Kanzashi In Bloom: 20 Simple Fold-and-Sew Projects to Wear and Give by Diane Gilleland
Book Site: kanzashi-in-bloom.com
Diane’s Site: craftypod.com
I’m so excited that we are the first stop in Diane Gilleland’s blog tour for her new book, Kanzashi In Bloom: 20 Simple Fold-and-Sew Projects to Wear and Give. Diane is well-known for her mulit-craft talents and for her podcast/blog, Crafty Pod. In true Diane form, this book does not disappoint! I didn’t know much about Kanzashi before this book and Diane gives you the perfect 101 to this beautiful art form before you dive into specific projects. Learn the history of Kanzashi in Japan and then dive into the core techniques of how to make and design a flower. Once you have the essentials down, Diane gives you 20 projects you can make from hair ornaments, jewelry, brooches, embellishments to clothing, home decor, and more. A few of my favorite projects are pictured above: Fuzzy-Flower Scarf, Flower Garland, and Butterfly Jar toppers. The step-by-step photos (taken by Diane’s mom, Pam) are fantastic and help showcase the intricate details of what to do. I’m looking forward to making projects from the book for friends and family. I’m even thinking I can get a jump start on the process of making holiday gifts with this book!
Guess what dear readers? Three lucky people will win a copy of this book! Just leave a comment to this post telling us why you want this book! (Make sure to include your email address in the form field so we can contact you. Won’t be published.) Deadline for comments is Thursday, July 23rd at Noon PST. Good luck!
Read on for my interview with Diane and find out more about Kanzashi In Bloom and her tips for crafting.
Natalie: Tell me more about the art of Kanzashi in Japan and your new book, Kanzashi in Bloom. Why this craft is so special to you?
Diane: Kanzashi have a very long history, but you can still see them in Japan today. Geisha and their apprentices (known as Maiko) wear elaborate hair ornaments, adorned with handmade silk flowers.
The traditional form of this craft is fascinating to watch, by the way – check out this video by Kuniko Kanawa, a modern Kanzashi master. I love the look of traditional Kanzashi, but in my book, I’m taking a simplified approach to the craft, so it’s more accessible to crafters of all skill levels.
I love this craft because it’s so addictive and fun. The process of making a flower is very simple, but the results are so impressive. And in the book, I had a great time playing around with making Kanzashi from unusual materials, like felted sweaters, vinyl, and tweed.
Natalie: Your book has so many great projects. What are a couple of your favorites that are perfect for a beginner to get started?
Diane: Well, beginners should have fun trying out the three different petal folds in the book, and then mixing and matching these petals to make a ton of different flower designs. From there, you can simply glue a pin back or a magnet to your flower. Or, you could make a series of flowers and glue them to some ribbon to make a garland.
I also have a simple project in the book for turning a flower into a pendant. That one’s great for beginners.
Natalie: What is your process for creating a craft project?
Diane: It usually starts with a very messy sketchbook, where I’m constantly scribbling random ideas. When some of this scribbling sparks a design, I’ll get busy making a few prototypes, just to see how the materials behave and what challenges come up. (And sometimes, to see how very wrong the idea was in the first place!)
As I’m making, I’m also writing notes on how I can best translate the design into easy steps. And then, I break out my trusty light box and photograph each step of the process.
Natalie: As a well-versed crafter, can you share with us a crafting tip for something you do or use all the time?
Diane: This will sound odd, but my favorite craft material of all time is low-tack painter’s tape. I use it constantly. You can use it to hold an applique in place while you sew it, and then the tape peels away without any marks. It’s dandy for holding jewelry pieces in place while you’re gluing – I just place a strip face up on my work surface, and then set the jewelry on the adhesive. It stays put without tipping over. Painter’s tape is also a great way to anchor a paper-weaving project, or a collage – it peels right off of paper without tearing it. And it’s cheap!
Natalie: What are some of the upcoming projects you are working on for Crafty Pod?
Diane: At the moment, I’m working hard on the next installment in my ebook series on craft-blogging. I’m also working on this probably crazy sculpting idea using stiffened fabric and buttons. It’ll either be really cool or really disastrous — I can’t tell which yet. And not long from now, the CraftyPod podcast will reach its 100th episode! So I’m brewing up some plans for that, too.
Thanks for talking with us, Diane! Congrats on your new book and good luck for the rest of your blog tour!