Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I haven't accomplished much in the past week or so.  Honestly I am taking a little time off to play some Final Fantasy 14.  I got it as part of my upgraded computer Christmas present, and it has been very distracting to say the least.

I am making plans for the new year, however.

I am holding off on ornaments until July.  I'm just exhausted after Christmas.

There will be more of a focus on hand embroidery this year.  I need to build up my stitching skills so I can take a class to learn Japanese flat silk embroidery.  It been a major goal of mine, and I think by this summer I will be prepared to take the time away from my family to attend a class in Houston taught by a certified teacher.

I want to attempt some sashiko pieces. I got a great book on it, and I haven't even had the chance to open it up yet.

I want to start a Ustream channel.  I would literally be streaming my glueboard as I work and fold petals, make arrangements, wiring and wrapping, recording every step of the way.  Its really a neat way to start making some tutorials to add to the blog.

I want to buy a few old, nasty kimono.  This sounds odd, but I actually want to start restoring kimono, replacing linings, repairing stitches.  I am going to have to start somewhere on learning how to take them apart and putting in replacement pieces, or scrapping them altogether and making a new product.  I have a few books on up-cycling that scrap kimono fabric would be perfect for.  And if nothing else more kanzashi or kimekomi fabric.  Truthfully I could start on my own black formal tomesode kimono, the lining looks terrible and is staind and brown and yellow in places. (But hey, I got it cheap on Ebay).  I have less formal, better conditioned kimono now, but I am very attached to the first kimono I ever bought and wore.

As for current matters, I have two pieces I have made waiting to be photographed.  They are smaller pieces, but hey, I have a lot of big pieces already. 

Ok, I'm Out.  Ya'll have a great new year!

Monday, December 23, 2013



So I now have an account on deviantART at http://kanzashi-temple.deviantart.com/gallery/

I just finished posting the kanzashi I have in stock so far. Come to find out, I lost all the files I had of my kanzashi predating 2013.  Where they went, I have no idea, but I lost ALOT of data.  My complete inventory and all the pictures I ever submitted to Etsy are gone.  Many of my original pieces that I have sold are no longer evidenced except the sold files through Etsy.  I had some backups of photos my friend Jilena from Jilena Rachelle Photography had taken in the early days, but that's it.  It will take some time to recover and recompile the data, but I am not disheartened, just aggravated like holy hell.

I also went computer shopping on Christmas money this weekend.  I have a new graphics driver and monitor, so I was able to make some tweeks to the blog that were unnoticeable to me before.  I think the page should be slightly darker and less vibrant, so it will be easier to read.  I don't know how it got that color, but it looked hideous and needed fixing. 

I also have my taxes together, all my reciepts inventoried and in a single spreadsheet.  I am happy to announce that I spent every cent I made on supplies.  Hopefully next year will not be so expensive, since I have a plethora of fabrics to work with and pieces to make. 

I have photography work to do but that will have to wait until after a very profitable christmas morning, LOL.  Most of my gifts this year will be based around Japanese flat silk embroidery, as they were for my birthday.  I think I have just about all the tools together, except for the silk.  I need a decent piece of silk to practice with, and I am not sure what I am looking for.

 I am also going to insist this year that my husband clean out the garage so I can have a work station for Japanese silk resist painting.  I have all the supplies, though I am sure the resist has expired, except for a steamer apparatus. The steam makes the dye stick to the fabric and set in, plus removes the resist from the fabric. It's not a difficult machine to operate, but I am not good at building things that involve electricity, I leave all that up to my engineer husband.

I'm done, for now.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Kanoko Complete, for now

I have lots more of that kanoko material to work with, and I think a small, children's tiara is in order.  Maybe one with a small shidare and one with a small bira bira, as a set.

Right now I am trying to formulate how to make a peony.  It's not going well.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Red and White with Kanoko Dots

tiara, maybe?
So I started a new piece, solid white with red printed on white kanoko dots, with red highlights. 

Kanoko means fawn, or deer. It is usually a shibori dye pattern used to represent the marking of a baby Japanese deer, or fawn.

I'm not sure yet where I am going with this piece, or how elaborate it's going to get.  I really just wanted to experiment with this new print, and work on some new uses for these large pearl stamens on the bottom petals and in the center. 

While I was digging up the trivia behind Kanoko dots, I came across this website that is a very comprehensive English guide to choosing and wearing a Japanese kimono.  It covers tying obi, seasonal appreciation, and formal and informal arrangements. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

New Piece

 I actaully finished this piece rather quickly.  Three days is a record for me.  Unlike the last orange piece, where as you can see the Hana are relatively the same pattern, the shidare are of falling rounded petals design, instead of waterfall layering.  I even managed to save enough fabric to include the two bobby pins.

I wired this one in the traditional manner, using the thread wrapping technique.  I find it holds the fork in a more secure fashion, since I don't have to worry as much about how the wires underneath lay.   

I am making another smaller wooden hair stick using the same fabric selection with the large flower design.  It will have two tiers of shidare with matching gold bells.

And then, well, who knows??  I was thinking another blue and white.  I have colors I have never used. I really want to do a few more camellia styles, and I have directions for a spider mum I still haven't tried yet.
Which is all well and good, except my kids are out of school next week.  So probably won't get much done until after the new year.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Ok so I kinda put the embroidery down and jumped head first into a new kanzashi.  Cause well, I love kanzashi.
This was the progress as of last night.
Today I finished the bira bira, shidare frame, mounting, and thread wrapping.  All that is left is to petal the shidare and add the bell tips. It will be in rounded petals in the classic back to back orientation.
Also it will have 2 bobby pin flowers.
I also have enough of this material left over to create another, smaller piece based on the center double flower.  I have a feeling it will have a 2 tier shidare on a wooden hair stick. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013


I took some personal time this week to get some family things in order and to take a break after the Thanksgiving push.  I've been working crewel embroidery on some pillowcases, and I'm about half done.  I've also added a new book to the embroidery collection, a Helen M Stevens Embroidered Butterflies.  I love her designs in flat silk embroidery, they are a European fusion to Japanese flat silk embroidery. I own many of the books though I have not had the chance to try any of the instructional designs.  That will probably be next. 

I do have plans for a new kanzashi first.  I have a lovely black flecked with gold and red and green print, mixed with some pearl and red chirimen and gold accent she should be stunning in a double cherry blossom with some pearl stamen accents.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bright Orange Multi Colored Kanzashi

Finished product!!!!

Honestly she came out pretty well.  I love the bright colors and the layered tiers on the shidare.  Its just different enough. 

The shidare is wired on a new 18g gold colored copper wire I found as a random item in a hobby store.  It was on the wrong rack, all by itself, but it had a barcode.  I didn't care how much it cost. LOL.

Right now I am working a project in crewel embroidery, a second pillowcase to a set I started back in June.  Its been a long half a year of projects, and I am glad to be getting back to something for myself.  I love to practice crewel, in hopes I will eventually get good enough to branch into Japanese silk embroidery and other flat silk embroidery.  I am a huge fan of the Japanese Embroidery Center (JEC.com) in Atlanta, GA.  I even just received a book of traditional patters from one of my relatives purchased in the JEC store.  So excited!