My husband finally retired in October after putting it off for several months. For years he'd been traveling a few days a week to New Jersey for work and had continued to see his doctors there. When his retirement was official, he decided to find new doctors here in Vermont. He started with a new cardiologist, who put him through a bunch of tests and declared that he was ready for an aortic valve replacement, and while they're at it, they're going to bypass that old stent that blocked up years ago. That was unexpected. His surgery is January 23 and all prayers are welcome.
In the meantime, I've been learning how to do Kumihimo, a form of Japanese braiding with lovely cords and sometimes with beads. It's sort of a cross between braiding and looming. I had a class in beaded Kumihimo a couple of years ago, but I didn't have the correct supplies (my fault) and my bracelet was a major failure. After learning a bit more about it, I decided to try again. This time the proper way.
I started out by learning how to do a "simple" 8-warp braid with thin ribbons and it was fun. I made a few more ribbon braids and decided it was time to tackle a beaded braid.
I took a photo of my pathetic attempt to make a braid with the wrong thread. It was supposed to be a round rope, but it turned out "squishy" and kept morphing into weird shapes. Yes, squishy might be a real Kumihimo term. I learned it from my Kumihimo friends.
|FAILED KUMIHIMO: Instead of looking like a rope, this braid was flat in places and looked like there were beads missing in other places. They weren't really missing; they'd just moved out of place.|
I cut the failed braid apart and started from scratch. This time I used the proper size thread for the bead holes and I used a weight to control the tension and bobbins to keep the warps from getting tangled. I'm very pleased with the outcome.
|Much better! This is a round rope. These beads are not uniform in size, so the edges are a bit bumpy. Personally, I like this texture and I love the multiple shades. And there's no squishiness!|
Once I had completed the first bracelet successfully, I decided to make another bracelet. This time, the beads are very uniform in size, but I used two different colors. I also chose a pattern that made a spiral of the colors. The spiral is a little difficult to see because there isn't a lot of contrast between the two colors. The darker color is very close to the new Pantene Color of the Year for 2014, Radiant Orchid. It's yummy.
I really enjoy this beading technique, which has many variations, some of which are quite complex. This should keep me busy for a long while!
© Copyright 2014 Linda's Art Barn. All rights reserved.