Saturday, January 24, 2015

Where Oh Where Is My Glass Muse ??? And Thank-Goodness For Kumihimo !

Last week was another week of wondering where in the blazes my bead making muse has run off to !  I can't understand it.  It has been ages she has made her presence known and I'm beginning to worry.  :)  I WANT to make beads again. I WANT to be at my trusty torch and go for it.  I WANT to "feel" and see the glass in my hand and watch it melt in that glorious flame again.  So why can't I bring myself to just GO FOR IT ?  I have tons and tons of tutorials I could choose from.  I have all sorts of things running thru my head I could try out or just do nothing in particular.  Maybe just sit there and make spacers or bell flowers.  Two things that are pretty easy for me.  I think about it and even pass by my "fun area" where I make beads and just - nothing.  No inspiration, no urgency to get to the torch like I use to have, no dreaming of making beads like I use to.  Can't understand it.  So, in the meantime..........................

As I have mentioned frequently lately I am really into Kumihimo again.  Mostly beaded Kumi but making fiber braids as well.  I've followed some new tutorials lately that I have purchased and some that are in books I have.  The ONLY braid I worked on last week was from a tutorial I purchased over a month ago from Randi Sherman.  It's a beaded bracelet braid with just a bit of minor stitching you have to do.  No big deal at all.  If you can sew with needle and thread at all, you can do the stitching here.  Anyway, the bracelet I made is pictured below.  This bracelet calls for beads I've never used before in Kumihimo.  Size 11/0 seed beads, super duos and tiny 3mm drop type beads.  Ohhhh brother I thought when I got this tutorial.  Will my fingers let alone my EYES,  be able to handle all those tiny beads !  lol !  They did surprisingly.  So after the third try, it finally all came together.  The next problem I had was properly getting one piece of the clasp to stay glued on.  It was my own fault as I didn't leave the ends long enough and used a glue I probably shouldn't have.  lol !  Finally THAT all came together and the last faux pas on this cuff was the glue leaked all over the beads near the clasps.  Eye eye eye.  So yeah, even though I thought I wiped the excess glue off good enough, a little length of beads near the clasps are pretty stiff.  lol !  So the bracelet stays home with me.  No one else would want it anyway.  lol ! 

Yes, I will make more of these !  lol !  Even though I had "issues" with this one, I LOVE the look of it.  Plus now that I've made it once, the next ones will come a bit easier - I hope.  :)

I'm destashing some items that I just don't use of need.  If you're interested at all in these items, just follow the links I'm going to add below.

Yarns - On my All My Beads Facebook page All My Beads Facebook Page
Other Peoples Beads - On another Facebook page that is mine  DLA Facebook Page

Thanks so much for coming by.  Please come back again soon. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kumihimo - Will It Ever End ? :)

Evidently NOT and I'm happy about that - sort of.  lol !  As much as I enjoy making braids of all sorts, it's costing me alot more than I had planned on or even wanted to.  lol !  This is what happens when I go full force into a craft/hobby/art.  The money tree becomes bare.  :0

I'm still learning new things about this wonderful craft/art that it blows my mind.  I've bought new patterns and some have been given away freely by the designer.  All beautifully done.  I LOVE tutorials whether or not I use them.  I have many of ALL kinds that have never been used.  Sometimes it's just nice to know how something is done.  The free tutorials are the ones that mean the most to me.  Giving away something that you love and could make money on says something of your character.  That said, there's nothing wrong with making a buck on these things either so don't flame me please.  :)  We ALL need to earn a living.  All tutorials are great and I thank each and every designer for their time and effort to share.  :)    

Onward and upward as it were.  :)  The necklace below is one of several I made from one of those freebie tutorials.  It's a 6 color spiral necklace on the standard 8 strand kongo gumi Kumihimo braid.  Now, one must ask, how in the world do you get 6 colors to line up evenly on 8 strands ?   It's a particular pattern and works fabulously !  In order to get it one must belong to one of the kumihimo facebook groups.  It's free so ask if you're interested.  This one is done with 8/0 Dyna-Mites seed beads gotten at Fire Mountain.  There are those that do not like the Dyna-Mites but I love them.  

