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Tsumami Kanzashi- How I got started

A friend was asking how I got started into making the Japanese hair ornaments as made famous by geisha. After dressing up a few times with a friend as faux-geisha in Kyoto & Tokyo, I wanted to buy *all* the hair ornaments, but they are terribly expensive. The reason why became apparent when I thought, “hey, I’ll just make them myself”. Some pootling around online for instructions was often disappointing (at the time there was not as much info/research available) and I disliked some of the “western” versions. Trying to use modern glues/hot glue gave so so results, and then I came across a link on youTube to series¬† documenting disappearing crafts in Japan.

I’ll add the link below, it’s quite long, but a good overall introduction/step by step, despite no English subtitles. For such a small item, there is much work, and therefore the price. It makes me sad that we often just don’t have the time to make things in traditional manners, and that cheap versions make us veer to the “easier/cheaper” solutions. When I have the time, I try to do in traditional manner. And yes, apart from doing a big dye batch ( I just dye small portions as I am not making so many of them I need metres of silk at a time), I do go through all the steps shown, plus making the rice glue from scratch. Partner was *not* impressed with that step, as releases a gas that can make breathing difficult/odd odor. So for yur pleasure, here’s a how I do it video of a Master Craftsman.¬† If anyone wants to be my patron and fund me going to Japan for 5 years to apprentice to him, let me know ;-) !

http://youtu.be/M5bYWOM1B_Y

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Link for Android Timekeeping Application

A good application for keeping track of individual projects time worked, calculating cost of time, and sends to your computer for easy collation on your phone :
Chronos timekeeper

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.kopysoft.chronos&feature=search_result

UK Online materials sources Suppliers (in shorter,easier version)

(London physical shops to follow in separate post, & map, all to make life easier for you to read, and look, all the linkies work this time ;)

Online Suppliers UK

(fast, reliable delivery) this is a list of my most used online sites, besides eBay ;) click the link to see the list: Continue reading