go …….. let’s just say we cried and cried with laughter …….. once I found him!!!!!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Wooo Hooo Hoooo Marc Has Landed!!!!

My apologies for the first few days of Marc’s “State Visit”, we have been having such a wonderful time I have been forgetting to take as many photos as I should have been …..

Marc arrived at midday on Thursday, but when it came to meeting him at Wolverhampton Station I couldn’t believe how sick I felt and Marc said he felt exactly the same on the train, what are we like?  But do you know, we started off exactly where we left off when I was last in London June ……. non stop nattering!

So …..  after the grand tour of “The Chateau” and taking Marc’s enormous suitcase up to his room it would have been rude not to toast his visit in the garden with a cheeky vodka or two and a few nibbles dams le jar din …..,

After which we went on a walk round the village and began to fill in the Bear Hunt form I had purchased a week or so ago (there is a knitted teddy bear in most of the windows of the shops in my village, Cods all and Birches Bridge, and we have to spot them and then write down which shop they are in and what colour sash they are wearing, in aid of the Children’s Hospice),  and then in the evening we had a lovely meal at Cods all Spice, nom, nom, nom!!

On Friday we were up with the lark and after a coffee or two I took Marc to share in the pleasures of Bentley Bridge ….. Our first port of call was Hobby Craft ….I have to say we were VERY restrained in our purchasing, but we both have soooooo much stuff we are now both getting very good at asking ourselves if we really need something! The bargain of the day was buying two huge boxes of flat back gems at £3 each, as Marc says, you can never have to much bling!

We also spotted some half price Tim Holtz and Sizzix dies, but again, just about managed to resist!

We then visited Home Bargains, where Marc bought me the candle stick (£1.99) as a base to make a cake stand, B M Bargains, T K Max, Aldi and Pets at Home, followed up by a slap up Panini in Sainsbury’s ….. as I have said before, I know how to treat a man!!!

This was then followed by a whistle stop trip round Wednesfield …… all of which must have been very heady fruit even for a gentleman what lives on the edge of Portobello Road and Notting Hill, yet remarkably he showed remarkable restraint in curbing his excitement,  lest he should embarrass me in the High Street!!!

In the evening we started to play/experiment with the wire twister and coiling Gismo Marc bought me from Jewellery Maker http://www.jewellerymaker.com/

…… with Marc looking for instructions on YouTube.

We didn’t do too badly …… but as a non jewellery maker I was just embarking on a steep learning curve!!

We managed a bit of simple coiling and twisting to make a doll size bangle and a very basic choker  …..

But a little knowledge in Marc and my hands is a very dangerous thing!!!!