Normally, I’m not this harsh.
I’m out of patience now.
After this, I’m no longer speaking to Winter.
Who’s with me?
2015 hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations. Thankfully, it’s only February and there’s time for this year to perk up.
Please, 2015: perk up!
I’m always hopeful, so here are some things I’m looking forward to…
Yes, I edited the Memory Wire Beaded Kumihimo tutorial. Again. Apparently, it takes six hands to photograph this while executing the technique. Sadly, I don’t have six hands. I’ve had to improvise. Repeatedly. It’s working. Sort of.
I’m not a giver-upper.
I’m also looking forward to teaching Beaded Kumihimo at Parkland Community College this summer.
To keep current with all that 2015 will bring (the good stuff, anyway), follow Ikumihimo’s social feeds …
Dearest 2015, get your act together now. Please.
Random info unrelated to anything…
Peacocks can live 20 years.
Peahens also live 20 years.
Peacocks and peahens are together known as peafowl.
A group of peafowl is called a party.
I think they’re beautiful, so I made a poster.
I like you, so I’m sharing a mini version of my poster here.
Be yourself. That’s deep wisdom, right?
What nugget of wisdom is your favorite? Please share.
Tools are great. I truly
like adore my tools. A perfect tool for a job is a beautiful thing.
Sometimes, though, the best tool is … no tool.
People frequently ask me what needle I use to load beads onto my cords for beaded kumihimo. I make and wear a lot of beaded kumihimo. A LOT. Oodles.
In fact, I finished a beaded kumihimo bracelet this weekend that has just over a thousand size 8/0 beads.
But I don’t use a beading needle.
I’ve tried. I’ve tried many beading needles. And I’m disappointed every single time.
I prefer to stiffen the ends of my s-lon cord with Gum Arabic Beading Glue and let the end of the cord become the needle.
The process is super simple and takes very little time. It’s even a bit messy. (Messy = fun, right?)
1. Cut the end of your cord at an angle.
2. Dip at least 2″ into the Gum Arabic. Use your fingers to wipe off the excess, making sure the end of the cord is coated well but not dripping.
3. Hang the cord to dry. It doesn’t really matter if the cord is perfectly straight or a little curved. Once the cord is dry, it will be stiff enough to use as a needle to load your beads.
When you’re done loading beads, just tie a square knot in the end of your cord. This is just a temporary “needle” after all.
Gum arabic is water soluble and washes off hands and tools.
I hope you find this helpful.
What’s your preferred method of loading beads? I’d love to learn your process.
I fiddle. I modify. I tweak.
Delays aren’t always bad.
I wasn’t procrastinating. I know this because I can procrastinate very well and this just wasn’t one of those times.
I just wasn’t done. I knew it could be better. And face it, I’m persnickety. (It’s ok. I know I am.)
I was nearly finished with the technique tutorial and what did I do? I made a major modification.
Ah, now it’s good. Now I really like it.
And I’m nearly done re-photographing and re-writing the tutorial. Again. I’m not ready to tell you how many times I’ve done this.
Persnickety can be annoying (ask my family). But it can also be good.
So, what do you think?
I’m not always fast. I may be persnickety … detail-oriented … analytical … creative … organized (ha!) … but face it, oftentimes my techniques for making surprisingly durable jewelry are NOT fast. Until now.
I’m happy to share my 10-Minute Method of making a bangle in this free tutorial…
Step 1. Gather Materials
Step 2: Print your digital image with a laser printer onto Monica’s Matte Jewelry Paper.
Note: Is my Matte Jewelry Paper really necessary? That depends. It is necessary if you want your bangle to be waterproof. But if you choose other paper (scrapbook paper or inkjet prints), you’ll need to seal your paper. The paper and sealer you choose will make all the difference. See my “Variations” notes at the end of this post for more info.
Step 3: Trim your printed art to 7.5mm wide and approximately 220mm long.
Step 4: Apply E-6000 adhesive to the back of the trimmed paper.
Step 5: Spread the E-6000 with a plastic card.
One swipe of the plastic down the length of the paper, in a squeegee type of motion, will give you a smooth layer of E-6000 on the back of the paper without any dry spots or lumps.
Step 6: Apply the paper to the bangle.
