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1  Japanese Daruma Wall Hanging in Interior Decorating: Completed Projects by pucchimaiko on: November 08, 2006 02:58:30 PM
Hi Everyone - it has been a while since I've posted.  I've been through a lot of life changes, including a divorce, a move from South Florida to the San Francisco Bay Area and the death of my beloved cat, Oni the day after I moved.  I used to post about her with great fondness.  I've started to pull my life together again and my crafty mojo is starting to return.  Thank-goodness!  Smiley

Anyhow, a few weeks or so ago I was helping my boyfriend go through his closet sorting out clothing for keeping, donation or tossing. We came across a rather beaten up black t-shirt with a crinkly looking Daruma print on it. It was about to go in the toss/donate pile when I thought about using it to create a wall hanging - so my boyfriend gave it to me. I cut the Daruma out and put it aside until I had time to work with it.

I had ideas of using some of the vintage indigo fabric I had to create a wall hanging and had a perfect long, but narrow piece of indigo with raw edges that would work well. I was determined to not use my sewing machine and hand sew the entire thing to keep with the hand crafted and rustic feel. I cut the fabric into three even pieces and spent a few hours carefully hand stitching it making sure the raw edges showed. By the time I was finished - my hands were dark blue from the indigo dye - so I decided to soak the body of the fabric overnight to try and remove some of the excess dye. In the morning - the water was pitch er, blue... and when the fabric dried - it dried with a fantastic crinkled texture. I decided to keep the writing on the back of the wall hanging - mainly because I had no idea what it said - but also I felt the solid white of it at the front would detract from the Daruma too much.

I then hand stitched the Daruma on and the asanoha fabric at the top and voila! I'm quite happy with how it turned out and I especially love the fact that it is not 100% perfect. I fought against my natural urges to make sure I measured everything so it was completely even and worked with flow of the fabric instead. I also like the subtle hint of the writing showing through to the front. It now hangs above one of the windows in our house.

Another View

I think this is quite possibly the first thing I've actually sat down and sewn just for myself - rather than for PuchiMaiko and I'm glad I spent the many hours hand sewing it. I put a lot of love into making this, and I think it shows.
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2  Frida Kahlo - it has been a while in Costumes: Completed Projects by pucchimaiko on: August 14, 2006 11:01:20 PM
Wow - it has been a while since I've posted last.  I've been through the theft of all my items along with currently going through a divorce...but today I received the fantastic news that I became a full permanent resident of the USA...so I guess this year is turning out to be a mix of bad but with tons of good thrown in to balance it out.  Phew! Smiley  I lost my crafting mojo for quite some time after the theft - but I've felt it slowly coming back over the last couple of months.  It feels great to be back.

This weekend I'll be performing in a Gay variety show here in South Florida.  I performed last year - and was a stage hand the year before.  I guess the group I perform with is the "token straight group" ;P  It is always an absolute riot.  You don't know what funny is until you have to be backstage with tons of drag queens.  Boy oh boy.

Anyhow - I am playing Frida Kahlo.  A rather drunk Frida, at that.  I had to come up with a suitable costume for her and try to make myself look as much like her as I could.  I had a skirt I purchased from a thrift store a few months ago - and I could vision it as a part of a Frida outfit...so I did some research and decided to make the classic shapeless Frida blouse using very similar colours and a long white petticoat underneath to add length to the skirt and give more of an authentic look.

I know it isn't perfect - but I'm quite satisfied with how the blouse came out Smiley

Here are some photos from the practice the other night:

Portrait with Unibrow

And unibrow all gone

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3  Road to Recovery - Kitschy Owl Wristlet Clutch in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by pucchimaiko on: December 10, 2005 02:44:36 PM
Well since all my PuchiMaiko items were stolen (you can read about it here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=66973.0) I now have the long road to re-building ALL of my stock.  Ahhh.  Fun!

So I decided to kick-start today with making a cute wristlet.  I've been wanting to make one of these for months.  Do you think the size is okay - or should I make it bigger or smaller?

It fits my purse, passport, make-up and some miscellaneous items in there.  The zipper opening is 9 inches.

Now - back to sewing like a bat out of hell! *flops*
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4  Fabric Owl Keyring and others in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by pucchimaiko on: December 07, 2005 10:36:45 AM
I've gathered quite a large pile of tiny pieces of kimono fabric left over from other projects and I have been trying to think of a way to use some of these pieces up.  I decided to make some keyrings - they are the perfect size for most of my tiny pieces.  The keyrings measure 3.25 x 1.75 inches.

Here is a selection of my favourites:

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5  5 New Patchwork Bags in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by pucchimaiko on: December 06, 2005 08:34:43 PM
I was busy last week making some new patchwork bags based on the design of the previous one I made.

I'm really quite happy with these and I'm trying to decide if I can drag myself away from my uber gothiness of wearing/using black to make a bright coloured one for myself Tongue

They measure 16 inches wide by 8 inches deep and are all made from vintage kimono fabrics.  The 2nd red one is made from vintage cottons.

