Friday, August 10, 2012

My First Blog Post


I am Sadie the Snowball Princess, and I am a cat. I live with Helen, who makes these fabric hair accessories, and I told her that I would blog about them, since Helen doesn't seem to want to do it herself. Helen has been mainly making kanzashi lately. Want to know what that is?

Tsumami kanzashi are traditional Japanese flower hair accessories, originally worn by maiko, or geisha-in-training. Kanzashi flowers were usually made from old kimonos, which means silk, most of the time. They can also be made from other fabrics, such as cotton and linen. If you're cheating a bit, you can try making them from synthetics. Helen has a design made from fine wool, a pin-striped fabric given to her by Janine (J9), her seamstress/organic farmer friend who lives in the countryside. J9 makes a lot of men's garments....suits, ties, dress shirts, and gives Helen the remnants, for which Helen is eternally grateful!

Anyway, back to kanzashi. They are usually flowers. You make the flowers one petal at a time. It can be slow and tedious. There's the traditional way, and there's Helen's way. You are supposed to glue the petals; Helen hand-sews them. You are supposed to use rice paste to glue the petals together; Helen uses a hot-glue gun, because she is impatient. It's a slow art, and it takes time to understand the huge diversity of what you can do with it. Kanzashi makers are fabulously inventive!

All this writing has got me pooped! I need a nap, but first I'll post a few photos so that you can get some idea of what I'm talking about. Oh, I see I already have. Here's a set of bridal combs made from vintage kimono silk that Helen's pal Jason's aunt gave to her. Three kinds of petals are represented here. Helen usually likes to sew beads in the center of her flowers, and she doesn't like manufactured stamens, which many kanzashi makers use. These beads are blue jade.

All right, nap time. More tomorrow, or something.


  1. Hi Sadie, a.k.a. Snowball Princess! I'm very impressed not only with your beautiful white coat, but also with your prose. Your owner Helen is very lucky to have such a talented cat. (She's no slouch in the Kanzashi flower department, either.) Keep up the great posts!


  2. Thanks, Joana! I'm brand new at this, so it must be beginner's luck. Now I have to figure out how to do a blogroll, so I can add your blog to it. I'm pretty sure it should be possible with blogspot. I wish I could have an RSS feed, so people could subscribe, but I don't know if blogspot will do that. Much to learn!