Start by aligning one edge of the paper in the channel then use a finger to push the paper onto/around the bangle. You’ll be burnishing and applying all in one step, which ensures a smooth, bubble-free fit.
Step 7: Apply a non-stick clip or two where the edges of the paper overlap. Set aside to dry.
I can’t say exactly how long it will take the E-6000 to dry. I know temperature and humidity are important factors. According to the manufacturer, though, 24 – 72 hours is considered a “full dry time” for the product to be considered truly waterproof.
I tend to make bangles in the evening and usually wear them the next day (I’m so patient). The E-6000 has consistently held the paper together well enough for me. However, if you intend to immerse the bangle in water, I recommend you follow the manufacturer’s guide and wait a day or three.
Step 8: Congratulations! Your new bangle is finished. Enjoy!
If you sell jewelry at craft fairs and the like, this technique can be an easy table-filler for you. One printed sheet can yield 17 – 25 trimmed strips, depending on the art you choose and the efficiency of your trimming. I can trim and assemble 25 in an hour. That’s a fantastic creation timeframe for a hand-made product that looks amazing.
Are you curious about the art I used for the tutorial bangle? It’s one of my favorite bangles and it features part of a chromolithograph from the 1850’s. I adore the bright colors and intricate patterns. It’s from one of my favorite artists, Corinna of Piddix. You can read more about her art and why I prefer it in my Wanna Know a Secret post.
Let’s talk about vintage home decor. Specifically, wallpaper. What do you do with vintage wallpaper? I wear mine.
It’s true. I wear wallpaper. And I love it!
As you can see from the above photo, I wallpaper a lot of bangles.
Would you like to make your own? Then this free tutorial is for you.
Here is Monica’s Waterproof Method of Making a Wallpapered Nunn Design® Bangle…
Step 1. Gather Supplies:
Step 2: Trim Wallpaper to 7.5mm wide and 216mm long.
Step 3: Mix liquid resin according to directions. Drip resin onto wallpaper.
Note: A pipette is optional, but is my preferred tool for applying liquid resin.
If you don’t have pipettes, I carry them here.
Step 4: Using nitrile gloves, smear the resin all over the wallpaper until the wallpaper is completely coated.
You want the wallpaper coated, not dripping.
Note: Changing gloves after this step is a really good idea.
Step 5: Align one edge of the wallpaper on the bangle.
Step 6: Wrap the wallpaper around the bangle.
Starting at the first edge you aligned, use a finger to push the wallpaper onto (around) the bangle. This is really burnishing and applying all in one step, which ensures a smooth, bubble-free fit.
Step 7: Apply a non-stick clip where the edges of the wallpaper meet.Set aside to cure according to resin directions.
Note: Almost any small clip will do as long as the edge is smooth. Don’t worry about the clip leaving a dimple in the resin. You’ll touch it up in the next step.
Step 8: Touching up can involve two stages.
A) Remove any excess dried resin from the outer surface of the bangle by gently gliding a sharp craft knife along the metal.
B) If necessary, apply fresh resin to smooth along the wallpaper seam. A cosmetic sponge can be a good applicator. Or use your finger, since you’re wearing gloves. Set aside to cure.
Step 9: All done! If you sealed the wallpaper thoroughly, your bangle will be waterproof. Enjoy!
I hope you find this tutorial helpful. I enjoy making and wearing the wallpapered bangles, probably because the texture of the wallpaper adds an interesting element to the bangles. Plus, they’re super fun to make.
Printable tutorials are available. Click the version you wish to use:
If you like this concept but don’t have any wallpaper handy, be sure to check out my next post. I’ll show you how to use printed art in your bangles. I also offer some variations to this technique that you may find helpful.
Nunn Design® has a new Summer Collection and they’re giving it away!
I’ve already been designing with a couple of the new charms. They’re fantastic!
I’m hoping to win the whole caboodle. Seriously.
Wouldn’t you like to win? You would. I know you would.
This is really nice weather we’re having, right? Such a great time of year.
What??? You just want to know about the giveaway? ;-) I understand. Here you go…
Good luck to you!
If you win, stop back by and show us something you made, ok?
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.
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!
I just knew an oval brooch would camouflage that darkened denim blemish perfectly.
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!
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.
Persnicketiness pays. Oh, and if you like the art in these brooch designs, you’ll want to read all about my 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 …….
