Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to Wire, plus a Giveaway!

Hello! It's been awhile, but I've been busy! It's been all about wirework for me lately, and I've been slowly building up an inventory of pieces in order to set up a table at a neighborhood sale in September. This is a big step for me, but I finally realized that I've got to put myself out there or I'll never sell anything, haha :D I've been thoroughly enjoying wirework, it feels so 'right' to me.

I've been lucky to have quite a bit of support from friends and family on my personal Facebook page, but I've decided I should probably start posting my work on my jewelry page on Facebook (that's what I made it for, after all!). I am approaching a small milestone on my FB page- I'm close to 100 followers. So, to reach that milestone, I've decided to host a giveaway!


My most recent work, this pair of Five-Point Copper Flower Earrings, could be yours! All you have to do to enter is like MalfaitLuciu Jewelry on Facebook and enter through the Rafflecopter widget below for 5 entries into the giveaway. After that, you can earn one more entry by commenting and telling me what your favorite type of jewelry to wear is, whether it be earrings, rings, necklaces, whatever! The giveaway starts today and ends Friday, September 5 at 12:00am.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

My plan is to host yet another giveaway when I hit the 100 likes milestone on Facebook, so be sure to share and check back often! Thanks everyone for all your support, and good luck! :)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Adventures in Cross Stitch and Blackwork


Hello! It's been awhile as usual, but during that time I've been busy! I developed a sudden interest in embroidery. My family got me a gift card to Michael's for my birthday and when I went to spend it, I happened upon this gorgeous cross stitch kit by Dimensions, featuring a flamboyant peacock. It's an ambitious pattern but I've gotten quite a bit of it done...

peacock cross stitch

...but in between working on the peacock, I discovered the joys of blackwork embroidery (thanks to Pinterest!) and so I picked a couple smallish patterns to complete:

blackwork embroidery square


blackwork embroidery square

As you can tell, for awhile I only had purple embroidery floss, haha. I finally picked up some black floss and am now in the middle of this design (click the link below to see the full pattern). I intend to use red floss for the heart shapes in this pattern just for something a little different.

blackwork embroidery square


And I've been busy on Pinterest in general pinning all sorts of things. Have a look at my Blackwork board for a ton of free blackwork patterns.

That's all for today. I'll leave you this time with Trinity telling me to take a break from stitching. 'Til next time!

black cat Trinity


Monday, September 24, 2012

Crochet on the Brain

Normally I'm all about the beadwork, but recently I picked up a crochet hook, and now I can't stop! I've been working on so many things!

crocheted lined green bag

First was a bag (I lined it myself! Thanks to futuregirl's tutorial) I've since added one strap, I still need to add the other, but I got too wrapped up in.....

coco the cat crochet amigurumi

...crocheting Coco the Cat! (the free pattern can be found here at the Crochet Today website- scroll down to find the pdf link) She's almost done, she just needs a tail- but before I got busy adding it I got distracted by...

thread crochet doily

...this thread crochet doily! The free pattern can be found here (it's the 'Aqua Doily'). Finally, something finished completely! After posting this on facebook (and then giving it to my beloved Grams), a friend asked me for some halloweeny spiderweb doilies, so I stitched up these....

thread crochet spiderweb doily

...and she loved them! The free pattern can be found here - it's a fun one, and it stitches up quickly.

After those, I was a little doily-ed out, so I switched to snowflakes- and have been gleefully stitching up some of Snowcatcher's lovely flakes- (they're being starched right now :P)

thread crochet snowflakes

My plan for the snowflakes is to make a couple for each of the families in my extended family. I don't plan on ever having children, so I want to make something that will be passed down through generations so that I'll be remembered by my family that way :) They'll be ornaments for christmas trees, and I've decided to hang them from ribbons with the year embroidered on them:

embroidered ribbon

I'm not sure if this is the right ribbon (it's very.. meshy). I also have some blue glitter I think I'll add to the snowflakes, mixed in with some white glue to make them stiff and durable. After that (because I'm still a beader at heart) I plan to hang some crystal beads from the bottom points of the snowflakes. :)

So, that's what I've been up to! (Also I've been crocheting a granny square afghan, but I haven't taken any photos of that yet).

