Saturday, August 18, 2012

Luggage Tags

I recently traveled to Minneapolis to present at a professional conference, so I decided to make some crocheted markers for my luggage. I just wanted to make it easy to spot mine out of a crowd, so I grabbed some brightly colored yarn and went to town

They're just simple strips of double crochet five stitches wide. I have no idea how many rows I did; I just went until they seemed long enough to tie in a good knot. The yarn I used is SMC Select Rosas in turquoise. It was on clearance when I visited the yarn store and met my "distinctive enough to be easy to spot" criteria.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm working on a big project right now, so my posting pace may continue to be a little slow. I am doing a few small side projects, so I won't completely disappear. After that, I have several projects lined up for Halloween, new babies, Christmas gifts, and...well, I can't even think of all of them at the moment.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Turquoise Cabochon Revisited

My main craft project right now is A) big and B) for an event that won't take place for a while. So, in the meantime, my posting may slow down a little. On the other hand, I recently reorganized my jewelry and realized that there were some pieces that either need repair or changes. I'll be working on those one at a time when I need a break from my big project, and I'll post them if I feel like they're interesting.

I originally made this turquoise cabochon pendant back in 2007, very soon after learning this beaded cabochon technique using bead embroidery to create a bezel around the cab.

My photography skills have also improved.

I hung the pendant from a single strand of suede cord, but I've never felt like that cord was dramatic enough to go with the pendant; it's just not visually balanced. To achieve the needed balance, I've added to more strands to the necklace.

As you can (hopefully) see, the new version looks more cohesive. It also feels more substantial to wear, which I like. One of the new strands is a round leather cord and the other is a strand of seed beads that match the cabochon beading.

The cabochon itself is turquoise, with beading done in brown and turquoise Czech glass seed beads.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friendship Bracelets

Way back in middle school and high school, I used to make friendship bracelets and do hair wraps using embroidery floss. I really liked making them, and even sold a few at school until they stopped being popular. I still have my little divided box with skeins of floss wound onto plastic cards in my craft closet.

So, when I noticed a lot of friendship bracelets on Pinterest and other craft sites recently, I checked with my sisters- and brothers-in-law to see if any of my nieces or nephews would like for me to make them one. The answer from my oldest niece was not only "Yes," but also "Could I have one for my friend, too?" Happy to oblige, I got out the old thread box and made these.

I decided to use ribbon ends instead of leaving tails for the girls to tie the bracelets on. I was always a little bummed when I had to cut a bracelet off because it had gotten old and dirty looking. This way, they can take them off when they want and not have that concern. Since the ribbon ends have teeth, I originally just squeezed them closed. However, it only took about two minutes of nine-year-old wear for the end to come loose. So, I reattached the ends using superglue, and they seem very sturdy.

In light of the addition of an easy-to-remove clasp, my sister-in-law also asked for one for herself in the colors of her alma mater (and my employer). I made hers a little wider and varied the pattern a little from the basic stripes I made for the girls.

The knots on these aren't as neat as I'd ideally like, but given that they're the first ones I've made in 15 years or so, I guess it will take me a while to get back into it. I'd like to make more, both for myself and as gifts. I've been thinking about a small, easy to transport craft to take with me on an upcoming* business trip, so I may start one for myself to work on on the plane.

So, who else made these? I remember tons of free patterns and stuff at the craft stores back then. What were your favorites?

*I write and schedule my posts in advance, so when this is published, I'll actually be in Minneapolis.