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.
Off you go now. Explore something fun. Treat yourself to oodles of creativity. All the links you need are right here:
I’d love to see what you make. Do share.
I adore tools. Really. The perfect tool for a job is a beautiful thing.
My tools overfloweth.
So I consulted Pinterest (of course) and found this cool DIY pliers caddy from Embergrass Jewelry, which became the foundational idea for my own caddy.
I modified the technique based on the materials I had on hand. My supplies were:
Wallpaper sample *
* I covered mine with wallpaper because I had it on hand, but oodles of other options would work: paper, washi tape, duct tape, paint, etcetera.
Using a box for the frame made sense to me because it already had the folded edge I wanted for the top of my shape.
For my first try, I wanted a 16″ caddy, which is fairly long, so I used a rather large box. For this tutorial, though, I used a smaller section of the same box.
I sliced open the box and selected the corner that would be the top fold of my finished rack, making sure the box wasn’t overlapping in the area I wanted. I marked the inside of the fold with a bold marker to make it easier to measure the next step. (Confession: I already used the best corner of the box for the first caddy. For this tutorial, I’m using an uneven corner that has an overlapping layer, even though it is a bit lopsided in the end.)
I measured and drew a line 4″ from the center mark. Then I measured and drew a second line 6.5″ from the center mark.
I repeated the measuring and marking process on the other side of my center line.
I cut the cardboard along both 6.5″ marks.
Then I measured the length of my finished caddy and marked it on the center line and trimmed each edge nice and straight.
Using a bone folder, I scored the cardboard on each 4″ line. This gave me the fold I wanted to make the bottom.
The bone folder was perfect because it would “cut” through the currogated inside layer of the cardboard … but would not cut through the outer edge. It also wouldn’t cut my new work table. Whew.
I bent the cardboard along the 4″ lines that I scored, which gave me an overlapping bottom.
Here is my upside down frame…
I turned it right-side up and stapled the overlap to hold it together.
I stapled the other end as well, then pressed the staples in firmly with pliers.
I measured the wallpaper I would need for my caddy, adding an additional 2″ of width so that I could fold over the edges. I cut the wallpaper 12″ long to give me enough paper to wrap the caddy with a bit of overlap to glue it together.
Once trimmed, I marked the extra width on the wallpaper and folded it over for a finished edge.
And I angle cut the folded-over edges so they wouldn’t stick out when the wrapping was done. Being persnickety at this stage paid off in the end.
I covered the open ends of my frame with wallpaper and taped them in place. It wasn’t necessary for function, but I liked the finished look.
Making sure it was centered, I used a bit of tape to adhere one edge of the wallpaper to bottom of the frame. I took care to not leave much tape on the wallpaper itself because I needed adhesive in the final step to hold the layers together.
Before glueing the paper, I did a “dry” run to make sure I had everything centered and overlapped properly.
Then I brushed adhesive on the paper and wrapped it around the frame, pressing it into place for good adhesion.
Ta-dah! A new plier caddy. Super functional. Super easy to make.
Many thanks to Embergrass Jewelry for the original plier caddy tutorial.
Let me know what you think of this caddy … and my blog post in general. This is my first blog post done entirely on my mobile device, unedited photographs and all.
In my last post, I showed a variety of handmade kumihimo weights and explained simple methods you can use to make your own kumi weights. As I promised, I will now unveil my favorite handmade kumi weight. Drum roll, please ….
A few weeks ago, I was in a rush to leave the house. I grabbed the beaded kumihimo project I needed to weave … knowing I would have time to kill between appointments … but realized I didn’t have a free kumi weight handy. Ack! So I grabbed the first thing I could think of: a double-sided pendant I had ruined the previous evening during a jewelry experiment. Sure, it was ugly. But hey, it was something to let gravity gently tug the cords… and it worked great!
I experimented with the design over the next couple of weeks until my persnickety self was satisfied. I’m finally ready to proclaim this my favorite kumi weight. For now.
What features make this my favorite?
What’s the moral of this story? Use what you have. Find that functional solution, even if it’s ugly. Recycle your failures. You may surprise yourself with what you discover and how you can change it. I know I did.
What surprise tools or solutions have you discovered?
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.
When selecting your components, consider items that…
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.