Back of Bag

Back of Bag

Back of Bag

Back of Bag

Back of Bag
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6  Blue Monkey in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by pucchimaiko on: November 27, 2005 02:00:13 PM
While I was making this monkey - I had the tune to the song "Blue Monday" by New Order stuck in my head:

How does it feel, To stitch me like you do
When you lay your hands upon me, And jab that needle in

I thought I was mistaken, I thought my tail was on
Tell me how do I swing, Tell me now how do I swing

Those who came before me, Never lived through their construction
From the draft until completion, I'm the first to make it though

And I still find it so hard, To say what I need to say
Will you put my eyes and mouth on, Just so I can see today

I see a machine in the distance, I fear for my safety
If it wasnt for your reasurance, Id be a monkey in a scrap heap today

And I thought I was mistaken, And I thought my tail was on
Tell me how do I swing, Tell me now how should I swing

Now I lay here waiting

I thought I asked you to finish me, While I laid here on your work bench
Tell me how does it feel, When you forget my appendage

Of course - I ended up sewing the tail on Tongue



I used vintage Japanese kimono cottons for the body and felt for the face Smiley
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7  Hemp Leaf Bunny in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by pucchimaiko on: November 27, 2005 01:54:35 PM
Now that I have your attention...  Cheesy

The fabric pattern on this bunny is a traditional Japanese pattern called ASANOHA - which is an abstract hemp/flax leaf design Smiley

I think my cat has a new friend Smiley



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8  Thanks to the Hurricane - I learnt to knit! in Knitting: Completed Projects by pucchimaiko on: November 24, 2005 01:21:07 PM
About 2 years ago I purchased a bunch of knitting and crochet supplies, yarn and  Stitch n' Bitch.  I was going to finally teach myself how to knit.  Unfortunately - I humiliated myself and failed horribly and tossed everything to the very back of my closet in an effort to forget.  I'm a sewer, not a knitter.  Well...at least that is what I thought.

I was without power from Hurricane Wilma for 11 days - so I figured it was as good a time as any to clean my closet out.  When I went through my closet - I found my bag full of knitting gear.  I decided to give it another go. 

By candlelight - I finally figured it out and learnt how to do basic knit stitch.  I decided to do the usual "start with a scarf"...but I didn't want just a regular scarf...so I decided to size 35 (19mm) needles with thin yarn for a lacy effect.

It took forever to knit - I don't know how many times I had to keep ripping out rows and starting again.  I almost gave up at one point but I stuck with it and got into the swing of things.  Also, I didn't know how wide a scarf should be - so I just randomly chose 25 stitches across.  It turns out that is more a wrap than a scarf.  Oops Tongue

As a wrap:

As a scarf:

Now - I just need to teach myself how to purl, increase and decrease and then try something more challenging Smiley
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9  Boho/Victorian Style Brooches in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by pucchimaiko on: November 19, 2005 08:50:23 PM
Yeah - I've been really busy ;P

In addition to making wrist cuffs...I've made some more Victorian style brooches using vintage kimono fabric.  These were a lot of fun to make - and I hand sewed all of them

Wearing the brooch

Wearing the brooch

Wearing the brooch

Wearing the brooch

Wearing the brooch
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10  I koshi-himoed myself out. in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by pucchimaiko on: November 11, 2005 08:20:18 PM
I was without power for nearly 11 days due to hurricane Wilma and became massively behind in sewing Sad  This was a bit of a bummer considering I have a craft show early December - it put a massive dint in my time for making new items.  So lately, I've been frantically trying to make-up for lost time.  At least though - I FINALLY learnt how to knit (by candlelight)!

One of the items I had to make lots of were some new koshi himo.  Koshi means waist or hip and himo means string/cord.  Essentially - koshi himo is a cord to tie around your waist. These are normally used when wearing kimono (you need at least three to dress in kimono properly) and tend to be boring white or light pink muslin.  BORING!  When I dress in kimono - I want to use fancy looking things and feel special Tongue  So I decided to start making fancy koshi himo using vintage kimono fabrics. They are normally around 2 inches wide by 80 inches long.

My original chaotic pile:

Turned into some semblance of order!

I can tell you now - after making all of these - I never want to press or iron again!

And so you can get an idea of what they look like worn:

This is one traditional way of wearing it (holding the under-kimono closed):

Of course - not being content with just one use for koshi himo - I discovered that they actually look pretty damn nifty worn as a belt with Western clothing Smiley

And then - I decided to be artsy-fartsy with my new kimono yesterday and I tied the koshi himo around my waist in a non-traditional manner Smiley  I think I'm going to wear it out like this next time...much to the dismay of the Japanese ladies around my area, no doubt ;P

And a close-up here

So, yeah - I made lots of waist strings! Tongue
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