Creating a Light Catcher

When I showed off some of my latest light catchers in the last post there was a small amount of interest in seeing how I made them.  Not having a video camera capable of recording the process I did my best with my point and shoot and, with a bit of help from our Official Photographer when I ran out of hands, there now exists an as-good-as-it can-get photographic record of the process.

So, here we go:

First I rifle through my stash and gather together a pile of beads in my chosen colour. I was feeling ‘green’

Tutorial1a

I look for interesting shapes, a variety of shades and include glass, semi-precious gemstones, crystal, acrylic and facets wherever possible.  I like using gemstones for their power and meaning, facets for their bling factor, shapes for interest and texture and crystals of course are the major source of light refraction.  Acrylic beads are also very handy for keeping the weight down – these things can get heavy!  I may, or may not, use all of my selection.  It just depends.

I choose the hanging chain, recently I have discovered a particularly nice one which I am hoping to use in all future catchers.  You can see it lying across the top left of the first photo.  You can click on the photos twice to biggify – get the close up view for real!

Tools:

Tutorial Tools

These four pliers are my go to essentials.  The most recently added in is the one on the right, a split ring opener.  Prior to that I used the pokey tool [official designation] seen at the top right and my finger nails.  My left forefinger is covered with scars from puncture wounds – a proper tool was sought and finally found.  My life has changed 🙂

Tutorial tools2

Beading wire [I prefer ‘Tiger’s Tail] and quick dry adhesive to help secure the wire ends.  Excuse the blurry photos – I find it a real challenge to snap photos while in the creative process – it is often an afterthought and is done on the fly ……….

Here we have the first length begun, I chose a pretty gold speckled green glass twist interspersed with small polished agate rounds

Tutorial1

Tutorial2

And the second string started, these beads are all acrylic and used for shape and texture. The wire is threaded through the crystal ball and up through the beads.  It is pulled through a split ring, wrapped around itself two or three times and then threaded back down through as many beads as possible.  These are tiny beads, so it can’t go too far down.  Where the wire is poking out and at the top, fast drying adhesive is added to help secure wire and beads together.  When the glue is dry I snip off the excess wire and attach the length of chain.  If the glue doesn’t catch, or is peeled off, the wire can slip out and the whole thing will eventually collapse – it has happened and I try hard to ensure it won’t happen again!

Tutorial3a

Next I set about making half a dozen or so tiny little dangly bits.  This is a selection of faceted glass or crystal beads for bling factor.  I use long eye pins and snip them down as necessary. I make two different sets, three in each.

Tutorial4a

Split rings are added to both ends

Tutorial5b

Tutorial5d

Tutorial5e

Tutorial5c

I chose glass pearl balls and faceted hearts to hang at the bottom of three of the mini-danglers The hearts, due to their thickness, have to be hung using chandelier bow ties.  These things are the bane of my light-catcher-creative life!  They slip out of place whenever the catcher is moved and while I know where and how to put them back in place, the new owner may not.  The only alternative I have is to use a large connecting split ring which looks ungainly – so I prefer not to go that route.  If you have an alternate suggestion please, I would be so grateful should you care to share it.

Tutorial6a

Tutorial6b

Tiny crystal hearts are are attached onto the other mini-danglers and then the two strands are attached to a heavy brass ring.

Tutorial7

I thought I had finished and left the catcher hanging above my work table for the night.

Early the next morning I wandered into the room and started to play some more.  Before I knew it, there was another strand, a new hanging option and a few baubles added – and never a camera to hand!  Here’s what I ended up with:

Tutorial8

I found the three ring gold acrylic hanger on-line somewhere and bought ten of them, not realising they were so very – um, gold – I need to spray paint them silver but need warmer weather to do that.  It’s hard to see in the photo but there are now two faceted crystal balls and one large faceted crystal pear hanging from the bottom of three strands of beads and chain and assorted baubles.  The pear especially doesn’t photograph willingly, but is a beautiful thrower of rainbows!   Also no charms have been added yet – I add them especially for the person who will own the catcher.

Tutorial8c

Tutorial9 detaila

Trying to show some of the magic with the aid of a cushion and the afternoon sun

Tutorial10a

Of course, there’s no magic without Siddy

Tutorial10b

And just for a change, let’s finish this week with the lovely Orlando who would like to offer a teaser – there’s a giveaway coming up………. stay tuned!

