Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beaded Ribbon and wire crochet Earrings in Pink! Crochet with Mommy Tyme Gifts!














I love FaveCrafts, don't you?  I am always browsing around and finding awesome new ideas or techniques.  Well, I have been thinking about sharing some of my own patterns with my readers here, and thought that it might be cool to get published at FaveCrafts, also!  So, for my first attempt at publishing a pattern/tutorial with Fave Crafts, I am offering up my Pink Ribbon and Wire Beaded Crochet Earrings.  I recently showed these on my other blog, but I haven't had a chance to share them here- so, let's get started.....

Pink beaded ribbon and wire crochet earrings- They are truly not difficult to make, just a little awkward in managing the tension and holding the ribbon as you work.  I actually became addicted to this new technique and have made several other pairs of earrings this week using a few types of ribbon, some with beads and some without, and differing shapes.   I should note, however, that I have seen several different crochet with ribbon jewelry items out in the Crafty Corners of the web- but, I have not seen any that include the wire, nor that use the same pattern I have come up with.  I have found some that use about twice as many beads, and that stick with slip stitches for a tighter more "beaded" look.  I was going for a flower motif with these, but the point I am trying to make is... once you get the stitches and feel of how these materials blend when working with them, you can really go any direction with it.  Create pendants, trivets, bracelets, whatever... limit yourself only by the constraints of your imagination!  So, now let's get busy....

Materials:
ribbon-these are created with a satin ribbon about 1/2" wide.  To start with, though, I would use the thinnest ribbon you can (about a 1/8" width) so that it does not get so twisted and difficult to manage 
thin wire for jewelry making
beads (use a bead you are comfortable with for your first project- and keep in mind if you are creating earrings- too big will be too heavy on the ears!)  I used approximately 14 small white acrylic beads because they are so lightweight. 
crochet hook - I used a size F

Let's get started! 

1.  String your small beads onto the wire, keeping the wire attached to the spool.  Wrap the wire back onto the spool once you have the beads loaded.
2.  Keeping the ribbon attached to the spool, grab your ribbon and the end of your wire and make a slip  knot.  Slide your hook in to make the first chain.
3.  Holding both the wire and the ribbon together make a chain stitch.  Next make a beaded chain stitch (to make a beaded chain stitch, slide the bead up to your work so that it is laying next to the hook, crochet the chain by grasping your ribbon/wire just past the bead and pulling through your loop.  It is literally the same as making a regular chain but just utilizing the ribbon/wire from past the bead for the next stitch. 
4.  Make another chain stitch without the bead.  Make another beaded chain stitch.  You should have a chain of 4 stitches- 2 with beads and 2 without. 
5.  Slip stitch into your first chain to make a loop
6.  Chain 1, then bead single crochet into the loop.  To make the bead single crochet you are making a single crochet but pushing the bead up close to your hook first, then completely the single crochet so that the bead lies on the opposite side of your work when you complete the stitch.  (a little more technical for those who may be feeling uncomfortable with the bead stitches:  push the bead up close to your hook and keeping the bead in that position, take your hook and go into the center of the loop- NOT INTO A STITCH OF THE LOOP BUT IN THE CENTER OF THE LOOP, Yo, draw loop up and now you have your one loop with a bead and one without on your hook, yo and pull through both loops.  Your bead should be sitting on the back of your work.)
7.  Bead single crochet into your loop 4 more times.  You now have 5 BSC around the loop.
8.  Slip stich into the top of the first bsc to complete the round
9.  chain 2 (counts as first dbc).  This round we are doing the same thing as last round but making double crochet stitches and increasing. To make the bead double crochet stitch, push bead close to hook, yo, insert into stitch indicated, yo, pull through stitch, yo and pull through first two loops, yo, pull through last two loops (the last one has the bead) and your bead should be on the opposite side of your work.   So, bead double crochet into the same stitch you did your chain 2 with to start this round.  Bead double crochet into next stitch of the previous round.  Double crochet into same stitch you just completed then bead double crochet chain into.  Bead double crochet into next stitch, then double crochet into same chain.  Continue until you go all the way around. You are basically stitching 2 double crochet into each stitch of the previous round- one with a bead and one without.   Slip stitch to top of first dbc of this round.  You should now have 10 stitches. 
10.  chain 1, then slip stitch around the entire piece.
11. Cut your ribbon and wire from your work leaving about a 4" tail.  Tie off.  Hide your wires and ribbon ends, cut close.  You may want to put a dab of glue on the back side to hide the ribbon end.
12.  Turn your work over so the beads are showing.  Insert earring hooks through any of the last round of slip stitches. Make sure the hooks, when inserted, have the end of the hook facing to the wrong side (side without beads showing) so when worn the beaded side will be facing outward.

