Friday, 19 April 2013

Kumihimo Giveaway from The Bead Shop Manchester

Hello lovely readers. Those of you who have been reading my blog recently will know that I have been working with The Bead Shop Manchester. I have given you a discount code for them, done a product review and two free tutorials from a mix of theirs (earrings and hairclip). Well now I'm hosting a giveaway from them! Very exciting!

As I reviewed one of their kumihimo kits in a previous post, I thought it would be lovely to giveaway a kumihimo kit plus a few extras. Here is what you will get if you win the giveaway (clicking on the links or pictures will take you too the product on The Bead Shop's website for more details):

A pack of extra bobbins (so you can do 16 strand braids)
5 extra Hook N Eye clasps

Kumihimo Seed Bead Bracelet Kit - TealBob-EEZ No-Tangle bobbinsHook N Eye ClaspsSwarovski 4mm Xilion Bicone Bead - Tropical Rainforest Mix

What do you think? Would you like to win this kit with extras?
If you do, all you have to do is comment below by Friday 3rd May 2013. Make sure I have some way of getting in touch with you if you do win! I will use a random number generator to select the winner and then contact them over the weekend. I will then pass their details on to The Bead Shop, who will post their winnings directly to them. This giveaway is open worldwide. I will also edit this post to say who won. If I don't hear from back from you within a week, I will redraw the competition.

There are a couple of ways you can get an extra entry:

'Like' The Bead Shop Manchester on facebook (say that you have done, this with your liker number if possible, in your comment below. I will check!)

Share the link to this giveaway somewhere (eg, your own blog, facebook, twitter etc. Again, say that you have done this in your comment below and include the link to the post so I can see it.)

So in total you can get up to 3 entries to the giveaway if you comment, like and share. You will have to tell me if you have done them though. :o)

Get commenting if you want to win!

P.S. And if you don't win or can't wait then you can get all these and more lovely beads at the Bead Shop Manchester.

Closing date: 23.59 GMT 3rd May 2013

Giveaway now closed. Thanks all for entering. The winner will be announced very soon.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Crystal hairclip tutorial

Here is the second tutorial made with the lovely Czech faceted round glass bead mix I received from  The Bead Shop Manchester. (See my product review post for more info or here for the first tutorial.) This is a very picture heavy post so sorry if it takes a while to load.

This make is for a crystal barrette hairclip. For those in the know, its simply a chunky version of flat spiral stitch, but don't worry if you've never heard of this stitch. I'll show you exactly what to do.

 From the mix I used:
8 x 10mm dark blue firepolish
14 x 8mm grey luster firepolish
84 x 4mm montana blue firepolish

I have also used the following additional supplies. You don't have to use exactly what I have used. I'll talk more about options as the tutorial progresses.

80mm barrette/hairclip blank
Strong beading thread or wire (I used 6lb fireline in smoke)
Beading needle if using thread rather than wire
Strong glue suitable for gluing fabric onto metal (I used E6000). Not essential but very useful!
Ultrasuede or similar strong non-fraying but easy to stitch into fabric. Not essential.

To begin, cut at least a wingspan of thread. Thread on 2 of the 10mm, 3 of the 4mm, 1 of the 8mm and 3 of the 4mm. Hold these beads near the other end of your thread form your needle but leave a long tail of at least 20cm/8" Pass the needle back through the 2 10mm beads creating a loop, as shown.

Thread on 3 of the 4mm, one of the 8mm and 3 more of the 4mm and once again, pass the needle through the 2 10mm beads. It should look like this.

Add a 10mm bead, 3 of the 4mm, 1 of the 8mm and 3 more of the 4mm. Pass the needle back through large beads 2 and 3. Pull tightly to snug the large beads together. Add 3 of the 4mm, 1 of the 8mm and 3 more of the 4mm and pass the needle through large beads 2 and 3 for a second time. It should look like this.

Add a 10mm bead, 3 of the 4mm, 1 of the 8mm and 3 more of the 4mm. Pass the needle back through large beads 3 and 4. Pull tightly to snug the large beads together. Add 3 of the 4mm, 1 of the 8mm and 3 more of the 4mm and pass the needle through large beads 3 and 4 for a second time. It should now look like this.

Continue adding beads in the same way until your strip of beadwork is long enough for your clip. I ended up using 8 of the 10mm firepolish in total.

You do not need to weave in your ends. These are going to be used to attach the beadwork to the clip. (That is, if you are going to attach the beadwork in the same way as me! You may choose to glue your beadwork onto the hairclip. In which case you will need to weave in your ends. If you are going to glue your beadwork to the clip you will need a really strong glue, suitable for sticking glass to metal.)

