Baubles & Backgrounds

Do you see my new blog format? I’ve been doing a little work on it in the past week. I’ll share more on that later in the post.

This week I was playing with beads again. It was time for a new Medical ID bracelet for me, and for a friend.

oldMy friend had purchased this bracelet, but as you can see, after wearing it for well over a year, she needed a new one. The coating on the Swarovski pearls had worn off. Now, she wears her bracelet all the time – in the shower, swimming – she doesn’t take it off.

I’ve used Swarovski crystals and pearls in the past and they haven’t done this, but I haven’t put them through all that hard wearing either. I take my bracelet off daily.

The new bracelet I made her is in the above photo as well, but here’s a better photo:

new over oldThe new bracelet is over the old one. It looks much better. Classic design and lines. It’s lovely. I just might need one too.

While I had all my jewelry-making supplies out, I decided to make myself a bracelet. I love turquoise in the summer but didn’t have a Medical ID bracelet in turquoise. I do now.


The center three stone beads aren’t turquoise, but are the same stones I’d used in some earrings – dyed Imperial Jasper. The bracelet also has some lovely Sterling silver spacer and feature beads. I’ve been happily wearing it all week. My earrings, below, show you my matchy matchy. I made these last year.

blue earrings

Other than playing with beads, I mentioned I’ve been playing with my blog format. Do you like it? I love it too. It looks so clean and crisp.

Sadly it took more time than I would have liked. I’m not the most technical person, but I’m learning! Just to give you an example I took a full day to redirect the traffic from my old blog site to my new one. After spending time researching, trying something, it not working, more research and more tries… well, I found out I couldn’t do it myself. WordPress had to do that. It was so easy after I pushed a button and paid them a very small and very worthwhile fee! Done.

After redirecting, I spent some time taking photos for my background. I’d found a lovely lace background that I would have had to pay a terrible price to use – way more than real lace cost! Hmm, time to get some lace out.

Here are a few of my attempts before I found just what I wanted:

sparkle ivory over gold

This is a lovely lace, but I wanted more in my background than just lace. The lace background was my original inspiration, but now I wanted more of me in it.

horizontal black white and gold over goldThis is my kind of lace. This is so beautiful, but I found the black a bit distracting as a background when I was trying to read the text. As much as I loved it, I thought a little less just might be better for a background.

photocopyThis one was a lot closer to what I wanted and what I felt represented me. But It wasn’t quite perfect for me yet. For my final background, you can see I kept my pearls and added my thimble. Perfect!

Happy creating!

Long Line Watson and Some Bling

I had such hopes my Watson was going to be perfect this time. The good news is my hopes aren’t completely dashed. My Watson isn’t perfect, but it’s not that far off.


Here it was beginning to take shape. I’d made two changes. The last time I’d made it, I made the largest size, but it was a bit small in the cup, so on this one I graded the cup up and then put some gathering stitches along the seam line and aligned those gathers at the bottom of the cup where it crosses the cup seam. Those little gathers are hardly noticeable and then I didn’t have to change the cradle at all.

The other change I made was to ‘beef’ it up a bit. I lined the cups with power net. It does offer a fair amount more support than the last one.


I have no idea why the front looks off-center like that with the foam cups in, but it doesn’t look like that without them. However, it does look a lot more deflated.


There, all deflated with wrinkles and puckers. However, the center front isn’t off. It now looks fine.


Here in the side view, you can see it gapes open a bit where the cup meets the cradle. It does that when it’s on me too, so I may need to shorten the underarm length on the pattern there. However, the more exciting part of this photo, which I don’t know that you can see there is really is more support to the cups with the power net added. It does give them more of a firm shape.


I didn’t do anything different on the back. In fact, I was a bit lazy. I often do the elastic along the band separate from the straps, but they’re all one this time. I also used band elastic again. I have it on hand, so used what I had. Especially as this bra was still a test.


On this side of the bra you can see where I put a pin. I didn’t have any sewing pins with me in my bedroom, so just used a safety-pin to know how much I’ll want to remove from the pattern. That’s an three-quarters of an inch fold there, so a fair bit to remove from the pattern, but I also have to remove from my Pin-Up Girls patterns there too.

So, will I make the Watson again? Well, if I do, I won’t use the power net for the cup next time. I may try a mesh instead as it’s a bit lighter, or I’ll double up on the Lycra. The single layer of Lycra just isn’t supportive enough for my size. An inside power bar is another option I’ve thought about to add more support to the Watson.