I almost forgot- I've picked up Tunisian crochet, too! I'm making a scarf for a very good friend. (It's much longer than this now lol.)

tunisian crochet scarf


I'll leave you today with Neo snoozing with his little mouf open :3 'Til Next Time!


orange cat Neo


Monday, July 23, 2012

Spiral Stitch Variation

Hello! Just a quick post today- I wanted to share a little tip I discovered awhile back on how to make your spiral stitched ropes more... spirally :)


A recent post on the OTTBS facebook page asked us members to post pictures of our very first beaded creations. This spiral stitched bracelet here I think was my first (but my memory is faulty), and I remember liking it because I added an extra step to it to make the bracelet more solid and less slinky- I didn't like how the bugles kept moving around, so I added one last stitch to the completed bracelet (look at that awful toggle, lmao!)

Looking at this old photo, it made me want to revisit spiral stitch, which I haven't touched in quite awhile! I decided to go with some delicious faceted cylinder beads (I believe they're Toho's) with a taupe coloring and an iridescent sheen, spiralled around some 8/0's in three metallic shades. I implemented my 'trick' for this one too, and here is the result!



Unfortunately the photo really doesn't do the iridescence justice, but here you can see the tight spiral I was able to achieve with the regular garden variety spiral stitch we all know and love. This rope is rather stiff, but not so stiff that I can't make a bracelet out of it, or a necklace.

If you look close, you can see my trick implemented here in this photo. All I've done is run a thread down the length of the rope through the first bead in every 'set' of small beads. In case that doesn't make sense, here's a photo of what I'm talking about.


Here you can see what I mean- my needle is stitching through the first bead in each set of beads stitched around the core of 8/0's. When you complete your rope (by the way- if you want to do this trick, make your rope longer than you think it should be, because it will shrink when you do this), ensure you have a decent length of thread on your needle, then run your thread through the edge beads of each spiral stitch, as shown. When you get to the end of your rope, pull tight- the rope will curl up and tighten before your eyes! (I find this extremely satisfying for some reason, haha). I like to knot at this point, using the tail thread that is inevitably there from where you started the rope. Then, I go back up the rope using the first seed from each spiral stitch on the other side. I hope this makes some sense.

Regardless of what you decide to do, it will turn out beautifully. Without my 'trick', spiral stitch forms a slinky, supple rope with a straight column of core beads surrounded by spirals of outer beads. My trick forces both the spiral beads AND the core beads to spiral around each other, creating a more sturdy, substantial rope. Either way is great! Just do what seems to be best for the project you're working on :)

For now, I'll leave you with this video of Neo licking the condensation off of some beers, haha. 'Till Next Time!







Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fortune Teller Beads

So, recently I discovered a free PDF for Diane Fitzgerald's awesome Fortune Teller Beads. The PDF contains instructions for a 19mm bead, but after some playing around, I was able to modify the design to work with a 14mm bead and two 20-22mm marbles I've had around for awhile. If you're interested, you can download the instructions here, along with instructions for two other projects.

This is my first go, using transparent lavender and coppery-gold seeds for the netting, and a plastic iridescent 14mm bead for the core. The design allows for room to add bits at either end of the bead, so I stitched a purple glass drop to the bottom and a purple glass bead to the top, with a few more coppery seeds that I aim to turn into the bail for a necklace. I think that since the bead is rather ornate, I'll go clean and simple on the necklace part.

I'm in love with this technique- it's easy, it works up quickly, and at the end you get to gather up all the seeds on each end into a tight circle, and it's really really satisfying to watch them tighten up around the bead when you pull it tight, haha.

Here's my two large beaded marbles- I did the blue one first. I had to modify the design a bit by altering the bead counts in each netting stitch and then adding one seed between each seed at the top and bottom where the netting 'gathers'. I thought the blue one looked a little naked, so I added transparent purple and silver beads in between the 'windows' that the netting creates. I'm not thrilled with the look, but it was fun nonetheless.

The red one I really love :D I used coppery size 8/0 seeds at the intersection points in the netting, and i like the look it gives. I'm imagining a tassle of fringe hanging off the bottom- I'm not good at maintaining the right tension on fringe, so that will be good practice :)

That's all for now. Today I'll leave you with Trinity having a conversation with me. 'Til Next Time! :)




Saturday, June 30, 2012

Leaf Flower Mini Tutorial

Hello again. Two posts in two days? Holy shit!

Today is a little tutorial using Czech glass leaf beads. I fucking love these things. I haven't figured out what the allure is- but there's just something about them that makes me NEED TO OWN THEM. Needless to say, I have a borderline-embarrassingly huge collection of them- embarrassing because I don't think I've EVER used one in a piece. No shit.

