Last week after finishing the hana kanzashi I received some tragic news, that my husband's lovely grandmother had passed. We attended her funeral in New Mexico, for which I had to close up shop for a few days.
During that time I also had a few life changes, my son will be starting day care full time and I am going to get a part time job to help cover the costs. Kanzashi is my passion, and I will continue to do it in my free time, but I anticipate being hired quickly for the holiday season. And it will take some adjusting to work out energy and schedules and family.
Now, I have begun to work on the tiara. I am 2 medium flowers in, and using a new supply, a thin 26gauge wire instead of 22g. I have always considered this wire to be too thin, but after wrapping them all they become unwieldy and fat. Additionally they add a lot of weight for larger pieces.
The manual I recently acquired (written in Japanese, so there is a bit of translation to be done) uses something as small as a 28g. But I have my doubts about the sturdiness of using something that light. The 26g should give me the lighter weight and smaller bundles I have been trying to achieve with the new wrapping method. Also it should be noted that since kanzashi is traditionally made in silk, and most commonly habotai silk, it is much lighter weight than chirimen rayon. Especially since I do most of the medium to large flowers in double petals.
So far the medium to large flowers of the tiara will be identical to that of the hana kanzashi. Same blue to white ratio, with pearl stamens in each petal in plum blossom style, with the new gold spiral centers. Pearl stamen groups have been taped together and are ready for wrapping. I have a few extra pieces here and there from prototypes such that I might try to work in. But they will mostly be filler and not a large part of the design. Oh! And the butterflies. Cant forget those! So alot of the work is already done really. I'd guess about 1/3 of the way through flower creation phase. Then its wrapping and building the frame and mounting.
Honestly, I can't believe I am really going to try and do this. I have always considered it out of my reach, because my methods were off. I admit I have fumbled through kanzashi like a child, mashing colors and fudging methods and screwing up left and right. I have actually taken down a few pieces I had for sale recently because I went back and looked at them and said "Wow, this wiring job kinda sucks." (they are on the to do list for repairs). So if I can get this new method to work with the materials I have, I think I would feel much more comfortable about doing trade shows and anime conventions. Really getting my product out there, because I am starting to finially feel like its getting good enough to really sell.