Monthly Newsletter - Issue 82                                                             May   2017

Things in this Newsletter
CNCH Conference Re-Cap
What are Hand Painted Folk Art Hearts from Oaxaca?
May Kit of the Month #1: Kumihimo 3-Color Blended Beaded Necklace with Folk Art Heart Pendant
May Kit of the Month #2: Kumihimo Edge Bead Necklace : Revisited!
Kumihimo Artist of the Month - Irene York
Kumihimo Tip #29 "Starting in the Middle"
Free Shipping
Kumihimo Links

Gr e etings! 

Another month has come and gone and the snow is finally melting. While I still have up to 4 feet of snow in parts of my yards, there are other areas that are melted down to the dirt and my daffodils are coming to life. 

Sorry this month's newsletter is a little late in getting out but I have been away teaching at the CNCH conference at Asilomar. What a beautiful location on the California coast. Think Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel. That's the area! We all had a great time. Beautiful location, awesome organization. I had a fantastic time teaching 
my workshop.

As the saying goes, "April showers bring May flowers" and in this case colorful hand painted folk art hearts from Oaxaca! The May "Kit of the Month" is 
a combination of a 3-Color Blended Beaded 
Nec klace paired with a folk art heart. You can read my story below about how I acquired these beautiful pendants. They are pretty much one-of-a-kind so you will see multiple options on my website. Don't hesitate. They may go fast. And just because you put it in your shopping 
cart, it is not yours until you check out! Just a friendly warning. 

Vacation Notice:
It's been a long winter and we are taking a break. WHAT A BRAID will be on VACA TION from May 15th to June 15th. Our adventures will take us by motorhome, loaded down with road & mountain bikes, through Utah, Colorado and New Mexico and possibly a detour to do some back-country skiing on Mt. Shasta!

Plan ahead and get your orders in no later than May 15th. If you have any classes you will be teaching and need kits and/or supplies, make sure you give me enough notice. 

Happy Braiding,

Conference of Northern California Handweavers "CNCH" Asilomar Conference 2017
Wow! I just returned last night from teaching at the 2017 CNCH Conference at Asilomar. I was so impressed on many levels. 

It was an honor to be asked to teach for CNCH at Asilomar and I loved every minute of it. This was my second time and both times have been perfect. 
The Asilomar Conference Grounds are spectacular. The location, along the California coast, is beautiful. Walking along the boardwalk in the mornings and smelling the ocean air was a delight. 

My students were incredible. They were eager leaners, curious to try new things, worked through the tough stuff, braided successfully and beautifully and their smiles always made me feel good. I felt very fortunate to have such a wonderful group of people to work with. Thank you ladies. In 2 1/2 days they braided all fiber braid samples, completed an Edge Bead Necklace and almost completed an All Bead 3-Color Blended Necklace. Rockstars, every one of them!

It was super to meet so many wonderful teachers. There were 13 instructors at the conference and close to 200 students. I saw so much talent it took my breath away. Wow! I made new friends and learned that there are alot of us that work many hours in our workshops and get to the end of the day and realize that we haven't planned dinner, cleaned the house, etc. and that seeking balance is a challenge for many of us. 

Lastly, and most important, a huge thank you to the conference organizers. All of the details of the conference were executed meticulously. A conference doesn't turn out this well without alot of hard work by alot of dedicated leaders and committees. Thank you Nancy, Penny, Amy, May, Reba and everyone else! Standing ovation. 

P.S. I had hoped to take alot of pictures to share....but I was too busy!

Click this link to learn more about CNCH
What's the story behind the Oaxaca Hearts?
My kits this month are designed with Oaxaca Hand Painted Folk Art Hearts. Last month I had the fun of telling you about the incredible Black Pottery from Oaxaca. By the way, the response was huge. Never in a million years did I expect to see so many black pottery hearts and trapezoids leave my workshop. I had great plans for them lingering for awhile. No such luck.  Equally fun and totally different, this month I am sharing my hand painted Oaxaca hearts. They are beautiful folk art. I met a woman one day when I was out walking and exploring in Oaxaca. I bought some hearts from her and then proceeded to inquire if I could get more, how long it would take, etc. The challenge was communicating. We were both speaking different languages. We pointed, drew pictures and finally "agreed" on quantities, colors and a delivery date. I walked away with my fingers crossed and every few days, I would visit and she would smile. On the big "due date" day, I proceeded with excited anticipation wondering if this was really going to work. And it did. We saw each other, we smiled and she handed me my gorgeous hearts. I hope you will enjoy them.

