Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Alvin's Wedding

A while ago, a guy contacted Helen about kanzashi boutonnieres that he wanted for his wedding in September. Helen and Alvin emailed each other quite a bit, discussing the merits of various fabrics, shapes, colors, etc. Alvin eventually settled on a particular design, and Helen made 8 lapel flowers for him. Here are some of the photos she took of her process.

First, cutting fabrics with a rotary cutter and a cutting board. We used a lavender kimono silk that came from Helen's Kanzashi Fairy Godmother in Japan (it was in the box I'm sitting on, in the above photo!) and a silver grey dupioni silk that Helen got from Patrice . Helen used 2.25 inch squares for the lavender, and 1.5 inch squares for the grey.

Helen decided to sew these petals, because she would be adding pearl beads later, and it's way easier to sew beads into the center of a flower that doesn't have rice glue on the petal edges. Here are all the petals ready to go.....

Next, petals glued into 4-petal flowers....

Pearls sewn into centers with nylon beading cord......

.......leaves added, and flowers mounted on tie tack findings.

So, that was fun, and Helen is hoping to find more grooms and groomsmen! Meanwhile, Helen started participating in a thing called the Creative Badass Challenge . It is one month full of difficult things to do and think about, aimed at helping creative business owners to work better. One of the challenges was was about getting messy, throwing caution to the winds, making something that we are not intending to sell. Helen decided to try making a flower that has a different fabric for every petal. She was worried that the different textures would be a problem, but a chrysanthemum-shaped flower seems to be able to handle that OK. Here's what she came up with....

This flower is all silk....chirimen, charmeuse, habutai, different vintage kimono silks, and a couple things we don't know what to call. A chartreuse jade bead is in the center, and the flower is mounted on a tie tack finding. Buy it here.


  1. Hi Helen,

    I just sent you a comment, but it seems to have disappeared into cyberspace. Maybe it will appear in your blog inbox? Anyway, just testing this "comment" out to see what happens to it.

    XOX - Joana

  2. Ok, so obviously my OTHER (real) comment was lost. Argh. Anyway, what I wanted to say is that I might take on the Creative Badass Challenge, myself...sounds intriguing. However, I have a marathon week (16 services between tomorrow and next Sunday with Royal Ballet) so I'll have to table the idea for now. How far in the challenge are you? Are you finding the majority of the tasks to be helpful?

    I love the lavender lapel pins you created for your client Alvin. Did the wedding happen yet? Did he send you photos?

    Keep up the great work, dearie!
    XOX - Joana

    1. Hi, Joana! Some things about the Badass Challenge are helpful, some not. The very first thing was sort of awful. And there's one task that I haven't made time to do (create an email already have one of those, I think). It's free, in any case. I think the best thing is that it helps to build up our general courage, and that's something anyone can use!
      Alvin's wedding is in September, and I hope he will send some photos!
      Also, I just got an offer from a new thing called Spreesy, which allows you to sell directly on Instagram. I think it is maybe competing with Etsy and other online sellers, as there are no fees involved, other than PayPal's cut. Seems to be an invention of PayPal. Will try and let you know! There's an app to install.
      Holy moly, 16 services!!! Get some rest.