Are you looking for kumihimo support and encouragement?

kumihimo group

kumihimo group

As many people now know by now, I am no longer one of the admins of the Kumihimo group on facebook. I have really enjoyed the last 3 years in the role, have seen an amazing range of talent and made some good friends, but all good things must come to an end! I have decided to put my experience of managing a group to good use, by setting up my own group,

Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends

My aim is to build a small group where I can encourage members to be active to provide mutual support and encouragement. It always amazed me that in the large kumihimo group we would regularly admit 50-70 new members per week, but the vast majority of these newcomers would visit once or twice and never be seen again! The other issue with larger groups is that many members are just ‘lurkers’. I understand that some people do not want to post their work, but I think it is a shame when people are keen to look at the work of others, without even making a kind comment or even giving it a like. To my mind that is what Pinterest is for, but a group should be more about sharing and engaging with each other. It is much more fun to be an active part of a group, rather than just sitting on the sidelines. I hope to encourage braiders of all different levels, from those who are keen to make their first braid to very experienced braiders who teach and write tutorials. We can all learn from each other and I really mean that. It is easy to get very stuck in your ways and sometimes a newbie can help you to see things with fresh eyes. I will be encouraging an atmosphere of give and take, so I will be allowing other designers to advertise their products and services, on the understanding that they will get involved with all the fun of the group. I believe that approach will work well for everyone because I know from my time as admin that members do like to click on direct links for products which interest them, but that they do not like to feel that they are being spammed!

The group was only established a few days ago, but already we have had some wonderful introductory posts and some very useful discussions. I have high hopes that this group will offer something a little bit different and enable members to take their braiding to new levels! If this sounds like the sort of thing you would like to get involved in please just click on the link and ask to join. You will be asked 3 questions, which are designed to screen out spammers, so don’t be put off by that! I look forward to welcoming you.

kumihimo group

Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends

Kumihimo on the Mediterranean Coast

kumihimo in the mediterranean

I am so excited to be able to tell everyone about a wonderful kumihimo tour to the South of France next year.

The Kumihimo on the Mediterranean Coast tour is organised by Triple M Tours, who are experts in special interest tours to Europe. These types of tour are a wonderful way to combine sight seeing trips to very special places with the chance to further your skills in your favourite pastime with expert tutors. You also find yourself among like-minded people with shared interests so you are bound to make new friends.

It is hard to know where to start to describe this great adventure!

This is a luxury tour and the accommodation will be in 4 star hotels. The 11 day tour starts on February 24th 2018 in Nice in the South of France. The great thing about this area is the variety and guests will be able to experience the glamour of Cannes or Monte Carlo and the wild beauty of the Camargue, as well as the ancient Roman remains in Nimes and Arles (and so much more!). The tour provides a great balance between organised trips, so that you get to see as much as possible, and free time in various places to be able to explore and experience the atmosphere. France is rightly famous for its food and drink and there will be opportunities both to learn and to indulge. The tour finishes in Paris for sightseeing and a farewell dinner. You need to read the itinerary to realise just how much is packed into this comprehensive trip.

Now for the kumihimo. The really exciting part is that there will be not one, but two tutors on the tour. My super-talented friend, Jamie North, will be working with me to make this extra special. There will be 2 full day workshops and 2 half day workshops. Two workshops will feature Jamie’s designs and she will lead the workshop, but I will be there to add extra support. For the other two workshops I will take the lead and the designs will be mine, but Jamie will be supporting me. This will mean that everyone will be able to have the attention they need during the class, allowing everyone to work comfortably at their own speed and make the most of the formal workshops. It also means that participants will benefit from two very different styles. Jamie is exceptionally talented with colour, shape and texture and she can bring any design to life with her use of materials. I am more interested in structure and technique. Together we offer a really comprehensive understanding of kumihimo. Jamie and I are working closely to put together a very varied, but cohesive programme of workshops for this trip. That is not all! We will also hold informal ‘Kumi-Klinics’ where we will be able to offer even more instruction or help with specific issues. The aim is to be very flexible in these sessions, so that we can respond to the needs of the students, perhaps while sipping on a chilled glass of wine or a citron presse!

Finally, Jamie and I will be there to join in all the fun, so I hope you will be able to come along to share with us the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a very special part of the world, while taking your kumihimo to the next level!

