Monthly Archives: November 2013

Inspiration File 30
Crocheted petit cakes

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The mini cakes in the picture which are less than 2cm in diameter each were the creations of Sumi Ito aka “with ink.”, who is a crochet artist.

“A cute item can bring a little happiness to your life.”
With this concept, Ito has created crocheted works. Isn’t it great that she depicts a little lovely world by using just a hook and yarn?

The base of each blueberry and strawberry cake was crocheted in the same way by #0 lace hook*) with #20 lace thread. Attaching a metal part, it can be used in many ways such as a cell phone strap, key chain or purse charm. It can also be a pendant with a long chain. Some people use it as an earphone jack/dust plug for their smartphones.

Ito says, “In the mid November, I had an opportunity to exhibit some of my creations at my friend’s booth on ‘Creation & savoir-faire’, the craft show organized by a French craft magazine ‘marie Claire idees’.”

The annual craft showcase in Paris, which is open to the public, is a really fun event. The event site where craft lovers get together from all over France is filled with excitement. Among many crafters at this time, Ito’s sophisticated and charming productions impressed many in Paris. They excitedly asked Ito a lot of questions on her creations.
Thus, Ito’s cute items gave a little happiness to people in France.

For details about her experience at the event, you can get from her blog at http://plaza.rakuten.co.jp/withink/

*)#0 Japanese lace hook (1.75mm) can be equivalent to #6 US steel hook (1.8mm)


nunokara series #4 – MIMI & NENE

Peter Pan, The Emperor’s New Clothes and Three Little Pig

The fourth series from nunokara, a fabric collection based on delightful fairy tales, feature Peter Pan, The Emperor’s New Clothes and Three Little Pigs. Chihiro Hiromi, an illustrator, is the designer of this new series. Shiomi says, “Bearing the story book in mind, I carefully set up the characters. These characters become alive to take you to the story’s next sequence, or provoke your imaginative perspective….These are the feelings I hope you will encounter through these fabrics. When drawing, I cherished the warm colors and lines that can only be created through hand drawing.”

neverland map F103-1 Organic Cotton Broadcloth
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“This design was done with the inclination to squeeze my favorite story, Peter Pan, into a piece of fabric. Whether you are familiar with the story or not, I hope everyone will end up having a similar story of Neverland through this fabric.” (Shiomi)

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Plump Cheeks

Overflowed with fun! Cute and intelligent fabric line.

Plump Cheeks is a brand established by a handmade craft artist, June, along with a variety of creators to introduce cute fabrics. The brand consists of a cute and intelligent series of fabric and as the name indicates, its concept represents an abundant flow of knowledge, creativity and fun. Today we are introducing a fabric designed by a Japanese entertainment personality, Yu Kimura who is known for her Harajuku style fashion and is a Kawaii (Japanese concept of cute) ambassador.

Chocolate in Paris again  H3048-1 Cotton Broadcloth
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The Eiffel Tower is covered with chocolate syrup. The design is sweet yet elegant and romantic. It is a versatile fabric, perfect for casual projects such as a tote bag or a dress. It is also great for elaborate design items including Lolita style dresses or ribbon embellished headbands.

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Inspiration file29
Tea cozy with Russian embroidery

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It is the mid of November, and everything around us has been decorated for the coming holiday season. Among the Christmas decorations, a small display saying “November 1 – Black Tea Day” caught my eye.

In Japan, November 1st is the day of black tea, which was established by Japan Tea Association in 1983. Why November 1st? A cup of tea keeps us warm on a chilly night or cold winter, but is that the reason?

The fact is, this commemoration day came from an episode of Daikokuya Kodayu (1751-1828), who was a Japanese castaway. His ship encountered a storm and wrecked on the Aleutian Islands. After 4 years on the island, Daikokuya and his crew managed to escape to the Russian mainland. Eventually Catherine the Great allow them to return to Japan. During his stay in Russia, he was invited to her tea party and had a cup of tea. It was on November 1, 1791. That is the official record of who and when the first Japanese had a black tea.

In the picture is a tea cozy which an embroidery crafter made with reference to a pattern from the embroidery design book issued in Russia in 1950s for elementary and junior high students. The original pattern was colored manuscript like a picture. The bird on conifer was embroidered colorfully with satin stitch and long-and-short stitch.

The red-stitched works from Arkhangelsk region are well known as Russian embroidery. Like the bird on this tea cozy, nature motifs are frequently used for Russian embroidery. Summer plants such as clover, dandelion, red poppy and chamomile are also often picked as embroidery patterns. Perhaps Russian crafters love to depict their short but beautiful summer days by using those nature motifs.

Though the day of black tea was passed, enjoy your crafting time with Russian tea containing marmalade.


Vintage Style Cotton Broadcloth

A charming fabric with a cute pop design

With a popular character like Mickey Mouse, a vintage fabric evokes a feeling of nostalgia. More stylish moms are making bags from vintage bedding broadcloth utilizing its distinct texture. Most vintage fabrics that you can find are in the forms of remnants and it is hard to find the size you want or may be too pricey as many are imported from overseas. Kokka came up with a character fabric that is as vintage as it can look. A perfect fabric for the interior décor of a kid’s room, it is also suitable for making a lovely lesson bag or shoe case for the new school year.

Mickey Cotton Broadcloth G7008-1 Cotton broadcloth
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A very old artwork is used as a motif for this design. By purposely mismatching some patterns, color tones are finished with a retro touch.

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