Well, I fixed that with a little flowery centerpiece made entirely from beads from my tube of Miyuki Wheatberry Hearty Bead Soup that my husband bought me awhile back. (I love this mix- there's druks, small flowers, leaves, cubes, fringe beads, bugles, and four or five different types of round seed beads in various colors.)

Again, as always, please forgive the odd blurry photo. I desperately need a tripod. Also, partway through the tutorial I switched from a black background to a white one- messy, I know. Please let me know if you have any questions or if anything's unclear.

Since this is a mini-tutorial, I'm not going to spell out every single step to you. This tutorial assumes you are familiar and comfortable with ladder stitch.

Blahblah licencing stuff:

Note: this tutorial is protected by an International Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence. This means that you are free to post this wherever you like as long as you give proper Attribution (that is, to me, Jet Kosanke, and my website, malfaitluciu.blogspot.com), it may not be used commercially (you're not allowed to make money off it, that is, sell this tutorial to other people for money), and you're free to make changes to it as long as you also share it under these same restrictions (that is, you still give Attribution to me, you don't sell it, and you allow it to be shared freely.) For more information, click the Creative Commons link at the end of the tutorial.

By the way- NonCommercial doesn't mean you can't sell works you make using this tutorial. If you make a necklace, bracelet, or whatever using this, feel free to sell it- however, you may not mass-produce it, and the Attribution part still applies, that is, you still have to attribute the design to me. 

If you're unsure if what you want to do is allowed, just ask me! I'm really pretty laid back about things like this :) I'd rather share my knowledge and discoveries for free so others can learn than charge money for my tutorials. With all that said, on to the good stuff! :)

Click on any image to view a larger version. On with the show!



Materials
  • Your favorite needle
  • Your favorite thread
  • Six 12mm x 7mm Czech pressed glass leaf beads
  • One 6mm Czech druk or other round bead (7mm would work fine too, in fact, probably better)
  • 36 11/0 round seed beads (cylinders work too but I don't think they look as good as round ones)
  • Your favorite music
  • A nice cold pomegranate martini (optional)

Step One


String one leaf bead, three seeds, one leaf, three seeds, one leaf, three seeds on a comfortable length of thread. Stitch through all the beads again  and then knot to form a nice tight little circle, as shown.

Work your thread through the beads so it is exiting a leaf bead.







Step Two


String three seeds, then go through the same leaf your thread is exiting, as shown.













Step Three


Pull your thread through, making sure the three seeds snug up against the top surface of the leaf, as shown. (This is ladder stitch)

Stitch through the three seeds next to the leaf your thread is exiting, then through the next leaf. Repeat the above step, stringing three beads and ladder stitching to the top of that leaf.

Repeat for the third leaf.




Step Four


Position your thread so that it's exiting a set of three seeds on top of one of the leaves, as shown.













Step Five


String one leaf bead, then stitch through the three seeds on top of the next leaf, as shown.













Step Six


Repeat this step twice more, adding two more leaf beads. 

Position your thread so it is exiting one of the top-level leaf beads (which I mistakenly didn't show in the photo)









Step Seven


Flip the beadwork over.

Stitch through the three seeds beneath the leaf bead your thread is exiting.











Step Eight


Flip the beadwork over again. Stitch through the leaf bead above the three seeds your thread is exiting.

Repeat steps seven and eight twice, ladder stitching each top level leaf bead with the three seeds directly below.

Position your thread so it is coming out of one of the top level leaf beads.





Step Nine


String three seeds, then go back through the leaf bead your thread is exiting, as shown.

(In the photo, the thread on the left is the working thread, and the thread on the right is the tail thread)














Step Ten


Stitch through the three existing seed beads on top of the leaf bead next to the one your thread is exiting.

















Step Eleven


String three seeds, then stitch back through the three seeds your thread is exiting.













Step Twelve


Repeat steps nine through eleven twice more, by working your thread through the next leaf, ladder stitching three seeds on top of the leaf, and ladder stitching three seeds to the next set of three existing seeds. I'm hoping the photo makes this clear :P

Position your thread so it is exiting a set of three seeds ON TOP of one of the UPPER layer leaf beads.







Step Thirteen


Stitch through the set of three seeds that is stitched to the seeds on top of the next lower level leaf bead.

Then, stitch through the three seeds on top of the leaf bead after that.

Repeat around the flower until you have created a circle of eighteen seed beads on top of the leaf beads. God I hope that made sense.






Step Fourteen


Position your thread so it is exiting the middle seed of the set of three seeds on top of the next leaf bead.












