Sunday, March 19, 2017

Post-Surgery Updates!!!

So to begin this set of notes, surgery went fine, and have been recovering the last 3 weeks.  Most that truly know me know that I can not STAND to be idle, it drives me crazy to waste time.  So while on bed rest, I have been working away...

First project is some new inventory! I made at least 40 of these fantastic kimono patterned chirimen hair barrettes in rectangle and oval. These will go un-dercorated, and sold as an inexpensive addition to the Emporium.  However half of this batch will be sent to the TZArtisan shop, along with a large collection of bobby pins.

I have also begun a re-design of the hair sticks.  I have never liked the exposed tape, but didn't have the thought to test the durability of something like rayon machine embroidery thread.  For some time now I have been getting more and more comfortable with the use of rayon embroidery thread for thread wrapping techniques, and NOW I have finally applied it to the hair sticks.  The effect is a bold stripe of color underneath the flower, and if it turns out to be durable I am going to re-wrap everything in the shop.  In the mean time I have sent a few prototypes to TZArtisan for further testing. 

In addition to that, I have been working with some of the multicolor chirimen I have been saving.  I only had 2 small squares, but I managed 3 new small pieces and they are fantastic.  I am sure how to present them in the shop, to keep them as a group or split them up. 

I do have more squares of different shades of this multicolor stuff, but I am definitely planning on ordering more of the autumn colors I used to make the last momiji piece and this new pink/green/blue combination. 

I have moved all the home decor ornaments to the clearance bin, and they are still sitting there.  They will stay only until May, when the lisitngs expire.  Then it will be sent off to TZArtisan, again, so that hopefully they can make some money where I could not.  Seems the only thing that sells is kanzashi these days. 

I still have plans for chiyrogami jewelry again and the kumihimo braids that have been set aside.  Hopefully they will do better than ornaments and hair bands. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

New Stuff!!!

There is lots of new things going on at the Emporium!!!
I just finished updating the store with new inventory and several updated listings.  I haven’t started on DeviantART yet, but I have all the pictures prepared and text has been developed.  It’s really a matter of upload and cut/paste and tags. 

I also decided to get rid of the ornaments.  Holiday ornaments will remain but all the satin brocade ones are now in the CLEARANCE bin.  Every single one is 50% off, and I hope they move quickly.  Anything that remains will be sent to the TZArtisan store in May.

I also will be adding a few kanzashi pieces to the clearance as well.  Honestly I just have too much stuff right now and none of it is going anywhere. 

I managed to jump into another craft, little pendants and charms made from my left over yuzen paper I have from bookmarks and the upcoming paper fan project.  (I’m still trying to find the right sized wood from which to make it properly) But it uses many of the same materials and adhesives as the kumihimo findings so it seems to be a good fit.    

I have another big announcement, I have been signed up for another surgery on February 27, 2017.  Hopefully this will really help me get back in control of my life, but I will be out at least a week to recover.  It’s a small price to pay for my sanity and physical health.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Feeling Behind

Botan! Peony!

I have been busy lately, and feeling rather behind on a lot of my goals already. I have a list of things I have to do still, and I just started a botan piece recently.  I was going to do another multistyle, but I lost that feeling after finishing the first botan.  Red and white will be striking, and the green rounded leaves I started last night.  It's a 3 blossom maiko piecce and I was thinking about adding a bira bira but I'm not sure.

 I also managed to put the final touches on this yellow and white multi-style hana with 5 fall shidare.  It has bright green thread wrapping and a 4 inch gold hair fork. 

Multi-Style in Yellow/White

I also have the pine needle to finish, the phoenix, my 3 original hydrangea peices to fix, and a multitude of half finished hair sticks and small pieces to finish.  Then I have a photography shoot to set up, for bookmarks, finished pieces and a few other odds and ends.

Still working on kumihimo.  Looking for the right attachments for closures.

I ordered several things over the weekend for fun, like a obi-clip and a new han eri for my juban.  I also picked up some paper from The Rare Orchid during their half off flash sale!  I found the wood I need to make these fans out of washi paper, and it is kinda expensive. But I couldn't pass up 50% off!  And if I don't use it for fans I will use it for bookmarks. It's beautiful yuzen paper.

I managed to put on a kimono for the first time in months to do a demonstration for my daughter's girl scout troop.  I picked my regular komon, which is cream with a kiku/rivers/momiji pattern.  I pulled out a fukuro obi, which is probably too formal for my kimono, but my nagoya obi I had never tied before.  But the colors at least somewhat matched.  I used a cream obiage, because my only other one is bright golden yellow and would have clashed.  It was excellent practice to put it on, and only took about half an hour by myself, which means I am getting better.

I also discovered that I need a new pair of zori, since my casual ones do not fit.  At all.  And my gold-brocade ones have fallen apart, even if they are the correct size.  I have a very formal set for my furisode kimono but I am waiting to use those for a photo shoot. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Kumihimo Coming Soon!

I have been busy, I swear.

