Monday, June 27, 2016

Why Can't People Just Be Nice??

It's been a trying and emotional time the past few weeks and I have not had much time to keep up with the store or making any crafts.

I received a personal attack from another kanzashi artisan from china, accusing me of stealing her style of kanzashi and copying her pieces.  Not only was she rude and accusatory, she made me realy question whether or not I should continue making pieces.  I already started that pink and purple with print one and have the shidare petaled but not assembled.  I'm almost exactly in the middle of creating this piece, and she threw this at me.  I was devastated. I was hurt.  And frankly it pissed me off.

I'll have you know I am going to make the piece no matter what she does. And if Etsy declares to shut down my store, then let them.  I'll take it to storenvy.  Because I do not "copy" other people's pieces.  My materials, my work is my own.  They may be similar but no artisan actually makes the same piece.  They are all different and unique because each artisan is unique. At no time is an artisan allowed to lash out at another artist or artisan. It's rude and unprofessional.

Then I started the week long trek into hell for my husband's grandfather's memorial service.  Which was lovely, but after over 24 hours of driving time in a week, I am exhausted.  I am emotionally shot, and I am weary.  It's written all over my face.  And the photo shoot is this Saturday.  I haven't even fitted the kimono, and I have a photo shoot to do.  Nor have I finished making the pine needle kanzashi.  I haven't touched it. Ugh.

I did some shopping on my personal vacay before this all went down.  Picked up some neat fabrics for more headbands and a few other things.  I am still waiting on my flower stamens from Thailand.  It's been over a month now, and I am starting to worry.  We shall see if it comes in the next few weeks.

I also picked up a few more sewing books, including a few of ben's grandmother's books on crafting dolls and other things.  It sounded like fun.  She had a lot of needle point but I am just not into grids, lol.  I need more freedom than that.

I also picked up a cute little game on Steam game engine, it's a hirigana RPG game to teach you the fundamental sof hirigana characters in Japanese.  It's super cute, and I admit I am hooked.  It's just plain constructive fun, and I hate feeling like I am wasting my time on something when nothing comes from it.  I love RPGs though, and this one is just me wrapped up in a game engine.

 That's the updates for now.  I am taking the next week to recover and prepare for the upcoming photo shoot on Saturday.  Then I am getting back to kanzashi.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Life Updates and Upcoming Shop Vacation

It never stops. 

Major personal events have occured over the past week.

First off, my son's namesake (My husband's maternal grandfather) passed away.  It was a hard loss. 
The next day I received confirmation of my antibody test results.  After an 8 year downhill spiral I finally have evidence of a Type 1 diabetic status. Its an emotional time, since this is not something that would be celebrated normally, but after trying to push and receive this confirmation or any confirmation of what is actually going on for EIGHT years, this is a joyous sense of closure. 

Store stuff:

Despite the stressful and emotional week, I am finding comfort in the many warm condolences I have received after my son's namesake passed, and settling back into kanzashi.  I've started a new bouquet piece, just because it is something I am familiar with.  It the creamy printed chirimen I usually use for pink and pearl pieces.  This one is print with pink and wisteria purple (basically a deep lavender), and yellow-green for leaf accent. I already have 2 large blossoms (one medium kiku, and one double sakura), several small flowers with stamen centers, 2 buds, and a couple of flower/leaf combo for filler.  I want to make a piece or two more, possibly add a bira bira to this one, plus a shidare. 

I have adored making these big varied bouquets.  It is complicated enough to hold my interest and really elaborate on the diversity of my accomplishments.  I feel like it's a big step, artistically, yet it seems easier to make these than some of the other things I have tried to come up with on my own. 

I also bought and received several new Japanese craft books! I have one on chirimen work I have wanted for some time, and another on Japanese paper cords, or mizuhiki.  I am super, duper excited about the mizuhiki pattern book.  It is also often incorporated in kanzashi, as decoration or leaf patterns for bulb flowers such as narcissus, iris, and daffodil.

