Bling, toned down

In my Blingtastic necklace post, I mentioned that I had been down to Suzie Q Beads in Inglewood.  While I didn’t get any of the super-expensive brand-name beads, I did pick up a few different things, including two large rhinestone rondelles, 7 smaller rhinestone rondelles, one silver/clear crystal bead, and a rhinestone encrusted ‘ring’.  I also picked up three different colours of leather cord – they had gorgeous colours that I couldn’t put down – I ended up getting copper, silver, and teal metallic.

rondelle necklace

rondelle necklace

The first necklace I made was using the 7 smaller rhinestone rondelles. Simply stringing them on some narrow cord (not the leather cord I had picked up there – the holes were too small for the thicker cord), then two black glass beads from Michaels, then 2 tiny clear/silver-lined glass beads from my stash and finally a crimp to hold it all in place on either side.  I finished the necklace with a black (with one tiny clear rhinestone) toggle clasp, and the larger crimps I picked up at Beads & Plenty More a few weeks earlier.

rhinestone ring necklace clasp

Next up, the rhinestone encrusted ‘ring’. I managed to get it onto a silver-tone split ring, and then strung it on the teal metallic cord, followed by three silver-tone spacers on either side.  The necklace was finished with the same rhinestone heart toggle clasp that I used for my Blingtastic necklace (it had come in a package of two), and some crimp rings.


rhinestone ring necklace ( a little out of focus…)

The larger rhinestone rondelles and the silver/crystal bead… well, it didn’t work up the way I had hoped (I had thought that the black glass beads would work with it – but they didn’t) so it’s still in the ‘work in progress’ pile!

Blingtastic necklace

Not too long ago I was down at Suzie Q beads in Inglewood, and picked up a few things.  I also started to see the bling-tastic appeal of the Trollbeads/Pandora/etc (basically they all seem the same to me…) but at 50$ and up PER BEAD there is no way that I’m going to jump on that trend.  Crazy!

Instead, I took a look at Michael’s the last time I was there and found a few things that were similar enough to get the chunky, bling-ed out look I had in mind.  I also decided to make a necklace instead of a bracelet – because since I am constantly on a computer, bracelets often just don’t get worn as much.

beaded necklace

I used:

leftover cards

  • 1 Rhinestone heart toggle clasp – Cousin Corp. brand findings – from my stash
  • 4 Glass/metal bead crystals – Trinkettes, also from Cousin Corp. – package of four
  • 6 Rhinestone ball metal 15mm – Bead Gallery – two packages of three
  • 8 Black glass 9x14mm Rondelle – Bead Gallery – one package of eight
  • 5 Bits & Baubles – Bead Landing – used 5 of the 9 beads in the package.
  • Thick black leather cord – from my stash
  • 2 coil crimps – also from my stash

Really, deciding how I wanted all of the beads to be strung on the cord probably took longer than actually stringing them. The bonus to the large-hole beads – they actually fit over the coil crimps, so I realistically could wear this with the toggle in the back, or with the toggle in the front with the heart-shaped rhinestone charm hanging down.

If you’ve never used coil crimps before, here’s a site with a quick explanation:


Completed necklace

Inspiration at Creative Stitches


As I mentioned in a previous post, I attended this year’s Creative Stitches & Crafting Alive! trade show – and I’ve already discussed some other elements of the show, but there were a few other photos I didn’t have a chance to share, that I thought I’d toss up for inspirations sake.

Three-dimensional poppy wall-hanging from Veronica’s Sewing Supplies which I really liked – though I didn’t end up getting the pattern or the kit.  I had already picked up a few other things, and I was trying to show some restraint with ‘new projects’. (Since I already have so many on the go…)


I think that this pretty Elk pattern was from The Sugar Pine Company (located in Canmore) although I could be wrong…


This one is called Monarch of the Valley, and it is of an elk – they also had a bear, a buffalo, and another elk as well.  (Click here for a shop selling this pattern – no recommendation intended – just one I found online since the Sugar Pine Co. didn’t seem to have it on theirs.)  I liked this mostly because of the black outlines around the element – I am guessing that several of the pattern pieces is cut out of black and then the fabric – with then the fabric cut slightly narrower – so that when layered on top of the black, an outline of black shows around each of those selected elements.

In Carola’s class on texture, she also brought out starfish, and the example below. Time was running short when we were in the workshop, so I didn’t get the chance to see it up close, but instead saw it in her booth later on.
The starfish were each sewn, slashed and stuffed, the quilting was done on “ugly” (her words) hand-dyed fabric resembling mucky water along the shoreline, and turned-and-stuffed pebbles as well.
The seaweed in this piece was made the same way she made the moss in the texture example art quilt that we spent the most time on in the workshop itself.  (By stitching with quilt-weight thread on several layers of wash-away stabilizer in a repeated pattern to build up the thread before washing out the stabilizer and then attaching the ‘seaweed’.



Steampunk hat

In the scrapbook area, there was a shop booth that had this awesome steampunk mannequin – made almost entirely from paper-crafting supplies! The outfit included a corset and bustle skirt, but what I really liked was the hat!

Steampunk hat

Decorated with gears, flowers, and goggle,s what I really loved about the hat was the huge scrapbook chipboard ‘clock’.


