Thursday, August 21, 2014

Threads - Gotta Use 'Em

In a previous post, I said I would post what I am learning as I move forward with beading on my loom  I believe I said I would post about thread next.  Ok well, that's what I'll do today.  :)   Again, as a reminder, this is only my opinion on what I've experienced with what I have done and used.  I don't pretend to be an expert nor do I want to be an expert.  I'm just having fun talking about and showing what I have done while beading on my loom.  So, here goes.  

This past week, I have beaded two strands with two different threads just to see how they worked with the beads I use.  So far, since beginning this adventure, I've used 3 types of threads.  Each with it's own merits.  In fact, I liked all three for what they could do.  Here we go.  First off, the needle I use is the Big Eye needle simply because I have major issues threading regular needles of any kind.  lol !  Secondly, I have only used size 8/0's beads in one strand and size 11/0's in the rest of the strands.  The beads are Dyna-Mites and are made by Matsuno of Japan.  They can be more round than cylinder shape but basically they are cylinder shaped - just not as consistent as Delica's.  They are NOT Delica's and I must say I've never tried Delica's.  When I bought the Dyna-Mites, it was what I could afford when I was doing bead embroidery and beaded dolls.  I have LOTS of the Dyna-Mites so that's what I use.  ETA:  Turns out, those Delica's I have ARE size 11/0's.  I bought them years ago to use with my bead spinner and just never got around to using them.  Looked them up online from where I ordered them and sure enough, they're 11's.  :)  So maybe next project I'll use them.  Onto thread..........

I've got and used regular C-lon, Nymo and Silamide threads.  I also have some Fireline but have yet to try that with the loom.  

CORRECTION:  The C-lon "thread" I used is actually a 3 ply beading cord.  Thicker than their size D thread (which is NOT 3 ply) but still able to pass through the Dyna-Mites size 11/0 beads until the end of the needle which is explained below.

The first thread I used was the C-lon.  I figured it was probably stronger than all the rest because of the twist.  It is strong no doubt about it.  It went smoothly through the beads however when trying to get the big eye needle through the other side, it was hard to pull through (where the thread was doubled) the last bead.  I also found it most difficult to sew back thru the beads when the thread ran out and I had to add more thread.  The C-lon was just too thick to do this easily with these particular beads.  The only color I have in the C-lon is white so that's what I used in the first three strands of loomed beads.
  
The second thread I used was the Nymo, size D.  This is a nylon bonded thread according to the label.  I have it in black and white and decided to use the black.  I was going to bead a pattern that had a black outline but once I warped the loom, I changed my mind about what pattern to bead.  lol !  Anyway, the Nymo worked GREAT !  Slipped right through the beads easily.  I did find it was a bit stiff but nonetheless worked perfectly.  I have two huge rolls of this thread so will use it again.

The last thread I used was the Silamide, size A.  I think I like this thread the very best to use with the Dyna-Mites, size 11/0.  This thread is a 2 ply waxed nylon. The first thing I noticed about it was how soft and smooth it is.  So flexible and not stiff at all.  It literally glided right thru the Dyna-Mites easily.  No issues what-so-ever !  Easily went back through beads at the end.  I will use this thread the most I think.  :)  I have this thread in black and white also.  

So there is MY take on the 3 types of threads used.  Oh, I know there are more threads out there but these are what I have on hand.  I will try the Fireline and see how that works and post here about it in the future. 

I must add that I did try to work the loom flat again just to see if I could do it easily.  I found that I hunched over the loom more, my left hand was literally rounded over the end of the loom as I began beading which hurt my wrist after a bit and it was harder for me to see as I progressed up the loom.  So, I propped it up once again with the roll of shelf liner.  The loom in the flat on the table position just does not work FOR ME. 

 This strip is the one I used the black Nymo thread on.  These two strips are not as long as the first 3 I made but still look great I think !  :) 


This is the strip I used white Silamide thread on.  This pattern I used previously in different colors and again this strip is shorter than the first 3.


