20 February 13

Japanese 12-in-2, 6 years later

UPDATE Blue Buddha is generously giving away one free kit to make a Flowers Bracelet. To register to win, just leave a comment on this post and the winner will be notified. This is a great way for people who don’t live in Chicago and can’t participate in the free class offered in-house by BBB to receive something to inspire learning and creativity. Thanks, Blue Buddha Boutique.

Japanese Lace Bracelet 12-in-2

Six years ago, my friend Alison went on a massive cross-country road-trip and stopped in Chicago. Because she’s one of the most creative folks I know, and because I thought she’d find it interesting, I signed us up for a chain maille class at a shop in Evanston with Rebeca Mojica of Blue Buddha Boutique.

At the time, BBB was a company of 1. Rebeca sold supplies, but mostly to the people who attended her classes. And she didn’t have her own studio so she travelled to bead shows around the area to use their classroom space. There were only 5 students at the class I attended. And we sat around a very tiny table tucked in the corner of a basement. But Rebeca made the most of the situation and almost every single one of her students left that day with a finished bracelet.

Japanese Lace Bracelet 12-in-2

I was one of the ones who didn’t leave with a finished bracelet. I knew I was about 20 minutes away from finishing my bracelet, but the time in our classroom was up and I had to take my almost-finished project home with me. I’m quite a bit embarrassed to say that I left the project sitting on the top of a stand beside my sewing table where I knew that if I had to see it on a regular basis, I would finish it. After all, it really was going to take less than half an hour to finish, so why would I put that off for long?

But, alas, my procrastination skills are wickedly unstoppable. And so, despite my best of intentions, the project say unfinished and quite literally in my way every time I needed to get out a new pack of sewing needles or a new blade for my rolling cutter, or a variety of other items that I use quite frequently. I would think to myself “One of these days, I’m just going to finish this.” right before I would put it back in place, in my way.

When I found out that Blue Buddha Boutique (which has since grown to having a soon-to-open retail space and a cast of almost 2 dozen employees) was doing a blog bomb, I thought this was the final reason to quit procrastinating and actually finish this bracelet. I’m wearing it now, as I type this. And I’m thrilled with it. And it took me exactly 22 minutes to finish. Which isn’t bad, considering that I had to read the steps to figure out how to do the clasp (which I did slightly different to make it fit snugly). But I’m thrilled. I now have an empty spot sitting on top of my cabinet. I may never take this bracelet off to remind myself that procrastination just keeps me from having nice things.

Japanese Lace Bracelet 12-in-2

And to encourage learning and making new things, I can’t suggest highly enough that you enter this giveaway at Blue Buddha Boutique. I’m participating in a small blog-bomb to encourage people who may not otherwise know about the great classes they will be hosting in their new retail space on Granville right near the Red Line very, very soon. Even though I procrastinated for years, I thoroughly enjoyed taking the class and I wish I’d finished my project sooner. And I’ve had several ideas for small bags that incorporate chaine maille details kicking around in my head and plan on creating some of them very soon since I’ll be able to go into her new shop in person and pick out the ring sizes I want to use, try it out, and then buy what I need before I head home. Buying chain maille supplies online has just been very intimidating. And if you’re fortunate enough to be in Chicago and are interested in a class, you’ll do great to sign up for one of Blue Buddha Boutique’s classes.


  1. This one reminds me of the Maru design but the smaller scale of it makes it more something i would definitely wear every day!

    — Laura Fowler on Feb 21, 12:26 pm

  2. Yay. Isn’t it a thrill to finally finish a long procrastinated project? Glad you finished the bracelet. I have some projects of my own I need to see finished.

    — Sherri Hazelton on Feb 21, 12:35 pm

  3. I love that feeling of having it done. Always seems to be the first moment for a very productive period. The sense of accomplishment that spurs creativity. The bags you describe sound lovely! I hope you post pictures as you do them.

    — Gwendolyn on Feb 21, 12:48 pm

  4. Thanks, this inspires me to finish some “someday when I have time” projects.

    — Melinda on Feb 21, 01:57 pm

  5. Boy, oh boy, do I empathize with the procrastination, as well as know the joys of finally finishing a project! Learning to make a Byzantine chain was what hooked me, though it meant wading through lots of stuff on the internet to finally find a tutorial that worked! I’m happy for the opportunity to enter for one of BBB’s kits, they really are the bomb!!!

    — Janet on Feb 21, 01:58 pm

  6. I live in Texas and I love BBB!

    — Leslye on Feb 21, 02:37 pm

  7. I love all things free, especially chain maille..I haven’t made one of these

    — Diana Funk on Feb 21, 03:29 pm

  8. Good for you! My unfinished projects are filling 1 table 1 desk and a cookie tray.

    Pat Pint on Feb 21, 03:35 pm

  9. I put together a Chainmaille bracelet and earrings for my sister for Christmas. A difficult weave so I started them WAY early. It was taking FOREVER and I got so frustrated I put it down on the tray half finished. I looked at it week after week… I was going to give up on it although I had weeks left before Christmas. Then I looked at what I had done a couple of days before Christmas and decided to give it another shot. I don’t know why, but my hands just danced through the remaining part and I was finished within an hour. Such a wonderful feeling! And yes, it was from a BBB kit, of course.

    — Mary on Feb 21, 05:11 pm

  10. Have just gotten interested in working on chainmaille and have found I love it.

    — Lynn on Feb 21, 06:13 pm

  11. Congrats on finishing it! It looks lovely.

    — Twana on Feb 21, 06:39 pm

  12. I still wear mine!

    alison on Feb 21, 08:36 pm

  13. I made a Shaggy Loop bracelet for a relative over the weekend, then started on a Mobius bracelet, but only made it halfway through. The stormy weather this week is giving me migraines, so I can’t bring myself to finish it. I swear, it will be done before the weekend is over! :)

    — Dana on Feb 22, 01:00 am

  14. Its beautiful! I have never tried chainmaille before, but would love to try!

    — jessicac on Feb 22, 12:18 pm

  15. This would be fun!

    — Patty on Feb 22, 05:27 pm

  16. I completely understand about procrastination & unfinished projects…I have a stash of them. I also know how great it feels to finally get the inspiration to finish one of them….It seems to get me motivated to finish more half-done projects & start new ones. I’d love to work on this weave!

    Holly on Feb 25, 02:44 pm

  17. Many, many congratulations to Holly of http://www.bonanza.com/booths/hillcreststudio for winning the Random Number Generator lottery. She’ll be getting a fantastic kit in the mail.

    Many thanks to everyone else for commenting. It was great to hear that I may have inspired someone to pull an unfinished project off the shelf and make it finished.

    Cinnamon on Feb 28, 10:56 am

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