I found cogs similar to the chipboard clock…

clock faces

… and then also found the clock too.  Such a cool idea I’d love to try to replicate it – but… eh. I didn’t bother picking this up, again trying to show some restraint in the new-project-file.  I have so many projects on the go – including hats… that I didn’t want to add this – especially since the chipwood would restrict the wearing of the hat – being paper and all.  Plus, I think I know where I can get the chipboard clock faces (or the cogs if I wanted to go that way instead…) if I decide to attempt to do something similar in the future.

So.. that’s pretty much it in terms of the inspiration from the Creative Stitches show – and the last post I’ll have for the show (at least for this year!)

So… feeling inspired means I should have some completed projects to post at some time.. right?

Quilt examples at Creative Stitches

So earlier I wrote about the Creative Stitches & Crafting Alive! trade show in mid/late October and some general thoughts.  I then showed off some of the examples from one of the workshops I attended.

I didn’t mention that there were also two displays at the show of completed quilts in a sort of competition/exhibition.  One was all full-sized quilts (with a theme of patriotism or military or Canadiana I’m not sure exactly…) and I’ll admit that I wasn’t especially inspired by them, so I didn’t take any photos.  The other was more of an art-inspired, textile exhibition.  I found some of them really nice, and took a few photos.




Like the Sunflower quilt that Carola showed us – this one was most likely made by discharge (bleach).  I think that the artist/quilter started off by custom-dying the background fabric in the gradation from green to yellow to orange to rust, and then used a stamp or something to bleach out a few leaves “falling” down to the ground.

Notable is that the leaves do vary in size, but the largest leaves are near the bottom while the smaller ones are towards the top.  This gives the impression of distance.  The boldest quilting seems to be a wind blowing down, while the background filler quilting is geometric.

This quilt is called “Blown into my yard III” and is by Margie Davidson from Edmonton, Alberta.

She writes ” Having grown up in Ontario the memory of vivid red and orange maple leaves is a part of me. Maple leaves are my favorite leaves to sunprint with when I am painting fabric. But a maple tree is rare here in Alberta where I have lived for half my life. I seek them out.  My neighbor has one. The next closest, a silver maple is 20 blocks away. I am always delighted when the maple leaves from that neighbor’s tree are blown into my yard.”

(I suppose that means that rather than discharge, this is a sunprint?)



The next quilt is called Crows and Crabapples and is by Emilie Belak from Grand Forks, BC.

She writes “A crabapple tree in front of the dining room provides beauty and entertainment year round. the crows occupy a linden tree by the compost bin watching for the daily scraps. Combining these two seemed like fun. Crows are definitely not unique to British Columbia and you might have multitudes of your own. Let my crows span the distance gap from west to east and bring you smiles and cheer.” 


I like the imagery of the crows, and the bright pops of red along with the dark brown branches and dark birds is very bold against the varied blues of the background.  I really like the background itself too – it looks so subtle from a distance, but up close you can see that it is loads of little rectangles all lined up and appliqued (fused) and stitched down to the background to create one layer of quilting on top of which the applique is added.



The next quilt I really like, but can’t even imagine reproducing in any way – it is called “Kanaka Creek Sunset” and it is by Vivian Kapusta from Maple Ridge in BC.

She writes “Kanaka Creek is named for the Hawaiians who worked across the Fraser River at Fort Langley.  The pilings were used at the turn of the century to tie up log booms by the Abernathy and Lougheed Railway & Logging Co. The Kanaka Park is one of my favorite walks along the banks of the Fraser.”

With the lighting in the room I wasn’t able to get as good of a shot of this as I would have liked to really represent what it looked like.  Basically it seemed as though the quilt was as much a quilt as it was painting with thread.  The sunset in particular was really well done (and really blown out in the photo so you can’t really see it at all… ) with all of the yellow threads coming from the ‘sun’ in the centre.

Looking at the details- it also looked like the fabric was more dyed and painted than pieced, which was kind of cool, and an interesting way to reproduce the image.

Milky Way

The final quilt that I really liked and took a photo of (there were many more quilts than just this, but only a few that I really liked) is called Too Far Away by Pat Findlay from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The exhibition was put on by the Fiber Art Network of Western Canada, and represented artists/quilters from Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Milky Way

About Too Far Away, Pat writes “…In this piece I have focused on the most obvious image in the night sky – the Milky Way – and one image that is seen in the same way throughout the world.  I have futhur tried to include many generations of man, by including the oldest religious symbol know – the triple spiral, which has been adopted and used by many belief systems in our history.” 

The triple spiral is used in the background quilting of the piece, and in addition to beading the piece extensively (I would suggest that the beading is creating the “art” of the piece much more so than the quilting…)  the artist also used silver paint to expand the “milky way’ around from just the beads.

The eye is really drawn to the one very large glass piece which is not a bead I suppose – as it is sort of couched onto the quilt with silver threads, and framed in small white beads (possibly hiding the base of the silver threads?) Some of the larger white circles might also be buttons instead of beads, since they seem to be flat.  This is actually something that I think would be a lot of fun to try to reproduce.  It sure would be fun to collect all of the beads!

Milky Way