Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kumihimo Bracelet Deconstructed...

Kumihimo Bracelet with Long Magatamas & C-Lon Bead Cord Tex 400

I love what ifs… as possible alternatives, variations and ways to play around with designs. So what would the bracelet look like if the position of the cords holding beads was changed…  The top bracelet is done with even spacing between the beads, the bottom one is done with a stacked beads positioning creating a wider spiral space between the beads. The actual braid on the bottom one can be seen more clearly. 

This option is now on the PDF instructions for the Kumihimo Bracelet with Long Magatamas and C-Lon Bead Cord Tex 400. If you got your earlier, just pop me an email and I will send you the additional page, or better yet get a new Cord, Bead & Clasp Pack to make another bracelet with this new option. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kumihimo Bracelets with Long Magatamas & C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

Kumihimo Bracelet with Long Magatamas & C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

At shows I often demo braid samples on Kumihimo disks. Lately one of the finished braided sample turned into a bracelet has attracted lots of attention with many asking for a kit. VoilĂ , a new kit is born.

Well, not so fast, it took a bit more experimenting, to iron all the wrinkles out of the process and several test bracelets later a final version was done. It is better than the original bracelet in my opinion. So yes you can get there without all my experimenting and get a great result on the first try. That's the beauty of a kit, you get all the materials in one spot and bypass the trial and errors. -> Kits

Kumihimo Bracelet with Long Magatamas & C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord
Bead, Cord & Clasp Pack

The cords in the Bead, Cord & Clasp Packs are pre-cut and ready to be inserted in the slots in the kumihimo disk for your convenience. All of this will make this project easy even if it is your first kumihimo project.

This kumihimo bracelet is an original rendition of a kumihimo done with Long Magatama beads from Miyuki. These beads have been often associated with beaded kumihimo. So what's original about this one?

The C-Lon Bead Cord Tex 400 braid can be peaked in between the Long Magatamas, giving the beads a fabulous color background.

A central core is used, so the bracelet will remain the same length for the lifetime of the bracelet.

This project comes in many colors - Bracelet can be stacked or worn in combination with other types of bracelets.

Kumihimo Bracelet with Long Magatamas & C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

With the Bead, Cord & Clasp Pack you get the complimentary PDF instructions sent by email. The manual is 12 pages long with over 30 large pictures. It is a step by step instruction with pictures like the ones below showing each step. It includes instructions on how to set up your cords on the K-Disk, how to load the Long Magatamas, how to braid, how to braid with beads, how to remove your project from the K-Disk, and how to prepare the ends for the clasp and how to finish the project. It has a what if? section, plus the standard women's bracelet length and how to care for the bracelet. Plus it has the braiding mantras… whatever else would you need, right.

Kumihimo Braiding Steps
Left Up

Kumihimo Braiding Steps
Right Down

Kumihimo Braiding Steps
And Turn

That's the Kumihimo Mantra!

Tool Bags designed for this project are also available. They include: a Mini K-Disk, 8 EZ-Bobs, a Weighted EZ-Bob, a Mini-Clamp, and a Big Eye Needle. The PDF manual is available by itself if you already have all the material and tools on hand.

Kumihimo Supplies

These bags makes it easy for you to take your project on the go, then you can braid in the car, on a plane, on the beach or watching for your favorite TV show. 

Watch out it is addictive - but hey you can make gifts and a bracelet in every color available!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Playing Musical Chairs with 104 Colors of C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord


Wow, almost all the C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord colors are here, 100 colors out of 108 are in. The picture above shows all 104 spools of Tex 400. 8 spools are regular C-Lon Bead Cord standing up for the Tex 400 Cord not yet in stock and the 4 neons are not shown - they do not play well with the other colors. We are still waiting for 8 new colors of Tex 400 to arrive, 4 in February and 4 in March. Yippee!

The next step once they arrived was to adjust all the jpegs. Often the picture did not match the actual color on the spool, or there was discrepancies between jpegs of different sizes, so I spent time readjusting most the Photoshop files and jpegs of all 108 regular C-Lon, 108 C-Lon Tex 400, 44 C-Lon Fine Weight and 32 C-Lon Micro. 100's of jpeg adjustments later.... They now match the actual spools a bit more, at least on my monitor and preferred browsers, but please keep in mind that monitors and even browsers vary as to how they display colors. 

Another consideration are dye lots, so occasionally a color drifts a bit. Right now for example Antique Brown in the fine weight size is a bit yellower than in all the other sizes. Occasionally 2 colors drift closer to one another making them difficult to differentiate. But, hey, at least the dye lots are close, unlike Chinese Knotting Cord where often dye lots are so extreme that they create all new colors... but that is a story for another blog.

After that I played musical chairs with actual spools trying to find a better way to fit for all the 104 colors in rows of 8 colors. Finally I transferred this reshuffle to the the web. 

Here are the actual spools of Tex 400 for the first 7+ rows

Here is the last 6+ rows of Tex 400

The new arrangement starts with Greys, Black and White and ends with Blues. The old arrangement for the standard C-Lon Bead Cord started with Purples and ended with Black & White and Greys. So yes if you have an old color chart - reprint a new one if you wish. The new color charts are available in a PDF format.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hand Sewing in Leather with C-Lon Bead Cord and C-lon Bead Cord Tex 400

Determining actual size over the internet is not an easy thing. Having the real material on hand to test is always best. But occasionally distance and time makes it impractical to wait for samples.

