Making Maja Beads

I’m drinking coffee this morning and waiting for the 4th and 5th Nor’easter storms to hit our area.  It’s the 1st day of Spring and weather stations are forecasting over a foot in some areas.  I want to believe it will just be rain….maybe it misses us all together???  Probably not, but one can always hope.

Originally the candles in my work space were lit for ambiance.  Now they are providing the light to work by as the storm moves in covering up the sun with thick dark clouds.  The plus of any big snow storm is the quiet it creates.  The perfect setting for good meditation.  I guess that makes today a perfect day to share what I created over the weekend….Maja beads.

Maja Beads-Purple Tassel

I love this set.  I used purple and white cording with a purple and white tassel attached.  I followed the steps I found here.  Not only is the article very informative, but the instructions make it easy to follow.

You know me….I started with items I have already on hand.  I made my own small modifications to account for that aspect, but it didn’t change the look or the use.  It did change the size and I have trouble wrapping it around my wrist to wear as a bracelet, but it makes a lovely accent piece as a necklace.  The beads are the perfect size for meditation.  I use this set the most, but I enjoyed making Maja beads so much I created two more sets in differing sizes to see how they would come out.

Maja Beads-Pink Tassel.jpg

The pink tassel set is slightly too large to be a bracelet.  I tend to hold the tassel and charms in my hand which isn’t always ideal when I’m out and about, but I love how this one turned out and I wear it as a necklace often.   I have tried to meditate with it and the beads are a little small in my opinion, but I think when I have practiced meditation longer they will be wonderful.

Maja Beads-Maroon Tassel.jpg

Obviously this one is extra-large and I hung it over my meditation space because I love it as a wall hanging.  I will probably add a large stone and a large charm to it, I just haven’t made it to the craft store…..stupid Nor’easter!

The snow is falling now so I know it won’t be all rain as I had hoped.  I think I’ll make a cup of hot tea and meditate* before the chaos of a big snowfall begin.

 

 

*meditate on how I don’t want another school closing….meditate on how I want the power to stay on….mediate on how chilly it is sitting on the floor…meditate on…

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Knotty Jewelry

That is a great name for the collection of jewelry pieces I’ve been designing since last week.  It all started with learning how to make the half square knot and creating some cool accent pieces for my beaded elastic bracelets….and now, I don’t know that it is an “obsession”, but as I am working a bracelet or anklet, I’m already thinking of the next one I can make!

There are so many inspirational photographs online and so many free tutorials it is easy to get swept away.   Look how pretty this beginner anklet is I made for myself:

Blue Bead Anklet KJ.jpg

I haven’t taken it off since I finished making it and it’s holding up beautifully and wearing very comfortably!  I just love it!

Once I broke out the seed beads….well….I’ve made two trips out for more colors of both seed beads and cording to work with; as well as buying a few things that will make working the bracelets up faster and easier.

This morning I am working on this pattern for bracelets and anklets…

Teal with Silver Beads KJ.jpg

The possibilities are endless for this pretty little piece.  The picture shows Red Heart Thread in Aqua #10.  The silver beads came in a multi-pack of beads I bought from Wal-Mart.

This is my favorite combination so far.  I’m making a bracelet now, but I will be making an anklet size for these as well.  When I have finished a few more of them, I will come back and share the free tutorials I used and a good list of supplies.

I’m going to get back to working on more pieces.  I have plans to make these two patterns in particular and add them to my booth when I sign up for a few craft fairs this coming summer.  Plus, I’m feeling crafty, so it is time to get back to it.

Happy Hooking!

 

Twisted Knot Jewelry

Yesterday I made a run to the local dollar store in order to find all the last minute things I would need for creating an allowance system/chore chart for Gracie.  I’m putting the finishing touches on it today and getting it set up for her to use starting next week.  I will share all of my printables with photos in a few weeks.  I want to see what we find useful and what we don’t.

In the meantime, I spent most of yesterday learning a bit of macrame!  I had no idea how satisfying creating knots could be!!!

Seriously, I love the stuff I created!  Check these out….

Half Knot Bracelet.jpg

I loved the bracelet so much I made an anklet….

Half Knot Anklet

If you want to make one, you probably have what you need on hand.  It does take some time to complete, but if you get started now, you could have one before the end of the day!

I used Lion Brand Yarn 24/7 Cotton in Aqua and Burgundy.  You could also use cotton twine, hemp, leather cording, or baker’s twine.  Just make sure it is a tough thread for durability.

You will need a clipboard or something to hold it tight for you and a pencil or similar to wrap the loops of thread around at the beginning.

