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

Posts tagged ‘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

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

Finishing Party

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 

Social Media & Rebranding

As much as I try, blogging doesn’t come as easily for me as I’d like. I try. Really I do.

I post more consistently on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. If you don’t already follow me on those venues, you probably haven’t seen these designs.

 

I’m happy to announce a bit of a name change. You’ll now start finding me as iLOVEkumihimo on all my social media places 

Let’s connect all over the webosphere, shall we?

like: facebook.com/iLOVEkumihimo
tweet: twitter.com/iLOVEkumihimo
pin: pinterest.com/iLOVEkumihimo
peek: instagram.com/iLOVEkumihimo

 

Creatively yours,

IMG_6560-1

The Art of Teaching

I’m putting together my summer class proposals for the local community college where I teach. I feel so fortunate, so blessed, so valued when I’m invited to teach. This is what I LOVE!

Speaking of teaching… This week I had a bit of a disappointing educational experience. In this case, I was the student. (Never stop learning!) 

It was the kind of experience that made me think the focus of the lesson was on “don’t make a mistake” rather than “try and see what happens”. Once I put my emotions aside, I looked back on the situation and I realized all over again the importance of things like:

  • The value of patience
  • The power of encouragement
  • The importance of making learning FUN

I believe Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

That’s my goal: to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. And I hope I don’t forget the elements of patience, encouragement and fun. They matter oh, so very much!

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.  Albert Einstein
So, my thought for today is: don’t be afraid to try something new. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Try. Learn. Repeat. That’s how we succeed, right?

Have you tried something new today?
Creatively yours,

Monica

Design Notes

With every design I think, “Oh, I’ll remember that” … and with every design I’m usually quite wrong.

It took me a while to establish a system that was a) convenient b) accurate and c) useful for me once some time had passed. I’m happy to share some of my secrets here with you.

My primary documentation tool is my smart phone. Truly, my childhood dream came true when modern technology made it simple to have a camera, calendar, computer, clock, phone, flashlight and more — all in one device that fits in a pocket.

With my phone, I photograph and video all the glorious details of learning a new braid or making a new design. I get it all: before, during and after.

My process is simple:

  1. Photograph the materials
  2. Photograph the setup
  3. Make a simple ‘reminder video’ as I braid so I remember the sequence
  4. Photograph the finished braid
  5. Write down the numbers (# of warps, # of ends in a warp, tama weight, counter weight, width of finished piece … any number that seems significant)
  6. Note anything that should be done differently the next time
  7. Put it all together in a folder
  8. Back up the data
  9. Print out the details (offline references come in handy)

I recently learned a square 8-warp Kaku Yatsu braid. My design notes look like this (click on an image to get more info) …

 

I also made a very short reminder video of the move sequence on the marudai. My reminder videos are very brief but I find them super helpful. I encourage you to document your own design journey so you can have an objective view of your growth as an artist.

Once I removed the braid from the marudai, I took some close-up photos in natural light. This photo set shows the braid detail and gives a better idea of the colors.

I have not yet turned this piece into jewelry. When I do, I’ll photograph the finished ends and any embellishments. I’ll also note details on the findings.

Ba da bing! Ba da boom! That’s all there is to it.

With these handy notes, I’ll never completely forget how to make an 8-warp Kaku Yatsu braid.

I hope you find some of this helpful as you document your own creative fun. If you have helpful tips or suggestions, please share.

 

Creatively yours,

IMG_6560-1

When I Die

My husband says my craft supplies will be buried with me when I die.

When he told me that, I just laughed and laughed. 

Clearly he underestimates the size of my stash. 

 

I hope all you lovely creative people are enjoying your craft stash this weekend. 

Creatively yours,

Monica