Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Bracelet Sizing - Bracelet Length vs Wrist Size + Bracelet Size Calculator

Have you ever made a bracelet for yourself or someone else, and when you were all finished, it was either too snug or too loose?

Here is a guide that will help making bracelets that will fit. It is especially important for bracelets that have a certain thickness, such as beaded kumihimo bracelets, bracelets with large beads and any other types of bracelet are not flat like a measuring tape. 

Step 1. Before making the Bracelet, you need the following:

1. Wrist Size
Measure with a flexible measuring tape at the place where yo want to wear the bracelet. This will also work for an anklet.  

2. Type of Fit

Tight Fit - Do not add anything
Snug Fit - Add 1/4“ to 1/2” (0.25" to 0.50") / 0.6 cm to 1.25 cm
Comfort Fit - Add 1/2“ to 1” (0.50" to 1") / 1.25 cm to 2.5 cm 
Loose Fit - Add 1“ to 1 1/4” (1" to 1.25") / 2.5 cm to 3 cm

3. Bead or Braid Diameter/Bracelet Thickness

That's the measurement between the inner and the outer circumference. 

Step 2. Wrist Size + the Type of Fit Adjustment = Inner Circumference

Now let' find the Middle Circumference? That's the bracelet length.

The math is all from Pre-Algebra Yikes that was a long time ago...

Circumference = π x Diameter
Diameter = Circumference / π
π = The Number Pi = 3.14

From this, we can deduce the following:
Inner Diameter = (Wrist Size + Type of Fit) / π 
Middle Diameter = Inner Diameter + Bracelet Thickness 
Middle Circumference = π x (Inner Diameter + Bracelet Thickness)
Difference between Inner Circumference and Middle Circumference = π x Bracelet Thickness
So the adjustment for the bracelet thickness is as follows:
Adjustment for Bracelet Thickness = Bracelet Thickness multiplied by Pi
Adjustment for Bracelet Thickness = Bracelet Thickness x 3.14

Step 3. Calculate the Bracelet Length

Bracelet Length = Wrist size + Type of Fit + Braid Thickness multiplied by Pi
Do the multiplication first and use 3.14 for Pi, that’s close enough or use the calculator below.

Bracelet Size Calculator

Enter all the input number in inches (decimal form) or in centimeters. The calculator work either way. 
If you enter the Bracelet Thickness only, you will get the adjustment for the bracelet thickness. 

Then of course if you are making a kumihimo bracelet with a clasp, take the clasp length in consideration. 

In the Kumihimo Bracelet with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord shown above, the magnetic clasp covered by a peyote sleeve is 1 inch/2.54 cm long. Braid a first short section with no beads that will be wrapped and glued into the clasp. Braid the beaded kumihimo section. Then another short section with no beads for the other end of the clasp. The braid is 0.38"/0.96 cm thick, so the adjustment for the bracelet thickness is 1.19"/3.02 cm. Minus the clasp from that and you get 0.19"/0.48 cm. So make the beaded section just a tad longer (0.19" - that's a 3/16"  or 0.48 cm longer) than the wrist size adjusted for the type of fit desired. The clasp length will make up the difference. 


This chart shows average sizes for both women and men.

Standard Bracelet Sizes

I recently got an email asking me how long a beaded braid section needed to be for one of my kumihimo bracelet kits. After really pondering on this question, I had to write this post and creat the calculator online. I hope this will help you for your next bracelet! - Marion

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Paypal Shopping Cart - Check out Process

Occasionally someone calls me with questions about the check-out process of my online store. It is a lot easier to show screenshots then to explain the process verbally. This post just got updated in April 2016 as Paypal changed their checking out procedure. 

The online store uses a basic Paypal shopping cart that opens in a secondary window or a mew tab depending on the preferences set on your browser. The secondary window is a Paypal window, with a https to keep your personal info secure.

Green arrows are options; red arrows show mandatory steps.

On this page you can update quantities… remove items… check basic shipping info. Calculating shipping at this stage has created problems with some browsers. Shipping prices are clearly posted on my website under orders.

If you calculate shipping at this stage, it only shows First Class. For large International orders, it is often not enough to cover postage. If shipping paid is not sufficient, we email you the best options for shipping and a Paypal money request for the shipping balance. 

Click on either buttons - They go to the same next page.


Here you can still update the shopping cart on the left… and click on link at red arrow to go to the next step.