Do you know how to create a half square knot?  Well, I didn’t either, so I had to find a tutorial.  This video from Wool and the Gang was the most helpful.  I don’t have a background in macrame or creating knots for any other reason, so it took me a bit to get the hang of it.

I watched this video just to see how to finish the bracelet.  There are some great ideas online for ways to close these bracelets, so I guess it is up to your personal taste.  I wanted to wear mine long term, so I created a large knot on the finished end so it would fit through the loops on the beginning end of the bracelet.  For the anklet, I just tied the two ends together and snipped the ends leaving enough to fray with wear.

I have a sizing chart for both men and women’s jewelry measurements on my Pinterest board in case you are making one for someone else.  If it’s for you, measure it for a perfect fit.

I’m going to make a few more of these and learn some different knot patterns to create some other pieces.  I’ve been interested in using charms for the bracelets and small bells for an anklet.  If I get brave enough, I might even try to make a plant hanger or a boho wall hanging.

If you have an interest in working with macrame, this is a great place to start.  The investment is minimal and the reward is new jewelry!!

 

 

Braided Copper Toe Ring

Mondays are my day to get the week organized and it seems that this week I really have a lot going on.  The more I run the house like a CEO, the more I add to the to do list.

With that there is also a real sense of accomplishment when I can knock things off the list that I really do need to get done.  If you are in need of some organization for your home, blog, or yourself personally, here and here a post with some really helpful free printables.

Today, I am working on not only getting ready for the week ahead, but I am also tackling a scheduling project for Gracie.  This is in it’s infancy, so I will post more about it when I have it set up and functioning.  It’s just one of the many things I am trying to accomplish today.

However, I didn’t want the day to pass without sharing a really cute and easy jewelry craft I created in just a few moments!  Seriously!!  It takes no time at all to make this great toe ring and if you would prefer to wear it on your hand instead, it is size-able to any part of any finger!  It’s really cool!

Braided Copper Toe Ring.jpg

I made a couple of these braided rings and gave one to Elizabeth, my oldest daughter.  She likes wearing it as a cuff ring on her hand.  This little project is a win in my book because I hardly ever create something that my teenager wants for herself!

So,here is how I did it….I purchased the copper jewelry wire at Wal-Mart on a shopping trip.  I chose 14 gauge so it would be more flexible while I’m learning how to work with wire….remember, this is only my second wire jewelry project ever.

I cut three equal lengths of wire from the roll.  My lengths all measured 6″.  This is way more than you need, but I wanted to have lots to work with  in case I made any mistakes.

I began by twisting the three wires together at one end and while pinching this spot, I separated the strands so I could begin braiding.  I secured the twisted end to my clipboard (you could tape it down also)…and I braided it all the way to the end.  It comes together nice, but don’t try to braid it too tight, it ruins the look.

When you have finished braiding, you will need to flatten your wire.  I still have to buy a nylon hammer for my tool kit, so for now I placed the braided wire inside a folded washcloth and placed it on a flat heavy table top.  I grabbed my small household hammer (the one that made my husband laugh when we started dating…he dubbed it the “Tapper”) and gently tapped up and down the washcloth to flatten the braid as much as I could without damaging anything.

After I flattened it, I had to trim the piece down, so I actually cut a 1.5 inch piece from the center of the braid because it was the prettiest.  Make sure you tuck the three wire ends on each side of the cuff into themselves and pinch them flat with jewelry pliers.

Now all you have to do is decide where you want to wear your cuff.  I have one for my thumb and one for my toe and I love them both!!

I hope you enjoy the tutorial and have fun making some for yourself.

 

 

A Pretty Pinky Ring

A few weeks ago I started pinning some free patterns and links to crochet jewelry with the intention of finding something to do with my bead stash.  I did find some wonderful ideas, but as is typical with me…..I got distracted.  You can check out some of my crochet jewelry pins here.  I have 35 pins on the board, so that is 35 new pieces of jewelry to explore!!

Now, I said I got distracted and I will tell you why…there is a bit of a crossover between crocheting with fiber and crocheting with thin wire…who knew?!?  Clearly, I did not and I was delightfully surprised to see such pretty work with wire!  I started pinning more ideas but since they didn’t 100% relate to the crochet jewelry board, I began a new one just called Jewelry Making.  I might have gone a bit crazy with the pins because I have over 50 on this board…..it is just beautiful stuff and I am so inspired!!

