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  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 ! 




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Nothing New But At Least I'm Having a Little Fun !

Well, it would seem I've abandoned beading with a loom already.  As much as I enjoy the finished product, I just don't have the time or patience for it right now.  Too many other things on my plate, so to speak, at the moment. 

I guess you could say I've gone back to arts/crafts I've already established myself in and still love to create/play with them.  Some things, I just never tire of nor do I intend to give up ever.  I might walk away for a time but I always come back.  Lately, the bead muse just isn't calling to me so I've backed off a bit.  I did have some torch time recently and enjoyed my time there but it was enough for the time being.  I've come back to Kumihimo too and LOVE what I've been doing with that as well.  In fact, so much so I've made at least 4 regular flat braids in just the past week.  Beaded Kumihimo is a lot of fun however the age old tradition of regular kumihimo, with no beads added, using my wonderful Maurdai, also turns out lovely pieces.  Pictures below are the few I did make this past week.  I LOVE the colorways of these pieces so much so that I've used up the hand dyed satin cording that's in the first photo.  I'm hoping I can get more.  All of them are made with hand dyed satin cording I've had for some time.  The colors in all three braids are stunning !  And really, the pictures do the colors no justice at all !  They are must see in person to truly appreciate !  All three of these braids are in my Etsy shop now.   

Ok, wanna see some beads too ?  No problem.  I did do some torching on and off for a couple of weeks and the outcome is several bouquets.  Photo's just below.  I won't be posting much if anything over the next month so better put these up now.  The first bouquet is now in my Etsy Shop.  These were "extra" flowers after making the other two bouquets.  Those were special order bouquets and are now happily with their new owners.  The second photo is missing a white rose that came with it.  I just forgot to add it when I photographed it but it looks like the orange one in the top photo.  Enjoy ! 

I hope you enjoyed the eye candy !  Thanks so much for coming by !  Please come back again soon ! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Old of it and The New of it

It has been a busy couple of weeks here and I've dabbled in some new and some old crafty/artsy things along with getting a couple made to order orders in the works. 

I wanted to venture into something new and decided to find that cheapy beading loom I bought a long time ago.  As it's known here I have made jewelry using the peyote stitch and made a couple of beaded dolls using bead embroidery.  Figured it was time to give the loom a go.  I really love the look of seed bead embroidery and stitching.  Found the loom and began.  Eye, eye eye !  Warping that darned thing drove me INSANE !  The key word to using that loom is cheapy and it sure made life difficult -  but I pursued !  Used the cheapy beads that came with the kit and wha la, I FINALLY finshed this "piece".  It's nothing in particular, just wanted to give it a go to see if I wanted to continue. 

 The really hard part of using this loom I have is it is too flat.  I had to sit one end of it up on a box of tissue.  lol !  Made life much easier.  Also, I started this piece at the wrong end of the warps !  lol !  When I got to the end of the loom, I had to work backwards to be able to keep going.  lol !  It worked but I wouldn't recommend doing that.  

Once I finished this piece, I decided I have to try one more just to see if I really wanted to continue pursuing this new venture.  I picked out some of my own seed beads this time, found a pattern I wanted to try and got started.  It was still difficult to warp the darned thing but after a fight I finally got it done and began.  The pattern was super easy to follow and I just got on a roll.  The outcome is just below.  I like how it turned out but made it too long to use as a bracelet and too short for a hatband which is what the pattern is for.  lol !  I didn't warp enough thread.  Oh well, such is life.  Maybe one of these days I'll figure out what to do with it.  lol !

So the question is:  Do I want to continue with this beading on a loom ?  I'm on the fence about it.  If I do, I will buy another loom before giving it another go.  There are a couple of looms I have in mind.  I have enough seed beads that's for sure.  This shall be continued at a later date.  :)
So that's the new of it.  The old of it, I made a couple kumihimo braids !  It was fun !  These are flat braids, no beads in them.  I used my Marudai for both and enjoyed making those movements again.  Might have to make more.  These are in my Etsy shop now.  These would be GREAT for handfasting.  I made them with hand dyed satin cording.  LOVE the colorways of both.  :)  I left the ends unfinished that way the purchaser can finish or decorate the ends as they wish.  These are LONG too measuring 48" and 43" long.

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

Saturday, April 26, 2014

It's Been Too Long - Again and Now With More Kumihimo

Yes well, that's pretty much all I had been able to do in the past couple of months.  lol !  With a broken foot, there's not a lot that one can do or is suppose to be doing.  lol !  The doc said stay off it so I did.  I saw the doc this past Monday and the foot has about another 3 to 4 weeks of healing to go but at least the darned boot is off !  Yay !  That said, he gave me a funky looking shoe to wear until we meet again in a few weeks.  That "shoe" hurts my foot worse than the injury itself.  :(  Onward and Upward as it were. 

First of all, I never did find out what is the actual cause of that previous issue I was having.  The end part being "loose".  It seems to come and go.  Doesn't happen with every necklace.  I made another necklace since and it didn't happen with that one.  Hopefully I'll be able to figure it out in the future.

I did manage to make a few things and finish them up last week.  Photo's are below.   A necklace for my niece in spring colors.  Which I should of mailed this past week and for some reason it's still sitting on my desk.  A bracelet which was fun to make.  I used three sizes of seed beads including 8/0's, 6/0's and magatamas and three colors.  I really like how it turned out.  It kinda reminds me of a dragon's back.  :)  Then the wire wrapped earrings.  I saw some like these on a glass forum, searched the web to find the tutorial (it's a freebie), found it and made these two pair.  Of course they are FAR from perfect but they were kinda fun to make.  One pair is copper and the second pair is made with rose gold color wire.  These are the last kumihimo items I've made.  I'll make more I'm sure.  I have ALOT of seed beads in all shapes and sizes I can use but the magatama's are the ones I like using the best in kumi.  They just make the pieces more dramatic and prettier I think.  

With those pieces done, I took a few days and did nothing as far as jewelry or any crafts are concerned.  Needed a bit of a break.  Then it was time to get back to something.  So I have begun a foray into something new to me - beading on a loom !  lol !  Why not ?  I've tried many things using beads. This is one art/craft I had never tried.  I will write more about this new adventure in an upcoming post. 

Photo's of the last couple of kumi pieces I did and the wired earrings.

So until next time, thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again sometime soon.  If you have a couple minutes, check out my Etsy shop.  There may be something in there you like.  :)  Also, I will be posting some new items in the next couple of days.