Friday, 25 June 2010

Thursday June 24th 2010

Good golly gosh it has been a long time hasn't it? Why it seems only yesterday I was grinding my teeth with torment and vengeance whilst attempting to complete the now 'infamous' 5 strand bracelet. But firstly allow me to apologise sincerely to you dearest diary and loyal companion for my recent neglect, but there have been many of what I'd consider to be justified reasons for this i.e. stupendously sunny weather, barbeques but perhaps more significantly the World Cup. Yep, I'm a self-confessed football fiend and as it stands right now, the only games I've missed are the ones that have been on at the exact same time, but thanks to the genius of the red button I can flick between the channels. I said this before the tournament and I'll say it now if I had any money I'd put it on Argentina; remember kids you read it here first.

Anyway I'll move on but before I do can I express my admiration for the World Cup Coca-Cola song (Wavin' Flag - Knaan). It's amazing, initially I got the tune in my head because of the ad, so I looked it up, downloaded it and it's been on my player ever since. It's so catchy and summery 'when I get older I will be stronger, they'll call me freedom just like a waving flag'...Ahhh, amazing.

Despite the fact that I have slacked off a bit from putting finger to keyboard and recording the gradual progress of my beloved recreational activity I have not vacated it. In fact if you care to visit my Flickr page you will find two new pictures waiting to be stared at. The first being THAT bracelet, initially I said that I was going to keep it as it was so I could laugh at it, feel myself turn red each time I caught a mere glimpse of it to the point where I'd want to dig a hole and bury it. But rather than put myself through that humiliation voluntarily I chose to take it all apart and start again. I pretty much kept up with the initial design but replaced some of the smaller more overlooked beads with some larger and brighter ones for a better effect, which seemingly worked. The finished piece looked a whole lot better and as for the fastenings then in a bid not to destroy my newly beaded strands I paid meticulous attention to detail, ensuring each individual wire was carefully wrapped around the jump ring and secured with a crimp bead. This time I ensured all the loops were the same or at least very similar in size and I think you can really notice the difference when you compare the 'before and after' pictures. I appreciate that it might not appear to be 'perfect' in the eyes of the pros but that's why I'm not one - yet at least. Not only was I pretty damn pleased with the outcome I was also greatly surprised at how well the whole procedure had gone - well compared with my previous effort.

The other piece is very simple indeed, my mum called me asking if I could possibly make her a necklace that consisted of purple and black because at the Bradford University where she's some kind of manger they've been given a purple & black uniform so she was seeking jewellery to match; the theme was CHUNKY. Flattered that my services were being sought to Pink and Dizzy I scurried and got a bunch of satin diamond and an aluminum pendant then got to work. The picture is the final outcome, I showed it to my mum she was most impressed by it but I'll be giving it to her in July when I pay a flying (well National Express) visit to northern dwellings.

Last night I actually had a dream that Matty had his name changed officially to 'Apple Green Beads' I don't quite know what to make of that, too much beading on the brain you reckon?

Monday, 7 June 2010

Monday June 7th, 2010

At last, I can finally boast to completing my latest production. I had literally been working on this piece all day Sunday, pausing only to have the infamous Sunday Roast (and pudding), playing with the hamsters, eat cheese puffs and occasional trips to the latrine. I didn't even sit down with the Papers and their many supplements till 11:50pm, by the time I'd finished they were well out of date.

So just what was this stunning work of art that I sacrificed my whole Sunday for? It was simply a five strand bracelet (or five strand bracelet disaster as I refer to it on my Flickr page). I'm sure it'd take the pro's no time at all but I continue to reiterate the fact that I am a simple novice. The idea came about after seeing these multi-strand bracelets in numerous books and magazines in a whole multitude of designs, I was feeling ambitious so I thought I'd give it a crack. My theme was complete randomness, just making it up as I go along, there were two primary reasons for this, the first being that it would ensure my design would be completely unique
and secondly I didn't really have much choice in the matter. You see whenever I invest in beads I always favour the 'mixed' packs that vary in colour, shape and style so I didn't really have any that would create a full strand.

It was all going so well, all my thread was all measured and cut correctly, beads by my side I started threading like a fiend possessed. It wasn't until I'd completed the third strand that I realised that just like the Titanic I'd hit an iceberg. In other words I'd cocked up - royally. Instead of slipping each of the individual threads through a single calotte and knotting it, I'd only gone and looped the threads at both ends securing the loop with a crimp bead. Trying so hard to remain optimistic I daringly proceeded but deep down I knew that just like the great ship itself I was sinking very slowly.

It was only after I'd attached the lobster clasp to the finished 'piece' that I gasped in horror, each of the individual loops varied in sizes meaning all the strands differed in length to the point of ridiculousness. The clasp was a pointless addition, the bracelet was that big (one strand alone almost fitted around my wrist twice). You could simply slide it on to your wrist only to watch it immediately fall off sending it crashing to the floor, it was truly heartbreaking - for me at least.

I asked Matty for his opinion, after all what could he say that I hadn't already said and thought to myself? He said he liked the actual design idea of it but would maybe have been better suited to a necklace, hmmm, he was certainly on to something there (not that I let him know that). After much thought I chose to keep the bracelet for pure comedy value, where I can look back at my novice days with fond memories.

As soon as funds allow, whenever that maybe I'm going to have a huge bead splurge and seriously consider that necklace idea. Looking back it certainly wasn't a whole Sunday wasted a very important lesson was learned that day, well two actually the first being don't ever let enthusiasm and delirium get in the way of studying instructions and logical thinking. The second, never eat a huge bag of cheese puffs immediately after devouring a chunky slice of strawberry cheesecake, don't do it, trust me, I suffered.

On a more positive note, Saturday night I put together lovely pair of summery earrings I called 'Lemon Drops' (again check out my Flickr page if you care to take a gander). They were inspired by all the gorgeous weather we'd been having (notice how I used past tense). I really wish my username didn't have 'wine gum' in it, I'd kill for a pack of those right now.