When I went to the craft store a few weeks back I grabbed some copper jewelry wire in a light copper color (16 ga) and also in silver (20 ga).  I didn’t have any real plan in mind, but I knew most of my board pins involved wire………and that my friends is how my creative process works.  Buy the pretty now and figure out what to do with it later.  It’s okay, it’s fun to just create….whether it’s a fail on my part or something great.

I didn’t mean to make a rhyme…..but now it’s stuck in my head like something from a Dr. Seuss book.

Did I mention I get distracted?

Anyway….

I’m so excited to get started that I jump right to one of the beautiful pins I have ready to go……

and I quickly realize that I have no idea what I’m doing.  I don’t even have all the right tools I will need to make this lovely piece.

Back to the boards we go.

Then I find something that is both appealing to me and seems like an easy beginner project to try.  I think you will love it too.

It’s a beautiful and simple infinity ring.  This video gives step by step directions and includes a list of supplies you will need to create one.

I did have some of the tools and wire, but I did not have all the tools nor the right wire gauge.  I made the prettiest ring I could make with what I had and I’m pretty impressed.

Infinity Ring

Since the gauge I worked with was thicker than required to make the ring I ended up with a pinky ring that is just a bit ridged.

Ok, it’s a lot ridged, but it’s a beautiful piece and it fits.  I can’t ask for much more than that for a first try on both making an infinity symbol and sizing a ring.

I still have the copper wire to work with, but before I get farther into making jewelry, I think I need to grab some tools at the craft store.

I already have a plan.  Of course I will tell you what I have in mind….

I’m going to take a thicker gauge distressed copper wire and recreate this ring in a bracelet size.  I need a nylon hammer to make it correctly, so I’m off to the craft store again!  🙂

By the way, if you love my bracelets shown in the picture,  click here and I will tell you how to make one (or several)  for yourself.

 

Bracelets You Can Make In Under An Hour

Yesterday afternoon Hubs and I loaded Gracie in the car and traveled north to fight with other mall shoppers and exchanged a few gifts.  There wasn’t as big of a crowd as we had anticipated, so we finished up shopping quickly and headed out for a nice bite to eat at our favorite Pho restaurant.   On the way home the NJDOT had updated the highway boards to warn of the winter storm that would be passing through the area in the next 24 hours.

I didn’t panic over bread or milk, I panicked over the thought of not having a project to do or the ability to get to a craft store to get a project going again!  So, with as little stress in my voice as possible, I asked Hubs if he would make a stop before home at our local Wal-Mart and I would head into the craft section and brainstorm something to work on during a snowy day.

My mind kept going back to a pattern I rediscovered while organizing my bookmarks this past week.  It’s for a lovely white triangle shawl that is made with cotton thread instead of yarn.  I knew I could find the size #10 thread I would need, even if I could only choose between three colors….so, white it is.  I will, of course, keep you posted on the progress once I really dig into it.

After I grabbed two spools of thread to start the project I couldn’t help but check out the jewelry section and grab some copper wire to play around with when I got tired of working on this shawl…..maybe I could twist some semi-precious rocks for my necklaces, or a ring….I’ll have to figure out where my skill set lies before I get too excited.

In the meantime, I still have some beading and elastic cording saved from before Christmas and that’s the craft I wanted to share today.  The supplies for this craft are simple and you can decide how budget friendly you want it to be with your choice of beading.  I think for these bracelets, I probably spent around $15 for everything.

Beads for Bracelet.jpg

So, here’s what you will need:

.08mm elastic cording (or equivalent to slide your beads on)

Beads or charms of your choice (enough to make at least one 7″ to 9″ bracelet) For this project I used lava beads, quartz beads and red jasper (I think).  I grabbed a box of mixed wood beads, too!

Scissors

A little dab of super glue (or crafters glue)

* For a woman’s bracelet- measure the wrist if you are able…if not, measure it approximately 10″ (8″ for the beading and 2″ for securing).  The average man’s bracelet should measure at 10″-11″ finished.

Here is where you can learn to do a surgeon’s knot.  This is how you will secure the bracelet.

Ready????  Then you will need to decide how you want your bracelet to look and begin stringing the beads onto the elastic cording….I suggest leaving it on the roll while doing this so the beads don’t slide off the other side.

When your bracelet is the size you need, then cut the elastic from the roll leaving a few inches to work with for tying.

Tie your two ends together using a surgeon’s knot.  Now, do a second surgeon’s knot and tug the ends tight again. Trim the ends down.  Dab the two knots with some super glue and let it dry.  Slide a bead over the knot and cover it and viola!!!  All done!  It’s gonna look great and last for a long time.

