Bracelet Binge

I’ve been in the mood to make elasticated bracelets recently.  Especially since I figured out how to make the elastic actually knot.

I use this stuff…

…which is kind of slippery.  Knots don’t stay knotted.  A quick Google search led me to lots of useful tips: pre-stretch the elastic before you start, tie the knot while slightly stretched, and use a surgeon’s knot.

I’m currently finding it a little difficult to get the knot done, but I know that’ll get easier with practice.  The extra loop makes the knot stick.  And so far the bracelets I’ve made have not fallen apart, so that has to be good.

My first batch was two custom bracelets for an order on my Etsy store.

And then of course I had to make myself a rainbow version.

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I wanted to go back to one of my favourite styles of bracelet.  I’ve made a few wrap bracelets this way.  Like these:

I worked out the ratio needed for the size of bead and the size of jump ring.  So I made a test with these bigger beads.

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Then I moved on to a rainbow version.  (Are you surprised?)

It’s a very simple pattern.  You have two strands of wire/cord/thread.  You put a bead on one, a jump ring on both, a bead on the other, a jump ring on both.

It is very easy to get confused and mess up.  It’s also very easy to get caught up in the rhythm and not realise you’ve messed up til a bit later down the line.

I did this twice with the rainbow version.  But I went back each time and fixed it.  By the time I was getting to the closure, I was very frustrated.  And then the wire broke.

It got put away in the box of shame for a few days, then eventually I went back and did it with elastic.  Now it is pretty and safe.

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Yes, they are different beads.  The glass-looking ones have very thin holes which I couldn’t push the elastic through unaided.  I had one beading needle at the time…

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… and taking it off one strand of elastic and putting it on the other many times over seemed a wee bit excessive.

So I bought some more beading needles.

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Then I made the same bracelet with the glass-looking beads.

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And while it is beautiful, the elasticated jump ring bracelets don’t look quite right.  It’s probably the elastic.  So I decided to try a different medium.  I started with Kumihimo thread.  I set some up with a button for a toggle, picked out the beads… and the thread was too thick.

At the time I couldn’t be bothered to go root through the rest of my beads supply for something that would fit, so I made some more elastic bracelets with the glass-looking beads.

I did a couple of rainbow ones…

…then I decided to branch out.  I tried to do a black and white version but I didn’t quite have enough.

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So I added a colour to the pattern.

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Eventually I collected all my boxes of beads from the other room.  Well, some of them.  There’s a lot of them.  The shiny beads, and the glass beads, were both too small for the kumihimo thread.  The kumihimo thread was obviously the wrong material.  I can’t remember what I used before, but going through my supplies I settled on a couple of options.  First up, this stuff.

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It’s Tiger Tail; a kind of wire, kind of plastic.  I’ve had a set in all colours for as long as I can remember.  They have no label.  I doubt they were branded.  But bending them around a bit doesn’t seem to break the wire, so it’s worth a go.

I got quite a way through this one before I needed to take a break – I’m doing a proper wrap bracelet so it’s much longer.

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While I took a break from that one I decided that I have too many random sets of beads that don’t really go with anything else.  Like these.

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Which might explain why I have about seventeen of these boxes on my shelf.

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So I started using them all up making elasticated bracelets.  Until I ran out of elastic.

I had made the decision to use up all my random beads.  So I bought more elastic.  And I kept going.

I even dug out the beading board I’ve had for years but barely used, to help me lay out my name.  You know, in case I forget.

Whilst making all these I found out a way to make tying that surgeon’s knot easier.  It helps to have the bracelet taut.  If it’s slightly loose, you can get beads caught up in the knot.  Unfortunately I can’t use my own wrist, or I’d struggle to tie the knot at all.  And with a lack of other people here for me to use, I searched my desk for suitable things.

Mug = too thick – the elastic was too stretched out.  Small box = same thing.  Pencil case = not thick enough.

Eventually I found something that was just the right size.

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It is, or will one day be, an amigurumi unicorn head.  It worked so well that I’m making plans to crochet a beast or something specifically to help me tie elastic bracelets.

Eventually I only had a handful of random beads left.  Not enough of one or the other to make a bracelet really.  So I moved on to earrings, using that handy beading board again.

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Smudge helped.

I rearranged all my beads, to use up the now-empty spaces and created some empty boxes.  Then I took them back into my craft storage space (my bedroom), where I remembered that I’d only bought half of my bead boxes into the work space (my lounge) in the first place.  So at some point there will probably be another bracelet binge, to use up all the other random beads.

If you like the look of any of these bracelets, you can buy them on my Etsy store.  The listing is here.  Some of the earrings are also listed.  I have themed listing for those.  Spring/Easter is up, and Christmas is still up.  I have some Halloween pairs to list, and a General listing to make too.

1000 Hands

As I’ve been improving my art skills, both digitally and traditionally, I’ve been drawing more and more actual humanoid figures as well as my little monsters.