Lastly, a dear friend had her 50th birthday this week. She wears a Medical Alert bracelet but only has the one bracelet. I asked her if she’d like a second bracelet that can inter-change with her ID tag. She loved that idea – something with bling she said. Out came the Swarovski crystals and some lovely small hematite beads. She was so happy to get some more bling. What girl doesn’t love some bling?


Happy creating!

Merry Christmas!

Well, that probably seems a little odd seeing as it’s not December. And I’m sure a lot of people thought it was odd. But we did just have Christmas!

My Mum came for a visit, and I haven’t seen her for seven years. I decided I would surprise her and we’d have Christmas. We bought gifts, wrapped them, put the tree up, and bought everything for Christmas dinner. And boy, was my Mum was surprised! And delighted!


My Mum loves Christmas, so she loved it all. She loves getting gifts and giving them too. As soon as she saw the gifts, that was it, we were going shopping. There was no way she was going to receive gifts and not give them.

We all had such a good time. I think the fun of surprising my Mum made the whole event so much more fun than usual. Everyone had such joy.


Here she is opening her first gift. Doesn’t she look happy? She was just like a kid!

We had such a fun-filled week. My dear hubby surprised both my Mum and me with an over-night trip to the mountains. We hit Canmore, Banff, and Lake Louise. All in a day. But it was great! One amazing thing about our over-night trip was we stayed at the same resort my hubby and I had stayed at for our anniversary – and we were put in the same room! It really was great.

Then when we got back and my Mum saw the cardigan that I’d made. The McCall’s 6844. She loved it. ‘You can make me one of those, can’t you?’ You know how Mums have a way of asking that’s really telling you – that’s what I was hearing there. She was telling me to make her one. So I showed her a couple of knit options from my stash and she choice this one.


I wish this picture showed the sparkle that’s part of the material. It’s lovely. I was kind of wishing my Mum had picked the other knit I offered. But she loved this. What’s a daughter to do?


And here it is all done. I think it is such a lovely pattern. It comes together so easily and it fit my Mum perfectly. I did shorten the sleeves again. I never thought I had short arms at all, but I had to shorten the pattern for myself and for Mum. Other than that, the pattern was good as it was.


The peplum on this cardigan is so flattering on all shapes. I’m curvy and it ‘hides’ a bit on me; but my Mum is really straight and it gives her more of a fuller looking shape.


And the back. I really love this cardigan. The shaping is so lovely. When my Mum tried it on, she loved it. My oldest dear son said he really liked it too – just like early Christmas at our house – this cardigan is a hit!

Here is my Mum modeling her new cardigan.



She wasn’t the happiest model – she doesn’t like having her picture taken. But I told her everyone would want to see it on her. Thanks Mum!

Happy creating!

Changes in the Wind

I’ve posted many photos of jewelry I’ve made recently in the classes I teach. I’ve really enjoyed taking people through the steps of making each project. I’ve also really enjoyed seeing them learn and make their own creations. However, all this is about to change, and I’m not sure I like the changes being proposed. It seems, in the classroom, I will no longer be making jewelry. Going forward I am expected to explain how to make jewelry using large photos which illustrate it. I’m not fond of this change and am thinking a change in employment will be coming soon.

Another change I experienced this past week was to lose my Lifestyle Coach. She’s no longer working with my physician, so no longer available to me. She helped me through a really rough health patch a few years ago, and I’ve been with her for 6 years. I will really miss her. As I was leaving the office and giving her a hug goodbye, she commented on the abstract poinsettia brooch I had on my coat. I took it off and gave it to her without a second thought.

I have no regrets about giving a gift to a friend, however, my coat now looked quite plain. So I pulled out my felt again, and sat and came up with a couple felt brooches to dress up my coat. I find hand-sewing to be very relaxing.

I’ll count this as part of a commitment I made to myself to make (at least) one project each month. I am on track for that with these, but it’s still early in March, so I plan to get something else sewn up. Hopefully I’ll resolve that bra alteration in my mind and get that off my desk and sewn up!

Here’s the first felt brooch I made. Quite similar to the other abstract poinsettia brooch, but this time I used some deep red with a black polka dot on it. It’s really charming felt.

red polka dot brooch

This one came off my coat for the photo shoot here.

The next one is very similar, but I changed the shape a little. I wanted it a more uniform shape.

pink zebra brooch

I LOVE this felt! It is so fun and flirty.

And the last one I changed the design again.

leopard print brooch

I had fun with all of these, and really do enjoy sitting down and doing some hand-sewing. I bought some Swarovski Hot Fix crystals and I’m going to add some bling to these.

