Textile Art: Jewelry Finds 2 (Thread)

Thu Jun 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm in Favorite Finds | No Comments

As promised/threatened, I have more fabric-style jewelry from Etsy. Again, these people specialize in this type of jewelry, to often amazing effect. Clever, ironic and often complex, I would actually take one of all of these. Were I not a poor nonprofit worker, that is. I have big dreams of expensive fabric jewelry. You know, it really is amazing. I take all the metal and gemstones out and can still totally blow my jewelry budget.

My own thread-based jewelry has taken a breather because the thread kept taking the skin off my fingers, so I decided we needed a small break from each other. Never fear. I will finish.

Anyway, thread manipulated well is a beautiful thing. I often wonder how long these things take to make, and what kind of work was put into them.  Clearly none of these folks is a beginner at their task.  Enjoy!


The pieces: L to R and Top to Bottom

Textile Choker by kjoo.  One of my favorite pieces of jewelry that I’ve ever seen, made of crochet and felt. This must have been a ton of work. I like pretty much all of what kjoo makes. (Also in my favorite Etsy stuff there on the sidebar–>)

Soft Cotton wrapped bracelets by easternsky. These are much more practical for me than the choker, as they are cotton, and I am allergic to wool. Also: very pretty.  I love the look of wrapping, and it looks soft, and I like the way the color variations come through. (Also in my favorite Etsy stuff there –>)

The “White Gold Crochet Chain” from STITCHEDinMPLS is very tongue-in-cheek, and I love tongue-in-cheek. I also  love oversized crochet. It’s just a nice medium for a big chain, in my opinion.  For me, for some reason, this would be wall art. Don’t ask, I like things like this, it seems like wall sculpture to me.

The thread woven earrings made by FunkyLobez (pictured here in the Cozumel colorway) remind me a lot of parabolic line designs like those here and here that I learned in high school. I was quite obsessed with parabolic lines at one point (still am, I like intricate math). These earrings are much like that, but in color they are amazing, and some of the colorways look like peacock feathers.

Consider this Vive La Reine tatted necklace.  Now consider how awesome tatting almost always turns out. Like filigree, but with thread. I have not yet begun to learn tatting, but I have Ideas about it.

Sculpture plays a big part in Elin Thomas’ designs, which is easy to see from this crochet bracelet. Think that’s cool? Check out her crocheted sea anemone necklace for a bit of amazing … You still here? Go take a look.

Nice, eh?

Textile Art: Jewelry Finds 1

Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:12 pm in Favorite Finds | 3 Comments

Numero 1: Whew. The big fundraising event I’m part of organizing each year (we have 550 people for lunch) was yesterday, and I am done in, as the saying goes.  My part is to arrange the guest list and the tables and the nametags – and then of course organize and count all the money.  It seems like a lot to do – and it is, but there’s so much involved in putting on these events that my part is probably just a third of it. Now, though, even though I’m already tired, I feel very little relief that the event itself is over – the biggest part of my participation is now, after, when I tally up the funds. I’ll be chasing this thing like a dog with his tail for two months. Great, eh?

Numero 2: Outside this, one of my current /simultaneous projects has been to figure out options for fabric-based jewelry. I am still very much in the experimentation phase. There has been glue, thread, fabric stiffener, wood, lacquer, crochet, ribbon … just trying different stuff out. I like some of what I have, and don’t like other bits, and think some things could use refining. I really love fabric and am intrigued by the possibilities here.

I was curious as I began this to see what else people have done.  I spent some time on Etsy looking around at people who make fabric jewelry – not just one-off pieces by jewelry artists who otherwise deal in beads, but people who are really doing interesting things with fabric.  I found some really interesting stuff, so I’m going to split it into two showcases.  One (today) is for designs that showcase woven fabric, and another that relies on yarn as the textile.  Since fabric and yarn are not typical jewelry media, I found things that are unique.  Enjoy!

Fabric Jewelry: Textile Art


Top to bottom, left to right

1.  Repurposed fabric, olive jade and lucite necklace and earring set by Christine Kangas. Chosen because of those beads. Because I don’t know how she did that, but I’ve been trying, and I cannot. Yet.  Ms. Kangas makes many lovely combination bead-and-fabric jewelry pieces along with fabric loop earrings.

