What does the last of the housewives do?

Category: Beading

Jewellery with a theme

The Moose’s school colours are black and white, and I have noticed that his teachers often dress in these colours. He has had two women help him enormously this year, so I’m going to be making black and white jewellery for them in appreciation of having to put up with the little so and so.

I have been spurred on by the fact that I’m going to a fundraising dinner tomorrow for which the theme is black and white. Jewellery always needs a test drive, so today I made a black and white pendant to wear once, then gift to the Moose’s mentor. If it survives the test drive.


It’s made with Swarovski crystal, Czech glass, Japanese delica size 15s and a gemstone called howlite. I normally net across these pendants like I have on the other pendant in this shot, but I don’t think I will for this one, it’s dramatic enough as it is. I wonder if I’ll have time to pump out some black and white earrings between basketball and tennis games tomorrow plus a Messiah rehearsal? I could if I kept them simple, but we all know how that will end.

Jewellery as Procrastination

When a housewife has clothes sorting, filing, banking, possibly writing an insurance policy for the choir and treating the dog for yeasty ears on her to do list, her thoughts naturally turn to beading. I actually have some commission work to do, but it’s stuff I’ve done before only in different colours and anyway, I have until Monday. I feel like making something new.

The apple is for size comparison, and because it is a lovely contrasting colour. I’m not totally convinced about the mustard coloured gemstone bead in the centre, but it’s a pretty good fit. The edge isn’t finished because I had the family demanding dinner, so I photographed it to blog about later tonight. Then they went in the pool.

The pattern is from the December 2010 Bead and Button magazine, and I’ve had my eye on it for a while. I’ve not done flat herringbone before, it worked up quite quickly. For those also attempting the pattern, I found that fifty six units wasn’t enough, I had to go for sixty. Also, I didn’t have size eight hex cut beads, but 1.5mm cube beads fit very nicely and still have a contrasting shape. This pattern is a keeper, I’m looking forward to making some in different colours, perhaps next time I have a Treasurer’s report due.

Excellent Earrings

I may have found the perfect earrings. Not in a shop of course, you can only get cheap plastic or vastly overpriced earrings in shops. I started out beading by making my own earrings, it’s very very very easy. These ones aren’t very easy, but I have been beading for some years now.

I must pay more attention to my backgrounds when I take a photo.

These are dangly, very neat looking and light. You can go nuts with the colours, because there are six in each dangle. I’ve been averaging a pair a day, and still want to make some in pink, in purple, in green, maybe a gold and cream. What I should actually be doing is some pendants I’ve been asked to make by a choir member and teacher’s end of year gifts, procrastination is my favourite way of doing things. If you want to make them yourself, have a look in the August/September edition of Beadwork magazine and look for the necklace that looks like a harlequin’s ruff. Why they did that to these terrific components, I don’t understand, they’re much better upside down as earrings.

My daughter tells me that she needs a pair of these for her teacher’s birthday. I don’t remember birthday present for teachers being part of the school arrangements, and besides, the ones she’s chosen (the red and orange ones) go perfectly with a crazy top my sister made me buy from French Connection. With a roll of the eyes and a yoink, they’re gone. Of course I can always make another pair. I’ll start on the pendants tomorrow.

Not procrastinating, beading

I have a Treasurer’s report to write for a committee meeting tomorrow, so I decide to spend the day beading. Come on, my Bead and Button subscription arrived yesterday and it’s actually warm enough to move around the house.

I really liked the look of the Autumnal Spheres project, I do love a beaded bead. After reading through the project, I realise that even though the instructions call them angular spheres, they’re actually cubes. That means you should really do them in delicas, they make a much nicer square. However, if you don’t read the instructions properly and additionally put the headpin through two corners that don’t turn out to be opposite one another, you get a lopsided mess. I wouldn’t recommend using three millimetre Swaros at the corners if you’re using delicas, they’re to big for the gaps. You could leave them out altogether if you wanted to emphasize the cubeyness.

