The finger huggers!

January 21, 2009

Thanks to a recent Monday holiday with our work, Mr. Ballet Flat and I conquered a pretty huge task on our wedding to-do list: the rings.

My ring was easy to find. All I wanted it to do was to match my engagement ring. Mr. Ballet Flat did so great with this ring…I still get compliments on it!!

So, the jewelers found my exact match, and here’s a similar picture of what it will look like.

myring
Image source

I did find out some funny news at the store. My e-ring has been a little loose, so they re-sized me and I went down a ring size! When it gets closer to the wedding, I’ll have my e-ring rhodium dipped and re-sized. My e-ring is a size 7 and we ordered the wedding band in a size 6.5. I’m not sure if this has anything to do with weight loss or not…

**By the way, as of today, I’m 10 lbs. down from when I blogged about finding motivation. Thanks hive for the support!!**

Now, for Mr. Ballet Flat. He tried on many rings, and after pondering over a hammered texture gold band and a titanium ring,  he chose the titanium ring. Main reason? Titanium doesn’t scratch :).

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Image source

Isn’t the cord in that ring super cool? It’s real cord in there, and yes, Mr. Ballet Flat is going for a little bling too. 🙂

I can’t wait until our rings come in. This was definitely one of those moments where things started to feel more and more real.

What were one of your planning moments where it really started to feel more real?


Making my Bridesmaids’ Necklaces

November 8, 2008

You might remember how I made my bridesmaids’ earrings a little over a month ago. Well, I finally found a weekend to muster up the patience to finish my bridesmaids’ necklaces. I say patience, because, well, looking for those tiny holes to line a piece of wire to isn’t that easy and can become a little daunting on the eyes. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m really pleased with the way these turned out. Now that I think back a few months when I was originally thinking of their jewelry, I really can’t imagine their jewelry any other way! I love it!

This pattern took quite a few tries to work up. If it wasn’t for Miss K (one of my bridesmaids) and Mr. Ballet Flat, however, this pattern would not exist! So, BIG Kudos to them!!

Here’s the supply list:

Beads

4mm bicone swarovski crystal beads
(I purchased blue zirconia, crystal and smoked topaz beads)
4mm swarovski pearls (I purchased brown)
3mm bali daisy beads (I found 3mm at a local bead shop, though I think 3.5mm would be okay)
2 crimp beads
2mm round silver beads

Tools
scissors
Pliers (I used bent nose here – to close crimp beads and work with jump rings)

Other supplies

1 set of toggle clasps
1 fleur de lis charm
1 jump ring
Soft Flex Wire (diameter .014 in)

18″ Pattern (from clasp to clasp):
Two round silver beads

Two brown pearls, bali bead, teal crystal, bali bead, three brown pearls, bali bead, teal crystal, bali bead, two brown pearls, bali bead, brown crystal**, bali bead

**alternate brown crystal with crystal colored crystal here

Repeat 2 times. Add two brown pearls, bali bead, teal crystal, bali bead, three brown pearls, bali bead, teal crystal, bali bead, two brown pearls, bali bead. Then, add brown crystal, crystal colored crystal, teal crystal, bali bead, two round silver beads (this right here marks the middle of the necklace). Then, add a teal crystal, crystal colored crystal, brown crystal, then bali bead.

Two brown pearls, bali bead, teal crystal, bali bead, three brown pearls, bali bead, teal crystal, bali bead, two brown pearls, bali bead, crystal colored crystal**, bali bead

**alternate crystal colored crystal with brown crystal here

Repeat 2 times.

End with two brown pearls, bali bead, teal crystal, bali bead, three brown pearls, bali bead, teal crystal, bali bead, two brown pearls, two round silver beads.

NOTE: I did have to make this to a 20″ necklace for some bridesmaids. To do this, repeat the pattern 1 more time on both sides! 🙂

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Here are the supplies all laid out. I have a previously made necklace on the bead board to help me lay out the pattern for the next necklace.

