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Posts Tagged ‘sea glass’

It is high time I started to practise my metal-working skills again so I decided to start small, cutting out a rose leaf shape from sheet brass and piercing it with holes before I textured it with the hammer.

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Then I used some green perle and using the holes, put in the foundation stitches for a woven spider’s web which I worked in a gorgeous variegated pink and green silk ribbon.

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It worked out perfectly so I had a green centre shading out to the deep pink edge. I neatened it up with a piece of pink kid leather over the back and added a jump ring to turn it into a sweet little mixed media pendant.

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One of my Christmas presents was a Dremel engraver so I had a bit of a play with that, first using one of the included stencils to add a rustic star shape to a piece of sea glass which I then turned into a pendant.

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Then I moved on to a piece of reticulated brass which I created on the silversmithing course I took in Sheffield a few years ago. I had deliberately worked the reticulation from either end of the piece of brass in order to leave a smooth bridge between them for some text. Finally, I had the tool to add the lettering!

I used uncial script and the H of ‘haven’ looks a bit like an R, unfortunately, but I really like the way the engraver worked on the brass.

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I turned this into yet another pendant and gave it a lovely vintage sari silk strip ribbon to hang from in crimson and gold.

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My other Christmas present thanks to some vouchers was a doming set and I was dying to have a go at doming some old coins that I’d accumulated. Tiny bronze British decimal half pennies seemed to work best and I combined one that I’d hammered into a hemisphere with a ‘cornflake’ of reticulated brass that I’d also domed. I drilled them both through the middle and chose an odd stud earring with purple diamantes like stamens of a flower to connect them together.

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I’ve got a piece of fantastically patterned gilding metal to which I hope to attach the ‘flower’ which I can then turn into a brooch. It’s been good to play with metal again!

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I put the final french knot into my huge piece for the Victorian Box Project  two days ago and after nearly 15 months, it was a fabulous feeling!

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I stabilised the back before I sent to bed so it could dry overnight and the next morning got the box out ready to attach the stitching. So excited! I laid it over the top of the box and stretched it over the sides and that was then I discovered that it had shrunk somewhere and wasn’t going to fit. Fortunately I have some leeway around the edges, but it’s back to the drawing board for the moment.

So to cheer myself up I picked up the brown and gold sea glass watch case pendant I showed a couple of posts ago.

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I love those tiny nuggets of very rare yellow sea glass I picked up at Seaham and the colours work perfectly with the watch case.

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I’ve also started a real upcycled piece, creating something from nothing. I started with an offcut of some hand made felt I was cutting up for another project and a piece of bent gold coloured wire that came out of a job lot of broken jewellery. Trimming the felt slightly I evened up the shape and attached the wire with straight stitches in fine silk thread. The longer stitches were topped with french knots – what else! – in a heavier mercerised cotton and I used the same thread for running stitch around the edge.

 

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I attached a pelmet vilene backing with beaded blanket stitch…

 

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…and an odd link I took off a vintage rolled gold watch strap yesterday will make the perfect bale to turn it into a pendant.

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Back in May we had a goldwork initial workshop with Brenda Scarman and I started to work a letter ‘O’ for a birthday card for my mother. As it was her birthday a couple of weeks ago I can finally reveal something I’ve finished!

At the end of the workshop I had got this far:

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I simplified the scrolls in the middle due to the thickness of the double couching thread and added more chips of silver purl, silver seed beads, turquoise bugle beads and french knots to the border.

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Not happy with the squashed spiral on the lower left, so I restitched that.

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Carried on beading and french knotting…

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…until it was finally finished.

And then I decided I preferred it up the other way!

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Simply framed with grey card to become a special birthday card. And a finish!!

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I’ve also upcycled an odd clip on earring front to make a beaded brooch

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…and turned some of my huge collection of sea glass and china into rings.

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Loads more projects still to get stuck into though!

 

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Wow! Thanks for all the comments on my french knots project. In light of some of the questions I thought I’d post a recap (since it started about a year ago).

