I've been meaning to share some cool stuff from the Kanzashi In Bloom Flickr group. Creative people from all over have been posting insanely cool projects. Makes me want to go back and write the thing all over again so I can include them!
I was honored to have Kanzashi In Bloom exerpted in the October issue of Woman's Day. (Page 28, to be exact.)
They also asked me to make a Kanzashi demo video for their website. It shows the basic flower-making process from start to finish.
Hope you enjoy!
I had a great time at Seattle's largest craft fair, Urban Craft Uprising. A group of very creative people learned to make flowers, and then I signed some books.
I also got to meet Thea Starr, who's a very talented Kanzashi artisan in the traditional method. Her work is lovely - go take a look!
You can see lots more photos of the day at this Flickr set.
Sometimes, you send someone a Kanzashi and it gets a little bent in the mail. Or, sometimes you'll pack a Kanzashi away for the season, only to find it a bit crushed later.
Not to worry! You can repair a lot of damages with an applique iron!
a>Applique irons, also called mini irons, are available at many Jo-Ann stores and quilting shops. They get as hot as a regular iron (so be very careful), but the ironing surface is small and easy to manuver.
You can pass the hot applique iron over and between the petals of your Kanzashi and restore it to its original shape.
See? Good as new!
In many cases, you can even use this method to re-orient a petal that's bent out of place, as it has here.
Just gently press the petal back in the right direction with the hot iron. Repeat this as many times as needed.
...And your flower will be back to normal!
Be sure to read the package directions on your applique iron, and use the appropriate setting for the fabric in your flower.
If you want to send a handmade Kanzashi to someone far away, here's a little tip to get it there in perfect shape.
First, cut two 11" long strips of card stock. The width of these strips will depend on how tall your Kanzashi is - make them just a little wider than the height of your flower.
Overlap these two strips about 3"...
...And tape them together on both sides.
Then, form the strip into a circle, adjusting the size so it's about 1/2" larger in diameter than the flower. (This extra space helps protect the ends of the flower petals from damage.)
Overlap the ends of the strip as much as needed, and tape them in place.
With the card stock ring in place, you can wrap the flower loosely in tissue.
This trick works if you've made a project where your flower is attached to, say, a tote bag or cozy. Just place the ring around the flower, and then wrap the whole item in tissue.
If possible, ship the piece so that the Kanzashi can lay flat.
One of the many fun things about the flowers in Kanzashi In Bloom is their versatility. Depending on the fabrics you select, and how you accessorize them with buttons and stamens, they can express any season.
Up above there, we have a flower representing Spring in soft pink and green. Next to it, a Summertime flower shines in bright yellow and fuschia.
This warm-toned Autumn flower is capped with a woven leather button. And for Winter, here's a flower in deep, rich hues.
You may even notice that all four of these are made in the same style - with just a few tweaks of the petals here and there to change their shape.
In Japan, Geisha and their apprentices, known as Maiko, often wear specific Kanzashi flowers to represent the seasons of the year. On Wikipedia, you can see a list of traditional Kanzashi designs for each month of the year.
How exciting - Kanzashi In Bloom is embarking on a little blog tour! Each day, a lovely craft blogger will offer a review, interview, giveaway, or feature. And you can keep up with them all here!
July 21: CRAFT - Natalie Zee Drieu offers up a review, an interview with me, and a big giveaway, with three copies up for grabs!
July 22: Lindamade - Linda Permann gives a nice in-depth glimpse into the book, showing some of the step-by-step instructions and the Elegant Floral Gift Topper project. She also offers a giveaway copy.
July 23: A Little Hut - Patricia Zapata has an interview with me, in which we discuss my earliest craft project, a brief history of the podcast, my advice to people who want a crafty business, and my crafty obsessions.
July 24: Love Forever - Kayte Terry interviews me about how the book came to be, and how I stirred my own design aesthetic into a centuries-old craft. She's also offering a giveaway of a Kanzashi brooch I'll make in your favorite colors!
July 25: Dollar Store Crafts - Heather Mann has a nice, comprehensive post about the book, and a short interview with me about how to make Kanzashi on the cheap. She also adapted one of the book projects, the Sampler Wall Hanging, for dollar store materials!
July 26: Futuregirl - Alice Merlino reviews the book, and offers glimpses of the flower-making process, a tweed brooch and the Tiny Blossom Earrings. She also has a copy to give away!
July 27: Whipup - I contributed a guest post about one of the few remaining traditional Kanzashi artisans in the world: Kuniko Kanawa. And Whipup editor Kathreen Ricketson offers up a giveaway.
July 28: Betz White has a copy of the book to give away, and she shows off a couple of projects: a Kanzashi ponytail holder and my favorite flowery shoe clips.
July 29: Zakka Life - Jessica Okui reviews the book and offers a glimpse at two projects: the Stretch & Bloom Headband and the Super Star Tote. (Yes, you can make more than flowers from Kanzashi techniques!) Jessica also has a giveaway copy.
July 30: Average Jane Crafter - Rachel Hobson has something a little different - not only a review, but an interview with my crafty thumbs, who incidentally were an integral part of the whole book project.
July 31: Dudecraft - Paul Overton brings the hardest-hitting interview about Japanese fabric flowers ever published. I still have bruises.
August 1: West Coast Crafty - Susan Beal and I made some Kanzashi together, using vintage fabric and buttons. And she documented our fun.
Hey, Northwest residents - and those with travel plans...
I thought I'd better let you know the dates of my upcoming Kanzashi book events. I would love to see you at one!