Tuesday, 14 April 2015

My First Crocheted Pieces

Although winter is not the season I hate the most (I hate summer the most), I have to say that winter often prevents me from making a lot of tsumami zaiku/kanzashi. The glue takes aaaaages to set, not to mention the coldness makes my fingers all stiff and almost numb making them so uncomfortable to use tweezers.

This is not my house :D Just a building across
If there were central heating in my house, this wouldn't happen. But just like most houses in Japan, our house doesn't have a central heating system. We use portable heater that we bring to the room where we want to do our activities there. The heater is not enough to warm the whole room, just its surrounding so I have to sit very close to it. The only room that has an air conditioning is the living room so in winter I prefer staying in our living room to staying in my working room.  However, I can't do my work there. The room is so small, I don't want to clutter it up. But I didn't want to stop making things just because it's winter. 

I've always been fascinated by the crocheted pieces I come across on Pinterest, Etsy, and other sites. I thought why not teaching myself to crochet. I was thinking of making Christmas presents. Besides I could always stay in the warm living room all the time!

I bought some yarns and crochet hooks at the nearest craft supply shop and started learning. There were tons of tutorials, I was unsure which I should learn from. I thought youtube was a great start.

My first project was to make a flower. This is what I made.

 I found the tutorial on youtube but I can't find it now. I don't remember the url. Well, anyway, I made this based on that tutorial. I used cotton yarn.

Next thing I made was a beanie. I found the tutorial here. I was making it for me. My head got cold when I was walking in winter so I thought I should make a hat. I added a little flower. I used acrylic yarn.

But I never wore it because my husband said it looked as if I had worned bandage around my head ha ha ha. Well I'm not a hat person.

Then I made a kindle case using the same color of yarn. I also learnt from this tutorial on youtube. I had wanted to make this kindle case for my sister who owns a kindle.

It's not as pretty as the one in the tutorial but it's not bad I think ha ha ha. I sent this case to my sister in Indonesia. She loved it but unfortunately, it didn't fit her kindle case. Too bad.. I had thought her kindle was the same size as the one in the tutorial. Anyway, she likes it and said she'll use it for other purpose.

Monday, 13 April 2015

New Daffodil Themed Tsumami Zaiku Pieces

Although the highlight of the spring in Japan is Sakura or cherry blossoms, one of my favorite flowers in the spring is actually not cherry blossoms but the Daffodils or suisen in Japanese.

They grow somewhat wildly around my neighbourhood. But the shape of the blossom is really cute I think, and special. I feel that the daffodils are such carefree, cheerful and unassuming flowers.

These daffodils grow wildly around my house.

And of course, consequently it's one of the tsumami zaiku flowers I love to make. Up to now I've completed two daffodil French barrettes and two corsages/hair clips.





For the barrettes I mainly used batik, jacquard trims, and habutai silk. And for the corsages/hair clips I used the linings from vintage kimono.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Kanzashi Meets Cottage Chic on French Barrettes

I've been fascinated by jacquard ribbons or trims. They're so beautiful! I love the intricate woven patterns. Just like batik.

I had an idea of combining these with kanzashi on French Barrettes. But since both are quite extravagant in regards of the designs, I need to find balance by toning down one of them. For a jacquard trim with very colorful and elaborate design, I make very simple kanzashi flowers and the other way around. This create a cottage chic style french barrette with a Japanese touch :)