31 July 2011

Nigiri needle felt

I have recently caught the bug for needle felting so I brought a kit of my good friend Katie Chaplin from Japan Craft and off I felted!

My first attempt you saw was a little star but here is my latest creation!

They were beginning to make me feel hungry when I finished them, I had to have lunch or these would have disappeared down my mouth.

What do you think about them? Would you like to see them in my store?

Please feel free to comment ^_^

20 July 2011

Another photo from Photoshoot.

Sian from Sian Robertson Photography has just released another photo from the geisha photoshoot.

This one really feel lovely and shows off Jade Orchid natural beauty. It also shows off my kanzashi perfectly!

Update time!

My My where does the time go?

So I have a post for Yorkshire Cosplay Convention on the 2 July and the photoshoot on the 14 July. What else have I been doing with my life.

Well for the last month or so, my friend and I have been organising a Kimono Fashion Show for Hyper Japan!

Although the planning was not particularly hard, pulling all the bits and pieces together was tricky. Getting the MUA/hairstylist, model and then organising their time just made me a bundle of nerves because I'm a natural worrier. However it seems everything is going well.

So the checklist so far!
  1. Models have been picked and contacted.
  2. Kimono outfits co-ordinated and assigned to models.
  3. Found MUA/hairstylists (actually found 3!).
  4. Confirmed show time.
  5. Organised passes for all involved.
  6. Sorting out a table for Kimono De Jack UK.
So what is left to do?
  1. Find a map to put onto the table so people can pin their location for future reference when we are organising KDJ meetups.
  2. Pack all my stuff together so I know what bag to bring down with me.
I think that is it? Well I hope it is!


Life takes an interesting turn sometimes and last Thursday was one of those days.

For a while my friend and I have been talking about putting our kimono collection and knowledge to use by becoming kimono stylist.

So started off with volunteering to put on a fashion show at Hyper Japan which is all underway.

Then I heard about model mayhem. This is a site dedicated to people who want to get into the fashion industry. At this site, people will get together to organise photoshoots to build up experience and portfolio. Sounds goods doesn't it so I setup a profile.

Anyway a couple of weeks ago, I was sent a message from a photographer who wanted to do a geisha photoshoot and was about to give up hope in finding a suitable stylist until they found me. Anyway I sent her a couple of photos of my previous work and she loved it.

Fast forward a few days and the 14 July was the day. Getting the train wasn't too bad despite I was getting to the middle of nowhere.

The location was lovely a beautiful castle set in a rural village. Really a perfect place to hold a wedding.

So the day started with hair and makeup which took the longest and it wasn't until 13.00 till the models were ready for dressing. Finally hours of practicing with my miffy paid off as I got the models dressed in 20 mins or so and it is interesting when you dress other people. The main problem I have is the busom area because of the amount of movement. However the padding around the waist did stop the juban from moving which mean the kimono could sit nicely on top. I was even able to add some of my kanzashi into the hairstyles.

Once I dressed them all up, it was time for the photos.

Here is Jade wearing my lovely pale green houmongi, Sian (the photographer) wanted a traditional look and with the help of Gavin (makeup) and Warren (hair), I think she wasn't disappointed. I love the elegant look that Jade has and the little green kanzashi really brings out the traditional look well.

In contrast to the traditional look, Sian wanted a modern styling as well and this is the one where all of us went full out on Vera. She just rocked the cute kimono with the lace trimming and I'm know looking for other kimono that I can improve with a little bit of haberdashery. And if you are wondering what kanzashi she is wearing here, it was one that I made 3-4 years ago for a friend's wedding. It is so flamboyant that I haven't been able to wear it again but for some reason it just fitted in so well with this look.

Don't the photos look great and I can't wait to get the rest of them!

Of course now this is over, it is time to concentrate on hyper japan!

Yorkshire Cosplay Con - 2 July 2011

I was suppose to post this ages ago but my mind has been a bit slow recently so I have only just got round to posting this now.

