I recently read an article in the July/August 2009 issue of Sew Beautiful Magazine on an up-and-coming book called "Kanzashi In Bloom" by Diane Gilleland. I was very intrigued by the article and decided to pre-order the book last month...well, it was released this week and arrived on my doorstep yesterday afternoon. What a fun and fabulous book - I am thrilled with the contents! Kanzashi tsumami is the Japanese art of folding delicate squares of silk into three-dimensional flower petals - used most traditionally as hair ornaments worn by Japanese women. American crafters have made this form of art their own by creating flowers with different materials and accents...and adapting the flowers for a variety of projects. The flowers can be used in so many ways...and the book has TONS of great ideas and instructions. In a short amount of time this morning, I made my first flower...and the instructions were quite clear and easy!! I used eight 3" inch squares of fabric for my first flower (the suggested size for beginners) and made the basic round petal (instructions are included for three petal-folding styles)...for the center, I stacked two buttons. I love how creative I can be building my own flowers...and it is the perfect way to use those favorite fabrics and fat quarters! These are great for "dressing-up" wrapped packages, adorning fashion accessories, or adding to a favorite fabric craft (a quilt, tote bag, or wall hanging). Pictured below is my first flower...and I plan to make an entire bouquet!