Posts Tagged turquoise

Bird of paradise tote bag

I finished this tote bag at the end of last week so I could present it to my mum. (It has been sitting around cut out for a while).

I used the Two Tone Fabric Totes tutorial, but there are hundreds of tote bag tutorials available. I picked this one as it was lined and turned inside-out for no interior seams.

Both fabrics here are from the Scrapstore – a pretty birds of paradise upholstery print and a plain aqua which is also the lining. Probably both cotton, of reasonable weight. I didn’t add any other embellishment where the fabrics join because I didn’t think it needed it – the print is big enough on its own.

Bit tricky to take good photos as it’s rather larger than the drawstring bags! So I hung it on the wall.





To show scale:


And finally:


Those box-and-crosses to reinforce where the handles are attached took a fair bit of oomph from my machine to sew. There’s 6 layers of fabric there once you count the seams inside the handles.

Anyway, I think it turned out very nicely! Will have to make one for me from something. (I don’t have enough of the same print to make another).

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52 earrings: #52 Verity

The last earring pair is done!

#52 Verity


Copper wire-wrapping with two of my lampwork cylinder beads in green-blue with dark brownish gold frit, little hollow copper round beads at the top, and turquoise dangles that are not quite heart-shaped.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 52 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #28 Spiral Hoops

Some spiral kumihimo loops with lampwork beads on them this week.

#28 Spiral Hoops


The kumihimo spiral braids are in purple, teal green, gold and baby blue. These are the ones with the looser spiral – if you make them the other way you get a tighter spiral. I added a pair of big hole beads in dark turquoise I made previously. (I also had some in Lauscha turquoise which doesn’t have the grey sheen, but they were a little too bright, I thought). Copper earwires.


52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 27 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #23 Robin’s Egg Drops

A speedy post this week, sneaking in before midnight!

#23 Robin’s Egg Drops


These are another pair that I’ll be keeping. Picasso-finish Czech glass in a greeny turquoise, wire-wrapped in copper. The bigger beads are from the Curious Bead Shop. These are in my to-be-patinated pile – I want the inner wraps to be quite dark to go with my niobium earwires and then polish back the highlights on the wraps (they’re on copper earwires here). They’re nice and light to be easy to wear.

I have some liver of sulphur gel since my liquid has been unused for years and is likely way past its shelf life, I just need to take the time… I have some other ones that need doing too.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 22 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 earrings: #10 Acapulco

I really like putting turquoise together with bright warm and/or earthy colours.

#10 Acapulco


For these earrings I used turquoise leaf beads, some really bright dyed orange beads (possibly quartz – they’re cloudy), a pair of my yellow ochre lampwork spacers, two sizes of turquoise seed beads and some little copper round hollow beads.

I’m not too sure about how well they hang with the extra dangles: they needed something there where the links join, but maybe I should have put an extra jumpring in there between the two main sections so there was more room. Obviously couldn’t do that after wiring them up!

I made the copper earwires and other ball-ended headpins I used.

52 little things links
Craft Pimp Week 9 thread
• Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
• Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
• Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

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52 (earring pairs) in 2013 challenge

It’s a new year, let’s get this blog restarted! I’ve got a bit stretched thin with various media, with some things here and others there… I should sort that out.

Anyway, there’s a plan in the works that should get me doing regular blog posts here.

Over on the Craft Pimp forum some of us are planning to do a 52 in 2013 challenge. The idea we’re borrowing is to make one pair of earrings per week, so 52 in the year. You don’t have to be making earrings to join in, though! Any small crafty project will do. (The original challenge was by Anke aHa and her flickr group is at

I will be making mine in small batches and then posting one a week, because I know that’s the way I work – some weeks I’ll definitely have other things that need doing or that I’m concentrating on. (And when I’m fired up about something, I don’t want to only make one!). I might end up with more than 52 by doing it this way: unless I get buried in earrings, that’s not really a downside :p

I think it’ll be a lot of fun and I’m going to come up with a bunch of different designs. I made some commission jewellery over Christmas and I want to make more, so this is also a good kick-start to that, but with the freedom that these designs don’t have to be perfect. I expect to end up with some that really don’t work, but the point is not to be stressed about that because next week there will be another. I think it’ll be good for me.