Next up is a necklace I made sort of following a pattern.  This pattern is in a book.  I did not follow it exactly so in a way, I can call it my own design.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE these colors and once again, the seed beads are the Dyna-Mites 8/0.  The other beads are boro drops.  The colors in this necklace are soooo feminine.  This one will be in my Etsy shop later today.

  Lastly a necklace done in blues with dagger beads and seed beads.  This one also sort of followed a pattern.  If nothing else, I love revamping a tutorial and making it my own !  lol !  This one is pretty much standard though and out there free. I used a very pale blue 8/0 seed bead but it shows up much darker because I used a dark blue cord.  I do enjoy the look of it.  :)

So to answer the question once again - Will it ever end ?  Highly doubtful !  lol !  I might end up taking another break from it but it won't ever end.  At least not until my hands give out.  lol !  I have too many beads !  lol ! 
If you haven't tried Kumihimo - with or without beads, try it.  It's VERY addicting, pretty easy and TONS of fun to do !  
 Check my Etsy shop later for new listings !~

Thanks much for coming by !  Please come back again soon.  And leave a comment.  I love hearing from you.    

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year !

I'm sure that title has been used a million times already but that's ok.  It is the New Year afterall.  :)  I'm just not real creative at the moment to make it eye catching.  lol.

I do have 3 basic Kumihimo beaded "bracelets" in the works that need only a finishing touch.  I decided to go ahead and show the photo here just so there's some eye candy to look at.  ;)  Nothing like a boring blog that has no eye candy.  lol !

The middle one I'm keeping for myself since I already have one in my etsy shop for sale.  I liked it so much I had to have one for myself.  :)  Love the icy feeling it gives me since I LOVE the cold weather.  ;)

The top "bracelet" is made with two browns which I really like together.  I used the Omega #2 cording in black on both colors even tho one color is a transparent. You can barely tell it's there.  In fact, it's darn right hard to see period.  That one will be in my Etsy shop in a few days.  I am never sure about mixing a transparent and an opaque bead in one bracelet when having to use only one color cord.  This time, it worked out great.

The black and gold bracelet is so dramatic looking !  I love it !  This would be gorgeous with any evening attire in matching colors.  I got a little further in finishing this one as it was made here at home.  The other two were made while we were on vacation.  Anyway this one will also be in my Etsy shop soon.  I might make a pair of black and gold earrings to match but without the mag beads.

Next "creative" endeavor I need to do is work up one of the many tutorials I have on hand - old AND new.  I have LOTS and LOTS of both lampwork and jewerly tutorials to choose from so it will be a challenge to even consider where to start !  lol !  My torch has been sitting idle for a VERY long time and I am in the mood.  :)  On the other hand, I am enjoying making beaded braids ALOT once again.  lol !  Maybe I need to just put my choices in a hat and just choose that way. 

Ok time for me to sign off for now.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon.  :)  Have a safe, prosperous and very Happy New Year ! 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Where Did The Week Go ?

To answer my own question, it literally flew by !  Wow.  I am glad to see it go but not so fast.  Geesh...............At least I was able to accomplish some things.  That's always good.  lol !  Even came up with a few new ideas.  One concerning making beads but that will have to wait til I get back to the torch.  :)  Maybe today for a bit ?  :)

The past week also included a try out with some new beads and Kumihimo.  Did not work out like I thought it would so it came apart.  The really frustrating thing about that - I was done with the piece - or so I thought and found it was too short on one end.  Drats.  Nope, could not of added any lampwork beads to one end either cause it was a necklace with a focal.  Oh well, the new beads will be used another day in another piece.

One of the Kumihimo facebook groups I belong to had a reveal of the challenge they had going.  It's still going on in fact.  No prizes or winners, just a reveal of what one has accomplished.  I participated in that challenge and made 3 braids and 3 bracelets pictured below.  It really was alot of fun figuring out what to make and what to use.  I hope there's another challenge soon.  One big reason I made so many pieces is I needed to re-stock my Etsy shop.  lol !

I did manage to learn a few things as well but will have to wait to reveal those things once I actually make some pieces.   

The braids are as follows left to right:  square braid done rayon satin cords, flat braid again all rayon satin cord and another flat braid done in hand dyed satin cord and a sparkly yarn.  All going in my Etsy shop this week.  All are long enough to use in your Handfasting ceremony !  :)  I have to say, I could make braids on my Marudai all day long, every day !  I love working on it !  Moreso than using the foam disk. 

