Something Old

The final countdown has begun–there are less than 4 weeks left until the wedding! There is something very real about having that “over a month left” buffer, and now that it’s gone. I’m stressed. But with much help and plugging away, I know I will get there.

For the next few weeks I’m going to run a series on different pieces of my wedding outfit, going by the “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” adage. I didn’t start out with any intent of going by that adage, but once the pieces started falling into place for it anyway, it seemed only logical to follow it through. Today, we begin with my something old.

I’ve mentioned before that it’s been very difficult doing this wedding thing without my mom. Although I’m very blessed with the friends and family I have around me who are constantly pitching in and bolstering me up, it doesn’t change the fact that she’s supposed to be there, on that day. I tried to capture as much of her as I could, but it still wasn’t quite enough.

One day, when I was looking through her jewelry, searching for her memory, I came across a very important necklace.

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I remember my mom treasuring that necklace, because it reminded her of her mother, who died when she was even younger than my mom. I remember her telling me that she had gotten a jeweller to make the wire wrapping to make it into a pendant and keep the stone safe. I can still feel the significance of it, when I hold it.

I knew as soon as I held it that I had to wear it when I got married. The only issue is that the earrings I made match with my dress, with their pearls and silver. Gold? Not a match with that dress, or those earrings. Which means that I need to either mismatch (still an option), or make new earrings that tie in the gold of the necklace with some silver. I’ve been mulling over ways to do it for several days now and still have not come up with anything. I haven’t given up yet though! And regardless of the earrings, I know wearing that necklace will help me get through that big day all that much stronger.

See you back here next week for “Something New”!

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The Fancy Tools of the Trade

Until recently, I was working with a basic set of tools–I had some combined pliers/wirecutters from my toolbox, and a pair of crimpers. (You can do a lot with just those tools. All I needed to make the finally earrings in The Perfect Earrings was a pair of crimpers.) But, less than a year ago, I “acquired” a set of needle nose pliers (thanks dad!–he won’t miss them, I’m sure). The avenues this opened! I was able to make earrings like these:

Then, last christmas, I got my fanciest tool yet, a pair of round nose pliers. Which allowed me to make earrings like these:

And now, for my birthday, I have received the fanciest (and possibly least necessary, but no less awesome) tools yet. The first is a pair of side cutters, that does the nicest, cleanest cuts I’ve ever seen (at least, compared to my other wire cutters).

Bead Landing™ Side Cutters from Michaels©

The second is a pair of “wire looping pliers”, which essentially make it super easy to start bends and coils in wire. This is especially helpful for me since I have issues with my wrists and the more fine work I have to do, the more I regret starting the project.

Beadalon® Wire Looping Pliers

Finally, the most mysterious of all the tools, the “bead drilling tweezers”, specially designed to make drilling holes in smaller beads (like pearls), easy as pre-made cookie dough. I am still unsure as to how it works, but the concept is very exciting. Beyond the obvious of how to use it in the first place, I have no idea what kind of drill bit to use. However, I do still have some pearls (in a currently unknown location, but possibly behind a dresser) that I got in hawaii that do not have holes in them. Can’t think of a better test!

Bead Landing™ Bead Drilling Tweezers from Michaels©

What will I make with all these fancy new tools? I don’t know! I’m excited to find out though–and am open to suggestions!

Sarah

The Perfect Earrings

I am getting to that age where there are lots of weddings in the summer. Not that there aren’t always lots of weddings in the summer–but this summer contained 2 for me to attend and 6 more for other people I know. According to many people it’s “just the age” I’m at.

For the two weddings I am attending this summer, I got to buy a new dress. It took 2 hours and 12 different stores to find. It was an adventure, to say the least! It turned out to be all worth it though, because I found the perfect dress (on sale!): light, summery, and it even had well concealed pockets. But I got the dress home, and discovered that I didn’t have any earrings to match it! What was I to do?

Why, make some earrings, of course!

I had the privilege of making earrings for both of the brides, and they both were very happy with the final product. So you’d think after that, the ideas would be flowing, easy peasy, sit down and poof–the perfect earrings would appear. But that’s not how it was. Coming up with a design for these earrings was actually more difficult than the brides’ earrings! There were colours in my dress that had to be matched properly and I didn’t want to infringe upon the brides’ special days by having similar earrings to them.

The first idea was intended to look like a flower on a vine:

The result was pretty and certainly different, but…not what I wanted. It just looked kind of off. So I spent some more time thinking about it. It came to the point where I was ready to give up, and wear some less exciting sparkly fake diamond earrings. However, inspiration finally hit as I was idly watching tv and pushing beads around in front of me.

Simple and sparkly. Although I do love wirework, sometimes it’s just too much. Just some crystals and seed beads strung on some coated wire.

So that’s it! The quest for the perfect earrings is complete. Mostly. Part of me still thinks they could be better…

Sarah

Tea Syrup and Jewelry

I have many hobbies, and though I love baking, I also love other things, like cute animals and tea. Just like baking, however, it is usually cheaper (and sometimes better) to make these things myself. (I do have a project in the works that involves knitting a tiny cute animal, but I want to wait to post about it until I’ve actually finished it.)

Yesterday, I discovered a recipe that I am eager to try. DavidsTea put a recipe for making tea flavoured syrups in their September 2011 newsletter. I can’t say I’d want to try it with boring tea, but with DavidsTea, oh yes, I’m excited. I have not yet decided which kind to make first, but I’m leaning towards Alpine Punch.

Tea Flavoured Syrup

  • 6 tsp any tea
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c sugar

Directions: “Steep your tea and strain into a small pan. Stir in sugar and simmer on medium-low for 10-15 minutes, until sugar dissolves. Store it in the fridge and drizzle into drinks, over fresh fruit, or right onto a spoon.”

Or put it on ice cream, or pancakes, I think.

Jewelry is also one of my favourite things. Buying it and making it. Making it is fun because then you can give it as very original gifts and people generally are pretty excited that it’s just for them. Recently I found instructions to make a wirework tree pendant. I’m pretty new to the world of wirework, though I have been making earrings and such for awhile. Original instructions are available here from Bead Studio.

There is a penny so you get a sense of scale–it’s not very big. Instead of the gauges in the directions (because I didn’t have them), I used 20g and 26g and it seemed to work out pretty well. I can definitely see the advantage of a thicker gauge for the circular base.

The main reason I wanted to do this is because I love cherry blossom trees, and I wanted to make one that will last year round. In retrospect, I think I would have the circular base ends come out at the top and create a loop with them, instead of trying to make them stay together with the wraps of 26g wire.

Hopefully will get back soon with more baking and maybe even reveal my knitting project!

Sarah