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Bragging Rights! And Book Review: "Kanzashi in Bloom" by Diane Gilleland
Submitted by Pam on Mon, 08/03/2009 - 20:41
My very first Kanzashi! Tiny ornaments for my "mini tree" (which you will see in December!) These are 1" in diameter!
And this is my second Kanzashi! A 1" diameter pendant to be proudly worn at Diane's "Kanzashi in Bloom" book signing event taking place at Powells Book Store tomorrow night, August 4th, at 7:30pm.! I can hardly wait! I couldn't attend her event at Twisted or attend Urban craft Uprising in Seattle.
Believe it or not, Diane has never taught me to make a Kanzashi flower!
Don't think for one minute that taking all those photographs gave me an insiders look at the techniques! I was way too focused on lighting, angles, making sure the image conveyed exactly what Diane wanted it to, and of course - watching her hands!
I came away from those many days of shooting with no clear idea of how to assemble a flower!
What I did come away with was a hugely expanded appreciation for Diane's attention to detail and how incredibly well prepared she was for the photography. As an example, the images above are not one square of fabric photographed as it was folded through all the stages of making a flower. The reality is that Diane folded a separate fabric square to illustrate each step of the process.
One of the very first Kanzashi projects Diane shared with me was this Christmas ornament. I have been begging for it ever since! ( She's making me wait for Christmas - can you believe that!)
I decided to put her book to the ultimate test - make an ornament for my mini tree which would require not only learning how to make a blossom but also would require using techniques needed for two different projects - the "back to back ornament" and "making tiny flowers". And remember - no skills and no training!
After completing the ornament based on these tiny earrings, I sent her this e-mail message -"Diane, your instructions are impeccable". And they truly are.
Look at this - the clearest demonstration of making and using a surgeon's knot I have ever seen.
And a whole section devoted to "what to do if something goes wrong"!
I just couldn't stop - not while there was still daylight left! I decided to make a pendant - again making things more challenging by basing it on the tiny earring design. I totally love my pendant! And I had absolutely no problem making it even though I had to refer back and forth between two projects!
What sets this book apart? (Aside from the unique subject matter that is!)
Images that clearly illustrate each step backed up with thorough, well written instructions
Look at the detail and thought that Diane has put into illustrating each step of the tea cozy "making process".
I love that the book not only provides crafters with all the instruction they need to make their own Kanzashi blossoms, but it also provides step by step instructions for making the items shown, be it a wallet, belt buckle, tote, wall hanging or tea cozy.
And for almost every project in the book, Diane offers an idea for an alternate!
Like these totally cool butterflies added to a denim jacket. I am definitely adding these to my own denim jacket!
I love that the book is divided into projects both to wear and to give.
And then there is the intro page for each project beautifully laid out to include a little about the project: important "before you begin" notes and critical information such as "skill level", "best petal style", "best number of petals", "best square size" and "additional supplies needed".
Don't miss the Kanzashi Blog Tour! Be sure to check out these delightful reviews by two of Diane's very best friends and (two of my "adopted" daughters) Rachel and Susan. And if you will be in Portland on August 4th - come by Powell's book store and visit!
I only have one more thing to say:
Diane, I am so proud of you.