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recommended books

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I own and love a variety of beautiful Japanese art and craft books plus others that have given me inspiration. I write about them here.

These are links to products at the Book Depository. If you choose to click on a link and purchase, I will receive a small commission from the Book Depository at not cost to you! - Thank you in advance!

the ultimate
sashiko sourcebook

by susan briscoe

make and mend

by jessica marquez

Sashiko means 'stab stitch' and refers to the small running stitch that is worked to build up distinctive decorative patterns, of which there are hundreds. The book begins by exploring the origins of the technique to strengthen clothes and to make them warmer. Getting Started describes everything you need to begin stitching, including selecting suitable fabrics and threads, marking out patterns on the fabric, as well as the stitching technique itself. Ten project chapters show how easy it is to use sashiko patterns to make beautiful items for the home. The sashiko patterns are described in step-by-step detail in the pattern library, showing you exactly how to achieve each individual pattern with ease. Finally, a gallery of work by contemporary Japanese textile artists provides extra inspiration.

An exquisite, full-colour guide to sashiko, a simple Japanese stitching technique that uses stunning patterns to decorate or repair clothing, accessories, and home textiles. Requiring no special equipment other than a sewing needle and thread, Make and Mend introduces the incredibly simple technique of sashiko--a striking hand-sewing method using a running stitch to form pleasing geometric patterns. With fifteen projects applying a modern, on-trend aesthetic to this ancient craft, Make and Mend shows readers how to apply sashiko stitching to a variety of craft projects, such as repairing torn jeans, mending a ripped hem, and making decorative pillows, napkins, a tablecloth, and a totebag. Touching on the concepts of beauty in minimalism and resourceful simplicity, as well as a fascination with Japan and Japanese design, this easy and accessible book appeals to both the seasoned maker and total beginner.

kanzashi in bloom

by diane gilleland

Tsumami kanzashi is the Japanese art of folding delicate squares of silk into dimensional flower petals. Done traditionally, Kanzashi art is exacting, requiring long years of practice to master - in fact, only fifteen Kanzashi artists currently practice the traditional art in Japan. The online craft culture has sprouted a renewed interest in making Kanzashi flowers, with crafters devising simplified ways to create these gorgeous fabric flowers, and incorporating cotton and synthetic fabrics along with the traditional silks. The book presents instructions for four simple Kanzashi components, and demonstrates how these elements can be mixed and matched to create 20 diverse projects, including jewellery, fashion embellishments, ornaments and home decor items. It also takes Kanzashi out of the realm of delicate silks, and renders them in more user-friendly and unusual materials like cottons, denim, and recycled jumpers.

The Ch'i of the brush

sumie painting by nan rae

I absolutely love Nan Rae's work and regularly follow her on Instagram and Facebook where she uploads snippets of how she has painted her latest painting. She makes it look so elegant, and the joy she imparts to her viewers while painting is infectious!  100% recommended!

Continue browsing by clicking on the links below.

kanzashi flowers
(in progress)

  • Brooches
  • Pierced earrings
  • Magnetic glasses hangers
  • Baubles and danglers

origami jewellery
(in progress)

  • Pierced earrings
  • Brooches and pins
  • Necklaces

art & craft books

  • Sashiko books
  • Kanzashi flowers books
  • Sumie ink painting books
  • Other books

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Making Tsumami Kanzashi Flowers

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