1 July 8  2015

Any questions, please ask them.  Any suggestions, please do make them.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

 

 

 

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84 thoughts on “Creating a Light Catcher

  1. Pingback: Three Things Thursday: 18 August 2016 | The Snail of Happiness

  2. Pauline, you did such a brilliant job showing your process! I daresay that if you ever get the capability to video your tutorial (using your phone maybe?) that you could post it on YouTube and you would get a massive amount of hits (and followers)!! Lovely creations filled with your amazing creativity!

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  3. Pauline, you really are a marvel – these are so pretty! Its fascinating to see your process and I have to say I am really rather envious of your stash of sparkles. You make it look so easy but I fear if I were to attempt to make one there would be more beads on the floor than on the light catcher!

    I love your new blog header photo too, it really captures the colours and sparkles of the crystals.

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  4. Aloha!! Don’t know if the light catcher or Orlando is prettier. Do you use a magnifying glass, girl? I think I’d go cross-eyed. Love to see your beautiful projects and hands. xxoo

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  5. You inspire me! My youngest moved out East( last week) and now we truly are empty nesters. Yep, he graduated and got a job and now we finally have no one that needs our help….hmmm….now time to get serious about creating…as always, you inspire me to create! Love these!!!!

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    • Empty nesters eh? You know they have a way of turning up again……. 😀 I shall look forward to seeing how the other kind of creative work emerges now you theoretically have more time for yourself 🙂 xoxo

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      • after I clear out all the years of ” not enough time” to do etc….I am decluttering and putting their “special” items in rubbermaid containers-LOL. NOw we have the space to create + time! I don’t keep their rooms all the same as a shrine-LOL- it becomes space for us!

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  6. Oh my goodness Pauline! I am so appreciative of this fabulous tutorial. That’s what I get for going out of town for a few days for I might have even missed this all together!!! How could that possibly happened? I was definitely one that was interested in learning all about your beautiful creations and how you do them. Fortunately I sat down this morning to scroll through to see what I might have missed and low and behold there was your lovely light catcher with complete instructions. You did an absolutely marvelous job in explaining everything but I am certain I could never accomplish this. You make it look so easy but I could see my jumble fingers might never achieve such a gorgeous end result even with much practice. I think my first course of action will be too slowly accumulate some of the items you have mentioned here and collect some beads and other lovely items as I go about my business. iI must have taken quite some time to accumulate a stash of supplies to work with. I know with my fabric stash and buttons and such it took some time. Dare I start another stash of goodies??

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    • I do hope it is a clear recipe for how to get started Jan – I have no way of knowing as I’m so immersed in the processes now. I’ve been hoarding beads for many years – old jewellery and seed beads were what got me started and over the years I’ve added to the collection randomly. Now whenever I am fortunate enough to sell a piece, the money is used to search out beads of particular shapes and sizes with particular future projects in mind and I use the not inconsiderable stash for fillers and accent pieces.

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  7. Oooh, a teaser…sounds intriguing…and how handsome Orlando looks, so proud and regal and utterly handsome 🙂 And of course darling Siddy, looking more than a little comfortable and happy 🙂 Absolutely love your light catchers Pauline as I said before…and look how even in your photos of each step you managed to capture the light filtering through the gems so magically. I used to be quite ‘crafty’ when the kids were younger – and I do mean that in the best possible way, ha! – and would love to get back to it one day. Great idea for the step by step guide too. I know where to cme when that day arrves! Thank you dear Pauline for this wonderful post, so great to see you back here again 🙂 xoxo

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    • Thank you Sherri! I’m glad you enjoyed it – and remember: once a crafty, always a crafty!! I shall be posting fairly frequently soon – the same day you tagged me for the photos/stories challenge I was also tagged for a 3 days, 3 quotes challenge – never rains but it pours 🙂 But I’m up for these challenges and busy organising myself! xoxo

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  8. This is such beautiful work, but for all the technique you’ve described here, it takes an eye for colour and design to make something so lovely. Most of us couldn’t produce anything so lovely. I share your love of crystals throwing rainbows across the room when the light is strong. By the way, do you take commissions from across the globe? Green (and possibly orange) commissions specifically?
    Thank you as always for sharing your wonderful work with us.

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    • Thank you Twisted – that is a most kind comment! And I would love to take commissions 🙂 I saw some gorgeous otangey beads recently and sighed thinking no-one ever asks for orange ….. Send me an email with your wishes [details on ‘contact Me’ page]

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  9. Pauline, I love the way you openly share the tools of your trade and many of the treasures and processes. I liked how you did the acrylic beads, pearl ones and glittery jewels. You are a special artist who gives shiny light and reflections of rainbows, too.
    Now, I liked Siddy peeking around at us, like the little “imp” he is! Orlando is a Prince with stature and poise. Just such a sweet pose he looks wise here on the lacy round (crocheted?) tabletop.
    Last but not Least, the impressionistic painting behind Orlando is vibrant and lovely, Pauline. ♡♡♡ one for each member of your household.