Anyway, there is always something daunting about using the local transport links of an unknown town and the 2 July adventure is in Doncaster. Getting to Doncaster was easily enough, Sheffield is only a stone throw away from Doncaster so trains were regular but the buses hmmmm I wasn't so sure on. So after following the signs for the bus interchange, wandering around for the correct stand and then fiddling around for the correct change, I'm on my way to the Dome.

Pretty uneventful but with a hint of fear that you are going the wrong way I managed to get to the dome without too much hassle.

The venue itself was quite nice and the convention took up 3 of the conference rooms available.

Katie from Japan Craft was kind enough to give me some space on her table for my kanzashi and for that I helped her run her stall when wanted to see her daughter cosplay.

So my impression of the event. It was an intimate convention where people came to make friends and show off their costumes. No one was taking it to serious so it was a relax atmosphere. The main age group was under 20's so Ebony (Katie's daughter) loved it. However if you were a serious cosplayer I think you would have been disappointed. There were stalls selling manga and anime but although we both sold some items and we attracted plenty of interest there wasn't the purchasing power that would exist in a major convention.

However there was a lot of interest and I can see this organiser arranging a much bigger event if a larger venue was found.

Whether it would be suitable for my craft remains to be seen.

4 July 2011

Tsuke Obi Construction time!

I have so many things on my To Do list that this got pushed to the last minute.

I own two tsuke obi and they are a great thing to have in your kimono wardrobe because they are easy to put on. However they are a pain to buy because they don't exist on the internet unless you know how to read Japanese (which I don't). Therefore the solution to all clothing issue is to make it.

Here is my fabric brought from Ikea. Yes you read right, Ikea! Not only it is a great place to waste your life in but also a great place to buy some funky fabric cheaply.

So using this tsuke obi as a guide, I took the plunge and cut the fabric!

There are three bits. The right piece is for the waist part, middle part is the otaiko musubi part and then the left part is the tare of the otaiko musubi that you pass through. Don't worry it will all become clear!

All that is left to cut is the ties. For my first time I used some grey grosgrain ribbon and I cut 4 pieces of 60 cms in length. The ribbon is much longer then necessary but it is better to be safe then sorry.

The first bit I sewed is the tare bit of the otaiko that is threaded through the musubi. This is pretty easy, sew three sides but leave one end opened so you can turn it out.

The second part I tackled is the waist part. The sewing here is pretty much the same as above except this time the opening is on the long side because I had to sew in the ribbons.

Finally the third and most complicated part, the otaiko bit. Taking the very first piece you sewed up and turning it inside out and the ribbon, you now need to arranged the piece as follows.

First align the ribbon where you want the makura to be situated and pin the ribbon in place.

Now you need to place the tare. DO NOT I repeat, DO NOT do what I did here.

If you do this then when you turn it inside out, the tare will not face the right way.

Anyway after I corrected my mistake this is the result.

Time to turn everything inside out.

Here is a closeup shots of the otaiko part.

And here is a closeup of the end of the waist band.

Of course all of this needs a good iron! This is also the time to iron the openings up so that they are ready to be sewed up.

Finally to complete your obi, you sew up the openings and voilĂ ! Your obi is complete.

Here is the black side all nicely folded up, ready for you to pin your badges.

Would people be interested in a detailed tutorial?

And this is the flower side which is nice to wear with a casual komon.

3 July 2011

Lily Love Kanzashi Haircomb

New kanzashi design with a new flower design!

This delicately constructed kanzashi is made from 3 lilies and 2 ume flower using white polyester habutae and is perfect for a vegan bride who wants an accessory that does not compromise her beliefs.

Lily Love measuries 11cms wide by 7cm high and is attached to a plastic haircomb.

This is a vegan friendly kanzashi and I can make in the following colours:
  • Ivory
  • Baby Pink
  • Pale Blue
  • Lilac
  • Pale Yellow
  • Red
  • Royal Blue
  • Green
  • Orange
If there is another colour you would like me to make the flowers from then let me know!

And for those of you who are interested, this kanzashi can also be made using vintage kimono silk. Again just drop me a convo to discuss details as this option will be more expensive.