Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Flower triad necklace

Hi everyone!
Today I want to show you a necklace I made for a contest quite some time ago. I still remember that day in 2009…ok, this sounds like a movie whose next scene will be in black and white…let’s try again!...
Some time ago (better!) I found out about  the Colorworks contest organized by Step by Step Beads. I was so, so excited! Just a few days earlier I purchased my first color wheel, a fantastic tool helping beaders to combine different shades (you can see it here). The challenge (calling for a creation made using the orange-purple-green triad) just gave me the perfect chance to experiment with it.
The deadline was very close, so I rapidly went through my bead boxes (yes, that was the time of few beads packed in a couple of boxes!) and I found out I definitely needed more stash (nothing has changed here!), but I had no time to buy it. I just had to be creative with what was there!
…determined and full of energy from the challenge, I started right away! I picked out some purple glass flowers, a few orange fire-polished beads and…wait, I had no center piece (ouch!)… I was quite discouraged…but suddenly, (eureka!) I remembered about a beautiful pattern by Jamie Hogsett which I saw in the April/May 2009 issue of Beadwork Magazine (page 32) and I decided to use it in order to create a large flower to place right in the middle of the creation. I got out my needle, thread, teal Czech seeds and I started stitching. Once the focal was done, I attached some glass beads and blooms on the sides using craft wire and headpins. To make the piece lighter I created a strand of white seed beads running behind the neck to connect the two ends and close the creation through a toggle clasp on one side.
And here it is…my old, colorful necklace!


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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tiny blooms

Hi everyone!

Today I want to share with you a little pattern. It’s a very easy, fast (less than 5 minutes) to stitch crocheted flower I created while a was trying to find a tiny decoration to add to some of my pieces.

As you probably already know, my crochet skills are quite limited. I can only make very simple designs, provided I also have the help of excellent tutorials. You can therefore imagine how basic a pattern I created myself can be, so keep your expectations low.

Well, now, if you didn’t stop reading the post yet, I infer you are very motivated, so let’s go straight to the step by step instructions*:

  1. Make a magic circle (wait, what? Seriously? Was this supposed to be an easy pattern? I can’t do this!  - This was my reaction when I first encountered this enchanted crochet creature, so, if you are a beginner like me,  you will find the super-easy video I used to learn how to make it right below the instructions)
  2. Chain 3
  3. Make 1 double crochet in the loop
  4. Chain 3
  5. Attach to the loop with a slip stitch
  6. Repeat from step 2 (4 or 5 times depending on the number of petals you want. In the first picture below, you can see flowers made with 5 petals, while the ones in the second have 6)
  7. Weave the leftover thread through the stitches or use it to attach the flower as decoration
* Since the design is truly trivial, probably many other people have already made it in the past, so please, if you know of some pattern/tutorial already published, leave them in the comments, and I will quote them (I really do not want to steal anybody’s work!)

For any further doubts about stitches, you can read my post on how to start crochet here (and, if you have more doubts, please leave a comment and I will do my best to help you ;-) ).

As for every crocheted creation, you can change size and texture by using different yarns (you can read this post to find out more on the topic). In the first picture below, for instance, the brown bloom was made with a thick cotton yarn and 3mm hook, for the purple one I used a thinner yarn and 2.5mm hook, while for the blue one I worked with a thin mercerized cotton thread and 2mm hook.

But now that you finished your tiny beauty, what can you do with it? I love to embellish my flowers by sewing a 4mm bead in the center and then attach them to any creation I can think of. In the last picture, for example,  I glued them to some Easter eggs decorations I crafted last spring (you can find out more about them reading the full  post here), but they can also be attached to Christmas decorations, gloves, wreaths, or anything you can think of, just let your imagination fly…

…and have a creative day!

P.s. If you don’t want to miss any crafty project, remember to follow the blog by clicking on the “join this site” button in the right column ;-)