 This picture shows the loom lying flat as I was working on it.  I was about half way thru the strip before I had to add the roll of shelf liner under the top part.  Also note, I place a dark tan piece of material on the floor of the loom.  It helps with seeing the beads and thread better - FOR ME.  :)
 
    
That's all for this week.  Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon and join me on my beading with a loom journey ! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I'm Baaaaaaack & Already Beading

Yessireeee, I'm finally feeling human again.  Took a long time and I still have a few residual affects but slowly working on those for a full come back.  Just takes time. I still have a hard time believing this all came about because of a legal perscription drug.
On to beading.............

Since it's still too hot to be at my beloved torch to melt glass, I revisited beaded kumihimo.  I got the braid done but the bracelet is still waiting to be finished.  Just couldn't get into it fully.  Figured why not bring out the new loom again, so I did.  :)  Found a lovely pattern to work and began two days ago.  My take on the loom has not changed.  Even though it was pointed out to me that my novice take on this loom was unimportant I stand by my original posting of the pro's and con's.  See post below "Sick" post.  I LOVE this loom, no question about it.  It works great for my needs but I'd still make the changes.  I still used it as I did before and it worked perfectly - FOR ME.  I did learn that with it propped up on the roll of shelf liner, as I got closer and closer to the top of loom, I actually found myself sitting up better.  It stretched my lower back.  I tend to slouch so this is another "pro" about me adjusting this loom to fit ME.  It might not work for anyone else.  I don't claim this is for everyone but it works FOR ME.  If any of my suggestions work for anyone else, then yay !  :)

One thing I see now.  The strand itself has ripples in it.  It lays flat but not perfectly flat.  I'm thinking that's because I probably pulled to hard on the weft thread as I weaved through the beads.  

As for the thread.  I used C-lon thread and for some reason, as I was going back thru the beads to hold them in place, the thread actually unraveled.  I've never seen this happen before.  I was totally surprised.  lol !  I had a heck of a time getting it straightened out and thru the the beads at last.  I re-threaded the needle afresh after that.  Geesh.  

I have no other bits of wisdom about this loom.  I feel like I'm sort of starting from scratch again after being away from it for a few weeks.  I had alot of fun putting together this "strand" I did make.  I didn't want to stop.  I could of made it longer but why ?  I really like this last pattern ALOT !  This is supposedly a Native American pattern and it does remind one of that and I LOVE IT.  I love the way the colors work so beautifully together.  The white outline accentuates the whole thing.  The black makes everything pop in my opinion.  The only thing I would change is the green.  In my opinion I should of used an emerald green I think.  I still like this mint green though.  And of course red just brings it all together.  Gorgeous !  I want to do more Native American designs and have been on the search.  Have found some beautiful patterns free and for sale.  

So what am I going to do with the strands I do make ?  I am still unsure.  Will have to wait and see I guess.  lol !  The pieces I have made could be made into bracelets but they would be loose on me that's for sure !  lol !  Oh well.........
                   
                                    

                               
That's all for now.  Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon ! 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sick Sick Sick Sick

Oh and did I mention, I've been sick.  Ugh.  At first, I thought the flu but it never turned into the full blown flu.  You know with all the usual liquid insult.  It would get just about there and that's it.  The body aches, pains, headaches, stomach ache, sinus issues, coughing, sore throat, light headedness, dizziness, etc etc.  All had been with me for nearly 2 weeks.  Finally most of the symptoms have disappated but not the sick stomach or headache or now a fever between 101  - 102 degrees every afternoon.  Such a sour stomach it's been a chore to eat.  Which you'd think was a good thing but believe me, it's not.  :(  Mind you, two weeks.  I actually KNEW what was causing all this.  I believed it yet had some doubt.  So finally I went to the doctor on Monday.  Did a test for virus - no virus found at all.  Did some blood work too.  Doc said, if this blood work showed negative then he didn't have a clue.  Geesh, that's reassuring.  The blood work came back the next day thankfully and told the whole story AND it's exactly what I thought it was.  I was right all along !  Drum roll please..........................it is a "sensitivity" to Crestor !  I had ALL of the side effects that drug causes !  All of them !  So fast and so strong were they even my doctor was surprised (he was not the one that prescribed it).  
Sad thing, the doctor that did prescribe them couldn't be bothered to read my file again before prescribing that nasty, horrible drug !  If he had, he would of found I shouldn't of been on it to begin with because of another issue. 
I had been taking the med for 11 days and it's going to take a little time to get it completely out of my system.  
So there ya go.  If your doctor prescribes Crestor for you, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read up on it.  Learn about it - BEFORE you take even the first pill. 
My husband takes it with NO ISSUES AT ALL.  None.
Did you know that statins are the #1 drug sold in the US ?  
Did you know this drug in particular was not fully tested on women over 50 ?

