Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Beading for Christmas

I don't know about you, but every year at about this time I go into a sort of crafting trance. (Perhaps crochet trance would be more accurate.) I fall asleep visualising stitch patterns; I wake up thinking about what project needs to be finished next. Cooking seems to go out the window (though as we haven't starved yet I must be cooking without realising it).


Last week I took a breather from crochet, and worked instead on my friend Judy's Christmas beading commissions. It's been a rough year for Judy, who underwent an unexpected hip replacement in the spring, and spent 3 months in hospital due to post-surgery complications. She finally got home in August, and in late October we met for our traditional pre-Christmas crawl through her stash of beads. Together we settled on tentative stone combinations and necklace lengths, and the rest was up to me.

Judy requested three sets for Christmas giving. First up, a necklace and earrings for one of her sisters:



Amber and goldstone, with abalone and some silver accent beads, make a rich, almost barbaric combination.  The finished necklace has a bit of 20s vibe, I think.


The goldstone and amber are incredibly warm and glowing together. Judy loves this necklace, and I hope her sister will too.

For Judy's other sister, a necklace and earrings in delicate rose quartz:



Simple and elegant were the watchwords here, but I let myself go a bit over the earrings:


(I love putting dangly bits on earrings. Especially earrings for other people.)

Our third project involved a certain string of pearls which had become our beading bête noire - or perhaps bête pêche would be more appropriate:


Judy bought these pearls years ago, and we've never been able to work them into a project (until now). They're very lovely, all orangey-peachy and iridescent, but somehow they clashed, either colour-wise or shape-wise, with everything we put next to them.

However, these silver beads - a recent addition to Judy's stash - seem to work out just right:


The earrings include a bit of moonstone, which picks up the warm tint of the pearls:


This set is destined for Judy's cardiologist - the third or fourth set I've made for her, I think. Only an inveterate and incredibly generous jewelry-lover like Judy would repeatedly give necklaces to a doctor she sees once a year. I hope this one will be to Dr. M's taste.

The jewelry respite is over, and the beaded gifts are on their way to the lucky recipients.

Anybody seen my crochet hook? :)

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What gifts are you making this year? (I promise I won't tell anyone.)

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40 comments:

  1. Mrs. Micawber, good you shared your other crafting skills with us. The necklaces are beautiful!
    Hmm..I'm making crochet gifts of course, this year:) I showed some in my blog also, like bags, and also I made small book mark, will make a tea cup cozy too:)Have a nice day! Anna

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    1. Thank you, Anna. I will look for your pictures of the presents you made. :)

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  2. Well I finished crocheting a Santa sock and have started on another, and I crocheted a snowflake, and knit a dishcloth, and wove a friendship bracelet, and have crocheted some stars and given them away...yarny, thready, type things. Your jewelry making is lovely and I hope those who receive the pieces enjoy wearing them! xx from Gracie

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    1. Wow, you've been busy! A Santa sock sounds fun. :)

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  3. fabulous jewelry!
    I fell asleep crocheting last evening, and will probably do the same this evening. Felted slippers, cabled slippers and mitts, scarves and hats are being made. Even with the two right handed mitts (oops!) I keep right on crocheting or yarning as someone once called it. Am anxious to see what you are making!

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    1. Unfortunately I usually design new things for Christmas gifts, then save the designs for magazine submissions. So maybe you'll see them in a magazine someday - keeping my fingers crossed (the ones not holding a hook or yarn that is). :)

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  4. Golly gosh Sue! These are all absolutely fabulous. Each one is screaming out to me 'you know you want me!' Resist I must, of course, but I bow my head before your expertise.

    Yes, I am in a crafting frenzy but I guess I always am. Everyday life has certainly slowed things down in our neck of the woods (sick kids, sick dog, sick mother) but I am making up for lost time!

    See you soon,

    Stephanie

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    1. I hope everyone is feeling better now - and how is Gaspard? Thanks so much for visiting, Stephanie. :)

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  5. I've been working fiendishly! Here we are, less than a week away, and I still have two more people to make something for plus finishing up some needlefelted gnomes to accompany cookie platters on Christmas Day. And I started all of this back in June! Your beading is beautiful! Thank you for sharing :)

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    1. Gosh, I wish I could say I started in June. Usually I don't get any ideas until late November. :)

      Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Those are all beautiful - really love the last one. I am making crochet cowls for all the women in the family. Thank goodness they only take a little bit of time to make, cuz I've got lots of them to do!