The main focus of my time has been kumihimo.  Now that I have finished my bookmark lots I have moved on to kumihimo weaving.  I have been making long cords in various patterns like the one on the right.  Now that I have 5-6 of these I can move on to making them into bracelets. 

I started another kanzashi bouquet I have probably talked about before.  I managed the shidare petals and just had to quit.  I am kanzashi-ed out.  All that is left of this bouquet is framework and threadwrapping, but I just can't bring myself to go back to it yet.

I also have a ton of individual blossoms to go on hair sticks, along with the bobby pins I made.  I haven't finished those yet either, but it will be soon.  I have a new idea of how I want to attach them, so we shall see if it works.  I am worried about durability of the rayon thread and might have to move back to the nylon crochet thread to keep it on the stick. 

Though my personal life has become another whirlwind affair, I am trying to keep up with store stuff.  I started an instagram account under my birth name, which you can also find on the facebook feed. (Virginia DePauw)  But I am having a hard time keeping up with various websites that require daily activity. Pintrest has been a huge help, and I have been spending some time on that.  It's been a huge help for kumihimo patterns and kanzashi examples.  You can find me on there under LilyAshes Emporium.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Shop Is Up To Date and New Bookmarks!

So apparently I am behind on the blog. 
I managed to get the new listings up, with 4 new kanzashi and two new headbands.  Overall the photos came out great, and I am especially proud of the momiji piece! 

I have also begun to thread wrap and mount piece in the traditional style.  Instead of a fold over, tape, and wrap,  the stem goes on the fork and down a bit, thread wrapping it in place down the side of the hair fork.  I never thought this would hold well, but it seems to be working. 

After I finished updating the shop, I worked on several flowers for bobby pin sets and hair forks for selling at tables. Lots of pink, ice blue, china red, and lemon yellow. 

In the middle of that I managed to sell several bookmarks.  Like 15 of them.  The black set has been particularly popular.  So I pulled out my paper packs and dug in again, making 15 sheets and with 7 or  8 more to go. I still have to purchase more laminate but I should have those back in the shop as of January.  There is more black in there, it's just hidden at the bottom. :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Photos Coming Soon I swear

I finished a few pieces, like the momiji piece, and they have been coming out exceptionally well.  I started using a traditional mounting technique for these new pieces, and it is working out better than my own method (of course). 

I just finished this little blue and pink piece, the first in a new batch of kanzashi. 

I got my chirimen order in, and that means time to prep and cut fabric. I also have a back log of photos to take and pieces to list, and I swear I am going to get to that soon.  I haven't had much space in the house to set up a photo table, since we have been rearranging furniture and deep cleaning clutter lately. But we have one more piece to move in and re-arrange. A new desk for me!!!!

 But in the mean time I have that phoenix to finish, and I want to make several batches of stock pieces like bobby pins and hair sticks and little forks like this one. 

But the good news is I managed to finish most of my Christmas stuff in a single day.  All the extended family I tend to have anxiety over have been marked off my extensive list. Which means I have more time for kanzashi! And moving furniture. 

I am also going into the OBGYN today to have a discussion on one of my numerous complications.  This time it is the endometriosis.  But after today I should have a real game plan on my future health instead of just biding my time on this Lupron to see what happens. 

I am also hoping to reschedule that photo shoot for my furisode kimono for sometime in February.  It will be my last month on Lupron.  Which means my last month being pain free for some time. So I will have updates on that pine needle kanzashi I have to get back to before then. 

That's all for now I think.

Monday, November 28, 2016

New Piece (Again!)

I am still waiting for my new chirimen order to come in, which should be either this Tuesday or Wednesday.  When it gets here, I can finally finish up that phoenix kanzashi that is enormous.   But in the mean time I have been playing with new fabrics I got recently! My favorite has been this rusty, deep red with stripes of golden yellow through it.  It has made for some great momiji kanzashi! As yous can see, the colors blend together to give it that great dyed effect you so often see on silk kanzashi.  The greens are tea green and yellow green. 

I did attempt to use the gold mizuhiki that I purchased to make the centers.  Bad idea.  Not only did it not hold, it was very messy.  I am still not certain how that traditional spiral is accomplished with mizuhiki, but I am going to keep trying on the side.  Meanwhile I went back to gold memory thread from DMC, which has a copper strand in the center of the wrapped thread to give it hold. 

I also a custom order and sent out some recent bookmark sales! I have been slowly restocking my washi paper here and there, looking for new patterns and cheap deals.  I actually made some decent money this month, though it has all been spent on new fabrics already. 

My workstation is a mess though, and before I start delving into new pieces again, I have some major cleanup work to do.  After I finish this wonderful momiji and phoenix pieces.  Then I am going to do a few barrettes and by then it will be the new year.

In other notes, a Japanese Yuzen (silk dyer) has struck up a friendship with me, to ask for Etsy assistance and to help him learn better English. I have agreed wholeheartedly. He is young, but comes from a family of silk dyers. The panels he creates are stunning works of traditional art. I hope one day to go visit his workshop in Japan to see how he works.  It is serendipitous that he happens to live in my favorite city of Kyoto.