You will first want to cut about a 25″ piece of wire. Then string the crimp bead on the wire, add the toggle clasp on. Then, loop the wire around the toggle clasp and back through the crimp bead, as shown. You only need to leave an inch or two in excess because you will be cutting it off.
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Then, using pliers, “crimp” the bead as close to the clasp as possible. You really want as seamless of a gap here as you can get, so the clasp doesn’t feel super loose.
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I didn’t do this in the pictures yet, but using the scissors, cutting as close to the crimp bead as possible, cut the excess piece of wire.
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You can see in the picture above what I mean by only leaving an inch or two extra when you originally string on the toggle clasp and crimp bead. You are only stringing beads on one wire once you get the ball rolling. Follow the pattern above for the necklace.

Then, add a crimp bead, the closing end of the clasp, and same as before, loop the wire around the clasp, stringing the rest of the wire back into the crimp bead. Make sure you leave as little excess wire as possible in the necklace so there are no gaps in the necklace.
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Cut the excess wire off the end of the crimp bead and voila! You’re ALMOST done! Now, all you have to do is open the jump ring with pliers, loop in the charm, then put the jump ring on the necklace (where the two middle round silver beads are), and close the jump ring on the necklace.

Hehe…now you’re really done!

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Now, here’s my super proud Ballet Flat self holding all four of the DIY necklaces!

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Now, I think, unfortunately, my bridesmaids were the easy ones. I can only imagine how much fun I will have trying to make the perfect pattern for my jewelry! I’m already second guessing a pattern I started on a while back!

Have any of you DIY’ers found a task daunting, but in the end, found it TOTALLY worth it? 🙂


Making my bridesmaids’ earrings..

September 28, 2008

Being that our wedding colors are teal and brown, I found it very complicated to find jewelry in those colors that was formal and wedding ready. So, what’s a bride to do? DIY!

I haven’t made jewelry since the friendship bracelet days in elementary school.

Image source

Remember these? Ahh…childhood days!

However, I thought, well, maybe I could try this. If it doesn’t work out, no harm done! If it works out, one less thing to shop for!

I knew I wanted simple dangle earrings for my bridesmaids that would work with my plan of combining swarovski crystals with pearls in their necklaces. So, I started my search looking through my bridal magazines for inspiration. So, this is what I came up with after playing around with bead patterns.

There is a little bit of a sneak peek of the necklace to show how well it matches with the earrings. (Sorry about how dark it is..I couldn’t find very good natural light at the time.)

These, at first, took a little bit of practice. To me, making loops was tricky. I should have practiced on plain wire, since two headpins did break in the process of the constant unbending and rebending to get a decent looking loop.

In my frustration, I found this great video on Fire Mountain Gems on how to make a simple loop right here. This was after scouring Youtube for how-to videos, which were causing some frustration for me, as well as broken headpins. So, thank you Fire Mountain Gems for helping a bride out! The thumbnail trick in this video is what really worked for me in making loops on the wire.

So, now that I have taught myself the techniques, here is the supply list, pattern and step by step pictures of how I made my earrings.

Wire

* Silver headpins (one per earring but buy extras if you mess up!)
Headpins are pieces of wire with this little metal edge on the end to catch beads that you string on it.
* Ball and Coil earring posts

Here they are pictured above.

Pliers

* Cutting pliers (to cut excess wire)
* Round nose pliers (to make the loop)
* Flat nose pliers (to bend wire and to close the loop)

Beads
* 4mm bicone swarovski crystals (two needed of different colors per earring)
* 4mm swarovski pearls (one needed per earring)
* 6mm round swarovski crystals (one needed per earring)
* 3mm bali silver plated beads. These are very thin spacer beads. (two needed per earring)
* 3mm silver round beads (one needed per earring)

Pattern (from bottom to top)
3mm silver round bead, 4mm swarovski pearl, 3mm bali bead, 4mm bicone swarovski crystal (color 1), 6mm round swarovski crystal, 3mm bali bead, 4mm bicone swarovski crystal (color 2)

By the way, for these pictures, I’m making some LSU earrings, but in the same pattern. I made all my bridesmaids’ earrings during Hurricane Ike and didn’t think to take pictures.

Place your beads on the headpin in the pattern.

Using your flat nose pliers, bend the wire on top of the last bead at a 90 degree angle.

