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!

Craft: Kawaii flower planter

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After cleaning with soap, I just cut the top off

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Next, I draw the design

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Prime and Paint

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Meow!

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Add “kawaii” features

Kawaii planter

After visiting the nursery, we added our flowers

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Kitty planter gets some wild, spiky grass

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Little bear and pig

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All three done!

This was a fun craft! The best part was getting to reuse something I would normally just toss in the recycle bin. We used old Silk Almond Milk and Horizon Half and Half half gallon cartons (water tight, no leaking). First, I cut off the tops and washed out with soap and set aside to let dry.

Next, we primed them using Premium Gesso Canvas Primer. It absorbs well to accept oil and acrylic colors, pastels, charcoal, pencil, and crayon. You can use it on a wide variety of surfaces besides just canvas. This acrylic Gesso primer is non-toxic as well. I would highly recommend using a primer. If you don’t, your paint may not stick to the material. We used two thin coats of primer before painting.

After the paint was dry we took a trip to our local Armstrong Nursery and picked out some colorful flowers and wild, spiky grass. You could also fill the planters with potting soil and plant seeds (wheat grass or catnip) or herbs.

 

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