Please learn about any medication you are prescribed before you take them.  It's the only way to protect yourself.  

Hopefully I'll be back to "playing" with my new loom very soon.  In the meantime, enjoy a few pictures of past creations.  First one, beads that went to BOC.  Second one Fall Flower Girl and last one is Simon and Schuester !  lol ! 

Thanks for coming by.  




 
 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Beading With A Loom - A New Journey

No wasting time, I'll just get right to it.  :)  Playing with my new loom this past week was fun !  So VERY different from my first experiences with that cheapie loom.  Thing is, that cheapie loom is supposedly meant for kids.  I don't know.  Maybe a kid can manipulate it better ?  Whatever the case may be, it lead me to a search for a loom and so far, the one I got, is the right pick.  I don't plan on becoming a master at this art form.  I had an interest in it as I do with everything to do with beads so decided to try it.  I love a good challenge and the end result - good or bad.  :)  It's all a learning experience and I love the process and the outcome.  So onward and upward as it were. 
Below are my thoughts on this particular loom.  Hopefully down to the tiniest detail I myself find important.  Lots of photo's included.  :)

I've actually made a couple of lists - Likes and Dislikes.  These are ONLY MY opinions.  Please keep that in mind.   I'll start with the Likes.

- The 8x10 size is perfect for my needs.  Not too big and not too small.

- The top of the loom sits higher than the bottom of the loom which makes it a bit easier to work.  Photo below shows side view.

 

- Space under the warp threads- at the front of the loom (lower end) 4 3/4"  and at the back of the loom (higher end) almost 6 3/4".  There is plenty of room under the threads for my hands to fit easily.

- There are bead cups included in the bottom of the loom which is a nice little extra if needed.  This particular loom has 4.



- There are plenty of nails at both ends to tie off the warp threads.  5 to be exact for a total of 10.

- Tightening and loosening the threads for tension is fairly easy with the wing nuts at both ends of front and back rods.  I found you don't need to hold the loom or brace it to do either.  See first photo, side view.

- The wood on the loom is smooth.  No splinters, no cracks, etc.  Well made.

- Very sturdy. 

- The price is right ! 

Ok, the Dislikes List.  Remember, this is just MHO.

- Minor but irritating - came packed in shredded paper !  What a mess.  The loom itself was wrapped in a bit of bubble I think. 

- Directions that are included on how to use the loom are sparse and incomplete - for a beginner.  I realize there is tons of free info online but this was noticeable.  There are a couple drawings rather than photo's on those directions.  To be fair, on their website, they do have photo's of how to warp the threads and a few on how to bead.  There are better instructions on you tube.

- The loom itself is very well made however it needs to have the option of adding legs so it can stand higher if the buyer wants or needs that.  Here you can see I've added a roll of shelf liner to the higher end to bring it up even more.  I personally need this height and it really worked very well for me.  :)



- The steel warping bars on each end need to be removable so one may have the option to add other warping methods.  I know this might not be possible with this particular loom but it is a thought.  The reason I say this is because even though size 8/0 beads can be used, there is a lot of gap between them when adding the beads so one MUST pull hard to bring the threads and beads together.  Still the thread does show in between the beads.  See photo below of brightly colored strip.

- I found that as I was beading, my arms tended to rest on the steel bar at the lower end.  That is a problem I need to figure out myself.  lol ! 

- There should be something included in the deal to stabilize the bottom of the loom.  If using on a smooth surface, it slides ALOT.  I solved this problem by using shelf liner.  I bought a whole roll thinking I'd use the rest on my kitchen shelves.  Well as you can see in the photo above, it now has another use !  lol !  It won't go on the shelves afterall.  :)  The liner I got has holes in it.  The surface is not smooth which gives it better grip on both sides. 

