How To Make A Marudai – Two Ways

In this post, I’ll be showing you how to make two types of Marudai, a kumihimo (Japanese braiding) loom.

Kumihimo is a Japanese method of braiding thread into cords and ribbons. It produces a strong and nicely defined cord and is fairly quick and simple, making this an ideal craft activity for kids or while sat in front of the telly.  I’ll be putting up a basic “How To Braid” in later posts, but for now I’ll be showing how to make the loom that’s needed.

Kumihimo equipment can be difficult to find and often expensive but it’s cheap and simple to make a basic loom.

Kumihimo Wheel

This is a small, handheld disc, suitable for making short lengths of braid, such as friendship bracelets and is ideal for kids. The craft foam I’ve used holds the threads in place nicely as you weave and could easily fit in a pocket or handbag.

You will need:

  • 1 sheet of 2mm EVA craft foam.
  • PVA glue
  • Craft knife and scissors
  • Pencil
  • Some way of drawing a couple of circles

I bought an A2 sheet of 2mm EVA foam at the local $2 shop. You won’t need that much, an A4 sheet would do just fine. It’s nice and flexible, easy to cut and work with. You could use card or even wood, but cheap and easy is what I’m aiming for here.

Draw 3 circles on your foam, each one about 10cm in diameter. I used a tin lid for this.

Marudai Step 1

About 10cm diameter.

Marudai Step 2

Ready to cut

Cut them out using craft knife. Or scissors. Your choice. It doesn’t need to be exactly perfect as you can always tidy things up later, but getting it good enough at this point will save you time.

Spread a thin layer of PVA glue over the faces of two of the circles, join them together, place a weight on top and leave for 24 hours for the glue to set.

Marudai Step 3

PVA Glue

Marudai Step 4

Nicely stacked

Marudai Step 5

Leave for 24 hours

In the center of your newly-glued disc, draw a circle about 3cm diameter (I used a 20c coin) and cut it out. If you need to tidy up any of the edges on the outside, this is a good point to do so.

Marudai Step 6

About 3cm

Next up, you need to mark it out. Draw a 1cm line at each quarter, like the points of a compass. Put a dot just under the North point as it’ll stop confusion later on. Turn the disc through 45 degrees and mark another 4 points, giving you 8 in total.

Now mark another line halfway between each. This should give you 16 lines. Give them a quick count just to make sure.

Marudai Step 7

16 marks

Mark another line halfway between each of the 16 lines. This will give us 32 lines, each about a centimetre apart.

Using a sharp pair of scissors, make a 1cm along each of your 32 lines. And that’s it, you’re done! If you want to give it a paint job or number the cuts,  feel free to do so but it’ll work just as well without.



Equality Predates Agriculture

From the Grauniad comes news of a University College London study suggesting that equality may be far older than we usually think and could well have given us an evolutionary advantage as hunter-gatherers.


Study shows that modern hunter-gatherer tribes operate on egalitarian basis, suggesting inequality was an aberration that came with the advent of agriculture

Source: Early men and women were equal, say scientists | Science | The Guardian

New Becky Lynch T-Shirt misses this mark.

I’m something of a wrestling fan. It’s a form of entertainment not without it’s problems, but at it’s best, there’s little that can beat it. One of the highlights of my week is always NXT, the developmental brand for the WWE and in particular it’s treatment of women wrestlers.

Unlike the main WWE roster, they are given a larger share of screen time, story-lines that often pass the Bechdel Test and matches that allow them to really show off their in-ring abilities.

One of my favourites is the undeniably bad-ass submission and suplex machine that is Becky Lynch, one of the best technicians in the business and someone who really should be given a run with the title.

Which brings me to this:


I can see where they’re coming from,  given her heavy-metal gimmick, use of puns in her promos and ability to destroy anyone she faces in the ring.  The riffing on the classic  “Maiden England” is a nice touch.

But did the WWE consider that this is going to give out an entirely different and creepy domestic-violence-advocate vibe when worn by men? That maybe it requires a little too much context to properly understand? Like it’s not going to be taken entirely the wrong way?

For example:

So yeah, as an NXT mark, I reckon they’ve botched this move.


Men’s and children’s sizes have now been pulled from the WWE store, leaving only women’s sizes available. Which is much better.

Sadio Mané – Three Minute Hero

Unbelievable performance from the mighty Saints last night, in particular Sadio Mané scoring a Premier League record fastest hat-trick with 3 goals in 2 minutes and fifty-six seconds from the Senegalese international.

Dedicated to the Mané man, here’s The Selecter.


International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

This weekend (17th/18th May) is IDAHOT.

Paper Rainbow

(Image courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt (CC-A))

Amongst the many events being held in Brisbane to celebrate the awesome sexual and gender diversity of people and to draw attention to the many issues faced by those who are same sex attracted, intersex,  gender diverse or just don’t fit into the binary sex and gender concept, the Story Bridge will be changing it’s lights to rainbow colours.

And so will the lights in our front garden as a symbol of solidarity.

I’m a cis-het-white-male. I don’t know the details of the challenges that others deal with, I don’t know what it feels like to transition from one gender to another or to love someone of the same sex. I’m not about to speak for anyone else and frankly, anything that I could say has already been said plenty of times and you probably don’t need to hear it again.

But I can show my support, listen when others are speaking and call out egregious bullshit when I hear it. There’s not nearly enough love in the world and anything that increases the net amount of happiness on this planet can only be a good thing.

For more of this see:


Sunset at Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island

Source: Panoramio – Photo of Sunset at Dunwich

Taken by user Ian Cognito. CC A-NC-SA


Mashing sparkly rainbow pop-culture with feminist quotes. Fantastic stuff. As a feminist sans-cullotes, I can only say “Wonderful! More Please!”

dismantling the patriarchy one rainbow kitten at a time


Chocolate Yoghurt

A mate of mine reached out to me recently and asked me to put the following culinary madness up.  So, in the interest of public safety, here’s an exploration of yoghurt-making with chocolate milk, so that now you don’t have to.

Chocolate Yog-oh-god-it-hurts (AKA Yog-Sothoth-urt)

Chocolate Milk. Who doesn’t love chocolate milk. A delicious combination of sugar, emulsifiers, sugar, permitted flavourings, sugar and reconstituted dairy product. Om nom nom nom.  And who hasn’t thought of using it to replace regular milk. I mean, it’s awesome on cereal, so therefore it must also be awesome in other stuff, right? Right?!

Then there’s yoghurt. Which is in itself fine, but does suffer from a lack of personality, a quintessential blandness. It could use some more awesome in it, is what I’m saying. And chocolate milk could definitely use a little more “Healthy” in it. So, win-win. This could be the next PB&J. Or could it…

Italy: Migrant football team wins promotion – BBC News

Congratulations to Koa Bosco on winning promotion to the Italia Liga Seconda Categoria, the 8th tier of football in Italy. This team is unique in that they are formed entirely from African migrants to Italy, many of whom live in shipping containers or tents at a local camp.  As a fan of grass-roots football who believes that it’s a great leveler and at it’s best can bring even the most unlikely of opposition together,  all I can say is “Forza Koa Bosco!!”

Source: Italy: Migrant football team wins promotion – BBC News


Somewhere, a factory worker overseeing the translation of instructions into English, has the soul of a poet.


Kazakhstan on the camera first breath,

Plains shift focus as I pause,

Held between deep fields,

Click-snap severs the moment,

The hour freezes and waits.

On the camera