Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Long Time No Hear From ...


 
 

I know, I know; it’s been a long time. I usually let you know if I’m taking some time off but this time I don't know what happened. At first I was too busy to make anything, then I think I was too tired to.

I think I mentioned before that I was taking driving lessons. They started once a week back in May. My test was originally set for the end of July but I had to reschedule because I wasn’t ready. I rescheduled it for September 13th, my grandfather’s birthday – I knew it would be a good omen. My grandfather was the family driver. I spent the first 6 years of my life riding in the car with him. He seemed to love to drive, and family members would ask him to drive when they took trips; New York, DC, Baltimore. He even drove to North Carolina twice to take me and pick me up from college my freshman year.

The closer it got to September 13th the more frequent my lessons became including three lessons the week before the test. Why? Because I took a mock exam and failed miserably. I started having panic attacks, took another mock exam and passed. So I had a week of trying not to stress myself to the point of another panic attack. Chamomile tea, valerian root and lots of comedy.

Test day came and I was stressed but it was manageable. The examiner had me drive around lots of tiny streets where I drove slowly and had to pull over a lot. We returned to the test center and he told me I passed. What a relief! My instructor told me I could breathe again.

Besides the driving I can’t remember what I’ve been doing; life seems a bit of a blur right now. I visit my neighbor two doors down twice a week. We’ve been going to appointments, plus the usual grocery shopping. And I’ve been to London a few times to meet a friend. I’ve also been trying to get caught up on cleaning. I was given a large flat screen TV (which has since broken) and I rearranged our bedroom to accommodate it. I got some under bed storage totes and organized my seasonal clothes. I’m trying to crack down in the creepy crawlies that come with living out in the country; vacuuming, making peppermint sprays and spraying around the house to deter the outdoors from coming in.

A while ago though I was visiting my neighbor, she gets lots of catalogs delivered and told me to look through one and I saw something amazing. A book to store earrings in. I have been looking for a way to store the finished earrings that I have in stock. I saw the book and thought it was a brilliant idea. But why pay £30 for a tiny book that only hold a few pair? I looked at the book and said I can make a large one!

We went to Tescos for our weekly shop, just before school started binders were on sale for 70p. Okay, the binders were hot pink, but what the heck. Then I ordered some fabric online for £6.00. Thread, hemming ribbon and double sided tape I already had.

I had a few ideas for how I would make this work. When you buy factory made books they used specific fabric, like the kind you find at jewelry stores. Unfortunately felt, microfiber and suede, i.e. all the fabric similar to that is expensive. After one try I got it to work, but it doesn’t look like exactly how I want it to look.  I had more fabric so I tried it a different way. I made two different panels one longer and one wider. They still haven't come out the way I planned, so I may try a totally different approach now. I have some more ideas I can try out; different materials and fabrics. I may need to get a wider binder but this isn’t a bad start.

 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

On the Fly

On The Fly!

I've never really done this with any success. Sunday my friend's family threw a party for her birthday. It was family function but they invited Neil and I as well. I planned to wear one of my favorite dresses (I've had it for 7 years now), normally when I wear this dress I wear the pair of earrings featured in Layers that I've had for [about 10] years and rewired because they had become tarnished. But Sunday I decided to make a pair of earrings to wear to the party ... just an hour or so away.


I opened my box of beads and realized I had several shades of blue, most of which are in my dress. So for about a 30 minutes I played around with settings and chain and findings to get it just right. And with just a few minutes to spare I ended up with these.


I like that the beads are different shapes and sizes, and the lengths are different as well. You may notice I do that a lot in my designs.

Once we arrived at the party Shirley, my friend and neighbor told all of her granddaughters that I make earrings,

"Really?"

"Yes, in fact I just made these!"

I tried this once before, I made a pink and white pair that I never bothered to put up because I really didn't think they were any good. I wore pink and black from head to toe one day and wanted some pink earrings but didn't have any black beads at the time. I wore them on the day and just shoved them aside, I think they're still in tact but I don't even think about wearing them again.