 

And as I do more of them, I start to notice the things I struggle with most.  Eyes are okay, mostly, and I’m not too bothered with the noses.  But I really struggle with mouths, and hands.  Hands!

Like this… look at these monstrosities!

 

So a few weeks ago I decided that it would be a really good idea to draw 1000 hands.  I’m not sure why I decided this – I’m a bit of a looney.  But surely repetition of something would help.  Surely looking at the different ways other people draw hands would help.

I collected a few (hundred) reference images from Pinterest at varying levels of complexity, like these…

 

…and started drawing.

I’ve been drawing in batches mostly, occasionally following some tutorials. And so far I have 74 hands.

 

 

Just 926 to go!

 

Personality Color Palette

You might have noticed that I enjoy any excuse to do some art.  I like to collect prompts, and I like when palettes are presented to me.

So when I saw this tweet…

 

…I had to follow the link and get my Personality (according to Buzzfeed) Color Palette.

I ended up with the Summer Forest palette.  Which is a little ironic, considering I detest the summer.

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The description is fairly accurate though.  And the palette is lovely.

I ended up combining it with an @StudioTeaBreak challenge.

 

I did a watercolour piece of a happy narwhal playing with octopus and starfish friends.

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I like how it turned out.  It’s very cute.

Now, I must resist the urge to go collect seventy thousand more palettes from Buzzfeed.

Dreamcatcher Disaster

One of the things in my cupboard of projects to do/finish was this kit, purchased from The Works years ago.

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Inside was feathers, two types of cord, beads, a needle, a metal hoop, and a set of instructions.

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Well.  I say “instructions”.  I know it’s only a £1 kit, but they could have expanded the instructions a bit more.  For instance, how do I secure the wrapped suede-like cord around the metal hoop?  I went with some knots.  It would have been one, but the suede was in multiple too-short pieces.

The knots look clunky and messy, but I figured I’d camouflage those with some beads later.

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Next the webbing.  Again, the instructions weren’t clear.  Doing the knot that it looked like they were telling me to do was too loose.  The knot I ended up using wouldn’t sit in the right place.  How far apart should I space things?  Should I be pulling the thread taut, or leaving it loose?

I tried my best, but I got this far in and was very unhappy.

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If I’m not enjoying the actual crafting, I’m not gonna keep forcing myself to do it.  Especially for a £1 kit.  So I put it away.

I do still want to make a dreamcatcher, and I might use parts of this kit.  Maybe the feathers.  Definitely the loop.  I have pretty much everything that’s needed in my vast collection of craft supplies.  I’ll just need to find a proper tutorial.  But that’s for another day.

March Scrawlr Box

The March Scrawlr Box came with markers.

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I love markers.  And these ones are each three markers in one.

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Also inside the box was a liner pen, a pencil, an eraser, and a pad of marker paper.  Here’s the menu for more details.

The sticker has art from the featured artist, Hatch.  It’s not quite from the art on the print, but it’s in the same vein.  It’s adorable.

Step one: swatching.

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Second step: drawing the dome monster.  Actually, they’re an official species now.  Drawing the Domun.

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Note: I cheated a bit and used one of my existing markers for the floor.

Step c: random messing around.  Testing blending and layering and things.

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The pad doesn’t work well as a pad, the cover comes right off.  The paper is good though.  Of course it’s good – it’s Clairefontaine.  I don’t really enjoy marker paper, I prefer the mixed media paper I use or just thick smooth card stock.  Besides, one of the advantages of marker paper is that it’s bleedproof.  Which apparently is not entirely true.

The prompt for the month was “Imaginarium: a place dedicated to imagination”.  That’s such an awesome prompt, and looking back on I can think of seventy six million different things that would fit.  But at the time, right at the start of this whole lockdown madness in the UK, my imagination was kinda dead.  So I drew how I felt.

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I did cheat again and use a couple of extra markers, but I’m really happy with the colouring here.  The Tri-Blend markers certainly do what they say they do.  They make it easy to do shading and blending.  The pens are very large and unwieldy though, and they don’t fit in my marker case.  Still, 9 new colours is nothing to complain about.

 

 

 

Winners!

Cozy Con is over, which is sad.  But there are winners to announce, which is good!

I ran two contests for the con.  First up was the Art Contest.  To enter this one, you had to draw a Domun from my species guide and share it with me.

There were about 20 entries, including some that completely blew my mind.  Like this 3D version by Greywulf.

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And this beautiful, detailed one by my friend Nina.

I loved seeing my little Domuns come to life.  Y’all put me to shame with the amount of detail you put into them.  I need to up to game.

Thankfully, I did say in the original post that I was going to use a random generator to pick a winner – because there’s no way I could have picked a favourite.

The winner of this one is Greywulf.

The second contest I ran was the Scavenger Hunt.  For this one you had to find 9 of these little guys…

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…and tell me what nine-letter word they spelled out.  The word was “Welcoming”, and I had 9 entries for this one.

