AJE Component of the Month for April

It's time for another installment of the monthly design challenge we refer to as the AJE Component of the Month. Each month a member of my team at Art Jewelry Elements provides a handmade art jewelry component to several team mates plus a few guest designers with the simple rule that they must use the component in a design. Then we all reveal at the end of the month. 

The hostess for the April COM is the fabulous Lesley Watt, who is also one half of the British contingent of our team. She created these darling shank button with hook closures: 

In the last 5 days, I've become kumihimo obsessed. OBSESSED. So I was determined to use kumihimo in my design somehow. Because I also procrastinate until the last possible minute. 

I thought it might be fun to do sort of a beachy feel, something loose and fun. And why not test the limits of my 4 day old skill set by braiding with leather, hand dyed silk ribbon, and big hole pearls. This is what I came up with. 


There were a couple (big) problems with this though. It was too fat for any of the findings I have on hand and I didn't particularly like the way it looked with Lesley's button. Too chunky for that little thing. 

Attempt #2 started with my looking through my very meager collection of seed beads. For some reason the plain black seed beads spoke to me. Which was really freaking weird. 

I went with a super simple, super elegant design where the button is the star. 


I added a couple Green Girl end cones to the braid and it was a perfect fit. 

Even though Lesley provided perfect copper hook closures for the ceramic shank buttons, I needed one in sterling silver to complement the design better. I'm really happy with how this came together. 

Don't forget to stop by the other design challenge participants' blogs to see what they created. 



Lesley Watt

Love this Jen - the simplicity of the style is a perfect foil for that cute little button. I've been toying with having a go at kumihimo and think now might just be the time...Thank you.

Jennifer Cameron

You totally should try it Lesley. Not that I'm trying to bring others down the road of kumihimo obsession or anything....

Thanks for letting me play with the button. It was really fun. And I have another one in reserve :-)


I love kumihimo and your designs are perfect Jen. I love the texture of the first rope, and the second beaded one is a perfect match for the dainty clasp!


I'm amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that's
equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have
hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which
not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very
happy I came across this in my search for something relating
to this.


Lovely design, Jen. Those end caps you chose really set off the clasp as a focal area. Beautiful beadwork, too!


Well, I can totally relate to your kumihimo obsession...:) I really like the first piece, hope you finish it.
Sometimes simple is just best when you want to showcase one item. I think you have a definite winner with the bracelet you made. And not to be an enabler or anything....but Bobby Beads has 40% off on their size 6 and 8 beads right now....

Jennifer Cameron

You ARE an enabler! I've never seen Bobby Beads before. I'll have to take a look. I really have a pitifully small collection of seed beads...


I think this is super elegant and precious!!! I love that you are working with Kumihimo.


So elegant and sleek, and the button just shines!


I love your simple design! Really stunning. I love the juxtaposition of the modern/urban feeling black seed beads and the organic feel of the cones and the button. Coincidentally I have been loving this combination of urban/organic in interior design too. Well done!

Jennifer Cameron


I, too, decorate in a mix of modern and organic/vintage. An interior designer once visited my home and called my style "transitional." Um...ok.


The bracelet is beautiful!! I love the first Kumihimo you did and hope you find a way to use it!!

Kathy Lindemer

Great design!

Perri Jackson

Inspiration leads to experimentation! I love it. :-) Way to rock a new skill!

Diana P.

This is a gorgeous design. It's simplistic AND stunning. Yeah, hand that over so I can put it on my wrist!

Jennifer Cameron

Oh, it's way too big for your tiny wrist :-)

Becky Pancake

Jen you chose the perfect compliment to Lesley's clasp.It is simple but beautiful and it lets that button be the star. I too have been doing kumihimo lately.

Karen Totten

Sweet simplicity - love this design!

Melissa M

Jen - I am so in love with this. I would wear it everyday!


Hi Jen!

I love your design!! It's so delicate and elegant! Gorgeous!! :)

Susan Kennedy

Love your braid, hope you can use it in something else! I do love what you ended up making, it really does show off the focal perfectly! How did you get the seed beads to remain twisted?

Jennifer Cameron

That's how they end up in the kumihimo braid. I don't have an answer other than that...

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