But these are a different story. Grant it you'd have to have a dress like mine to make it work. Or maybe you just like the colors, or have an outfit with the same blue, grey and black combination. Whatever the situation is, if you'd like a pair of these just give me a shout.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Throwback


Throw back



Last I week I shared pictures of a pair I was working on; orange and yellow hoops with an oval bead in the center. Unfortunately, when I perfected the first one and went to make the second I didn’t have enough beads. Beads like those are irregular (actually I find all beads are irregular), so I made the first one but when I tried to make the second the beads that were left would not fit on the wire. Maybe I’ll try again with smaller gauge wire later.

After I made that one I moved on to this pair. It seems a bit retro to me. I don’t know why but whenever I see brown and wooden beads it reminds me of the 70’s. There are 44 brown beads around the hoop, with a round wooden bead dangling from the center. The earring is attached to fish hooks, I don’t think it would look right on a kidney wire. The earrings have a diameter of ­­­­an inch and will ­­­­an inch and a half from the ear.

I’m going to keep working on hoop designs. I have several half made earrings so it’s just a matter of perfecting them and then making the second one.

£4.75 including UK shipping, $8.75 including US shipping.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Experimenting


Experiementing
 
I had no idea what I was going to do! Monday came around and I was lost as to what I would do for this week. So far this year I have been more productive than in previous years but that is resulting in periodic designer’s block. Monday night while lying in bed trying to get back to sleep I thought about hoops.

 

I like making dangly earrings (thus the name of the blog) but there’s no reason why hoops can’t be dangles. The main problem is making them so I started experimenting yesterday. It needs more work so here’s a peak at what’s going on. Hopefully by next week I will have it perfected and maybe more than one pair to show for it.


Keep your fingers crossed!

 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How 'bout a beer?


Sea Glass - Beer bottles

 


I used to go to a friend’s house to hang out and he had a bottle opener that exclaimed that phrase. Another friend loved it so much he used to say it all the time. Maybe it’s from a movie or something, I don’t know. But looking at the last pair in the collection I’d think sea glass this color would have come from a beer bottle.

 


These oblong light brown glass beads are wrapped in non-tarnish wire and fitted with silver-plated fish hooks. The beads are also triangular which was a bit difficult to wrap. They hang just under an inch and a half from the ear and since they are larger will probably be a bit heavier than the other earrings in the collection.

 


I hope you enjoyed our visit to the sea side. I've always enjoyed looking out for shells at the beach but Neil has turned me on to sea glass too. So the next time you’re on the beach or on a river bank keep an eye out for one of those gems. And try to figure out what it would have been when it first went into the water.

£4.00 including UK shipping or $8.15 including US shipping

P.S. I have added a reviews section to the Facebook page so please leave a review of your purchase and if possible pictures. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Vague


 

 
When Neil collects his sea glass there are sometimes pieces of glass that you cannot tell what they were before. And in addition to the glass he’s found pieces from pottery and crockery. He did some research and discovered from the manufacturer’s mark that one piece is from a plate dating back to the 70’s. Again you can check out his collection of sea glass on his blog. I tried very hard not to make any blue earring for this collection but I just couldn’t help it.
 
I wore this pair to church last week and I received so many compliments on them. They probably are my favorite of all the designs in this collection but honestly I don’t know what this would be if it were sea glass. It’s too blue to be a Coca-Cola bottle and too light to be a poison bottle. I suppose it would just be a random piece of glass that could have come from housewares that were discarded and made it into a drain leading to the ocean, traveled the currents and landed on a shore somewhere.
 
The light blue glass is wrapped in non-tarnish silver-plated copper wire and fitted on silver-plated kidney wires. They hang just under an inch from the ear.
£4.50 including UK shipping, $8.65 including US shipping.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wine Bottles


Wine bottles

 



This won’t be a long post partly because it’s so late and partly because the main story I told last week.

This pair is made of green glass that if it were sea glass it would probably have been wine bottles in a previous life. This pair is rather small, they hang just under an inch from the ear. As always the findings are silver-plated and the glass is wrapped in non-tarnish silver-plated copper wire.

£4.00 including UK shipping, $8.00 including US shipping