Crafty: Japanese Decorative Fan

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Here is a great little craft we did at last years Japanese Arts & Crafts Summer Camp. I found this great tutorial on Japanese fan making on ehow that gives a step by step look at how to make one. The process itself was relatively easy, we just had to be sure to follow directions exactly to make sure they turned out right. I think the girls did a great job on their fans! There is still room to sign up for this years camp happening July 24-26 from 9-2pm. You can sign up here.

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DIY: Kokedama String Garden

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Image via Pinterest
kokedama via string gardens
Image via String Gardens
kokedama
Design by Fedor Van Der Valk
kokedama.jpg via pinterest 2
Image via Pinterest
kokedama 1
Image via Pinterest
kokedama via pinterest
Image via Pinterest
kokedama image via slowpoke
Image via Slowpoke

The Japanese string gardens, called kokedama are a unique and beautiful way to display and enjoy your plants in a natural setting.

The kokedama literally means “moss ball” and is a ball of soil, covered with moss, on which an ornamental plant grows. The idea has its origins in Japan, where it is a combination of both Nearai and Kusamono Bonsai styles. Today, Kokedama is very popular in Japanese gardens.

Kokedama is also called poor man’s bonsai. It’s made of wet soil and peat moss and formed into a ball. The plant is set into the ball and the moss is wrapped around. Aluminium wire or nylon wire fixes the whole bundle, and is sometimes used to suspend the kokedama in the air.

Care of: Kokedama must be watered regularly. When the ball feels light, it can be submerged in water. The best plants for kokedama making are ones that require medium to full shade, since direct sunlight will likely burn and ultimately turning your kokedama a shade of brown.

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Obsessed: Blythe Dolls

blythe 1
image via Pinterest
blythe 2
Image via dollytreasures.com
blythe 3
image via marbleandphillip.com
blythe 4
Image via m.flickr.com
blythe 5
Image via chuthings.com
blythe 6
Image via Pinterest
blythe 7
Image via flickr

How kawaii are Blythe Dolls?! With the dolls’ over-sized heads and large eyes, hobbyists customize them- from skin tone, hair, clothing and accessories. I just love their expressions and poses. The hobbyist spares no small detail on these dolls- no wonder they cost $200+

Obsession around these fun dolls has reached a cult like following.

 

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Crafty: Hand Embroidery

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Inspired by the work of Yumiko Higuchi
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This one was fun! Different shades of purple
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A bumble bee for my bee keeper friend, Carre
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Made for a friend that moved to Texas. She hopes to have an alpaca farm.
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Delicate Floral

 

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Geisha for my friend Masami-san. This was so much fun! I loved working on the hair “kanzashi” accessories

My latest obsession. I decided to give hand embroidery a try after seeing a tutorial from Sublime Stitching online. I decided that I would purchase a few simple supplies and a pattern from Sublime Stitching and give it a go. I was instantly hooked! After my first go at it I discovered that I wanted to challenge myself with something more difficult. I found a picture of what I wanted to make online, printed it out and using tracing paper, taped it to a window and traced over the design. Once I had the design on tracing paper, I took my fabric (linen), layed it over the top of the traced design and traced over that onto my fabric using a tracing pen. Tracing pens are easy to use and wash off the fabric with water. Everything after is easy. Just pick a stitch and work slowly. I find that intricate designs can take several hours, over several days. I find those to be the most rewarding.

Tools to get started: Embroidery floss, embroidery needles, hoops and fabric. It’s that simple!

Japanese Fairy House

japanese fairy house via weefolk studio
image via weefolk studio
japanese fairy house via moss and stone gardens dot com
image via mossandstonegardens.com
japanese fairy house via pinterest
image via pinterest
japanese fairy house via amazing beautiful world.net
image via amazing beautiful world
japanese fairy house via etsy
image via etsy

When my girls were little we loved making fairy houses. After visiting the local nursery for all of our supplies, we would find a pot big enough for all the pebbles, small rocks, plants, and ornaments. Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of our fairy houses from those days (hello old school camera) but I can vividly remember Olivia setting out a small bowl of milk and honey to entice the fairies to visit. It was a magical time! Here are some very fun, Japanese inspired fairy houses.

Domo Arigatou!

 

Craft: Kawaii Paper Necklace

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This was a super fun craft the students made. First they started with deciding on what design they would make. Some chose anime characters, some chose fun food like donuts and sweets. After choosing what to make they colored and cut out the characters. I then had them use the black sharpie on the very edges to eliminate white sides. Next was a simple pin hole through the top, insert one small circle clasp, then attached that to the chain. We made the chains long enough to slip over the head and not need a fastener at the back. I think they turned out great. Simple craft that could be done dozens of times with different characters.
You will need:

heavy card stock paper (I used white)

scissors

colored pencils and black sharpie pens

lightweight chain ( I picked it up at Michael’s craft store)

small circle clasps

small wire pliers

Marimekko Inspired Pumpkins

marimekko pumpkin 1

marimekko pumpkin 5

Marimekko mini Unikko print
Marimekko mini Unikko print

marimekko pumpkin 6

Marimekko Pähkinäpuu print
Marimekko Pähkinäpuu print

marimekko pumpkin 4

Marimekko Jurmo print
Marimekko Jurmo print

marimekko pumpkin 2

marimekko pumpkin

Hi! Each year I try to come up with a new pumpkin theme. This year’s are inspired by Marimekko. What I love about this Finnish brand is their bold graphic prints and punchy attitude. The prints are very much in line with the Japanese aesthetic- simple, bold, and beautiful. Last year I made these Japanese inspired pumpkins. They were super fun to make. Unfortunately, to my surprise, I was unaware that painting real pumpkins could result in them exploding. Mine didn’t explode but they started to ooze and it wasn’t pretty. So be aware of that if you are using REAL pumpkins.

These pumpkins were purchased from my local craft shop and they are made of some kind of plastic. They were originally orange so I had to prime them beforehand. I really like how they turned out!