Stitchncraft workshop programme for 2018

Prumihimo workshops

The Stitchncraft workshop programme for 2018 has been released this morning and I am very proud to be able to say that this will be the fourth year I have been involved in the programme. Lynn Firth, the owner of Stitchncraft, works so hard to put together a a wide range of styles and techniques, from a wide range of UK designers, topped off with a sprinkling of well-known international tutors. The workshops are always very popular, so the programme is available to view for the next two weeks and then bookings will be taken from Tuesday 31st October. So there is plenty of time to download the file, grab a coffee and have a good look through. You have got plenty of time to choose something which will be just right for you.

Click here to visit the Stitchncraft and download the programme

What are the benefits of attending a workshop?

First of all, obviously, is the chance to learn how to make the featured design. The tutor will have spent a great deal of time, effort and thought in the making of this design. The subtleties of the design, will not necessarily be evident from the image you see. Some people may think that they can just take a look at the photo and work it out for themselves, but they are unlikely to make a good job of it. A good design is just as much about what you can’t see as it is about what you can see. A piece of jewellery needs to hang correctly, feel comfortable against the skin and stand up to wear and tear. These issues will have been considered by the designer and the final piece is likely to have undergone many enhancements before the designer releases it.

The second benefit, which may be even more important that the actual design, is meeting and working with other people. In our increasingly digitalised world we often work in isolation in our own homes. Sure, we have the sense of community from social media, but there is no substitution for real human contact. Spending the day with like-minded jewellery makers is very inpiring and can be the basis of life-long real friendships. It is also lots of fun and the day is always filled with laugher. Many of the people who come to my workshops are ‘repeat offenders’, so I must be doing something right!

The third benefit is shopping! Stitchncraft is unique among bead shops for its very calm and spacious environment and its range of beads is truly inspiring. While you are able to access all the goodies on line, to be able to see them with your own eyes is a different experience. My advice is to take your time to look through everything, taking note of all the colours, shapes and special finishes. This will be so valuable when you are buying on-line in the future. It is also a great opportunity to match up colours, which is particularly difficult to do on a computer screen. There are always new bead shapes to consider and you will find that the tutor and fellow students will have all sorts of great ideas to share on how to use them. I often find that one person will pick up something interesting and show the class, a discussion will follow and then everyone wants some!

The fourth benefit is a chance to visit our lovely British countryside. Stitchncraft is situated in Dorset in a historic barn conversion among a cluster of old farm buildings. There are some charming villages and towns nearby, as well as lots of B&Bs, so why not have a long weekend and explore the area.

The fifth benefit is supporting our dwindling number of beadshops! Each year brings new shop closures and if we do not support our shops we will lose them. It would be a tragedy, so please do your bit!

These are the workshops I will be teaching.

Thursday 10th May – Kumihimo Braided Pendants

kumihimo pendant

In this workshop I will teach you how to attach kumihimo to a pendant and braid pretty, graduated sides to the necklace. Please bring your own pendant to this workshop and I will show you how best to attach it to make a neat connection. I have worked out a very pretty loop and ribbon fastening to finish off the design. The regular round disk will be used. This workshop is suitable for everyone, even complete beginners to kumihimo, but even if you have already done some braiding I will still have plenty to teach you!

Thursday 5th July – Granny’s Button Box

granny's button box

For this workshop we will use the Prumihimo disk because the braid made on this disk is straight in structure and perfect for braiding with larger beads, or buttons as in this case. The idea is that you can bring along an ecclectic mix of favourite buttons and we will make them into a quirky necklace. Alternatively, you can bring matching buttons to make something more elegant. Either way this workshop is sure to get you going with my special disk and open up other design ideas. The necklace is finished off with a clever button clasp, which frees you from the need to use findings and can be used for all sorts of other pieces of jewellery. While I do sometimes teach braiding on the Prumihimo disk to people who have not braided before, I do feel that it is best if people have used the regular round disk already, so I have submitted this workshop as intermediate level.