Step Fifteen


String your druk or round bead, skip eight seed beads, and stitch through the ninth seed bead, so your thread is exiting the seed bead directly across the one your thread was exiting in step fourteen.












Step Sixteen


Stitch back down through the center druk or round bead.














Step Seventeen


Stitch back through the seed bead your thread was exiting in step fourteen.

That's it! Knot, work your thread ends in, and trim.

At this point, you can leave it like this, or you can do what I plan on doing, which is stitching a square stitched ring band two seeds wide to turn this into a cute little ring. :)




Creative Commons License
Leaf Flower Mini Tutorial by Jet Kosanke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


That's it! Let me know if there's any questions, and let me see what you create with this tutorial!

I'll leave you today with Neo and Trinity losing their minds over a handful of clovers (we call it 'kitty salad')


'Til Next Time~!
























Friday, June 29, 2012

Fishtail Tutorial

Hello! It's been awhile, I know, but I have a new tutorial now to make up for my absence. I came up with this design just from fiddling around with some short bugles and some seeds yesterday, and ended up with a pretty nifty design, if I do say so myself. It's sculptural and dramatic, but really quite easy to stitch- it works up quickly, too.



The lovely ladies over at the OTTBS facebook page inspired me to name this 'Fishtail', which I think makes perfect sense :D So, let's get started. I apologize in advance for some of the blurry pics, but i think you can still see what's going on with them. As always, if you have any questions or if anything is unclear, please let me know!

Note: this tutorial is protected by an International Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence. This means that you are free to post this wherever you like as long as you give proper Attribution (that is, to me, Jet Kosanke, and my website, malfaitluciu.blogspot.com), it may not be used commercially (you're not allowed to make money off it, that is, sell this tutorial to other people for money), and you're free to make changes to it as long as you also share it under these same restrictions (that is, you still give Attribution to me, you don't sell it, and you allow it to be shared freely.) For more information, click the Creative Commons link at the end of the tutorial.

By the way- NonCommercial doesn't mean you can't sell works you make using this tutorial. If you make a necklace, bracelet, or whatever using this, feel free to sell it- however, you may not mass-produce it, and the Attribution part still applies, that is, you still have to attribute the design to me.

If you're unsure if what you want to do is allowed, just ask me! I'm really pretty laid back about things like this :) I'd rather share my knowledge and discoveries for free so others can learn than charge money for my tutorials. With all that said, on to the good stuff! :)

Click on any image to view a larger version.

Materials:
  • your favorite needle and thread
  • size 11/0 cylinder beads
  • 5mm bugles (I believe. The bugles need to be as long as two cylinders are high.)
  • OPTIONAL: fringe beads, drops, or magatamas. even daggers would work and look nifty
  • your favorite music
  • an icy mojito or margarita- or three (also optional, but nice to have)


Step One





String four seeds on a comfortable length of thread. I like to use one 'wingspan', personally.










Step Two


Go through all the beads again to form a loop.












Step Three


Pull tight and knot securely.














Step Four


Needle through the two beads next to where you knotted and pull through.












Step Five


Pick up two seeds, then go back down the two beads you went through in the last step.











Step Six

Go back through the two beads you just added.













Step Seven

Continue in this way until your strip is ten beads long.













Step Eight

Now we start the herringbone stitch. Pick up two bugles, and then stitch down through the two beads next to the beads your thread is coming out of.











Step Nine

Stitch up through the two beads next to the beads your thread is coming out of.













Step Ten

Repeat steps eight and nine across the row until you have stitched a total of five stitches.













Step Eleven

Here we're going to 'step up'. Instead of the way it's usually done in herringbone, where you add a bead, then stitch up through the bead above the one your thread is coming out, we're going to do something different.

Stitch up through the ONE bead next to the one your thread is coming out of. Don't stitch through both seeds, just the one.

(Of course, if you wanted to do it the other way and add a bead, go for it! I just chose not to)



Step Twelve

Now, Stitch up through the bead DIAGONAL from the bead your thread is coming out of.













Step Thirteen

Now, needle through the bugle above the bead your thread is exiting.













Step Fourteen

Now that we've 'stepped up', we're going to stitch another row of herringbone.

Add two bugles, go down through the bugle next to the one your thread is exiting. (Don't go down through the seeds below it, just go through the one bugle.)








Step Fifteen

Stitch up through the bugle next to the one your thread is exiting.













