Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cool Braiding

Been fooling around here with braids. Em got a kit for her birthday recently (she's ten now!) to make friendship bracelets. I thought I'd seen them somewhere before and googled Japanese braiding. Lo and behold there is a braiding technique called Kumihimo (which means plaiting string).
Here is an example of a flat braid made with the square foam loom. There is one main kind of loom for the rounded braids (called a Marudai--it is made of wood traditionally), A loom for large intricate flat braids is called a Takadai. It is a related technique but with a woven aspect.
Here is one of the patterns for a rounded braid, a kind of flower or dot. The pattern is marked out on one of Em's looms. The kit that Em got came with 4 dense foam looms (2 round, 2 square). The kit is from ALEX and included embroidery floss and beads (which can be added to some of the braids).
The ALEX kit is an easy entry to the world of Kumihimo and my girls and I have enjoyed it tremendously. We are waiting to borrow a book by Roderick Owen "Braids: 250 from Japan, Peru and Beyond". A couple other books we have from the library don't talk about using the foam boards at all but concentrate on the Japanese traditional Marudai or Takadai. The traditional patterns for the Marudai can work on the foam boards as well. There are other foam boards available called Kumilooms which can come with bobbins to help with long threads (which are easily tangled while working the braid) and also two from Beadsmith (many people make elegant necklaces from silk string). 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beautiful and Hot

When it's hot and humid an early morning walk on the beach is just the thing. By the time the sun broke over the horizon it was already time to walk back to our beach house. We got back from a week at the beaches of North Carolina last night. Our vacation was fun but I'm glad to get home. It is the comfortable couch, stretching out on a familar mattress, and picking all the green beans and tomatoes that were waiting for us. "There's no place like home, there's no place like home"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dolly Knit

I made a good start on the little knitted dolly while we were at the beach.
Here is the dolly all made up but a bit naked! Eeeck!
I love her little brown eyes and can't decide whether or not to put a mouth on her. She reminds me of a Joan Walsh Anglund doll.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beach Stones

I was strolling along looking at the pebbles on the shores of Lake Michigan and see what I found! :-) I  loved the matryoshka shape of some of the stones and I just helped it along a little. I was going to leave a few of these matroystones on the beach but in the end I couldn't leave any--I loved them all too much. I brought a bunch of blanks back home to doodle on.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Doll Clothes Pattern

I found this pattern for doll clothes at an antique mall up in Michigan. It seems complete for an 18" doll. It was printed in 1966. I love the coat and hat and the the little red dress.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wonderfully Silent--mostly

Just the lapping of waves on shore and splashing about in the water. (and a few speedboats buzzing past with crazy people roped to the back ends) :-)
Sunset over Lake Michigan--a beautiful sight. I got a t-shirt that says "Lake Michigan No Salt, No Sharks, No Worries" Gotta love it!! :-)
Funky picture with the flash going off but the moon was really that color orange--it was cool. It looked a whole lot bigger that night.