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Where creativity & imagination go hand-in-hand...

Monthly Newsletter                                                                               February 2015

Kumihimo Gimp & Sparkle Square Knot Bracelet Kit
A Place in the Heart Kumihimo Gimp Necklace Kit
Be Mine! Clunky, Funky & Fun Magatama Bracelet Kit
Preciosa PIP Beads
Kumihimo Artist of the Month - Jenny Liedkie
Kumihimo Artist of the Month - Cathy Penney
Valentine Embellishments
Kumihimo Links...




Hello Braiders,
Wow! What a month it has been. The "crud bug" took a big bite on the 1st of January and I spent two full weeks fighting that bugger.  That was not fun. Braiding was quite therapeutic and I learned that my husband is quite a good cook. Perhaps, it is time to pass the chef baton. After all, he seemed to enjoy it. All is good. 

Since I will be busy shopping at the Bead Show in Tucson when this newsletter would normally arrive in your inbox, I  decided to send it out a little earlier than usual. Besides, the Kit(s) of the Month are great for February. There are 3 of them!
Many of you have asked where you can find me at the Bead Show and alas I am sorry to disappoint. I am not going as an exhibitor but as a shopper. This is a chance for me to meet with several of my distributors and I also enjoy seeking out those super special artists and treasures that I can share with you throughout the year. 

I leave for Tucson on January 31 and I don't return until February 6th. I will pack and mail all orders received up through mid-day January 30th. You are welcome to place orders while I am away. First order in, first order packed and mailed out when I resume shipping on February 7th. 

Order today so you can get started on your Valentine's projects!!

Happy Braiding,


Kumihimo Gimp & Sparkle Square Knot Bracelet Kit

I told you last month that a BIG shipment of Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, Ribbon and Sparkle arrived from overseas. I have had this wonderful pile of color and texture on my work table and it's fun to just "play". Trying different braids, combining different fibers with each other., etc. It's endless. 

For this this bracelet, I used the Kumihimo Rayon Gimp and an accent element of Kumihimo Rayon Sparkle. Beautiful combination. The Sparkle looks like little diamonds nestled in the Gimp. 

The Square Knot Bracelet has been a favorite. It's very easy and very quick. 

You will need: Kumihimo Disk, 8 bobbins, tape measure, scissors, heavy duty thread &  needle, Glue (I like WeldBond), Fray Check (optional).

You should know: Kumihimo Round Braid

Kit includes:

  • 1 Skein Kumihimo Rayon Gimp (10 meters)
  • 1 Length of Kumihimo Rayon Sparkle
  • 1 8mm All-in-One Magnetic End Cap
  • Instructions with Photos
  • Kit makes one bracelet

Cost: $14

Click here to see the selection of colors! 



A Place in the Heart Kumihimo Gimp Necklace Kit

As many of you know, each year for the last decade and a half, Bill & Irene York of the Knitting Basket host a Knitting and Kumihimo Retreat and we travel to wonderful places all over the world. Last year we travelled to San Miguel de Allende,  in the central hilly highlands of Mexico. San Miguel is characterized by cobbled streets, artists, history, culture and there are hearts everywhere giving San Miguel the nickname, among others,   "A Place in the Heart". On days when I wasn't teaching Kumihimo, I was out walking the streets, watching people, finding treasures, etc. One of my "finds" were these handmade ceramic San Miguel Hearts. They are made by a very talented artisan that I met and I brought home as many hearts as she had in her little shop. Each one is unique. They measure about 1 1/2" tall x 1 1/4" wide and weigh about 12 grams. They hang beautifully; just the right size - not too heavy and not too light. They are quite perfect in their own unique way.  

The necklace measures up to 22" and I use the Super Sleek Magnetic End Cap for the closure. 

Kit includes:

  • 1 Skein of Kumihimo Rayon Gimp (10 meters)
  • Handmade San Miguel Heart
  • 6mm Super Sleek Magnetic End Cap
  • Floss for the tie
  • Some 8/0 seed beads
  • Wide eye needle

Click here to see the selection of colors!

You need to know: Kumihimo Round Braid

You should have: 
Kumihimo Disk (6" or mini and better if you have a disk that has had a little use), 8 bobbins, Scissors, Measuring tape, Sewing needle & heavy duty thread, Glue (I suggest WeldBond). Available at some Michael's and ACE Hardware Stores.


Need another idea for Valentine's Day? Make that someone special a "Be Mine" Clunky, Funky & Fun Bracelet. 

Kit Includes: 2 colors Magatama Beads, 8/0 Seed Beads, 2 colors 6/0 Seed Beads. C-Lon Bead Cord, Heart Button, Barrel, Wide Eye Needle & Instructions  $19.50
PRECIOSA ORNELA presents the new PRECIOSA Pip™ pressed bead. The 5 x 7 mm mini bead is an axially symmetric flattened shape (like a paddle) and is really fun to incorporate into Kumihimo Beaded Braids.

