Saturday, 9 November 2013

Lotus (Hasu / 蓮) Kanzashi

Now that I have a cast foot (from falling down the stairs a few days ago), I must be absent for a while from making kanzashi and sewing.. It's hard to move around with a cast foot since in my working room I mostly do things on the floors (Japanese style) with low tables... Oh well.. I'm trying to see the bright side of this.. Maybe it's time for me to post more on my blog, which I never seemed to get around to.

October is known for the chrysanthemum month in kanzashi tradition. Even though I'm not a traditional kanzashi crafter, I made a lot of chrysanthemum last month. But I also made one un-chrysanthemum kanzashi. I made a lotus.

Lotus may not be as common as chrysanthemum, sakura, plum blossom, or other flowers in the traditional kanzashi world. But I have found some kanzashi artists / crafters make lotuses. And why not? Lotus is such a beautiful flower with deep meanings so it is somewhat a must to take a challenge in making one.

Lotus or hasu in Japanese ( ) has given the opportunity for kanzashi artists and crafters to be creative with petals. Most use pointed petals but not a few use round petals such as one made by MountainMusings here. This rendition of lotus is beautiful and bold.

You can purchase this unique lotus here.

As I mentioned before, most kanzashi crafters use pointed petals to make lotus such as this pretty lotus by littlecookie. This one has only one layer but it captures the beauty of lotus very well.

 For more details of this pretty lotus, you can go here.

Magpie Creations uses a variation of pointed petals to make this gorgeous 4-layered lotus. I think it is really really beautiful! You can go to here for the details of this beautiful lotus.

My lotus also uses pointed petals. As variation, I made 2 more folds on each pointed petal. It may look as if the petals were sewn on, but I actually assembled the petals with nori. I made one big lotus and a small one and one lily pad. I made the lotuses out of batik but the lilypad out of plain cotton. To finish off, I coated the lotuses with 3D crystal lacquer which I had mixed with glitter.

Blue Lotus

More details on my blue lotus, please go here.

On Bed Rest :((

That was probably the most awful Sunday I've ever had in my life.

Sunday 3rd November, I was getting ready to go to a matsuri (means festival, which sometimes I think it's also partly a bazaar) in Yonago city. My husband had rented a booth for Jagatara Art. This was the third time we'd joined the matsuri.

The time showed 7.30 ish in the morning. My husband had put our stuff and equipment into our car. I don't really remember how it happened but I remember I wanted to go upstairs to my working room to make sure I hadn't left anything. As I was going up, I wasn't aware that my right foot did not fully land on the step, just the tip maybe. Because of this, my right leg couldn't support my body weight... and I fell with a loud thump! 

And this is what I got...

Yup, I thought I just had a sprained ankle, but at the hospital, the doctor found out that one metatarsal bone was fractured a bit. Even so, the pain was unbearable, I couldn't walk. My left foot was swollen. Then the doctor decided to put my foot in a cast... :(( And for this, I must be on bed rest for at least 10 days... Sigh...

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Summer's Cleaning Up

Last month when the heat of summer reached its peak (about 37 - 38 degrees Celsius), I managed to accomplish my resolution: cleaning up my working room.

After months of working and creating in this room, I suddenly realized how cluttered my atelier was. Actually this is not an atelier per se, but a spare room that my husband and I use to store stuff such as my books, his music instruments. However, there's some space for me to use it as a craft room as I can watch over tools such as pins, needles, scissors, etc from being scattered elsewhere. Anyway, when I couldn't think clearly all of sudden, that's when I saw that my craft room desperately needed cleaning up.



It took me 3 days to tidy up the craft room. The heat was so unbearable that I needed to take a break every 2 hours. But the result wasn't bad, was it?

Sunday, 28 July 2013

My Kanzashi Journey: How it began

I know I haven't written much about the new craft activity I've been doing for the past one year. There's a big gap between the time when I was writing a lot about batik and the time when I started making and selling kanzashi.