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    • Robin, thank you for coming by and leaving this message – your keen eye has observed two other pieces of my work – the hand crocheted table cloth which was lasting very well until Orlando decided to sit on it and a painting I did in 2003 which still sits on the wall! As always you leave such a kind and encouraging message, thank you so much for always being here and always encouraging xoxo

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      • It is fun and an advantage to reading folks who have photographs to be able to “take a peek into their lives or homes” while studying them. I am glad I detected your lovely hand crocheted tablecloth. I especially liked the 2003 painting which shows what a variety of true art you are capable of. This was a brilliant piece, Pauline. ☆☆☆

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  10. Pingback: Five Photos, Five Stories Day Three: School Symbol | A View From My Summerhouse

  11. Pauline, when you posted pictures of the purple and blue light catchers the other day, I couldn’t decide which I liked best. Now that I see this green one, it’s just one more I love. You are very talented. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Hi Pauline, thanks for the detailed explanation of the step-by-step process. Once again you’ve impressed me with your skill and talent. I won’t venture to say that I’ll teying making one:) Have a lovely week, my friend.

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  13. Guess who just got herself pinned! 🙂 Lovely tutorial there Ms Pauline and lovely results. I especially love the little Babushka dolls and those twisty green beads. You must have a much nicer bead shop than we have here to amass a fortune of gorgeousness like that. I am busy making custom crochet teddies with little people inside them (don’t ask, the Japanese and their anime series have a LOT to answer for!) at the moment and then I am going to take on some seriously fun crocheting projects including a few yarn bombed chairs that I picked up for free at a roadside curb. Life is incredibly busy but fun. (I forgot to mention that I have to also create a conservatory in 3D but that’s not fun so I aint gonna talk about it! 😉 )

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    • You pinned me? Nobody ever pins me, I’m very happy to hear that! The twisty green beads I’ve had for a very long time – the stack is getting low now and I have yet to find more of them. I buy on line 🙂 I am going to look forward very much to seeing your yarn bombed chairs – and your teddies with people inside – which sounds a little odd – but I know nothing of anime so you will educate me! All this from the woman who claimed a year ago to have no creativity huh? What a difference a year can make!! xoxo

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      • I don’t have a lot of creativity, I am a serious magpie though and find myself some lovely patterns that other people have been seriously creative about and I tweak them to do my bidding. I found an amazing pattern for a dolls peacoat that is going to make my life a whole lot easier soon so I thank the people that actually are creative and that share what they do for free from the bottom of my ever grateful heart 🙂

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  14. Coming up for air. These are beautiful pieces, Pauline. You have more talent and patience than anyone I know. Thank you again for the Siddy fix on FB. It was perfect timing. xo

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  15. I have so often wondered how these things come together and it was intereresting to see the process! I think my light catchers would look Bunched and awful. the green was so beautiful,especially for a cold winter. It’s so fun to know how you do them, but there’s an element of indefinable creativity that comes into play as well…

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  16. What a lovely winter brightener! Catch the light! I shall start using that expression upon leaving somewhere as my farewell greeting! Catch the light!

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  17. Thank you for taking us through the process and to see the finished article – I really do love your light catchers. The explanations of ‘pokey tool’ and ‘dangly bits’ make it all so easy to understand, and I’m loving that you personalise them for the intended recipient.
    I’m slightly concerned about Orlando … What is he looking so intently at? When Mama’s back is turned, will there be a leap for the hanging light catcher, I wonder?

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    • Glad you enjoyed it Jenny and that the terms weren’t too technical 🙂 I don’t know what Orlando was looking at, I was out when that photo was taken – proving my point that he sits on the table when he thinks he’s home alone – the Official Photographer caught him. So far he hasn’t been tempted by the light catchers, there is one hanging in his kitchen window and he seems to share the space quite amiably.

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  18. Goodness I love the photo of Orlando. Lots of personality and expression there. I am a huge fan of the felines.

