Loom beading for Connor

Part of the fun of making costumes, whether for cosplay or Halloween, is that I like to try new things to make them more authentic. In making the Connor costume for the Boy, there are LOTS of new things to try. It is pretty involved. This post is about the Native American arm beading on the jacket at the biceps:

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So, I bought a loom.

It is a pretty basic loom, but it can adjust to be pretty big. I didn’t realize when I first strung the loom threads that I could make it smaller. First timer mistake, of course. There are lots of different types of looms, but you also don’t need a loom. You can string your threads on other things. Just go to Youtube. They will show you the way.

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There are many free bead patterns online, so I gave one a whirl. It is too wide and too “fancy” with the glass beads, but that was alright. I could make it into something for me.

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On a side note, I love You Tube for finding tutorials on how to do things. I found several on how to finish it off, so that was great to find that information. I found this one for making it into a bracelet with leather on the ends. I used some E6000 glue that I already had to glue the sheeting and then the leather onto the bracelet. After the glue had cured for a few days, I sewed the leather more securely onto the bracelet.

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Side note: Make sure the glue is dry and cured before you try doing anything or else you may end up pulling off the sheeting. Learn from my mistakes.

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Next version, I bought regular beads. I found a pattern similar to the one used for Connor, and just changed up the colors to match better. The bead patterns are like paint colors in a house. You need to look at the bones and pick your own colors. Don’t focus on how someone else colored up the pattern.

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I sewed the finished projects onto leather, after I had glued the ends and allowed it to dry. You have to use a pliers at times to pull the needle through the leather. This is not a quick process. When I was sewing through one layer of leather it went fairly easily, but where it was doubled up I needed pliers most of the time.

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Since I already had the plenty of threading available to do another bracelet after the two above, I started on one more with some pretty beads I had purchased. I wanted this one to be longer, and wrap around my wrist twice.

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When I was finished, I glued it onto leather but did not give it enough time to dry. I had also made it too small. I ended up pulling out the sheeting when I tried it on. Gah! So…lots and lots of glue to hopefully keep it together, and I sewed it on well.

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So…step #1 of Connor is done…only about 30 more things to go!

I have pretty much all of the supplies I need to make the Connor costume. I am still working out exactly how the jacket/vest is supposed to be put together, as it has a lot of layers. I think we will have to go on the day of the kid’s costume contest, since it is going to be pretty cool when it is all completed.

I need to get going on these costumes. I only have about two months, and the girl wants to be Maleficent. Those horns…ugh.

Layering

I recently found a jewelry website that has statement necklaces, earrings, etc.  They like to layer their necklaces, which I just LOVE.  I go there and try not to buy the entire store, since there are so many pieces that I just need.  So far…I have kept myself in check.  That is pretty tough, though.  I love jewelry!

The pointy necklace is from their online store.  Love!

Top – Retail…somewhere in the long, lost past

Skirt – Made by Me

Pointy necklace and earrings – Bauble Bar

Shoes – Naughty Monkey

Silver/Gold necklace – Silpada

Watch – Montana Silversmiths

Hair – Three braids on top and then everything into a bun.  I put a deep part in my hair along the side and braid until just past my ear.  After the sides are braided, I braid the top about the same distance.  I pull out my fringe a bit to get a “poof” in front and then I twisted them all up into a loose bun on top.  These hairstyles really show when I need to dye my hair.  Hello roots!

Trouser capris…yea or nay?

In CAbi’s new fall line they had gauchos.  Really?  Aren’t gauchos about 10 years ago?  They aren’t coming back are they?

I feel almost the same way about these capris.  Not sure if they are still “in” anymore.  Being that I am not in a fashion mecca, I seem to be out of the know in some of these things.

The necklaces are made from supplies I purchased at a Michaels craft store.  I couldn’t find a statement necklace in this shade of blue, so I made one.  I probably would have saved money by not making it, but at least it is all uniquely mine!  I actually have another one that I made, but the fastener broke off on it.  I need to fix it now (which should take about 30 seconds…why do I procrastinate on those tasks??).  Wearing all three necklaces together gets a bit heavy, though.  Those big glass beads are not exactly light all together.

Oh, and Fall weather appears to be here to stay…thus, out comes the sweaters!

Sweater – Express

Blue Shell – Ann Taylor LOFT

Black capris – Ann Taylor LOFT

Boots – The Cool People

Necklace – Made by Me

Earrings – Silpada

Hair – A quick messy bun on top

 

Garnets and roses

I have tried just about every type of crafting/creative endeavor.  I love art and creating things.  What I didn’t get a chance to do in school art classes, I have tried in my adult life.  One of those was making jewelry with gemstones and beads.  I’d love to learn how to make jewelry with metals and soldering tools.  That’s on the list.