There are many ways of attaching beadwork strips to barrette blanks. For this tutorial, I am going to use a fabric covering and stitching but I have in the past used simply glue (not my favourite) or just wrapped and stitched the beadwork directly to the clip. This isn't as tidy but does work. Below is a picture of the underside of a clip I wear quite regularly. The beadwork is a strip of square stitched 4mm glass beads done with cheap fishing line with the fishing line wrapped and stitched directly around the clip. Like I say, I wear it a lot and it is still going strong after a couple of years.

However, for this tutorial I would like to show you a covered clip where the stitching is hidden.

You will find it easier if you disassemble you hairclip. You might find it easier to use pliers for this but I didn't bother as I don't look after my fingernails! Next cut a piece of ultrasuede a little bigger all the way around than you clip, as shown.

Glue the strip of ultrasuede to your barrette blank. You may wish to do this before cutting it out to make your life easier.  Trim the corners and around the clip and hinge bit as shown.

Now you have to stitch the beadwork to the clip whilst simultaneously folding and stitching in the edges of the ultrasuede. Your stitches do not have to be neat on the back as these will be covered up later. I used the thread to stitch together the edges, passed my needle through the ultrasuede at the edge, looped the thread between 2 large beads and stitched back into the edge. Its kind of difficult to describe and photograph but hopefully you get the idea or can find a method that works well for you.

I ran out of thread before I got to the end but this is not a problem due to the long tail I'd left when I began the beadwork. I threaded the needle this side and just stitched it on from the other side. Even if your thread is long enough, I'd advise adding a few stitches from the other end to help secure anyway before fastening of. Here's what it should look like when all stitched together.

Next, cut a strip of ultrasuede to cover your stitches. You can glue this in place or very neatly stitch it. I glued!!

Reassemble your hairclip and you are done!

Flat spiral stitch is a very quick and effective stitch to learn and it can be done with a variety of different sized beads. Long time readers of my blog may remember seeing other hairclips I've made with the same stitch, daintier versions that have 2 or more rows stitched together and done with seed beads and firepolish instead of only firepolish.

I hope you like this second tutorial from the firepolish mix. I'd love to see what you make if you do use it. Drop by my facebook page and post them on my wall or write the link in the comments below so I can come see!
 With regards to the mix, I still have quite a bit left. I don't know if I'll be writing any more tutorials from it at present but I'll let you know if I do.


As far as tutorial use goes, you are more than welcome to sell what you make using these instructions but please do not copy this tutorial to redistribute/teach without contacting me. If you wish to share my tutorial, then thanks muchly, but please link people to this post. You have my permission to use an image for the purposes of linking to this tutorial only. For any other use, please contact me.

Monday, 8 April 2013

March Crafting

Hello lovely readers. I hope you are all well. I am getting much better now I've hit trimester 2. Yay! More energy and MUCH less sicky.

So I actually got a little bit of crafting done this month. Not a huge amount but crafty bug is returning at last. The biggest projects I did in March were for the Mums for Mother's Day. I started off a scrapbook album for them both for baby. I got some lovely plain spiral bound albums from The Pink Pig, decorated the front and filled in 3 pages.

The frog picture was only on my Mum's album. It came about after because she sent me a frog in case I needed a second opinion. When I went up to visit, just after Christmas (and before I knew I was pregnant), I was telling her what I saw on Dara O'Briain's Science club. Apparently, frogs were used to see if a woman was pregnant. No, you didn't pee on them! The frog got injected with a woman's urine and if it layed eggs in the next 24 hours, she was pregnant.

I also made 2 pairs of earrings for my Aunt. She asked me if I could make a pair with a frosted sterling silver ball and an onyx pair to go with a necklace she had. I ended up frosting the sterling silver beads myself in my rock tumbler as I couldn't find frosted ones in the right size. For the onyx pair, I removed a couple of beads from the necklace so they would match perfectly.

If you read my last post, you will also have seen these earrings. I wrote a free tutorial following some beads I was sent from the lovely The Bead Shop Manchester.

That's everything that I finished in March, I think. I have started some crochet for baby and have finished something but that will have to wait for April's roundup post. Feel free to add me on Ravelry though if you want to see what I'm up to there. I'll also be completing another tutorial from the same bead mix I got from The Bead Shop in the next few days I hope, so keep an eye out if you're interested. I desperately need to catch up on the earring challenge too. I've only done 6 pairs so far and I think I should be in the mid teens. I have a few ideas in my head though. I want to get the silversmithing stuff out soon plus there are a few resin pairs half finished.

I still have various BB&B projects to finish off too. You may have read that I have taken a break from participating in those challenges for a while but do check out the Operation Tackle that Bead Stash blog if you want to keep up to date with that.

Have a fab April everyone.