Kumihimo Beads

Kumihimo Beads - Kumihimo Perlen

This Thursday’s 2nd challenge Beaded Beauties gave me the opportunity to do something I wanted to do for a long time: making Kumihimo beads.
Kumihimo is a Japanese technique to braid beautiful cords, but then: what do I do with the cord? It’s way too beautiful (and too labour-intensive! ;-)) to be used as a shoelace for instance.
I thought that it would make wonderful beads, but usually the braids are finished by wrapping some string around the braid and such beads would be much too long.

 

Kumihimo Beads - Kumihimo Perlen Therefore I figured out how to make my own Kumihimo beads.
The technique is far from perfect and I hope that you will try it and give suggestions to enhance the technique.

On the first two photos you see Kumihimo beads I made, the blue ones with cotton thread and the black and white ones with acrylic yarn.
All beads were made with 4 light and 4 dark coloured yarns, but I changed the initial positions on my cardboard Kumihimo disk.
You see at the surrounding seed beads how tiny my Kumihimo beads are.

 

Kumihimo Beads - Kumihimo Perlen What to do:
Make your Kumihimo cord. I worked about 20 rounds.
When finished, pull all threads into the bead.

And that’s where the problem lies:
If you make the Kumihimo cord ‘the normal way’ you won’t have enough place into the bead to pull all 16 threads in (8 threads at each side of the bead).
I tried different techniques to ‘reserve’ a place for the thick bunch of threads. The best one I found was making a bundle of 8 threads of the same gauge and using it as ‘filler’, that means, working around them (see third photo).

 

Kumihimo Beads - Kumihimo Perlen The Kumihimo beads are from fabric and can be stitched however you want. On this photo I surrounded my Kumihimo bead by seed beads and made a kind of Freeform Peyote Pendant.


Links:
This Thursday’s 2nd challenge Beaded Beauties

unikatissima’s Kumihimo How-to
unikatissima’s Freeform Peyote How-to

 

Fixing Crochet Mistakes

Fixing Crochet Mistakes

I crochet a lot and I’m always making mistakes ;-)
In the case of buttonholes or pocket slots appearing ‘magically’ at the wrong place, I found very valuable hints on what to do.
This is one of the few mistakes I haven’t made yet.
Mostly because I don’t crochet neither buttonholes nor pockets ;-)
Perhaps I should give it a try? ;-))

 

Links:
Wait, how did that buttonhole get there?

Polymer Clay Mica Shift

Polymer Clay Mica Shift

As I saw the wonderful Mica Shift Pendant (which is totally flat!) at craftster.org I felt so inspired.
It is a long time ago that I worked with polymer clay, but I think that I will go back to it soon ;-)
Then I also tried the mica shift technique (links see below), but it didn’t work out satisfactory for any reason.
Perhaps next time? ;-)

Links:
Mica Shift Pendant

Tutorials:
At Polymer Clay Central:
Satin Swirl EggTwisted Rope Mica ShiftTexture Sheet Mica Shift

At pcPolyzine Tutorials:
3-D ImagesMica Shift Jellyroll

At Glassattic:
Lots of additional information about Mica effects

Faux Silk

Faux Silk

I love to imitate things, so I had to check immediately the tutorial on how to make faux silk for cards.
On the photo you see my results: I took one of my self carved eraser stamps, coloured it with a marker and stamped on tissue paper (the left flower). Then, just to see what happens, I stamped two more times. The photo isn’t so good, but the pale stamps look elegant. On the third I didn’t smooth the paper to allow for more crinkles.

I will use this technique more often.


Links:
Faux Silk

unikatissima’s Eraser Stamps how-to
unikatissima’s Stamping With Markers how-to

Beaded Rings and Headbands

Beaded Rings and Headbands

Beading is such a versatile technique and once I found some quick and simple projects: beaded rings and headbands.
The headbands are made in flat netting technique and as daisy chains, the rings are made in brick stitch, which isn’t difficult, too (the site provides links and diagrams who explain/show how to do the different stitches).

I like the flat netting technique, but beaded until now only small glass tubes (see photo).


Links:
Beaded Rings and Headbands (English) (with explaining diagrams)