When I decided to try selling batiks, I actually hadn't considered about the fact that tailors were extremely rare in Japan. In Indonesia, my home country, we do buy clothes at department stores, boutiques, shopping malls, etc. But also, we do LOVE having our clothes made specially for us. The existence of tailors is just important. The cost to have your dresses made ranges from 7 U.S. dollars / 700 yen (approximately) to over 1 million rupiahs (over 100 dollars). It depends of which tailor and whether you go to a dressmaker (who usually have better knowledge about fashion than a tailor). Therefore, it is quite common for us to purchase a good piece of fabric and go to a tailor or dressmaker to have our clothes made. In my parents' neighborhood, there are at least 5 tailors. That's to give you an idea of how tailors are not rare. In Japan it's the opposite. People prefer to go to department stores to buy clothes rather than having their clothes specially made for them. They don't care about one of a kind thing. They don't care if somebody sitting next to them on the train is wearing the same shirt or same skirt. No wonder, tailors are very very rare and consequently very very expensive. My mother in-law's tailor charges US$ 40 for a man shirt while the tailor who sets up his sewing machine under a tree in front of my parents' house in Indonesia charges US$ 7 for a man shirt. Both are the same quality.

Anyway, as a result of lacking of consideration I failed to sell batiks that I had imported from Indonesia. And consequently, I had piles and piles of batiks that I couldn't sell... Then I talked to my husband what we should do with these batiks.. I came up with the idea of learning to sew by myself, which my husband immediately approved of. Then my sewing adventure began (check out my posts on sewing adventure Stitch Thru' Batiks) and so did my kanzashi adventure.

When I began sewing, I noticed there's a lot of scrap fabric that was not big enough for big project such as an apron but it's too big to be thrown away. I was thinking and thinking what I should do. Then I thought I could make it into some accessories. Fabric flowers were the first ones that popped into my head. So I browsed the net on how to make it. And this is what I found first:

This is what I made based on this video:

You see the tiny flowers? I stuck the flowers on a leather bracelet cord with hot glue gun and voila! A fabric bracelet! I don't have this bracelet anymore with me because I gave it to a good friend as a birthday present and she loved it! This is a photo Natsuno sent to me!

Do you see the bracelet she's wearing? That's the one I made. Also the dragonfly brooches. If you pay attention the blouse she's wearing is the same material I used to make the bracelet and brooches. Yup! I made her the blouse and the accessories/jewelry with the same material. Less waste. Quite eco-friendly, don't you think?.. :)

I also make some more accessories for another good friend. She likes to wear a headband for her beautiful silky hair.

Just as Natsuno, I made the same set for Ayu. Check out her blouse and headband. I used the same material for both!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Daffodil or narcissus: a flower with deep meanings

Reminiscing my younger days when I was in high school and university, I can't help but wonder how many things have changed. One of them is music. I used to listen to loud music, believe it or not. My favorite bands were heavy metal, rock 'n roll, alternative, to name a few. I was one of the MTV generations of the 80's and 90's. One of the bands that I listened to a lot when I was in university was The Cranberries. My favorite songs of this band was: Ode to My Family, Dreams, Linger, and this: Daffodil Lament.

Daffodil goes by another name. narcissus. This is a six-petal flower which grows in the spring. The yellow color reminds us of the sun, the life giving source in our solar system. Apart from its cute look, in ancient herbalism the scent of daffodil was used to relax and calm the overactive minds. Symbolically, daffodils have deep meanings: faith, honesty, truth, forgiveness, and forthrightness. Giving a person daffodils to show your appreciation of their honesty, or as a token of forgiveness would be a wonderful thing.

I've made some works based on daffodil: a cute blue daffodil/narcissus brooch/hair clip and a pair of yellow daffodils hair comb.

This blue daffodil can be worn as a brooch or hair clip if you want. 


This one is a pair of YELLOW DAFFODILS. This is a hair comb and will make a lovely hair fascinator.