This is the beautiful flame mahogany veneered Victorian box I bought for a fiver on ebay last year.

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The box is basically in good shape – the joints are sound, as are the hinges, but the lost veneer is a huge issue and when I got it, someone had started to upcycle it by sticking various oddments of broken jewellery etc to the missing areas.

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They were easily removed and I had the idea of making a series of patterns in pelmet vilene to match the lost pieces and then encrust them with embroidery. I’d done some small scale encrusting work before, mostly with my embroidered jewellery

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and I favour a mix of eyelets and french knots.

I made a pattern for the missing veneer on the top and sides of the lid and chose a selection of threads in shades of green and orange for the embroidery.

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Last August it went off on holiday with me and I made a start, also incorporating some of the sea glass I love by stitching the nuggets down under a piece of chiffon.

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How pristine the vilene looks there!!

It soon became apparent that this was going to be a very long project and I don’t do well on long projects due to a very low boredom threshold. However, what has helped is the unstructured nature. As there is no design, I just load my needle with a length of thread and work french knots and/or eyelets until it runs out. Working so many means that I can do them without thinking and as I’m placing them without spaces, I can embroider in less than perfect light levels and while other things are going on – like meetings. And boot sales, hence the progress I’ve made since last week.

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Yes, all those knots are french knots,

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not punchneedle, although I can see the similarity. Had it been punchneedle though, I would have completed it a long while ago!

And so you can get an idea of how it will work:

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I can see the end in sight – well of this bit at least, as there are other much smaller areas of missing veneer which will need the same treatment. It’s been one of the longest continuous projects I’ve done to date and amazingly, I still don’t hate french knots!

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I will confess to using something I already had for the Travelling Book this month, but when I leafed through Eileen’s book and saw how much of it was inspired by gardens and the natural world, I immediately thought of the meadow grasses piece I stitched based on a piece of work from a Folio our branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild borrowed from headquarters a couple of years ago.

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I photocopied the page from my sketch book with all the inspiration detail on it…

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And then tidied up the finished piece to go on the facing page.

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It’s really nice to be able to find a home for something you’ve stitched and love but have no immediate use for and also to have a bit of room to breathe this month rather than frantically stitching at the last moment!

I’ve also been enjoying upcycling jewellery. Each piece is different and I love looking at these broken down bits and working out how to make them wearable again.

The soft creamy rose pinks and faded greens of these patchwork and vintage lace covered earrings is so much nicer than the brash plastic cabochon I started off with.

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And it was lovely to sort through my sea glass collection to find some matching aqua coloured pieces to repair a bib necklace where some of the plastic decorative elements were missing. I didn’t realise quite how much I had amassed as it’s in different places according to where I collected it from!

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The central piece is from Polperro in Cornwall and most of the other pieces are from Seaham. It’s so nice to be able to showcase some of this beautiful glass. They’re both now in my Etsy shop and I hope they find new leases of life very soon!

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A friend brought me two water-worn fragments of slate from the shores of Coniston Water in the Lake District last year and it was a little before Christmas that I turned one of them into a pendant. I love this rippled surface so I left it natural.

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The other side, however, I polished smooth before using my dremel to carve out a disc in the slate. I then set a pretty vintage marcasite roundel from a broken earring into the hollow.

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It was missing a gem from the centre but none of my marcasites were big enough to fit and it was too shallow for a paste stone. I went through a number of beads, stone chips and other ideas before I remembered I had some tiny beach glass pieces from my Seaham haul. One of those sat very nicely in the top…

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… leaving only the jump ring to attach through another drilled hole. This lovely soft dark grey slate was really easy to cut and shape unlike the Langdale slate which I’m still struggling with!

Very pleased with this assemblage of found objects; one from the English North-East and one from the North-West, hence the title. It can be found here in my Etsy shop.

 

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This was a few weeks ago.

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Looking back at it I’m actually surprised at how much more I’ve done!

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All the sea glass completely encircled by and embedded in the french knots.

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Moving into the edges of the piece. These will be butted right up against the existing mahogany veneer.

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Over half way!

 

 

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