2. The Bloomin’ Oomph fabric statement necklace by Believe in Happy is quite a nice piece of a type I’ve heard described lately as sculptural jewelry. It is quite lovely. Most jewelry complements what you wear, this demand other things to complement it.

3.  The Autumn Dahlia from begurple designs is a beautiful adornment: a brooch, or it can be attached to a necklace, wrist band or headband. I just want to know how you make silk fabric do that exactly. Trust me when I say it doesn’t particularly like to hold a shape. This does. And somewhat resembles stained glass while it’s doing it.

4.  This interesting necklace of multicolored fabric loops brings to mind a fabric version of long pearl ropes, but I’ve never liked those, and I like this.  Other pieces from maker Etnyk are more dense, like scarves, others with embellishments.  I haven’t seen anything else like this exactly, though some designs remind me of layered beaded Masai necklaces, which I’ve always loved.

5. I had a hard time deciding, but I chose the pleated fabric choker from Boqinana. But the crescent fabric necklace is just as cool. Both sewn fabric jewelry in interesting shapes, and I haven’t seen anything else like these, esp the pleated fabric choker. (Though I confess I have not looked at all 316 pages or so of fabric jewelry on Etsy.)

6.  Miniature Quilt Block brooch! Hand dyed fabric and muslin under glass!  Just 1.5″ square! Wow!  (ok, i’ll stop.) These tiny gems are available as a brooch, here, but also in earrings. You should see the Flying Geese block earrings. I love this.  Really love this. Made by the talented Shady Grove Studio.

So there you have it. 5 interesting and unique and beautiful fabric jewelry designs using all sorts of techniques, some more traditional, some not. I’m still looking, and have found some really interesting thread-and-yarn ones for next time. There will be crochet, oh yes. And lace. And wrapping. And things.

Cooking with Canning

Mon Apr 20, 2009 at 9:50 pm in Food & Cooking | No Comments

I mentioned in my last post that I’d finished up using almost everything I canned last summer (just in time for this summer). I used my few cans of tomatoes, my salsa, my peaches very sparingly since I had so few.  It was a lot of work just to make a shelf’s worth of canned goods, so the fruits (haha!) of my labor were parceled out to worthy projects:  a warm pot of chili just as winter started, a small and rich batch of tomato sauce a couple of weeks ago, a peach crumble, some peach ice cream.

When I cook something I canned, I use all my special ingredients – usually things I get specially from other places, like my Dad’s basil and oregano.  I use rosemary and bay leaves from my mother-in-law. These things teach me about the importance of ingredients, when you see it grow or put the work in to preserve the food. I learned long ago, from I don’t know who, to not waste food. I scrape bowls when I cook. I keep my leftovers. I learned to use up my food in the order in which it goes bad.  I’ve never been wealthy, so I guess I learned a lot from watching my pennies at the grocery also.

Farmer’s markets are great, and I will always go to them, but really, it is my dearest wish to have garden. With lots of sun. And lots of stuff I eat. My backyard has now decided to add 2 kinds of purple flowers and some weird bush to its usual crop of rocks and trees, but it leaves much to be desired. And it’s not my house, so I just can’t bring myself to fix it up really nice when I know it’s a temporary arrangement.

Jeff’s mom has mentioned her garden will be growing asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, radishes, black beans, okra, thyme, dill, basil, thornless blackberries, elephant garlic, eggplant, onion and garlic chives, bunching onions, 1015 onions, butternut squash, acorn squash, bell pepper and cayenne pepper.  I copied that from her email to me.  I hope she knows I’m raiding her garden. I think she planted some of it because she knows I like it.

Apart from cooking and clearing my stores, I got a bug to make jewelry the other day. It was an exhausting day of work, and I was frustrated, and I am not a calm and patient sort of a person. I get anxious and tend to, um, get overexcited about things. I am somewhat … opinionated, I guess you could say. And when I get particularly overwrought, I end up at the craft store, whatever’s closest. Last week I ended up at Hobby Lobby looking at findings and fabric stiffener.  This being a brand new craft, I’ve been teaching myself about what happens when copious amounts of felt glue are applied to fabric and beads. This could get messy.

Hope you’ve all had a fun week. I’m going to do a fair imitation of posting twice this week. Watch out!