Something helpful I’ve realized about myself while writing this blog is I really like to think things through before I decide to do anything. I don’t think I realized how much internal discussion I had with myself before making a decision. For example, I’m still contemplating the bridge on that bra alteration. I’ve even re-drawn it but am still contemplating it.  And I’m not ready to start cutting fabric on that project yet.

What’s next on my project list? Well, I do want to continue with the two sloper classes I’ve signed up for on Craftsy, and tomorrow I’m heading over to a friend’s to help her with a sloper too. Seems like slopers are next. And that bridge. I will get them done!

Happy creating!

Jewelry and a Pareo

I bought a new bathing suit for an upcoming 3-day conference & hotel stay my hubby and I are going on.  He loves to hot tub, and I rarely join him, but decided I’d at least sit by the pool this time and keep him company. But sitting around in a bathing suit isn’t the most comfortable for me. I like to be a little more covered up. Maybe if I lived in the tropics I’d feel differently, but this Canadian girl likes to stay warm! A pareo wasn’t offered with the swim suit, so it was up to me to come up with something. There’s always basic black, but I only wanted to use that as a last resort. I was really wanting something that would go with the suit. Here’s what I found:


I’m really pleased with how well these go together. Are they a perfect match? No. But there are similar elements and colors; enough so I will be wearing this on our up-coming trip – at least by the pool. The material is a knit, and I simply cut out a rectangle and did an overcast stitch around the edges. I also decided to use the material with the pattern running length-wise down my body. I’m not the tallest, and thought this would be more flattering than a wide horizontal pattern going across me.

Onto jewelry now. My classes have been filling up the last few weeks; I had five students this week in one class. That was my biggest yet. I made a few things and this time I LOVE the colors. A while back I made a blue and gold necklace, and really liked those colors together, so decided to do something in those colors.

Here’s the first piece of jewelry I made – a memory wire bracelet, and then an elastic bracelet.


These bracelets feature dyed Imperial Jasper beads, Aqua & gold glass beads, and golden glass beads. I love it! I think I wore it every day last week. The elastic bracelet has the same beads in it.


Then I had a Crimping class and used those same beads to make this necklace. Well, I was wearing the two items for a few days when I decided to be all matchy-matchy and made a pair of earring too! This picture is nice and close so you can see the three beads really well.


And to really put the matchy-matchy over the top, I made a Medical ID bracelet to boot.


So I think I’m good now with the matching Imperial Jasper. I did make one other piece of jewelry in my class this week. While waiting for my students to finish their projects, I put together an eye-glasses holder/chain.


Completely different beads this time! Well, almost completely different. I still used Jasper, but this time undyed. And I used white, pale pink and pale grey pearls in-between.

It was a big jewelry week, but I love what I made. And am really pleased with the pareo. Still unfinished on my desk: the Prima Donna Duchess cloned bra. I have no big desire to finish it, but am determined to clean my desk off so will set a deadline for myself. Next post I will have it done!

Happy creating!

More Sewing Done

A great way to get some sewing done is take it on for someone else’s Christmas gift! Boy, that motivated me to get sewing. But I enjoyed all of it. Well almost all of it.

I didn’t love how the sleeves were set in on the pattern I was using. The first robe I made I followed all the instructions to a T. And the underarms of the sleeves weren’t as neat as I wanted them.

So on the second robe, I used a flat construction process, which I like so much better. However, I still didn’t love how the sleeves looked under the arm. But other than that, to which my dear husband says, ‘no one but you will even notice something like that’, I’m quite happy with how they turned out.

red robe

Here’s the red robe. And below is the blue one.

blue robe

I wasn’t completely done this one when I took the picture. The sleeves still hadn’t been hemmed, and the belt wasn’t done yet either.

They are very cute though, and should keep those wonderful boys warm.

While my machine was out and I was on a sewing roll, I repaired two bras that had some strap issues. While I was fixing them, I also shortened the straps on both of them.

But one bra that has been really bothering me is the Prima Donna Duchess I have. The left wire was popping out of its channeling and making it very uncomfortable to wear.

wonky bra channel

You can see here how it is a bit twisted. I did try to reinforce the channeling there with some hand sewing, but it wasn’t strong enough. So I popped that wire out and ran a few machine stitches over it. Put the wire back in and am hoping for the best now. Other than that, this is an extremely comfortable bra.

