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Showing posts from September, 2012

More Kids Bracelets

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Yesterday, my baby girl was fussing while I was trying to get some cleaning done because she wanted to be picked up. I tried to distract her, so I looked around and grabbed the nearest thing I could find -- one of the kids bracelets I completed last week. I stretched it out and snapped it around her wrist. While it had a little wiggle room on her wrist, it fit a lot more snuggly than I would've preferred. She's only 1 year old. How well will they fit on older children, who are, by the way, my target customer?

I've decided that, to ensure I have bracelets big enough for children up to about age 7, I'm going to need to make more in a larger size.

I have just a little more than a week to do it.

Grrrr.

Beading Term: Bar-and-Toggle Clasp

This type of clasp* is a two-piece device consisting of a ring and a bar longer than the diameter of the ring. To secure the clasp, person wearing the jewelry puts the entire bar through the ring. Because the bar is longer than the ring is wide, the bar doesn’t slip back through.

Most bar-and-toggle clasps are made of metal, but many websites also sell some made of gemstones, bone and other materials. Beaders can also make them with beads.

*Many beaders and websites call this type of clasp a bar-and-ring clasp.

Beading Term: Elastic Cord

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Elastic cord comes in a range of thicknesses, which are measured in millimeters, for projects that need to stretch, such as kids bracelets. It's available in several colors, including clear (shown in photo), with some cord having more than one color and/or a metallic shine. Surgeon's knots typically work best to secure elastic cord.

Working on the Photography

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Today, I made a few attempts at getting a decent shot of the herringbone bracelet I made to use on Etsy, but I'm having a little trouble.

I set up this shot outside, and as soon as I got it, I turned to go back into the house just in time to see my little girl try to walk to me and fall out the door. She was OK; the step from inside the house to outside is about 4 or 5 inches high. I think it startled her more that I screamed when I saw her falling than she was really hurt.

After I sat with her a bit, she calmed down (and so did I). So I picked her up and set her down on the patio, then got in position to take the shot. For some reason, my little girl started crying to go back in the house. So I had to hold her while I tried to shoot this. I'm not sure if holding her factored into how little detail shows, but I'm sure it didn't help.

Hopefully, I'll have time to do some more practicing.

Beading Term: Split Rings

Split rings look just like key rings, only much smaller. Like jump rings, split rings can be used to connect parts of a jewelry piece together, but because of their tight spiral design, they're much more secure, making them a good choice to hang charms from.

Also because of their spiral design, split rings can be tough to separate. That's where split ring pliers come in. One end of the nose of the pliers has a notch for separating the bands of the split ring. I've had some success opening split rings just by sliding my thumbnail between bands of the ring, but that doesn't always work.

Slight Change ...

Just FYI to readers: I realized that my beaders' dictionary seemed more like an encyclopedia, so I've changed the title. All of the information the dictionary contained is still available; just click on the "Beaders' Encyclopedia" button in the toolbar.

Beading Term: Jump Rings

Jewelry crafters use jump rings to connect different parts of jewelry together, to attach clasps and to make chains and chain mail. The rings are available in a variety of finishes -- gold filled, gold plated, sterling silver, copper, brass, steel, etc. -- and sizes (indicated by millimeters and wire gauge). Most jump rings are round, but they are available in oval shapes, too.

Made a Little More Progress

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My little girl let me get a little further along on the loom bracelet I'm working on. She'd play in the living room long enough for me to do a row or two, then she'd want to sit in my lap for about 15 minutes or so. Over the course of about an hour and a half, I finished only about 10 rows, but I'll take what I can get.

I'd like to get this off of the loom this week so that I can complete it and move on to something else by this weekend.

Fingers crossed.

Back to the Old Routine

Last week, my husband and I took some vacation time from work to work on our house. We did the work during the day, and late at night after my daughter had gone to sleep, I worked on my beading. I managed to finally finish the herringbone bracelet I was working on and to start a loom bracelet.

This week, we're back at work, and for the first time in a few weeks, I spent my lunch hour working on beadwork. I didn't want to haul my loom to work, so I started a kid's bracelet instead. I had hoped to finish it, but I didn't quite. I still have a little less than half to go.

Hopefully, by the time the festival arrives, I'll have quite a few things on hand to sell.

