The Kumihimo Comeuppance

Come·up·pance  - A punishment or retribution that one deserves;
one's just deserts.

John Bead friends…I have been cut down a notch. The kumihimo gods did not smile on my first attempt to impress you with a jeweled strand.  I had to remind myself that you don’t learn an ancient art form in a day, or a week.  Yesterday I produced a beautifully knotted necklace.  I had pulled out some glass beads that I thought would look great in the design.

I congratulated myself for thinking up a way to make adding the beads to my rattail easier.  (a little tape on the end did the trick)

Since I didn’t have any instructions I went online to see what I could learn about adding beads.  Kumihimo experts all say “drop in the bead” which is a little trickier than I thought.  Perhaps I should have started with a smaller bead.

Disaster!  This looks as bad in person as it does on the screen!

So I went back to the drawing board.  I worked slower.  I tried not to stress when I “dropped in a bead.”

Better.  I still missed a few spots…not being sure when to drop in a bead.

Here is a rope I feel a lot better showing you.  I am going to try this a few more times before I move to a flat braid next!  Oh, and my book order has arrived and I now have plenty of reference material!

Twin Beads from Preciosa – Now In Stock!

Twin, a new seed bead from the PRECIOSA Traditional Czech Beads brand, offers much more creativity and possibilities. 

 John Bead has them in stock and here are so many colours to choose from.

To learn more about this new bead, Preciosa has a wonderful information page here.

I discovered a free set of instructions for this amazing bracelet.  Linked here.  The relatively simple procedure using the so-called herringbone stitch will enable you to try working with this unique Czech seed bead with two holes.

I have downloaded my copy and hope to give this pattern a try this weekend !

Twin Beads Bracelet

I am not a beader…just a bead lover. When I think of “beaders” I think of those amazing jewelers who can create a necklace or bracelet with hundreds of tiny beads and it turns out beautiful.  They can follow or create their own instructions.  They know how to start or finish a section.  They know how to fix a mistake.  As a bead lover, I collect all sorts of beads and most of my jewelery is a combination of stringing, wiring and the re-purposing of old pieces.  My bracelet today is a pretty big achievement.  Especially for someone with no actual bead training.

Lilla posted a great link on Facebook yesterday and I took it on as a challenge.  She found instructions on the Bead and Button website for this bracelet.  I have never made (I mean finished) a bracelet using only beads and string.  I actually followed the instructions!

Excited to start I pulled out supplies last night.

The Preciosa Traditional Czech Twin Beads are now in stock and there are so many colours to choose from.  I started with purple matte terra pearl.

My first attempts were not so hot….I admitted that starting this project at 10pm after a long day might not be a good idea.

This morning I started again.  First set…..not bad.  Not perfect I know, but perfect for me.

Here is my finished bracelet.

Here is the designers.  Her beads are alot tighter and evenly spaced.  If you try making one will you send us a picture!  I am so happy with my own version!

Dazzle-It Silk Thread and Glass Pearls & Beads

This is a little mountain of happy beads!

The Dazzle-It line has so many threads and accessories in it that I would need a whole month of posts to show it all to you.  I also want to showcase the glass pearls and other new components at John Bead.

So I made a few special felt balls to both test and highlight the silk thread and pearls.

I love to sew and any time I get an opportunity to use a needle and thread I am very happy.  The new Dazzle-It magnetic pin pal needle holder has two needles included which are perfect for this project.

I could make hundreds of these!  I hope you like some of the beads I used:

Pink Glass Pearls

Light Olivine Glass Pearls

Pink Luster Fire polished Bead

TURQUOISE MOONSHINE STRIPE/HALF CAPRI

Dazzle-It Silk Threads – Size D

Miyuki Bead Crochet Thread

Felt Balls – Carmi’s Stash

Nylon Mesh Tubing And Czech Fire Polished Beads

One last example of how you can use nylon mesh!

I started this project after noticing that the beautiful turquoise/copper beads I brought home from my last trip to John Bead looked very pretty next to my aqua mesh.  I didn’t want to place them inside the mesh tube…I wanted to showcase them so I decided to try sewing them to the outside.

