Monday, March 31, 2014

A little review on the BeadSmith macrame board

Honestly, I love this fairly new board so much that I think is the best macramé board in the market right now. Here are a few reasons:
  • It has slits around the board that firmly holds the cords even the thinner ones. So you are most likely pinning less. Yet, you can still use pins onto the board very well.
  • The front side has a grid with measurements around the board to help you measure the piece you are working on. The measurements are in inches, not in centimeters which is what people use in other countries outside the US. The back side is just blank.
  • It comes in two sizes, the large is 10” x 14” in which you can work several projects at the time. and the mini is 6”x9”.  I prefer the mini board because my pieces are small.
  • The only concern that I have, when I first unwrapped it, was a strong, sort of rubbery chemical odor.  To tell you the truth, it was nauseating. But before you start to hate it, I have to let you know that the smell completely went away after a week or two.
  • The price is not so bad either.

So, if you are a lover of the macrame technique, this board is a must.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Micro Macrame Pattern- Ribbon on my Arm

I am sharing this very popular pattern with all of you.
The pattern includes the amount of cord you may need to make it. Enjoy!!

Follow the link to see the PDF file in English o en Español.

DIY - Bead Spinner & VIDEO

The task of stringing seed beads into the cords can be very time consuming. I made myself a bead spinner which has helped me a lot.
Suggestion: Coat the cord tips with fray check and after they dry, trim them at a sharp angle.
To pick up the beads I used a beading needle #12.

Watch how the Bead Spinner works, then come back to see the instructions to DIY.

Materials & Tools:
  • plastic container about 3"/7.5cm of diameter by .075"/2cm of height
  • wooden stick
  • soldering iron or a metal stick
  • pencil sharpener

  • Find and mark the center point at the bottom of the container you have chosen.
  • Heat the metal stick, can be directly on the stove or with a candle, or use the soldering iron to make a hole in the marked center.  Slowly start drilling in the middle of the plastic container. The idea is that the hole be slightly smaller than the diameter of the wooden stick so that it fits inside without it being too loose. So as you make the hole, check the size by inserting the stick and seeing how it fits, making it larger with the soldering iron or metal stick. 
  • Sharpen one end of the stick with the pencil sharpener. 
  • Once the hole has the required size, place the wooden stick through it. It should protrude slightly from the base so that it spins freely. 
  • You're ready to start spinning!!!
Please leave your comments. Thanks.

DIY - Wrist Band Pin Cushion

I have been wanting to have a pincushion for my arm, since it seems that always I lose my pins. With plenty of tutorials online, I found this one very easy to follow and best of all it is made with recycled materials.

The idea is excellent because you will always have your pins handy. I replaced the lid from the jar for this metal part from one of my daughter's discarded bathing suit. Also the ties attached to the metal piece were part of the swim suit. Once I gathered all of the materials and tools, it took me about 10 minutes to complete the whole project.

If you decide to make this Pin Cushion Wristband, I'd love to see how it turned out.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

How do I keep the working threads looking taut and tidy

If you own one of my first tutorials, you have probably seen that the cords in those photos, despite my efforts to avoid the chaos, are not so neatly arranged.

Being myself a knotter, tutorial designer, writer and photographer, I need my threads look tidy all the time so I can work and shoot the process without wasting time looking for the next cord to tie.

I must add that I use my board slightly inclined and in a horizontal position. Here is the solution I have found.

The inspiration came from a disc

At first, I used a small kumihimo disc under my board to keep the strands organized. But soon I realized the disc didn’t really work for projects with larger amounts of threads. So, I started looking for an inexpensive material similar to the kumihimo disc.

Then, I found this: a kneeling pad! The length was perfect for my board.

Do you want to see how it works?
Watch this video.

Keep reading if you would like to know how I made it.

Materials & Tools:
  • Kneeling pad 
  • Pencil 
  • Ruler 
  • X acto knife 
  • Soldering iron

  1. On one of the longer sides of the board make marks every half inch (or closer if you like to have more gaps) 
  2. Do the same on the rounded corners and 2 o 3 inches on the short sides of the board 
  3. With the X acto knife cut into the marks about half an inch of depth. 
  4. As you see the slits are really closed and hard to notice. 
  5. To widen the slits, slightly arch the board... 
  6. ...and pass the soldering iron, in a 45 angle, to widen only the corners of each one of the slits. CAUTION: Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area.
  7. The widened gaps should only be visible in front of the board. And this is done :) 
  8. The board that helps my threads look taut and tidy. 
Using the same technique, I made myself a portable board I use over my knees and against a desk. Because I use the board standing up, the slits on the bottom are useless. To fix that, I added the purple adjustable bar which can be moved to get closer to the work when the cords get shorter. 

Please leave your comments. Thanks!!!

Repurposing and Upcycling for Organization Ideas

I often think that there are multiple uses for things other than what they are traditionally used for. I am always thinking about how I can make something work in a different way instead of just throwing it out. Yes, I like to recycle and repurpose!

Not only does this help the environment, but it saves you money by reusing what you already have rather than going out and buying other storage and organizing materials.

My old studio

This is how "my studio" used to look 2 or 3 years ago. All of my materials and tools were here. 
Now, some years later, I have so much stuff that I have been forced to look for more storage.

My new storage

This house shelf, which is less than 2"/5cm thick, is perfect for my cords that come in these little containers. The containers are good to protect the cords that I am not using and to store beads and findings.
My cords that are not in use or recently purchased.

Cords in use. C Lon Beading cord, Tuff cord #3 & #5,  Conso.

Lazy Susan spice organizer to hold my small beads, buttons and some metal findings.  I keep it inside the cabinet. 

This is actually a storage cabinet for Cds and DVDs. I use small labeled containers to organize things like clasps, scissors, pliers, empty small containers, etc.

And you, how do you organize your stuff? 

Share your ideas in the comment box!