Step Sixteen

Repeat steps fourteen and fifteen till you reach the end of the row. Your thread should be exiting the last bugle in the previous row, as shown.












Step Seventeen

Now we have to reverse the direction our thread is going in. Locate the thread 'bridge' between the last two seed beads in the second row of beads. You're going to slip your needle UNDER this thread 'bridge', then pull your thread all the way through. This anchors your thread so that you can go back the way you came through the bugle your thread is coming out of.

I like to call this a 'turnaround'.





Step Eighteen

Stitch up through the two bugles on the edge of your strip, as shown.

Then, stitch a row of herringbone in bugles- five stitches.










Step Nineteen

Now we're going to do a 'turnaround' again. It's easier this time, because the herringbone gives you a little gap between the bugles that is easy to put your needle through. Put your needle through the gap between the first two bugles in the first row of bugles, as shown- then pull your thread through.








Step Twenty


Now, stitch up through the two bugles on the edge of the strip, as shown.













Step Twenty One

This row is still herringbone, but with a small addition. Pick up two bugles and stitch down through the bugle next to the one your thread is exiting, as shown. DON'T go through the next bugle in line, though.










Step Twenty Two

Here we add one seed bead. By now you can probably see how the beadwork is starting to 'fan out'- we're just filling in some of the space between the columns of herringbone.











Step Twenty Three

Now we go up through the next bugle in line. We're going to repeat this across the whole row.













Step Twenty Four

When you get to the end of the row, do a 'turnaround'.













Step Twenty Five

We're going to do the same thing in this row as the last row, except we're adding two seeds between each stitch instead of just one. Pick up two bugles, go through the bugle next to the one your thread is exiting, pick up two seeds, go up through the next bugle, and repeat.









Step Twenty Six

At the end of the row, do a 'turnaround'.














Step Twenty Seven

Instead of adding two bugles like usual here, we're going to add one fringe bead (or drop or magatama or dagger or whatever you like) and go back down the bugle next to the one your thread is exiting.

NOTE: The fringe bead is optional. If you don't have fringe beads or don't want to add fringe beads at all, just go back down through the next bugle as usual without adding any bead. It looks just as nifty without a fringe or drop as it does with. It's up to you :)



Step Twenty Eight

Now, just like the last row, we're going to pick up seeds before going up through the next bugle- THREE beads this time. Don't get carried away, though! We aren't doing this across the entire row.

After you stitch up through the next bugle (the third one in this row) instead of adding beads, go back down through the next bugle without adding any beads.






Step Twenty Nine

At this point, we're creating the base row for the next 'fin'.

Pick up two seeds, then go back down the bead your thread is exiting.

This is the same concept as what we did with the very first row of seeds at the beginning, but we're substituting the existing bugle for two seeds. I hope that made sense.





Step Thirty

Stitch up through the two beads you just added.















Step Thirty One

We're going to repeat step twenty nine and thirty here. Pick up two seeds, go back up through the beads added in step thirty, then go back down through the two seeds you added in this step.











Step Thirty Two

Stitch up through the next bugle in the row.














Step Thirty Three

Stitch down through the last two seeds added.














Step Thirty Four

Stitch back up the bugle next to where your thread is exiting, then down through the next bugle in the row.












Step Thirty Five

Now we repeat steps twenty nine through thirty four. Almost done with the fin!













Step Thirty Six

Now, like at the beginning of this row, we pick up three seeds, then stitch up through the next bugle in the row.












Step Thirty Seven

String a fringe bead (or don't), go down through the last bugle in the row, do a 'turnaround', then work your needle back through the existing beadwork until your thread is coming out of the bugle shown in the image.

Your first fin is done!








Step Thirty Eight

Now, we add two bugles and go down through the bugle next to the one your thread is exiting. This is the same concept as our first row of herringbone at the beginning.











Step Thirty Nine

Stitch up through the two seed beads next to the bugle your thread is exiting.













Step Forty

Continue herringbone stitches with bugles across the row- five stitches total.













Step Forty One

From here, repeat from step fourteen until your strip of fishtails is as long as you like :)











And there you have it! Whew. I haven't finished a bracelet with this method yet, but I'm going to continue off of what I stitched up for this tutorial. I have a clever idea for a clasp, but I don't know if I can pull it off, so I won't say yet what it is. I'll be sure to post pictures when it's finished.


Creative Commons License


Until then, I'll leave you with this; my mother's kitty Jinx, sitting in his favorite kitty-hammock. I love love love his perpetually sleepy eyes :3


'Til Next Time!