Sunday, September 29, 2013

Beaded Kumihimo Necklaces

Kumihimo, just the name was difficult to remember, let alone braid with 8 strands of thread!! So when Bead & Button and Beadwork magazines featured Kumihimo projects, I just glanced at them and didn't have any second thought. Then came shipments of braiding disks, colorful spools of s-lon thread, and how-to books... to the bead store where I worked, I realized sooner or later I would have to learn the basics of this art of braiding.
After looking up on I found out that Kumihimo is not that complicated. On the contrary, it is quite a therapeutic activity to relieve stress after a day at work. I was totally hooked on Kumihimo!! If you are interested in learning the technique, I highly recommend "How to Braid Beaded Kumihimo and Make a Bracelet".

This necklace was meant to be a bracelet, but I made it too large so I attached the chain.

After taping and glueing the end of the braid, I inserted a 24-gauge head pin to an end bead.
 I wrapped head pin tightly around the braid a couple of times. Then, I slid the  bead and bead cap in and  made a wrapped loop.

I didn't plan on having the three beads as a focal point for this necklace. It was just a fortunate misstep!!

I got distracted and messed up the braiding pattern. Feeling quite confident that I would be able to fix it, I took  all eight strands of thread off the disk. Boy, that was a wrong move (Did  I mention that this is a therapeutic activity? I take that back)!! I had two options: unravel the whole thing and start over or find beads with hole large enough for eight strands to go through. I opted for the latter. 

I pushed the seed beads back and taped the strands together...
then tied a knot closely to the seed beads to keep them in place...
tied another knot before sliding the third bead in. The hole is large enough to cover the knot.
Next,  I placed the strands back on the disk.
After a few rounds, I checked the braid.  It looked all right!

Finally, the bead caps were added on.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Another Beaded Cup-Chain Bracelet

The beautiful AB peridot cup chain caught my attention during my recent shopping spree at a bead store. As I was finishing this bracelet, using the same two-needle right angle weave technique like I did with the black cup chain bracelet,  I wanted to add more embellishment. 

 Therefore, another row of 3mm bugle beads was added on each side of the bracelet.

I think the bracelet looks pretty just like this...
...or 3mm round pearls can be added. They fit just perfectly in between the gaps.

I like to attach charms to my bracelets. This filigree heart matches beautifully.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cubic Right Angle Weave Pendant

After completing the right angle weave, tear drop shaped pendant, I thought it was about time I learn how to do the cubic right angle weave. Fortunately, as I was "googling" for C.R.A.W., I found Marcia DeCoster's blog: . It features the "Easy Peasy Crystal Earrings" also called the "Thirty Minutes Earrings". I took Marcia's suggestion and started with 3mm round Swarovski pearls, which is easy for a beginner like me  to work with. I had so much fun with C.R.A.W that instead of making a pair of earrings, I ended up with this pendant!

This new issue of Beadwork features the "Crystal Scepter Earrings" designed by Julie Anstaett. One of the techniques to make these beautiful earrings is C.R.A.W.. The directions are very easy to follow that I could use as a resource to quickly learn how to do the weave. My next project will be making the earrings.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Right-Angle Weave Pendants

Right-angle weave, one of the bead weaving techniques that I dreaded....but  the stunning  projects in this book  by  Marcia DeCoster made it very hard to resist.

This  "Gabriella" pendant was made with size 11 seed beads and  size 3mm Czech beads instead of  semiprecious turquoise beads like the author did. Dangling from the diamond drop is an amethyst stone.

I embellished one side with 3mm light topaz Czech beads.
The other side was embellished with purple Czech beads so it can be worn either side.

 By omitting the diamond shape, I was making a tear-drop shape pendant.  

Two pieces were connected with size 4mm Czech beads.

A bezeled 10mm pearl was made to attach inside the pendant.

One side of the pendant was embellished with 3mm garnet stones.
The other side was embellished with 3mm round Swarovski crystals.

Here is a Tiffany inspired pendant. Two diamond  shapes were  connected.
I also made it reversible.