Bragging Rights! And Book Review: "Kanzashi in Bloom" by Diane Gilleland

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.


Awwwwww. :-)

Awwwwww. :-)

eeeeeeep! I have to get

eeeeeeep! I have to get Diane's book!!! I'm in love with the tiny, tiny flowers - so precious!

Pam, there is no way in the

Pam, there is no way in the world that any review can be better than this one. This is exacting, illustrative, detailed, exemplary, and honorific.

By the way, I have the book! And I honestly don't recall Diane making one-inch flowers. Did she? HUH? one inch?! So I've decided that I'm going to do 5/8 inch flowers. Yes. It's the only place left to go. Then, after that, 1/2 inch, and 1/4 inch. When they become invisible, I may stop. But who knows?!

My boss isn't here today, but on Monday she'll get my resignation. If a person's going to do this, she's going to do it right.

Amazing! What a lovely

Amazing! What a lovely looking book. I'm sure it has great info and projects just like you say and just like everything else Diane does.
Like mother like daughter!

Awww... sweetest review ever,

Awww... sweetest review ever, and one can't help to believe that the book is that good even though you are not can't be very objective here! ;-)

Your tiny flowers look amazing, well done!

I am so pleased and surprised

I am so pleased and surprised to hear how many of you like my tiny pendant and ornament!  Thank you Hanna and everyone for your lovely compliments.

I do want to say that I tried to be very objective in writing the review of Diane's book. That is why I made the pendant and ornament - to determine if they could be easily made by following the instructions in the book and without the benefit of one on one instruction.  I had no difficulty following the instructions, no questions.

And that is why I believe Diane has done such a great job with this book.  Her attention to presenting each step through clearly detailed imagery and clearly written instruction is what sets her writing style apart.  I have many craft books and some have many beautiful images and very little instruction while others have a great deal of written instruction but few images.  Making a project can be disappointing and frustrating. 

Diane has a keen sense of what is needed to illustrate and explain each step of the process. 

And to set the record straight - NONE of her writing skills came from me!

WOW, I have never heard of

WOW, I have never heard of these either and they are just fascinating!!!! And beautiful! Do you think my grandgirls could handle these? 11. 10 & 8. Going to go look at the book.

Beautiful photography Pam!!!

Teri, you granddaughters can

Teri, you granddaughters can absolutely handle making Kanzashi!  Don't let their appearance fool you - they are very easy to master.  Diane taught a whole room full of people how to fold a petal at her book signing and everyone there got it right!

I think you would have fun making Kanzashi along with your granddaughters -just keep in mind once they start they may never stop!  Maybe the four of you should think about making an advent calendar out of Kanzashi together before you return to Arizona!

Go ahead and brag - the book

Go ahead and brag - the book is sensational! And look at the awesome little pendant/ornament you made - cute as anything! You two are such a great team... I hope you'll collaborate on another title soon.

These are so amazing and

These are so amazing and detailed! Love the necklace. :)

Oh that does it. I was

Oh that does it. I was avoiding Diane's blog because I did not want to be tempted by her book! Now I may have to order two of them. I think my grand daughter would look awfully sweet with some of these on her hair clips, and how can my niece's craft book collection (to which I contribute every Christmas) be complete without this one?

You guys are the most

You guys are the most adorable mother/daughter pair I know! Of course you are proud of her ... she rocks the crafty world and you are sweet as sugar. I can't believe she's making you wait until Christmas for your ornaments, though. How cruel! ;)

I really like them, but they

I really like them, but they loook very complicated. Congratulations with Dianes book!

Margit, actually Kanzashi is

Margit, actually Kanzashi is not at all complicated!  Not even a little bit! Diane has made the craft simple enough for anyone to master. Last night I watched her lead a whole room of people through the process of making a petal and every single person was successful!  I think you would love making them.

Oh Pam, those are beautiful!

Oh Pam, those are beautiful! I can't wait to see you at Powell's tonight :)

No doubt you're proud! Love

No doubt you're proud! Love the necklace you made for the signing!!!

I just got my copy in the

I just got my copy in the mail today and the first thing that struck me was how incredibly detailed the instructions were. The second thing was, "I wonder if those are Diane's pretty hands? Man, I need to stop biting my nails...!" Looking forward to making my own pendant necklace and tiny earrings very soon. And ornaments. And maybe one of those wall hangings with assorted gorgeous buttons....

Bet you're so proud!

I am in awe of your tiny

I am in awe of your tiny ornaments! That is amazing! I had the pleasure of meeting Diane in Seattle at the Urban Craft Uprising show, and she signed my book. My kids loved the demo there and my five year old son caught on quickly.

Your first try? They're

Your first try? They're wonderful! Thanks for posting the photos of the inside of Diane's book. The layout and production are very professional.

I don't need another hobby but, boy, those would be great for using my fabric stash. ;-)

Hi Pam, Oh my those are

Hi Pam,

Oh my those are completely adorable! I may have to get that book...



Wow! Your tiny little

Wow! Your tiny little Kanzashi ornaments are adorable!!!

I've never heard of this craft technique before, but then I'm not into sewing that much any more. Although looking at these examples makes me want to look at the book a little closer. Who knows??? I may try one or two to see if I like it. You DO take lovely photos :)

I can't agree more that Diane

I can't agree more that Diane writes amazingly clear directions - LOVE her book, and I love your review of it!

oh it looks so awesome, and I

oh it looks so awesome, and I WANT MINE!!! *waits by mailbox*. *looks at watch*. *taps foot*....

I am in absolute *awe* of

I am in absolute *awe* of your tiny kanzashi! Amazing and so beautiful!

And I'm so proud of sweet Diane as well. :)