Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Applique Wool Tote

I finished the Applique Tote yesterday.

I used light blue wool for the gusset.The handles are braided tapes.

The wool on wool felt applique in front, and in back, there is an outside pocket trimmed with Japanese linen/cotton flower print.

I made a zipper slider charm with wool felt. Repeated same motif from the applique. Fun!

Lining is the Japanese linen/cotton again. I love this print. I wish I bought it a lot more in Japan this summer.

 It took longer to sew it up than I expected because of the thickness of the materials. But it turned out very well. It is pretty sturdy and beautifully made.

Actually, I have been preparing to open my own online store for months. It has been going slow though. Right now, I am working pretty hard for it in both physically and mentally. There are always some patterns and designs flying around in my brain. I am going to sell my "one of a kind" handmade stuff and patterns and instructions for crafting. I would like to open the shop as soon as possible. My goal is to make it happen at least in 2010. If I was so good and had enough time, it could be in October.......Hmmmm.......
I will update what is going on anyway. Keep it up Me!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What I have been working on...

.... is Applique!
Right now, I am constructing a tote with this appliqued piece. Somehow, I really wanted to make something with wool felt recently. Probably because of  feeling a hint of Autumn. So I had quite a fun time doing this project this week.

Wool on wool and some cotton/linen fabrics.

Lots of blanket stitches. I layered several materials for giving 3 dimensional effect on this piece.

Then added sequins for giving some sparkles.

The next day of finishing the applique, I took these pictures of my little container garden. I just thought that the dew drops on the plants are so beautiful. I always love having plants around my life. I love to look little changes they show me everyday. And now, I knew where the inspiration of the applique I just finished came from. There are so many things inspire me in my everyday life. I think it is a wonderful thing.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Peony Hand Bag

I made a hand bag with this chic Peony print from my stash. I fell in love with this fabric at first sight. It looks like kind of Japanese Yukata (Cotton Kimono) fabric but actually it is from Joann. I sometimes find a treasure in their Red Tag shelves.

The handles have plastic bone and fleece inside.

The liner is silk from an old "Juban" which is worn under Kimono. In the Kimono culture, people think it is so cool wearing something very stylish underneath even if nobody sees it. I love the colors and a pattern of this silk.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Apple Picking

 We went Apple Picking to a orchard in Michigan last weekend. It was a very warm beautiful day. It seemed we were having the last day of the Summer.

They had 5-6 different kinds of apples. We enjoyed tasting all kinds. All the apples tasted so fresh (of course!) and juicy. What breed of Apple do you like? I like Red and Yellow Delicious pretty much, and my husband's favorite is Gala.

Hey ride to the place we pick apples!

It was a fun and yummy family activity. Thank you Springhope Farm! Next we gotta go pumpkin picking pretty soon. It is the harvest season!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sashiko Tote

Do you remember this Sashiko Messenger Bag? When I did Sashiko embroidery for that messenger bag I also did another Sashiko which has two Japanese cursive alphabets (Hiragana) in the design. I was going to make a tote bag with it. But it has never been crystallized by today. It waited for about half an year, then finally I made a tote bag featuring Hiragana "あ" and "ん".

"あ" is the first letter of the Japanese syllabary just like "A" in English. And "ん" is the last one like "Z". I love the shapes of Hiragana so I always wanted to use them in my design. There are so many ideas for using Hiragana in my mind. I started it with Japanese traditional embroidery Sashiko. When I make something featuring traditional techniques I try to make it look modern and stylish. I think I succeeded in it this time. Did I?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer in Japan 5

Nina and I visited my best friend in Tokyo. The place where my friend lives  is called "Ningyo-cho". The word "Ningyo" means a doll and "cho" means a town. This area the east side of Tokyo is the old part of the city. There are so many tall modern buildings and headquarters of big companies and banks. Between the buildings you still can see little old timbered houses. Many of those houses are probably more than 100 years old.And there are some shops of long standing established since the Edo period.

 We need to change trains three times to go to Ningyo-cho from the town where my parents' house is in. Nina likes riding trains very much. Riding train with my daughter seems getting easier every time. She has grown up enough to be patient in the train for about one and half hour trip to Tokyo. I even had fun riding trains with her. Not much stress. It was a big progress to me!

Before I visited my friend's house, I stopped at this very old cutlery store in Ningyo-cho. I have a very good pair of sewing scissors. That was my big birthday gift from my good friends. My four girlfriends and myself, a group of five women have been celebrating birthdays of all together every year. We give one gift to a birthday girl every time. The birthday girl can request something she wants every year. Then once I asked the scissors of this old cutlery store's. I have been using it for 6years and the blades have gotten a little bit dull so I wanted to sharpen these scissors.

The name of this store is "Ubuke-ya". "Ubuke" is "down (tiny fuzzy hairs on your cheeks)". This is my guess, though, they mean that their blades are so sharp so they won't miss any one of down.

A part of their products in the showcase. There I see some kitchen knives, flower scissors and nail clippers.

I hope you can see the little trademark on my scissors. It says " Tokyo Ubuke-ya".

This is the frontage of the store. It is so tiny but quaint.

It took about a week to be done. I am so happy with the result. Now it is sharp again like brand new. I am going to use these forever. 'Cause I so love them. If you had a chance to go to Tokyo (and you cut fabrics so much!), I highly recommend to get a pair for yourself : )

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer in Japan 4

I wanna tell you about my crafty sister today. She is pretty much dexterous in stitching. Especially in embroidery and applique. She and I have taken embroidery classes together in our twenties. She works very carefully and closely, so I think her finished work looks quality. She says she works too slow but I think taking time and finally making quality stuff is much better than making a junk quickly.

She is working on the fabric picture book right now. She uses felt sheets as the base and put objects on it with embroidery and applique.

This little pink bunny is the heroin of this story. Actually there is not a written story. So children can make up any stories on this book. I think that is a great idea to foster their imagination in their play. Look, the bunny can fit in her bed and there is her cloth stored in the closet. Every little elements are so Kawaii (means Cute in Japanese). I love it.

Get up and put your clothes on, Bunny! Let's have some breakfast!

Sunny side up, sausages, and some vegetables on the plate.

There are pieces of velcro tape on the plate and foods so you can rearrange them. How fun!

And children can play clock and learn about the time, too.

Also the buttons of this pretty dress are able to be fasten and undo. Good practice for preschool kids!

Her work inspired me a lot. That made me encouraged to make my version of the book for my daughter. Yes, our girls Nina and Momo really loved to play with that book. Even it was not finished yet.
I appreciate her work and be inspired all the time. I am glad to have a sister I can share many things about crafting!