Monday, May 25, 2015

Relaxed Simple Boho Hippie Style (& a little polymer jewelry tip)

Life has simply been hectic in the last couple months. It's generally no surprise for me to feel scattered this time of year... when the earth is awakening to it's fruitful seasons, life finds me  busy with garden chores and prepping the house for summer. But this spring, one of my dearest family members has been struggling with a combination of health issues. So with a few hospital stays, many doctors' visits and devoting more time to my beloved one, my crafting time is miniscule.

This month my guild's theme is Retro. This could be any design, color, pattern, etc. representing trends of by-gone decades. At first I had intended to do something 1950s, I've always love the 50s style and I have this cool pair of candlesticks that have a retro feel. But, as the clock ticked  and calendar pages fell away, I was left with just 2 days to complete a project. I knew I'd never have enough time to experiment with the candlesticks, so I decided to do something simple and quick.

For inspiration, I pulled from the 1960's Hippie style. Perhaps something Boho and definitely relaxed. Boy, do I need relaxed! ;)

I decided to do a macrame bracelet with polymer focal and accents. I hadn't made a macrame bracelet since my high school days, and I'd never tried one that had a wavy edge or pattern, so the non-polymer part of my project was the most challenging part of this project for me. I basically followed a tutorial that I found online which I altered a tiny bit to come up with the results above. I knew I wanted a natural bracelet and really wanted the polymer to be shades of white, blue and orange. This image (that I found via google) is the feel I was going for, both with the boho look of the bracelet and with the subtle orange and blue hues paired with natural beige:

I really wanted to play with the polymer to make a faux tie-dye pattern, but had to limit my time to an hour for the polymer part, and so didn't get the look I had originally intended. It's more of a faux lamp work/swirled feel, but I liked it enough and really didn't have time to experiment for anything else. I sandwiched the bracelet between the focal top and added a bottom to the underside of the bracelet, so the focal bead is baked right onto the macrame.

You can see the back side of the focal here in the distance of this image of the button closure:

For the button closure, I simply used a regular acrylic button and attached it to the bracelet, then I coated the button top with bonding agent and covered it with a slice of the polymer left over from my focal... that's my little polymer jewelry tip! I did the same thing with the 2 smaller accent beads, they are simple little acrylic buttons that were sewn onto the bracelet, coated with bonding agent and then covered with a sheet of the polymer. This little trick is great for applications such as this bracelet, but I've also used it to make these rings:

The blue base on the ring with the swirl is actually an acrylic button. The other ring has a clear button under the black polymer circle. This allows me to make a ring base from wire, feed the ends through the button holes and simply cover the wire ends with a decorative polymer piece. Simple, Easy ring base!

Because the macrame on this piece is sub-par, since it's my first one in a great long while and the first in this style, this bracelet won't be for sale, but I do hope to make similar pieces in the future for selling and gifting. I think it looks pretty happy (hippie) on my wrist! ;)

Let me know what you think in the comments! I'll try to remember to post a reminder when voting is open, as I'm sure you'll not want to miss all the great entries by my fellow guild mates! Voting is open on June 1st and will run through to June 7th at midnight!