Many years ago, I had a little brand/website with my good friend HL, called ‘Elepanda’. I used to make many panda-themed items for small exhibitions. My love for Panda has recently been rekindled after I dug out my old handmade panda plush for a photo shoot. Here’s the first Panda I’ve made after a long break! It was for my childhood friend, Natalie who wanted to be a Panda Ambassador. It was so enjoyable making this Panda Brooch!
I used masking tape to create patterns on fabric. Face details were hand painted with fabric dyes.
Workspace was a disaster!
Created a simple paper backing for the brooch.
Tested it out…
Here’s a simple tutorial if you’d like to make your own animal brooch!
1. Fabric dyes or acrylic paints
2. Cotton or linen fabric
3. Needle and thread
4. Brooch pin
5. Polyester filling
1. Cut out 2 pieces of silhouette of your preferred animal
2. Paint face details with fabric dyes or acrylic paints
3. Create patterns with masking tapes
4. Sew 2 pieces of silhouette together, right side facing each other
5. Leave a small opening for flipping fabric over
6. When sewing is completed, flip fabric over
7. Sew brooch pin on to the center of the back fabric
8. Add polyester filling
9. Sew up the opening
10. Ready to go!
Earlier this year, I went to a Japanese traditional dyeing event called ‘Some no Komichi’. It was a 3 day event held in the Ochiai/Nakai area, also known as the center for Tokyo’s traditional dyeing industry. A place where skilled craftsmen can still be seen in their workshops applying colors and patterns to kimono silks. Until 1960s, newly dyed cloths were being washed in the Myoshoji River. To celebrate the traditional craft, hand-dyed fabric were displayed in the ‘River Gallery’ over the Myoshoji River throughout the event. The shopping street was decorated with Noren (Traditional Japanese fabric dividers) that were specially designed and hand-dyed by craftsmen for the shops that participated. Local craftsmen living in the area also opened their workshops to public for viewing and some even offered a 1 day trial lesson for visitors to experience traditional Japanese dyeing techniques. Here are some pictures of the amazing 3 day event!
My last work trip to New York was jam packed with meetings both during work hours and after. It was a very different experience from my first trip as I got to enjoy the company of some awesome friends in the city. Looking through my pictures, I realized that they were mostly taken in Brooklyn. I was constantly attracted to the beautiful colors and textures on the streets.
One of the best part of the trip was catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I was so happy I got to spend time with lovely Jannese from Crafty Love, Debra and Sewon! They were extremely kind to bring me to some awesome places : Egg restaurant, The Meatball Shop, Spitzer’s, The Living Room and the Brooklyn Art library where their sketch books were kept!
Brooklyn Art library
Jannese’s sketchbook – a record of her experience a few hours before the 3/11 earthquake.
Debra’s sketchbook – Instant sketches of people on the train.
Jannese also gave me a copy of her new Brooklyn photo zine which I really love. She will be at the Brooklyn Zine Fest with Debra and Sewon on 21 April 2013, at Public Assembly in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Do drop by if you are in New York!! (I wish I was there!)
We’ve reached 1,000 likes on Polkaros Facebook Page! Thank you all for your support and accompanying us through our creative process! Every ‘like’ encourages us to work harder. Thank you once again for all your support! You are a group of very special peeps ♥ ♥ ♥
Sakura came and left very quickly. I think we only had one fine day with fairly clear blue skies this year during the Ohanami season. I’m glad I made it to Shinjuku Gyoen to have one last Ohanami before the rain came to take them away. The change of seasons really reminds you of how quickly time is passing!
I have a soft spot in my heart for Spring as everything in Japan starts in Spring and so did my move to Japan 8 years ago. I remember my first few days of school and how excited we were when the sakura trees outside our dormitory bloomed. Our hearts were filled with hope and excitement for the year ahead! ( Ah I was young…) What I love so much about sakura is how it adds a soft and gentle touch to our daily lives. I have recently moved to a new neighborhood and was delighted to find a quiet river lined with sakura trees. It was one of the most magical and beautiful sights ever. A hidden treasure!
Hope you are enjoying spring, wherever you are.