Saturday, June 17, 2017

Craftivism With Simple Safety Pins

It doesn't take much to make a statement.
It also doesn't take much to show support or encouragement.

I believe that I can send a message to anyone who might need it 
by the simple action of wearing a pin on my jacket.

Safety pins have a long association with various movements.
They are an inexpensive way to show involvement in a cause 
or show a wish for a cure for a major health issue.

Since the last American election, safety pins without embellishment have been a way to signal to others that you will support them if they are harassed, that you will sit with them on a subway or that you will stand up to bullies.

I do understand that many people think safety pins are not enough.  
That people may wear them without understanding their real meaning or that this is too small a gesture.

I only make them for myself.  

I will stand up for the underdog.
I will not let you harass someone because you do not like their clothing.
I do support human rights for everyone.
I will document and share with police anything I see that is criminal.

My pin is a visual warning that I am watching.
I also hope my pins give people a little hope.

I usually have a pin of some sort on all my jackets.
You can find them in many different sizes.  
The best place to locate them is in sewing/fabric stores.
These can go by the name of skirt pins or kilt pins.

Kids have been crafting with safety pins and beads forever.
They are a classic summer camp project.
Adding beads can be quick or slow depending on the size of the bead and the pattern desired.

Here is one of my pins.

I like them jumbled together too.

Pins are great for special events and I see lots of people wearing them during marathons and fundraisers.

I hope you make a pin than is meaningful for you.

This month is all about PRIDE so I'll wear my pin to show my support this month.

Prayer Bead Influenced Necklace

Prayer Bead Influenced Necklace
By Carmi Cimicata for John Bead Corp and Perles Et Cetera Magazine

This step by step appears in French in the Summer 2017 issue.
This necklace could be the biggest impact piece you will create this year with absolutely no tools. It features aromatic wood beads and metal patina components. It also has a unique bead as a focal which is called a guru bead.
The length of the necklace is an individual choice but I wanted mine to truly stand out so I made it very long.
You may be hearing a lot about mala necklaces this year. The mala bead necklace is based on traditional Buddhist prayer beads.  “Malas are used for keeping count while reciting, chanting, or mentally repeating a mantra or the name or names of a deity.  Malas are typically made with 18, 27, 54 or 108 beads.  A decorative tassel is often attached to the beads, flanked by talismans or amulets depending on one’s local tradition.”  Via Wikipedia
Since Mala bead necklaces are considered a Buddhist rosary I wanted to acknowledge that I was aware that these necklaces have spiritual importance to many people. The necklaces I am making are influenced by the symmetry in the traditional mala necklace.   I have gone out of my way to create a necklace with an even number of beads that is not a real mala.

I used a long bead board to set up my project. This took me the most time as I added and removed different sizes.  John Bead Corp just added an aromatic bead collection to their catalog. These beads are available in sandalwood and cedarwood in all the classic bead sizes; 6,8,10,12,15,20mm. I choose to design with sandalwood.  I also choose a strand of Buddha heads to add interest.
You’ll notice in the middle of the board a single wood bead and cap. That is the “GURU” bead. It is a three holed bead used with a tower bead. These two will be joined together to make the exact centre of the necklace a perfect place to attach a dangle and tassel.
My necklace was strung using just one strand of silk beading cord.  The needle is already attached to the thread making this necklace an easy one to finish in less than 30 minutes.
I strung the first half of the necklace and then stopped to gather what I needed for the guru bead addition.
The guru bead is actually two components.  The round bead has three holes and you need to be sure you are stringing your cord through the right holes so that it will sit properly in the necklace. You have to get your needle and thread through one half of the bead to start. (see picture) The needle bends like wire so I could send it through the curves in the bead.
Then you string through the tower bead and pendant.

You do everything a second time by going back up through the tower bead, then through the other side of the three-holed guru bead. It looks so nice when you pull your thread and then add you second side of beads. I’ll be honest though. The guru bead is not easy to string the first time. You must be patient when pushing your needle through the curved sections in the three-hole bead.
After adding all the beads to the necklace you simply tie a good knot. I even added a little glue to keep the knot extra secure.
My last step was to add a tassel. You have so many options when it comes to adding embellishments. No doubt I will switch the tassel to something else later this summer.
All beads and components from John Bead Corp.
  • Carved Buddha Head Strand - 286013060
  • Wood Beads - Sandalwood Round 20mm, 18mm, 12mm
    286013003-00, 286013005-00, 286013006-00
  • Metal Hand Link Patina - 26040021
  • Metal Beads with Patina 8mm - 28838008
  • Metal Beads with Patina 6mm - 28838007
  • Metal Cones with Patina - 28838003
  • Guru Bead - Sandalwood Round 20mm - 286013016-00
  • Bead Board Long (21x8) – 74530130
  • Silk Bead Cord with Needle .8m Black - 74422068-00
  • Tassel (from Home Dec department)
All my Perles Et Cetera Projects are linked here.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Lush Green Multi Length Simply Stylish Necklace

By Carmi Cimicata for John Bead Corp and Perles Et Cetera

This is the English translation for this project which appeared in the magazine in French.

