Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hide My Heart Ⅱ

There are two more purses in my "Hide My Heart" series. This is the second one I am going to share today. I had this cool woven "Cross" pattern upholstery fabric. I played a bit with the pattern with some cross stitching. This is the same technique as chicken scratch. Using one of the colors in the base fabric pattern for stitching, and cross out over the other colors to make the hidden hearts appear. I used dark brown floss to cross stitch over lighter colored crosses. Do you see my hidden hearts on the purse now?

I lined three small hearts on the back of the purse.

Added some crystals to embellish the hearts.


From here this is a brand new project I am working on right now. I am drawing roses with needle and thread!! I want to make it look like a fine pen drawing. So I use only one strand of #25 embroidery floss. I have tried two strands and other stitches and I didn't like them. Finally I found the right way. It is a time consuming project but also fun to make it as I hope by trial and error (only when it doesn't have deadline, I guess :p).

It has been three weeks after schools resumed. The Spring semester of Nina's ballet class just started yesterday and the school play practice will be starting on Friday (Nina got a lead role in the play!! We are so excited!)...... Looks like our life has finally come back to the routine. There are some new things going on in our house as well. We started remodeling the master bath a couple of weeks ago. I cannot wait to finish this project and take a wonderful soaking bath (it will be Japanese style!) in the beautiful room. I am afraid that will be a few month away from now.......

Thank you for reading. I hope you all started a good week. Happy embroidering!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hide My Heart Ⅰ

I finished three purses for Valentine's day.  The theme is "Hidden Heart". This purse is one of them. Well, in this one the hearts are not really well hidden (;p), though. The long chain handle allows you to use this as a shoulder bag or a cross-body purse. I combined felt applique, beads and wool stitches together on a wool fabric which has some gold sparkles in it.

This bag is available to purchase this month at the local vintage boutique Junk Evolution in East Bank, South Bend.
Thank you for visiting. Please have a nice weekend. Happy bag making!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Made Gifts

Since Thanksgiving day was very close to the end of November and I was helping the costume sewing for the Nutcracker production of Nina's ballet school, it was so hard to manege the time for making Holiday gifts for the teachers and friends. We barely finished the gifts for Nina's ballet teachers by the last lessons. I also wanted to give some hand bags for my friends who have been really helpful for years. I couldn't make it by Christmas but I finished it just a couple of days ago and finally gave the bags to the friends.

For this one below, I used some remnants of Kimono fabrics from the bags I made for December consignment. This friend, the recipient of this gift told me she liked the fabric when she saw that. I made it with a kiss lock frame and a chain handle. Kimono silks are good enough for formal occasions.

The main fabric for the next one is a felted old Nordic sweater. Felting a sweater (it has to be made of  100% wool) is pretty simple. I wash a sweater with hot water and laundry detergent in my washing machine then dry in my dryer. I used a pair of leather handles and a aluminum tubular spring frame. The felted thick fabric and leather handles made this bag durable. It opens wide and has a large bottom gusset so this bag can hold a lot of things.

These women live sustainable lives enjoyably. They are very good at giving new lives to old things. The way how they live is a good example for people including myself who want to live greener without any pressure. Reusing old Kimono and sweaters is a perfect gift theme for them.

From here I am going to show the items Nina and I made together for her teachers. These two cosmetic pouches below are the gifts for Nina's ballet teachers. Nina did cross stitched their initials for the first time! I think they look great for the first time.

This one is for Nina's music teacher. She has a beautiful black cat so we made a tree ornament of a cute black kitten. Nina designed the face and I embroidered it on a piece of felt.

We are so glad that all the recipients were very happy!! Did you make handmade Holiday gifts? Thank you for reading. Please have a great Sunday!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year everyone!! I am so grateful that in 2014 my family has been all safe and healthy. And I had a very busy full year both in my private life and the crafty world. We had the beautiful no-snow first day of 2015 (Wow! it is so rare!! I don't really mind having a green Christmas and a new year day once in a while ^o^).

We spent a very quiet day in the house with only three of us. We had an annual, traditional Japanese new year meal for a brunch. I only prepared a bit of dishes this year but it was good enough for three of us. I am trying to modify our special new year meal adapting to our lifestyle and taste. I think I will add some more non-traditional dishes which everybody loves.

