Kanzashi in Bloom - The Interview

As you may know, Diane Gilleland, author, blogger, podcaster, and crafter extraordinaire has just published a book entitled Kanzashi in Bloom. She kindly agreed to make DudeCraft a stop on her blogger book tour and consented to an interview. Little did she know that I wasn't just going to shower her with compliments and lob her softball questions about how great her book is. Nope, that's not how we roll at DudeCraft. We are a beacon of truth, fearlessly holding an author's feet to the fire until we get some real answers. Now, you may want to send your children out of the room, because what follows is possibly the hardest hitting interview about Japanese flower making that has ever been published. Enjoy.

DC: So, Diane, why flowers? Seems to me that leaves always get the raw end of the deal when it comes to crafty flora. Do you hate leaves? Are you a leaf hater?

DG: I think I'm on record as being pro-leaf. I've championed the leafy cause on many occasions, as these oxygen-producing, less-flamboyant cousins to the flower rarely get the respect they deserve.

And incidentally, you can find a method for making a Kanzashi leaf on page 72 of my book.

DC:(Checks page 72) I withdraw the question. Next...In your book you mention that traditional Kanzashi is done with silks, yet you tell us to use cottons. Are you saying that I'm not man enough to conquer silk? Are you saying that silk is better than me?

DG: Well, silk is definitely better than me, and perhaps, better than many of us. Whether it's better than you, that's for Silk to decide.

Seriously, though, silk is much slipperier and less moldable than cotton. Watch this video and tell me whether you still feel superior to silk:

Although, you can starch your silk so it's easier to fold.

DC: Silk is going to have to bring the violence if it expects me to take it seriously. I mean, really, a shiny, slippery fabric made by worms? Who wouldn't scoff at that?

Next question: I have really big hands. Stop laughing. It's a handicap. I found that when I attempted to make a small Kanzashi flower that it was really difficult (impossible) to produce a good looking result. Are you making fun of people with my handicap by putting such tiny projects in your book? Do you have something against people with Mano Grande Disorder? (it's real. look it up)

DG: ...And what about the people who have really small hands? Mano Micro Disorder? Shouldn't there be a project for them, too? Are you a small-hands hater?

DC:Ooh, those damned small handed people, with their childlike fingers and their tiny palms! Creepy, really. That is not a handicap, by the way, it's just a freakish disfigurement. They deserve no sympathy.

Onward...While I was working on the Kanzashi flowers, my girlfriend claims that I spontaneously started humming songs from The Sound of Music and expressed a wish to have a glass of Chardonnay. Did I have a girly blackout? If so, why isn't there a warning in your book?

DG: Oh, no - I was afraid that might happen. My attorney and I offer our sincere apologies, and our hopes that you've read the Girly Blackout Disclaimer on page 145.

You should know that this is a temporary condition, and can be reversed by watching a couple hours of 'Ice Road Truckers.'

DC: Hmmm, hmmm, THE HILLS ARE ALIVE WITH THE hmm hmm hmm hmm...this wine is kind of oakey, dont you think? ...uh, where am I? What was that you were saying? No matter, let's move on...Diane, there's a section in your book about fixing common problems. Well, this morning there was a bird caught in my house and your book was no help at all. I would have thought that a bird caught in your house would be a pretty "common" problem. Subquestion: Do you hate animals?

DG: You're right - that was an oversight on my part. Future editions of the book will contain an expanded "Fixing Common Problems" chapter, which includes clearing a blocked drain, treating sunburn, removing gum from the sole of a shoe, and eradicating household ants.

Pushkin advises me not to dignify your charge of animal-hating with a response. And I pretty much do whatever he says.

DC:Glad I could be of help. Send any royalties to my address.

Now, I took the liberty of anagramming Kanzashi in Bloom and the result I got was: "Aloha Zombis Kin", which translates to "greetings zombie family". Is this book your way of communicating with your zombie army in code? Is this "book" actually an instruction booklet for the coming zombie apocalypse?

DG: Dang! You have thwarted my plan to rule the world!

For the record, though, all my secret zombie army was going to do was scour thrift stores around the world for good craft supplies. Oh - and maybe sneak some plastic canvas into fine-craft galleries.

...Well, okay - and perhaps, distract a few eBay snipers so I have a better chance of winning more button auctions. And I would've gotten away with it too, if if hadn't been for you meddling Dudecraft!


Well, dear readers, there you have it. If you want to make some great looking Kanzashi flowers and you don't mind buying a book from the queen of the zombies that may or may not cause you to act completely girly for an unspecified amount of time, then this book is for you. As long as you don't have a bird in your house.

Kanzashi in bloom is available here, here, and here. Also, make sure and visit Diane regularly over at CraftyPod to see the myriad cool things that she is up to and listen to her excellent podcast.


  1. Paul, you need to be a stop on everyone's blog tour.

  2. I can't say I ever thought I'd see a blog post that seamlessly combined the zombie apocalypse with fabric flowers. Brilliant!

  3. Why, thank you ladies. High praise indeed.


  4. I'm only buying craft books where the author is interviewed here in the future. Super stuff!

  5. Thanks Jenny! I like your blog. PSA post was hilarious!

  6. OMG! I just giggled like a schoolgirl through that. What a fantastic review/interview!

  7. hehe.. best interview EVAH!

  8. I see a late night T.V. show in your future.

  9. Thanks Dot and Shelley! We had a ;ot of fun doing it. Diane was a really good sport.

  10. Good sport? Wait - wha - that wasn't serious?!


  11. Diane - Oh, it was more serious than you think. I had a girly flashback this morning wherein I donned a pink bathrobe and made admiring comments about how funny Sally Forth is. You'll be hearing from my solicitor.

  12. First post, here! ^-^

    Wow, now that was funny! Diane, queen of zombie... nahhh, I'd say Queen of Plastic canvas, instead! :-p

    The interview was so original! Thanks for the fun read! *Off to make some flowers*

  13. You guys are hilarious! Bring the violence, Silk, I dare you ... :)

  14. I can't wait to see the second addition of Kanzashi in Bloom with excerpts of this review on the back cover. The closing paragraph that starts with the reference about Diane being the Zombie Queen and ends with the important caveat about not having a bird in your house would cause the 2nd edition to sell like hot cakes.

  15. h and FG, Thanks for the comments. Oh, man, I'd love to be in charge of the jacket reviews for the 2nd ed.

    "...and Keanu Reeves seems kind of wooden in his role as the flower master." -NY Times

    "...Sorry birds, you're going to have to get used to living indoors." -Post Intelligencer

  16. LOL.....this was the best blogger interview I have read in a loooooong while (if not ever). Thank you for the fantastic laughs and inspiration!

  17. I'm not entirely sure if this interview is of marketing value for the book (Diane?) but it sure is the most fun stop in the book tour so far (thanks!)! Now the only question is, will the dude be wrapped in silk by the silk worm attackers, killed by zombie thrifthorder revenger's (and their kin) - or conquer the craft and make himself a hair pin flower?!?

  18. Grace and iHannah - Thanks for the comments. iHanna - Marketing value? The TRUTH has no time for marketing value!

  19. I haven't laughed like this in a LONG time! Kudos to you AND Diane. PS-If I ever write a book, please PROMISE you'll torture me likewise.

  20. Christina - I promise. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the comment!