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    1. Cowls are great fun - I made two this year. But they weren't as quick as they ought to have been because I felt compelled to make up a new stitch for them (new to me, anyway). Definitely OCD (obsessive crochet disorder). Be sure to post pics of your makes! :)

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  7. All simply gorgeous........ You are very talented my Dear! No doubt about that.

    And beading is a better trance to go into now anyway. Rather than baking, baking, baking. Not much *good* can come from too much baking! "Auntie" sezzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. :-)

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    1. Oh, I don't know about that, Auntie. Mr. M would love it if I went into a baking trance and churned out the cookies and pies and cakes and scones and....

      Excuse me, but I feel a sudden hunger pang. :)

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  8. Absolutely gorgeous each and every piece. You skills in all areas of creativity amaze me. I have beaded lots in the past, but for ow it is all about yarn.
    Hugs to you,
    Meredith

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    1. Thanks Meredith - I did a lot of beading for myself in the past, but now it's all about yarn for me too. And really, how many bracelets and earrings does one person need? :)

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  9. They're all beautiful, but I especially like the amber one. Our daughter loves amber and I'm always on the lookout for something in amber for her. I'm sure your friend's sister will love the piece.

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    1. I love the amber too - can't wear it myself as it's all wrong for my colouring, but I hope she likes it. :)

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  10. I love them all so beautiful you are so talented. I am making hats scarf's, fingerless gloves and little tree ornaments. :)

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    1. Ooh, I want to see your fingerless gloves! I was wearing a pair at work today and a customer told me I looked like Bob Cratchit. :)

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  11. You are one multi talented lady! I laughed a little about your "craft trance" something I too suffer from, I wonder if there is a cure out there ? xox Penelope

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    1. The only cure is New Year's Day, I think. But then there are birthdays and un-birthdays and all the other days....

      :)

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  12. So very pretty. Lucky recipients. :-)

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  13. I love how the peachy beads look with the silver. They truly do work well together. Love danglies. Just love 'em! All your jewelry is so beautiful. Judy is one very lucky lady, as are her gift recipients. Even though I don't wear much jewelry at all ever.

    You sound like me looking for yarn after too many consecutive snowflakes when you ask where's your crochet hook!

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    1. I love danglies too, though my taste in jewelry is more for the simple and streamlined. Thanks Deb! :)

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  14. The necklace and earring sets are beautiful. I am glad you were able to find something to go with those pearls, the silver looks perfect.
    I made some wool pincushions, and some wool ornaments some were mittens, some were stockings. Also placemats and table runner for my DDs.

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    1. Post some photos, Beth - your projects sound very pretty! :)

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  15. They are all bEaUtIfUl.

    I made socks, scarves, hats but I don't know who gets what. So there are a lot of new ideas whirling through my mind ... There is lots of time, isn't there?

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    1. Why yes, there's plenty of time. ;)

      Your family is very lucky to have such a talented knitter to make these things for them. :)

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  16. Oh, beautiful! I know every recipient will love them! Where does she get all the beautiful beads? On line or a local shop? I honestly think the Goatmother ought to make me a necklace. It would be so much more chic than this collar, don't you think? :)

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    1. Thanks, Marigold. The beads come mostly from local shops, although Judy's daughter is lucky enough to be able to attend a very large bead show out West twice a year, and often picks up strands for her there. All of the beads in this post came from a local bead store.

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  17. What a wonderful partnership you two have! Beautiful jewelry. The first one makes me think of chocolate and caramel.

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    1. Thanks, Ginnie! I love that colour combo too. :)

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  18. Hey Sue, you have been busy.....love the necklace and earring sets.....I'm sure they will be very much appreciated
    Judy certainly has had a tough time of it recently........
    Wishing you both a very merry Christmas and a happy and crafty 2013

    Claire x

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  19. Beautiful jewelry! I only made one set this year, for my sister. She makes me cards and I make her jewelry and we both love our gifts every year.

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    1. Thanks, Trena. I should look at your photostream(s) to see if you've got pictures. :)

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