Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kumihimo - It's Still Quite the Addiction ! :)

I am so into it once again.  Why does this art/craft keep bringing me back in ?  I can answer in a simple statement:  It's fun, it's colorful, it's fairly easy with fantastic results ~!  As for being fairly easy, it really depends on the project.

I've written alot of pages on this subject - the fun of it, where to find what, what I've done and even a little freebie "tutorial" on how I finish my ends  How to Finish Your Braid  and it has never gotten boring.  Recently I've joined several beaded and regular kumihimo groups on Facebook and they have kept me busy !  It's soooo nice to be "around" others with the same fascination and addiction.  Since I just joined within the last few days, I'm still learning my way around and the folks that visit there.  So far, so good.  :)  And lots and lots of pretty pictures to look at where ideas abound.  lol !  No copying mind you, just ideas.  We all seem to have many beady goodies to play with so there are no limits.  Limitations are set in the mind and right now, my mind has none.  lol !  I have at least 3 books I could bring out and revisit with lots of pictures for inspiration, tutorials to learn from and what the next step is.  For me, I'm thinking, the next step in regular kumihimo would be working more strands rather than just the eight.  That's a bit scary to me but hey, why not ?  It would most likely be a nice challenge.  :)  Something to consider.  Anyway, onward and upward as it were....

So my latest project was the necklace pictured below.  This one took a LONG time to complete but I am so very pleased with the outcome !  I would wear this one myself if I wore necklaces at all !  lol !  Bracelets are my weakness.  Anyway, this was my first "stab" at using dagger beads with kumihimo and wow, what an outcome !  I truly never thought it would turn out this nice.  The color combo is perfect for this time of year as well.  I thought the size of the daggers might give me some trouble but not at all.  In fact, they were pretty easy to work with.  The ends of the cords have to be dipped in Fray Check to make them stiff in order to get thru the holes but that is the only downfall to using them.  Once dry, the cords slide right thru the bead holes.  ;)  I also thought the daggers might "stab" or poke the skin but if worn over some sort of material, no problem at all.  I tested it myself.  :)   And that's pretty much my take on using dagger beads.  :)

I also have ANOTHER new project in the works so will have more on that next post I think.  The loom is still sitting there too with a nearly finished project on it !   One of these days I will get back to the torch as well to finish up the flower project too !  Geesh, so much to do, so little time !  lol !  Thing is, I've had pnemonia so the torch has been pretty much off limits til it's cleared up.  Yeah, it's been one thing after another.  lol !  Anyway.....................

This necklace is in my Etsy shop.  Come on over for a look at beads, jewelry and braids.  

Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again for the next round !  lol !


Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekly Update

This past week was about getting house repairs, remodels, re-do's and cleaning done more than anything else.  It's been busy to say the least.  :)  I didn't have time to torch however I was able to do a little something.  More on that below.

I put together one necklace.  Yeah, that's pretty much it for the week.  sigh.  The Greek ceramic beads in bright colors had been sitting around long enough with nothing ever being done with them.  It was time - even though my hand/thumb was hurting.  At least there was no twisting or hard grabbing of any kind involved.  I had fun constructing it to.  I LOVE bright colors in jewelry so that part made things a little easier for me.  I added some of my lampwork spacers to it as well.  Gave it a different look than the other Greek ceramic beaded jewelry I've made.  It's in my Etsy shop now but also pictured below.  I REALLY like it alot and thinking of making a set for myself.  Also, if anyone buys the necklace and wants a pair of earrings to match, all you need to do is convo me and I can do that too.  :)   So that was fun putting that together.  I have sooooo many of the Greek ceramic beads in all shapes and colors I have extra for sale in my Etsy shop on sale.  Check them out.

I was shopping yesterday at my local big box store and found some cord very similar to the Omega cord I use for my kumihimo !  In fact, it's EXACTLY the same but on a smaller roll with much less in yardage.  It's size #2 just like the Omega and also made of 100% nylon.  They had 8 colors available.  The price was expensive compared to where I buy my Omega which is Creative Yarn Source  The price at the box store was almost $2.00 for only 100 yards compared to Creative Yarn Source where they sell it for $2.80 for 300 yards with LOTS of colors.  Go figure !  lol !  Still I wanted to compare it.  The name of this cord that's on the label is Sizzle by Red Heart.  I'll stick with Creative Yarn Source whenever I need more.

So comes the fall weather finally.  I need to be at the torch as much as possible now and restock my shop.  Still with so much that's been going on it's been rough to find that free time.  Am thinking maybe this morning if I'd get off this computer and do what I need to do first !  lol !

Time to get my day started.  Thanks so much for coming by !  Come back again next week for an update.  :)

OPB's For Sale  Come on over to my Facebook page where I have other artists beads for sale.  I need to destash these beads that I bought long before I started making my own beads.  Come on over and take a look.  :)  Just click on the link "OPB's For Sale" at the beginning of this paragraph.  Thanks so much !