And I also worked on my favorite skirt. Having lost that weight over the last few years, my skirt was too big. But there was no way I was going to put it in the give-away pile. I opened the waistband where it was sewn to the slip, and then again under the elastic. I cut and overlapped the elastic and sewed it back up again. It fits perfectly! I was so happy with that little alteration.

fav skirt

And lastly, I had two jewelry classes this past week. Both classes were wire wrapping classes, where we made earrings. Here’s a sample of what I made in my classes.

black shell blue crystals

These are black shell with blue crystals on gold-plated ear wires.

black shell peach crystals

And a similar pair with the same shells but this time with a champagne crystal. Again on gold-plated ear wires.


Lastly, two fun bracelets. The blue one with drusy stones, and the second one with red bamboo coral and turquoise. I love that one.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s!

A Lot More Jewelry and A Bit of Handsewing

I have been busy, but not a lot of sewing is happening. My classes have picked up and I’ve had four classes in the past week and a half. Seeing I only have three scheduled a week, I’m doing really well.

One of the classes I teach is Introduction to Wire Wrapping. Basically I teach my students how to make earrings. Here are some of my earrings from this week’s classes:

Imperial Japser and Swarovski earrings

These little charmers are dyed Imperial Jasper and Swarovski crystal earrings. We actually made three pair of earrings each at this class. We had fun!

Jasper and Imperial Jasper earrings 1

And these are my favorite from the class. We used the same stones, but made two or three  different charms to hang from the earrings. They look close enough that they match, but aren’t exactly the same. They look and feel very fresh.

Jasper and Blood Stone earrings

And similar to the last earrings, but these ones do match. I made these Matte Jasper & dyed Dragon Blood stone earrings to match a necklace and bracelet set I’d made.

Matte Jasper and Dragon Blood stone stretch bracelet

Here’s the matching bracelet. This is part of my Bead Stringing/Memory Wire class. I teach the students how to lay out a pattern and either put it on memory wire or elastic. This bracelet is on stretch elastic, so very comfortable to wear, put on and take off.

And just in time for the Christmas holidays, I’m including Wine Charms in my Bead Stringing/Memory Wire class. Here are a couple of the charms I made this week:

Wine Charms 1

Aren’t they adorable?

And I’m really enjoying some hand-sewing lately. And working with felt. I loved making those pansies I made, and wanted to make some more felt brooches. I found a wonderful Craftsy class called Fab Felt Holiday and made the Poinsettia brooch on there. That’s for my Mum, but my DH saw it and wanted one too, so I made him one too.

Poinsettia pin

I was quite pleased with how this turned out, but think I prefer something a little smaller.  This is quite large. Probably 5″ in diameter. And I think I’d like something a little more abstract looking.

I love the colors in this felt flower, so may make something along these lines in an abstract poinsettia.

And finally, my craft/sewing room… I did get my cabinet, and it fits exactly where I wanted to put it. I haven’t done much more to organize my space. I have felt, stones and a few bra patterns and one bra cut out – all sitting on my desk. I do believe I’m going to get a lot done in the next day or so though. We’re supposed to get 15 – 30 cm of snow in the next 24 hours! I will NOT be going out if I can help it. I will spend a nice warm day in my creative space and get it organized and start putting that cloned bra together.

Happy creating!

A Lot of Jewelry, Not a Lot of Sewing… Yet

Our new space is working out quite well. My DH and I are sharing a computer desk, and we’re actually sharing it. (smile) We both have laptops, so he gets his side, and I get my side. So far, so good.

My crafting desk looks a lot better than in the last picture I shared, but I’m not done setting up. I have a storage cabinet coming in a week or so, and after that things should be much neater. I’ll post a picture after that.

So, what have I been working on? Well, it seems mostly jewelry. However, I did pull out some bra patterns, but I need a big sign on my desk to remind myself not to try to make pattern adjustments after 11 p.m. at night. To be honest, it was closer to 1 in the morning by time I realized my brain really doesn’t want to do this type of thing – at that time of night!

But it’s bright and early in the morning right now, and definitely wintry outside, so this morning is a perfect time to  work on some adjustments to my pattern.

I’m going to make adjustments to my Fantasie Vivienne clone. I really do like the overall fit to this bra. What I don’t like? The bridge is too wide for me. It’s about an inch wide at the top, and I’m not. So I’m going to adjust that. And the wire that’s in the bra is too short for the side panel. There’s more than a half-inch part that flops down when I’m wearing it. So I’m going to adjust that as well, and more than just the amount needed for the bra – the wires I have are not the same length as commercial wires. I’ll need to lower the bridge/underarm area over an inch just to make up for the difference in wires.

A few other modifications I think I’ll make are ones suggested in the Bra Makers Manual, like doubling the power net for the band to give more support. I did that in one of my first Shelley bras. This bra (below) has power net and Lycra and I love how the band feels on this – very firm and secure feeling.

