Sunday, June 1, 2014

What I am working on - a sneak preview...

After several false starts, many pieces started and taken apart, materials not working out perfectly - button and beads not matching well enough, I am finally getting closer to finishing designing a new kit.  This process was halted for over a year when life got in the way in a major way. Now things are settling down and there is once again the time and desire to work on new designs. Here is one of the project I am working on. 

It is Turkish Bead Crochet taken to the next step. The concept came to me while experimenting with possibilities - I have not seen nor copied any designs I saw, nor is the concept a traditional approach as far as I know. The kit will include the instructions, the beads, buttons and the cord as well as recommendations for the best crochet hooks and tools for the project.  

I am just waiting for a few additional beads to arrive to make the final prototypes, then I will choose the best pieces and they will be made into kits.

Hints, the kits will have a fair amount of metallic beads & buttons. 

Shambhala Bracelet with Chinese Knotting Cord in Fluo Mix

Neon colors and fluorescent mix are not usually my cup of tea, but I was interested in seeing how the Fluo Mix would do when tying square knot sennits, then got interested in what the result would be for a shambhala type bracelet. 

Here are the results:

The left square knot sennit was made with 1mm Weight with a 1 cord core or center. The square knots are 7mm wide. 

The next sennit was made with the HDQ Weight with a 1 cord core or center. The square knots are 8mm wide. 

The bracelet on the left was made with the 1mm Weight. 

I made this bracelet to fit my wrist, wore it around the house and found it to be a fun accessory. My husband saw it and wanted his own... thus the two bracelet, His & Hers... He even named the bracelet His & Hers Surf Shambhala Bracelet.

The bracelet on the right was made with the HDQ Chinese Knotting Cord and a center slide closure as he wanted the adjustment beads to be close to his wrist. 

The bracelet on the left was made with a side closure and longer hanging beads. 

Want to make your own? Get a kit, the material or just the cord. 

Broken Kitchenaid Mixer... Repair or replacement?

This subject is a bit off topic, but it is often a subject I think about often when designing jewelry. Will it be a piece that can be repaired or will it have to be redone completely when something break? 

My stand-up Kitchenaid mixer had been leaking oil and right before Christmas it finally gave up completely and stop mid-mixing my cookie dough. I looked for someone, a shop, a repair person to fix it, but come up empty. Then I searched online for possibilities and found an online tutorial on how to fix it. It took me several month to finally get the courage to take the machine apart. Other than having to deal with the rotten grease, it was fairly easy.

And just as in the video, one of the gear - designed to fail - had failed. 

Then next I cleaned up the machine the best I could with old rags, Q-tips. Laid everything as neatly as I could so I could find all the parts again and placed an order online for the replacement parts: the gear, gasket and new grease - this time food quality grease, hoping it would smell better, which it did - thank you. 

Once all the parts arrived, it was time to put everything together. My brother-in-law's advice: if any part is left on the counter (the washing machine) when you put it back together, take it apart again... Ha, ha, ha... He must have ESP. The only problem I run into putting together was the five screws right under the motor. One screw out of 5 would not fit. After switching them around, switching the order I put them in, just placing them carefully in place and only giving the one turn each, one screw still would not get in, regardless of what I did. I gave up, put in 4 screws out of five and yes I was left with a part on my counter, one screw. 

Next come the ultimate test, did it all work - even with a missing screw? Yay - It works, I have a working machine again! 

To celebrate I made a traditional Swiss flourless carrot cake for a gluten-free guest. Let me know if you would like the recipe.