When Pantone announced that the 2017 Colour of the year was GREENERY, I was ecstatic. Green is such a powerful colour. Pantone described it as fresh, restorative and Nature’s neutral. “A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality.”

I truly enjoy stringing interesting components, so it was easy for me to just go to my stash and gather strands of green beads for this project. John Bead Corp has over 3000 items that are “green” including Czech pressed glass beads, wood beads and semi precious stones.

The unique product that I was most interested in using for the first time was the green Lucite petal beads in our Tropical Punch collection. These petal beads are available in several colours. The green is a non-traditional flower colour, however for this project it is a perfect addition.

The curved petal beads become a flower shape when strung on elastic and tied tightly together with a knot. This creates a circle center.

You can stretch the circle center over the flower component crystal and it will settle into place. For extra security you can add a little bit of glue to the knot you made with the elastic.

I strung a very long strand of multi shaped beads from my collection. I finished each side of the beaded necklace with an EZ Crimp End.

My beautiful long strand of beads does not need a clasp to get it on and off. I opted to attach both ends to my Flower Maker components. The necklace is ready to wear.
I could have stopped at this point and would have been happy with my statement piece.

However, I had already decided that I would want to wear this necklace a couple of different ways. My next step was to create this simple necklace extender with some lobster clasps, jump rings and chain.

Then I placed some large jump rings in several key spots on my long necklace.

The jump rings look like part of my design.

My necklace looks wonderful worn as one long piece.

When I attach my necklace extender to those jump rings I can created tiered lengths.

Add in a necklace extender and jump rings and I have several new looks to enjoy.
This will be my go-to summer look!

When I want the flower to be showcased differently I can wear it this way.
The GREENERY colour of the year has inspired me to create a new necklace that I can wear several different ways. Like the colour, I am feeling refreshed and restored now that I have completed this project.
All products from John Bead Corp
Tropical Punch Flower Maker (Gold)     26011512
Tropical Punch Petal Curved (Shaded Green)      28400689-03
Elastic Cord
Large and small Jump Rings
Lobster Clasps
Selection of pressed glass beads
Wood beads
EZ-Crimp Ends from Beadalon

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cascading Abalone Shard Necklace

This statement necklace features the most usual shells.

The John Bead Outlet had a selection of bags with these abalone shards.
I glued on end caps to make them a components I could string.

It took me a long time to figure out the best way to wear them.
This cascading statement necklace is the result of weeks of experimenting.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Glittering Agate Necklaces

I had a half day today to just create a few new necklaces 
that were not for a deadline or article.

I am going through the stash of beads I brought back from several Bead and Button shows.
I am going this June again and want to be able to have a clear conscience.
Hopefully I will have used most of everything I picked up at earlier shows too.

I do love agate and it was high time I started using these beautiful strands.

These glittery agate beads were in Michael's of all places.
They caught my eye because they mimicked the colouring in the glittered cross I made.

The step by step for this resin how-to is on I Love Resin.

Leftovers became a bracelet!

Happy with my Sunday.
Now to get some laundry and ironing started.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Amazingly Simple Golden Beauty Choker

Amazingly Simple Golden Beauty Choker

Created by Carmi Cimicata for John Bead Corp. and Perles Et Cetera Magazine

There are moments when you shop for beads when you come across components that you instantly know will create a spectacular piece of jewelry. That was my reaction to the launch of our company’s twelve limited edition bead mixes.   These bead mixes are unique because each collection was hand picked by our company Creative Director, Fernando DaSilva.

The John Bead Company is over 60 years old and has been importing Czech glass since the 1950s. Over these last decades, our warehouse has stockpiled some stunning firepolished and pressed glass beads that we are just now unpacking and reviewing. Some of the beads are vintage and many will never be manufactured again.   Each bead mix has a blended color palette and for my choker I selected the Gold Gravel collection.

I wanted to create a tiered choker, so a beading board was my best option to get my strand lengths correct. The options for my choker were limitless. The strands I designed featured some of the unique pressed glass pieces that deserved to be highlighted.

I then strung each strand with wire and used crimps and a crimping tool from Beadalon to secure my beads.

I attached each strand to a flat bar for spacing and then added a few links and a clasp to make my choker comfortable to wear.

With my choker complete I knew I would love a matching bracelet. Gold memory wire was all needed to string this golden cuff.

Of course, it also made sense to create earrings to match!

My new set of golden jewelry is complete and my bead mix box still seems to be half full! Working with a pre-selected collection of beads allowed me to focus on my projects and I was not distracted searching through my own stash for beads that would be compatible. Now I want to make something with the eleven other bead mixes that Fernando DaSilva selected!

Main Products Used From John Bead

Original article in French in Perles et Cetera Magazine Winter 2017