Enter your debit or credit card info, your name, the billing address and phone number. 
If the shipping address is different than the billing address, you will be able to enter that in the next steps. If you enter the shipping address and it does not match the billing address of the debit or credit card you use, it will be declined.

Why do we need your phone number? Occasionally, we have a question about your order and we need an answer immediately to ship your order right away…. 

Don't want a Paypal Account? Click on the No, I don't want an account now button. 


Once you click on No, I don't want an account, click the yes, I have read…  and click "Review and Continue" button.


Here you can, do a final review of your order and make the following changes:

Shipping address - Enter it here if different from filing address
Shipping method - Update to Priority or Priority Express
If you need your package overnight, call after checking out.
Add Instructions for us (the sellers)
Change our phone number - Occasionally we need to call you with a question about your order.

Click on button at red arrow to pay.


Here is what happens afterwards:

Paypal transfer your payment minus their fee into our Paypal account - but not your cc info.
We get an email with your order.
You get an automated email from Paypal with your order detail.
You get an automated email from us that we received your order
We pack your order.
We ship your order - most orders are shipped via the US postal services.
You get an automated email notification that your order has shipped with the tracking number.

FYI: Not getting the automated emails? Sometimes they end up in the spam folder… 

Shopping Cart Problems?

Some customers using the latest operating systems on iPhone, iPad and iMac and Safari have been getting an error message when trying to checkout. Paypal is trying to fix the issue, but it might be an Apple issue. Apple is advising its users to download and App such as Firefox or Chrome to bypass this issue. You can download these Apps for free.

If you experiencing any problems or difficulties with the checking out process, copy your shopping cart content, take a screenshot and send us an email with the list of items you want to purchase. We can send you a Paypal invoice payable with any of the major credit card. They seem to problemless.

Or if you prefer to pay over the phone, include your phone number and the best time to call you for cc info. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

DIY Tassels for Jewelry Continued... Larger Tassels with Chinese Knotting Cord Micro Size E

Mala with Tassel

Tassels, especially larger tassels can be a focal center to a neckpiece or mala. This mala has 108 beads with 4 marker beads ( the 4 lepidolite). The 8mm beads are strung with C-Lon Bead Cord and knotted in between. The mala can be worn long singly or doubled up as a shorter piece. The 5 inch (12.5 cm) long tassel is made with Chinese Knotting Cord Micro Size E.

I have made these larger tassels from 4 1/2 inch long to 5 inch long. I tend to make them long as they can always be shorten. Silk can be used for these these larger tassels, but the ones made with the Chinese Knotting Cord drape better than the silk ones. Smaller tassels can be made with Chinese Knotting Cord or with silk.  > Check this DIY Silk Tassel Tutorial

Materials and Tools for a 5 inch Tassel

40 yards of Chinese Knotting Cord Size E - 0.4mm in diameter
1 Tapestry Needle Size 22
Sharp Scissors
• A Small Book, Several Layers of Card Stock or a Large Bobbin Plastic Box

DIY Tassel Tutorial

1. Wrap the cord 100-115 times around the box, book or card stock.  

DIY Tassel Tutorial

2. With a separate piece of cord and the tapestry needle, wrap many times around the cord bundle. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

3. Use a flat knot to bind the cords. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

4. Cut the tassel cords along the other end. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

5. Fold over the cords of one of the side over to the other side. 
This will make a perfectly symetrical tassel. 

DIY Tassels Tutorials

6. With a separate piece of cord, wrap the tassel neck, starting with 2 half hitches.

DIY Tassel Tutorial

7. Continue with a simple warp and finish the wrap with 2 half hitches. 

DIY Tassels Tutorials

8. Stitch the end back into the tassel and through towards the cord ends.

DIY Tassels Tutorials

9. To trim the cord ends, wrap a piece of plastic around the tassel. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

10. Use your sharpest scissors to trim the ends. 

DIY Tassel Tutorial

11. The tassel can be attached either now using the tapestry needle or prior to step 2.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Cord Making - 3-Ply Cord made with C-Lon Bead Cord

3-Ply Cord made with C-lon Bead Cord

Making your own 2-ply and 3-ply cord is an easy process and the tools required are simple. Cords of various diameters can be made with C-Lon Bead Cord or any other type of cord you want to experiment with. 

