Category Archives: kanzashi

Wedding Gifts

By Isla Wong (aka Kitty Kanzashi)

Wedding Gifts

In the ye old days, it was customary for wealthy brides to receive a trousseau on her wedding.  This contained all the clothes that the lady will need for her married life.

Then as the years rolled on this turned into household items which the couple need to set up home.

However nowadays many of us already have all the things we need therefore what should you ask your guest to give?

Honeymoon fund

Whether you are asking them to contribute to a specific element like the hotel or just a general pot of money this is a nice idea because it will give the guest a chance to contribute to a gift that will be enjoyed and provided many happy memories.

Charity donation

There is nothing like spreading your joy with other people so why not help others who are in need.  In these current economic time, charities are the hardest hit due to the lack of funding from governments so they need private donations more then ever.

Deposit for Future Home

We all wish the happy couple the best for the future and what could be better then giving them a hand in getting their first house!  With rising house prices (especially in the UK), it is getting harder and harder for first time buyer to build up the deposit that is necessary to secure a mortgage on a house so with the help of family and friends you could make their future a little bit easier.

Cash

This is the route I took and this caused a raised eyebrow from my mother in law since asking for money as a wedding gift is often considered vulgar.  However, it is traditional in many eastern cultures for money to be presented as a wedding gifts and since I am Chinese this seemed perfectly natural to me.  Now each culture has there own way of presenting the money to the couple, for the Chinese, it is presented in red envelope, just like the one above but it can also be included in the congratulation card as well.

Do you have any other ideas which might be an alternative to the traditional wedding list?  If you do then let us know in the comments!

Kitty Kanzashi – Big Day!

I never thought this day would happen but on the 17 of October, 2011, I, Kitty Kanzashi married my lovely partner of 11years!  We both wanted an intimate wedding because neither of us enjoy being in the limelight, and we wanted to ensure that we took the time to talk to our guests and make sure they were enjoying themselves.  Apart from the hectic half hour where we had to get photos of us with all our relatives, it was a lovely day.

Since both our families live near Southend on Sea, what better place to get married then at a cozy seaside hotel?  We chose to get married in the lovely Roslin Hotel right on the seafront because (1), the food there was fab and, (2), we wanted a place where we could have the ceremony and reception in the same place.

 

My wedding dress was made by the brilliant Bound By Obsession, while my partner looked very dashing in his TM Lewin suit.

 

Of course, the wedding would not be complete without a few kanzashi for me, my partner, the immediate family and my matron of honour.

 

After the ceremony, I set aside some time for a tea ceremony which was an element of my Chinese culture popping in.

 

Oh, and here is a fun shot of my friends and I showing off our shoes!

 

This post was brought to you by Kitty of Kitty Kanzashi

Setting The Mood Just Right

Rose Candle Wedding Set by Artist Marcie Forest - Pure Beeswax & Roses - Custom Colors for Unity Ceremony, Memorials, Gifts, Home

 Table decoration is another great way for an eclectic couple to show their personalities however where do you start?  Well here is how I managed to narrow down my choices.

Size – We have all been to a restaurant where there is just not enough space on the table for all the things you have ordered.  Therefore when you decorate your table, make sure you leave enough room for all the cutlery, glasses and plates that maybe used.

Colour Scheme – Unless you are planning on having all the colours of the rainbow then choosing a set of colours will help you get started.  If you are unsure of what colours go with what then try using an interactive colour wheel like this one!

http://colorschemedesigner.com/

Here you can play with the colours to your hearts content until you feel you have the scheme you like.

Real or Fake? – Here I am talking about flowers by the way.  Real flowers add a touch of luxury to the table and if you ask the florist, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune!  However we must not think fake flowers as being the inferior cousin of the real ones because unless you are the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, painting real flowers isn’t the best use of your time.  Fake flowers come in every single colour under the sun and best of all, you can buy them in advance!

Alternatives to flowers? – What if you are not a flower person?  Maybe you are allergic to mother nature then there are other decorations you can use such as sculptures or candlestick holders.  How about some board games for your guest to play while they are waiting at the table?  Whatever you choose just keep in mind of one thing, height!  A piece of decoration that blocks the view of other guests on the table is a little rude (unless that is your aim).  So keep everything low.

Less is More – By now you must have plenty of ideas but that doesn’t mean you have to use them all or your table will be overflowing.  Now is the time to pick and choose the things that co-ordinate.

Practice makes perfect – If you have brought all the elements, why not practice arranging your table?  All this time you have been using your imagination, picturing how it might look but now you can bring it to life.  Find a table or just use the floor and layout your pieces as you picture them.  Is it how you imagine it or do you need to fill in some gaps?  Once you are done, you can then take a picture of it and send it to your venue/reception so they know what to do with all your things.

I sincerely hope this has helped you with your wedding plans and GOOD LUCK!

This post brought to you by Isla of Kitty Kanzashi

Peaches and Cream Kanzashi (Limited Edition) haircomb

Brides Around the World – Part 1 Japan

Do you long  for a bit of the Far East?  Are you in love with simplicity, serenity, and stately elegance?  The traditional dress of the Japanese bride might be for you.