I selected a smaller matching strand of ivory lustered beads and enjoyed just sewing beads randomly to the mesh. To sew my beads I selected 100% silk thread.

At one point I stopped to see where I needed extra beads and that’s when I decided to add a pendant too.  The mesh can take the weight!

Mesh is something I am really happy to have experimented with!  The more I work with it the more ideas I have.  Time permitting, I could have sewed beads to every square inch of the mesh.  But for now, I am happy with the necklace as is.

Turquoise Fire Polished Czech Beads

Ivory Lustered Beads

Dazzle-It Ivory Silk Bead Thread (size FF)

Nylon Mesh

(Bird Pendant – From Carmi’s stash)

 

Check out these other great ideas and Inspirations using Nylon Mesh !

Use the Nylon mesh to create interesting shapes and forms, here seed beads have been put into the tubing and then firepolish beads are stitched on the outside to create the folds – Designer Adela Kodonova

Below a brooch has been created , with pearls and seed beads inside the tubing. This would also be a fun idea for a headband.  Designer – Adela Kodonova

Below another beautiful brooch design, mixing stringing wire and adding flatbacks to the outside of the mesh and a beautiful SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Rivoli button in the center. Designer – Thanh Tran

 

Seed Bead Finishes and Coatings – What does it all really mean ?

I recently started looking deeper into the meaning of various seed beads and Miyuki beads. With so many types of finishes and coatings its easy to get confused, so I thought I would break it all down and make it easier to understand.

Let’s start with finishes; you’ve probably heard of these common ones.

Opaque –   beads are a solid color and do not allow light to pass through.

         

Transparent– beads are clear and tinted, and you can see through them.  Light is visible through the beads. There are many combination for transparent beads; matte transparent, matte transparent AB. 

Silver-Lined – beads have a shiny silver color-lining of a transparent bead.   The bead may be crystal, or any other transparent color.  There is a mirrored effect coming from the center of the bead making them metallic looking  

Color Lined-  beads transparent and have a color lining.  The colors vary, including special color effects such as metallic lined, gold lined or copperlined .

 

Matte (or Frosted) beads have an etched look to them, and sometimes called frosted effect. Matte finish  beads are usually opaque and of one solid color but can also have a Iris or AB effect. There are transparent matte finish seed beads. Those beads appear to be milky and are not truly see through.  These beads have been submerged in an etch compound or tumbled, removing part or all of the top layer of the bead surface, leaving the bead smooth. Matte beads have a unique feel to them; when you hold a bunch of these beads together or beadwork piece with these beads included, you will hear a soothing crinkly sound as you rub them together.  Most matte beads do not have a shiny appearance; however, if the bead is color-lined with brass, silver, or copper, the surface will be matted with a shiny surface showing through from the color-lining, making the bead look frosty in appearance.

Semi-matte – beads have a mixed glossy/matte finish to them.   They are a little brighter than regular matte finish beads.

Metallic Finish-  beads finish is one that has the appearance of metal. It can come in many different colors, bronze, gold, silver and copper tones. They are characterized by an extra shiny coating with the appearance of metal rather than the glass they are made of.

AB(Aurora Borealis) / Rainbow– These beads are sometimes referred to as AB or rainbow ,the finish creates an iridescent finish that reflect all the colors of the rainbow. It can be combined with transparent, matte, metallic or opaque beads.

Now for some of the more unique finishes.

Iris finish- beads are close to being iridescent. While iridescent(AB) beads will shimmer in all hues of the rainbow, iris finish beads usually include colors that are next to the main bead color on a color wheel. For example, blue iris beads would shine with some green and purple tones. Orange iris beads would have some red and some yellow hues. It appears to look like a drop of oil spilled in water.  For example, Blue Iris is black with blue rainbow effect, but solid in color.

                                       

Silk– Silky whiteness with Satin  Finish

Alabaster: beads that have a unique finish much like the old milk glass of the past, a dense translucent white or tinted finish.

Oily: glass seed bead with shallow translucence that gives it a greasy appearance.

