30 October 2012

Kanzashi bouquet - part two

I have the main flowers for the bouquet but I need something else to fill in the gaps.

How about some little flowers!

They are not made using the tsumami technique because I wanted to add a little bit of "fluff" to the bouquet so I made pom-pom style flowers.

I tried to take a picture to show how large the bouquet is relative to my hand but unfortunately it didn't quite work out.  I had my hand spread out to support the kiku on the edge.

Now to think about adding a layer of leaf like creation along the bottom to set it off.  What should I do?

29 October 2012

Why I love Kimono - Reason 1

You may be wondering why I am writing about my reason for loving kimono.  Well it occurs to me that I never really answered that question.

I have so many reason why I love kimono that I thought it would be a nice idea to say why.

So the first reason why I love kimono.

I love the simple design!

My favourite yukata

Here is a typical kimono or in this case yukata design.  If I was to describe it then the best description I could give is that it is a robe like dress with rectangle sleeves.

That is it!  Yet it has survive the ages and the construction of this garment has not changed a great deal.  I suppose the design appeals to me because I like uncomplicated thing.  Not that I do not like other forms of clothing.  I mean I am also a fan of corsets (I own 4 at the moment and I want more) and they are one of the most complex piece of clothing engineering around.

Kanzashi Bouquet

So tsumami kanzashi are synonymous with making flowers therefore the next stage in kanzashi making is always making bouquets.

Now this is not a new thing for me.  I made one for my own wedding just over a year ago.

Well I have been meaning to make another bouquet for a while because they are very pretty and I am a sucker for things that are pretty.

But what material to use?  

Then it dawned on me what to use.  A couple of years ago I went to a vintage kilo sale and brought 5-6 scarves for the purpose of making kanzashi from them.  How about making a unique bouquet from one of those scarves?  

So the scarf I choice a navy blue and cream dotty one.  

I was a little bit eager with the rotary blade so I forgot to take a picture of the original scarf but the black and white one shows you the size of the one I used.

Now I had to decided on the the type of flower to make.  Normally I make medium size five petal flowers but this time I wanted to go all out and make kiku or crysthanamum.  However not one large but seven little ones!

I had to find out what the seven kiku look like so I make a casually arranged them into a bouquet to see what they look like.  The look very pretty!

With some extra white flower and accents this will turn into a lovely unique bouquet!

Here is a closeup of one of the flowers.

28 October 2012

Spreading the kimono love!

One of the best thing that has come out of my kimono obsession.........sorry I mean collecting........... is the number of people that I have connected online!

It really feels like I am part of one big happy family of kimono lovers which makes me very happy.

One of the many people that I have connected and would love to meet whenever I get to Japan is Yukiko Tanaka.  She is one of the many people who is re-designing the kimono so it is more accessible to everyone and if you are interested in her clothes then she has a etsy site!


She etsy site is particularly good for us practising our kitsuke because she sells some handy kitsuke items which are hard to find like this.

This is an obi clip, you either love or hate it but for me this is a lifesaver when it comes to tying obi early in the morning.  

She has also posted a entry on my blog!  

22 October 2012

Looking for participant for Sisterhood of the Travelling Kimono Round 2

If you have been following my blog then you noticed the last two entries were about the Sisterhood of the Travelling Kimono!

Well my friend is sorting out the second round and we need more people!

So I am calling you kimono fans, would you like to take part in this truly international event?  

If so, follow the link below.

Make sure you have read the rules because this is important for the smooth running of the group and if you can agree to them then sign up!

The adventure is all reported on facebook so once you have registered then you can join our little group and you will see who is taking part.

And if you are wondering, of course I have signed up!  Another excuse to go mad with kitsuke, hell yeah!

21 October 2012

Sisterhood of the Travelling Kimono - 4th Stop

After I had my week with the travelling kimono, it was the turn of my friend Liz to give her spin and what did she go for?????


Isn't it fab?  She was posing at St James Priory in Dudley.

These are the front and back photo at the moment because she needs to find the time to photoshop the others but if I know her, they should be funny.  

