We got a new toy this week! Say hello to our label maker.
We have decided to join the 21st century and barcode all the beads. This is not as easy as it sounds. We spent one day trying ot use an online barcode maker. That didn’t work. Next we spent a day trying out this barcode maker. It turns out that this one only wants to talk with the computer that has Windows 8, not the one that has Windows 7.
Once you get passed its anti-7 prejudice however, it makes beautiful labels.
Now all we need to do is make labels for all the beads, yarn, Kumihimo and kits, and update beadbiz.org with all the new skew numbers. *grin*
While we do that, anyone want to suggest a name for the lovely new machine? It definitely needs a name. If we use your suggestion, we’ll give a coupon good for a free hank of beads, so start thinking!
In the meantime, we’ll be right here making labels.
Our customers make the most beautiful things. We are constantly amazed by the ingenuity and creativity shown in the jewelry, garments, and decorations people have made with our beads. You are what make it so much fun for us to do what we do.
We had been admiring the Geology Shawl on Ravelry for a while, but then on of customers knit it up with beads between each “layer” of knitting. Wow. What a difference the beads make in the design.
That creativity is what we hope we inspire in all of our customers. We love helping you pick just the right beads for that special yarn or beading project. Sometimes, you just make things up and they are still amazing.
It makes stupidly happy to see our beads in your creations. So indulge us by bringing your beautiful projects to the booth to show us and to send us photos of your work so that we can include it on our brand new Customer Gallery.
What are you making as Spring approaches? We can’t wait to find out!
Kumihimo (ku-me-he-mo) is an ancient Japanese braiding technique. It is believed to date back to the Nara Period of Japanese history (645-784 CE). At this time the braids were used primarily as fasteners for clothing.
As Buddhism became the dominant religion during Japan’s Heian Period (784-1184 CE), braids of various sizes and thicknesses were used in temple interiors and the art of creating beautiful braids was used as a form of meditation.
As time went on, a warrior class called the Samurai became highly influential and, consequently, the demand for armour increased. Samurai armour contains many lacquered iron plates, which are joined by braided ribbons. One suit of armor required approximately 250-300 meters (273-328 yards) of braid. Additionally Kumihimo braids were used for binding on swords, horse armour and horse harnesses. The time of the Samurai also saw the rise of the tea ceremony which requires elegant kumihimo for the storage containers. The elaborate knotting of Kumihimo braids was also a way to prevent the tea from being poisoned, since the knotting was difficult to re-create once it was disturbed.
Kumihimo returned to its roots as a clothing fastener with a change in kimono style. The introduction of a very wide obi (sash) required a narrow cord to hold it in place. The braided obijime was created for this purpose. The style is still worn in Japan today when wearing a kimono is appropriate.
Kumihimo braids are traditionally made on a Marudai stand which can produce braids that arethe round, square, or flat. While being worked, the finished braid is pulled downward by a counterweight while the threads are weighted by wooden bobbins called kata.
Kumihimo was introduced to the Western world in the 20th century. Using foam discs and light weight plastic bobbins made Kumihimo portable and easy to do. By putting the fiber for the braid into the grooves cut in the foam, the need to use weighted bobbins is eliminated. Now a weight is only needed on the braid itself. Moving the fibers back and forth across the disc creates the braid and the way the fibers are set up around the disc creates the pattern the braid will have. Any type of fiber can be used on the Kumihimo disc. We have created braids using plastic, yarn, metal, leather, and various types of string.
Not only can the braid pattern be formed by coloured strings, it can also be changed by using beads in the braid itself. By incorporating beads on one or more of the strands of the braid, a the braid can have a completely different look.
We're just a couple of bead chicks who found fiber and came over to the dark side. It's OK though, we brought cookies :)
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