Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kanzashi Peony

The kanzashi peony, or botan, seems to have two different forms. Both involve rounded petals, of course, but there are different kinds, you know? Both forms are beautiful, so here are some examples.

First, the more common one, I think. This composition of two flowers and a bud is from Magpie Creations on Etsy. Helen and I love its romance, delicate coloring, layered petals.....

Here's a slightly different interpretation from Polished Kanzashi on Etsy. We love the coloration, the beautiful vintage chirimen silk, and of course the trademark handmade clay stamens....

OK, now for the other form. These gathered-looking petals are made by AtelierKanawa on Etsy. We love the hand-dyed fabric and the very rounded, luxurious petals.....

OK, now for Helen's very first botan. Helen had to spend some months figuring out how to make a gathered-looking, rounded petal. While she clearly did not use the same method as the above peony, the petals are still quite round and broad......

Helen used habutai silk and a yellow jade bead for her peony. It is not yet mounted on any hardware, so it can be a hair accessory or it here!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

More Styrofoam

This one's just a quickie. Some months ago, Helen waxed on and on about ways to finish your kanzashi flowers. She came up with a hare-brained EZ method of creating a flower center from styrofoam covered with the fabric you've been using. Here's a little example of that first one she did:

Not bad for an amateur. Buy 'em here Now, I'm going to give you a tip, if you're interested in doing this little trick. Shape your styrofoam center with a pair of scissors....not the good ones for fabric, but some less good ones. The ones you use to cut paper. The scissors just seem to give you enhanced control, and the shape might come out a little more regular, if that's what you're into. Here's Helen's latest:

Here, she has covered the center with the reverse of the fabric, a nice effect you can try, too. Or buy it here

Friday, January 11, 2013

Kanzashi Headbands

Happy New Year! It's January, and I'm cold, but I'm continuing to feel better, even playing every day with twist ties and a funny ball that rolls in unexpected ways. Boy, I wasn't interested in that last fall! I still hate the subcutaneous fluids that Helen has to give me twice a week, but at least she has found ways to make me more comfortable....making the fluid warmer, and so forth.

Helen decided to start the new year with her first kanzashi headbands. They are both intended to evoke the image of the crown of laurel leaves that a Greek goddess would wear, or something. Here's one in black dupioni silk.....

Dupioni silk works beautifully for this kind of leaf design. Since rounded flower petals in dupioni can get a bit squooshed, Helen decided to layer them, for added oomph.