Tag Archives: Magatama

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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Kumihimo tricks and tips

15 May

The lady at the bead shop told us in the spring of 2012 that we were about a year ahead of the kumihimo trend. When we first started making bracelets with buttons we could only find one other person incorporating a button in their kumihimo design and the way they finished off the bracelet was completely different. Well, it looks like the lady at the bead store was prophetic! We are amazed at the kumihimo and button creations showing up on Google and Etsy these days.

Now that the kumihimo trend has caught on, I thought it would be nice to share some tips and tricks we learned along the way.

1. If you use Magatama beads, you will need a bit more C-Lon then just seed beads. Adjust the length of your cord for larger or smaller beads accordingly. The larger the bead, the more cord you need.
2. We usually measure one strand of C-Lon or S-Lon by measuring it from our hand to shoulder with arm extended.
3. I like to measure all eight strands at the same time and then cut once, keeping four strands doubled (to make eight strands). This way I can thread the strand through the button holes and have eight strands ready to go.
4. At the beginning, don’t braid more than 1/8″ or your button will stick out. You want the button to lay as flat as possible on the wrist for comfort.
5. Be sure to keep your cord taught on the loom. This will keep your design uniform.
5. If you need to take a break, do it when you have three cords at one spot. Then you will know right where to pick back up.
6. When finishing, use a good glue and be sure your knot is secure.
7. If you run out of cording, you are toast. You can always add beads but not cording.
8. Remember your cording will show, so match it to the beads or button.
9. If you miss a bead and don’t find it until after the piece is done, you can add a bead by threading cording and a bead on a needle and working it into the missed space. Just run your cord through a few beads on either side and secure with a hidden knot, like in sewing.
10. Don’t make your finished loop too long. If you do (we did this many times at first), go back and re-tie your finish knot, cut off the excess, and be sure the loop is just barely big enough to fit around the button. Otherwise your bracelet will look odd.

Hope these tips and tricks make your kumihimo experience a bit easier. Enjoy!

Beth
View our creations on Etsy

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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 color

29 Oct

Deciding which colors of beads to use in a kumihimo jewelry piece is sometimes the toughest part. There are various patterns to follow to get your piece to look just right. Sometimes a piece is one color, sometimes two and so on. If using multiple glass seed bead colors for an eight strand piece, try selecting one or two colors that are out of the ordinary. That will make the piece “pop”. For example, in making an eight strand bracelet, we sometimes use several coordinating colors of Magatama seed beads and then one or two vibrant colors of another bead, to stand out. Notice the rust and blue in this otherwise tan and white kumihimo bracelet. We’ve finished this one with an Italian bronze tone button. To see more of our bracelet creations visit us at CAAZandeffect

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