Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Creative Day

My sister Katie is celebrating her 33rd birthday this month. Yes, she's younger than me, but only by 19 months exactly. I wasn't sure what to get her this year. It's not that she's hard to buy for, but nothing was coming to me. I like to make gifts for people whenever possible. I think a handmade gift is something very special and unique. But I didn't have time to crochet anything. It's hard to think about crocheting stuff in the hot summer when you're likely to be making sweaters or scarves or other cold-weather items. So after taking Lauren to Toddler Storytime at the library this morning I was passing by the bead store and inspiration struck. In addition to crocheting stuff and the occasional calligraphy of wedding invitations (envelopes, usually - not the invitation itself), I also make jewelry. I mostly make bracelets and necklaces, but have done some earrings as well. I made myself a mother's bracelet after Lauren was born that I wear with regularity. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the necklace and bracelet I recently did for my mom for my sisters wedding - it turned out GORGEOUS! I re-created a "Y" necklace she'd purchased from Nordstroms and paid $100 for (!), and designed a bracelet to match. It was all done with gold and clear Swarovski crytals. Beautiful! And much cheaper than buying it retail. She received many compliments.

So when I passed by the bead store I thought that I would make Katie a necklace for her birthday. Normally I simply string the beads - one after another on a flexible wire. I have always liked the look of wire-wrapping, but have never made anything that way. It's much stronger and longer-lasting. But today I was inspired to try it. I've never taken a class to learn the proper technique, but I think my innaugural attempt turned out pretty well. Behold!

Not too shabby, huh? I went with frosted glass beads in pastel shades of blue and pink and white/clear. I added a little silver shine between the smaller beads. And joined them together via wire wrapping. I'm pleased with how it turned out. Katie has 3 kids so any jewelry she wears needs to be durable, and I'm confident this will hold up well. It's a simple necklace, but for a first try at this technique I didn't want to get ahead of myself and get all complex. I was able to make this necklace during naps - just under 2 hours. Once you get on a roll it goes pretty fast. I bought the beads in bulk so I have plenty more to make something similar for myself. I'm always giving my creations away, but this time I want one for me, too. So there! Too bad I can't turn my creative hobbies into income!

The necklace is very pretty, MP...your sister should be very pleased to receive such a personal thought-out gift from you.

I love your work! Someday I'm still going to ask you to make me that Mother's Braclet.
Very beautiful. You did great work. I am sure your sister was very impressed with her gift.
You could so turn your hobbies into income. Have you not heard of ebay woman?! ;) I crochet hemstitched baby blankets- I buy them for $16 at a local store, crochet the edge, and sell them for anywhere from $35 to $60 on ebay! You should give it a try!

I've also sold a lot of Brody's baby clothes on there. Since you're done having babies, you might consider it!

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