I don't make new year's resolutions. But one thing in blogging, I'll try to post more craft tips and tutorials this year. Let's keep crafting and having fun friends! And of course, I wish all of you a healthy and wonderful new year!! ox

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dainty and Sophisticated. Jewelry for her.

My daughter's ballet "the Nutcracker" production has opened last Saturday and it goes on until Sunday. It is the busiest time of the year for us. Especially this year is the craziest because I am volunteering much more as a seamstress than I was in any past years. Plus, I needed to finish numbers of items for consignment and also my writing deadline was yesterday. Oh my goodness, I barely accomplished the last two missions by yesterday. Though sewing hooks onto tutus, altering soldier dolls' uniforms and Arabian dancers beaded belts, etc....are still going on until tonight (hopefully!).

After all, fortunately this morning I am able to take breath and have time to finish sharing my recent work with you. I made lots of new bracelets.  This time I focused on Macrame technique using delicate strings and beads. The finished bracelets look dainty and sophisticated. I am happy with the result. I hope these will be given to precious women this Holiday season. I would love to see these on their wrists.

These tiny crocheted necklaces are not my newest line for this season. But they are still shining and perfect for wearing on the white Christmas day.

The felt flower brooches are already gone!! This year it seems my stuff are going fast. (^^)

We had lots of snow in November but there is none right now. This morning my daughter just said she wants some snow for her Nutcracker production week. I think, I can survive without having  White Christmas once in years. ;p

I hope you have a good weekend. Please stay warm. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Kimono textile totes

Hello folks! Like I wrote in the last post, today I am going to share the photos of two Tote bags made with Japanese antique and vintage Kimono textiles. I patched several Kimono remnants together and embellished them with Sashiko and beads. I hope that gave some interesting elements to these bags.

The tote #1, I used three different Kimono silks. I picked red and green Japanese medium weight cottons to combine with those beautiful Kimono silks. Because there are red and green in the design of the silks. But just now, I found that's a Christmas color combination!! Which I have never meant it.

One side. I love this beautiful flower pattern. Chrysanthemums and Japanese apricot flowers are symbols of happiness and longevity. The leather handles are firmly attached with hand stitches.

The other side. I added simple Sashiko stripes on the cotton. This side looks very different from the other side. It is like you have two different bags in this one tote.

The Tote #2 (below). This is made with cottons and linens. It is not as fancy as silk fabrics but I like the natural, artless feeling of the woven (Kasuri) patterns.

This is the other side (below). I stitched tiny beads along the stripes. The cotton for the lining is not an antique or vintage. But it has a Japanese traditional arrow motif called "Ya-gashuri". I also added two strings on the sides. By tying the strings you can make the bag compact. The shape of the bag transforms into a cube(ish). Both totes have magnetic closures.

I love to play with patchwork. Especially when I pick out fabrics to put together. When I only have limited amount of materials, sometimes I find very interesting fabric combinations that I have never thought of . Since my collection of antique/vintage Kimono textile is not so big. But I like it. It is like solving a subtle puzzle.

I will write about some jewelries I made recently next time. It is shocking to me that Thanksgiving comes in only two days. It seems my time flies faster than others'!! I hope you all in the US have a safe, happy Thanksgiving. Folks in other places in the world, please have a beautiful week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Many items are ready for local Holiday gift shoppers!!

Hello there!! How have you been?

I cannot believe it is still before Thanks Giving. Because we have this much of snow(!!) since last Thursday. It is unusual. We all feel like it's already Christmas time. Many schools in Michigan close to the state border were closed yesterday. (Our schools in South Bend IN weren't.)

It has been super cold BUT I am not hibernating yet!! (Sorry for being so quiet for long time.) I have been working so so hard to produce many items for consignment. They are now all on sale at our fabulous local vintage boutique JUNK EVOLUTION. I am the artist of the month and they prepared this beautiful large table for me. I set up all the stuff I brought in yesterday and it looks fantastic!

I will introduce you my new bags and jewelries in consecutive three posts. Today I am going to share the photos of my embroidered mini totes. Those embroideries may look familiar to you from my posts in the past. I hope you'll enjoy it!

Next I will share other bags which are featuring Japanese Kimono textile. Stay tuned.