25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 17

I may have gotten a little bit behind, forgive me.  Lots of fun crafts coming up though.

For Day 17 I used mini Hama beads.  These are, as it sounds like, mini versions of Hama beads.  Here’s the size difference.

2016-12-01-21-34-58

And for reference, on the right is one board for the regular Hama and on the left is TWO boards for the mini Hama.

2016-12-01-21-34-37

The beads are so small it’s impossible – for me and my fat fingers at least – to place them without using tweezers.  But there are benefits to using the mini version – you can get more detailed pieces without going really big, for example.  And it’s easier to make pieces for pendants and earrings without going to ridiculous sizes.

picmonkey-collage

Here they are, pre-ironing, with a tealight candle for scale.

2016-12-01-22-02-38

And here they are post-ironing.

2016-12-01-22-21-33

After that it was a case of connecting to ear wires using jump rings.  Unfortunately, they’re very thin and I’m still getting the hang of handling them.  As you can see, there was a minor casualty.

2016-12-03-13-23-13

But I’ve worn the completed pair for a couple of days, and there’s been no more breakages.

2016-12-03-13-23-43

More practice with Mini Hama is definitely needed.

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 15

Day 15 is a little bit of embroidery.  I have limited experience with embroidery – well, unless it’s cross-stitch or blackwork.  I thought I’d written a blog post about this already, but when I looked for it to link to I found that I’d written it but hadn’t actually got around to posting it.  I’ll post it in the New Year at some point, along with all the other drafts I’ve written.

In the meantime, here is Day 15.

2016-12-16-19-11-48

It’s not perfect,  but I’m quite pleased.

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 10

Day 10 is an old traditional favourite… paper snowflakes!

Now, I used to do them like this.  I’d take a square of paper, and fold it in half diagonally over and over again until it looked like this, drawing a curve to make a rounded snowflake.

2016-12-09-15-15-41

I’d draw on a pattern at random…

2016-12-09-15-16-40

…and then cut it out.

111

At which point I’d be vaguely cheery until I saw some of the fancier ones online.  This year I did some research!  First of all, I’ve been folding the paper all wrong.  This video shows you how you’re meant to do it:

So I made one, to keep as a template for next year, and a whole bunch to play with today.

2016-12-09-15-31-32

Now, I’ve collected a LOT of snowflake designs in the past, and I plan on getting round to all of them eventually.  But I started with the three designs posted in the middle of the tutorial video.

2016-12-09-15-35-29

My folding isn’t particularly precise, and I was using the worst pair of scissors I own, but don’t they look fab?

777

After that I took a picture I’d found on Twitter…

capture

..zoomed in and figured out the patterns.

555

They don’t look like the originals, cos I didn’t have all the angles and things right, but they do look good.

The last two I improvised, and they’re definitely better than my old style.

666

The one on the left especially points out the failings of my foldings.  The centre is all squiffy.  I need to work on my precision.

There are seven hundred bajillion thousand snowflake designs online if you know what to search for and where to look.  I have a good percentage of those sitting in my ideas folder, so I’m fairly sure there’ll be more paper snowflakes this year 🙂

25 Crafts of Christmas – Day 7

Day 7 was, apart from being 2 days ago, a failure.  But it was an interesting experiment in a craft I don’t have a lot of experience with.  Once upon a time I was intrigued by chainmail and I made this very badly photographed bracelet.

bling-chainmail-bracelet-2

That was back in 2010.  Since then an interest in chainmail has continued, but I’ve never really gotten around to working on it.  Then, when searching through my ideas folder for this 25 Crafts of Christmas thing, I found this picture and an attached scan from “Step By Step Wire Jewelry, Winter 2010” (The pattern was designed by Shelley Hubbs who has a website at Metaldesignz.com).

16516

I thought, well they look fairly simple.  I could make those.  So I looked at the pattern, made a note of what rings I needed, and had a look on eBay.  The actual sizes required were 2.4mm and 4mm rings, which seemed VERY small to me.  So I tried to maintain the ratio and scale up.

Which brings us up to December.  I gathered my supplies…

2016-12-08-21-34-41

…and started off reasonably well.

2016-12-08-21-37-05

At this point I realised that all the smaller rings needed to be closed, and in coloured pairs.  So I spent a good hour doing that, and getting a small sore on the end of one finger as a result.  But I had lots of pairs.

2016-12-08-22-31-30

And then I continued.  I still had two rows to go when I realised that it wasn’t quite working..  Here’s where I stopped.

2016-12-08-22-42-48

With context, you can see that it’s meant to be a Christmas tree, but there are a few problems.

The ring size ratio is off – I really should have gone with the original sizes.  The green rings that I bought are way too soft – I didn’t even need pliers to manipulate them.  The multi-coloured rings I bought, from a different eBay seller – are all slightly different sizes, and different finishes.

Being unhappy with your materials is a surefire way to be unhappy with your finished product, so I stopped there and called it an experiment.  In the New Year, when my finances have recovered a little from the holidays, I’ll get some rings from an online beading shop that my friend Cayden uses, and I’ll get the proper sizes, and I’ll have another go.

 

Random Experiment

So, I have these stamping inks…

2016-11-12-21-16-02

…and in the post the other day I received these stencils that I’d ordered from eBay.

2016-11-12-21-15-29

I had the random thought that the stamps could make a really pretty pattern if  used the whole stencil at once.  First I did some random stamping to test…

2016-11-12-21-13-20

I wasn’t doing it in the best of conditions however, and it didn’t turn out too well…

2016-11-12-21-14-21

I was doing it on my lap, not a particularly stable surface.  And the paper might not have been great.  More experimentation will occur.

35,000 Origami Elephants

I’m subscribed to quite a few YouTube channels for various crafty things, and last week I got an email alerting me that EzOrigami had released a new video; a tutorial for an origami elephant.  I liked the look of the elephant at the start….

wewe

..so I watched the video.

Before the tutorial Evan explains that he’s making the elephant for a campaign run by the 96 Elephants organisation.  Named after the 96 elephants a day that are killed in Africa, this organisation works to stop the ivory trade.  On their homepage is a petition you can sign that says…

We cannot be the generation that allows elephants to disappear.

I pledge to support measures aimed at combating the global ivory trade.

The origami campaign is an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Display of Origami Elephants.  The current record is 33,764.  96 Elephants are aiming for 35,000 – which is the number of African elephants killed each year for their ivory.

You can join this campaign and help by posting them some origami elephants.  That’s all you have to do.

I made these ones..

2016-08-16 19.46.09

I used the EzOrigami video, but you can make any style of elephant – as long as it is obviously recognisable as an elephant – then just post them off.

All the information is on this page here, including some templates for origami elephants if you don’t have one.

The deadline to receive the elephants is September 16th 2016, so get folding!