Monthly Archives: March 2011

Cabochons for Bead Embroidery, Part 2

I mentioned previously that I was going to go shopping again for cabochons for bead embroidery.  Well I did, and now I'm going to share some photos with you!  Keep in mind that the photos are of the "naked cab" and aren't beaded as yet.

Jasper, O Jasper

I got two different kinds of jasper (a semi-precious gemstone).  I adore jasper because the colors and patterns can be out of this world!

The jasper cab shown at the right is called Owyhee picture jasper, and with good reason!  These jaspers tend to resemble landscapes, and the this one is no exception.

The photo doesn't show it as well as I'd like, but when you hold this in your hand, it looks like a hillside, with a tree on the right hand side.  As soon as I saw this one, I knew I had to have it.  And it was a great deal, too!  I paid around $3, and got free shipping.  The cab is roughly 40x30mm in size.

The other jasper I snagged is called Pilbara Hill Jasper (on your left).  To me, it looks like a kind of sunrise or sunset (haven't decided which yet).

This one is also 40x30 mm in size, and I paid a bit more for it, seeing as I got into a bit of a bidding war for this cab.  Still, I paid less than $7 and got free shipping so as far as I am concerned, I am very happy.

Now you'll notice that both of these cabs are in earthy kinds of colors -- shades of beige, rust, tan, with a little gray thrown in as well.  Alas, I have yet to see any picture-type jasper than is in anything but these earth tones.  And even though I don't generally wear much in the tan/rust color family, I plan to get more clothes so I can proudly wear these!  🙂

How Ya Doing, Ruby?

The next cabochon for bead embroidery I won was a ruby in zoisite cab.  Yes, it's real ruby, but of course not gem-quality since it's so occluded.  Still, the contrast of the rpink/red of the ruby against the greens of the zoisite.  For the life of me, I could not get a good picture of this cab -- it is much more vibrant than it looks in the photo to the right.

The size of this cabochon for beading is roughly 30x20 mm, maybe a shade bigger.  I paid considerably more for this one -- $12.50 -- but still got the free shipping.  I really liked the cab, so I think I got a good deal on it.  It has so many possibilities for bead embroidery!

If you decide to go ebaying (which is where I got these), keep in mind that if you are looking for free shipping deals (and there are quite a few), it may take some time for the cab to get to you.  For these particular cabs, they came from either Hong Kong or India, so it took a good 3 to 4 weeks to receive them.  I have received them faster (sometimes as soon as 10 days), but you should expect 3 to 4 weeks.

Well, time to get these cabs onto their backing so I can bead them!

18 POUNDS ASSORTED OREGON PICTURE JASPER CAB ROUGH WHOLESALE CLOSEOUT SALE
18 POUNDS ASSORTED OREGON PICTURE JASPER CAB ROUGH WHOLESALE CLOSEOUT SALE
$54.99
Time Remaining: 11d 22h 3m
Buy It Now for only: $54.99
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2530
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2530
$3.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 2d 10h 9m
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2551
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2551
$3.99
Time Remaining: 6d 10h 31m
PICTURE JASPER SLAB MINERALS CRYSTALS GEMS CAB
PICTURE JASPER SLAB MINERALS CRYSTALS GEMS CAB
$4.99
Time Remaining: 9h 24m
Buy It Now for only: $4.99
RIVERSIDE BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2542
RIVERSIDE BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2542
$3.99 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 5d 9h 53m
BEAUTIFUL TREE PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2518
BEAUTIFUL TREE PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2518
$26.99 (12 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 10h 16m
Owyhee Picture Jasper Cab Designer Cabochon HS WoW
Owyhee Picture Jasper Cab Designer Cabochon HS WoW
$39.10
Time Remaining: 14d 2h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $39.10
LANDSCAPE BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2535
LANDSCAPE BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2535
$4.24 (2 Bids)
Time Remaining: 3d 10h 19m
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2549
BEAUTIFUL PICTURE JASPER PENDANT CAB CAN front DRILL 4U U2549
$3.99
Time Remaining: 6d 10h 37m
Owyhee Picture Jasper Cab Designer Cabochon HS WoW
Owyhee Picture Jasper Cab Designer Cabochon HS WoW
$35.70
Time Remaining: 1d 7h 2m
Buy It Now for only: $35.70

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Exploring Kumihimo

I've had a kumihimo disk ("maru dai") for a few years, along with a few braiding books, cotton floss and plastic bobbins.  I even made a pretty rope, which has lain dormant for just about as long.  But it wasn't until two things happened, one right after the other, that I picked up the ancient art of kumihimo braiding again.

A Pendant in Search of a Necklace

You might have seen in one of my bead embroidery posts that I had beaded a dichroic cab to which I couldn't find just the right necklace, so I had it strung on some gold chain.  I thought briefly about making a kumihimo rope, but then decided not to, as I dreaded the setup and it took so darn long.

So anyway, my friend Jennie happened to ask me if I had ever done any kumihimo, as she was considering giving it a try.  Well, I've tried just about everything, so I gave Jennie some pointers, the first one being don't buy a real maru dai until you decide you like it!  (More on that in a minute.)

Then, Amazon sent me an email for a new kumihimo book that was coming out called Kumihimo Wire Jewelry: Essential Techniques and 20 Jewelry Projects for the Japanese Art of Braiding. Naturally, I pre-ordered it (it's being released March 15, 2011) and also naturally, sent Jennie the link to it. 🙂

While waiting for the above book, I decided to dust off my kumi disk, find my thread and re-read the 2 books I bought way back when.  Funny how time makes things easier; where I had a difficult time with it before, this time I picked it up better.  And it was made even worse when Jennie send me a link to The Satin Cord which has all kinds of satin cord for kumihimo braiding at really good prices - ack!

So today my satin cord supplies came in (gotta love anyplace that ships fast) and I sat down.  Boy, I whipped through 4 braided ropes in no time flat!  And one of them was a green and black necklace, suitable for the pendant I had made a little while back.  So much for kumihimo taking longer than beading!  And I know that the two sides of the necklace look a little off-pattern - they aren't, it's my wonderful photography skills (or lack thereof).

Maru Dai, Kumihimo and Cost

I have a foam kumi disk instead of the tradtional (beautiful and expensive) wooden maru dai.  The foam disk is somewhat slower than the "real thing", but it's inexpensive (around $12) and very portable.  If you're wanting to try kumi but aren't sure if you'll like it, go for the foam disk, seeing as a tradtional setup will cost you around $170.  Then, if you decide you like it and want to be more traditional, it will be a nice investment.

Well, back to the braiding.  So many types of thread/cord, so little time.  Kumi disk, here I come!