We were contemplating this weekend's activities when I got wind of the Japanese Festival being held this weekend at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Woohoo!
This is the closest to what we used to do in Hawaii as we can get!
We used to live in Hawaii and the influence of Japanese culture is a part of everyday life. My kids ate bento and sushi all the time. We used to live across the street from the Moiliili Hongwanji Mission and go to their annual bon dances. For a few years we participated in the Honolulu Festival where the hubby and I donned hapi coats and helped to carry a one-ton mikoshi down Kalakaua Avenue in a parade (crazy!). In another year, we pushed a 500 lb. lantern in the shape of a Japanese warrior down the Avenue (the width of the lantern took up three car lanes). We watched taiko concerts. We took aikido. I learned kumihimo at the Japanese Cultural Center and made my own wooden loom because I was too cheap to buy one. In fact, Japanese craft stores are everywhere in Honolulu, so it was easy to get the materials to start a Japanese craft project. My favorite store is Shirokiya. I visit there every chance we get to go home.
Okay, enough nostalgia.
Needless to say (after that long-winded walk down memory lane), I love Japanese arts and crafts. Everything from kawaii items, amigurumi, kumihimo, raku pottery, kanzashi, origami, ikebana, to bonsai gardening. And although I will not be able to truly represent each art form with one photograph, I would love to share with you my:
1 - Shibori Habotai Silk Scarf by reidsemadesign
This pink and orange silk scarf from reidsemadesign is a beautiful example of Shibori, the Japanese form of dyeing textiles with a resist. For more information on Shibori, check out the World Shibori Network.
2 - Rambling Rose Silk Tsumami Kanzashi by PetalMix
Petalmix's 'Rambling Rose'Silk Tsumami Kanzashi is absolutely stunning. Kanzashi are hair ornaments worn in traditional Japanese hairstyles. Tsumami kanzashi (literal translation: 'folded fabric hair ornament') are floral hair ornaments created with silk fabric folded with origami techniques. For more information on the history of kanzashi, here's the Wikipedia link.
3 - Kokeshi Doll Sunrise by temple7e
Kokeshi are Japanese wooden dolls characteristically without arms or legs which originated from northern Japan. Temple7e's creations are a fantastic modern take on a traditional craft. For a quick read-up on kokeshi, check out this wikipedia link.
4 - Sakura Cherry Blossom Bonsai with Kokeshi by handmadekitty
Amigurumi literally means, "knitted stuffed toy". I love amigurumi (see my previous crochet post)! I actually found this pattern while searching for Kokeshi and it was so cute!
5 - Summer to Fall Kumihimo Braided Bracelet by beadbooty
Beadbooty's 'Summer to Fall' bracelet is a great example of kumihimo! Kumihimo (literal translation: 'the coming together of thread') is the art of braiding silk thread to create cording. Nowadays, you don't have to use silk thread, practically any fiber can be used on the loom. As a side note: I learned kumihimo braiding while we lived in Hawaii and it is extremely therapeutic and calming. I wanted to buy a loom similar to the one we used in class, but I was daunted by the price of the wooden Marudai. I ended up making one on my own and it works! I haven't done it since moving here to St. Louis, but now I may pick it up again.
6 - Set of Five Embroidered Linen Chicken Coasters by Coyote Craft
I'm new to Zakka style. Literally, zakka means "many things." I picked up "Zakka Sewing" by Therese Laskey and Chika Mori last year and based on that, I can say zakka is a style that incorporates cute designs for everyday home objects. Coyote Craft's embroidered linen chicken coasters are exactly that. Very kawaii.
7 - Origami Bonsai Ikebana Arrangement by Benagami
What a fantastic combination of Japanese arts! We know origami to be a Japanese craft of folding paper. Well, Benagami takes it further and creates beautiful flowers and arranges it in a traditional Japanese arrangement called ikebana.
8 - Raku Lidded Pot by earthtoartceramics
Earth to Art Ceramic's Raku Lidded Pot is a beautiful example of raku pottery. While there are many variations of the firing process of raku, it still yields some beautiful results. You can see more information on raku here. When we visited Boulder City, Nevada (just south of Las Vegas) my kids and I actually had an opportunity to create our own raku pottery and watch it being fired. I loved how the firing process yielded random designs that was created by the interaction of the metal paints and fire.
I hope you enjoyed my Fab Finds today. It's a little late in coming, but it was a lot of fun to do (especially with my trip down memory lane). Please check out the awesome Etsy artists and shops above!
Happy Aloha Friday and have a great Labor Day weekend!