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Fill-The-Gap – 7 element English Braid

September 1st, 2015 at 04:42 am » Comments (0)

I cannot emphasize how thankful I am to Anita Clark – I tend to write “as if we were in the same room and having a conversation”

With her help – this version has better grammar, several errors corrected and still, I think, retains the flavor.

Combined with the Fill the Gap Set Up & Movements.pdf – these are likely all you need and perhaps even more than you wanted to know about this easy and versatile braid.

You may download these complimentary files in our Facebook Group by joining us at:
Braids Beaded Kumihimo & More

Note: I am not trained as a graphic artist – so far all have been able to use the diagrams to make the braid. It may not be prettified, but it is apparently functional.

Enjoy The Making


Rule Of Thumb – Defined

September 1st, 2015 at 04:02 am » Comments (0)

These are “things that work for Wheat
You may need to adapt to your needs to get it right

Tiplet: How to Choose A Craft Mentor

June 26th, 2015 at 04:33 am » Comments (0)

No matter what your fiber art “compulsion” her advice translates well to the all.

Deb Shipp of DMK has shared some excellent thoughts on how to select a mentor for Kumihimo and Braiding in her blog at dmkartisanjewelry.blogspot.com

She shared much of this in a conversation in our FB group Beaded Braids Kumihimo & More but as every one knows, info can fast disappear – so you might want visiting and bookmarking the post. I did

Tiplet: Better Beginning The $1 Well Spent

June 24th, 2015 at 22:21 pm » Comments (3)

This is NOT a commercial but it might sound like one.
More like a rant and ramble

And, I suspect I am about to annoy more than a few of those packaging kits for Beaded Braids – but since I do not buy kits, only “hear from my customers” and members of our facebook group about their misadventures – this really is not directed at individual or group of kit makers.

The most commonly used stringing material used for beaded braids is SuperLon (SLon). and you can read more about than you probably really want to know at:
The BeadSmith SuperLon (SLon) Cords and Threads
Happy Endings come from Better Beginnings and Good Better Beginnings start with Proper Planning
– enough with the alliteration

The most commonly given advice is to cut your cords 3 times longer than you want the finished braid.
And, that often works FOR ONE OF THE THOUSANDS OF BRAIDS that actually are Japanese and therefore considered Kumihimo.

If you are making the “round hard spiral” Japanese name Kongo Gumi (or Kongoh Gumi) then yes 3x might work. But if you value your time please consider….

One of the victims to paraphrase a friend of the
“Learn It On Monday,
Make a Tutorial On Tuesday
Teach It On Wednesday
Pack a “Kit” with the bare minimum on Thursday
is also the cause of the most grief to new braiders.

Running out of thread before your braid is done and then facing the choice of “taking it out” or going thru the agony of adding – something not always possible.

Remember this happens because Braiding is a FIBER ART and far too often otherwise competent Beadworkers do not understand the differences that really do matter.

Primary among the issues is takeup – this is the amount of thread that is used in each step used to form a woven or braided structure.

Takeup is affected by lots of factors, mostly human and unless that is considered in planning – all too often leads to the running out of cord.

CORD IS CHEAP – Seriously -SLon, at $2.90 per spool is $.083 per yard, So added cost is 67 cents –

What about the cost of shipping you say?

Using our sales records which shows the “SLon Only” order is rarely under 6 spools, that means you could make each cord about a yard longer for a whopping 88 cents.

Hate the idea of waste, well consider “thinking” about making those cords even longer and making matching earring “dangles”, or if you sell your work, a small sample that will the same braid in different beads or colors – or just pat yourself on the back because you now have 30 minutes or more to do something else that makes you happy.

“But I sell my work and have to keep my costs in line”
add the $1 to the price and pat yourself on the back because instead of wasting time unbraiding or otherwise fussing to make it work – because if you can’t see the value of your time, I can’t help you.

Tough Love Commentary – One can often learn more from the misadventures of another than you might think

Professional Crafter or Just love Braiding –

Isn’t your time and enjoyment worth more than maybe wasting $1 (retail)?

Now you know what I think, I’d love to hear your side.

Moving From Disc To Dai

October 12th, 2014 at 07:02 am » Comments (0)

Braid thinking out loud – there is a conversation in Kumihimo Beaded Braids that reminded me of a tip of sorts I had been meaning to share.

Although I do not have a smart phone, I do have an OLD Video Camera that I use exclusively to develop instructions and to determine where my execution of instructions is going horribly wrong.

Most recently I applied that to introductory Kumihimo Braids and more specfically what could be done to help those who want to move from disc to dai.

It has long seemed to me that the biggest & easiest issue to lose site of in the transition is so many do not understand that they are different. While I know some agree, it may well be we under estimate how long it is going to take for our frontal lobe to be convinced and as a result our progress and certainly our speed of execution is hindered.

So how to “fix” this. Flying in the face of conventional wisdom – creating a new Paradigm – and likely severely annoying a certain segment with the bead & braid world since it will mean rethinking and perhaps rewriting instructions – not to mention all those you tubes and free tutorials that (at least in my never humble opinion) hinder the growth of the braiders knowledge and skills.

For some time, my mantras were altered to start with “on this disc” and “on this dai” – AND I really needed to find out why I seemed to be having so much difficulty reacquiring the needed muscle memory as well as why I seemed to be losing it between projects.

In a effort to more objectively evaluate where I am going wrong, I used the video camera to see what I was doing and find the errors of my ways. The BFOO (blinding flash of obvious) there is no reason why a disc must be used with only one hand and in fact that is a detriment to the student to insist they should

It seems such a simple answer, using two hands regardless of the tool – disc or dai. Why not teach – to quote a wonderful Quaker lady a bit out of context – to start as we mean to go on. I have always found the reliance on numbers (and the tedious lines of instructions that creates) a hinderance. In braiding it is and should be about the movement and flow, not about moving eyes from page to disc to find the numbers.

I suppose this “thought” has been brewing for sometime and might just be why I “Suddenly” needed to work the introductory braids in Art of Kumihimo on a disc. A project that went more quickly because of using two hands as I would to have followed the information on a Marudai and when I then moved over to the marudai – was back up to speed within one full sequence of moves, instead of several inches of braid.

Further the self critique reminded me one of the reasons I like to braid is the use of two hands. now I deliberately use both hands prefer to use two hands with the disc is because when analyzing my own technique that there was a definite correlation between which tool I have been using more heavily and how long it took to get back the skill level previously enjoyed.

As always, since I already know what I think, I hope you will share you thoughts with me.

Now I need some guinea pigs to test my theory – hoping my braider friends will give it a try and let me know if it helps their transition from disc to dai.

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