Headway ... Finally

Last night, I was able to make progress on the loom bracelet after two false starts the night before. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish it and start on something new before this weekend is up. I'm running out of time before the next festival.

A Little Frustration

I finished the black herringbone bracelet I was working on, but it turned out a little longer than I had hoped. I can wear it fine but someone thinner than I might have trouble keeping it on her wrist.

I plan to make another that's shorter, but first, I want to create a different bracelet I have an idea for. I started it in square stitch, but because I wasn't smart enough to use a stop bead, I dropped my work and lost half of the rather lengthy first row. So I started again on a loom, but that didn't work out too well either because I kept skipping beads. The first time, I was able to fix it, but the second time, I tried to backtrack, I just made it worse.

Hopefully, tonight's projects will go better.

Beading Term: Beeswax

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Coating thread with beeswax before adding beads makes the string less likely to tangle (although it does not make it impossible, as I well know).

Beeswax comes in mini bricks and in a clear wax dispenser such as the one shown here.

Coating the string is simple. When using a beeswax brick, just hold the string against the wax with one hand as you pull the string with the other so that the whole length of string rubs up against the wax. If you have a dispenser, just pull the string through one of the notches.

Beading Term: Seed Bead Sizes

Typically, beads that do not fall into the "seed bead" category are sized by their diameter, such as 3 millimeter, 4 millimeter, 5 millimeter and so on.

With seed beads, size is roughly based on the number of beads in a line it would take to make an inch. Therefore, it would take about 11 size 11/0 seed beads to make an inch and 15 beads at size 15/0 to make an inch. The higher the number, the smaller the bead.

This is really just a rule of thumb, though, because size varies by style. For instance, a Delica size 11 is smaller than a size 11 Japanese seed bead. The size differences aren't huge, but they are noticeable, and should be taken into consideration when mapping out a design.

Lots to Do

This week, my husband and I are off work, hoping to cut our home improvement to-do list down as much as possible. We plan to continue taking our little girl to the day care so that we can get work done, but in the evenings when we get her back home, I'd like to get some beading done. Hopefully, we'll be able to make some headway.

Beading Term: Silamide Thread

Made of two-ply waxed nylon, silamide thread is often used for weaving seed beads. It's available in a wide variety of colors, which can vary by dye lot; therefore, beaders who run out of silamide in the middle of a project and need to buy more should seek thread made in the same lot to ensure the best color match.

I personally had never used silamide. A bead shop owner once told me that it's harder to use than Nymo, and I just took her word for it. Other beaders, though, might highly recommend it.

Beading Term: AB finish

AB, short for aurora borealis, is a type of bead finish that creates a rainbow shimmer, much like the natural phenomenon it's named after. It can be applied to opaque, translucent and transparent beads, and may coat an entire bead or just a small part of it, for instance, in just one facet of faceted beads.

A Beading Movie Character

A few years ago, I was skimming through an entertainment magazine one of my co-workers had left in the breakroom when he/she no longer wanted it -- a common practice at our work -- and I was stopped by a movie still that depicted something I recognize well. It showed a beading mat, a few beader's tools and some beads.

Until this moment, it had never occurred to me that movie characters have quilting, knitting, sculpting, crocheting and other crafty hobbies all of the time, but I don't think I've ever seen a fellow beader.

The movie (I believe) was "Paranormal Activity," and because the character and I have a common hobby, I thought about seeing the film. I haven't, though, and probably never will. Had it been any other genre, I would've watched it, even though beading quite likely takes up only five seconds of screen time. As I've gotten older, I watch fewer scary movies. For some reason, they scare me more now than they did when I was a kid. Therefor…

Beading Term: Translucent or Opal Beads

Translucent or opal beads have some transparency to them, but because of a milky hue, are not as see-through as transparent beads are.

Beading Term: Transparent Beads

Transparent beads are made of see-through colored glass.

Beading Term: Opaque Beads

Opaque beads cannot be seen through. They may have a matte or a smooth finish.

Festival Drawing Near

Happy Labor Day, bead fans!

The next festival I'd like to get a booth for is just a little more than a month away. I think I might need to scale back my wish list this time, too, but we'll see how things go after this week. Now that most of my distractions -- the consignment sale and the freelance project -- are out of the way, I'll be able to spend my at-work lunches working on my beadwork again. I hope that helps me make some major headway.