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

All Kinds 'a Flowers

Yes, it's flowers week at my house and I'm enjoying it even though I can't breath.  Sigh.  Allergies are still really doing it's thing on my nose and head and something moving on down into my chest so I'll be calling doc - again.  Anyway........onto more fun stuff..............

Flowers have been the theme this week at the torch !  Yay !  I was able to get on my torch and melt some glass into some flowers of some sort.  lol !  The photo's below only show a few I made.  There are more that are waiting to be cleaned so will show those next time around.   I was a little shaky with the first one, which was the red rose but got right back into it.  lol !  The thing about making these types of flowers is there are extra steps while assembling them in the flame.  The petals are made first and kept warm on a portable burner.  Then comes the stamen or the part to attach the petals to which is made seperate on the mandrel.  While adding the petals one must remember to keep all parts warm or cracks make an appearance !  Not good.  :(   Once all together, pop into the kiln.  :)  Sometimes those cracks won't show up til after they come out of the kiln which is just a bummer.  lol !  It happens.  If all goes well though the flowers will be pretty cool in the bouquet that comes together.  Speaking of which, I am offering those bouquets once again in my Etsy shop.  You can see samples of some of the bouquets I've made in that listing.  Check it out.  :)

I was cleaning up my work space where I put jewelry together and discovered a little something I just never thought about before.  There are some that use the bell flowers for making jewelry with and they have wondered if there were any bead caps that were small enough to fit on the tops of the flowers.  Well, quite by accident, I found some that work perfectly.  They are pictured below.  Tiny, yes but they work beautifully.  The red bell flower is the 20mm size and the pink is the 14mm size.  I don't have the 12mm size but if the bead caps fit the bigger sizes they'll fit the smallest size.  :)  Yay !  These are not sterling silver but silver plated and come in 3 colors - silver, gold and copper in one bag and are available at Fire Mountain.  I bought them a long time ago and just forgot about them until the other day.  lol !  So if you need some bead caps for your bell flowers or whatever, check out Fire Mountain.

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

Please check out my Facebook page that has OPB's (other peoples beads) For Sale.  Just click this link  

Friday, October 3, 2014

Just Beads

This past week was not productive at all as far as my creative brain goes anyway.  My muse flew the coop as it were and I do believe it's due to the pain in my hand/thumb !  Geesh.  The question is - do I consider the dern shots to help reduce or eliminate the pain ?  I don't know.  The thought of someone sticking a needle in a hand that already has MANY issues other than just pain really scares me !  :(  I can handle having a baby alright but sticking a needle in my hand - ewwwww sends shivers up and down my spine.  So hopefully the week ahead will be better.

As it is, I've been working on a new page on Facebook.  I have ALOT of OPB's (other peoples beads) that need to find new homes.  These are all beads that I bought mostly before I began making my own beads.  Before I made beads, I made jewelry therefore needed beads to use.  I had a blast making all the jewelry but once I started making my own lampwork beads, I stopped buying others beads.  No need for them anymore.  So they just need to go.  All are priced right.  Lower than what I remember paying especially for the dichoric beads.  Which that artist still makes and sells her beads at a higher price.  So come on over to my new facebook page and have a peek.  If you see something you'd like to buy, just message me over there.  Here's the link:  You have to sign in to your facebook acct. to get it to open.

Since I have nothing new to show, I've added a few pics of goodies I made in the past.  Enjoy  !

Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again next time.  :)

Check out my Beads For Sale Facebook page.  It has lots and lots of destash lampwork beads up for grabs !

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lampwork Beads - That is All

This week wasn’t a very productive week again.  More hand pain plus allergies causing major breathing issues.  Just not feeling well HOWEVER, I did manage one morning at my torch making beads.  Wow !  I recall saying it’s like riding a bike and to some degree it is but it’s the remembering what colors work well with silver or what color works with what frit, etc etc.  lol !  It was interesting to say the least.  The results are pictured below and I have to say – I need to get back to basics – again.  It’s just been too long.  Maybe some reading is in order but of course just playing around will get my brain functioning again too.  It’s worked in the past when I took off two years from my torch.  There is so much info out there now it can get confusing.  The one major thing I did learn after coming back from that 2 year break is slow, steady and back to basics.  Works every time.  I’d love to get back to sculpting as that was always what I loved to do best so we shall see in due time.
The second photo below shows what the ortho doc said will help my hand.  Yep, a splint or brace or whatever you want to call it.  lol !  Xrays showed a lot of arthritis at the base of my thumb as well as bone spurs.  Yay.  L  This is not a good thing when it comes to making beads.  Gotta spin that mandrel !  I am right handed so the mandrel goes in my left hand.  I tried making beads with that thing on and it just didn’t work.  Off it came !  Much better but painful.  Ugh.  Can’t win.  So I’ll do what I need to do and just limit the beadmaking for now.  I don’t want the injections and I certainly don’t want surgery !  The old saying, if it’s not one thing it’s another holds true for me this year.  lol !  Thankfully, nothing majorly serious. 

