Handcrafted. Doll headband and outfit

Long time no nothing, what a let down I start to tell myself but then why share a load of nothing to take up space so I didn’t and I got over it.

Skip back to the week before Christmas 2017 and Swarms and Bee are off to their first trip to Tokyo, Japan. A dream holiday that began with hideous jet-lag and resentment but ended as one of the most influential trips of our lives. For now, next trip is already in the planning stages but let’s get back on track….

I recall the days when Barbie and Sindy were it, they were influential in my world of play. They were mountaineers, fashion models, explorers and so many other things. Then that awkward age hit and I still really loved my dolls but I didn’t want to look like a baby so they all….yes all went to a jumble sale or charity shop or some other such tragic place. I still miss that Peaches and Cream dress….woah skip back to Tokyo and one of many days in Akihabara, right towards the end of the holiday. In the corner of one of the many floors of one of the many shops I spotted three semi-nude dolls wrapped carefully in cellophane. I ummed and ahhed until Bee asked me what the hell was wrong with me and I should just buy all three if I liked them…I have no idea why I stalled when they were around £13 for all three! So I bought them and my return to dolls returned.

Cut to today and many fat finger moments later, trial and error and pin pricks and cursing, lots of cursing and I’m getting to grips with small scale sewing. Actually sewing in general. I even sewed my first inset sleeve, successfully. Check me out. (I won’t mention that the bodice of the same piece was way too small – measure twice cut once rings in my head – so I only did one sleeve before I binned the piece)

I need to get on with it don’t I? Vanish of the surface of blogdom for a while and then I can’t stop typing a load of semi-related stuff from my mind to the page.

I love the Mori Girl look so wanted to take that as an influence. I crocheted a cute little shawl, stitched a sweet forest green dress, made some awful little mules and made my own headband and decorated it. I’m so so happy with it. I am by no means an authority on this kind of thing so a more experienced person will see a million flaws in my work, but I’m really happy and it sets off her look in a way that makes me happy. So I feel this is worth a share and I hope it will make you smile.



Haiku: Wassail

Tomorrow we’re going wassailing. I’m very excited, it is something I’ve wanted to do for ages to brighten up this otherwise grey and miserable time of year.

For anyone who doesn’t know wassailing is most likely Anglo-Saxon in origin and you’ll find it happening in fruit growing areas around early to mid-January, depending on what calendar you are following. The point is to make sure the coming year’s harvest is a good and fruitful one. The wassail queen places cider soaked bread on to branches of a chosen tree and everyone sings, cider is also poured on the roots. Then everyone goes round all the trees banging and shouting to wake the trees up and chase off any evil spirits that lurk and would otherwise do harm to the trees. Exciting eh!?

Well with this coming up and me having a right old ponder this morning about getting some YouTube videos sorted out and I thought about doing a haiku a day. As the day goes on my brain ticks and whirrs…I shouldn’t pay it any attention half the time. Anyway I ended up with what will come in a moment. I feel like I’m jabbering and would normally like to keep my posts a bit shorter than this. It’s no a proper haiku, the only elements are the syllables and it is seriously lacking in sabi and wabi. I’ve kind of merged it with an old English folk song style due to the subject matter…I’ll shut up now, meditate on succinctness and you can actually read it.

Haiku: Wassail

Shout and bang and sing
with the wassail queen and king.
Ripe hopes, this year bring.

© Swarms Me 2017

1000 cranes. Day 1

I watch a lot of YouTube and recently discovered Yuka’s Show and Tell  I really enjoy watching her videos. There’s something calming and charmingly endearing about the way she presents herself and her stories on her videos. Anyway I came across the origami paper crane tutorial and started to watch as I usually would ready to listen to her stories. Then she began to tell the story of why origami cranes are so important to Japan, I’ve attached this NHK World article  that talks about the history.

For me I felt a need to create 1000 cranes as a reminder to myself, sort of a meditation and to the respect of what a nation chose to do because they wanted peace. Our daily updates are going on the swarms and bee instagram here. Day 1 included a trial but every day we will create one each.