Beth Hardy is truly a traveling kumista. After serving 21 years in the US Navy and a second career working as a horticulturist, Beth and her husband bought an Airstream Travel Trailer, gave up their permanent address, and started an adventure that many of us only dream of. That was 8 years ago. Her hobbies then were hiking, biking and reading. In 2013, that changed a bit. She stopped in a bead shop in Tucson, Arizona and was fascinated by a foam disk with a hole and a long braid coming out of it. The rest is history. After a class with Rebecca Combs and Adrienne Gaskell, Beth Hardy became a bona fide kumista! One class led to another and in 2015, she purchased a marudai and took a class with Makiko Tada, then one with Jacqui Carey, then Rosalie Nielson and then with Karen Huntoon.

Beth works on both the disk and the marudai, depending on what she wants to accomplish. Her perspective on the disk vs. marudai controversy is that there isn’t one. Each one is a tool used to reach an end result. What matters is what you like, what you want to accomplish, and how you like to do it. One day Beth may be spinning beads for a continuous beaded braid on the marudai, and the next she may be working on Makiko’s “Ladies Tresses,” a braid in braid, on the disk –all the while traveling through the back roads of our beautiful country.

Her latest passion is making braids on the disk around a core à la Karen Huntoon. She says “ the core manipulation process makes working with colors so exciting! And this can be done on marudai and core stand.” Color is one of Beth’s themes including “hunting for beautiful threads to wind up on the tama.” She loves combining what she calls outlandish colors that are on the outer edges of the color wheel, and loves making zigs and zags, going forwards and backwards. She gets the tama all loaded with beautiful, shiny fibers and begins to braid. As the braid grows, her “world quickly disappears and she floats on a sea of threaded tranquility.”

Beth is the Social Media volunteer for the AKS and keeps us all up-to-date on AKS and braiding happenings.