Thursday 1st November – Christmas Decorations

kumihimo christmas decoration

Christmas decoration workshops are always very popular and I am expecting people to love this one! The main project will be the Poinsettia wreath and although this design is small there are several excellent techniques involved, which are useful transferable skills for braiders. The candy cane design is also included in the workshop. It is a quicker make, using the skills learnt for the first design and the two will look totally adorable together on your tree. This workshop is suitable for everyone, including complete beginners. I am confident that by the end of the workshop everyone will have learnt something new!

I am looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones at these Stitchncraft workshops in 2018.

 

 

 

The Big Bead Show

Kumihimo on the Med

If you are going to the Big Bead Show tomorrow, Saturday 14th October, at Sandown Park, Esher, London I hope you will come and say hi. I will be demonstrating on the Riverside Beads stand at 10.30, then I will be on the front desk at 12.15 for my meet the tutor slot. After that I will be busy at 1.00 and 2.30 with workshops in the Sports Bar, which is just outside the entrance to the main hall. I think there are still a few places on the workshops, so you can check at the front desk if you are interested. After the second workshop finishes there will be no more workshops in the Sports Bar, so I am hoping that people will come along for a chat.

Tomorrow I will be wearing the jewellery I have designed for the fabulous kumi tour to France next year. I am really looking forward to being able to show people what it looks like in real life. The tour is a great opportunity to take your kumihimo to the next level while enjoying a luxury holiday with like-minded fellow travellers and two tutors. Click here to find out more and take advantage of a very special offer.

500 off (1)

 

It’s Back! The Prumihimo Book is back in stock.

Heart kumihimo

Heart kumihimo

I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me by buying my book. I have now received the third print run of the book and plenty are available and hoping for new homes!

I am aware that the shipping charges can be offputting, especially to the US and other far away places. I do all the packaging, filling in of customs forms and trudging off to the Post Office myself, so I am able to keep the shipping charge to the absolute minimum. I also offer an extra tutorial PDF to offset the cost of shipping. For this new print run I have changed the tutorial to Happy Hearts, for a bit of a festive feel. This tutorial teaches a great method of using wire with the Prumihimo disk. It makes a beautiful Christmas tree ornament, but it has a wider appeal for those who do not celebrate Christmas.

I have been delighted by the great response to my book. My aim was to help people to get the most out of my Prumihimo disk, by explaining the different ways of using it and providing projects of increasing complexity to develop skills and confidence. I wanted the book to be small and convenient in size and concise in the way it was written, so I added lots of extra images of braids, snaking through the pages to provide inspiration for further exploration.

I have also added the option of buying the book with an extra 2 disks, making it 3 disks in total. The disks are very light, so I am able to get an extra two disks into the package at no extra shipping charge. For those who already have the book and would like replacement disks I have added the option of a 4 disk package, because that is the maximum I can get into one package. If you want different combinations please contact me (pru@prumihimo.com) and I will be able to provide whatever combination you would like.

Please click here for the book Prumihimo book, disk and tutorial

Please click here for the 4 disk package

Heart Prumihimo

 

ZoliDuos are here!

zoliduo kumihimo

Collage 2

It is no secret that I love to be able to play with new types of bead and put them through their paces. I am probably at my happiest when I can sit down with an unfamiliar bead, some cord and my Prumihimo disk, so imagine how delighted I was to be given some bags of ZoliDuos by my dear friend, Jamie North. Like most new beads, the ZoliDuo has been developed for bead weavers, but virtually any bead can be used effectively in kumihimo and that is certainly true of this bead. The bead is shaped like a curved teardrop or a paisley shape and it comes in two different forms, left and right, which refers to the direction of the curve on the bead. There are two holes running across the width of the bead and they come in a great range of colours and surface effects.

Zoliduos

My Prumihimo disk is the perfect tool for working with something like this because it produces a straight braid, without the spiral construction of the regular round disk, which allows precise positioning of any size or shape of bead. I decided to use the beads in pairs, nestled together and well spaced around the bracelet. I used seed beads to line the edges of the braid to give the shape greater definition and I used simialr colours for the seed beads to keep the effect fairly subtle. Once I had made one I realised that it would look even prettier sitting next to a non-identical twin, so that the pairs of beads are offset. I have now written up the tutorial, which includes two versions and also includes instructions for attaching a safety chain. The tutorial is now in my shop, so if you are interested in having a go please click below.