Today I was asked to sew into a piece of paper to simulate hand sewing into leather. I was to cut a piece of paper to a 2.4 cm by 11.5 cm and to sew a few cm of hand stitching with C-Lon Bead Cord (on right) and C-lon Bead Cord Tex400 (on left), sewing with holes 4mm apart.

Hand Sewing with C-Lon Bead Cord
Sketch submitted for request
I printed a rectangle on a piece of paper using Photoshop with the measurement listed above. Then with the help of a steel ruler I punched holes 4mm apart using an awl. 

Comparing Hand Sewing with C-Lon Bead Cord & C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord

As I was sewing, I could not pull hard enough on the stitches as the paper I chose was not stiff enough. Next, I will try this on leather, so keep posted!

Princess-Warrior Bracelet Continued

Occasionally I find better buttons for a design, so I changed the antique copper flower buttons to heart buttons for the closure for this bracelet. The flowers are still used as decorative elements.

Then we can play around with positioning. 

By bringing the flowers closer together...

Or setting them at a diagonal...

or by using them for another project and leaving them out completely...

Or we can create a triangular composition with the flowers. This is my favorite one at present. 

Let me know if you come up with another possibility... See earlier posts about Turkish Flat Bead Crochet and the Princess Warrior Bracelets

Get kits, bead & button packages, and the tutorials > Turkish Flat Bead Crochet & Princess Warrior Bracelet Kits

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Princess Warrior Bracelet Collection

Variations of the Princess Warrior Bracelet - Golden Flowers done with C-Lon Bead Cord in Black & Tan,
Gold Miyuki Duracoat Galvanized Beads and Italian Metal Buttons

This is the next step up from the Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet. The Turkish Flat Bead Crochet is patterned after Turkish Oya, the beautiful crochet trims found mostly around scarves edges in Anatolia. 

This new bracelet is an original design. I have never seen it done anywhere, although that does not mean someone else did not stumble on this same design elsewhere. This wider bracelet is made with C-Lon Bead Cord and Miyuki 6/0 beads, whereas the Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Bracelet is made with C-Lon Bead Cord Tex 400 and 5/0 beads. This sophisticated bracelet is reminiscent of armor, the Viking or Greek, "Princess Warrior" look, so I decided to keep this collection with metallic beads. The kits are made with Miyuki duracoat galvanized beads and include Italian metal buttons collected over time. The duracoat finish gives the Miyuki beads a durable metallic coat, so you can expect the bracelet to last over time.

Princess Warrior Bracelet - Golden Flowers Bead & Button Pack & Spool of C-Lon Bead Cord 

Several of the bracelets I have been wearing are earlier prototypes made as I was refining the techniques to create the final bracelets. The final design adopted for this bracelet tutorial minimizes stretch, wear well over time, and includes technical aspects that will help if ever the buttons need to be moved, restitched, or the button loops repaired.

Picture from the tutorial

Once the final design was selected, I photographed each of the steps while making the bracelet. The next step was to make a second bracelet while writing the instructions and looking at the photos. Then, I revised the written instructions accompanying the photos, while making a third bracelet.  The full tutorial is a 15 page PDF document with over 20 large pictures. A paired and scaled down printed version comes with the kits and the larger PDF version is sent by email. Both include the Turkish Flat Bead Crochet Mantra, an easy way to remember the pattern. 

Princess Warrior Bracelet - Silver Zuni Circles Bead & Button Pack & Spool of C-Lon Bead Cord 

Matching materials for these kits has been a challenge. I can attest to it by the number of bead finishes and buttons I purchased over time that did not make the final cut. Most of the Italian buttons used in these kits are no longer available, so the number of kits available is limited to the stock on hand.

Princess Warrior Bracelet - Bronze Double X

While wearing the earlier and final versions of this bracelet at shows, shops, restaurants, I have gotten lots of comments from people at large. This bracelet attracts lots of attention from a wide range of people of all ages, so make one for yourself, one for your daughter, or some for friends.

Princess Warrior Bracelet - Pewter Bindu Circles 

Design variations can be done by adding attached elements, by changing the width of the bracelets and of course by altering colors, beads, and buttons. 

Princess Warrior Bracelet - Antique Copper Flowers

The Antique Copper Flower Bead & Button kit is the only one that comes with newly produced copper buttons. These flower buttons are a traditional button design. The Bronze Double X comes with Bronze Metallic Miyuki Beads Size 6 - the metallic finish on these beads is more susceptible to darkening over time than the Duracoat finishes. 

Complete Princess Warrior Kit with the Tool Bag including a Super Max Thread Burner
Bead & button packages are also available for the simpler version of this bracelet made with C-Lon Bead Cord Tex 400 and Miyuki Seed Bead Size 5.

Get kits, bead & button packages, and the tutorials > Turkish Flat Bead Crochet & Princess Warrior Bracelet Kits

Sunday, June 1, 2014

What I am working on - a sneak preview...

After several false starts, many pieces started and taken apart, materials not working out perfectly - button and beads not matching well enough, I am finally getting closer to finishing designing a new kit.  This process was halted for over a year when life got in the way in a major way. Now things are settling down and there is once again the time and desire to work on new designs. Here is one of the project I am working on. 

It is Turkish Bead Crochet taken to the next step. The concept came to me while experimenting with possibilities - I have not seen nor copied any designs I saw, nor is the concept a traditional approach as far as I know. The kit will include the instructions, the beads, buttons and the cord as well as recommendations for the best crochet hooks and tools for the project.  

I am just waiting for a few additional beads to arrive to make the final prototypes, then I will choose the best pieces and they will be made into kits.

Hints, the kits will have a fair amount of metallic beads & buttons.