Peek behind the curtains and step into my world. Unwind, Design & Shine is your opportunity to unplug from your daily life, relax at a luxury resort, and master techniques that will make your jewelry designs shine. Expertly design your own kumihimo patterns and confidently select colors that you KNOW will look great together. Stop guessing what beads go where and put an end to ripping out braids that don’t turn out as expected.


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 a design from good to great!


In the first session, The Toolbox, 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.

In the second session, The Power Tools, you’ll learn how to artfully edit your work before you even pick up a bead! Imagine the time and frustration you’ll save when you can judge your designs on paper and know they’re good before you begin braiding!

In the third session, The Prism, you’ll master color selection by examining the effect of different bead finishes on color perception. The secret to pleasing palettes is balance and you’ll apply your knowledge of proportion to create color combinations that sing and mix beads as though they were paint.

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 San Diego Kumihimo Retreat
You’ll stay at the gorgeous Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California. It’s only 40 minutes from the San Diego airport, but feels like a world away from everything!

Arrive in the afternoon and settle into your deluxe room. We’ll meet up in the garden before dinner to get to know each other and for some kumihimo show & tell. Be sure to bring your favorite necklaces! Enjoy a private dinner for our group at the on-site Veranda Fireside Restaurant. 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 math of pattern, proportion, and design in Kumihimo. After our fabulous veranda lunch we’ll continue the workshop. Our evenings are reserved for relaxing and merry making! You might go out to dinner with some of your new friends or maybe you’ll unwind with a glass of wine by the pool? 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 with our workshop focus shifting to the art and science of color theory. You’ve been experimenting with different design concepts and now your plan is starting to take shape! Your mind is really spinning now with all sorts of braiding possibilities.

Sunday morning after breakfast we have our last workshop session. You may be putting the finishing touches on your master plan or it may have moved on to write another, 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. (or perhaps you extend your stay and explore the area!)

Mark it on your calendar now!

August 23-26, 2018


What’s included?

  • An amazing exploration of design theory and color. You’ll learn what you need to design your own original kumihimo patterns. 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 110 page workbook Kumihimo Design: Mastering Composition & Color by Rebecca Ann Combs.
  • Three-nights’ accommodation at the luxurious Rancho Bernardo Inn resort. Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Choice for SoCal resorts!
  • Dinner Thursday evening. Lunch Friday & Saturday.
  • Bead kit for the master class ($120+ value)

How much is it?

  • $1999 per person when you register by March 31st
    • April 1st the price goes up to $2499 per person. SAVE $500 by registering now!
    • When you pay-in-full by May 31st you also get a fabulous bonus… An 8×8 memory book with all of the best pictures from the retreat. Photo books will be ready approximately 12-14 weeks after the retreat.
  • $3599 for two students sharing a room when you register by March 31st.
    • Save another $400 ($200 each) when you travel with a friend!
    • April 1st the double occupancy rate goes up to $4499.

This may be my first time hosting my kumihimo retreat in California, but I’ve been teaching the KUMIHIMO DESIGN: MASTERING COMPOSITION & COLOR master class for two years now at retreats in Sonoita, Arizona. I can tell you all day how great this class 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

Will we be working on the disk or the marudai.
The focus of the workshop is the design process. We’ll do some quick sampler projects on the disk, but the majority of the hands-on time will be spent designing and charting your bead patterns.

The skills you learn can be applied to braids on either the disk or marudai, whichever you prefer to work with at home, but for your convenience on this retreat you’ll only need a disk.

What are we going to make?

You’re going to write your own kumihimo pattern focusing on ombrés, color blocking, pattern blocking, and fades. 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 be writing your patterns based on the beads in your kit. Want to see you color choices?
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.

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

There will be no refunds, store credits, or transfers to other events 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 when you register. Rancho Bernardo Inn 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?
Sure! You may have one additional non-participating person in your room for no additional charge. There are lots of fantastic attractions in the area to keep your partner busy… wineries, the beach, and of course Rancho Bernardo Inn’s famous spa and golf course.

Can I bring my pet(s)?
Yes and no. The Rancho Bernardo Inn welcomes pets under 30 lbs. The is a non-refundable deep cleaning fee of $100. Please do not bring a pet with you to class, meals or other group activities.


That sounds great!
How do I sign up

There is only 1 spot left! Call us at 520-209-1900 to claim it!