Sunday, August 31, 2014

A Week of Variety

Yes, it was a week where many not normal things took place.  lol !  We had company all week so very little in the way of arts and crafts was accomplished. 

I wasn't able to get anything done on the beading loom but I did get the C-Lon thread I ordered in a few colors.  I look forward to giving one of the colors a try this coming week -  it won't be black or white - I think.  :)  I did open the plastic bag to have a feel of the thread and it feels quite soft and silky.  I did purchase it from a shop I was familiar with but also did some shopping to see if the colors came in any bigger of a roll.   And of course they do.   If I were to do this professionally and all the time I'd go for the largest spools but because I won't be doing this professionally and only for fun, the 40 yard bobbins are fine - for me - for now.  lol !  I also found there are other threads out there for working with seed beads but I haven't seen much mention of them.  For example, Firemountain carries a line of something called Silkon thread which is a bonded nylon and comes in 3 weights.  The #1 lightweight for beading.  I have no idea if this is a good thread to use with the loom but there's only one way TO find out.  lol !   Next time  I place an order, I'll get a bobbin or two.  :) 

I did manage to do a few crafty things this past week.  I actually got to play at my torch for a couple hours early one morning !  It was in the 60's a few early mornings so got to make beads once.  :)  It was like I had never torched before.  lol !  Was a bit shakey so kept it very simple as you can see in the photo below.  Just a few frit beads and a basic focal bead with LOTS of silver foil and intense black.  I LOVE how intense black, silver foil and dark ivory react with each other !  LOVE the veining !  The 5 matching beads are very simple with a base of black, silver foil melted in and a rare frit added on top.  Another very reactive frit which can end up blue, white or yellow but is white in the un-melted form.  Fun to play with.

 I was also able to put together a kumihimo flat braid which will be in my Etsy shop later today.  I LOVE how it turned out.   See photo below.  I used a different pattern this time and it has a "wave" to it.  On the sides.  I used satin cord and a yarn with pretty silver sparkles through out.  This would be stunning in a handfasting ceremony or even in a necklace with a pink crystal hanging from the middle or some other gorgeous gemstone or cabochon.  This braid I finished up yesterday but before that one, I had worked on another one in purple with a different yarn.  Well, as it always happens, when you loose track of where you are and/or you don't pay complete attention to what you are doing, mistakes happen very easily.  Yikes !  Sure enough, even though I was able to backtrack and get most of the mistake out, I missed a few passes and continued on.  Oh well, it'll go in the big plastic bag with all the other mistaken braids done over the years !  lol !  Thankfully, the one in the photo is perfect.  lol ! 


Today will be a very long day.  Was up way too early (4:00 am) and could not get back to sleep.  Yawn.  Not sure how this day will go.  lol !

Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon to see what's happening.  I hope you are having a safe holiday weekend !    

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 !