A 2-ply cord made with 1 C-Lon Bead Cord will have a diameter of about 0.75mm whereas the 3-ply cords shown above have a diameter of about 5-6mm. These larger cords are made with 12 lengths of C-Lon Bead Cord per ply, so a total of 36 lengths of C-Lon Bead Cord for the 3-ply cord.

The Tool Kit

Cord Making Tool Kit

This is the tool set I designed and use for making 3-ply or 4-ply bonded nylon cords. For short 2-ply silk cords I often use a manual mini cord twister. Read about 2-ply cord on this previous post. The mini twister os better suited to twist silk or thinner cords; whereas this set up with a reversible electric drill is better for bonded nylon cords or thicker diameter cords made with multiple cords in each plies. 

Cord Making Tool Kit

This tool kit is designed to work with a reversible cordless drill. The hook is ready to be attached to the drill and this is how each of the plies will be twisted.

Cord Making Tool Kit

A central hook is attached to a table with the 2 inch C-clamp provided.

Cord Making Tool Kit

A bar with 4 hooks is attached to a portable chair. I wrapped the wood chair with a bead mat to protect the chair. A towel will work too. A rolling cabinet can be used instead of a chair as long as the wood bar with the 4 hooks can be moved. The bar needs to moved closer to the central hook after twisting the first ply.

Cord Making Tool Kit

The mini-bungies work well to attach the bar to the chair. If the bungies are too short or too long, a cord will work. 

Making a 3-Ply Cord
Once your set up is in place, you are ready to make the cord. Choose the diameter of the cord, the number of cords per ply. Lay each ply and its color composition. Then twist each plies counterclockwise. Lay them together and tie the ends together and let them twist clockwise all by themselves. 

Each tool kit comes with PDF instructions sent by email. The instructions list all the steps for making 3 and 4 ply cords. Plus it has a handy reference chart with diameters for cords made with C-Lon Bead Cord. 

Here are some projects done with 3-ply cords made with C-Lon Bead Cord. 

3-Ply Cord Bracelets

Adjustable Double Slip Knot Cord Bracelet
made with 3-ply cord made with C-Lon Bead Cord

Rope Bracelets made with C-Lon Bead Cord

3 or 4-Ply Bracelets Made with C-lon Bead Cord and Euro Magnetic Clasps & Spacers

2, 3 and 4mm 3-Ply Cord Made with C-lon Bead Cord

Cord making is a nice technique to have at your fingertips. It is very useful when you need a thicker cord that what you have on hand or what's available. As to what can be made with cords… your imagination is the limit...

References and Links

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Griffin Jewelry Silk - Spools versus Cards

Griffin Jewelry Silk on Spools

Griffin Jewelry Silk on Spools

The Griffin Jewelry Silk is a high quality filament silk from Germany. This silk is a standard beading silk that has be made for many years. Griffin has been around since 1866. The thread quality, diameter and colors are incredibly consistent. It shows the high quality standard levels at the factory where this thread is made. The silk on the spool is a 3-ply cord with a left twist made from 100% natural silk.

I currently carry two sizes of the Griffin Jewelry Silk on spools > Marion Jewels in Fiber Online Store

6/F Ø - 0.35 mm - 65 meters per spool
8/FFF Ø - 0.42 mm - 40 meters per spool

Griffin 100% Natural Silk on Cards

Griffin 100% Natural Silk on Cards

The silk on the card is the same silk as what's on the spools, but it is twisted into a cordon, a 2-ply twist with a needle attached at the folded end. One of the drawback is the short length of the card, only 2 meter long making it difficult to use this silk for longer necklaces, crocheted necklaces and any other project requiring longer length of silk.

So yes one of the solution if you need silk with a needle attached at the end like the one that comes on cards is to make your own. To make your own 2-ply silk cordon (re-twisted 2-ply cord) > Check this post on making 2-ply twisted cord with Griffin Jewelry Silk

Here is a chart that compares diameter sizes between the silk on spool and cards, plus 2 and 3-ply cordons made with the silk on spools. It is a handy reference for anyone working with this silk. Diameter sizes are approximate and based on information provided by Griffin.

Compare Diameter Sizes of Griffin Jewelry Silk and of Griffin 100% Natural Silk Cards

I hope this will help anyone with questions about how these two silk products compare. It will certainly make a handy reference when I am next asked questions about how to compare Griffin Jewelry Silk and Griffin Silk on Cards! - Marion

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Kumihimo Bracelet Duo & Necklace Plus Continued - Santorini Colorway

Kumihimo Bracelet Duo & Necklace Plus - Santorini

In the previous post, the colorway featured was Place Vendome. 
Here are the photos of the kumihimo bracelets and necklace done with the Santorini colorway.

