Kumihimo Retreat November 2020

Peek behind the curtains and step into my world. Wine, Dine & Design is your opportunity to unplug from your daily life, relax in the beautiful southern Arizona countryside, and explore the infinite possibilities of beaded kumihimo. Learn creative problem solving skills that will allow you to braid with any bead. Deepen your understanding of kongoh gumi and learn how to write designs where you expertly control the placement of every bead.

Join me for a four-day/three-night design experience that will open up a whole new world of creative opportunities! Give yourself permission to escape your everyday life and take the time to hone your skills as a designer. This intimate gathering allows tons of one-on-one time with me as I distill my years of experience into accessible information you can use now.

Accelerate you kumihimo designs with the techniques that take your design from good to great!

In the first session, The Design Lab, you’ll unlock the mysteries of the kongoh gumi braid structure and conduct experiments to reveal the fascinating and beautiful braids that are possible when you combine a variety of bead shapes and sizes. You’ll learn my proven strategies for overcoming the challenges of working with larger beads and soon your response to every bead will be “I can braid with that!”

In the second session, The Artists’ Studio, you’ll refine your understanding of traditional design concepts such as rhythm, symmetry, balance, and proportion, but this goes far beyond an art appreciation 101… You’ll master the how and the why. You’ll be able to make design decisions with intention so that your elements work the way you want them to.

Each day you’ll be working hands-on writing your own jewelry 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!

Imagine your southern Arizona kumihimo retreat…
Your retreat is held at the After Midnight Art Ranch in Sonoita, Arizona. It’s only an hour from the Tucson airport, but feels like a world away from everything!

Driving along highway 83 as it winds its way up through the foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains, you 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 2 miles 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. The contrast of the expansive vistas outside and the cozy warmth and hospitality inside make After Midnight truly unique.

You’ll arrive Thursday afternoon and drop off your bags in your cozy bedroom at After Midnight or the nearby Xanadu Ranch. We’ll meet up in the classroom and enjoy happy hour while working on some warm up kumihimo projects. Be sure to have your disk and bobbins handy! Enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal while you get to know your new kumihimo pals. After dinner the fun continues with some kumihimo show and tell. Be sure to bring your favorite necklaces! After the party winds down, you’ll retreat to your room and have sweet dreams of kumihimo.

Friday morning we’ll start the first workshop session after breakfast. You’ll explore the challenges of working with larger beads and specialty shaped beads in kumihimo and learn creative solutions for incorporating these fascinating beads into your designs. We’ll alternate between discussion, design case studies, and hands-on braiding experiments. After our fabulous home-cooked lunch and a leisurely rest period we’ll continue the workshop. Our evenings are reserved for relaxing and merry making! If you enjoy adult beverages, may I offer you a frozen margarita or a glass of wine? Unwind with your new friends during happy hour until it’s time for yet another delicious home-cooked dinner. Enjoy the time in this serene oasis and be inspired to fill your notebook with new kumihimo designs.

Saturday follows the same format as Friday and in the afternoon our workshop focus shifts to the art and science of color theory specifically as it applies to mulit-bead-shape kumihimo design. You’ve been experimenting with different design concepts and your plan is starting to take shape! Your mind is really spinning now with all sorts of braiding possibilities. It’s time to unpack your project kit! What will you make? That’s up to you. Based on your collection of design experiments you’re ready to write out the plan for your full length piece.

Sunday morning after breakfast we have our last workshop session. You may be putting the finishing touches on your master plan or maybe you’re already braiding, but either way you leave bursting with fresh ideas and the confidence to create your own designs. After we recap what we learned together, we say our goodbyes and return home.

Mark it on your calendar now!

November 12-15, 2020

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!

How much is it?

  • $1799 per person for a single room
  • $3198 for two students sharing a room (That’s just $1599 per person)

What’s included?

  • An amazing exploration of kumihimo design theory and color. You’ll learn what you need to design your own original kumihimo patterns using beads of whatever size and shape strike your fancy. You’ll know how to customize a beaded pattern to your exact size requirements and desired color palette. Leave with the practical skills to take an idea from concept to written pattern to finished necklace!
  • The 100 page workbook Designing in 3D by Rebecca Ann Combs.
  • Round-trip transportation to and from the Tucson International Airport for our out-of-town guests.
  • Three-nights’ accommodation at the After Midnight Art Ranch (single occupancy bedroom, shared bath in the hall) or Xanadu Ranch (double occupancy bedrooms en suite bathrooms).
  • 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 and margaritas are served with/after dinner.
  • Bead kit for the masterclass ($250+ retail value)

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the After Midnight Art Ranch?
After Midnight is located approximately two miles Southeast of the Hwy 83 & Hwy 82 crossroads in Sonoita, Arizona.  It’s about an hour and 15 minutes drive from Design & Adorn in Tucson.

I’ve attended your kumihimo retreat in the past. Is this the same class?
No, this is all new course material! The workbook for this retreat is called Designing in 3D and it focuses on a hands-on approach to learning how to design with multiple sizes and shapes of beads together in one project. This workshop debuted in April 2019.

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.

Are there any prerequisites?
You should be comfortable with beaded kumihimo (beaded kongoh gumi) on either the disk or the marudai. You will be setting up your disk/marudai several times over the course of the weekend, so make sure those skills are fresh in your mind.

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.

We’ll begin our experiments in black and white so you can focus of working with the different sizes and shapes of beads. We’ll move on to color tomorrow.

What is the cancellation policy?
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.

Fifty percent of your registration fee will be refunded for cancellations at least 60 days prior to the start of the retreat.

There are no refunds 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?
If you are driving yourself, please try to arrive between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM on Thursday. Have you kumihimo equipment at the ready because we’ll start our first project once everyone has arrived. 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 2:00 PM on Thursday.

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.

Please book your return flight to be after 3:30 PM on Sunday so we have plenty of time to get you back to the airport.


That sounds great!
How do I sign up?

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