To find out more about this unique trip click here

kumihimo in the med

 

Last word from the Mushroom Bead challenge

Mushroom bead kumihimo

mushroom bead kumihimo

I have now completed the Mushroom Bead challenge set by Juliet of Spoilt Rotten Beads. On four consecutive days I uploaded a new YouTube video to accompany the design I showed each day on Facebook. Apart from having lots of fun, my aim was to show how different techniques can be used to produce very different results. I started on Day 1 with a fully beaded round braid bracelet and on Day 2 used my Prumihimo disk to make a much more dainty bracelet. which was a very quick make. Day 3 saw me using the square plate for a flat braid bracelet and I finished off with a return to the round disk on Day 4 for an unusual pendant design. In order to highlight the differences in technique I kept to the same colour palette throughout. I was pleased to be able to use the beads in such different ways because the videos are a great addition to the comprehensive kumihimo resource I am gradually building on my YouTube channel. Although the designs were all made using the 4mm mushroom beads the techniques are versatile and could be used with different types of bead amd cord, so I hope these videos will have a life far beyond just this challenge.

I even have a couple of extra designs.

Mushroom bead kumihimo

This fully beaded design is made using the set-up demonstrated on Day 4. The reason this set-up works so well for this bracelet is that it allows enough space between each bead for the braid to be sinuous and flexible. Depending on size, you will need approximately 32 beads on 4 cords.

Mushroom Bead kumihimo

For this bracelet I used the 7 cord braid and I worked out the bead placement using the Kumihimo Bead Designer app. It is very easy to use and makes complicated calculations a thing of the past! The reason I decided to use this braid is that it a little slimmer and more flexible than regular round braid and it is quicker to make up because there are only 7 cords to load with beads instead of 8.

It seems that the videos have been popular and people have enjoyed the challenge. Thank you very much for all the support and enthusiasm.

Mushroom bead challenge

I have been sent a fabulous selection of colours of mushroom beads by Juliet of Spoilt Rotten Beads and she had challenged me to make 4 different pieces of jewellery with them. I have decided to interpret that as 4 completely different kumihimo techniques in order to show the versatility of both these beads and kumihimo in general. My plan is to release a YouTube video for each design so that people can have a go on their own.

Mushroom beads are perfect for kumihimo because the hole is to one side of the bead, which means that when they are braided the hole is drawn close to the braid, making it almost invisible. They come in several different sizes, but the small 4mm size is particularly useful.

The beads are all summery, pastel tones so I intend to make the 4 main pieces of jewellery in the same colour palette, by just adding white. However, pastels are very versatile and a simple switch of the base colour will make a piece look completely different. I hope this will inspire people to play with their own colour choices. I also make suggestions of how the design in each video can be adapted to make a different style of jewellery. From 4 basic techniques it is possible to make a whole host of different pieces.

YouTube videos seem to work best when they are quite short, so I do not demonstrate the braiding method in detail because I can refer viewers to my comprehensive videos on different braiding methods. Similarly I do not show how to finish off and attach end caps and a clasp because I have videos which explain all that in detail. What is shown is the set up for each design to achieve the desired bead placement, as well as the materials and quantities required.

For Day 1 I wanted to keep the technique simple, so I used Round Braid on the round disk. I also wanted to use the beads fairly sparingly because one of the pitfalls in taking part in challenges is the temptation to use too many beads in the first design, which will restrict flexibility for later pieces. So I came up with a bracelet with a spiral rainbow effect, which I felt showcased the pretty shape of the mushroom beads and gave me the opportunity to add lots of colour.

Rainbow kumihimo

To see how to make this pretty, summery bracelet click here. You will also find additional information on this website by clicking here.

I have got something quite different for Day 2 as well as 2 more designs lined up for the following days. I have even got a couple of other ideas in mind, which I plan to explore and I will post them if they are successful!

Summer Workshops

I have got a great line-up of kumihimo workshops for this summer and I am looking forward both to introducing new people to braiding and to helping others to extend their skills. Each workshop is very different and will be hosted in a different location. The beadshops I work with all have great selections of kumihimo equipment and suitable beads, with the added benefit of being set in beautiful English countryside. One or other of these locations is reasonably accessible to most parts of the South and Midlands and if you live in London or the South East you can get to all 3! I have worked hard to make sure that each workshop offers something new, so if you can make it to all of them you will not be disappointed!

Saturday 1st July. Riverside Beads. Market Deeping, Northamptonshire

Prumihimo with Pru McRae – click to book

Summer 17 2

In this workshop I will introduce students to my own invention, the Prumihimo disk. I will teach how to braid on this disk using just cord to start with and then students will learn how to braid with beads. Once the braiding is complete I will explain how to embellish the braid with additional seed beads. Most students will be able to finish their project on the day, but as everyone works at their own pace I make sure that a comprehensive handout is supplied, so that the design can be finished off at home. I always bring along lots of samples, so that people can be inspired to try out their own embellishment ideas. We will make a bracelet in the workshop, but it can easily be adapted into a necklace for those who prefer.