If you have a moment, come on over to my Facebook page where I am destashing OPB's that need to find new homes all at discounted prices.

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


Friday, September 19, 2014

That Was the Week That Was

Last week was a week of no fun.  My hand (thumb area) is so painful that no matter what I tried to do crafty wise, it caused more pain.  So no pretties were put together, on the loom that is.  I did manage to take apart some older things but even that caused issues. 

No bead making either since it was too hot to do that.  BUT the mornings, at least, are getting cooler.  Down into the 60’s now so that means early torching sessions !  This is when I melt glass anyway.  I’m at my most “gung-ho” or should I say, constructive early in the mornings.  I try to start at the torch no later than 8:00 am and try to wrap it up no later than 11:00 am.  That’s a good long session for me and typically can get a lot done in that time frame.  Since I haven’t torched for any length for a very long time, it will probably take me a session or two to get back in the swing of things again.  lol !  Like riding a bike – almost.  lol !  I’m already thinking about what I want to make so that’s a very good sign it’s time to get to it !  

I got my seed bead order the other day too.  A whole bunch of new colors !  In all, about 45 !  I didn’t think it was that many !  Geesh !  lol !  It’ll be a lot of fun when I can get back to the loom. J  Not sure when that will be but it’ll come.  The project I began last week is still on the loom right where I left off.  I just couldn’t work it because of the thumb thing.  Hopefully soon.

Below are some pics of what I did finally finish up.  The beaded kumihimo bracelet sat on my desk for weeks unfinished so finally, I got it wrapped up.  Love the colors in this one.  Too small for me though so it will go in my Etsy shop.  The leaf beads were part of a necklace at one time that I never wore so it came apart and the beads will also be in my shop soon.  The leaf beads are made with a gorgeous silver glass.  So pretty.  The necklace I made a long time ago and THOUGHT I had listed it in my Etsy shop and never did !  lol !  So it will be going there over the weekend.  The decorated round beads turned out gorgeous.  A color that took me many years to finally get the true colors to come through !  lol !  

That’s it for this week.  It’s time to get my day started.  Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon !  


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mid September Already ! Fall Is In The Air ?

Not with 90 degree temps and 100% humidity !  Ick !  It'll come though but not soon enough !  lol !  

It's been an interesting week with a bum hand.  lol !  I actually know how to get along with a bum hand fairly well.  I've had 4 surgeries between both over the years.  lol !  Still it really isn't alot of fun.  Thankfully, no surgery involved here.  Feels like a sprain even though I don't recall hearing the telltale "pop" when you sprain something.  I can't get into ortho doc for another week so will have to wait til then to get "official" diagnosis.

With the painful hand, my crafting anything has, let's say, dwindled.  Still, I had to give something a try.  Got out the loom and got started.  I warped it with the new C-Lon size D colored thread I got.  Hmmmm, began warping and thought wow, the thread feels very weak to be doing that sort of beading but I continued and finished up the number I needed.  Started to bead and it just wasn't working out well at all.  Keep in mind, I'm using Dyna-Mites size 11 seed beads.  It was hard to manipulate these particular beads using this particular thread. I thought maybe it's just my bum hand getting in the way but I found later it was not.  The tension wasn't there either no matter what I did which I though quite odd.  Finally, after adding about 3 or 4 rows that took a VERY long time to work, I had enough.  Took it all apart and started over with the Silamide thread.  No problem at all.  So just maybe, the C-Lon size D thread just isn't going to work well FOR ME using the Dyna-Mites seed beads.  I know alot of people use it for looming but alot of people use other types of seed beads too.

As I was beading on the loom, my hand was starting to bother me so when the pain got too bad, I just quit which meant, not much got done in a week.  lol !  You can see in the photo below just how much DID get done in 5 days.  lol !  It's almost 3 inches and it felt like a foot !  lol !  I'll just do what I can when I can.   

Cool, fall weather is not too far off now and so the days for beading on a loom are becoming numbered !  I'll be back at my trusty torch very soon melting glass into beads and I am VERY VERY anxious to do just that.  :)   It seems like FOREVER that I've put in some good time creating with glass and I surely have missed it !  I'll still play on the loom or make a braid or piece of jewelry on days I can't torch.  I'll have to cause I just ordered a bunch more seed beads !  lol !  Making beads is my first love though soooooo...............

Time for me to start my day.  Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon !