Just some examples of what I've done recently on the beaded front. Kumihimo is a type of Japanese braiding using a disc with notches in it. Google it, you'll find out lots. It looks pretty nice over all, and is pretty fast too. The part that takes the longest is actually stringing the beads. Keeping an even tension in all the strands throughout the length of the braid can also be problematic, but with patience and practice it gets easier.