Friday, July 31, 2009

Crocheting with Wire

Good morning folks. Can't believe it is Friday already. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Since I have started crocheting with wire, I have wanted to see what other wires are like and yesterday I visited a local bead shop to see what wire and beads they had. Beads, beads and more beads, and everything related to working with them. I was greeted by a nice sales lady and she asked if I needed help. I told her that I wanted to see their wire and also said I was interested in buying some beads. She showed me where the wire was, different types, colors, etc. Suggested I put my purse in a locker, so I did. Got a key to put around my wrist. Interesting, as I've never had to do that before, but I can certainly understand it with the merchandise they had, semi-precious stones, crystals, gold, silver. She gave me a little basket, with a magic marker, and some little plastic zip-lock bags.

Then she left me to do my browsing and figuring out what I wanted. I went into the shop with a certain amount of $ I wanted to spend, and only went over that amount by $3. I got three spools of wire, three different gauges, 26, 28, and 30. Then I checked out beads. I wanted a variety. I found a basket of 3" tubes which said buy one, get one free. Yippee, I thought, this is right up my ally, so I began looking through the basket and came up with four I liked and wanted to work with. Then I found another little basket of tiny zip lock bags of beads and bought two of them. I was happy with my purchases and could hardly wait to get back home.

Crocheting with wire is definitely NOT the same as crocheting with thread. It's stiffer, and harder on your hands, plus it's really hard to get the tension right. I read in a book on crocheting with wire, that part of the beauty of working with it is the uneveness of the stitches.

My nickel wire is very fine, gauge 34, and from 1928. Crocheted pieces with it are gossamer looking. When DH first saw me crocheting with it, he said "What are you crocheting with, hair?" He had given me this spool out of his workshop, as he didn't think he would be doing anything with it.

The 26 gauge wire was the hardest to work with and was really rough on my fingers. I'm not sure I'll be working with that size all that much.

Another thing, crocheting with beads is new for me also and I enjoy it. But stringing these tiny holed beads is time consuming and hard on the eyes, so I wear my stronger glasses for this work.

Anyway, yesterday was a productive day in creating pieces with wire.

Here are some pictures, which you can click on for a larger viewing.


My workspace is in our little library, where my computer also is.

Here is a picture of my wire and 'some' of the beads.

Nickel wire pieces, 34 gauge size wire.

These I made last week or the week before.

This is made with the heavier wire which is 26 gauge.

This one is made with 30 gauge.

This last one is with 28 gauge.

The tiny baskets are about 1 1/2 inches tall.

That's it for now. I have got to do a few things before I head off to work this morning. I work part-time managing an antique shop. Today my fingers will get a rest from working with wire.

Forgive the quality of the pictures of my pieces, I've still got to get the knack of taking pictures of them.

Thanks for looking. I will have these pieces for sale in my Etsy Shop, which is also called Plum Cottage Creations.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Creative Haven

Welcome to Plum Cottage. We have lived in our little cottage 37 years this summer. It wasn't until a few years ago that we named our cottage and it was inspired by the paint color. We had it specially made up at a paint store and the man named it part of our last name and plum, so Plum Cottage came to be.

DH and I have made things with our hands since we were children. A neighbor lady taught me to knit when I was 10, but I gave that up as my tension was too tight and dropping too many stitches. But, in spite of those two things, my love of working with threads began.

I learned how to crochet the summer I was 15. My step grandmother taught me how and I've been 'hooked' and have enjoyed it ever since. I have done embroidery since around that time also.

It was while a young Navy wife, that I took up knitting again, taught by my ne
ighbor/friend, also a Navy wife. We spent many hours knitting together while our husbands worked.

I tried crocheting with wire for the first time, last year. I crocheted a pansy. The wire is from a very old spool from 1928, and is nickel. The gauge is 34, very fine. I didn't do much with it until recently when I tried my hand at miniature baskets and adding beads also. It was my first time crocheting with beads and I enjoy that very much. Working with wire is totally different than working with thread. Nickel is not a soft wire, can kink and is somewhat hard on the fingers, and hooks too no doubt.

DH has worked with wood since a young lad, and was taught and encouraged to paint in oil paints by his paternal grandmother while he was young. Over the years he has done wood carvings, lucite etchings, etchings in shell, concrete sculpture, marble scu
lpture. He has also built a workshop, a pole barn, a storage building, and remodeled our cottage, plus built different hardscape projects for our gardens.

He has also done antique restoration, and we had an antique shop for 8 years. We also had a picture framing shop for awhile. It was while in our picture framing shop that he encouraged me to paint, (since I was always doodling with pen or pencil on paper), and he would frame them. What a thrill when they started to sell. I started out with pen, ink and watercolors. I still do watercolors. My paintings are miniature in size. Haven't painted any in quite sometime, but have been getting the urge to pick up brushes again.

When I got my first computer and printer about 10 years ago, I wanted to be able to make and sell note cards. I painted in different art programs in the computer, and printed out cards. Then when we got our first digital camera I started making cards with photos of flowers and butterflies from our gardens.

We have always enjoyed working with our hands and still do. It is a blessing and I am thankful for the ability to do the different things that we do.

Over the past few years gardening has become my favorite hobby. Photography has become another hobby I love.

Thank you for visiting.

"Today is life - the only life you are sure of.
Make the most of today.
Get interested in something.
Shake yourself awake.
Develop a hobby.
Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you.
Live today with gusto."
Dale Carnegie