(I reserve the right to switch away from earrings to make something else if I get absolutely sick of them, but I’m thinking that’s not too likely – there’s a lot of scope in them for all kinds of techniques and materials).

I’ll be linking to some of the other people doing the challenge as we get going with it, so stay tuned!

Now, without more ado:

#1: Rainbow Bright


Another view, because they’re only as bright as the first pic in really bright direct light. The second pic is more representative.


Flame patinated (by me!) brass discs, brass earwires, copper dangles with faux turquoise beads.

I’ll be watching these to see how the patina changes over time. The discs and other components I patinated have been sitting about for a month since I did them without any appreciable difference. I haven’t coated them in anything – I do have some Renaissance wax, but wanted to see how they did on their own, because in my reading about flame patination some people say waxing darkens the colour and others don’t add any surface coatings. Since they won’t have much contact with the skin, they may well only change very gradually. Change is a feature with any patinated copper or brass, besides. (Wouldn’t they look pretty with verdigris on them?)

Other blogging participants!

Linda of Earthshine Lampwork Bead and Jewellery Design:
Sue of BlueBoxStudio:
Jolene of Kitzbitz Art Glass:

Week 1 thread on Craft Pimp.

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Lampwork – newbie week 5

March 22-28

Week 5 beads, part a

I had to do some mystery colour identification this week. Almost all of the rods in my starter kit were labelled, and the ones that weren’t were mostly duplicates or else easy to work out by looking them up. After my mix-up with turquoise and light sky blue I went through and labelled everything that wasn’t. But I found one rod that looked the same shade as dark yellow, but felt rough like coral, and one rod that looked subtly different from standard white. On a whim, I decided to see if the mango-ey yellow behaved like coral. Yes, it really did. It melted like it too, getting dark purpley-grey when hot. I put it on a turquoise base and made raised florals (on one side anyway, the other side got a bit out of shape so I raked it around and melted it in). When it came out of the fibre blanket, lo and behold I had a reaction line with the turquoise. Just like coral. I went around dubbing it ‘mango coral’ for a while and was wondering if it really was coral, because I know the colour can vary hugely between batches and I think there was a Sunny Mango odd coral at one point. I eventually asked Tuffnell’s about it, because I wanted some more, and Emma reckoned it was 418 pastel yellow. I couldn’t find any mention anywhere of this colour reacting with turquoise (but then again I found very little mention of it at all). So I have some ordered and hopefully the mystery is solved!

For the second mystery, I had a suspicion it was anise white. So I very gingerly melted it – anise white is infamous for being extremely shocky and exploding all over the place when introduced to the flame – and made a spacer. There was no exploding. It actually melted really nicely and was even softer than normal white. It looked decidedly different while hot, though, which reassured me that it wasn’t just standard white. My spacer was fairly nondescript with a very slight hint of translucence, particularly round the holes. So I went and asked on FH if there was any way of definitively identifying it as anise, without having to get hold of some intense black and trying to web it. Red Hot Sal (Sally Carver) gave me some very good advice about melting in stringer design on a standard Effetre black base. Normal white will stay white, anise will sink in and get little purple lines in it. In the two beads at the top right, you can see this very clearly!

I have ordered more anise as well, because I really love this rod. I am just hoping that the batch I get is half as well behaved.

I spent some time experimenting with various combinations of anise, coral, pastel yellow and turquoise, practising my scrolls and florals. The coral decoration on anise bases were interesting – the coral sinks in a little and makes the whole bead look much more translucent than the anise on its own.

The huge blue/purple encased bead is ink blue over white. Ink blue’s a very dense transparent, so generally you’re going to want to use it over something lighter so you can see the colour.

