This pin highlights the work of Dori Jenn (she has an Etsy shop; this bead is called "Tunnel Vision") and I liked the combination of wire and beads. As many beaders do, I have a jar of mixed beads and I thought this would be a good way to use some of them. After fumbling about for a long time, I ended up using two jump rings per end because the wires sliped through the fine opening of the rings -they kept opening as I worked. My beads were various sizes which was probably not the best choice and I had a difficult time holding everything together while I worked. My finished bead was crooked and everything seemed to shift around a lot. Conclusion: Although the result looks good, this beaded bead is not for me. I'm not good enough at wire work and it took too much time. There are other methods I prefer.
This pin/idea shot through Pinterest a while back and I can't track down the original pinner or source. Most pins were related to wedding or jewelry applications. I was intrigued with the use of nail polish and the lacquer look of the finished flower. In just a few minutes I twisted together flowers with 28 gauge wire and tried three types of nail polish: new frosted pale pink, old clumpy matte dark red and new shiny black. To my surprise it was super easy to get the polish onto the petals in a thin film. A narrower brush seemed to be a bit more difficult to use, but it was fine. I liked the look of the colored wire (the red flower), but I don't think I would buy special wire just for this technique. I used hemostats to hold the flowers upside down as they dried. I poked at the dry film with a needle and it is not hard or brittle; it is flexible like leather. I don't know how it would hold up long tern. You can definitely tear it, but for a display piece, I think these flowers would be fine. I will point out the my wire flower frames didn't look great to begin with, but the finished flowers were lovely. This is a very forgiving technique. Conclusion: this is a fantastic way to make flowers, and probably, leaves (green polish is easy to find). I use a lot of silk ribbon flowers, but these lacquered versions are going to be used often.
Every once in a while I make a tiny book for one of my figures. Usually I use old dictionary pages and create a leather cover with Japanese bound signatures. This pin (Leslie Shepherd, miniatures expert) shows a tiny spiral notebook and I thought it would be an excellent addition to my bibliophilic methods. To experiment I trimmed some dictionary pages, lined them up with a ruler, then prepunched holes every 1/8" with a tapestry needle. For this experiment I didn't use special covers, but I would punch them separately because they would likely be thicker. I used a wooden knitting needle instead of the metal skewer and threaded 28 gauge wire through the holes. The whole process took about five minutes and the result looks great. Conclusion: This is a fantastic way to make tiny books. Easier to work the spiral than the usual miniature bindings, much faster as well.
Stay tuned for more Pin to Practice next month...