I design … I teach … I create … I craft … I love kumihimo

Archive for the ‘Jewelry Tips’ Category

Kumihimo Storage Fun

I don’t get out much* but when I do, I like to pack my precious kumihimo supplies carefully and efficiently. 

Eureka! I found the perfect tama container. Sneakily enough, stores seem to think it’s a refrigerator storage bin. Silly retailers.

The bin holds 8 beading tama, my scientific weights, a chopstick and a split ring. The handles guarantee I don’t drop it. The bins are even stackable if I don’t include the scientific weight. Splendiferous! 

I tried it out yesterday as I packed for a local Craft Bash (gathering of fun, friendly, creative folk) and it worked perfectly. I used another bin for Miscellaneous Important Things. Pretty sweet. 
  
What are your creative kumihimo storage solutions?
Creatively yours,

Monica
* Why? Well, that’s a story for another day.

Liquid Resin Tip

Resin tip: You can use spare beads to support jewelry findings when you need to fill them with liquid resin. 

Some people use rice, which works well, but I’m not fond of the floaty little rice dust that sometimes happens. I prefer to use beads from my “miscellaneous treasures” jar.

  

This is like bead recycling, right? So I’m totally justified in buying more beads, right? Right. I knew it! 

What resin tips do you have?

 
Creatively yours,

Monica

Finishing Party

I’m surrounded by loads of kumihimo experiments and unfinished projects. Yay, me!

Everyone has their own workflow, right? I tend to design, assess and rework the kumihimo portion of a piece until I get it done the way I like. 

When I’m writing tutorials, as I am now, I practice and photograph the preparation and braiding processes over and over and over again. Then I have a “finishing party” and attach all the end caps, clasps and such. 

Today is Finishing Party day. Tools are everywhere and I’m making a huge fun mess. 

 Finishing Party with tools and findings
Party on, friends!

 

Creatively yours,

Monica 

Creativity Break

Hi, all! I’m offline for a little while, enjoying a Creativity Break.

  
I hope you’re nurturing your own creativity. 

Be well!

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Social Media & Rebranding

As much as I try, blogging doesn’t come as easily for me as I’d like. I try. Really I do.

I post more consistently on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. If you don’t already follow me on those venues, you probably haven’t seen these designs.

 

I’m happy to announce a bit of a name change. You’ll now start finding me as iLOVEkumihimo on all my social media places 

Let’s connect all over the webosphere, shall we?

like: facebook.com/iLOVEkumihimo
tweet: twitter.com/iLOVEkumihimo
pin: pinterest.com/iLOVEkumihimo
peek: instagram.com/iLOVEkumihimo

 

Creatively yours,

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Design Notes

With every design I think, “Oh, I’ll remember that” … and with every design I’m usually quite wrong.

It took me a while to establish a system that was a) convenient b) accurate and c) useful for me once some time had passed. I’m happy to share some of my secrets here with you.

My primary documentation tool is my smart phone. Truly, my childhood dream came true when modern technology made it simple to have a camera, calendar, computer, clock, phone, flashlight and more — all in one device that fits in a pocket.

With my phone, I photograph and video all the glorious details of learning a new braid or making a new design. I get it all: before, during and after.

My process is simple:

  1. Photograph the materials
  2. Photograph the setup
  3. Make a simple ‘reminder video’ as I braid so I remember the sequence
  4. Photograph the finished braid
  5. Write down the numbers (# of warps, # of ends in a warp, tama weight, counter weight, width of finished piece … any number that seems significant)
  6. Note anything that should be done differently the next time
  7. Put it all together in a folder
  8. Back up the data
  9. Print out the details (offline references come in handy)

I recently learned a square 8-warp Kaku Yatsu braid. My design notes look like this (click on an image to get more info) …

 

I also made a very short reminder video of the move sequence on the marudai. My reminder videos are very brief but I find them super helpful. I encourage you to document your own design journey so you can have an objective view of your growth as an artist.

Once I removed the braid from the marudai, I took some close-up photos in natural light. This photo set shows the braid detail and gives a better idea of the colors.

I have not yet turned this piece into jewelry. When I do, I’ll photograph the finished ends and any embellishments. I’ll also note details on the findings.

Ba da bing! Ba da boom! That’s all there is to it.

With these handy notes, I’ll never completely forget how to make an 8-warp Kaku Yatsu braid.

I hope you find some of this helpful as you document your own creative fun. If you have helpful tips or suggestions, please share.

 

Creatively yours,

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Thank You

May the holidays you celebrate this season bring you much joy. Thank you friends, family, colleagues and customers for all your support this year.
May 2016 rock your socks off!

Creatively yours,