    Your sun catchers are extraordinary, and I even spotted a rainbow or two among the photos. These must really transform a room if hung in a window in the sun. Rainbows never cease to delight me. The step by step photos were a lot of fun and a great idea. I am so glad you decided to show us, since it is all really interesting. (and gorgeous)

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    • Thank you Crystal, so pleased you found it interesting to see the process. They do add to the ‘feng-shui’ of a room and if hung in the right place can bounce hundreds of tiny rainbows around it I have several hanging above my work table and the space becomes quite magical on a sunny afternoon. Impossible to photograph, it has to be seen to be believed.

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  19. Hi Pauline et all. You have the best little groupies 😀
    I can’t imagine choosing the perfect combination out of all those goodies, yet you do. Thanks for letting us hang (ooops a pun) around in the work room too. I’m all thumbs with those jumprings and pliers and what not. I do make the odd dangly sort of things to add to gifts. I think it’s outragesly indulgent to add a real pearl or crystal to something for someone special and love that.
    I’m laughing at the innocent face on O. It’s amusing that our kitties will be where they know they shouldn”t and not let on that they know. Ohhh, the mind games we play, LOL ! Gorgeous project my dear, Hugs xo K

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  20. I’ve looked very carefully at the process you photographed and can only say, that is a stunning light catcher and I could never make one. I will leave that to the expert of design and creativity. Do you sell them on your etsy site? The photo of Orlando speaks volumes. I’d frame that one. Siddy is just sweet. Thanks for taking the time to instruct us in your process. The light catchers are just wonderful.

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    • Marlene that is very kind of you to say 🙂 I taught myself how to do all these things, it’s not so hard, just requires time and practise and a certain bloody-minded determination to master the process. Having done that I just follow the same rule that I apply to everything I create – embellish, embellish, embellish and when you think you have finished, embellish some more 🙂

      I have closed my Etsy store but will be opening a page on this blog where some of my work will be available. I just have to finish setting up the page.

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      • I did see that your Etsy store was closed as I went looking for one to buy. Your painting is where I sit everyday so I can always see it. We are still moving things around. My son seems content to stay here for an undetermined length of time. Hmmm. I just want to get my stuff on the walls and not have everything moved again. Such is life. I will never have that kind of determination! You do what you do better than anyone else, I love your work. Keep doing it and tell Siddy and Orlando I appreciate them giving you the time to do it. 🙂

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    • I am a hopeless photographer – my secret desire is to have one of those video camera thingies that just sit there and you push a button and they do all the recording necessary. But then I probably wouldn’t know how to work the jolly thing properly so just as well it’s only a secret desire 🙂 xoxo

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  21. Pauline I love looking over some ones shoulder to see work in progress. How lovely this al is and so well balanced, just perfect. Orlando is perfect too…and I suspect he knows;0) xo Johanna

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    • It is fun watching how different folk do their things isn’t it – I usually learn something 🙂 Orlando is not short on self confidence – as my aged aunt used to say – but then he is rather beautiful in looks and personality 🙂 xo

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  22. You really did need those split ring pliers!! I didn’t know how these beauties went together and, now that I see the process, I’m even more impressed–just the right balance of structure and freedom in the making. Siddy is adorable but you know I’m a cat person and I LOVE Orlando. He makes me miss my big blond cat so.

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    • And Orlando is definitely a big, blonde, lovable cat! It crosses my mind from time to time that one day he will be gone too – he is showing signs of age now and has been quiet this winter, sleeping more than ever before. They are with us for such a short time really, it does us well to spoil them while they are here – and to miss them when they are gone!

      You are right too about the structure and freedom – perhaps that is why I enjoy making them so much.

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  23. It’s divine, I love it and found the process photographs really interesting – thank you for making the effort to record it for us:)

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  24. Pauline, I really enjoyed hearing about your process. As the proud posessor of one of your charming light catchers, I’m intrigued by the assortment of tools needed to assemble all those beads and glass along with the various pins, wires and rings to help pull the design together. I’m glad you are back to working on something you love. Your eye for color and design shine through.

    Dear Orlando and Siddy are never far from the action. I’ve just shown Mike your photo of Orlando and he said “handsome kitty!” I agree. Love to you.

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    • Orlando is looking particularly handsome in this shot – taken quickly by his Official Photographer as he perched on the forbidden place and tried to look invisible ….. He’s a naughty kitty really!

      There is an assortment of tools isn’t there – all of them necessary at different stages. I accumulate beads and fixings and findings like a magpie and everything has a chance of making it into a catcher for someone at some point in time. I do prefer to make especially for someone though – it’s a more thoughtful creative process. As usual thank you for your kind words and unending support! xoxo

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