Posts Tagged ‘turquoise’

The holiday journal is finished and just waiting for me to add some extra papers, pockets etc. to the inside.


Doing blanket stitch so close together took longer than I bargained but I like the effect.

Then I moved onto another one of my samples for my upcoming Embroiderers’ Guild workshop later in the year. Grey on grey felt embroidered in pale blues.


Fly stitched edge, straight stitches in a radiating pattern and french knots:


Feather stitch edging with a chain stitch spiral:


And I’ve turned what I think might have been a vintage money clip into an upcycled sea glass pendant. First of all I sawed off the long bit of the clip following the lines of the design at the bottom.


Then I pierced and cut out the middle section with a very fine saw, again following the edges of the design, and leaving three tabs to attach the sea glass to.


A lot of fiddly filing happened next, to really shape the central section and tidy up the tabs before I could set it with a lovely piece of deep turquoise sea glass.


I love using the piercing saw and the fiddlier the design, the better. I really need to get back to making some more of my original jewellery…

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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:


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.


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


Carried on beading and french knotting…


…until it was finally finished.

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




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


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


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

DSCN2584.JPG dscn2573dscn2591 dscn2609

Loads more projects still to get stuck into though!


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Right back at the beginning of my jewellery making course we impressed some gilding metal with various textured items. I had some success using a heavily stitched commercial fabric, ending up with these three pieces.

Silk and gilding metal book locket 1

I decided to try and make the two smaller pieces into covers for some sort of book locket or charm and started drilling holes (not very evenly!) in one edge of each for the stitching.

Silk and gilding metal book locket 2

Having enjoyed using fabric for the pages of the books I made at the start of the year, I opted for three fragments of pure silk; two in coppery tones and one bright turquoise blue, with the stitching thread to tone.

Silk and gilding metal book locket 3

Once the holes were drilled, including one for a bead closure, I filed the corners round and put the boards in the barreller to polish them up.

Silk and gilding metal book locket 4

Knowing how quickly any copper based alloy dulls, I gave them both a coat of clear nail varnish – not very orthodox, but it works! Then I could start constructing the book. Not easy when you compare the size of the finished item to a penny.

Silk and gilding metal book locket 5

I used a coptic stitch for the binding and really enjoyed the way it worked up, with little chains of hand dyed waxed silk thread across the spine…

Silk and gilding metal book locket 6

Silk and gilding metal book locket 7

…and neat rows of back stitch in the centre of the pages.

Silk and gilding metal book locket 8

Silk and gilding metal book locket 9

The closure is a natural turquoise bead held with a gold seed bead and a tail of the same thread as I used to stitch the binding…

Silk and gilding metal book locket 10

…which simply wraps around the book and winds around the turquoise nugget to hold it closed.

Silk and gilding metal book locket 11

Silk and gilding metal book locket 12

It really is a dear little thing and the coptic stitch works perfectly. I just need to drill a hole in the top back corner and add a jump ring so it can be added to a chain or bracelet.

And don’t forget, there is still time to enter my blog anniversary giveaway


                                          to win my lilac sea glass piece here

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This block started out over 18 months ago as an experiment with rusting pins.  I loved the result, especially as it gave me two sides: one with spots…

Rusted pins block 1

…and one with stripes.

Rusted pins block 2

Sometimes too much choice is a bad thing… But I wanted to include this piece in my rusting quilt and a choice had to be made.

This side:

Rusted pins block 3

I think the lines just had a bit more strength to stand up to the seeding. The variegated metallic Madeira is a bit of a recurring theme but it works so well with the rusting.

Then turquoise chips to go along the central curve.

Rusted pins block 4

I found a pot of assorted turquoise and gold beads that I think must have once been a necklace, but where on earth they came from, I can’t remember (a little voice from afar whispers, “…eBay…”) and a piece of mottled commercial rusty-coloured cotton and combined them with Stef Francis variegated stranded silk to make the next block.

Turquoise beads block 1

I like the combination of the thread and beads on the mottled background.

Turquoise beads block 2

However, under natural light I think the background fabric might be a bit too red compared with the natural rust tones. I’ll have a better idea when I have chance to put the completed blocks together.

Not that it’s a big problem if it is – this fragment can always be used for something else.  But the most important thing; I enjoyed putting together the thread, beads, fabric, design and stitches for it, and that’s why I embroider.

Remember there is still time (until Saturday 9th February) to enter the giveaway for my Wintry kimono fabric book by leaving a comment here.

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I’ve stalled a bit with the clock piece so I got this one out for inspiration.

It’s the first piece of fabric I ever rusted. I picked up the lovely chunky washers in the car park at work, wrapped them in a piece of calico and left the whole lot in a pot of water by the sink with strict instructions that it was not to be thrown away!  

The metallic variegated Madeira, shading from copper to gold, was the perfect thread to pick up the tones of the rusty washers and the fabric.

I chose running stitch to emphasise the linear design and let the marks on the cloth still be glimpsed through the stitches.

Simple straight stitches secure the washers. Short stitches hold them down and the longer irregular stitches add interest. 

I wanted some colour for contrast and I think the combination of turquoise chips and the coppery tones of the rust works really well. I graduated the chips from small to large and back to small again in a sinuous curve which separates the lines of running stitch and the washers.

It’s done the job. I wanted some spirals on the clock piece. I’ve found part of an old clock spring which I want to add and I decided to use spirals to tie in with the spring and contrast with the very straight lines around the edge of the image. I tried it with the perle cotton I’m using for the running stitch but there wasn’t enough contrast and the spirals got lost.

So I’m using this idea (from my sketchbook)…

…of a spiral stitched over straight lines but I’m going to stitch them in the variegated metallic Madeira which worked so well in the washers piece.

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