That's it!  Questions?  Piece of cake once you started, right? 

Well, Have fun with it!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Getting to know the Squids ... Squidoo Hop? Create a lens to market yourself

Well, recently I find that I spend most of my time creating and barely any time marketing- which, unfortunately, now I have a lot of items in my stores but my sales are just not coming through.  It really is amazing how much can change if you take a few weeks off from promoting yourself.  Well, it happened this weekend I was checking out a few blogs and browsing some linky party entries (which I just love to see what everyone has created recently!) and I stumbled across an entry by a Bit of Sunshine at Poetic Creations.  One thing led to another, and I followed links to an awesome post and idea for Squidoo hops!  Squidoo is an amazing opportunity for learning and promoting- plus, you can even make a little money if you get enough viewers!  I have several squidoo lenses and it seems I am constantly adding more information to each one as I come across it- but, I rarely promote them.  I love to browse through the lenses other people have created, too.  Especially if you are looking for crafting tutorials.  Because squidoo has a template and several modules that are structured to organize the information efficiently.  Many modules are set up to do step by step presentations of the information, others allow you to add links to a list (which is really cool because you can add the "add to my lens" bookmarklet to your toolbar and as you find interesting and applicable things on the web you can just add them to your list), and some even feed your blog, your Etsy, and other information about YOU to the lens.

The Squid Hop promoted by Marsha's Spot and A Bit of Sunshine at Poetic Creations  offer s you a chance to talk about your lenses, and hopefully find some new readers.  Exactly the same as a Blog Hop, but you are talking about  the lenses you  have created.  So, I want to take a minute and let you know about a few of mine..

I recently created  a lens about Mixed Media and Altered Art techniques.  I have talked a lot lately about my fascination with collage and mixed media, especially in jewelry!   I happened to have a canvas lying around and a few months ago I saw this cool technique in Cloth, Paper, Scissors for adding texture.  I did a piece on my canvas that started with the technique I read about, and then just emerged into several other techniques.  I was so in to working on this project I could not leave it alone.  I would be up until 3 in the morning and
not even realize it.  I am addicted.  Since then, I have tried to learn EVERYTHING I can, and as I find new information, great links, fascinating and inspiring examples- I was bookmarking them!  Then, I thought, why not create a lens so everyone can catch the bug ?  So, here is the link:  http://www.squidoo.com/mixed-media-art---jewelry-wall-art-collage-journaling-and-so-much-more   

 The next lens I would like to share is Marketing you Handmade- and of course, this one arose from necessity.  When I first began my venture of selling my products, it was SLOW moving.  I almost gave up- but, I happened to join a few Ning networks that were great communities for supporting and promoting one another.  I began to feel a little more confident and the sales started coming.  But, it is never a stagnate process.  Once you start creating and selling your creations, you learn very quickly that you have to change it up frequently.  I am not talking about changing the product (although, sometimes you have to do that, too!) I am referring to how you get your product "out there" for the world to see.  Simply opening a store front is not going to get the viewers you need or want- and there is constantly new social networks, new advertising, new ideas (like this Squid hop!) that can offer you great opportunities.  So, the Marketing lens gives you some basic First Steps, and then moves on to a variety of ideas on keeping your name in the current scene.  I am always adding to it as I find new links, pages, blogs, etc. that can help you along!  So, check it out at http://www.squidoo.com/selling-and-marketing-handmade


And- there is a module on this lens where you can Add your shop name and URL to the list!

So, are you thinking you might want to join the Squid Ranks?  Ready to create a lens about your shop?  Something you are an Expert on?  Have advice to share?  Well, it is free- Easy- and once you start, I guarantee you will be hooked!  Here is a link to get you going: 
http://www.squidoo.com/lensmaster/referral/MommyTyme

And if you want some Squidly advice from the pro's... Check out these blogs:
http://marshasspot.blogspot.com/
http://cafepressabitosunshine.blogspot.com/2011/02/hop-and-squidoo-with-marshas-spot.html?showComment=1297609055940#c8111127928410555951

And finally, once you get a lens up and running- or if you already have one- join the link hop:
 

Also, if you have a lens- make sure to add it to my lists on my squid lenses and I will come back and lens roll you- and feel free to add your URL here in the comments- so I can find and "Like" you!


           










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