 All of the bracelets are made with magatama beads and the top left one also has seed beads in it.  The blue and black one and the pink and black one will be in my Etsy shop today. 
 The photo below is the photo of the colors we needed to incorporate into our pieces.  I put the bracelets on the photo to show how they matched up.  The blue beads are not the exact shade of blue in the photo, but close.  Oh well.............:)   

Thanks for coming by.  I hope you come back again next week.  :)  I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying this holiday season. 

Please come by my Facebook page where I sell lampwork beads made by other artists.  These are beads I've had for a long time and have never used.  They need new homes.  This is the direct link.  OPB'S FOR SALE  You can purchase from that page.



Saturday, December 6, 2014

Time - Is Not On My Side (but Kumihimo helps ! )

Those lyrics just keep playing in my head instead of the original.  There's only one word that makes it different and we all know what that is I'm sure.  :)  Isn't it the truth though ?  Especially this time of year when everyone seems to have at least a zillion things to do !  And our list just keeps getting longer and longer.  Just never enough time in the day or week or month..............I need to take a breather.

Still no torching for me.  sigh.  I have often wondered lately if I'll ever get back to my beloved torch and glass.  I walk past it almost daily and glance over at it all and just sigh.  ;(  With my allergy issues not getting any better and so much else going on in our lives, I can ONLY look at it and maybe touch the glass occasionally.  lol !  Oh well....maybe.... one.... day - soon.  sniffle............

In the meantime, I can at least play with the Kumihimo braids.  That, I can do while doing other things at the same time.  Easy to do since what I am doing right now is portable.  Using the Marudai is not portable and I have made a couple of braids using that but mainly it's been the foam disk lately.  Yesterday, I made a necklace and was able to watch over fixing our dinner and the tv at the same time.  Go figure.  Never lost my place either.  I have several methods of being careful about that.  Anyone that knows how to make Kumihimo braids is familiar with those techniques.  I'll show them to you here though just in case.
The braid I'm working on in the photo's is a typical 8 strand braid.

The easiest method for me is to place a little piece of a torn off business card under the first move.  In the pic below it's at the top of the disk and it's black.  I NEVER lose my place doing it that way and I always know that's where I start once again.  Using this method, I always finish thru ALL four movements before stopping.  I use this method with my Marudai ALWAYS. 

The second method I rarely use myself but so many others do it this way and swear by it.  I only use it in a pinch, like if the phone rings and I need to stop quickly.  It does show, in an obvious way, where you left off and where you need to begin again.  At the top in this photo it shows three of the cords.  The cord in slot 28 was the last move and the one that you need to start with again.  That cord is then moved to slot 10 at the bottom of the disk.

The last method is maybe a bit harder for some to use but for me it was a simple solution and one I used alot before using the torn off business card.  If you look at the photo below, you'll see a steel rod.  I'm just using that as a "pointer".  If you look at where it's pointing at the cords, you will notice the position of the cords.  There is a wide gap in between the green and pink cord where all the cords meet in the center.  It's the same on the right with that pink and green cord as well.  You will also notice the cords at the top ( yellow and orange colors) and bottom of the disk have no gap when meeting in the center.  You will also see the cords at the bottom of the disk are "off center".  All this info tells me I need to start with the cord on the bottom left.  Believe me, once you get use to it, it's easy.  It just sounds like alot.  Yes the black business card piece is still in the picture.  I forgot to take it out.  lol ! 

Hopefully this is helpful to someone out there.  Just a little tidbit of info that has worked for many who love working Kumihimo.

I was able to make a couple of pieces over this past week but no time to photo yet.  Will get those next time.

Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon.

Please visit my Etsy shop.  I have a bead sale going on now until Dec. 18th.  10% off all focal beads.  Also come on over to my facebook page and give me a like and leave a comment.  That link is :  Thanks again !   

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Kumihimo - Beads and Braids - A Love Affair lol !

I hope everyone had a perfect Thanksgiving !

Yes,  perfect heading for these Kumihimo posts !  Simply because there are so many of them on my blog along with the lampwork bead posts.  And yes, I have a love affair with both !  lol !  I LOVE LOVE LOVE making beads and making Kumihimo anything !  They are both a pure joy for me.  Ok, enough of that...........