Most of us know that the traditional women’s dress of Japan is called the “kimono.” And, though  they aren’t as commonly worn as they used to be, one of the places you’re still sure to see kimono is at a Japanese wedding. Though the modern bride will often wear more than three outfits throughout her wedding day, the traditional wedding kimono, called an uchikake, is almost certain to be one of the ensembles worn..

The uchikake is  a robe-like dress that used to be the common dress of women in the samurai (warrior) class. Uchikake have long rounded sleeves that swing elegantly off of the arm, and a longer hemline than most other kimono styles. The hem is also padded, which helps the uchikake to form a train behind the wearer. It is worn open, like a long coat, over a pale under-kimono (called kakeshita). In ancient times, there would have actually been five or more under-kimono beneath the uchikake. Today, some uchikake mimic this style with thin strips of fabric trimming the edges.

In the traditional religion of Japan, Shinto, white is a symbol of purity. Because of this, the uchikake is most often white, as is the kakeshita, or under-kimono, and it’s obi, or sash. The hair is also wrapped in a traditional white headpiece, known as the tsunokakushi..

But tucked into this tsunokakushi (wedding headpiece) is by far my favorite part of the traditional Japanese wedding ensemble–the kanzashi.

Kanzashi are traditional Japanese hair ornaments.  They, like kimono, come in a wide variety of styles. The wedding kanzashi are usually a golden-yellow color, and very ornate. Originally made of tortoise-shell or metal, today they are most often created from molded plastic. The detail is stunning and often includes symbolic elements such as cranes, pine branches, and turtles, all symbolic of longevity.

Western brides might consider a less formal tsumami (“folded fabric”) kanzashi to accent their hair, or a monochromatic silk brocade for their gown. Perhaps an up-do with a traditional Japanese flair might compliment an ornate western dress. Or an actual kimono–either white or brightly colored–might be to the bride’s fancy.  The Japanese bride is stately and graceful, and provides much to inspire her western sisters.  Kitty Kanzashi designs and creates some of the most amazing Kanzashi flowers on the market.

This post brought to you by Michelle Greenwood of Greenwood Occasions.

Henna Daisy Wedding Spoon - Made to Order

Greenwood Occasions Wedding Spoons

Isn’t her work stunning???  I see a wonderful tradition starting 🙂

Krissy

Make Believe’N

>Meet Kitty of KittyKanzashi

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Tsumami Hana Kanzashi – Folded Fabric Flower Hair Ornaments
Aren’t you always looking for something unique?  The one little touch that expresses who you are while being beautiful and unexpected.  Kanzashi ornaments are the perfect touch for anyone that has a love of Japanese culture and artwork.  Kitty designs and creates some of the most spectacular pieces I have ever seen!!!  Feel confident that if you love it even a little Kitty has put a tone of love into making the piece.  I think this is a good luck charm.
Kiru Rise-Japanese Hair Ornament-Bridal Tiara(Tsumami Kanzashi)
Kiru Rise Japanese Kanzashi Ornament

Each hair clip and/or ornament can be created in any color or combination of colors.  Kitty loves creating works of Kanzashi art for any reason!!!

Candy Amore-Kanzashi inspired hairband and buttonhole flower
Candy Amore
Blue Beach-Kanzashi inspired hairclip
Blue Beach Kanzashi Hair Clip
From Kitty:
I’m a struggling trainee accountant who is making ends meet with her kanzashi.  

My life (and my flat) is full of all things Japanese and as an avid collector and wearer of kimono one can not complete an outfit without a kanzashi.  However I just couldn’t find the kanzashi I wanted so I began to make them and soon they began to fill every space I had remaining.  

After giving a few of my kanzashi away as gifts to my friends and being made redundant from my work, I decided that rather then waiting for the right job to turn up, I would turn my hobby into my work.  Thus Kitty Kanzashi was born.

Apart from day dreaming about kanzashi and kimono, I enjoy cooking!  Whether it is cakes or stews, there is nothing more relaxing then taking your frustrations out on some food especially if I am making bread which is my mini food project at the moment.
And for my geeky side, I play computer games on my PS3 and watch anime.

Well Kitty I personally love your work and look forward to what you have up your beautiful Kimono sleeve!

Find Kitty here:

>Wonderful World of Kanzashi

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In the west, a traditional wedding is a white affair however in the multi-cultural world that we live in today this is no longer the only option. Recently I was commissioned by a bride to make two hana kanzashi because she was getting married in a kimono.

Hana kanzashi translated from Japanese to English means “flower hair ornaments” and are worn mainly by Maiko (apprentice geiko). However they are also worn on special occasions such as weddings or the “coming of age” ceremony in Japan.

Here is a picture of Maiko Koyoshi wearing a momiji (Maple Leaf) kanzashi.

(copyright Onihide – Flickr)

So which kanzashi did my bride commissioned me to make? In the end she choice to customize Cherry Blossom Crescent and Mellow Pink and the end result was as follow.

I really enjoy fulfilling custom order as it allows me to create kanzashi which I wouldn’t have otherwise made due to storage constraints. Also the thought of creating an item which the bride will treasure makes me very happy.

However for all you brides who are planning a white wedding do not despair since I am able to customize all of my kanzashi designs to suit your colour scheme.

If you are interested in any of my designs then visit my shop.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/kittykanzashi