Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Three more bags for Holiday Art Walk

I prepared three more bags which have a little taste of Japan for Holiday Art Walk. These are all made in the past, and now I changed something for improving their practicability.

This bag is made with vintage Kimono fabric. It has beautiful chrysanthemum pattern. I added some seed beads to enhance its brilliance. The pattern is so traditional but also looks very modern.

I made this bag for my book which has published in Japan years ago. (The book is no longer printed unfortunately.) This time I altered the size and made an additional pouch that fits in the bag perfectly. The pouch can be used by itself, too. I used another vintage Kimono silk for the lining of the pouch. (You can see the picture of it on my flickr pool.) It has pretty rose pattern.

 Beads work gives a three-dimensional effect.

You have seen this ribbon embroidery? Yes. I changed this tote I made before into a frame purse.

 The lining is cotton fabric which has a Japanese traditional pattern "Sei-Gai-Ha". It means "Blue Ocean Waves". There are pockets for a cellphone and pens.

This one below is a pochette. The embroidery is a combination of Mirror work and Beads work. I represented fireworks in the Summer night sky. This was also made for the book I mentioned.

I am so glad I've conserved them in good condition. Eventually I got a chance to show them in public now. I have never thought these bags I made for my books would be shown in the gallery in America when I made them. I have never expected living in the foreign country myself. That makes me think that Life is so thrilling that it is more fun.

I hope people will be interested in Japanese textiles like Kimono and Sashiko through my work.

There are more pictures in my Flickr pool of these bags.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Exhibit my bags at Gallery / Business Card Case

There is a gallery in Down Town South Bend called Circa Arts Gallery. They exhibit and sell quality pieces of local artists'. This is my favorite gallery so I visit there once a while to amuse my eyes and shop gifts or something for myself. And their next door is also my favorite store Junk Evolution. They sell up-cycled vintage things and create nice home decor.

 I am glad to tell you that I 'm going to show my bags in Circa Arts Gallery for Down Town South Bend event Holiday Art Walk. My stuff will be there on Dec 2nd through Dec 4th. Holiday Art Walk is on Saturday, and also we will have another annual event DTSB First Fridays on Friday. It means many people will see my things through the events. I am pretty much excited about it.

The offer came up suddenly last Thursday, so things I can show are the bags from my Etsy shop and a few more I newly have made for the event. After the events, I am going to make more and hope to keep providing good products constantly for Circa.

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By the way, for starting business, I made my business cards for promotion. Then I wanted a little case for carrying my cards with me. I remembered that I bought a plastic card case at Nelie Rubina which is a hand craft shop my friend Yasuko owns in Yokohama Japan. I made a cover with scrap felt sheets.

We are going to Batesville in South Indiana to visit our relatives for Thanks Giving. It is going to be about four hours drive. We'll stay over night and come back on Friday. I will update about several things I made for exhibition then. Thank you for reading and wish everyone have a happy Thanks Giving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finished Colorful Dots Applique Tote

This is the finished tote bag! I am glad the handles look nice and fun. I made those handles a little long so it will work well as a shoulder bag as well.

The back. There is no dots on the back but I made a pull tab charm for the zipper pocket. It looks festive! I love the green zipper showing off a bit.

There is a little charm for top opening zipper too. 

Playing with good felt is so much fun. I could make many of these charms all day long. I used purple polka dot print for the lining. It will amuse you every time you open the zip pocket.

The view from the top. The gusset measures 4inches so the bag is pretty much roomy to hold your stuff.

 There are two pockets inside and purple polka dot again! This fabric is bought in Japan many years ago. I loved this fabric. But it is almost gone now. I'm a bit sad but the bag looks gorgeous so I am very happy that I found a proper use for it.

This bag is now listed on my Etsy shop. Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Work in progress / Colorful dots applique tutorial

I have been working on a new tote bag. This bag is featuring applique again. I sewed many big and small (and medium) circles with wool felt pieces on the front of the bag. I added some chain stitches around the dots with my treasure embroidery wool. It is DMC Broder Medicis Wool which DMC will no longer produce. This is a very fine weight wool used for canvas embroidery, crewel embroidery, and even counted cross stitch. And this product used to have 180 beautiful color variation which I loved. I am so sad I cannot get these wonderful yarns anymore. I only have a cookie box full of Medicis, so I am so careful when I use them. I really don't want to waste.

Anyway, I would like to show you how I do applique today. It is a brief tutorial. I hope you get some inspiration from this.

First I collected five or six things which have circular shapes in different dimensions like these.