At this moment in time I can't get Spongebob Squarepants theme tune out of my head.

Well the next person on the list is April, she is also in Birmingham but where will she pose???

16 October 2012

Being on TV!!!

So back in August I went to Jinney Ring Craft Centre in Bromgrove to film my segment of the Paul Martin's Handmade Revolution and today it was shown on BBC2!!!

I decided to watch myself on tv because when am I going to see myself on TV again and overall I am glad I came over not like a nervous wreak that I must have been on the day.

My friend took a picture of my on tv.
I was not the judges favourite but I do not mind.  It was a fun experience and I got a chance to show off my kanzashi on national TV which I never dreamed would happen when I started making them 6 years ago.

Time to get back to making more!

If you happen to want to watch the episode and you live in the UK then you can click on the following iplayer link.


15 October 2012

Sisterhood of the Travelling Kimono - 3rd Stop

It doesn't take much persuasion for me to take part in a kimono dressing event so when one of my kimono friend asked me whether I would like to be part of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Kimono I said yes on the spot.

Well the principle is simple.  One kimono is selected and it is then sent to all the participants of the Sisterhood to co-ordinate as they wish.  Of course, photos will need to be taken of the front and back of the outfit as a minimum and it is suggested that you take photos of the place where you live.

Well the kimono has already visited Cambridge and London and this week it was my turn in Sheffield.

I decided to go non-traditional and wore the kimono with a shirt and tie rather then with a juban.  I do have a black skirt underneath so I would not flash any leg while I was walking but I love the outfit.

The hat was a last minute addition because I always wanted a hat and that morning while I was shopping with my friend, I decided to buy this one and it just happen to go with the outfit.

The outfit has a strange mix of masculine (shirt and tie) and feminine (kimono and obi) aspects which I love!  

Well now the kimono is at it next participant in Birmingham and I can't wait to see what the girls are going to do.

You can see the whole set of photos that I took here.

Kimono Friday!

I normally try to wear kimono every month because it would be a shame to have such pretty clothes sitting in boxes and never seeing the light of day.

So when The Birmingham Japanese Society organised a lecture from the author Lesley Downer I would not resist!

Since April was a native of Birmingham she gave Lesley the guided tour of Birmingham.


As normal, I forgot to take photos of my own outfit so I have to rely on Lesley and April.  

The kimono that I am wearing was the very first kimono I ever brought and I think I have only own it a couple of times.  It is not the most fanciest kimono in existence but the beauty of the kimono is when you look at the pattern.  It is made up of tiny hexagon and tiny dots which can only be seen from close up.  

The obi is one that I brought off a good friend and I have been dying to wear it since I saw it!  It is a cream obi with green, dark red, blue and yellow ovals dots all over it.  It is a tricky obi to co-ordinate because it is so busy but it went wonderfully with this kimono. Since the red oval dots match nearly perfectly with the red on the kimono.

It is these lovely coincidences that I love the most when I am collecting kimono and obi.

9 October 2012

You Sew Should...: Shake, Rattle n Roll Crafters!

I love making kanzashi and there is nothing better then making a kanzashi for a charity event!

So when one of the organisers of Shake, Rattle n Roll contacted me to see if I can help out with a prize for their raffle then how can I resist!

What did I donate then...............................well this little beauty!!!!

Made from a vintage scarf which has seen better days, I thought I would give it a new life as a kanzashi.

It is perfect for any occasion.  Whether it is for a party or you just feel like wearing something pretty to go shopping.  You can win this at the raffle.

The link below is from one of the organisers blog if you want to read more about the event and find out what other prizes are available.

You Sew Should...: Shake, Rattle n Roll Crafters!:   Gosh, time flies. It's already the 9th of October, that means there's only 3 days until Shake Rattle n' Roll, the charity event we're h...

5 October 2012

Programme Date!

I received the email from the BBC that the episode that I will be featured in will be shown on the 16th October!

Will I be able to watch it?

Here is the homepage to the programme series if you want to know what is being shown.