This past week has really flown by and it wasn't because of Thanksgiving - for us anyway.  With so much happening I didn't have alot of time to create but I did manage at least one beaded Kumihimo bracelet and I haven't even taken a picture of it yet.  lol !  That said, I did make a couple of other Kumihimo braids - one beaded and one not, but it's been about 2 weeks ago now.   The bracelet was a new to me pattern and of course I messed it up in 2 major ways.  Lesson learned.  At least I figured out the problems.  Photo's below.

The bracelet - Pattern by someone on a Kumihimo page on Facebook and as soon as I remember who it was, I'll edit this post and put the person's name.  It's just slipping my memory at this moment.  I love the pattern and will make more of these but for now, with the limited amount of time I've had, this will be it.  I enjoy the color combo but I HATE the way the end caps placed.  My solution:  I'll add more size 8/0 seed beads on each end next time.  That way, the bead caps will be an easy fit and they'll be straight.  The ones on this bracelet are so lopsided it's not funny.  lol !  The second problem is one magatama bead is out of place on each "row".  Obviously I counted wrong or missed a step as I was moving the cords.  Easy to do no matter how experienced one is.   No matter, I'll still wear it.  :)  I love wearing my mistakes anyway. 

The Braid - A basic flat pattern braid but I really like how it turned out.  I used satin cording and a yarn made from bamboo that has a bit of sparkle to it.  :)  No mistakes on this one !  :)  This beauty would be wonderful for a Handfasting ceremony.  This will go in my Etsy shop soon.  I could make these all day, every day.  I enjoy working on my Marudai very much.  :)

My time has become so limited lately for creating anything that I can only hope I can fit something in along the way.  ;)  In the meantime, that's it for now.  Thanks so much for coming by !  Please, come back again soon !  Stay safe this holiday season !

Sale going on now in my Etsy shop.  All braids are 15% off until Monday, Dec. 1st. 
Visit my shop by clicking any picture in my link above right or click this link All My Beads Etsy Shop

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bellflower Press Update - It's Been a While

It's been such a long time I posted anything about the bellflower presses and what I've made with them that I decided it was time once again for an update.  All the flowers I've made have been for bouquets but a few bellflowers and bellflower bouquets stand alone.  :) 

There's so much you can do with those presses other than "just" a bellflower even though the bellflower is still and always will be the star !  :)  I did some back searching on my blog and in my photo catalog and sure enough I was playing and experimenting with such things way back in 2012.  One thing I did do back then was make daffodil type flowers as shown in the photo's below.  I recently sold this bouquet with a daffodil type flower in it.

 They're easy to make actually just takes a little more time.  I have used 2 different methods both of which work fine.  Method #1 -  Make the petals first and keep warm on a warming plate.  To make the petals, I use this tool  petal puller which works very well.  The petals can be used in either direction - with tip attached or tip facing outward.  For the daffodil, the tips are facing out.  Once those are made then I make the bellflower.  Once bellflower is done I then attach the petals, any number you want to attach and wha-la  - a daffodil type flower !  :)  Put in kiln. 

Method #2 - Make the bellflower and the petals.  DO NOT ATTACH the petals.  Instead do the following -  Keeping the petals on the warming plate,  get a mandrel and make a spacer bead.  It can be round or donut shaped but a spacer bead.  Then add the petals around the outside edge of the bead with the tips facing outward if you use the petal pullers or if you make the yourself.  Wha-la, you have your daffodil petals.  Put it in the kiln.  Once everything has cooled & your spacer bead has been cleaned, you can then assemble the daffodil type flower.  Take your bellflower bead and slide the wire thru the spacer bead hole to see how it fits.  If you have a good fit and the bellflower sits flat or at least close to flat, you can then add glue to the bottom of the bellflower and/ or the inside of the spacer bead and attach the bellflower to the spacer bead and let dry.  I just use Super glue.  Wha - la - you have your daffodil type flower.   Sounds like alot of work but really it's not and the outcome is pretty.  :)

The yellow daffodil flower in the bouquet below is done using Method #2.  This bouquet was made in 2012.

The yellow daffodil flower below was done with Method #1.

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

Check out my Etsy Shop !  I'm having a sale on all necklaces !  15% off until Dec.1st !
 Click on any link to the right or just click this link All My Beads