Charms and Gems


Since I could not actually swear to having bought pearl beads in Des Moines, I went on an Ebay mission to look for replacements. Trawling Ebay is always fatal as I tend to get a little carried away with browsing for things that I did not know I needed. I managed to find some reasonably priced cultured pearls AND some other beads, obviously. Unfortunately, I found myself buying a vintage charm bracelet. It arrived safely and was absolutely lovely but when I put it on I realised that it was not really my style. I decided to put it back on Ebay rater than leave it unworn in a drawer so hopefully I won’t make too much of a loss! Instead, I bought a couple of new beads for the Chamilia bracelet that I bought in Houston and I intend to wear that one more often.


I decided to work on the white goatskin and silver spandex project this week so I experimented with pressing hard with a ballpoint pen through the Celtic circle patterns that I had drawn to emboss what I wanted to stitch. It was really hard to see so I sketched some more details in using a frixion pen. For some reason, the ruler base kept getting stuck on the plasticky spandex side so I had to quilt everything totally freehand, even the circle outlines. Despite being a fairly substantial leather, it quilted beautifully but I think I prefer the silver side which is actually the back of the project.


I made a trip to “Treasures”, an amazingly jam-packed tiny gem shop in Kincardine O’Neil and bought some strands of amythest, rose quartz and turquoise chips to hand sew onto my leather projects. I left them a very old glass bead necklace that had been broken for years to see if they could fix it up for me. I asked for their expert opinion checking that the gems I wanted to use would have been available to Vikings or Celts and they confirmed that the stones I had picked were either Scottish or could be found in countries where the Norse people traded.


I managed to spend a little while painting white pearlescent paint inside all of the circles and then I hand-sewed a ring of tiny gem chips around one of the circles. It took me quite a long time as I don’t do much hand sewing at all but I got neater and faster and I think  the embellished circle looks terrific. I bent my ridiculously thin beading needle by poking it in and out of the quilted leather but it was relatively easy and I did not even have to use a thimble. I can’t help thinking how long the chamois corracle will take to bead though!

The revised entry forms arrived for Festival of Quilts and make me wonder HOW I intend to send them my large 3D items. They have to be with the exhibitors a few weeks beforehand and the in-person drop off depots are in the south of England. I wonder if a corracle would fit into a washing machine box?

Meanwhile I enquired about a small business loan to upgrade my longarm machine, attempted to set up a business spreadsheet, applied for a part-time local teaching job and received an email about The Yurt Book from a small independent publisher so I could hardly be accused of twiddling my thumbs…

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