The design I came up with using the flowercup beads to make straps.
My first attempt at using the Conetastic tool.
I love to experiment with new things, so when I saw the cover of the February 2014 issue of Bead & Button Magazine (you know, the one with Kerrie Slade’s Kumihimo necklace that uses the new flower cup beads?) I had to give the pattern a try. At the time, Kerrie and I were both trying out Kumihimo using a foam disk. While I was doing friendship bracelets, she came up with this wonderful pattern.
I used the flowercup beads to make straps for a necklace I was trying to finish. The pendant was one I did while teaching a class on how to bead around a cabochon for the Bead Society of New Hampshire. I love mixing colors that match colors in a stone.
Still loving the Kumihimo with the flower cups, I went on to make a bracelet. Although I have several different styles of end caps, I had also seen a new product called The Conetastic. I had tried making end caps with Stephanie Eddie’s Viking Knit Lazee Daizee Tool, but I just about destroyed it, as I like to have my wraps really tight. I was digging grooves into the plastic!
So I ordered a few Conetastic tools for my shop, and at a bead retreat I decided to give it a try. Compact, the tool holds inside what you need to make different sizes of end caps, and so it is also very portable.
I used the largest mandrel and finished off another flower cup bead design with end caps that I made using this tool. The bracelet at the bottom right shows my first attempt at using it, and I was quite pleased with the high quality of the end caps I produced. Need I say I was also very pleased with the Kumihimo strand I put them on?
The different colors available in the flowercup beads give a designer some great choices for designs. And with all the different colors in wires these days, when you have a Conetastic tool, you have just as many choices in designing your own end caps!
Dr. Gail H. Devoid, Ph.D. is president of Need for Beads, Inc. and teaches beading techniques through programs at the Bead Society of New Hampshire. She also co-hosted a live, free, Internet radio show called The Jewelry Connection.