Coatings

Galvanized- beads have a coated finished applied to the glass through a galvanization process.  Silver-plating on the surface of the beads. This finish does come off, so we suggest you use a clear fixative, like Krylon spray.

Duracoat Galvanized–  Durable coating on a galvanized bead to ensure the coating does’t rub off easily.

Ceylon beads have a pearlized finish.   Sometimes the pearlized finish has been dyed to attain a particular color. The beads are sometimes identified as pearlized because of the pearly appearance of the finish. Ceylon beads can have a color line in the bead hole which will change or enhance the bead appearance. This bead is a favorite for making beadwork that appears to be composed of pearls.

Luster coating- creates an irridescent shine around the bead.  Lustered beads are rich, shiny, semi-transparent with a very high gloss.

Inside Color– Dyed color inside the hole of beads.

Special Plating– Special plated beads such as 24KT , Palladium , Nickel, etc

Special Treatments

Solgel (or Sol Gel): is name given for a specialized coated treatment that provides seed beads with longer lasting color. It protects seed beads from exposure to sunlight, washing, cosmetic exposure, perspiration, hand perspiration, and lengthy storage. The colors are fade-resistant, ideal for garment designers, and washable in temperatures below 40C; even when using fabric softeners.

Terra: is a treatment that provides seed beads with longer lasting color. Basic characteristics of terra colours are that they are fast to light, resistant to normal cosmetic products and perspiration. It is also recommended that when you launder any materials containing any terra colored beads, that you machine or hand wash at 40C in mild detergent for fine and color laundry.

Here is a Miyuki Chart that helps in learning more about finishes and their durability.

Process Feature ex. Color Sample Durability
Seed Beads Delica Beads A B C
Transparent Crystal or colored transparent. 0 0 0
Opaque Black,Chalk-White or colored opaque. 0 0 0
Silverline Silverplated into the hole of beads. Silverline
Silverline dyed X X
Rainbow
(AB coating)
Rainbow coating. Transparent rainbow 0 0 0
Opaque rainbow 488 0 0 0
Inside color rainbow 0 X
Luster Luster coating. Transparent luster 0 0 0
Opaque luster 0 0 0
Glazed luster 0 0
Metallic Iris coating or bronzed
luster glazed.
Gunmetal 0 0 0
Iris 0 0 0
Bronze 0 0 0
Gold Luster Gold luster glazed. X
Ceylon Luster coating or inside coloring of opalescent beads. 0 0 0
Inside Color Dyed color inside
the hole of beads.
Inside color 0 X
Dyed Color Dyed color
on the
surface of beads.
X X
Galvanize Silverplating
on the
surface of beads.
X X
Dyed X X
Duracoat
Galvanized
Durable coating on galvanize 0
Silk Silk White color with Satin finish. 2562 0 0 0
Special Plating Special Plated beads as 24KT,
Palladium
,Nickel,etc.
0 0
Inside (Gold) 0 0

Inside( Copper)

198 X
Dyed none X X
Frost(Matte) Frosted beads. Frost 0 0 0
Frost rainbow 0 0 0
Matte bronze 0 0 0
Matte gold luster 37 X

*How to see the durability information
This data is based on our examination result and manufacturing history. It is not the absolute one, therefore it differs in an individual use and condition. Please confirm it well before you use it.

Mark Meaning
A Colors which might change and / or fade due to bright sun or deterioration with time.
B Colors rubbing off from friction or contact with skin acid.
C Colors which will alter or fade from dry-cleaning.
0 There is no problem in usual use.
There might be a problem in durability by individual use..
X There is not strong durability , so attention is required for use.

*Notice
Please do appropriate handling referring to the above information and the following notices when they are applied to textile goods or accessories that touch the skin directly.

  • Some beads are dyed, galvanized or plated. The colors on the outer layers may come off, rubbed, or if soaked in the strong solvent.
  • Silverline or galvanized beads are oxidized while apply on certain fabrics that are acidic, they may decay or turn dark due to the chemical change. In order to avoid such case, neutralize your fabrics and threads before embroidering.
  • Some dyed color beads might fade in the sun.

 © 2010 John Bead Corp.