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… 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

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.

The online store uses a basic Paypal shopping cart that opens a secondary window. The secondary window is a Paypal window, with an 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. Checking shipping at this stage has created problems for some shoppers. Shipping prices are clearly posted on my website under orders.

It only shows First Class US mail. For International orders that are large, it is often not enough to cover postage. In that event, we email you the best options for shipping and a Paypal money request for the shipping cost balance. 

Click on either button - 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.


Click on tab at red arrow to go to the next step.


Enter your debit or credit card info, your name, the billing address that matched the card and phone number. (If the shipping address is different than the billing address, you will be able to enter that in the next step. 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…. 
Click on button at red arrow to go to the next step.


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.

I can't show you the next step, because I cannot shop on my own website… but here is what happens afterwards:

Paypal transfer your payment minus their fee into our Paypal account - 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.
Ship your order - most orders are shipped via the US postal services.
You get an automated Paypal or USPS - Click & Ship email notification that your order has shipped.

FYI: Not getting the automated emails? Automated emails sometimes end up in junk mail… 


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!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

DIY Silk Tassels for Jewelry

Silk Tassels

One of the latest trend in jewelry is tassels. They are featured everywhere on malas, attached to bracelets, earrings and more... In fashion you can find them on clothing, belts, shoes, purses along with lots of fringes. Tassels can be made out of many different type of materials depending on their final use. They can be simple or complex. 

Here is a tutorial for a silk tassel well suited for jewelry. 

I found filament silk best suited for tassels. The weight and flexibility of the silk makes gorgeous tassels. Kanagawa 100 Denier Silk and Fujix Tire Silk come in an amazing array of colors. Kanagawa 1000 Denier Silk comes in 162 colors; Fujix Tire Silk in 121 colors. The following tassel was made with Kanagawa color #5. These two Japanese brands, Kanagawa and Fujix Tire, are comparable and they are as far as I know the best filament silk available. 

Silk Tassels Tutorial

1. Cut a folded piece of cardboard a bit longer than the desired length of the tassel.

Silk Tassels Tutorial

2. Insert the thread in the cardboard fold and wind the thread around. 
This one was wound about 45 times around the card. 
The more you wind the thread around the cardboard, the fuller the tassel will be. 

Silk Tassels Tutorial

3. With separate thread, bind all the tassel thread on one of the end.

4. Cut the thread along the other end while holding the bound end. 
Continue holding the bound end for nest step. 

Silk Tassels Tutorial

5. Wash the thread with water to remove the folds and blot the tassel with a towel. 

This step can be skipped with Griffin Silk, and with silk coming off of cards if you are willing to iron the silk prior to use. 

Silk Tassel Tutorial

6. With a separate piece of silk, wrap the tassel neck and stitch the ends back toward the tassel ends. 

Silk Tassels Tutorial

7. To trim the tassel, wrap the tassel in a plastic sheet and use your sharpest scissors.

Silk Tassels Tutorial

Here is the finished tassel.

Silk Tassels Tutorial

The finished length of this tassel after trimming is 4.5 cm long.
The head is about 5 mm in diameter. 
The bottom of the tassel skirt is about 18 mm wide. 

Silk Tassels made with Kanagawa & Fujix Tire Silk

Tassels made with Kanagawa 1000 Denier Silk and Fujix Tire Silk.
Some are longer, fatter… The fattest one on the right was made with the full card. 

Silk Tassels

Tassels made with filament silk.
The two on the right are made with Griffin Jewelry Silk Size 6. 

The Kangawa and Fujix Tire silk tassels have a bit more sheen than the Griffin ones.
Plus they fall better with more flexibility. Griffin Jewelry Silk is another filament silk often used for stringing beads. It is a bit less slippery, a bit stiffer than Kanagawa & Fujix Tire. It is available in 12 colors at this time. Griffin Jewelry Silk comes in spools. Size 6 has 65 meters per spool.  

Tassel made with Madeira Silk

Tassel made with Madeira Silk

This tassel is soft and fluffy, but the floss does not have the weight of the filament silk, so it does not hang quite as nicely. Madeira Silk Floss come in 108 colors. It is made in Germany with spun silk form Switzerland.  

