Thursday, May 29, 2014

New Autumn Japanese Maple Leaf Piece

Ok so the leaves are completed, that's 5 in all.
I think I am going to make an attached stationary bira bira and shidare but not as big as the last piece I did.

Its hard to tell from the photo but the largest leaf is a deep russet bronze outlined with red.  Then a straw yellow, then a sunflower yellow, then plain red leaves. 

Right now the are bound with some wire, when I finish building the bira bira and shidare frame I will attach the whole thing to a traditional hair fork.  Probably thread wrap it in red too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Work Update

Japanese Maple Design
I've been hard at work.
The bottom pic is a custom job I just finished.  Hopefully she approves and we can move to the payment process.  Both sticks have the rotational bira bira design.

Custom Order

Now I have started a new Japanese Maple leaf design.  I am making five of these to go into a bouquet piece with a bira bira and maybe shidare, haven't decided on that one yet. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Going through the Back Log

Mardi Gras Kanzashi
 Its been a busy day at the Temple!  Got started with some photography early, going through a back log of pieces I had yet to photograph even though I finished them in February. 
Rose Garden Temari

Custom Set 

SO The custom set turned out really well.  The blue fireworks kanzashi came out just great, and the rotational bira bira was a huge success.  I managed to get about 350 degrees of rotation out of it. but if I had wired it for a full 360 it would have fallen off the back of the fork.  I am sure this design will do better with sticks than forks. 

More good news, I have finished thread wrapping that chrysanthemum bridge I started forever ago.  It is ready to be framed and have the leaves attached.  Then I have to re-wrap the frame.  Still lots of work on that piece, but coming along again!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sales and Designs

 Yep, it's me!

The only photo I have from the burlesque show. But it has a good shot of the table and for me, the picture came out pretty well.  I don't usually post pics of myself, but I wanted to post something from the show. 

The two bottom pieces were sold Monday and shipped off yesterday!  With these two last minute purchases, I have almost made enough to cover the costs of the show.  Which is all I really wanted anyway. 

Now I am working some prototype pieces, a gift to a friend.  She gave me 3 colors to work with, purple, blue, and red.  I couldn't get the red to work in with purple and blue, so I broke up one medium sized piece into a variety of 3 small pieces.

What I am really excited about though, is I have engineered (aka sketched) a design for a rotational bira bira.  I have it worked out so it forms its own loop and can be attached with a jump-ring for easy movement, and will look correct, no matter how you hang your kanzashi. That is the next piece I am working on, and should have a prototype soon!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Left Over Inventory

Hairsticks and Satin Kanzashi with Feathers are $10
Bobby pins are $5

I am only going to load the pictures, each one is described in the listing with its proper color name.

Keep in mind I made ALL of these in 10 days.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


It was one HELL of an experience.

I think I was overly prepared, which is good I guess, but I spent more than I should have. I made about a third back of what I put into it, but the networking and experience made it totally worth it.  I had a great time talking face to face to customers! It was so nice to be able to do that again.  And if it wasn't for kids, I would truly feel prepared to do a convention now.

But everything I DIDN'T sell now has to go in the shop.  I only sold a few hairsticks, mostly satin kanzashi with feathers, and one set of bobby pins.  But NOW I know my market, and purple is the color to work with.  I had several requests for purple, but all I had was black, red, gold and blue varieties.  I didn't get to work into the pinks and purples and oranges.  I should have.  But photos will be up soon, and it will be lots of editing since each stick must be labeled in the pictures with a letter system so that I can put multiple sticks in one listing.  May be a while, but I will get started on it next week now that things will have slowed down.  That and I want to finish all my photography before kids get out of school soon.  Then I will have NO time.

Also, next time I will have tophats!!!! I am lining up a new tophat designer so that I don't have to make them from scratch.  Hopefully those will be back in stock soon.  She makes hers with an elastic chin strap rather than a headband, and frankly I like the change, it will be more comfortable for the customer to wear. 

Now I have to re-inventory and label my pieces since everything went askew when packing up for the night.  Not to mention I have one heck of a mess to clean up on my workstation, and I have to find a place to put all my new supplies.  I am glad I got into the satin for this, it was a BIG portion of my sales, almost half. 