Oh, and why Santorini? The colors reminds me of the Minoan murals in Crete. Then I thought of the lost Minoan civilization of Atlantis, but the Atlantis has a bit too much attached to its name, so Santorini seemed much more appropriate as a name as it is the island where Atlantis may have been, before being destroyed when its volcano exploded… 

Kumihimo Bracelet Duo & Necklace Plus - Santorini
Here is the materials for the Kumihimo Bracelet Duo…

Kumihimo Bracelet Duo Kit

The start of bracelet #1

Bracelet #1
Left shows the back side of the bracelet, nice a soft against the wrist with no beads.
Right shows the front side with the small bead ridge in the center. 

Kumihimo Bracelet Duo - Santorini

Here are the two bracelet done with this kit. 
Bracelet #1 on the right; bracelet #2 on the left. 

What's intriguing is the texture and color differences between these two bracelets. It is also possible to switch and start with bracelet #2 first, then the color arrangement would be changed. 
Kumihimo Bracelet Duo  - Santorini

Bracelets stacked

Kumihimo Necklace Plus - Santorini

The Necklace Plus makes a long necklace and a bracelets, or two necklaces, your choice. 
A handmade glass bead can be added. 

 Kumihimo Necklace Plus - Santorini

The large bead can sometimes slide on over the clasp and beads. 

Kumihimo Necklace Plus - Santorini

Other times, depending on the actual diameter of he inside hole, the beads needs to be integrated into the braid. Each bead is handmade one at a time, so inside diameter are not exact. 

Kumihimo Necklace Plus - Santorini - Focal Glass Bead

The borosilicate bead contains silver globs and dichroic fragments within, giving it life when it moves. 

This pieces were braided with Rayon Bouclé that is space dyed, C-Lon Bead Cord, 4mm Magatamas, these beads are in the form of a droplet, Size 8 seed beads for bracelet #1, gold tone magnetic clasps covered by Peyote Sleeves. The focal large glass bead is an optional add on to the kit. > Get a kit

Kumihimo Bracelet Duo & Necklace Plus

Kumihimo Bracelet & Necklace Kits

Occasionally a new kit starts with a skein of yarn. 
I fell in love with the texture of the rayon boucle and its colors. 
It is a space dyed yarn with gorgeous colors, but would it work for kumihimo?

Kumihimo Bracelet & Necklace Kits

I started with the necklace...

Kumihimo Bracelet & Necklace Kits

Then tried a flat looking bracelet with beads only on the side - it is shown on the left.
It is made with the standard round braid but it looks like a flat braid.
Then I altered it by adding a ridge of smaller beads down it center… See bracelet on right. 

When I finished the first bracelet, I had lots of yarn left, so I added a second bracelet.

Kumihimo Bracelet & Necklace Kits

The second bracelet has a different bead placement. 
It makes it more interesting when both bracelets are worn together. 

Kumihimo Necklace Kit

Then I added a focal bead to the necklaces and Peyote sleeves over the clasps. 
This one is Black Starburst - a borosilicate glass with silver globs and dichroic chips inside. 
It is handmade in the USA. 

Kumihimo with Focal Bead
This one is Silver Moon. Not sure which one I like best… 

Kumihimo Bracelet & Necklace Kits

Here is what comes with the Bracelet Duo and the kumihimo tools that are needed. 

This colorway is Place Vendome > Get a kit or if you already have all the materials for this project, just get a PDF of the instructions emailed to you.  

Of course this process took some time. I got the skeins in two colorways in February and now it is August. And I still have to package the Necklace Kit Plus and finish the instructions for the Necklace Plus. Necklace Plus? Oh, that's because you can make two necklaces, or one long necklace and a bracelet with the kit.  

I brought this kit to my last show, last weekend in Portland. I only had the Bracelet Duo ready in the two colorways, Place Vendome and Santorini. Santorini sold out… Now, of course I need to post all the pictures showing the Santorini color way. See next post entry. 

Oh, why Place Vendome? The colors reminded me of Paris, the classy colors of the architecture and Place Vendome came to mind. I looked again at pictures of this beautiful square in Paris off Rue Rivoli and yes the colors are similar, with soft greys, soft rusts, some charcoal and some golds and bronze…