Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

The Haberdashery Blog Hop: Signups open now

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for a while you know I join lots of blog hops and challenges, it’s a way of making me stretch myself and try new things. Anyway, I’ve had this idea in my mind about a blog hop for quite a while now, and I think it’s time to put it into action!

So, without further ado, I’m introducing The Haberdashery Blog Hop (or Haby Hop for short, we Aussies like to nickname everything)!

Haby hop button

(you can use this image as a blog button, just copy the image to your own blog!)

It’s time to pull out your ribbons and buttons, trims and fabric scraps to create beautiful and unique pieces of jewellery. Pinterest is a fantastic source of ideas—take a look at the board I’ve been putting together for some stunning examples, and a few tutorials too. It can be as simple as adding a beautiful ribbon or scrap of sari silk to your necklace or bracelet, or a complex collage of beads, buttons and more.

Haby hop inspiration
Some examples of jewellery I have made using sari silk ribbon

Take yourself off to your local big box craft store or fabric store and peruse the goodies there. Op-shops and thrift stores can also be a good source, particularly if you like vintage buttons and ribbons. Raid your mum or grandma’s sewing box (or your own if you are a craftaholic). Look for interesting scraps of lace, unique buttons, felt flowers, yarn and embroidery silks, zippers, anything you can incorporate into jewellery! Think of unusual ways to incorporate your finds, and stitch, embellish, string away!

Haby hop supplies
From top left, clockwise, my great aunt’s button jar, a selection of ribbons and fibres, lace ribbon from the scrapbooking aisle, a fabulously decorative (and very large) button.

Some books with good ideas include Lorelei Eurto and Erin Siegel’s book Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry and Melinda Barta’s Custom Cool Jewelry.

To sign up, email me at melissa_trudinger at yahoo dot com, with your blog name by July 1st. I’ll send out a reminder email a week or so before the hop, and a list of participants too! The blog hop itself will be on Saturday August 2nd, so you have all month to create something fabulous!

I’m excited, are you??

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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges, Swaps and exchanges

Bead Soup has arrived!

I got a lovely parcel in the mail today—my Bead Soup for the 7th Bead Soup Blog Party—all the way from Indonesia. It was left by the door while I was dropping the kids off at school and daycare, so I had a lovely quiet house to unwrap it, oohing and aahing to myself as I took photos.

My partner, Jane Pranata Lim, lives in Jakarta, Indonesia. She sent me a wonderful selection of Indonesian goodies, and a few bits and pieces she made herself as well. It all arrived in a batik-patterned box.

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First of all, the focals. Not just one, but three! The most amazing is a wooden batik mask pendant. Then there is also a heart shaped pendant with batik motifs. And a stainless steel pendant of a “gunungan”—a symbolic representation of an ancient tree motif. Alongside the three focals above is a piece of pretty batik fabric wrapped by Jane with copper wire. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll use this as part of a bracelet or in a necklace, it could go either way.

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The clasp is something I believe that Jane made herself, a copper toggle clasp. I can’t believe it though, I missed taking a photo of the clasp! I’ll take one tomorrow and edit this post, as I really want to get it out there tonight.

And then there are the beads! A selection of different shapes of wooden beads with batik patterns. And a long strand of Java Gudo beads, glass beads from Indonesian bead shop Manik Jawa, owned by another Indonesian bead souper, Lili Krist.

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I am really looking forward to working with this bead soup! I love the colours, so different to my normal selection, but so vibrant and exciting! The mask is fantastic, and I’ll write more about the mask style in a later post. Funnily enough, I have always had a thing for masks, and over the years I have collected quite a few of them, from Indonesia, from Venice, from New Orleans, although I don’t have them displayed right now. Thank you Jane!

Now, would you like to see what I sent Jane? She has received her soup now, so I can show you:

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I built this soup around the “Bollywood Daisy” toggle clasp and matching connector, which was made by Queensland-based ceramic bead-maker Natalie Fletcher-Jones (Peruzi). I added a polymer clay pendant focal made by Barbara Bechtel (Second Surf Studio), which was the perfect shade of yellow, and a second clasp in bright brass as well as a few tiny brass leaves. And I completed the soup with a selection of colourful beads in coordinating colours. Clockwise from the top left are flat rectangular Czech glass beads in white, purple and yellow, then some smooth organic nuggets of West German glass in yellow and purple, a selection of Czech glass faceted rounds and smooth drops in amethyst lustre, a strand of tiny Czech glass rounds in amethyst shades, and in the bottom left is a mixture of glass beads (might be Czech but I’m not sure) in yellow, purple, green, pink and blue. Finally, I wrapped the package with a length of green sari silk (not shown).

Jane and I will be unveiling our creations on 13 April, so make sure you come back to have a look at what I make then!