Last year we lost a good family friend, Lauree. She was a beautiful person who always encouraged me to pursue my interest in the arts. She could talk for hours and loved giving advice. Just before she passed, she suggested that I send some of my art, jewelry, or accessories to celebrities – she thought it would be a good way to draw attention to my work.

I was hemming and hawing about it for a bit, not really sure who I should send something to, or if I should even bother since most of the major celebrities that she suggested probably didn’t even read all their fan-mail or get all the gifts people send them. After Lauree passed, I gave myself a kick in the butt and decided to take her advice, but apply it in a more personal, pay-it-forward way.

So, I approached Kimicho, a foreign geisha from Yoshinoya house in Tokyo. Sending a package out to Japan felt good; I loved living in Japan, and as an artist I really appreciate all the hard work and dedication that the geisha devote to mastering their many crafts. They are truly the keepers of the traditional Japanese arts. Also, I remember what it was like being a foreigner in Japan, so sending something to an foreign artist making her way in Japan felt like it was bringing things around full circle for me.

I sent Kimicho one of the my canola kanzashi with a silver butterfly. I chose canola because that’s one of our chief exports here in Saskatchewan. In the summer there are endless fields of golden canola flowers as far as the eye can see. It’s a little piece of the Canadian prairie in Tokyo. She sent a lovely mini stationary set and thank you card in return, which I wasn’t expecting but really love; I’m only slightly obsessed with stationary.

Kimicho recently posted a picture of herself wearing my kanzashi on her Instagram, and I just had to share my excitement with you guys. A real geiko wearing my kanzashi! Lauree would be so thrilled.

This time of year – right before spring arrives – always makes me dream of flowers and sunshine. So, of course I’ve been thinking a lot about kanzashi too! I finished a few blue clematis hairpins this weekend; I’ve been meaning to start replenishing my stock of small hairpins but it always seems like there’s too much to do and not enough time to get it all done in.

I also have some larger street fashion/punk-inspiredpieces I’m working on currently, along with prepping for more traditional designs. Gotta make some headway on my kanzashi calendar this year! What kind of kanzashi do you want to see this spring?

P.S. If you’re ever in Japan, I hope you consider supporting the geisha as well. You can book a party with Kimicho’s geisha house here.