This class is suitable for all levels, even those who have not tried kumihimo on the regular round disk before.

Future workshops at Riverside Beads – Advanced Prumihimo. Saturday 28th October. This is the perfect follow-up to the first workshop.

Windows 1

 

Saturday July 8th. Spoilt Rotten Beads. Haddenham, Cambridgeshire

Embellished Prumihimo Workshop with Pru McRae – click to book

Summer 17 3

This workshop has been designed to take Pumihimo braiding to the next level, teaching students how to achieve intricacy and delicacy in a braided design. We will use my Prumihimo disk to make a simple beaded braid and then students will learn how to build up the braid with additional seed beads and superduos. To account for individual preferences I will give instructions for both a bracelet and a necklace. Most people will finish the bracelet by the end of the workshop, but a necklace requires more braiding, so it is unlikely that it would be completed on the day. However, I will make sure that all students understand the techniques so they would be able to finish off at home. A full handout with both designs will be supplied. Although we will be using the Prumihimo disk the skills I will teach are transferable to other types of braiding, making this a very inspirational class.

This class is best suited to those who have some experience of kumihimo on the regular round disk. If you have already tried the Prumihimo disk this workshop is a great way to extend your skills.

Future workshops at Spoilt Rotten Beads – Christmas kumihimo workshop with Pru McRae. Saturday 4th November. The details of this class will be published shortly, but please be aware that my Christmas decoration workshops are always very popular and this one has already taken quite a few bookings, even though the details have not been published!

 

Thursday 10th August. Stitchncraft Beads. Dorset

Inside Out Kumihimo Braclet – click to book

Summer 17 4

In this workshop I will teach the inside out method of Round braid on the regular round disk, using my own special method for this technique to create beautiful braids with a ‘beaded bead’ effect. This is the perfect workshop for those who would like to explore a different way of using their round disk and different set-ups will be explained so that students can learn how to plan their own spacing and ‘bead’ size. I will also teach a method of attaching a clasp without the need for glue. The original plan was to make a bracelet, but I have added in the option of a necklace. It will be possible for most students to complete the bracelet on the day, but the necklace involves much more braiding, so may need to be finished off at home. A full handout for both designs will be supplied and the finishing method will be taught in class.

This class is suitable for everyone who had tried the regular method of braiding on the round disk. I do not recommend it for complete beginners to kumihimo.

Future workshops at Stitchncraft – Look out for the new programme of workshops for 2018, which will be available in the autumn. I am busy planning my workshops for next year and I have got some great proposals.

1000 Subscriber Giveaway

prumihimo kit

Subs 2 Subs 3

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has subscribed to my YouTube channel. During last week we passed an important milestone, which is the grand total of 1000 subscribers. So today I uploaded a new video on YouTube outlining a great opportunity to take part in a giveaway of Prumihimo disks, kits and a book.  In the video I ask people to make sure that they have subscribed to the channel, to share the video on social media and to let me know by commenting on the video. The idea is that this is both a fun way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported me, but it is also an opportunity to spread the word a little further. I have been delighted by the comments about how much people have enjoyed the videos and found them helpful, so it would be great to be able to help even more people. There may be a lot of kumihimo videos available on YouTube, but while many are very good, some of them fall a bit short of the mark. What I try to do is share the things I have learnt over many years of kumihimo braiding and spare people the trial and error which has got me to this point. Others may have different methods, but I demonstrate what has consistenly worked for me and those I teach.

Everyone who follows the instructions on the video will be entered into a draw which will take place on Easter Monday, UK time. The first prize will be a copy of my book, a Prumihimo disk and a bracelet kit. Three runner up prizes of a disk and kit will also be offered and I am prepared to send the prizes internationally. The kit is for a brand new design and will include everything you need, apart from glue and a weight. A choice of colours will be available for the winners. I will make contace with the individual winners by replying to their comments on the video.

Good luck to everyone and thank you very much for your support.

Click here for the 1000 subscriber video

prumihimo kit

 

Fun with letters and other videos

Thumb letter

Since January I have uploaded a total of 11 videos to YouTube and I have got lots more coming up. In some I demonstrate the use of the Prumihimo disk, while in others I concentrate on the regular round disk. I have already filmed two videos for the square plate. Youtube is a great way of sharing information and many people find it far more useful to be able to watch a demonstration than it is to read and follow written instructions. One of my aims is to pass on the techniques and tips which have worked for me over the years. I wish something like this had been available when I first started braiding and many people have been kind enough to say the same thing. There is a lot of material available on my website, such as braid instructions and design inspiration, which I hope to be able to bring to life through my YouTube videos. I plan to upload a new video every week and I have enough ideas to keep that up for at least a couple of years.