ZoliDuo Twin Bracelets

zoliduo kumihimo

Kumihimo on the Mediterranean Coast – $500 off!

Pru banner (1)

If you have been thinking about coming along on this amazing special interest holiday to the South of France, now would be a great time to book because the tour operator has announced a $500 off special promotion, which will run until 15th October. This is a great holiday, staying in 4 star hotels and visiting a really varied selection of locations. From a kumihimo point of view there is the very special opportunity to be taught by two tutors who live on opposite sides of the world. You will benefit from our very different styles and experience and we will help you to take your kumihimo to new levels. If you would like to know more please click here. To qualify for the discount please use the coupon code PRUMCRAE.

500 off (1)

 

What is your favourite glue?

On 27th July I created a poll in my facebook group, Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends, to ask what sort of glue is most popular among the members and here are the results. Members were asked to indicate which glues they use most often and would recommend to others. The most important use for glue with kumihimo is to stick the braid into the end cap and that is where strength and reliability are essential, so this poll is about that use.

E6000                           52%

2-Part Epoxy               18%

Gel style superglue    16%

Hypocement                 5%

Weldbond                     3%

Liquid superglue          2%

Gorilla glue, white       2%

Hasulith                         1%

Others                            1%

 

Although there is a clear ‘winner’ it is important to remember that different products work for different people and there is no right or wrong. It is also important to remember that technique is just as important as the glue you use. Please make sure that before using any glue that you read the manufacturer’s instructions and safety warnings carefully. You also need to be aware that the safety guidelines for glue may vary from country to country.

E6000

Over half the group members use E6000 regularly and would recommend it to others. They said they found it reliable and easy to use. It dries clear with a slightly flexible finish and the precision nozzle was recommended by several people. However, some people disliked the smell or found it triggered their asthma. This glue is slow to dry, which is good if you like to work slowly, but many people found it too slow. It also requires a very long curing time of 48 hours, or even more in humid conditions. The glue can thicken over time in the tube and becomes less effective, so smaller tubes were recommended. It is necessary to have a close fit between the end cap and the braid because this glue is not good for filling in any gaps. Although the majority of people said that this glue had never failed for them, several members said that they had recently swapped to 2-Part Epoxy because they found it more reliable.

2-Part Epoxy

This type of glue is made by many different manufacturers and in different formulations. It is best to use the clear drying, fast acting type. The glue comes in two parts which are mixed just before use and it is available either in tubes/bottles or in a syringe which dispenses both parts at the same time. It was noted that the syringe type can be difficult to use and wasteful. Some people are put off by the need to mix the glue or by the smell, but it is easy once you get used to it and the smell does not linger after the glue has dried. The bond is extremely strong and it is not necessary to have a close fit between the end cap and the braid because this glue will fill any gaps very effectively. This type of glue is growing in popularity for kumihimo braiders.

Gel style Superglue

When superglue is manufactured as a gel formulation it tends to be easier to use and slightly slower to bond. Popular brands include ZapGel, Loctite Gel, Krazy Glue No Run Gel and Extreme Power Thick. People find them easy to control, quick to set and low smell. The downside is that you need to be able to work quickly and repositioning is not usually possible. Some people noted a white bloom occurring on the metal parts. This can usually be avoided if the glue is used sparingly and if it does form it can be buffed off.

Hypocement

This glue comes in a tube with a very fine, needle nozzle. The glue comes out slowly in tiny drops, which can be frustrating when using it to stick on end caps. However, it is a very strong glue and the nozzle avoids the tendency to use too much glue. The nozzle is fragile and will snap off if you are not careful with it.

Weldbond

This is a less popular glue than some others, but no negative comments were made about it, so it is worth a try if others have not worked for you or if you find others hard to find.

Liquid Superglue

It is necessary to work very quickly with this type of glue and it is very fluid, so it will sink into the fibres of the braid, making it hard to know exactly how much to use. Liquid superglue can become brittle over time. However, it is very useful for stiffening cords prior to threading on beads and the types with a brush are best for this use.

