Sunday, October 31, 2010

Copy Cat

Recently I have been dreaming about these bracelets by Chan Luu:

However, since they seem to start at $90 and rise quickly from there, the inner jeweler in me started thinking and studying the pictures. I also Googled a tutorial for this type of bracelet, and very few photographic tutorials were available. So here is mine!

I started with a trip to Hobby Lobby. I bought round leather and flat suede. This tutorial uses the flat suede, but in reality you can use anything, even ribbon if that is what you want. Each gives a very distinctive look.

I also chose some sparkly beads. Most beads like this are sold in smaller quantities. I made the red and gold double wrap, shown below, with 54 beads and the teal and gray single wrap with 55 beads. Take bead sizing into consideration when choosing your materials. Sometimes a large bead and small leather look really nice, or a tiny bead and large leather are more interesting. They are very easy and beautiful regardless of what you choose.

I also use heavy duty thread throughout. This is important because it is one piece that holds the whole bracelet together. I think this is a flaw in the design, and I would like to find a better way to do do it so that if one thread goes, the whole bracelet is not lost. We will stick with the simple way for now though.

Decide if you want a double or single wrap, or triple even! Then fold the cord in half and wrap around your wrist the number of times you want it to wrap. I added six inches to the length of the bracelet to allow for the top knot and the bottom knots. This may be a little excessive, but it would be terrible to end your bracelet and it be too small.

Keep the cord folded in half and make a knot at the top large enough to ease a knot or button through, but not too large.

Then get A LOT of thread. I would say a yard and a half for a single, and three for a double. You want to make sure you have plenty. I secured the thread to the top knot. Secure the knot of the cord to something stable. I used a safety pin and a heavy tray. A counter is ideal.

Run the thread behind the two cord strands like so.

Place your bead on the needle then run down between the two cords.

Take the needle, and come over the top of the right cord and back through the bead. Hold the cords and the thread tight.

To add the second bead, bring the thread over the top of the left cord and back under to the right and add the second bead. Position the bead between the cords and go back over the right cord and through the bead again. Continue this process until you have your desired length. I found it is also very nice to have different colors or bead sizes to add interest to your bracelet. You can add a charm into the mix as well.

Work your way down to the end trying to keep each bead stitch even. This is a lot easier on smooth cord than a suede cord.

Complete the last stitch like usual then wrap the thread down and around the left cord, and back through the bead to the right cord. From there make a series of tiny knots right next to the last bead and trim the excess thread.

From there you can add your button, which I did not use on either, or make knots or a series of knots to make your closure.

Voila! You have a Chan Luu inspired bracelet. Each took me about two hours and the process is rather simple and very inexpensive. Good Luck!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dreamy Biscuits

This morning I decided I wanted to make some biscuits. Normally I turn towards mixes and pre made biscuits. Today was different. I set off to make the Flying Biscuit's famous biscuits, but found out I did not have quite the right ingredients and opted for another recipe where I had most of the ingredients. I found this recipe from my favorite, Alton Brown. I did not have buttermilk, so I substituted for heavy creme that I did have, just because I was too lazy to go to the grocery store.

The recipe is extremely easy and quick. Even with the lazy substitute, they turned out light and fluffy. Well worth my 30 minutes this morning. I will be trying them with buttermilk soon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sweet Apples

Last night I got into the fall spirit, despite the lack of fall weather, and made caramel apples! I used Gala apples and just regular caramel chunks and two table spoons of water and they turned out wonderfully!

Another great use for Silpat. They came right off!

I must apologize for the extreme delay in posting, I have been doing LOTS of Craftay things, but they are not quick projects. You can expect a lot over the next few weeks due to one of my favorite spooky holidays!