  

- Warping the loom was nearly as hard for me as it was with the cheapie loom.  That said, at least it was somewhat easier to manipulate the threads to tie them off vs. the cheapie flat loom.  There needs to be a better way to tie off the ends of the threads on these looms PERIOD.  :) 

My overall impression of this particular loom -  It's a great loom - for me, as a beginning loomer (is that a word - lol !).   I would highly recommend it to anyone.  Let's face it, anyone can have any number of likes and dislikes about any particular loom but I feel this particular one would be and is great for the masses.  :) 

In the end, this is how I use my new Loom:  Yeah, I gotta use a magnifying glass and it's on a stand and it's adjustable.  Makes my life a whole bunch nicer especially when working with those darned tiny 11/0 beads !  Man, that was a chore but I did it !  :)



The photo below shows the two strips I made with this loom.  The strip on the left is 11/0 beads in drk bronze and cream soda.  I did not follow any pattern at all. Just went for it and that's how it ended up.  I'm happy.  :)  The bright colored one is a followed pattern using 8/0 seed beads.  Something else I learned quickly.  You gotta have the right needle for the beads used and the right thread to be able to pass through the beads.  All that will come in another post.  Lots to talk about.  lol !  As for the two unfinished strips, I have no idea what I'm going to do with them.  Maybe bracelets, maybe for a collage, I just don't know.  We shall see......................

 
I've decided to go ahead and add the name of the shop where I got the loom.  I figure I might as well because I'm quite happy with it so why not promote it publicly ?  The place is www.beadlooms.com  They have a special going on for this particular loom right now - $5.00 off.  Also, they pack it up and ship it pretty quick too via USPS.    

That's all for this week.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon !  Since I still can't torch, I'll be posting more of my bead looming escapades soon.  :)   









   








Friday, July 11, 2014

Has My Muse Re-emerged ?

I have wondered about that this week since I got going with several projects at once.  It's not my glass muse unfortunately .  Four of the projects were beaded kumihimo bracelets and one is the loom weaving.  So nothing new really.  Well, the loom weaving is pretty new actually.  So here we go..........

Pictured below are 3 of the 4 bracelets I made this past week.  The forth one, I had to take apart even after I was about to put the end caps on !  I found a missed bead and I actually KNEW it when it happened but thought no, it just looks loose so I'll tighten it up.  Yeah, right.  lol !  These are the 3 that did make it.  :)  So happy with all 3.  The red and black one is now in my Etsy shop & the other two will be there sometime over the weekend I think.  I had a lot of fun picking colors to work with.  The silver and gunmetal together is also in a necklace I made also in my Etsy shop.  Beaded Kumihimo is so much fun to do !  I'll ALWAYS enjoy making these little gems.

I used the magnetic clasps on all 3 bracelets simply because they make it soooo much easier to get the bracelet on and off.  They might not look as pretty as some of the other clasps but hey, in my opinion, what's easy is best !  lol !  Especially as we get older right ?  Yep.  :) 


 
The second part of my week began when my brand new BEADING LOOM (pictured below) was delivered !  :))  I FINALLY picked one out and ordered it.  It arrived Wednesday and I've been "playing" ever since.  Since I feel I need to devote a whole post about this loom and what I've done on it, I'll just show the photo's below and in the next post, I'll get into lots of detail.  You won't be sorry if you come back next week to check it out.  Lots to tell and I've only been working on in for a day and a half at this point !  lol !  
 
 
So, has my muse re-emerged - I think in a way it has.  Not for melting glass, it's too hot anyway to be at that torch right now. :(  But for other fun stuff - yep, it's here and I'm glad.  :)  I really needed a distraction this past week. 

Since I have a very early appt. this morning I gotta go for now.  Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon. 
 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yep, Still Here - Still Kickin' - Creatin' Again

I admit, I'm not the most creative nor the most talented but, I enjoy what I do.  :)  Isn't that the whole idea behind crafting afterall ?  So because I am a crafter, I have tried MANY, MANY arts and crafts over the years.  I have discovered there are some things worth coming back to afterall.  lol !  I thought I had left behind beading on a loom (that was not that long ago either).  Nope.  For whatever reason, I just went for it again.  Only this time, I used a much smaller bead - 11/0's !  Not sure what I was thinking when I did that but that's what's cookin'.  lol !   

I am "in process" now and am still discovering new things with this form of beading.  So I'll start from my beginning this go round. 