Gorilla Glue, white

Many different types of glue are made by this company, but this particular type works by using moisture. Not many group members are using it at the moment, but those who do say that it is very strong and easy to use, with the additional benefit of filling up the gap between the braid and the end cap. This is worth a try if you are looking to find a new glue.

Hasulith

This is a German brand, which is popular with jewellery makers in mainland Europe. Although only 1% of the group members use this, the comments about its reliability and strength are positive. This is worth remembering for anyone on holiday in Europe who has forgotten their regular glue.

Others

Others include Rayher Schmuck Kleber, which is another German brand specifically for jewellery making. Mod Podge, Glossy Accents and Uhu were also mentioned.

I am very grateful to all of those who took part in the poll because they have helped to create a very valuable resource. I will repeat the poll at a later stage and it will be interesting to see how it changes.

I set up the group to provide a place where keen kumihimo braiders can support and encourage each other. I am very keen that the group should be as active as possible. If you would like to join please click on this link and ask to join. You will be asked 3 questions. These are there for me to exclude potential spammers and time-wasters! Please answer the questions. We have members of all levels of experience, from complete beginners to those who have been teaching kumihimo for years. Your level of experience does not matter, but your enthusiasm for kumihimo does!

Kumihimo by Prumihimo and Friends

Kumihimo Ends

 

 

Kumihimo on the Mediterranean Coast

Kumihimo on the Med

I am now able to show the two designs I will be teaching on this fabulous special interest holiday to the Mediterranean Coast, taking in the South of France and Monaco. During the tour I have been allocated one half day and one full day formal workshop workshop, in addition to regular Kumi Klinics. My fellow tutor, Jamie North has also been allocated one half day and one full day workshop. For each of these I have designed a very special piece of jewellery. I have carefully considered the progression of skills which I am aiming to build in the students, taking into account what Jamie North will be teaching and I believe that by the end of the tour participants will have reached levels of creativity they may not have thought possible! Jamie and I will assist in each other’s workshops to ensure that everyone can work at their own speed and has the attention they require.

kumihimo on the Med

For the half day workshop I will teach this striking necklace. The skills I will be teaching are braiding on the Prumihimo disk, adding beads, embellishment, stabilising larger beads and finishing off. I have cut the amount of bead threading to the absolute minimum, so that time in the workshop is well-spent, but the great advantage of this tour is that we will also be offering Kumi Klinics, where we can make sure that even the slowest braider gets the chance to be assited in finishing off their work. I am still considering the colour options I will be able to offer, but I am finding it hard to decide because I love all of these combinations!

Prumihimo necklace

For the full day workshop I will develop the skills learnt in the first class and we will make this surprisingly delicate cuff, using the Prumihimo disk. Kumihimo is often seen as chunky and casual, so I hope that this design will challenge perceptions of kumihimo with its delicacy and sparkle.  The skills I will teach will be more advanced braiding with beads, joining braids, adjusting tension and multiple braid clasps. I have introduced Swarovski crystals into this design to add some glitz and glamour, without compromising my trademark understated style. If you think that the complexity of this bracelet is beyond you, please think again because we will work through the design stage by stage and before you know it you will be wearing it!

Kumihimo on the MedKumihimo on the Med

If you are considering coming on this tour, please remember that non-braiders are welcome, so if your husband, partner or friend comes along there will be a great programme of activities for them while you are in workshops. The companions have a dedicated Tour Manager who will take good care of them during class days. A survey will be sent before the tour to find out their interests and the activities will be taillored to suit the interests of the group.

kumihimo on the Med

This tour is full of activities in addition to the classes, but if you would prefer to relax by the pool and work on your Kumihimo, that’s absolutely fine! The pace of the tour has been designed for you to enjoy the sights, but allows plenty of free time to relax or to explore on your own.

Kumihimo on the Med

This is such a special and luxurious tour, planned with great attention to detail. I strongly recommend visiting the website and having a good look through all the information. Don’t forget to check out the 4 star hotels we will be staying in and the very varied proposed trips. For all the details, or to download a brochure, please click here.  If you have any questions please feel free to ask me, using the contact details on this website.

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.