Then trace the circles from things I collected on a felt sheet. I had five sizes in five colors this time.

Place them on the fabric you want to use for a bag or a pillow or whatever you want to make. It is all up to you how many circles you put and what kind of order they should be placed. Thinking balance and color scheme. Recently I like to use quilt basting safety pins to keep the felt pieces on the right place. They won't sting your fingers while you work on applique. That's nice.

Sew the circles on the foundation fabric with blind stitches. I used #25 cotton embroidery floss. The floss color could be matched with the felt or could be contrasted. Each stitches are about 3-4mm apart each other.

The look of blind stitches from wrong side. 

 When you finish blind stitches, it is time to embellish your circles with chain stitches. I used my Medicis wool, but you could use Appleton crewel wool instead, or any cotton floss you already have in your stash would work fine.

And this is how it looks like when you are done. I love to use many colors, but it could be monotone, or a few colors in same tone. It is fun to think about the color combination of felt, floss and foundation fabric. There will be thousands variations you could try.

Oh, in addition, I made bag handles look like these. It sure would be so much fun to assemble all the parts into a bag.
And It was fun! Yes, I already finished this bag and I am so happy! You will see the finished bag soon I promise!

I hope some of you will try to do this applique and this brief tutorial will help you. Thank you for reading. Happy appliqueing!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This busy weekend

We had a really busy weekend. For four years, since my nephew Nick became a member of  the Notre Dame marching band, we have been attending to the home game week public band rehearsals as audience. It has been our pleasure to see the big band marching around the beautiful campus. And especially to see our nphew playing one of those big drums in it! We always look forward to do this every fall. And it was the last home game week. We went to see it on this Friday indeed, and it was also the last home game rehearsal for Nick. He is senior this year.

There come the Irish guards. 

All seniors lined up in front of the audience. I sew some Moms of band members visiting campus were moved to tears. I really understood that feeling. I love to see young people dedicating themselves to something. Thank you guys for entertaining us every year. We'll see you next fall again!

And on Saturday, Nina attended to the birthday party of her classmate's in the morning at a bowling alley. 
It was a very well organized party, kids lined up and went in the glowing mini golf course first,  and had some snacks and cakes, then lined up again to walk down to the bowling area. Nina and all the kids had so much fun playing bawling. I think you can tell how excited she was from this picture.

Look at this pose! I think she doesn't like this picture herself, but it is so funny (and cute) so I had to show it to you! We all had fun so much.

After the party, in a hurry, we headed for the ballet rehearsal of the Nutcracker Nina is going to be in next month. The performance will be on Dec 10th -12th, so now we have two rehearsals in a week.

When we were waiting for the rehearsal, little ballerinas are enchanted by a young ballerina practicing her part in the performance. I couldn't resist to catch that sight in my camera. It was kinda dreamy to me and heartwarming.

A very busy weekend is over. And a busier week is now starting! Phew!

Thank you for reading. I hope you will have a happy busy week!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Applique Tote Bag / New Dandelion

 I loved the applique design of  this bag I made for the swap. So I made another Dandelion bag. This time it is a Tote, and I changed dandelions a little bit.

 This bag has a wide (4") gusset so it is pretty roomy. The translucent soft-colored plastic handles made the bag look a bit fancier. I changed the color of dandelions for sympathizing with the handles' color.

 There is a zip pocket on the back of the bag. I made zipper charms with wool felt  for this zip pocket and the top opening of the bag. There are also two simple pockets inside.

 There are more pictures of this bag on my Flickr pool, and this bag is now listed on my shop too. I still have the opening celebration gifts, so please visit my little shop and take a look.

Happy bag making!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Little Shop is Now Open!

Eventually, I launched my little shop on Etsy!!  You might have noticed that because I already put the Etsy mini of my shop items on the side bar this afternoon. The shop name is Harujion Design.  I am so glad that I am now one of the shop owners/designers in the global crafty market!

 This framed purse is made with this Sashiko . The multi-colored Sashiko pattern looks very fun and cheerful against the background of colorful dots. The shape of  the body is cute and unique. I love it. I added a felt flower corsage for the finishing touch. The corsage is movable, so you could put it on your cloth if you want. The metal chain handle gives it an elegant look so I think this purse could be used for semi formal occasion. This is listed on my shop with some other Sashiko goods.

Also, I cannot forget to tell you, the first five customers who purchase anythings at my shop will get a set of two Sashiko coasters (picture below) as a gift for celebrating the shop opening. Please stop by and look. I will be happy to hear what you think about my shop.