Tassel made with C-Lon Micro Cord

Tassel made with C-Lon Micro Cord. 

This tassel skirt is bit stiff. I may attach this ones to my keys or a purse, but I would not attach it to a strand of beads, nor wear it as a jewelry charm… I am now experimenting with tassels made with Chinese Knotting Cord, so far I really like the results with Micro Size E, so keep posted for an upcoming post on these tassels. 

Silk - References

Silks available at Jewels in Fiber
All these fine silks are available at Jewels in Fiber online store

Here are the silks, I tested for tassels. I made the same types of tassels when I was growing up in Geneva, Switzerland. I came up with a few improvements while making them this past week late at night in my studio… Oh, I was told at the show I just attended that books are good to wind the thread around to make the tassels. I ill have to try my next one on a very small book. 

I have several books on tassels, but I have yet to make one of the fancy tassel featured in them. If you are interested in further research in the art of passementerie, that is the French word for fancy decorative trimming such as tassels, braid and fringing, check books on tassels and look for future posts on the subject!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Chinese Knotting Cord - Compare Sizes

Chinese Knotting Cord - Compare Sizes

Chinese Knotting Cord is a braided nylon cord with a central core. It is available in many sizes and  quality. Sometimes braided polyester is sold as Chinese Knotting Cord instead of nylon, but polyester is more slippery and it has more stretch, but it is easier to dye than nylon. 

All the cords we carry are braided nylon, with a central core also made of nylon. This way the cord is fully fusible and the ends can be melted using a thread burner. All our cords are tested and only cords with proven record are carried. > Compare Thread Burners

Chinese Knotting Cord in 10 yd bobbins

The 10 yd length are wound on EZ- Bobs. We used to wound them on cards, but we switched to EZ-Bobs. The medium size EZ-Bobs are used for the 2mm, Medium Weight, HDQ (High Density Quality) size and 1mm size. 

2 mm Size
~ 2 mm diameter.
Available in 5 yd/4.5 m or 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in 110 yd/100 m spools. 
Jewelry quality cord, braided evenly with a matte finish.
Many of the colors match the HDQ, NewFine Weight and H Size. 
Made in China. 

Medium Weight
~ 1.2 mm - 1.5 mm diameter.
Available in 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in 82 yd/75 m skeins.
A classic weight for shambhala bracelets with beads diameters of 10-12 mm.
Colors matches the Fine Weight other than for dye lot shifts. 
Made in China.  

HDQ Size
~ 1.2 mm - 1.5 mm diameter.
Available in 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in 158 yd/145 m spools.
High Density Quality = high count of braiding elements per inch. 
Matte finish with a good grip. 
Many of the colors match the 2mm, NewFine Weight and Micro Size H. 
Made in China.

Both the Medium Weight and HDQ knot to about the same size. 

1 mm Size
~ 1 mm diameter. 
Available in 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in 130 yd/119 m spools. 
Dense and tightly braided. Low sheen finish. Good grip. 
Many of the colors match the Extra Fine and Micro Sizes E & F.
Made in Taiwan. 

Why are some of the Medium EZ-Bobs are more transparent than others? 
We used to carry EZ-Bobs made in China, but we have moved back to US production. The mold for the Medium EZ-Bobs is polished to a very smooth surface making a final bobbin that is more transparent.

Why are the diameter approximate and why do some have two sizes? 
The first number is often found by holding the cord above a ruler, and second smaller one 1.2mm when it is squeezed… 

Will hold knot tightly, but may not slides as well as lower grip cords… 

Chinese Knotting Cord - Compare Sizes

All the sizes above are wound of small EZ bobs, shown thinnest to thicker from left to right. The largest three on the right are shown below. The 1mm is shown as reference. 

Chinese Knotting Cord - Compare Sizes

Fine Weight
~ 0.8 mm in diameter.
Available in 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in 82 yd/75 m skeins.
It is a great weight for cording going through beads for shambhala bracelets.
Additional colors of similar weight can be found in the NewFine Weight listed below.
Colors matches the Medium Weight other than for dye lot shifts. 
Made in China.

