Friday, May 20, 2011


Ahhhh, graduation season is upon us.   A time to celebrate all the accomplishments students have worked so hard for the past school years.  In Hawaii, it is a tradition to give a lei to students at commencement exercises.  While there are a variety of leis out there, this year I chose to make ahead leis that can be stored 'till graduation day.  The idea came from a book from the local craft store and what I liked about it was that it was full of various lei projects with many colorful pictures and easy-to-follow directions.
Handcrafted Leis and Flowers Book
The Kumihimo Lei is one that I haven't seen and thought it would be a perfect lei to both the males and females as it wasn't too feminine and at the same time not too masculine.

I'm a visual learner so as you can see, the step-by-step directions met my needs!

Here is a picture of the finished product from the book:

School colors are represented in the leis.  Leis are braided using what is called RATTAIL, a nylon fiber that comes in rolls of 200 yards.

Rolls of Rattail
Multi-colored Rattail
The 8-strand lei is braided using what is called a Kumihimo Disk.  Directions in the book were so easy to follow, my family took turns during  TV night.  As it turns out, I learned that the Kumihimo braid is an ancient Japanese technique for woven necklaces and bracelets.  

Kumihimo Disk

Here, are a few that I completed.  Black and Gold for the mighty Cowboys, Green and Gold for the Dragons, Blue and White for the Waveriders and Black and Blue for the Hoop Dreams athletic team.

Completed Leis
Unfortunately I won't make it to any graduation ceremony this year but the leis will be sent out to the recipients in time for the ceremony.  Tonight I start the Green and White leis for the Wildcats.

Did a little sample of reggae colors.....Teenagers seem to really like these blend of colors together.  
A trial with red, yellow, green and black
Congratulations to all the graduates!  Hope you all become great leaders wherever you go and in whatever you do!  "Strive to Excel!"  Here are a few of my personal tips to the graduates:  treat everyone fair, every decision affects your future (choose wisely),  do a good deed for someone everyday, laugh, smile, and have fun!

Do you know anyone graduating this year?

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