Saturday, April 19, 2008
I've always loved pearls: their variety of shapes, their textures, their soft luminescence. I saw a bracelet like this on etsy a while back, but at $300, it was far, far out of my price range. I say this as preface: this was not my original idea. And, as I've no skill whatsoever with making chainmaille, I'd have been stuck but for the wonderful friends I have.
I sent an image of the original to a friend and asked if he might be able and willing to make me a small base. I completely forgot about the matter in the flurry of stress and excitement that was my first year in grad school, but then out of the blue, one day I received a package in the mail - the chainmaille base! Oh, how fabulous and wonderful Joe is - and what a nice surprise! I'll almost forgive him for being so irritating intelligent for this. =)
I had to take some of the length out - it was a bit long, and I couldn't afford enough pearls to do the thing as long as it originally was. But then I accidentally took out too much and had to add two extra loops to the end for the clasp (more for ease of attaching than anything - if someone else puts it on my wrist for me, the short length is perfect). I ordered headpins from this incredibly talented Etsy jewelry artist. Once they arrived, I promptly went out to Beads of the Earth in downtown SB, where the wonderful woman who runs the shop cut me a great deal.
All in all, with paying for artisan-made silver headpins and the shipping and buying the pearls, I spent about $56 or $57 on this project. It's actually more expensive than my usually jewelry-making escapades, but a far cry from $300, and oh-so-worth it. The pearls shift and move around as I wear it and the chainmail glints from underneath.
Thank you, Joe! I couldn't have done it without you!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
we've had some lovely meals this week and I've been meaning to share more of them with you! We enjoyed traditional-Sunday-dinner type fare last Saturday evening, with our last bottle of wine before our wine country trip: swedish meatballs in milk gravy with lingonberries, baked potatoes, and sauteed bok choy, with a bottle of Foxen's Foothills Reserve.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
But doubt aside, I should at least describe this experiment in recycling. The dress buttons up the back in self buttons (on the middle pink panel, and smaller white buttons tucked among the top of the ruffled skirt), has a surplice neckline (one side of the navy overlaps the other a bit), and the straps are ties, and therefore adjustable. The skirt has four gores (triangles set into it, to give it lots of volume). And the fabric sources, by identifiable colour/section of the garment:
navy: WAS a beautiful silk twill button-up shirt that was my mother's and became mine. It was too short for my frame, but I loved how soft it was, so I wore it anyway. That's also why I couldn't give it up, even though I hadn't worn it in years. It is lined in silk, a dark tye-dye that was an old shirt of Cassidy's that he relinquished some time ago.
pink: WAS an FCUK shirt that I bought at Buffalo. It was a pullover, rather tight on the shoulders and too loose through the rest of the body, and (of course) too short for my frame. I bought it because I loved the fabric (the grey is delicate webby embroidery), and couldn't get rid of it for the same reason. I had enough fabric to line the back with the same, but in the front, I had to make do with something else. So the front is lined with orange linen, a large scrap left over from last year's Solstice Skirt.
skirt: now, you can't see it, but the structure under all the ruffles is baby-blue 100% cotton jersey, scraps leftover from a blouse I made a couple years ago.The blue ruffles are cotton voile that I dyed blue and used in a costume years ago. I retired the costume (also years ago) and cut the voile off for reuse. I tea-dyed it to tone down the blue. The brown ruffles ARE new fabric: a bit 3 oz thai silk chiffon that I tea-dyed with the blue to soften the colour. (Incidentally, the tea-dying was also a process of recycling/using what you have: I used the last half of a box of tea that I wasn't going to drink because something about it gave me headaches.) The ivory = a bit of nylon stretch mesh. Also new. Pretty much purchased for this kind of play/experimentation.