No photo for this part but part 1 of course is stringing the loom.  This particular loom lies flat so I have to hold it up in one hand to get the thread on properly.  I did NOT follow the you tube instructions like the last 2 times. I just did it "my" way and was done with it.  lol !  It's probably the wrong way but I didn't think I'd get into it like I am.  lol !  Figures.

Photo #1 - Part 2 -  This is my set up for now.  When I was "playing" with this the last time I said no more until I got a new loom.  HA !  Never got it.  The top part of the loom is leaning on a drawer from my jewelry making supplies set up !  lol !  At least my fingers can fit under there !  lol !  I'm still looking at what loom to buy !  lol !  
  
 
Photo #2 - Part 3 -   I'm making the same pattern I made on the very first attempt at beading with a loom.  Those beads were a huge 6/0 size bead.  These are the 11/0's.  Yeah, quite a difference !  lol !  What was I thinking ??  I guess I'm a glutton for punishment !  sigh.   Colors are  dark copper and cream soda. 
    
 
Photo #3 - Part 4 - This is basically what I work on.  My desk with a beading pad on it then the loom.  Well, it just isn't working that well.  The beading pad has a tendency to slip and slide especially when I have to put the magnifying glass on it !  That's the black oval shaped thing to the right.  Then when the pad slips and slides of course the whole loom slides off the plastic jewelry supplies drawer !  UGH ! Re-set it all - again !  :(  There has to be a better way !  I'll figure it out.  Oh wait - I NEED A NEW LOOM !  LOL ! 
 
 
The bigger picture.  This is my work space.  Yeah, lots of stuff to distract me.  That little guy to the left (my first grandbaby) being held by my oldest is the BIGGEST distraction of all !  lol !  Anyway, I must say the adjustable arm magnifying lens is FANTASTIC and a big help !  I have several projects in view that need to be finished or worked on and they ain't gettin' done !  lol !  When I need a break from looking at those darned tiny beads, I look at my bead porn on top of the drawers in front of me !  lol !       
 
 
Since these photo's are only showing about an hours worth of work, I still have a long way to go.  This one will hopefully be a bracelet.  We'll see how the ends turn out but that's what I'm shootin' for.   I am still learning, still in process.  :)  A few things that need to get better are:  Stringing the loom properly, getting the right tension, using beads that are a little easier to see and work with, working in a spot that is not so distracting !  lol !  
Oh, and I didn't get to that new thing I mentioned in the previous post.  That's coming next week.  :)
 
Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon !     
 
 
 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I'm Still Here - Somewhere

Amoungst everything that's going on in my life right now, yes, I'm still here - somewhere.  lol !  Hopefully everything will "come together" soon and I can get back to normal - whatever THAT might be. 

Creativity has been set aside for other important happenings this past month but now, I'm in NEED of my so called muse to pay me a visit.  Can't torch right now due to health issues and the darned heat and humidity so will be doing other fun things as stated in the last post.  Yep, more kumihimo - beaded and regular.  Also some jewelry making of some sort.  Maybe need to use some of my own beads for that.  I'm also going to dive into another fun venture I haven't tried as of yet.  Won't give that away until I take that dive though.  lol ! 

I have made up a couple new items recently - two bracelets and a new flat kumihimo braid.  The bracelets were actually necklaces at one time.  I had to take them apart for one reason or another.  Instead of taking off all the beads, I thought I'd try and save at least half of each necklace.  It seems to of work ok.  :)  The end results are the two bracelets below. 


I found these incredible snake clasps and had to get a few.  I love them !  I want to make a snake pattern kumi bracelet and use a pair for the next one I make.  This black and white beaded kumi bracelet was a necklace I made for my niece that she didn't want.  lol !  I like it better this way !  :)
 
This blue bracelet was part of a necklace I got in a jewelry exchange.  The person that was my partner made it with beads I sent to her and I made one for her with beads she sent to me.  The necklace broke by accident but I was able to save half of it and this is what I made with it.  I love it  ! 
 
The kumihimo braid I made the other day using some new multicolor satin cord I got.  I like how the colors blended.  I had no way of knowing where the colors would end up and that was fun !  It's a flat braid and would be great to use in a handfasting ceremony.  I've sold several out of my Etsy shop just for that reason and so far, my customers have loved them !  :) 

 
That's all for now.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again.  Have a great week !