For those of you who know me, you probably already know I am not a fan of hand sewing. Wait, that's not really true. I don't dislike hand sewing, but I don't particularly enjoy it. I think it is mainly because I am just very bad at it, haha. So it might come as a surprise to you that I have always wanted to try embroidery. It seems contradictory, doesn't it? But hand sewing a hem seems so different to embroidering a pretty flower. (Notice I didn't say I wanted to try knitting.)
As regular readers of the Petit a Petit blog, you will know that I have been attending craft exhibitions in Tokyo. Each time I've attended one, I found myself drawn to Kanae Entani's booth. Her embroidery is so delicate and sweet, and everything about it is so appealing to me. She occasionally holds exhibitions like this one here, and I thought if there were ever an opportunity to attend one of her workshops, I was going to sign up. Luckily for me, back in September this year she posted some information on her IG account about one she was holding in conjunction with her exhibition, which was titled "The Other Side of the Blue" (in English), and so I took it as a sign. I immediately registered for it.
I was kind of nervous about going, since I wasn't sure if it would really be beginner friendly, but I needn't have worried. There were only 4 other women, so it was more like a private lesson! We were asked to choose our favorite design, which we would embroider onto a handkerchief to take home with us at the end of the workshop. I went with the simplest of the four: daisies.
Aren't the frames lovely? I would never have thought to wrap them like that. I think it's practical and pretty. Ms. Entani explained the different types of stitches we would need to use and helped us set things up. She then went around and made sure each of us understood what we were supposed to do and then we set off to work.
I didn't want to go too crazy for my first serious attempt, so I decided on colors similar to the sample, as I got the sense that this is what was being encouraged (a bit like craft time at my daughter's kindergarten where the children are guided to follow the teacher's example).
I'm sure that Ms. Entani has seen better attempts at tracing than this one, HA! Never mind. I soldiered on, and though my finished product leaves a great deal to be desired (I couldn't help but laugh at the crooked "daisy" -- in fact, my mom often used an expression about my Japanese handwriting, which translates to something like "your writing looks like it's dancing"), the important thing is that I HAD FUN.
Now a proper, fancy Japanese workshop wouldn't be right without some sort of refreshments at the end. And true to style, Ms. Entani served us some lovely herbal tea and a delightful swan-shaped cream pastry (because as you'll notice from the photos to follow, she is quite fond of swans) that was almost too good to eat.
I tried to eat it as slowly and as ladylike as possible, but I was never very good at that sort of thing. Trust me. Anyway, the main thing is that it was delicious!!! I wish I could remember the name of the bakery. One of the women commented that the bakery also makes pastries shaped like hedgehogs. That would have been interesting to see, too.
After we finished eating, we were invited to take a look around at the embroidery on exhibit, and the best part is that we were allowed to take pictures, so I can share them with you!