Check out the bracelets I made from these beads and a few I had left over from previous craft projects….they are really divine!

Finished Wood Bracelets.jpg

It seriously took me about an hour and a half to complete all of these.  I wear most of them everyday….they make me happy.  I can add essential oils to the lava beads on the bracelets for mood elevation, so that’s good for my anxiety.

These are so easy and so gratifying to make.  I encourage you to head to the craft store and pick out some of your favorite beads….you could have a beautiful statement piece for your jewelry collection before the day is out.

If you do make one (or several like I do), I would love to see your finished projects.  Any questions?  Need some help with it, leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

As always,

Happy Hooking!

 

Crochet Beaded Anklet for the Beach!

It feels so nice to title something in my writings about the beach!  I love it because that means summer has arrived, even if not by the calendar’s standards yet.   My daughter, Panda and I decided to load up the car with goodies and head for Cape May, NJ with the grand baby in tow.

These are the trips I love….the beginning and ending of the summer season is so wonderful.  There is just something about the atmosphere before the schools let out and the vacationers arrive in masses.  The day came and went without a cloud in the sky.  There was a light breeze blowing keeping the temperature down a bit since the water was way too chilly to swim in and for a short while we sat and watched a school of dolphins feasting just off the shore.

Once again, Cape May did not disappoint.  It was a great day trip and I can’t wait to head back maybe one more time before summer is in full swing.

The night before we went to the beach, Panda and I planned out a short list of necessary things to bring and I found that when we were done with the list and the prepacking items I had a little time to kill.  Enough time that I started thinking about how cool it would be to have a new ankle bracelet for the day.  I have a whole category on my Pinterest page devoted to crochet jewelry but until this I hadn’t had an inspiration to create anything.  Black and Blue Bracelet

The fun thing about crochet jewelry is that with just a little skill and a small amount of materials you can create something unique.  I bought a set of hooks years ago that had some of the very small “numbered” hooks.  I used some thread that I have on hand, although for these kinds of projects you can use almost any medium:  elastic cord, leather cording, hemp, crochet thread, embroidery thread…you get the idea.  I just happened to have crochet thread and some nice small glass beads.

I made two bracelets for myself and one anklet and I made two anklets for Panda.  I think they turned out beautifully and I cannot wait to try a few more creative endeavors with this medium.  If you are interested in making this particular anklet, you can find the pattern for it here.  I think a beginner to crochet may have some trouble with it, but it’s certainly an easy project for someone intermediate who is okay with how they stitch and familiar with reading patterns.  Ankle Bracelet

I have created a pattern for the black bracelet pictured.  The multi-colored glass bead bracelet was simply stringing beads onto a length of crochet thread and then tied together securely with the ends snipped short.  It’s a cute little color accent for the summer.  That particular bracelet could be made with your kids as a fun rainy day craft.  You can put clear nail polish on the end of the thread and you can eliminate the need for using beading needles to guide the beads on the thread.

For simplicities sake, I will just call this creation:

Black and Blue Beaded Bracelet

You will need:

Crochet Thread or similar medium in #20 about 3-4′

Glass beads any color in 6mm (@60-75)

Beading needle or sewing needle

Crochet Hook Size E or 3.50mm

Scissors and Tapestry needle

Before you begin crocheting,  you will need to place all of the beads on the thread in the order you want them to appear on the bracelet.  Use a beading needle or place clear nail polish on the end of the thread to aid in placing the beads on the thread.

Begin  chain 55 or number needed to obtain length (about 7 1/2″ for bracelet, about 9″ for anklets)

Round One:  Slip Stitch into second chain from hook and in next three stitches. Bring one glass bead and place it against the last slip stitch.  Hold the bead in place and complete a slip stitch into the next stitch.  Repeat this process until you reach the end.  Do not turn work yet, but chain 10 from the end of the last stitch and then slip stitch back into the same stitch you began chaining from.  This will create a small loop big enough for a button-hole.

DO NOT TURN your bracelet, but begin working down the other side of the beads you just attached by slip stitching all the way to the end.

DO NOT TURN your bracelet, but again work down this side of the bracelet creating slip stitches all the way to the last stitch before the button-hole loop.  Slip stitch into the last stitch.

Fasten off and hide your loose threads.

On the end of the bracelet that has four empty stitches, place a small button or decorative bead in a larger size centered in this space.  Attach it with embroidery thread and fasten off.

You can add charms or other pretties as you wish.

If you do create something with this pattern, I would love to see it.  Feel free to leave me a message below and as always;

Happy Hooking!!