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.

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Phoenix Piece In Process!

First Attempt
      So I have been working this phoenix piece, trying to recreate a sort of mish-mash between a crane kanzashi and my original phoenix piece I tried years ago.  I have completed the frame, which is all thread wrapped wire.  The head, neck, and feet are all Rayon 40w Machine emobridery thread, and the tail is the nylon crochet thread I like the use for the bira bira
       The wings you see below are the new set and they are HUGE.   I have made them proportional to the tail length but at the same time they are at least 3.5 to 4 inches in width.  Not only that, but I have used up the last of my red chirimen in order to make this piece.  I even have two different colors of red in there, the china red and the dark red.  But frankly you can't tell unless you look very closely at the real piece.  I still have one more row of rounded petals I want to place around the neck to make it more full and to hide the underneath better.
New Wings
    Though I have made enough sales lately between custom orders and random items that I put in a new chirimen order! It should arrive next week I hope, so that I can have more red (and some other colors) to finish these wings off.  Meanwhile I will be working on the tail, which is the same colors at the original piece. 
     Seeing as this baby is HUGE i am going to have to eventually try again on a much smaller piece that I can handle better.  But it was fun to try a bird again.  Cranes are awesome too but I didn't have enough white to pull something like that off.  (I will once this new order come in.)

     I have a few more ideas on things I am going to make.  I am going to spend some time making stock items to build up some inventory for not only the TZArtisan shop but my own as well.  I also have that big stock of new prints I got from Ariel, the TZArtisan team leader, and the barrette forms and things I want to play with.  I still have that mizuhiki to try out, and I want to do some Christmas pieces.  I'm not sure I will get it all done this year, though. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Working Slowly, but Making Progress

New Piece
 Things have been progressing slowly, but coming along well.  I finished a new piece seen on the left, and it was a fun piece to make. I have started a new piece after this one, a nice phoenix. I have almost finished the frame for the head and neck, tail, and legs.  I should have enough fabric for the tail, and hopefully the wings.  Not really sure about that one though. 

 Other things I have been working on is a major donation to the Japanese-American Society of Chicago, who invited me in on their annual Holiday Gala and Silent Auction.  I am extremely excited!!!!
I am shipping off two of my best kanzashi, along with a batch of my new business cards!!! (which was a complete pain.) THe front came out great and the back is a little dark. But I ordered 500 to start and I am going to be passing these things out like crazy.  So there's that.
New Business Card Front!

Other big thing is that I have started a pintrest account! Mainly because saving all these pictures that inspire me to my drop box is killing me.  I dont distribute them, and they are only for my visual inspiration.  But its getting to be a huge file. 

Pintrest has been great in a variety of my artistic aspects.  I get to look at hair styles, which most of them I can't use because my hair is WAY too long.  Like it's all the way down my back kind of long.  But the international display of kanzashi is mesmerizing.  I dont think I could do all of them, the botan petal is only good with silk, though I might try that soon.  I do have some silk lying around. All the color styles, mix of traditional and neo-traditional mixed with kimono specific themes, it is mesmerizing.

Photos are on hold for now, which means no new shop product for a bit.  My table was confiscated for family use (again) and I need a new one but since I have spent so much on business cards and boxes for kanzashi donations and shipping things lately, not to mention a new huge print chirimen rayon order, I am out of funds again. But I have a lot of new supplies like barrette forms (rectangle and oval) and a ton of new inspiration. 

Shipments will be on hold next weekend, as I am going on another camping trip with my daughter.  Should be a blast.  I hope it's not too crazy.  The last one was pretty crazy.  I will have to pack food for this one, since of the meals is not provided. but they have working refrigerators so I think I am going to be ok.