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

Archive for the ‘Jewelry Tips’ Category

Messy

Sometimes you can gauge the day just by the mess left behind.

20140613-192131-69691212.jpg

Today was a good day.

What messes are you making?

Creatively yours,

20140613-192246-69766737.jpg

If It Works

It’s true. I’ll use any handy thing for a kumihimo weight.

20140612-093019-34219548.jpg

Hey, if it works, it’s good.

Now where are my car keys?

Creatively yours,

20140612-093123-34283532.jpg

Perfect Camouflage

I’m persnickety. No one doubts this, right?

I found a comfortable denim jacket that met all my standard criteria: comfortable fit, great length and perfectly-sized pockets … and the jacket was even in the exact shade of color I wanted. I didn’t hesitate to buy it, even though it had the maker’s tag sewn right on a front pocket. Ew.

Why didn’t I hesitate? Because I knew I could trim that little tag right off. And I did.

Tag be gone!

Tag be gone!

Which left an unsightly dark splotch where the denim underneath the tag didn’t fade during the pre-washing-whatever-process that denim jacket maker people do. I suffered through wearing the blemish for about a week. Then my new Nunn Design components arrived. Ta-daaa!

Empty Nunn Design ® Oval Brooch component

Empty Nunn Design ® Oval Brooch component

I just knew an oval brooch would camouflage that darkened denim blemish perfectly.

Perfect camouflage.

Perfect camouflage.

And it did! But there is more to the story. As if perfect camouflage isn’t enough … the brooch can also be worn as a pendant. Score!

It's a brooch; it's a pendant.

It’s a brooch; it’s a pendant.

I like this Nunn Design ® brooch so much, I’ll be adding all available shapes to my shop: oval, round, rectangular. Thank you, Becky Nunn!

 

And yes, I made multiple brooches while I experimented. Because they’re super simple to make … and super fun to wear.

Waterproof brooch/pendant with vintage kimono fabric design, hand made by Monica at Ikumihimo.

Waterproof brooch/pendant with vintage kimono fabric design, hand made by Monica at Ikumihimo.

Persnicketiness pays. Oh, and if you like the art in these brooch designs, you’ll want to read all about my secret.

 

Creatively yours,

20140529-220414-79454889.jpg

Image

Wanna Know a Secret?

We’re friends, right? I mean, we’re close. Close enough I can tell you a trade secret of my designs, right?

Gee. Maybe I shouldn’t say.

Nah, you need to know.

Gosh. I can’t decide. This has been my secret for quite a while, after all.

I can do this. Are you ready?      ..…. drum roll …….

Handmade waterproof bracelet featuring Piddix images.

Handmade waterproof bracelet featuring Piddix images. Designed by Monica K Campbell.

Piddix!

Many of my jewelry designs showcase the artistic brilliance of Corinna Buchholz of Piddix. Piddix images are more than just beautiful and versatile. If you know me at all, you know how persnickety I get with copyright details. Corinna researches everything she uses, acquiring copyrights when necessary and ensuring public domain status. This matters, people. This matters a lot.

Piddix images are superior quality and guilt-free. Better than a cupcake, I say.

Piddix art rocks. Trust me.

Piddix art rocks. Trust me.

 

Off you go now. Explore something fun. Treat yourself to oodles of creativity. All the links you need are right here:

piddix.etsy.com
instantcollagesheets.com
piddix.blogspot.com

twitter.com/piddix
fb.com/piddix

 

I’d love to see what you make. Do share.

 

Creatively yours,

20140330-191958.jpg

Making Your Own Kumi Weights

If you kumihimo on a foam disk, a kumi weight is a basic — and essential — tool.  Placed on the beginning end of your warps (cords), a kumi weight helps you keep consistent tension in the finished braid.

You can easily make your own kumihimo weight.  It’s super simple and can probably be done with stuff right in your home… like a scrap of string and some washers from your toolbox.  Or an empty prescription bottle with a hook on top.

DIY kumihimo weights

DIY kumihimo weights: a prescription bottle with coins, a large safety pin with metal washers and a scrap piece of string with metal washers.

When selecting your components, consider items that…

  1. won’t snag your cord.
  2. will easily remove from your finished project.

Most people are comfortable with a kumi weight in the 1.5 oz – 2.5 oz range.  An added bonus of a DIY kumi weight?  You control the weight, so it’s always exactly what you need.

Commercial kumihimo weights with gator clips (also known as “gator weights”) can be purchased from a variety of craft places. I confess, I even carried them in my shop for a brief time. But the minute a gator weight snagged my cord, I went back to making my own.

Gator weight

Gator weight

In my next post, I’ll show you my favorite kumi weight (yes, I made it myself) and tell you why I love it.

Have you experimented with making kumihimo weights?  What do you use — and why do you like it?

Creatively yours,

Monica

Memory Wire and Leftovers

Memory wire bracelet with leftover beads

Leftovers aren’t just for lunch anymore.

I had a few gorgeous handmade lampwork beads left over from a previous project and only 20 minutes to “play”.  So I  slid the beads onto some stainless steel memory wire, wrapped a single loop at each end and voilà!

Sometimes, simplest is best.

I like memory wire because I prefer to wear multi-strand bracelets … I don’t need to fiddle with a clasp … and the memory wire flexes enough that I don’t have to be concerned with exact sizing.

Jewelry-making tip: When working with memory wire, use durable tools that are designed for steel.  I have a set of shear cutters and pliers that I use only on memory wire.

memory wire tools

Memory wire is stainless steel, so be sure to use shear cutters and pliers that are hardened for steel.

A single loop is enough to hold these beauties in place.  Before you cut your wire, make sure you leave enough extra space for the bracelet to flex to your satisfaction.

Memory wire end loop

A simple loop is enough to end this memory wire bracelet.

Easy to make.

Easy to wear.

Durable.

What do you do with your leftovers?

Creatively yours,

Monica