April 25-28, 2019

Sonoita, Arizona

Driving along highway 83 as it winds its way up through the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains, I can feel time slow down a little. The vast golden hillsides roll across the horizon to meet the endless clear blue sky. Turnoffs are infrequent and unpaved.

Perched alone on top of a hill just past the crossroads of Sonoita, is the After Midnight Art Ranch. The private home and studio of Linda & Tom Hanson, they open it up to guests a few times each year for special art retreats. What I love most about After Midnight is the contrast of the expansive vistas outside and the cozy warmth and hospitality inside.

It’s only an hour from the Tucson airport, but feels like a world away from everything!

That’s why I’m pleased to announce that the After Midnight Art Ranch is once again the location for my 2019 Southern Arizona kumihimo retreats: Wine, Dine & Design!

Our 2019 retreat topic is exploring shape, texture, and color in kumihimo design.  You’ll work hands-on to play, explore, and create at this four-day, three-night workshop.

We’ll gather Thursday afternoon at After Midnight for happy hour to get to know each other and for some kumihimo show & tell. Be sure to bring both your favorite necklaces and your kumihimo flops.  There’s a design lesson waiting for us in every project that doesn’t quite go our way.

The party continues as we gather around the dining table for a home-cooked meal. Save room for dessert! After you unpack your fun surprises in your retreat tote bag, you’ll head back to your room and have sweet dreams of kumihimo.


Friday you’ll play with shape and texture as you experiment with combining beads of different sizes and shapes.  Your retreat kit has all sorts of wonderful beads for you to work with and you’re also welcome to bring beads from your stash to play with.  With an eye to pattern, proportion, and balance you’ll take what you learned in the trial stage and begin to plan out a full-length necklace.

Our evenings are reserved for relaxing and merry making! Enjoy dinner with your new friends and maybe unwind with a glass of wine on the patio. Enjoy the quiet scenery and be inspired to fill your notebook with new kumihimo designs.


Saturday you’ll explore the art and science of color selection.  Find color inspiration in the world around you from the beautiful high desert landscapes, to your favorite blouse, to that exquisite focal bead that’s been waiting in your stash for just the right project.

You’ve been experimenting with different design concepts and your plan is starting to take shape! Everything is coming together now… balance, symmetry, pattern, rhythm, math and color theory.  Time to string the beads!


You’ve spent the weekend improving your skills as a kumihimo designer. Sunday you create your masterpiece.

Then we say our goodbyes and close our retreat session before lunch, but I hope you’ll take the time to soak up the mountain views one more time before you go.

Take a break from your everyday life to join me in Sonoita at the relaxing After Midnight Art Ranch. Each day you’ll be working hands-on writing your own kumihimo designs, critiquing your work, prototyping, and braiding. This is an amazing experience that will change your approach to design no matter what level you’re starting at!

Click here to register now

April 25-28, 2019


How much is it? $1799 per person

What’s included?

  • Three-nights’ accommodation at the After Midnight Art Ranch or Xanadu Ranch. All private bedrooms, some shared baths.
  • All meals & beverages. That’s dinner Thursday; breakfast, lunch, & dinner on Friday & Saturday; breakfast & lunch on Sunday. Coffee, tea, water, and soft drinks are available throughout the day. Wine is served with/after dinner.
  • Exploring Shape, Texture and Color in Kumihimo Design, a masterclass with Rebecca Ann Combs.
  • Workbook
  • Bead kit for the masterclass ($120+ value)

I’ve been hosting kumihimo retreats since 2016. I can tell you all day how great this experience is… about how much you’ll learn, about all the fun you have…

but I’m sure you’d rather hear it from the students

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve attended your kumihimo retreat in the past.  Is this the same class?
No, this is all new course material!

I’ve never been to one of your retreats.  Is this a sequel?  Will I be behind?
No, not at all.  This is a stand-alone workshop that does not require any previous design training or experience.  You just need to know beaded kumihimo.

Will this retreat also be offered in the fall?
Yes, we have two Arizona retreats scheduled for 2019.  If April doesn’t work for you, please join us November 14 -17, 2019.

Will we be working on the disk or the marudai?
The focus of the workshop is the design process, especially experimenting and prototyping.  The skills you learn can be applied to braids on either the disk or marudai.  Please bring the equipment you are most efficient and comfortable braiding with.

What are we going to make?

You’re going to write your own kumihimo pattern using a variety of bead sizes and shapes.  Unlike most classes this isn’t about us all making a specific, predetermined design chosen by the teacher. You’re here to unlock your design talents and to learn HOW to come up with your own designs.

With that in mind, think of the kit as tools you will work with to hone your design skills. You’ll make a variety of small sample braids and then design a complete necklace based on what you discovered during the design process.

Are there any prerequisites?

You should be comfortable with beaded kumihimo (beaded kongoh gumi) on either the disk or the marudai.

What if something comes up and I can’t attend?
Because so many moving parts have to work in harmony for an event like this to be a success, once you register we are counting on your attendance. We reserve lodging, catering, and other professional services on your behalf.

Should you need to cancel, your registration fee is fully refundable at least 60 days prior to the start of the retreat.

50% of your registration fee is refundable for cancellations less than 60 days prior to the retreat.

We know that life can be unpredictable and that is why we highly recommend that you purchase cancellation and travel insurance just as you would for any other vacation package.

What if I have special dietary needs?
Let us know when you register. The After Midnight Art Ranch will be catering our meals and will work with us to accommodate your needs the best they are able.

Can I bring my spouse or other non-student guest?
Sorry, but this is a very intimate venue and we are only able to accommodate our retreat students.

Can I bring my pet(s)?
Sorry, but no.

What time should I arrive on Thursday?
Please try to arrive between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM on Thursday. Bring some kumihimo to work on while everyone is gathering and settling in. We’ll have happy hour at 5:00 PM and dinner starts at 6:00 PM.

If you are flying into Tucson International Airport, please book your flight to arrive at the airport no later than 2:30 PM on Thursday so that you have plenty of time to make your way to Sonoita. There are two ways to get from the airport to Sonoita and back: rent a car and drive yourself or pre-book a private shuttle. Uber does not service the Sonoita area. It’s about a one hour drive from the airport to After Midnight Ranch. I haven’t tried them myself, but the Xanadu Guest Ranch recommended Arizona Sunshine Tours (arizonasunshinetours.com) for airport transportation.

What time will we be finished on Sunday?
On the last day of the retreat we’ll finish our last workshop session at 11:00 AM and then we’ll share lunch together. We’ll be finished with lunch around 12:00 PM. I’m going to open up Design & Adorn on Sunday afternoon from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM for retreat guests for a private shopping session. The airport is about a 25 minute drive from the store.

Aim for your return flight to be after 2:30 or 3:00 PM on Sunday, if you plan on going straight to the airport from Sonoita. If you’re interesting in coming to Tucson to see the world’s largest collection of kumihimo supplies, book your return flight for after 5:00 PM on Sunday.


That sounds great!
How do I sign up?

Call us at 520-209-1900
or register online.