Kanzashi Wedding Bouquet Tutorial

Although I made many things for our wedding, I think the pièce de résistance that made everything feel so me was the handmade silk kanzashi bouquet. I mean it’s just so bright and silly and happy and colorful! A kanzashi bouquet starts with a whole pile of kanzashi flowers – I had previously made a whole bunch from silk that I hand dyed. What makes them sparkle is a whole bunch of vintage earrings (I got these cheap in a lot since they were all missing their partners), cleaned, with their backs removed. You will also need a hot glue gun, floral wire, fabric for the stems, scraps of felt or fleece, and ribbon. On the top of each flower, hot-glue a vintage earring (already cleaned and with the back removed). Create a bunch of rouleau cord using your favorite technique (a quick google will lead you to a bunch of …


Kanzashi Wall Clock on Sew Mama Sew

I’ve been on a kanzashi flower kick recently, as you might know. My latest kanzashi project is giant size flower I turned into a clock, featured today on Sew Mama Sew. Head on over to see a full tutorial.


Hand Dyed Silk Kanzashi Flowers

A collection of flowers. A panoply of kanzashi flowers. A range of silk flowers. An array of handmade flowers. A multitude of hand-dyed flowers. An assemblage of pink and purple flowers. A lot of flowers. Aren’t they so very bright and happy! And cheerful and fun! Okay, okay, I’ll lay off the thesaurus, I promise. I handmade and hand-dyed each of these flowers from silk noile from Minerva Crafts for my Minerva Craft Blogger project this month. Kanzashi is a Japanese method of folding fabric into individual petals and then sewing them together into flowers. I followed instructions in the book Kanzashi in Bloom by Diane Gilleland. The instructions in the book are great, but it’s worth noting that the vast majority of the book is ideas for using the flowers in projects. Diane has a how-to video on her website that’s a great resource if you want to make …


Goodbye Loretta, Hello Madge

Sometimes growing up is hard to do. For most of my time in San Francisco, I’ve had a little white scooter named Loretta. She represented my feisty, independent, single-gal life. And then I met Adam, and we moved in together, and we got engaged, and he asked me to get rid of Loretta. The request came from a place of love – he would get scared that something would happen to me every time I would ride her. So I agreed, from a place of love and compromise. However, since I sold Loretta last month (pictured above with my 1942 Shirtwaist Dress) and replaced her with a very practical but un-sexy old Subaru (who I just named Madge), I’ve been struggling with the decision. After some deliberation, I figured out that it wasn’t the decision to get rid of Loretta that was bothering me, per se, it was that Madge …

Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Last week I was sent to the east coast to visit collaborators for work.  I decided I would fly out a day early so that I could visit friends in New York. While there, I spent hours wandering through the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens with a friend. The Japanese garden was lovely and tranquil. I enjoyed watching the turtles and koi in the murky green water. I was taken by this bright red flower. So bold, so bright, so cheery. I believe it was from the onion/garlic family, which I found surprising as I think of those blossoms as being puff balls, not striking individual petals like this one. Inside of the building hosting the different world climates, there was an atrium that had flower sculptures hanging from each of the roof windows. I loved this one, not just because it was bright pink, but because of how bold it was …