Front View w Foam Cups

Here are a few things I’ve been making in the jewelry classes I’m instructing.

Pearl Turquoise Necklace 11.13.13

I love this necklace & earring set. I made the earrings first in my Introduction to Wire Wrapping class. They’re freshwater pearls and turquoise. I like the stone combination so much, I decided to make a necklace with the same stones the next day in my Introduction to Crimping class. These were from last week.

And I made this necklace as well – just last night. And will likely make a pair of earring to go with this one too.

Mate Onxy Necklace 11.20.13

I think this is so pretty. This is made with matte jasper and dragon blood stones.

This is getting a bit long, but one more quick note. I really loved working with felt recently, and signed up for the Fab Felt holiday class on Craftsy. I bought some cute holiday material yesterday for the poinsettia class on there. I’m sure I’ll have one done before I post again, so you can see what I’ve done.

Stay warm! Did I mention it was -23 C yesterday?

Happy creating!

Making Room to Sew Again

It seems my sewing was interfering with my family’s ability to eat at the dinning room table. I actually had complaints. To be honest, I did leave all my projects out and did take up the whole dining room and part of the living room. So, I packed everything away thinking I’d still do some things, just bring everything out when I wanted to sew and pack it all away again when I was done. That didn’t happen. And I became the one complaining. I miss sewing! Have I mentioned I miss sewing. I really miss sewing. Do you know I’d rather sew than do almost anything else?

My DH got the message and we’re re-arranging a space in our house so I can sew again! And make jewelry because lately my jewelry components have been all over the dining room table. 🙂

So here’s the mess I have to organize today.

Picture 101

I have to find a new home for all of this.

And then there’s this:

Picture 102

And I won’t show you the huge pile of sewing stash etc. in my bedroom! But we’re reclaiming our bedroom even. So I have a little work ahead of me before I can sew. But I’m hopeful!

A few posts ago I mentioned I couldn’t wait to clone my newest bra. I did copy everything out and now I’m going to have space to work on it. I’m also thinking of sewing another Sewy Rebecca. I do like the way the bridge fits on that one, and the cups too. I didn’t love the back though, so would change that. Well there are a few changes I’d make, but those have more to do with fit than style.

Here is part of the cloning process.

Picture 093

Picture 095

These pattern pieces show the seam allowances have been added to each piece. It’s really not a difficult process. The hardest part is the cups because you have to move the material a little and even remove pins as you make them flat. Depending on the cup size, it can be a bit more challenging. I usually do one side of the cup and then remove most of the pins, flatten the other side and start pinning that side.

So now that I’m making a space for myself, I hope to blog a little more often than I have lately. I’m so happy to be setting up my little area today!

Happy creating!

More Poppies and Demo Items

I decided to look up felt poppies and so many more wonderful ideas were out there.

Take a look at this:


Aren’t these adorably charming? These are from Agnes and Cora and you can find them here. So sweet.

And I found these too:


Again, so beautiful. There are such wonderfully creative people out there! These lovely poppies can be found here.

And although this one is done with a stamp, I think it looks great!


You can read all about how she made her poppy here.

I got the felt I bought from eBay, and have made a couple of patterns and started cutting out poppy petals. In fact, I’ve made 20 this past week, and have 24 more cut out on my dinning room table.

Here are the few that I’ve made so far. I wanted to try a few different ones, and decided I have a favorite. It’s the one on the bottom right. I really like the black felt backing; I think it makes the red stand out more. The top left one is inspired by Mary Engelbreit’s flowers. The double red one is inspired by a poppy I found on the web: here.


And I thought I’d post a few pictures of what I’ve been making when I do demos at the store.


Here’s a bracelet I made that is very similar to one a friend of mine bought for $85. She saw it at a spa, and fell in love with it. But it was too small for her, and she had me add beads to it to make it larger. This one uses the same beads, but on this one I added little beads that ‘hide’ under the ring beads and peak out as you move and those rings move.


And I like those beads so much, I thought a fun little pair of earrings to go with the bracelet. Again, those little ring beads at the top will move around, so they’re very playful to wear.


I really love this one and think I’ll have to make one for me! The blue and gold beads are so charming and bright – definitely bringing out the best in each other! I used what I have on hand for wire, but I think I would use gold wire for the one I make for myself.


And lastly, here’s the detail at the end of the Y design on the blue & gold necklace. I used a few of those same beads from the bracelet and the rings hang loosely over the blue and gold beads at the end.

There are lots more, but these are my favorites. I’ve definitely been having fun!

Happy creating!