While beautiful, 
the beads are not 100% consistent so in a pkg you may have all good ones or you may have one of two that aren't quite right (as in no hole). Since it would be impossible for me to look at every bead, I do not pkg them as a particular count but by weight. 

I use C-Lon Bead Cord with the PIP beads and I use the cord as a self- needle. To do this, first dip the end of the cord in Fray Check, allow to dry about 15 minutes and then end of the cord "transforms" into a self- needle. 

Packaged approx. 13 - 14 gram pkg  = 95 to 98 PIP Beads

Cost: $5.55 - $8.00 / pkg (great price) 

Colors:  Blue Rainbow, Crystal Rainbow, Silver, Travertine, Hematite, Cinnamon Rainbow


Kumihimo Artist of the Month  #1
Jenny Liedkie - LeRoy, New York
"Mixed Elements" Bracelet

It is always a good day when someone surprises me and sends me photos of their creations. I love seeing what others are doing. Look at this very cool bracelet. I love this. What a fabulous idea for an exciting wrap bracelet. Look at it closely. There is a braided looped end attached to and end cap that cradles several braids. The ceramic square beads are wonderful. There is so much imagination and color in this bracelet. To get the variegated look you could braid with a combination of Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon and Satin Cord. To give you an idea of the variegated look I am talking about, check out the KRR & Satin Corkscrew Bracelet. Very nice. 

Kumihimo Rayon Gimp Necklace
Jen's Necklace (right) is made up of the Kumihimo Rayon Gimp. The variegated colors, again, are just beautiful and she chose focal beads that really compliment the braid. 

Here's what Jenny had to say about her Kumihimo...

"I was introduced to Kumihimo from a Continuing Ed class! Trying to learn more, I  found What a Knit!  I learned how to drop beads...and how to finish the ends..then discovered that I like to use different cording as that adds lots of texture to the braid.

My "mixed elements" came about from a collection of braids I had done and a cool chunky end cap. I like using different ways to connect the ends and this one uses a small piece of the braid made into a loop for a giant bead. 

I also prefer to use Kumihimo braids as the cording for necklaces instead of chains.  I use embroidery floss,  crochet cotton or textured yarns.  I also prefer to use the mini disc".

Thank you  Jenny!

If you haven't tried the Kumihimo Rayon Ribbon or the Kumihimo Rayon Gimp, give them a try. It is really fun to try new fibers. 

I braid with the Gimp and the Ribbon on both the Disk and my Marudai. I use my Disk that I have designated for using with thicker fibers as the stretched slots are more gentle on the fiber. 

Kumihimo Artist of the Month  #2

12 Strand Spiral with Bead Embroidery
Cathy Penney - Green Valley, Arizona

Isn't this just beautiful! As Cathy says, she loves Unakite and her choice of the Dark Olive and Caramel Petite Satin Cord sure do enhance the green and coppery colors in the gemstone. Her bead embroidery is just beautiful. 

Cathy's Dagger Necklace (below) was inspired by Jacqui Carey. You might want to get a copy of Jacqui Carey's Beads & Braids book if you are intrigued by creative Kumihimo. 

Inspired by Jacqui Carey

Cathy shared some of her story about her journey to Kumihimo....

"I was fortunate to have a grandma who was a master with fiber, needles,and thread. For Christmas at about age 5, she gave me a kit to make a braided octopus! Hmm...Why do I remember that? At about age 7, I decided to make my own doll dresses so I took my twenty five cents allowance and bought a piece of green cotton. I laid the doll on the fabric, pencilled around her, then began to cut what I thought would be a lovely dress. I was disappointed that I was not allowed to use her sewing machine but that did not stop me! I managed to thread a needle and hand-sew her dress. My fascination with fiber began. I made lots of clothes and eventually did lots of sewing for my homes. 

In 2007, I joined the V
alley Fiber Art Guild in Green Valley, Arizona. I learned to knit,

Rincon County Beaders & Braiders

paint fabric for quilts, needle and wet felting, bead weaving, and Kumihimo. With our community outreach project in 2009 we taught two types of braiding to kids at our local library. The guild now has an annual event teaching all of the sixth graders in one day, and incorporating braiding history.


My two passions now are beads and braids! They are what I focus on exclusively. I love to use braids as necklaces for my bead embroidery and weavings. It is great fun to just experiment with the beaded braids. It's a good idea to do a bit of braid and if you are happy then keep going; if not, try again. And always keep notes.

I now teach Kumihimo in my summer travels and weekly when in Tucson. My next adventure will be to learn the Marudai."


Thank you Cathy!


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