And it’s a tiny bead, about thumbnail sized. I’m filing that one away for possibly redoing in bigger delicas, or maybe in square stitch. Then a bigger face could be supported.

What I was aiming for was a pair of earrings to wear tonight out to dinner with my mates. Still scratching the beaded bead itch, I dug out the components I made for the Galaxy bead featured in an early 2010 Bead and Button magazine. I just couldn’t get it looking right, but couldn’t bear to chop up the components. I had a crack at sewing four together for a pyramid beaded bead to hang upside down off an earring. I suppose you could call the result organic. You could also call it crap, but that would be rude.

I was being too elaborate. So I just took one of the components and did a picot around the edge and hung a tourmaline Swaro off the bottom. I’m pretty sure you can’t get them any more, so I’m careful where I use them. Bingo. Now I just need to to make the other one and find an outfit that goes with them. No, that is not the wrong way around.


View from the choir

A friend once asked me, knowing me to be musical, if I was in a rock band when at Uni. Not me, I was in the madrigals group. I like my music complicated, I like to perform stuff that takes months to learn, and I like it to be a couple of hundred years old. Anything that’s still being performed after two hundred years must be good.

Our concert was yesterday afternoon. We generally start with an overture that doesn’t involve us, so we sit on our chairs trying hard not to scratch or cough. I like to spend the time looking over the sea of grey heads that comprises our audience. I like to spot the woman who has come to every concert, always sits in the front row and always falls into a restful slumber about thirty seconds in. She’s not even particularly old.

Of course, performing what we’ve been working hard on for months is always terrific too, but I love watching the soloists. Our bass soloist this time was fascinating. He’s very tall, with quite a small head. During rehearsals he was wearing a large jacket which gave him the appearance of actually being composed of two smaller basses, one standing on the other’s shoulders. He also had the habit of either buckling at the knees while singing or standing on his toes. It was as if whoever was holding his string wasn’t concentrating very hard. I was delighted to see this habit was taken into the concert.

Our conductor is a man with very high blood pressure, coupled with the artistic temperament. He’s the only person I’ve ever seen actually foam at the mouth. Many of our concerts feature our chamber choir singing a piece that’s a bit too tricky for the whole choir to sing, and so it was in this concert. We’ve worked very hard on this piece and our focus is sharpened as we all wonder if this is the concert where blood will start pouring out of his ears because we’ve over pronounced a B. Fortunately it wasn’t, and we made it through the piece without the organist smashing her fists into the keyboard like she did in rehearsals. A lovely time was had by all, and we get a week off to rest the tonsils before starting off on the Brahms Requiem.

I didn’t end up wearing the pendant I posted I last week’s blog, I wore this:

I’d started it weeks ago and finished it during the Moose’s juggling class in the morning and during the time I’d set aside to iron school shirts. You never really grow out of procrastination.


One’s choir is singing in a grand concert on Sunday and one wishes for some sparkly neckwear. Our choir likes to put on the dog, we invite the State Governor (and she’s coming!), we kit ourselves out in academic gowns and we sing in Latin. My academic gown and hood are red, a result of hanging around at Uni for so long they gave me a PhD to get rid of me. And look at me now, a blogging housewife. But if anyone ever wants to know the characteristics of the liquid crystal smectic C phase, I’m ready, I’m right there. I digress.

What with the gown, the hood and the white collared shirt, there’s only a small patch of neck real estate to decorate. Here’s the design I usually like to wear, I thought I’d go for a neutral this time:


Hmm, might use a proper camera for future jewellery photography. These pendants take me about two hours to make. It’s a bit hard to tell, what with pausing to hang out the washing, removing the cat from my jumper, cursing and leaping to my feet to get the washing in when it starts to rain. I need a stopwatch. The assortment on the left of the photo is an idea for the next one. I’ve made them in lots of different colours, but they make such good gifts that I don’t usually have many on hand. The last one I made I sold while wearing it, which is always a pleasing yet awkward experience.

I think this one has a bit of a Jazz age feel, with the warm greys and the pearls. I’m going to take it for a test run at tonight’s dress rehearsal.