Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bead Soup from Sarah

My favourite part of the bead soup blog hop: receiving the beads :-) It's always such a treat to open the mailbox and find a package from my bead partner. Since I order the majority of my jewellery components on-line I get lots of packages in the mail, but receiving the bead soup is always different, more personal and therefore more significant.

My bead soup partner Sarah from Stringing a Song of Sixpence sent me a gorgeous selection of beads in deep shades of purple, lavender, soft pinks and charcoal grey. She sent me this incredible selection of lampwork beads, amethyst, Czech glass leaves and hematite as well as a pair of mother of pearl beads shaped like a shark's tooth.

the toggle clasp
The toggle clasp design is Sarah's favourite so she went and got one just for me. I was so touched! And the lizard charm is just adorable. I decided to pair it with a kangaroo charm from my own stash.

Kangaroo with the baby in it's sack and the lizard
The colour palette for the bead soup is particularly challenging for me. I've always been drawn to the subdued shades of purple but I was never  able to get the balance between the soft colour tones and  feminine feel this palette conveys. My jewellery pieces were either too bland because the contrast between the components wasn't strong enough or I used some bright coloured beads to give it more contrast and the jewellery ended up looking odd as if a colour blind person selected the beads.
As a result I have amassed quite a few beads in this lovely lavender / pastelcolour that have been patiently waiting:

soft pinks and lavender from my stash

Bead soup 2013 - meet my partner Sarah

It's bead soup time again! My favourite annual  jewellery and beading blogging event and I'm always so excited to check out all the blogs from other participants to see what beads they've received and the great jewellery pieces they've come up with.
This year my partner is the lovely Sarah from String a song of Sixpence. Sarah is a bead stringer with a great eye for colour and texture. I was particularly surprised at all the colours she works with since most jewellery makers prefer only a select palette. Sarah is also a  first time participant of the bead soup party.
I've included a photo of a necklace which Sarah pointed me to saying it was one of her favourite and a pair of earrings I was drawn to because of the ingenious mix of shapes and colours:
First steps away from symmetry
Stealth earrings
Sarah is also a  first time participant of the bead soup party. We hit it off immediately in our e-mail correspondence. She was excited to send some of her most cherished beads across Europe to meet new bead friends :-)
As it turns out I had the exact same thing in mind when I sent her my bead soup choice because the beads as well as the ribbon and organza flower are some of  my favourite components put together from my jewellery and sewing stash. I can't wait to see what Sarah comes up with it!
Bead soup for Sarah

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Why is it always something?

This is a photo of our darling car Marley being loaded onto a tow truck after being hit hard from both ends. Mr. C who was driving to work yesterday morning suffered a minor bump on the head but other than that he's in perfect shape :-) and the doctors gave him a thorough examination to confirm it too.
Marley however is a different story, our mechanic confirmed his worst suspicions. Apart from the broken and bent exterior the inner axis has been severely bent and broken in places. Such a severe damage to the car's core integrity components are impossible to repair without having to deal with great costs and a residual effect on the passangers' safety since the structural integrity will never be the same as before the crash.
So we made the heavy yet the only logical conclusion to buy a new car. It will be another Opel Corsa since we like the brand and the model and it's the perfect car for our needs, small, easy maintenance, low fuel consumption... it's another logical choice. But the untimely car switch (Marley was only 4 years old and our plan was to keep it for another 8, basically until the end of the car's lifespan) makes for a hefty chunk of money that we'll somehow have to come up with and will completely hack up our 2013 budget plans. And aside from dealing with the emotional aftermath this is probably going to be one of the most uninspiring car shopping experiences ever.
Focusing on the happy things in life: we are all healty, I'm still drinking the icky tea though and Rufus is in fine spirits ever so excited with the abundance of snow which he loves to play with.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

When fantasy and reality collide

Burda magazine skirt pattern no. 105 09/2012

Winter weather really kicked in hard this week: snow, drizzle, ice and temperatures below zero. My master plan for coping with this dismal weather: get my hair cut to my (shorter) summer length and pull out (ahem, buy new) lightweight fabric and start making summer clothes. As if all this would somehow magically make the winter end sooner. Alas I have to report my attempts so far have been dreadfully unsuccessful, it's still cold and icy outside and on top of it I ended up with a mild bladder infection.

Amended master plan: drink some icky tea to fight the infection and continue sewing. My current project is a super cute skirt that combines a striped jeans fabric with my newly discovered passion for yellow. I used the yoke piece from the Burda magazine skirt pattern and drafted the skirt pieces myself. I've designed it so that the left front section will have a channel for two parallel grosgrain ribbon strings that can be tied to achieve a ruched effect.

As an afterthought I decided to use some of the many buttons I've accumulated over the years and sew a buttoned heart. The first heart had all blue buttons which was nice but something was still missing. In a flash of inspiration I decided to add one yellow button. I got a really nice coconut button with yellow enamel.

blue mother of pearl buttons & yellow thread; yellow coconut button & blue thread
 I've also made an underlining using plain off white muslin. It is my opinion the skirt will "sit" better with underlining. And since this is a summer skirt, I wanted to make it very breathable so I opted for cotton muslin instead of the classic poly/rayon lining.

right side of the skirt with yellow stitching

inside the skirt, the white ribbon will be used to attach the underskirt to the ruched skirt piece