Friday, March 30, 2012

Ukranian Netting

Perhaps my favorite bead work technique, hand-woven netting uses a needle, thread, and seed beads to create intricate patterns. Russia and the Ukraine are particularly known for this kind of bead work, so I decided to make a necklace using some traditional colors and patterns from that region.

I made this necklace using size 11 Czech glass seed beads in matte black, opaque red, and matte silver-lined gold from the pattern Netted Diamonds by Maria Rypan.

Like several of my other favorite netting patterns, this one uses the ratio of the beads in the top of each row to those in the bottom to give the necklace a natural curve.

A loop and toggle closure is my preferred technique for finishing woven bead necklaces. I find it's more secure since it can be created continuously from the same thread and beads as the rest of the piece. I also like to alternate the bead colors on the clasp, just to give it a little something of my own.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kindle Cover Pattern

I received both my first crochet supplies and a Kindle for Christmas. Naturally, I wanted to crochet a cover for my Kindle, but I couldn't find any pattern that was exactly what I wanted, so I decided to create my own.

I used Caron Simply Soft Solids in Blue Mint for the body of the cover and Pistachio for the contrast stitching and pocket. I wanted to add an earphone pocket for listening to audiobooks, but I wanted it to be round to coordinate with the button. Since creating a round pattern from scratch was a little too advanced for me, I used the Loopy Flower Coaster pattern by James Davis for the pocket.

Crochet Kindle Cover

Approximately 80 yards worsted weight yarn in color A
Small amount of worsted weight yarn in color B (for contrast stitching and pocket if desired)
Shank button with  1" diameter
Crochet hook size H
Yarn needle

Foundation: Chain 26 using color A.

Row 1: Hdc in third chain from hook and in each chain across. Chain 2. Turn. (24 hdc)
Rows 2 - 48: Hdc in each stitch across. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 49*: Hdc in first 10 stitches across. Chain 4. Skip 4 hdc. Hdc in remaining 10 stitches across. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 50: Hdc in first ten hdc across. Hdc in each of 4 chain stitches. Hdc in remaining 10 stitches across. Chain 2. Turn.
Rows 51: Hdc in each stitch across. Chain 2. Turn.
Row 52: Hdc in each stitch across. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

* This is based on a button with a 1" diameter. Adjust the number of chain stitches and skipped stitches to accommodate the button you plan to use.

Assembly: Fold finished crochet piece so that row 1 lines up with row 45. Using yarn needle and color B, begin whip stitching through front and back at bottom left corner moving up the body of the piece. When you reach the end of the front, continue whip stitching along the sides and top of the flap to create contrast edging around to the other side. Continue whip stitching through front and back layers moving down to the bottom right corner. Using yarn needle and color A, attach button in appropriate location to fit through button hole.

This pattern does not include the pocket pictured because it is not my own design. If you want to add a pocket exactly like mine, use the link above to access that pattern. You could also stitch a square or rectangle of any size you need to hold earphones, notepad, or other items and attach it to the front.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fall Tiara and Barrette

I've been taking a little hiatus from it lately, but beading has been my primary crafty outlet for several years now. I think I needed a little creative energy boost because now that I've been crocheting and doing a few other crafty things, I'm starting to think of new beading projects I want to work on.  In the meantime, I'm going to share a few of my more recent past beading projects.

I made this tiara for my friend Heather Lickliter of  Stylized Portraiture. Heather takes amazing pictures, and specializes in fairytale portraits for little girls. You can see some examples of her work (including this tiara!) at

Heather particularly wanted something with an organic look and feel for her tiaras, so I came up with this design, and I've made it in a couple of colors. For this one, I used copper craft wire in two sizes to create the base and the branches. I embellished the branches with amber glass tear drops and dark brown freshwater pearls.

The back of the tiara is embellished with ribbons finished with the same beads used in the body of the tiara.

I made this matching barrette to finish the set. I really love seeing my work in Heather's, which is amazingly beautiful and creative. One of these days, maybe I'll talk her into doing a few "big girl" fairytale photos. :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Curly Crochet Scarf

Since my newly learned crochet skills are a large part of what's made me decide to start this blog, I thought it would be appropriate to make my first regular post about my first crochet project. I made this back in December, after getting some basic crochet supplies and books from my grandmother for Christmas.

The pattern is the Ruffled Skinny Scarf by Kim Biddix from the book I Taught Myself Crochet. I used Caron Simply Soft Solids in Pistachio. I made my scarf a little longer than described in the pattern by adding an extra 10 chain stitches to the base chain.

This was a great pattern to get me started. It's pretty easy, creating the ruffle just by increasing in each row. It worked up quickly, so I got to finish my first project in a few days and start showing off right away. I was so excited, I did my nails to match (you can also see more pictures of that on my nail blog Digit Decor).

Sunday, March 18, 2012


As it says in my blog description, I love making things. My maternal grandmother is a crafter in every sense, making most of her own clothes (and mine when I was a small child), growing and preserving her own vegetables, and crafting all sorts of objects both utilitarian and decorative.

I inherited that gene and over the years have tried a little bit of everything with varying degrees of success. I've dabbled in cross stitch, plastic canvas, knitting, polymer clay and sewing. For the past several years, I've focused on bead weaving and several other jewelry making techniques. This winter, I added making my own natural body products and crochet to the list.

In this blog, I plan to share pictures of my projects and information about the materials and techniques that I use. I also hope to include some tutorials, recipes, and patterns when sharing some of the things I've created myself.

You can also keep up with me online by checking out my other blog Digit Decor, where I share my nail polish and nail art designs. I'm also on Pinterest and Ravelry (as sckesler), and I get a lot of craft inspiration from both of these sites.

Finally, I'll leave you with a few pictures of some upcoming projects that I'll be posting.