Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ribbons and Lace

While browsing various online and wholesale craft suppliers, I came across some fascinating specimens: ribbon and elastic. Not being at all gifted in the area of sewing and fabrics, I naturally had no real interest in elastic, or at least, no more than stretchy beading cord. As for ribbons, well, they were pretty enough but never used them much, and am still not 100% sure what they were originally designed for. But all that has recently changed.

I found a veritable smorgasbord of elastics! Gone are the days of plain old white or black elastics, or whatever other elastics were the norm of yesteryear. Not only did I find elastics in just about every color imaginable, there were so many variations! There were elastics with little images, with words, lace elastic, even ruffled elastic!! As for ribbons, well the variety is endless. Thick width, thin, colors, patterns, words, pictures, sheer, silk, satin, velvet, ric rac...

Well, while looking at these beauties, I decided I wanted some. Maybe even need some. As a generally crafty person, I have my fair share of crafty items that I bought either because I would use it "some day" or purely because I liked it or thought it was pretty, without bothering to think about what I would use it for. Now that I have a business, I am trying hard to cut down on those impulse buys. I have even gone so far as to try and impose a one-out, one-in policy, where I don't buy anything until I use up one thing, unless they are necessary, like clasps or wire. You fellow crafters out there can probably vouch for how effective such a system is, or perhaps I just have a low level of self-restraint. Now, I tend to follow a 'if I don't know how I'd use it, I don't buy it' policy, which is more effective, overall.

So, while browsing, I decided I needed this stuff. But I had to think about how or if I would use it. And of course, jewelry being my 1st choice for craft love (bath and body, specifically essential oils/natural products), I had to come up with ways to incorporate these! I ordered some black and some clear elastic. I intend to use both for chokers and bracelets. I'm going to use them as an alternative to stretchy cord, because stretchy cord won't work for what I've been wanting to try. So the elastic will form a stretchy bracelet, and on the elastic, I intend to apply silk flowers, for an almost corsage type style. I have also thought of quite a few other things, such as flat backed cabochons, rhinestones, pendants, etc. I can't wait to buy some fancier elastics to work with, but I will have to wait until I use up the ones I have.

As for ribbons...My muse has been working non-stop! Cuff bracelets of 1-1.5 inches made of silk or velvet ribbon. A multitude of different colored thin ribbons, twisted into multi-colored chokers. I want to use them as 'dangles' in hair accessories and bracelets, to add movement and color. Sheer ribbons over solids, wide ribbons 'lined' with contrasting ric rac. Cuffs of velvet ribbon. I can add pendants, flat back cabochons or rhinestones, dangle small charms from thin ribbon. All sorts of things.

This is just an update on what I am working on. My next projects are ribbons and elastics. Lately, I have made a few illusion cord pieces, which I really enjoy. Two pairs of earrings, one choker. Three more men's/unisex pieces. I am also still working on flower hair accessories. I just can not seem to find an adhesive that will glue metal and plastic together. But I am working on clips, barettes, bobby pins, hair combs, and flowered hair ties.

Next month, I will begin to work on Halloween designs, and buying Christmas supplies. I am also hoping to work on general Autumn pieces. I have found some great ribbon that is in leaves. Not sure how to explain it, if I buy it I'll be sure to post pictures. I want to make some fall headpieces, hair bands, etc. I am also hoping to offer some selections in brass and/or copper, but I promise nothing.

Those are the big updates. I am always listing new items to my artfire shop, so be sure to drop by often. As always, thank you for reading!

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