Tag Archives: Kumihimo

Copper and Kumihimo

6 Oct

Copper and Kumihimo: two elements that are fun to work with and go well together. In this necklace, we combined kumihimo braiding using Magatama seed beads, cube beads, and copper wire elements. The copper has a patina to give it an aged look. The wire beads were done by wrapping copper wire around a dowel to start and then hand forming to finish. The ends of the kumihimo are wrapped with the same aged copper wire to keep the elements uniform. Magatama seed beads were threaded onto the copper jump rings to add color contrast.

This is just one of our designs incorporating the ancient art of Kumihimo. Click here to see more creations CAAZandEffect

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Tucson Bead Shows 2013

6 Feb

Today I drove a little over two hours to attend several bead shows in Tucson. At the first show called,The Best Bead Show, one of our favorite vendors, Bello Modo, was in attendance. They had plenty of Magatama beads and were as friendly as can be. I was able to preview the new Magatama colors that are coming out soon (hopefully by summer), and chat with them about how hard it has been to find silver Magatama beads and black matte Magatama beads. Another topic was the price increase of the Magatama beads. It seems the price of glass has increased and since the beads are made from glass that cost is passed along. Looks like we will have to raise our prices soon.

From there I travelled to several more shows in the area. I’m amazed at the many new products and ideas. One beautiful product was at a booth with a vendor called SilverSilk. Check it out, great ideas and projects are made with this product. Another innovative vendor is Turtle Moon Arts. They offer great kumihimo endings at reasonable prices. If you work with leather or fibers, they offer whale tail closings and other large end cap options.

Overall a fun and informative day. It would have been better if my business partner, Debbie would have been with me.

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Large button lengthens Kumihimo bracelet

3 Jan

As you can see from our Kumihomo bracelets, we primarily use buttons for our closure method. Sometimes we find a fantastic large button.

Two cautions.

First, check to see if the button holes are large enough to get eight strands of cord through. There’s nothing so frustrating as selecting your Magatama beads, cord and button to match and then finding out you can’t use the button because the cord is to thick for the button holes.

Second, remember the larger the button, the longer your closure loop will be to fit around the button. So if you had a 3/4″button, for instance, your closure loop would be a bit larger than 3/4″ in diameter (which measures about an inch and three quarters of kumihimo braiding at the end). Not only does that lengthen your bracelet, it also makes the large closure loop a focal point. Since the loop is unadorned (no beads), the color of the cord is front and center. Also, be sure to reduce the number of Magatama beads or you will have a really long bracelet once it is clasped and the slack is hanging from the button.

To view our Kumihimo bracelets…CAAZandeffect
We hope these tips help you with your button selection for your Kumihimo bracelets.

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Kumihimo bracelet stretched

29 Nov

Our experience has been a Kumihimo bracelet made with cord, (we use C-Lon or S-Lon), will stretch if it gets wet. Be careful about wearing it when washing your hands. I made a beautiful black bracelet with C-lon and Magatama beads. A few weeks later I found it had stretched about a half an inch. This made the problem even worse because the longer the bracelet got, the more likely it was to get wet when washing hands. This has only happened on the one occasion, however, it is a good tip to know.

So be sure to take the bracelet off or push it up on the wrist when washing hands. See our beautiful Kumihimo bracelets at CAAZandeffect

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Kumihimo bracelet with Magatama beads cost per bracelet

11 Nov

We were recently discussing our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads and the cost per bracelet.

I thought I would share a perspective of what is takes to create one of our CAAZ and effect Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama seed beads. First we need supplies; a beading mat, braiding disk, plastic bobbins, beading needle, scissors, hanging weight, and book with pattern suggestions.

Next we need materials. We typically use Magatama beads and C-Lon cord. A tube of long Magatama beads costs anywhere from $5 to $12 a tube. We usually use from three to five colors. C-Lon cord runs about $4 per spool and we match the color of our cord to the bead, using several colors per bracelet.

Once we have counted out the beads for each of the eight strands, string the beads, and wind the cord on the bobbins, it’s time to braid. It takes about two hours to complete the braiding process. Once the braid is complete it’s on to finish the piece. This includes a button, large bead, and often a charm. Each of these items need to be purchased adding to the production cost.

We sell our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads for $48. Unfortunately not a lot of profit. It’s a good thing we love the creative process!

Feel free to view our products at CAAZandeffect

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Kumihimo and fiber

6 Nov

Kumihimo braiding with fiber has endless possibilities. Ribbon, cord, yarn, leather, satin, almost anything can be used to create a fabulous kumihimo piece. Be sure to test your fiber for stretching. It isn’t fun to create a piece thinking it will be one length only to find out when pulled, it multiplies in size. For example, we tried braiding a ribbon made of 26% nylon, 74% polyester, only to find our careful calculations for a seven inch bracelet turned into a ten inch bracelet when completed due to stretching. If you use a heavy weight with your creation, as you braid it, you will notice it get skinnier and longer. We found that 100% polyester works best. Stay away from anything with nylon in it. Satin cord and most yarns work well without stretching. If your fiber stretches before you make the piece, it will definitely stretch when completed and unfortunately it doesn’t shrink back to the smaller size.

View our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads here…CAAZandeffect

Friendship bracelets, is the effort worth the price?

2 Nov

Today we researched making friendship bracelets to accompany our kumihimo bracelets. We really like the look of variations in stacked bracelets. First we needed the material and most tutorials say to use cotton pearl thread, or more commonly known as crochet thread, size five. So we purchased about twenty colors from $1.29 to $1.69 each and a book for $15.95. The instructions state to use several colors per bracelet. Then we researched the technique for each pattern. After about an hour of research we began to knot the friendship bracelet. We will readily admit that we were intimidated that the descriptions for most of the friendship bracelet tutorials were accompanied by either a picture of a child or the words “children’s activity”. It didn’t seem like a children’s activity to us. After about another hour and a quarter inch of bracelet, we decided to run to the local five and dime store to see what mass produced friendship bracelets were selling for. As you can see from the picture you can buy a pretty nice looking friendship bracelet for anywhere from $2.95 to $6.95 (depending on the material used). That was our big aha moment. No more friendship bracelet making for us. We still like the idea of stacking Kumihimo and corded bracelets, we just need to find summer camp attendees to make our friendship bracelets…haha!

You can view our Kumihimo bracelets with Magatama beads here…CAAZandeffect

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