I design … I teach … I create … I craft … I love kumihimo

New Chapter: PhD Program

I’m excited to tell you I’m closing my retail shop as I prepare for my doctoral studies.

My initial pang at the thought of closing my retail shop has now turned into something no less than complete enthusiasm. Sometimes letting go of one dream is the only way to grab ahold of a bigger dream.

I love kumihimo. I am proud to be a kumista. I will continue braiding and designing and teaching, as time allows.

The retail portion of the business, however, was never my passion. I initially sold the supplies because they weren’t readily available in my local area and because I could give my classes an excellent price break by buying in bulk. I’m happy to close shop. Retail is a drag, folks. You can quote me on that. But teaching … well, that’s where the fun is. You can quote me on that, too.

I’m ready to research. I’m ready to learn. I’m ready to teach more than kumihimo. I’m ready to embrace the challenges I’ve faced in learning to live with my invisible disability and turn my personal growth into something that will ultimately, I hope, help others.

Goodbye, retail! I’ll miss my customers but I won’t miss my studio looking like a mini warehouse. 

Pour the coffee. It’s time to hit the books.
Hittin the Books

Creatively yours,

Monica

I have nothing against computers, smart phones, text reminders or online calendars. After all, I’ve been an information technology specialist for a few days now (10,000 or so). You’re doing the math on that, aren’t you? Decades. Let’s just say I’ve been a girl geek for decades. 

But oh, how I enjoy writing in a book. It’s magical in the most analog sense. Smooth, thick paper. Flowing, bold pen. 

Of course I had to customize my journal with some cool Piddix art and my own little name.


I need some comfort and super-human organizational skills as I look at the quickly-approaching new year. I’ve made some decisions, you see. Changes are afoot. Hard work is in my future (I ❤️️ Hard Work). A lot of details are still up in the air — and in my newly customized Bullet Journal — but I plan to share more as time goes by. 

If you would, please wish me good things as my dreams unfold. I’ll gladly do the same for you. 
Creatively yours,

Monica

Tackling the To Do List

After taking a few days off, it’s now time to tidy up my studio and tackle my To Do list. 

I’ll be photographing new products for my shop (Toho beads!) and images for new tutorials and kits. 

  
Soon I’ll be focusing on class prep for two kumihimo classes I’m teaching this Fall semester at Parkland College. Registration is open. Supplies are included in the class fees. If you’re local, come join the fun!

Creatively yours,

Monica

I’m having a fabulous time with my new “Monica’s Pop of Color” series!

My newest tutorial for “Monica’s Pop of Color in Light Teal” is now available!

Some of the beads for this design are a bit hard to find, so I’m offering a bead kit, too. A printed tutorial is included with the kit AND I include a few extra of every type of bead. Nothing is more frustrating than making something from a kit only to find one broken bead has ruined your pattern, right? That won’t happen here.

I’m offering introductory pricing for the instant download tutorial as well as the kit. Prices will change later this month.

Monicas-Pop-of-Color-Light-Teal-beaded-kumihimo-necklace-DSC09221-InstantDownloadPDF

 

Back to work for me. I have two more tutorials to write and several new designs floating around in my head.

I hope you’re all having a fabulous week!

 

Creatively yours,

Monica

Kumihimo Storage Fun

I don’t get out much* but when I do, I like to pack my precious kumihimo supplies carefully and efficiently. 

Eureka! I found the perfect tama container. Sneakily enough, stores seem to think it’s a refrigerator storage bin. Silly retailers.

The bin holds 8 beading tama, my scientific weights, a chopstick and a split ring. The handles guarantee I don’t drop it. The bins are even stackable if I don’t include the scientific weight. Splendiferous! 

I tried it out yesterday as I packed for a local Craft Bash (gathering of fun, friendly, creative folk) and it worked perfectly. I used another bin for Miscellaneous Important Things. Pretty sweet. 
  
What are your creative kumihimo storage solutions?
Creatively yours,

Monica
* Why? Well, that’s a story for another day.

Liquid Resin Tip

Resin tip: You can use spare beads to support jewelry findings when you need to fill them with liquid resin. 

Some people use rice, which works well, but I’m not fond of the floaty little rice dust that sometimes happens. I prefer to use beads from my “miscellaneous treasures” jar.

  

This is like bead recycling, right? So I’m totally justified in buying more beads, right? Right. I knew it! 

What resin tips do you have?

 
Creatively yours,

Monica

I’m surrounded by loads of kumihimo experiments and unfinished projects. Yay, me!

Everyone has their own workflow, right? I tend to design, assess and rework the kumihimo portion of a piece until I get it done the way I like. 

When I’m writing tutorials, as I am now, I practice and photograph the preparation and braiding processes over and over and over again. Then I have a “finishing party” and attach all the end caps, clasps and such. 

Today is Finishing Party day. Tools are everywhere and I’m making a huge fun mess. 

 Finishing Party with tools and findings
Party on, friends!

 

Creatively yours,

Monica