This necklace I made probably 10 years ago.  It features rough cut cheap garnets from a wholesale Thailand distributor.  They weren’t overly expensive to buy that way.  I did try to sell my wares, but didn’t make enough to cover my cost.  I gave it up, so now I only make jewelry when the urge hits.  I’ve got all the supplies I need now!

Black top – LOFT

Black Jacket – CAbi

Skirt – TJ Maxx

Shoes – Carlos Santana

Jewelry – Made by Me

Hair – Braid waves from putting it in braids before I went to bed.  Then I put my fringe into a short braid up top and puffed it out a bit by pulling on it.  My hair is definitely starting to lose that “just dyed” red look.  It has gotten more reddish brown.

 

Feeling the Maxi love

I love maxi skirts, but I always make sure I have some sort of fitted top when I wear them.  Otherwise they just seem “too much”.

Here are two of them that I made in the last few weeks…

I decided to make a skirt to match a pink top I had made (before trying it on and seeing that it didn’t fit).  I think this is some type of linen, since it certainly wrinkles like it.  I bought it several years ago, so I’m not sure what it is anymore.  It doesn’t have much give to it at all, so I cut the waistband on the bias.  I still put a zipper in the back, though.  Hindsight being what it is, I did not need to cut it on the bias.  It would have fit fine without the extra stretch and would have laid better.  I did 3 gored panels on the front and back, and this skirt took a good 3 yards of fabric to make it.  It ended up just a little big, so I threw it in the dryer in the hope that it would shrink up a bit.  For some reason I didn’t wash this fabric when I first got it (unlike most of my fabric).  It seems to have shrunk up a little and is so much softer.  Like lovely soft, and I am sure will be worn much this summer with sandals and a fitted top.

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Skirt: Made by Me
Fitted Black Shell: CAbi
Black long-sleeved top: Ann Taylor LOFT (I think??)
Earrings/Necklace: Silpada
Boots: Vivona by the Cool People

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This next one is made out of stretch jersery.  This fabric was in the box of one-off fabric runs at the fabric store.  I like to dive into that big box to see what they have, since you can find some interesting pieces in there.  I think many are one of a kind samples.

I based this skirt off a pattern for the skirt in the previous post, and just elongated it.  My first attempt with the skirt was with a foldover yoga waist.  That didn’t work, as it is just too thin and stretchy.  I cut it off and I did another waistband with the 3″ elastic.  Better than Spanx, I tell you!  This will be nice and flattering during the summer months, and I can wear tons of different colors for a top.

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The top I also made.  Same pattern as the cream top in the previous post.  I added a ruffle to fancy up the neckline and made it a smidge bigger since the cream one was a little tight.  The neckline ended up too low on it, though.  Back to the drafting board!

Skirt: Made by Me
Shirt: Made by Me
Cami: Ann Taylor LOFT
Sweater: Ann Taylor LOFT
Necklace/Earring: Made by Me
Boots: Steve Madden

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These light colors are perfect for a Friday in the summertime.  Light and airy.  I just wish I didn’t look so “fluffy” in this outfit.

Note to self: Don’t wear clothes that accentuate your lack of waistline.  It doesn’t look good.

I have gained a few pounds in the last month or so.  When we got back from Vegas, which coincided with the end of Lent and my candy/chocolate fast, I was 125 lbs.  I got on the scale this Monday and came in at 131.5.  I have worked out every day for the last two weeks and did almost 17 miles on the elliptical last week.

Where is the scale love??

Apparently it is in the bottom of the wine glass.  Must reduce wino drinkage and high calorie meals.

I’m working on it.  At least my thighs and butt are getting toned.  I think the crunches are making my tummy appear bigger because there is now actual muscle under the layer of fluff.  Not liking that development.

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I don’t usually wear a necklace when I am wearing this shirt.  It is so busy that it doesn’t really seem to need more up there around the neck.

I straightened my hair, and I realize why I don’t like time intensive hair styles.  It takes a good ten minutes to do it and that is way too long for me.  I need a 5 minute ‘do, tops.  Trying to get me and the kids out of the door on time in the morning is proving to be quite the untenable task.

I need to go through my closet again and put together outfits that work.  I changed several times this morning, and still ended up with a lackluster ensemble.  I don’t have time for that!

Shirt – Me

Skirt – Cabi

Shoes – Nine West

Earrings – Me

Detail shots of what I made:

White ruffled top

Pretty jewelry

We went to the mall as a family to go buy the hubby a trousseau for our travels to Vegas. He doesn’t buy new clothes very often (generally every few years), so the little urchins needed some patience while we shopped. We bribed them with DQ if they were good. Ice cream always works so well.

As we were waiting for the kids to eat their sugary treat I looked over at the displays on tables. It was one of the “craft fair” weekends where they had tons of vendors. There appeared to be lots of jewelry this weekend.

The one next to us had all this beautiful Peruvian sterling silver jewelry with precious stone inlays. I hadn’t bought anything for myself this day…so, I caved.

How could I not??