My other aim is to bring the Prumihimo disk to a wider audience and to make sure that those who buy the disk have all the support they need. The braid structure is a traditional one, so of course it is available to anyone, but I have developed my own method of performing the moves and my disk came about as a result of a huge amount of hard work. I experimented with lots of different shapes, configurations and numbering systems to get it just right and many wonderful guinea pigs helped with the process. The process continues as I explore different design ideas, incorporating all sorts of different beads and making use of different jewellery making skills. I am very proud of this achievement and I am extremely grateful for the support I have received along the way. Sadly, it seems that there have been some attempts to cash in on my hard work without permission and without any acknowledgment of my work, so I would like to remind everyone that there is a multitude of other wonderful traditional braids waiting to be developed and simplified. Wouldn’t it be great if some of these could be popularised by creative people? This would be of huge benefit to the wider kumihimo world, whereas duplicating the work of others adds nothing!

In my latest video I demonstrate how to use letter beads on the Prumihimo disk. However, I also show a useful technique for attaching a braid to a keyring, so I hope the video will also be of interest to those who use other disks. The 2-step method of braiding larger beads can also be adapted for use on the round disk. In the video I suggest that the keyring is finished off with a knot. You could also finish off with a simple binding,, as in the photo, but I am planning a future video to show how to whip the end of the braid. I hope people will have fun with this technique.

Letters 7

To view the video click here

Additional information for the video available here

 

 

 

Braiding with Beads on the Round Kumihimo Disk

Beaded kumihimo

I stood down from my role as Guest Designer at Jewellery Maker at the end of last year because I needed more time to develop new ideas and the extra time is working very well for me, but of course I miss the fun and excitement of live shows. I also feel that I left at just the wrong time, because it was not long after the introduction of glass seed beads, which are perfect for beaded kumihimo. I was glad to be able to demonstrate with these beads a few times before I left, but there is so much more I would like to introduce people to. The bracelets on this page were made for a JM workshop, but I left before I was able to deliver it, so I have filmed a YouTube video demonstrating the method of braiding with beads. It includes the methods which have worked consistently for me and in the video I share lots of advice and my own special tips to enable people to get really great results. It is suitable for both complete beginners and those with a bit more experience. All that is needed to get started is a kumihimo disk, size 8 seed beads and S-Lon beading cord and it is now easy to stock up on these essentials at Jewellery Maker. But before you start I need to issue a warning – Kumihimo can be addictive, so you will need loads of beads to feed your habit!

Click here for Braiding with Beads on the Round Kumihimo Disk

To learn how to make the basic braid without beads click here – Braiding on the Round Kumihimo Disk

There are now 8 videos on my YouTube channel and I will be uploading more on a weekly basis. Don’t forget to click on the Subscribe button if you would like to be notified of new videos.

Beaded Kumihimo

Back to Basics

kumihimo round braid

In my latest YouTube video I go back to basics with a demonstration of how to use the round kumihimo disk for a cord braid. My plan is to use my YouTube channel to offer a broad base of techniques and design tutorials covering all aspects of disk kumihimo, including the round disk, the squre plate and the Prumihimo disk. Later this week I will upload a video showing how to braid with beads on the round disk.

Over the many years I have been braiding I have picked up a wide range of different tips and tricks, which I want to share with both new braiders and those who have been braiding for a while. In a creative activity there will always be more than one way of doing things and some will be more effective than others. I am keen to share what has worked for me. These methods have been used time and time again in all different environments, such as at home, in workshops and even under the glare of studio lights on live television! I wish that more reliable information had been available when I first picked up a disk because it would have saved me a lot of disappointment and discouragement in the early days. It is so important to get started on the right track to ensure that you do not get into bad habits and waste money with failed designs. Issues such as tension and the condition of the slots on the disk were things I knew nothing about and I had to learn the hard way. Over the years far more information became available as groups and forums sprang up, new publications were published, designers developed their skills and knowledge. This has led to an explosion of creativity in the disk kumihimo world. However, it is true to say that a lot of poor advice is also passed around. While I am not saying that my way is the only way, I am saying that my methods are thoroughly tested and reliable. Have a look and see what you think.

How to Braid on the Round Kumihimo Disk

kumihimo round braid

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine Kumihimo

This isn’t really a blog post … it is just an excuse to show some hearts and flowers! I know that all the hype about Valentine’s Day can be a bit much and come across merely as a retail opportunity, but there is something joyful about jewellery featuring bright red tones and both hearts and flowers are ever-popular motifs in jewellery. Neither of these two designs were intended to be specifically for Valentine’s Day, but given the right presentation they certainly fit the bill. Enjoy!

Rose kumihimo