NewFine Weight
~ 0.8 mm in diameter. 
Available in 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in super large 328 yd/300 m spools.
Even braid quality, just a dash denser than the Fine listed above. Matte cord finish.
Many of the colors match the 2mm, HDQ Weight and Micro Size H.
Made in China.

Extra Fine Weight
~ 0.7 mm diameter.
Available in 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in 90 yd/82 m spools. 
Low sheen. Holds knot well.
Many of the colors match the 1mm and Micro Sizes E & F.
Made in Taiwan. 

Chinese Knotting Cord - Skeins

The Medium and Fine Weight Size come in skeins. Buying Skeins? > Read Tips on How to Unwind Skeins

Chinese Knotting Cord on Spools

The 2mm, HDQ, 1mm, New Fine & Extra Fine come in spools. It is easier to work with than skeins. 

Chinese Knotting Cord in Micro Size 0.4mm, 0.5mm to 0.6 mm

 The next sizes are Micro Size E, F, G & H. The Extra Fine on the right is shown as a reference.

Micro Size H
~ 0.6 mm in diameter.
Available in 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in 110 yd/100 m spools.
Just a tad thicker than most Size G, with very smooth fine texture and even braiding.
Most colors are fairly matte, but some have iridescent strands. They are marked with *.
Some colors match the 2mm, HDQ & New Fine.
Made in China.

Micro Size G
~ 0.5 mm in diameter.  
Available in 10 yd/ m bobbins, and in 135 yd/125 m spools.
Expect thickness, texture and dye lot variations in this size. 
Made in China.

Micro Size F
~ 0.5 mm diameter.
Available in 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in 100 yd/91 m spools. 
A tad thinner than Size G. Even in thickness and texture.
Many of the colors match the 1mm, Extra Fine and Micro Sizes E.
Made in Taiwan. 

Micro Size E
~ 0.4 mm diameter.
Available in 10 yd/9 m bobbins, and in 270 yd/247 m spools. 
Even in thickness and texture.
Many of the colors match match 1mm, Extra Fine & Micro Size F.
Made in Taiwan. 

Chinese Knotting Cord Spools - Micro Sizes

 I hope this will help you choose the best braided nylon for you next project.

Still confused or interested in trying this cord out? 
Order a few 10 yd bobbins to try out or some sample cards.

> Chinese Knotting Cord

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

New C-Lon Bead Cord Colors - July 2015

New Colors of C-Lon Bead Cord

C-Lon July 2015 Colors: AurumMedium BrownGreen Olive, and Venetian Red.

Compare C-Lon Bead Cord Aurum to other Gold Tones
Compare C-Lon Bead Cord Aurum to other Gold Tones

Aurum, the Latin name for gold, is the new gold tone. It is a great addition to the gold tones and yellow range. Here it is, surrounded by Lemon and Golden Yellow (at bottom), Light Maize & Marigold (on left), Gold (on right), Tan & Antique Gold (on top).  

Compare C-Lon Bead Cord Medium Brown

Medium Brown, in the midst of the other brown tones, with at top: Latte, Sable and Brown, then continuing in a clockwise fashion, Chocolate, Sepia, Antique Brown, then Cocoa, more of a grayish taupe… and finally Mahogany, a reddish brown. 

Here is Medium Brown, next to Sable. It shows the tone and value difference between the two. 

Green Olive, the newest olive green addition, is greener than Olive and darker than Olivine… Compare it to Myrtle Green (at top), Chartreuse (left), Peridot, Fern, and Green (above) and Forest Green (on right), and Olivine and Olive (below).

Compare C-Lon Bead Cord Venetian Red to C-Lon Reds

Venetian Red, a perfect lower saturated red that reminds us of natural earth clay tinted by iron oxide, the interior of palaces in Venice, or the murals of Pompeii… is surrounded clockwise starting on left with Black Current, Sienna, Copper Rose, Chinese Coral, Shanghai Red, Red-Hot and Red.

I am truly amazed to have so many colors to work with!