Kumihimo 3-Color Blended Beaded Necklace with Folk Art Hearts

The Kumihimo 3-Color Blended Beaded Necklace with a Oaxaca Hand Painted Folk Art Heart is cheery and bright. The beaded design consists of five sections of patterns in a mix of three colors. I experimented with different bead pattern designs but found that the simplicity of the 3-Color Blend was most fitting with the colorful Folk Art Hearts. The beaded necklace is made up of C-Lon BeadCord and 8/0 Toho and/or Miyuki seed beads. The necklace can we worn as short as 18" (or so) and as long as 25" (more for less). The necklace is finished with the very nice glue-in Acrylic Magnetic Clasp.  Every time my mom sees a sample, she says "I want that one".
You will need:
- Kumihimo Disk (I use the   Beadsmith THICK Mini and it's great)
- 8 Bobbins (I use the  Small EZ Bobbins)
- Scissors
- Tape Measure
- Needle & Thread or Fray Block (for finishing ends)
You should know:
- Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi)
- How to drop beads (see  Kumihimo Tip #14 if you need a refresher). It's easy.
Kit includes:
  • Handprinted Oaxaca Folk Art Heart
  • 1 spool of C-Lon Bead Cord (you will have plenty of extra)
  • 3 colors 8/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads 
  • 4mm Acrylic Magnetic Clasp
  • Instructions with photos
Cost $42 - $44
Kumihimo Edge Bead Necklace Kits
The original "EDGE BEAD NECKLACE ©2012" in new colors!
The Kumihimo Edge Bead Necklace is an oldie but goodie. Constructed with Petite Satin Cord and 6/0 seed beads it is a winner and easy to make. The possibilities are endless. This Spring, I decided it was time to add some new colors. Everyone refers to this as the "flat braid with beads on the edges" but in actuality it is the round braid, otherwise known as the Kongoh Gumi. In all fairness, the portion of the braid with the edge beads, does have a flat appearance. 
You will need:
- Kumihimo Disk (I use the  Beadsmith Mini and it's great)
- 8 Bobbins (I use the  Small EZ Bobbins)
- Scissors
- Tape Measure
-  Needle & Thread or Fray Block for finishing ends
You should know:
- Kumihimo Round Braid (Kongoh Gumi)
- How to drop beads (see  Kumihimo Tip #14 if you need a refresher). It's easy.
Kit includes:
  • 10 yards Petite Satin Cord
  • 6/0 Toho or Miyuki Seed Beads 
  • 6mm All-in-One Magnetic Closure
  • Instructions with photos
Cost $15
Kumihimo Artist of the Month
Irene York
Reno, Nevada

This month I want to share a necklace made by my mom. She had a special connection for the Oaxaca Black Pottery Trapezoid pendant and she used hers in a unique way. 

This is a multi-cord all-fiber braided necklace. The Black/Turquoise braid is a 16-strand braid and the Fuchsia/Black braid is an 8-strand braid. She made the 8-element braid a little longer and attached the pendant with a Lark's Head knot. She finished the necklace with a magnetic end cap. 

All-fiber braids are alot of fun. The fibers that I use alot are Petite Satin Cord, KRG (Kumihimo Rayon Gimp), KRR (Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon), Shimmer (a tubular yarn with some sparkle), Frilly (a novelty fiber that's fresh & fun like confetti), 
Perle Cotton, embroidery floss and silk. 

Both braids shown are the Kongoh Gumi braid (or round braid). Familiar to some as "left bottom up, right top down, rotate" or "right top down left bottom up, rotate".  If you want to have some fun and play with ka-zillions of new designs, click on this Kumihimo Kongoh Gumi Design link. You are going to have so much fun!!

Kumihimo Tip #29 - Starting in the Middle "Revisited"
For those of you that are new to What a Braid, I just  wanted  to let you know  about  the Kumihimo Tips & Hints on my website  The following tip is an example of one of the "Tips & Hints" you will find.

"Starting in the Middle"
This is a fabulous technique to have in your Kumihimo "tool box". When you want to use a focal bead, whether you are making a beaded necklace or a cord only necklace, sometimes the hole in the focal bead is too small to pass the finished braid. With this technique, you actually start with your focal bead in the middle and braid from the middle and work your way out to each end. You'll be braiding half the necklace at a time!  As long as the unbraided cords will pass through the middle of your focal bead, you can use this technique.  This technique works for single focal beads as well as multiple focal beads. In the photo above, I threaded 8 strands of C-lon Bead Cord through my focal bead. Then I situated the focal bead in the middle of the 8 cords and tied a knot on 
one  side of the focal bead so it would not slide off. I dropped the tails, the knot and the focal bead (in that order) through the center of the disk. Next I placed the cords in the appropriate slots on the disk, loaded my beads and braided. When I was done with the 1st half , I simply took everything off the disk, untied the knot near the focal bead and then put the completed half of the braid through the center of the disk. Repeat just like the first half of the braid...load beads, braid and you've done it!
After a long winter and too much snow, my husband and I are taking off for a little R & R, mountain biking, road biking and adventuring in places like the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Moab, parts of Colorado with our furthest destination in Sante Fe, New Mexico. We will be gone from May 15th to June 15th. 

Any orders received by May 15th will be mailed before we leave. Any orders received after that date will be mailed as soon as I return (around the 15th of June). Your payment for your order is "captured" at the time you place your order. This holds the products you ordered for you. As always, orders get mailed out on a "first order in, first order out" basis. This has worked beautifully for years. 

If you need kits or supplies for classes, please let me know as soon as possible so I have everything you need. Thanks. 
What a Braid is offering Free Shipping on all orders over $25 through June 15th. It's my small way of saying thanks for your patience while I am away to enjoy some time-off with my husband. 

*Sorry, does not apply to International orders. 
What a Braid Monthly Newsletter Archives
Please enjoy my archived What a Braid Newsletters! They are made available for your personal enjoyment. You will find alot of great information, tips, trick and ideas. Please do not copy and re-use my content. I have been writing these newsletters every month going 8 years now! As I have time, I will add some the older newsletters to the list.  Enjoy!
Reminder !
Copyrighted patterns are not to be copied, shared electronically, given to friends or members of the guild or used for teaching purposes  
without express consent of the author. What a Knit or What a Braid patterns are for your personal use. Feel free to sell your creations but remember to give proper credit to the D esigner.  If you decide you want to write a tutorial, 
 it is not appropriate to "borrow" parts of a copyrighted pattern. Thank you.

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