There’s a Vetrofond Odd Quartz Grey spacer in there too. I think I need to do some pressed/mashed beads with the Vetro odds, in the hope I keep their streakiness.

On Friday I tried making a vine cane, but it exploded. Well, ok, I got air bubbles trapped in it, tried to pull it out, got a very short, thick cane and then it started exploding when I tried to rewarm it to pull it thinner. Chunks of green all over my workspace! (It was a lime green rod with stripes of pea green, petrol green and black stringer, that was then encased rather badly in transparent grass green). I ended up picking up whatever bits I could get to stick to a mandrel, forming it into a cylinder, mashing into a rough square and adding florals of coral and pastel yellow. I rather like the result (bottom row, third from left).

Then I made the big turquoise sorta-lentil. I shaped it with a spoon. It’s got ink blue stringer in the background, which spread a tad more than expected, and more florals.

On Saturday I attempted the vine cane again, with much more success! I kept everything hot and marvered flat every stripe of colour I added. No air bubbles and much thinner encasing made the whole thing far more friendly. I still had to pull it twice – first I got something of a decent length but too thick to use for decoration, so I heated it a little at a time and pulled thinner. It’s a bit wiggly because of this, but hey, it’s a vine! For both attempts I started off using the grass green rod as a punty, and with both of them I lost it at some point (this time because I melted a section too thin, so was left holding two rods with cane attached to each) so the pulling was finished with pliers.

I then started making another base with detritus from the first cane, and my gas ran out! My flame got teeny tiny and incapable of melting anything. Very annoying, especially as I was worried that the local gas place wouldn’t be open on Sundays and I’d have to wait an entire week before being able to get more propane – turned out it is open for a few hours, so that was a great relief. (A week with no torching?! What would I do?)

Sunday's beads

New gas, and boy was it obvious that my torch had been gradually running cooler and cooler for a while before it ran out entirely – not noticeable until I changed canisters and had heat! So I continued: I made a small tube of clear and used that to pick up vine detritus. I mashed it and tidied up the ends, then added coral and pastel yellow flowers as before. It’s the bead in the middle.

Then I made the cylindrical bead – straight vine detritus, formed into a barrel, black added to the ends and anise white flowers added. (It makes lovely flowers!).

Then there was the turquoise base that I threaded on very thin strands of coral adn pastel yellow, raked, then added some anise white threads and raked again, then added some random lines of clear to the top and melted it all in. It probably didn’t need raking! All you can really see are the reaction lines, without the colour in the middle… It’s interesting, anyway :p

I finished off with four teeny little spacers in transparent grass green, because I thought the mini gas-ran-out bead was cute.

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Turquoise and jasper necklace

(21-22 July)
I made this necklace as a present for my mum. This is still before my proper pliers arrived, so I had to be very careful. I was also using a slim knitting needle to bend the wire round for some of the loops. Round nose pliers are a godsend!

Turquoise and jasper necklace

Turquoise and jasper necklace

I got to this point in the process and was thinking “…you know, this would have looked better with tarnished bronze-coloured wire. And that centre pendant is All Wrong and should probably have been all one piece” when I completely distracted myself by that scan. Following a tip from elsewhere that putting your jewellery directly on a scanner can sometimes work really well (and sometimes not at all), I had a go. It looks amazing! (This was the first thing I scanned – I went back and did some of the other pieces later). Sadly, I can’t scan at the moment – more on that eventually.

Turquoise pear-shaped beads, jasper rectangles, amber seed beads, and silver-plated wire.

Here’s the finished necklace and the fastening – I made a hook and eye again.

Turquoise and jasper necklace (finished) Hook fastening

Turquoise and jasper necklace (finished)

(Hmm, rechecking my supplies list, those are actually brown serpentine rectangles. But this necklace is firmly fixed in my head as being “turquoise and jasper”. This is before I started naming them, so that’s its name ;p).

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