Archive | Beading & Jewelry

Review | Crystal Katana by Crystal Ninja

The Crystal Katana by Crystal Ninja has been making a big splash in the craft world since it was a “Hot 20” award winner at the Craft & Hobby Association’s 2013 winter show. [Disclosure: Craft Critique’s owner/editor Nancy Nally was a judge for the Hot 20 awards.] When I first looked at it myself I have to admit that I was not impressed despite all of the hype. I thought, how could this little tool change my crafting world? Well, was I completely wrong!

The Crystal Katana has a wax tip that allows you to pick up crystals, beads, buttons, pearls and even small pieces of paper! After trying it, I am in love! The other end has a needle tip that allows you to adjust placement once a small item (like a rhinestone) has been attached to a larger object. There is also a foam pad that is perfect for holding your embellishments and picking them up off from.


I wanted to test it out on an actual project, so I looked through my craft stash and found some flat backed rhinestones to attach to a letter M. I worked with Ranger Glue n’ Seal (because it has a brush built in to the lid) and in small sections.

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Review | Clover Tatting Shuttles

Clover Small Tatting Shuttle
Clover Small Tatting Shuttle

The Clover Tatting Shuttlescome in a set with two different colored shuttles per package. This is great if you are tatting a project using two shuttles and need to easily tell which is the ring shuttle and which is the chain shuttle. These shuttles also have a nice textured area on the shuttle which makes it easy to grip the shuttle, and one end of the shuttle has a curved point that makes it easy to pull the picots while working a piece. I prefer this over the type that have a hook, because I often find myself getting the thread snagged on the hooks when using those.

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Review | Kumihimo Bracelet Kit from Ebay

I recently ordered a Kumihimo Bracelet kit sold by Loom Jewelry on Ebay. The kit was created to provide the user with an easy and portable Kumihimo jewelry making kit for less than $10. Kumihimo is the Japanese art form of braiding. The process of making the braided cords is simple and was traditionally done on special wooden stands called Maru Dai and/or Takadi. The cording was originally used as trim, belts, etc. Kumihimohas become more popular in the United States and crafters are using the braiding to make various jewelry items. Thus, due to the growth in popularity more new kits are being made available from various retailers and manufacturers.

kumihimo bracelet kit

I wanted to give this craft a try so I decided to check out Ebay and see if I could find an all-inclusive kit that was affordable and had quality materials enclosed. After a quick search, I found a kit I liked from Loom Jewelry and ordered it. It arrived three days later with the following supplies:

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