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.