Again I used a random generator to pick the winner for this one.  The winner is Carolina.

The winners have been contacted and will receive these awesome goody bags.

 

 

Animal Alphabets A-D

The new run of Animal Alphabets has begun!

It started a while ago actually, but I didn’t wanna do a blog post for every letter.  Which is just as well, because that first one really threw me for a loop and it took me forever to get started.

As I mentioned in my Just Sketching post, I’m doing these as sketches. Instead of fully inked and coloured pieces.

First up, as seen in the tweet, was an Afanc.  I’d never heard of one before, and when you image search it you get quite varied results.  So I wasn’t entirely sure what to draw.  I went with this.

Next up was a Brownie, which made me giggle thanks to my Girl Guiding history.  I did consider drawing a Guiding Brownie.  I also considered drawing a chocolate fudgy cake slice.  But I went with the intended one in the end.

C is for Cat Sidhe.  This was a fun one.  I may have used my black cat Fatty for reference.

Finally for this session is a Dryad.  After browsing Pinterest I had lots of good ideas for this one, but settled with this.

I’m pleased so far.  I’m tempted to redo the Brownie and the Dryad into full pieces.  Maybe one day.

 

Cozy Con is Here!

It’s here!  The first Cozy Con is this weekend.  It’s happening, people.

You should have already seen the two events that I’m running.  The art contest, and the scavenger hunt.  Two competitions that are so easy they’re practically giveaways.  Go check them out and enter to win a very cool (very customisable) goody bag.

But that’s not all!  I’m also running a massive sale on my Etsy store this weekend.  20% off absolutely everything.  And every order gets a free One Of A Kind Monster Badge or Keyring – just let me know in the comments which you’d like when you buy.

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And that’s just me.  You should definitely absolutely go and check out all the other wonderful things happening.  You can find all the vendors here, and the events schedule here.

Some highlights I’m looking forward to are the Sing’N’Sketch stream by Squiggles, the Fursuit DJ set by DJ Fennec FVux, and the Crochet Guessing by Make Merri.

My good friend SamBeAwesome is also a registered vendor – she does all kinds of arty goodness, including commissions, stock photos, tutorials, books, prints and bases.  She’ll be streaming on Sunday – doing fun stuff with Crayola.

And make sure you enter the giveaway on the Cozy Con website to win free merch.

So yeah, lotsa stuff going on.  What are you getting up to this Cozy Con?

 

 

Cozy Con Scavenger Hunt

Cozy Con starts in just two days, and I’m very excited!

You already know about the art contest that I’m running, but here’s the other event I’m running.

I have hidden nine of these Domuns here on my blog and on my Etsy page.  Here’s one, as an example and a freebie.

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Each Domun holds a different letter, and when rearranged they make a single nine-letter word.  When you’ve worked out the word, you can fill in this little form and enter the contest!

When the contest closes – at midnight GMT on Sunday May 3rd – I’ll pick a winner at random from the correct answers.  The winner will receive this glorious goody bag.  More details here.

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CLUES & CLARIFICATIONS

To help you out a little bit, here are some clues and clarifications.

1) There won’t be any hidden in the actual blog posts, so you don’t have to scroll right back through.  Although if you want to, that would be good.

2) There are no repeating letters.

3) It’s an English word, spelled the same in both British English and American English.

4) It’s not a proper noun, so no names or brand names or countries or anything like that.

5) Each Domun is exactly the same.  The only thing that’s different is the letter they hold.

6) Even if you don’t have the word, feel free to enter anyway.  You never know, it might be that no one else has gotten it either.  In which case, I’ll pick from whoever has all the letters.

7) The contest is open to everyone.  You just have to be willing to give me a mailing address so that I can send your prize to you.  If you’re under 18, please make sure you have parental permission.

8) Please don’t share the answer on social media, it just spoils the fun for people.

9) The contest starts NOW!!

 

 

Cozy Con Art Contest

Yesterday I released the drawing guide for my new Domun species.

Today I’m telling you about the art contest I’m running for Cozy Con.  All you have to do is read my species guide, draw an adorable little Domun, and share on social media for me to see.

Here’s the species guide.

how to draw a domun

See, super cute and super easy to draw.  Draw as many as you like and share it with me on one of my social medias.  I’m CraftedByColette on Facebook, Deviant Art and Instagram, and I’m @By_Colette on Twitter (because CraftedByColette wouldn’t fit).

The species guide will always be available for free, and I will always be interested to see what you draw.  But if you share it before Monday May 4th 2020, you’ll get entered to win this fabulous goody bag (more details here).

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All ages and skills can enter, you just need to be willing to give me your postal address in case you win.  If you’re under 18, please make sure you get parental permission.

I won’t be judging your art, so don’t worry about that.  I’ll be picking the winner with a random generator.  You’ll get one entry per Domun that you share.

Use the #CozyCon tag so that everyone can see the fun you’re having 🙂