Sparkles

Thursday, 25 November 2010



When I haven't been charity shopping or reading this week, I've been crafting. Now I'm the first to admit that I'm really not good at crafts. I can wield a needle well enough but as I don't really do cross stitch any more, I get very little chance to use one. Anything more complicated or involving machinery (am still a bit scared of sewing machines) or actual skill is usually beyond me. I am not a good pupil either - if I don't understand something I get cross and go off in a huff and that doesn't usually help matters.

One thing I can do is follow a pattern. And I'm very fond of sparkly things, so I like to make beaded baubles. They mostly come from Spellbound Beads who are marvellous people and stock all kinds of shiny stuff. None of it is terribly difficult to make - you need to know about two basic techniques (how to finish off the end of a piece of a thread and how to keep the tension in the thread) and just have lots of patience.

Now as Char will probably confirm, even this isn't without complications and I'm usually found either muttering "16A, 1B, crap, which is the B bead again?" or swearing violently at the thread and telling it to stay still and not get knotted round the beads. Is it worth it in the end? I think so.



I made this beautiful bauble as a present for Christina as I thought it would suit her gorgeous, glamorous style. Isn't it a pretty pattern? A new for me but very satisfying to make. You just quietly plod your way through making the loops and then ta, da, it's done.


I also made this star pattern one as a present for a colleague . It looks stunning in real life - so intricate and sparkly but it's an absolute bugger to make. It took about 10 hours to finish and I was so sick of stars afterwards that I moved onto something totally different instead. I don't remember it being so hard last time I made it!





Equally tricky but in a different way (also v. tricky to photograph for some reason) is this one which I've finished up today. It's much smaller and you're going round and round on yourself with this design. About 4 extra hands would be useful. I went a bit wrong at one stage but what the heck, I'll just hide it at the back of the tree or something.









ps - have also been working on a couple of totally different handmade goodies as part of the big December giveaway I've got planned for you lovely lot. Watch this space...



34 comments:

  1. Blimey, Alex, they're stunning. They look very fiddly though - my clumsy fingers couldn't cope with making something like that.

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  2. Wowee! They are the most sophisticated baubles I've ever seen! They remind me of Faberge eggs! :) x

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  3. Incredible! They look utterly beautiful and something I'd never be able to do myself as I'm far too clumsy and ham-fisted. I can image these adorning an old chandelier over a posh dining table. You are such a clever girl. xxx

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  4. I love these, they remind me of being in Germany last year, where the majority of Christmas Decs are handmade and significant in some way. Thanks for reminding me of the Weihnachts Markt.

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  5. My first thought was Faberge too! They are blooming gorgeous Alex. You've been hiding your crafty light under a bushel, haven't you? Really, really beautiful - what lucky friends!
    I really fancy giving that a go; where can I find instructions for an EASY one?
    Z xx

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  6. Oakey-dokey...just followed the link to Spellbound Beads. That book looks brilliant!
    Z xx

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  7. They are absolutely stunning. I mean jaw droppingly glamourously stunning. You talented thing you x

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  8. Dear Alex, they are absolutely beautiful! I adore mine. All my presents were perfect. You're very clever.

    If you can make something as intricate as these you should think about making some jewellery. I'm thinking a choker, some type of beaded breast plate would be amazing and some earrings. I know you could do it. You might make some money out of it.

    Hope you have a great Friday xx

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  9. these are gorgeous but they do look very intricate and difficult to make! x

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  10. Your patience combined with creativity is amazing! They look wonderful and can''t wait for December - will it be pompomarama?? xx

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  11. Lovely, the one for Christina is gorgeous - you are right, SO her personality. And the last one looks like Mata Hari, in Christmas bauble form. It would be like if an evil wizard turned Mata Hari into a tree decoration. And only a kiss from a handsome secret agent with state secrets can free her!

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  12. i think, quite possibly, my favourite quote of the whole crafting session was the "if she doesn't appreciate this i may make her eat it!"
    lol
    i'm very impressed with the outcome :D xxx

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  13. They are stunning! What patience! xx

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  14. Wow and you say you are not crafty, they are right fiddly to do and if you can manage them so well you can tackle anything! Beautiful!!
    Kandi x

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  15. These are stunning, honestly you have made such a wonderful job of these. I think I would be far too impatient to be able to make anything as detailed as this. These will make wonderful presents x

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  16. Wow they are stunning! You must have the patience of a saint as they look so intricate and fiddly - but gorgeous.

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  17. Argh they're so beautiful, how in God's name do you have the patience!?

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  18. I personally can't say I've ever seen such beautiful baubles, and I'd imagine they will mean so much to the recipients and will be the pride of the tree for years to come!
    Not only that, but they're sufficiently pretty to be kept out all year long I'd say.
    Inspirational!

    xxx Maddie

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  19. Bloody hell Alex, I'm impressed.

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  20. They're ace - you could be tweaking some of that into super cute jewellery!

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  21. Wow, they're beautiful! I especially love the one for Christina, but they're all seriously stunning. I hope you were kidding about hiding that last one at the back of the tree!

    Handmade Christmas decorations are the absolute best.

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  22. OMG how utterly GORGEOUS!!! How clever,clever sausage!! Now,I can't follow a pattern/instructions to save my life! And I sew a lot! Jeez,honey,these are all divine;I especially like the one for Christina!! I'm very impressed!
    Love! xxxxxxxxxxx

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  23. These are beautiful! Remember when you talked about gifts and gifting? I think these could be a wonderful handmade gift.... Just saying =)

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  24. Alex you must have the most elegant tree in town. Those bauble are just beautiful. You must have the patience of a saint. I particularly love the star one! x

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  25. You say you're not good at crafts? I'm jealous! Those baubles look so professional and chic! We'll need to see a picture of your tree once it's up! xx

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  26. wow youve done a great job - i dont have the patience to do stuff like this xxxx

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  27. Wow, they are gorgeous! Can't believe someone has the patience to do this - you could definately handle a sewing machine! :)

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  28. These are gorgeous - you must have so much patience! xx
    http://www.weshopthereforeweare.co.uk/

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  29. Oh, these are stunning! What a great idea, and so pretty to decorate the tree. Lovely idea. x

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  30. these are amazing!!! how cool!! these would look amazing hanging on a tree on mass :) xo

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  31. WOW... those ornaments are fantastic! I love the black one, so edgy and unique.

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  32. ooh these are such pretty decorations! i've been thinking about starting to make things again, i used to do allsorts when i was younger! i'd have a go christmas decorations except i dont have much of a christmas tree seeing as my cats like to totally demolish it every year!

    http://messyourhairup.blogspot.com

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  33. wow!It's very pretty!!xx

    www.zscloset.blogspot.com

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