About Me

Hi, I’m Emily, and I run Cuttlefishlove Kanzashi, and also make every single petal of my kanzashi flowers with my own fair hands!

Since setting up Cuttlefishlove Kanzashi in May 2010  my kanzashi have been featured in Rebel Magazine UK and exhibited in Brighton Museum and The Fishing Quarter Gallery. I’ve taught kanzashi workshops at Brighton Mini Makers Faire, Deaf Diaspora (in BSL – British Sign Language) and for Cascade Style (who I’ve also designed 3 exclusive upcycled collections for!).

I came across kanzashi several years ago, when I was planning my wedding, and thought they were the most beautiful things I’d ever seen! I was stunned by their delicateness and intricacy, but knew I’d never be able to find the time to make them as I had a long commute and a tiring job. 

Then disaster struck, I hurt my back at work and was left with chronic low back pain, something that I still struggle with. Stuck at home, unable to work, I felt like my whole life had fallen apart.

I really wanted to take control of my situation, and turn it around so that my life was about being a joyful, interesting person again. I knew I needed something to fill the long hours at home sick with, and I remembered kanzashi. I started to make them (not very well at first- my first ones didn’t even look like flowers!) to fill the time, and found it very satisfying.

Eventually I realised to my disappointment that I would not be able to return to my job. Then I saw I had a possibility for self employment staring me in the face- my kanzashi!

Through making and selling my kanzashi, I’ve found lots of wonderful friends in the  Brighton community of local artists and makers and discovered a passion for kimono wearing and collecting, which I now blog about! 

I really hope that your love of kanzashi takes you somewhere exciting and beautiful too! 

My kanzashi are available in the following shops:




You can follow me on Facebook here:


And follow me on Twitter here:


I also have a Pinterest here:


And a Polyvore account:


I post photos on Flickr here:


If you are on the UKHandmade Forum, here is my page:



9 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Emily, what an inspiring tale is yours! I love the creative energy that goes into handcrafted things and your Kanzashi are obvious labors of love! Also, I noted in your bio that you are interested in how language affects how we perceive the world. I too have a long held interest in linguistics and anthropology and I wrote a little piece about some tea-inspired art from another UK-based creative that you might like. You can read it here http://dragonscup.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/156/

    1. Wow! That’s a really interesting article- I’m actually particularly interested in the links between language and colour (and the way we perceive colour!). I have an interesting book on kimono colours, with the Japanese kanji and the English translation (‘Kimono and the Colors of Japan’ by Katsumi Yumioka) . I’m really fascinated that the translations are not direct- for example the Japanese says ‘peach pink’ but this is translated as ‘fuchsia pink’ (Incidentally it refers to a colour which I would not describe as fuchsia at all!)

  2. Hey Emily,

    Thanks so much for following made.in.transylvania and for introducing me to your lovely blog. I have a minor obsession with all things Japanese but I’d never heard of Kanzashi. A great find!
    A very inspirational tale, I wish you all the best with everything

    1. Its so exciting when you stumble across something new that you love isn’t it? I felt the same when I first came across kanzashi!

      I love your comments about Greggs in your post ‘Every Sandwich tells a Story’ -SO TRUE!!

    1. AW yay, kanzashi rock! For some reason when I go to your blog I can’t see your images, but I would really like to as from the text it looks like there are loads of kimono photos and useful info about wearing them!

      1. It’s a little embarrassing, but I just hit my bandwidth limit for the first time. It’s going to refresh in another 3 days–please check back then!
        A lot of the photos are from when I was preparing for a kimono speed-dressing contest. I’ll be starting practice soon for doing it a second time, and this time I’ll be trying some new techniques!

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