Paper button

Wow, it’s been a month since my last post! I’ve not been making much jewelry these days, so the pause in my jewelry blogging is inevitable. 🙂 I’ve mostly been working on one or two personal programming projects, and on my knitting.

One piece of jewelry I did make recently was a paper button for a short jacket that I knit for my sis. The jacket is light-and-dark gray, and I wanted to make a button that matches those tones. I decided to make a spiral disc bead, and add some wirework in the end, both as embellishment and as the loop through which I can thread the ‘button’ onto the jacket.

Paper button

I made the bead by winding many thin, long, slowly-tapering strips of newspaper one after another. This way, the bead ends up wider than it is long. Of course, plenty of glue is needed from time to time to prevent unwinding of this ‘super-long strip.’ After the glue dried, I painted the bead with a rough ombré effect of black and silver acrylic colors in the front, and fully black at the back. I waited for the paint to dry fully before applying multiple coatings of mod podge, letting the piece air-dry between coatings.

The finished bead is pretty sturdy, and is about 0.5cm thick and 2cm wide.

We eventually found a different button for my sister’s jacket, and I didn’t get a chance to add the wire embellishments to this button. I’ve to find some other use for it now! 🙂

Torus necklace

Remember the Torus pendant that I’d made a while ago? There are more of those metallic-silver tori in my stash — three, to be precise — and I’d really wanted to use them for something. Earrings were my persistent initial thought, but these tori are too big for earrings. I know my wrists are small for a bracelet with a torus focal piece, and I didn’t want to make another pendant. So I decided they would all go together in one necklace. Of course, they needed something else to add to the look, and what better company than some jumbo pearl beads from my stash! 🙂

Torus necklace

Torus necklace

I’d also recently bought some bead caps online, and they turned out larger than I expected. (This is a problem with Indian online retail — there aren’t enough details provided to trust that a purchase would work out well, and sometimes, the return processes turn out to be painful.) I decided to keep them just in case I bought large beads that would fit. For my jumbo pearl beads, these were the only bead caps suitable, albeit slightly oversized. So, well, I used them.

I cut wire lengths for the pearl beads, threaded each wire through a pearl between two bead caps, and made eye loops on both ends. I didn’t fully close the eye loops yet.

I then cut longish lengths of the wire (around 15cm). I wrapped two wires per torus, each one around roughly-opposite points on the torus. The wrapping itself is a simple one, with one end of the wire turned into an outward-facing eye loop, and the other end turned into a spiral that lies on the torus itself. I connected the pearl bead eye loops to the eye loops on the tori, and shut all eye loops.

To finish the necklace, I attached the ends of a silver-colored chain to the end pearl beads. This just might be a statement piece for me. 😛

Scrappy earrings

Scrappy because they are made of fabric scraps and look disorganized as well.

Scrappy earringsI tore out strips from unused brown/black fabric, and cut some pieces of leftover brown yarn from my old knitting projects. I made two hoops from silver-colored wire. I created each hoop this way — first, I made a loop about 1cm in diameter; then an eye loop from one end such that it circles around the other end; finally an eye loop from the other end just below the first eye loop. The second eye loop will turn out perpendicular to the first. (Wish I’d clicked photos of the steps, but it was a random experiment.) I made sure the second eye loop was large enough to fit in it a bunch of the fabric strips and yarn.

So you now know what the next step is. 🙂 I took a bunch of the strips and yarn and ran them through the second eye loop. I checked that both ‘arms’ of the bunch hanging from the eye loop were similar in length. I gathered both arms together, smoothed them out and made a knot (not too tight right now, though!) right where the second loop is. There, that hid both eye loops because of the thickness of the fabric bunch.

Before tightening the knot, I moved around the strips and yarn slightly so they look haphazard but not too much.

To finish the earrings, I added a finding to each hoop.

Beaded partial necklace

My first attempt at bead crocheting resulted in a beautiful bracelet and some very painful fingers. 😦 I’d wanted to try my hand at Kumihimo instead, but I haven’t managed to buy a disc yet. While I’m thinking if I should make a DIY Kumihimo disc, I decided to give bead crocheting one more shot — this time, with cotton crochet thread instead of generic nylon wire.Partial beaded necklaceI tested out the pattern with a few color combinations before finalizing this one. The white seed beads are non-uniform and slightly larger than the others, which made me almost not use them, but it gives the piece a bit of a rustic and handmade look, so I decided to keep them after all. I like this look now. 🙂

The pattern is a 9-bead repeat of blue(3)-white(2)-brown(3)-white(1). It is broken in the middle by a 9-row single-color band of metallic silver seed beads. That makes it around 40 rows of the base pattern on each half, resulting in a partial necklace slightly longer than 16cm (about 6.5″).

To finish the piece — At each end, I used gold wire to make an eye loop that went through the visible crochet stitches and strung a bead cap through the remaining wire. I made another eye loop outside the bead cap to hold the cap in place. I then attached a large jump ring through the outer eye loop, through which I strung black rope to make the partial piece ‘complete’.

Torus pendant

I have a few of these metallic-silver tori in my stash, and had a few ideas on using them. This is the first of the ideas brought to fruition —

Torus pendant

Torus pendant

I used a 22-gauge black wire for the embellishment, simply wrapping it around the surface of the torus. Every 4 turns, I added a blue seed bead to the wire, fitting the bead at the outer circumference of the torus. I’d originally planned to cover about half the surface of the torus, but I miscalculated the length of the wire needed, and it came to a little more than a quarter of the torus. But no worries, I like how it looks. 🙂

The torus is large and does not have any clasp of its own, so I made one — I added four more wraps on the opposite corner using the same wire, looping the centermost wraps through a jump ring.

The pendant is neither too light nor too heavy, and it works well with short chains, or longer ones that already contain some embellishments. I clicked only one picture, though —
Torus pendantI’ve been trying to banish this insistent idea of making earrings with these, because they’re going to be just too large. Making a couple of them a part of a long chain is another idea I have. Which jewelry item pops into your mind for a torus like this?

Beaded ornament experiment

Beading is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I’ve done some bead crochet projects, of course, but constantly seeing cabochons with beaded finishing on my Pinterest screen has to have some effect, doesn’t it? 😉

So before I go running to buy beading supplies, I thought I’ll first try it with the limited supplies I have. I used my collection of beads and some nylon wire for the test run. I started out with a cyclic symmetry of three and added a few rounds. Because nylon wire isn’t super-thin, I could only go into each bead about twice on average, so the project ended up kinda stunted. In the final round, I turned the three-way symmetry into a six-pronged ornament. This is how it looks —Beaded ornamentRecounting my experience, I think I’d like to try more sometime.