January 15, 2017

Micro-Mosaic Class and Looming Projects

If each new year were a race, it would be safe to say that I come off the blocks too quickly and lose my kick by the end of the race.  I need to learn to pace myself.

And so this year starts like most before it - tons of ideas swirling in my head.  Ideas on ways to improve my websites, new products to design or build, lists of new interests or techniques to explore... plans, plans, plans!

Perhaps this year will be different and the momentum will continue throughout the year.  But, probably what's more important is that I still find things that I enjoy and the energy to do them.

Among some other things, I started this year by breaking out of my shell and trying something new - a class in micro-mosaic at the Bead and Design Show in Pasadena.  These are the class projects - can you guess which is mine?

By the way, the show is over today, but they'll also be in Tucson later this month and Costa Mesa and Santa Clara in March.

December 7, 2016

Leather and Crystal Loom Bead Bracelet

Still playing with making Chan Luu style leather bracelets with my new Mirrix Loom.

I emailed Mirrix after my first batch of bracelets to ask how other people made this style of bracelet with their loom.  They were quick to respond with some different options of how to set up the loom.  I'll be taking a look at that over the weekend to see if there is anything that works better.

Until then, I decided to play with my new crystal beads (and new buttons) from the gem show last weekend and make this crystal bead leather bracelet.

leather and crystal woven bracelet

December 5, 2016

Leather Bead Bracelets on a Loom

I'm late to the party on this one.  The leather bead bracelets I'm making right now are Chan Luu style leather wrap bead bracelets, With only a single wrap for now.  But I say I'm late because they've only been popular for what - five years?

chan luu style beaded bracelet

I've actually made one or two of these before, but I've never really loved the commonly accepted methods of making leather bead wrap bracelets using a clipboard or the plastic loom, so I've never persued it more.  It works, it just takes longer.

But now I have a loom.  A REAL loom.  A mirrix loom, which I dare say, is the crème de la crème of looms.  

November 18, 2016

Making Beaded Rope Cuff Bracelets

I recently updated a tutorial for odd count tubular peyote stitch. I love the ease that the stitch makes spirals - and it looks great as a bracelet, but I'm getting weary of rope bracelets.

Honestly, it's the clasp.

No matter how many times I've done it, I'm always a little worried that they are vulnerable to breaking where the clasp connects.  I reinforce them, I knot them multiple times, but after so many years of wire work, they still seem like they are hanging on by a thread (yup - they are...)

I've been toying with the idea of making beaded rope cuff bracelets for a while and finally got my first ones finished.

October 29, 2016

Which Way Should the Loops Face in Wire Wrapped Bead Chain?

Wire wrapped loops - they are quite simply one of my favorite things to make.

I'm sure there are people who make wire wrapped bead chain without any concern for the direction of the loops.  I know I've tried, but I just can't believe that there isn't a right way to do it. (Isn't there always a right way to do things? - No, there really isn't, but I digress...)

In any event, I have honestly spent years experimenting with the different ways to make chain trying to decide when I make a link - should the loops face the same way and line up with each other, should they face the opposite way from each other (I guess that would be perpendicular for the geometry buffs amongst us), or would anyone even notice, so who cares?  My conclusion is that they should face the same way.