Using your cutting pliers, cut excess wire to where there is about 3/8 – 1/2 inch of wire remaining.

Put your thumbnail in the corner under the 90 degree bend, and at the same time, using your round nose pliers, grasp the end of the wire. Then, use the pliers to turn the wire in a complete loop. The thumbnail trick really  helps to center the loop over the headpin and beads. (Sorry I couldn’t take a picture of this for you…I only have two hands and no tripod!)

Add the ball and coil earring post to the loop before closing it up with the flat nose pliers.

So, repeat this one more time, and VOILA! A pair of simple, formal earrings!!

Have you attempted DIYing with a craft that you haven’t tried before? How did it go?


Did you miss me?

September 8, 2008

Hehe..just kidding. I do have an excuse for my absence, I promise!!

May I introduce to you the man that took over my life (and millions of others)..no, not David Beckham, gosh!

Gustav…ugh!

Source: NASA/Wunderground

So, Gustav made landfall in Louisiana, where I’m from, on Labor Day (sheesh, thanks a lot!). My family evacuated to Joey’s house, which ironically got hit harder than New Orleans. People are gonna be without power for up to 3 weeks. Probably about 80% of the nation is unaware of this, because they concentrated on the levees in New Orleans holding up (which they did). However, say a prayer for Baton Rouge and other parishes…this storm was brutal! I didn’t want to take damage photos of other’s property to respect privacy during this sad time, but I can say Oak trees that were over 100 years old were uprooted.

Things you don’t think of are the lines. Here are some examples of the waits!

1. We waited in line at Whole Foods (only place guaranteed to have ice) for 2 hours two days after the storm.
2. Joey and I waited in line at Jambalaya Shoppe for almost 2 hours as well the day after the storm to get a hot meal for the family.
3. Lines for gas were 4-5 hrs. long. People with generators had to fill up their cans and some people plainly didn’t care to fill up before the storm.  (thank GOD we filled up before!)

Anyways, enough of my rant…back to wedding planning stuff.

During Gustav, I was pretty productive. Wedding wise, I made one set of jewelry for my bridesmaids. While this sounds not so productive, you have to understand, I kept second guessing myself!! Believe it or not, Joey had some input on the jewelry design and ultimately, some of his ideas were used!!

Check out the bling and let me know what you think!!

Are you considering DIYing your jewelry for you and/or your bridal party?


Slowly planning the jewelry for my girls….

August 20, 2008

Planning for the big day has been pretty slow lately. In 3 days, it will be 9 months until I’m walking down the aisle. Crazy eh? This planning seems to have no end to it, and I’ve been a dedicated planner for 5 months now! Time is flying, don’t get me wrong, but I wish I could get married in quicker than 9 months. We wanna start our lives together NOW! *stomps on floor*

Some little things are in the works though. I purchased all my beads, wires, rubber duckies (j/k), doo-hickies necessary to make my jewelry and my BM’s jewelry. Now, I’ve reached a point of, oh gosh, what crystal combo looks best…would it clash, would they ever wear it again? Bleh… so needless to say, my beads and buckets of fun sit in a nice organizer until I have the patience to just deal with it, bite the bullet and make them! I hold an unsafe obsession with the fleur de lis lately..so I bought about 15 fleur de lis charms from a local bead shop to incorporate into the jewelry (tastefully). I don’t want the girls to feel like they are at a Saints’ game for crying out loud!

For my bridesmaids’ necklace, here is my inspiration from Etsy. Her prices for me are a little out of budget, and that’s why I decided to DIY here…I’m going to use fake swarovski pearls instead of freshwater to save a little dough.

So, here arises my dilemma…notice the swarovski crystals in the middle of the 3 pearl series on the necklace? Well, I have 3 colors of crystal…blue zircon, smoked topaz and crystal. I’m not sure if all three look good together, two look together or one looks good on its own with the pearls. The pearls are dark brown..check out the bead colors and let me know what you think would look best on a woman wearing a teal tea-length dress…

So, there is my dilemma…ugh. You can see why I’m taking my time here. I want my girls to want to wear this jewelry and not think it was made by a doofus. Ugh…

Oh well…anyone have suggestions for me? 🙂