Right now my family has packed up and left me for a personal vacation.  I am hoping to finish several projects I have planned, but I dont know the feasibility of that many goals. Right now I am procrastinating on the shidare for the new bouquet, and it might wait until tomorrow.  Not certain yet. But I have that with my obijime still going strong, my pine needle kanzashi needs some work, and I am hoping to sew a dress for my daughter before the memorial service in the next couple of weeks.

Speaking of memorial services, I will be forced to close the shop and move it to vacation status since the memorial service will be in new mexico and I wont be able to ship anything. 

I also did some tie dying with my daughter this week to support her website, Kara and Friends.  I have only just got her shop up and running with almost no inventory. The tie dye shirts were suppose to be part of her new inventory, but they came out KINDA poor.  The colors held ok, but the centers of the swirl patterns didn't get much dye, if any.  Most of them are still pretty white on the outside.  I am going to put a logo on them and send them out to friends and family at this point.  But it was a lot of work and I dont think I even want my daughter around next batch I do.  She basically sat around while I did all the work.  Next batch will be better I hope.  But this one, not so much.

I am still going through lots of supplies these days. I am in the middle of sewing myself a dress, but I dont think i it is going to fit, just a size or two too small.  But I am ok with that, so no matter.  It was nice to use my new presser feet and work on the machine for a while.  It is also one of my goals for this weekend.  That and to try on my kimono for fitting.  And to get my house clean.  And to clean out my kid's toys.  And and and and......

It's going to be a busy week.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Busy Busy and my Headband how to


Things have been busy behind the scenes.  I finished about 10 or 11 hairbands, and they are great.  I wore one out for a day and it was SOOO comfortable.  I have a new favorite headband.

They are pretty simple to make too.  I can cut about 3-4 tops out of a fat quarter, depending on nap. The underlining is a slightly grainy cotton, and it holds even in my super straight thick-fine hair.  I have given one to my daughter to test it's durability, and even though it is a tad loose on her, it fits her well (she is 8 years old).

They are easy to assemble, you just use a template to cut a top and bottom.  I use heavy duty craft interfacing on each side to help it hold it's shape.  Then machine stitch until almost closed with the right sides together and the 7 inch long elastic (3/8" 50/50 poly/rubber) tucked between the right sides.  I machine stitch the end 3 or 4 times to make sure it doesn't get free.
Turn inside out at the other end, stitch the elastic in by hand about a 1/2".  Then top stitch at 1/4 to 1/8 inch on machine, going over those elastic pieces at least 2-3 times.

I want to make more styles of this, with some of the asian brocades I have left over from ornaments.  But I would rather see if these sell first.  I might make one or two more just for design sake.

 I have also listed the 3 kanzashi I had laying around, the rainy day blue/grey/purple and the 2 new thread wrapped bouquets.  Which means I did photos as well. See? Busy.

I am also helping my daughter with something in the crafter department.  She wants to make things to sell for chairty.  I wholeheartedly agreed and we have been building her etsy site.  Will have more details when we are ready to officialy launch.

My pine needle kanzashi is being brought out even though I had to postpone the photo shoot.  We pushed it back to first weekend in July due to technical difficulties that are not anyone's fault.  Just had to be done.  But my obijime is coming along nicely, its at least 8 foot long now.  I expect it will reach 10 easily before it is completed.  But I need to finish the pine needle kanzashi next or i never will.

After the pine needle is done, I am moving on to a few more personal projects.  I am ordering a new line of sewing machine feet so that I can do things I had no idea were possible.  I have a ruffle foot and a walking foot, but this set I am getting has 32 feet.  Quilting, embroidery, overstitch, binding feet, you name it, this set has it.  Except a side cutter and a daisy foot.   But hey, not bad.

Eventually I am going to get into recycling some of these old nasty looking kimono into something beautiful to wear.  Just need more practice before I sew something like silk.  Or as expensive as a kimono.  I also wish i could repair some of the embroidery but I am just not even close to that yet.

I am also going to be making a few items for the TZARTISAN store.   I hope no one forgot about that.  I still need to do some hair sticks  but I want to make a bouquet or two.  And the new wig promo she posted is amazing!  I totally want the flame one.  It rocks.