Kanzashi in Bloom
If you’re looking for something different among the host of new sewing and craft books, look no further than Diane Gilleand (aka Sister Diane of Craftypod) for her new book, Kanzashi in Bloom. The book explains the art of making traditionaly Japanese flowers, but with a modern (read: easier) slant.
To begin, Diane shares some history and interesting facts about Kanzashi, the way they were traditionally used to communicate status among geishas, and where the art is at today (only 15 acknowledged masters of the art remain, wow!). She also showcases some of the lovely kanzashi flowers being made today.
Next, Diane walks you through the process of making kanzashi with beautiful step by step photos that are clear and easy to understand. Personally, I love a good step by step photo, especially when it comes to this intricate craft. And Diane leaves no step unmentioned- you’ll get to see everything from the folding and trimming to the hot glue gun, plus suggestions on how to fix any mistakes you might make along the way. It’s as close as you can get to having someone sitting there showing you how to make these lovely flowers.
I like how she shows you how mixing and matching sizes, shapes and fabrics on petals can create different flowers. For each project, she suggests what size and shape petals work best, but I love the open-ended nature of the projects. Each person’s rendition has the capacity to be totally unique!
And then, of course, Diane explores the ways you can use these flowers as adornments in all sorts of projects! Not only does she show you how to make the flowers with everything from quilting cotton to recycled neck ties and vinyl, she has created a wealth of ways to showcase them, so you get some patterns and tips on everything from jewelry making to creating a custom cozy for your teapot. There are a lot of great gift ideas in here, and I think I finally found a new craft that (a) doesn’t require me to purchase anything I don’t already have and (b) will give my scrap bucket a new lease on life!
I have one copy of Diane’s book to giveaway to a reader of my blog. Leave a comment telling me why you’d like to learn to make kanzashi (or how you would apply them) by next Wednesday at Midnight mountain time, and I’ll draw a winner shortly thereafter. And be sure to check out the book website and Diane’s blog, too!