Definitely want to do this again though.  But not this month.  Ha.  Too much stress.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


24 Hairsticks
21 Satin Kanzashi with Feathers on hair clips.
10 bobby pins (and still going)
plus all my other pieces in the shop.
Table and coverings are reserved. 
Bought a lamp (as necessary for the event) at goodwill for like 5 bucks. 
I even have a costume.  (not Japanese mind you, this is not the kind of event for kimono)

Now I need a few price signs, a sign for the store, a custom order form, and to check my card reader and I will be all ready.

I still can't believe this is really going to happen.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Still Working

24.  I think it's enough hair sticks.  I've used up some of my colors, and am basically just using up what I have pre-cut. 
As you can see I have started the bobby pins.  I wanted to do more of a variety of these but I don't think I will have the time.
Tomorrow all the chirimen is put away and the satin kanzashi work begins.  I have a few more fabrics to starch and cut tonight, my embellishments have been assembled. 
There are many more things I need to wrap up before I start.  I need a commission rule sheet and order form.  I need to make sure my credit card reader works.  And I need things like a table and coverings, a sign, price sheet, and sanity.  I need my sanity back. I am insane for doing this. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hard at Work

So as you can see, I am definitely hard at work.  The right hand picture is my work station. It takes up almost an entire 4'x4' card table.  The picture on the left below is some of what I have been working on.  I am going through all my colors that I have pre-cut. 
Each of those hair sticks takes about 30 minutes to make not including drying time.  There are actually 7 hair sticks in that cup, and I am only just fnished my pinks and reds.
And of course, all this is until my new floral stamens come in the mail, and I can start working the new satin brocade pieces.  All the material must be super starched - like 4-5 times with heavy starch till it is the consistancy of paper.  Then I cut it into 2.5 inch squares, since that is what size I use for my ornament balls.  Never waste anything!
Plus my hat problem may have resolved itself.  Since the new hats I got from my supplier were completely banged up and damaged and warped in storage (Believe me I was super mad), my husband the engineer took one apart for me and we reverse engineered the dimensions.  Hopefully it will come together quickly, I wanted to make a few for the burlesque show but I'm not certain I will get the chance with everything on my plate.

Burlesque Bust Out May 16


Yeah, and I;m nervous as hell.  Been running around rampant collecting equipement and fabrics and making new pieces.  I have 5 small hair sticks since last night, about a TON more of those to go, PLUS I am making a new line of satin kanzashi specific for the event.  I was going to do my top hats, but sadly they have been damaged in storage.  AGAIN.  Good news is my husband is helping me reverse engineer one so I can finally make my own and not worry that my hat maker moved 500 miles away.  Its going to take time and supplies, but hell, so does everything else I do.

So everything gets put on the back burner until this is done next week.

Shop will go into vacation mode on Friday, May 16, 2014.  It will reopen on Saturday May 17.

That is all for now, will have pictures sporadically when I have time.

If you are in the Dallas area and wish to attend the Burlesque Bust Out event, you can purchase tickets through HERE!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

New Japanese Fabrics

SO! Some of you may know that my sister lives in Australia right now, and for my birthday she and my mother are sending me pieces of the two beautiful fabrics I have pictured.  You can click the picture to see the original size and the details of the prints.
These are obi textiles, silk brocade, very expensive.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with them yet.  I am always open to suggestion!
Ornament balls seems like a waste, I would never use all that fabric on something like that.  But a large kanzashi or a hairband or cuff bracelet might be nice.  Even a barrette. 

I have been working a new style of kiku temari that isn't coming out so well.  Instead of laying one string on top another as you stitch, i was going to slip one underneath and make more of a spindle appearance.  But the guidelines have moved, of course, and now I am not sure if the end result will make it in the shop.  Honestly I am very disappointed that I couldn't keep this one together.  I am usually quite good at the kiku.

I have started thread wrapping the leaves to the chrysanthemum bridge.  Thought I would never get back to that one, did you?  Well, its back underway and the leaves are over half done.  Then i will wrap the kikus and attach the leaves as a single piece before mounting.  that way I only have five main stems to wrap the final frame around.

I am also looking into using less copper wire and more coated brass wire. The brass is stronger and less flexible, and will be good for frames and stems for multi flowered pieces.  I can hopefully use lighter gauges of wire to make the pieces less heavy.

Now, I am going to go enjoy my birthday today!!!!