YELLOW DAFFODILS on a hair bun
For more details about these, you can go to my ETSY shop.

Two In One

I'd often been asked this question about my works: Is this a brooch? Or been asked to make a brooch. That made me consider to make a brooch but I still like to make hair accessories.

While I was browsing parts on Etsy, I stumbled upon what's called brooch/hair clip tray. This is really cool! This part allow you to wear this as a brooch and hair clip. One for two! So, I thought why not making a brooch which also serves as a hair clip? I decided to give it a try. And that's not bad.

silver tone brooch/hair clip tray

bronze brooch/hair clip tray
I will post some of my works that have this 2 in 1 function.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Ume Hana or Plum Blossom Hair Accessories

I feel awful for not making the time to update my blog. My writing skill is getting bad.. :(... But once I've grabbed my tweezers, rice glue, and stacks and stacks of fabric scraps, I can't stop making what recently has become one of my passions: kanzashi..

I've been making loads of kanzashis.. Some of them were complete failure and some came out as I had expected or even more.

First, I begin with ume hana or plum blossoms. Plum blossoms precedes cherry blossoms. It blooms in very early spring. I managed to take some photos of these flowers before they fell.. Well, plum blossoms don't seem to get as much highlight as cherry blossom where TV or weather forecast faithfully report where the much-loved flower in Japan start to bloom. Whereas plum blossoms don't get that scale of attention. So when my father in-law told us that the plum trees in his field had begun flowering, I went there with my husband and took some photos.

Sorry for the bad quality, I had to fight the cold weather of early spring and the smell of organic fertilizer. I took these photos last February.

To celebrate these flowers, I made some ume hana or plum blossom themed hair accessories. I love to experiment with different styles so I tried also the rustic style and Mediterranean style of hair accessories aside from common Japanese style of kanzashi. For more details of my works, simply click the title under each photo.

Retro Orange Grey Ume Hana or Plum Blossom

Rustic White Satin Cream Maroon Ume Hana Plum Blossom

My Something Blue Ume Flower Plum Blossom

Mediterranean Yellow Blue Ume Flower Plum Blossom

Blue Yellow Large Ume Hana Plum Blossom 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013


First of all I'd like to say HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013!!

I haven't updated my blog for aaaaages. Since I began making my own products - fabric ornaments inspired from tsumami kanzashi and handmade batik clothes - I've had very little time to write or read. I've been spending most of my time creating, especially the fabric hair ornaments. I can't stop experimenting with new flowers and other shapes. You may say that I'm already addicted to it.

Anyhow I'm happy to say that even though I started learning to make the fabric ornaments about 4 or 5 months ago, I have sold some of my works! Yaaaaay! I'm so excited! I attach here the photos of my sold kanzashi items. Most of them were hair accessories and some were jewelry such as necklaces.

Christmas themed butterfly barette

orange and dark green butterfly hair clip

Turquoise and yellow butterfly snap hair clip

chrysanthemum hair stick

large chrysanthemum alligator hair clip
yellow and turquoise chrysanthemum barette

orange chrysanthemum hair comb

purple and pastel green ume flower snap hair clip

red, white and blue ume snap hair clip

yellow chrysanthemum with blue leaves barette
yellow and turquoise six petaled flower snap hair clip
orange and turquoise six petaled flower

pink ume flower bobby pin
blue and pink dragonfly bobby pin
butterfly and flower baby headband
Christmas poinsettia alligator hair clip

purple peony alligator hair clip
yellow and green four leaf clover hair clip
purple and yellow ume flower snap hair clip
purple and brown ume flower snap hair clip
orange and white chrysanthemum necklace
purple and red orchids necklace
blue lotus necklace
I'm sorry that I don't update the process of my learning and making these ornaments. I've always had difficulty finding the time to write on my blog. But I always post my progress on my Facebook fanpage. So please visit my fanpage to follow my works and progress. A friend will join my shop, so don't forget to check out my Facebook page to stay updated.