Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Here's to a New Year!

I just want to thank everyone who has followed my blog this past year. Readers are the reason I write! I hope to have more convention and kitsuke pictures in the next year, as well as other interesting tidbits I find to talk about. I hope you will all continue to read as we venture into 2012!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Two New Kimono

I won two new kimono for only 99¢ a piece on eBay over the past week. I've been paying more for kimono recently, so I miss getting deals like this!

The first one is a reddish purple tsukesage. I has some fading/stains, but for only 99¢, I don't mind. I plan on using this in my steampunk ensemble this spring, so the fading/stains might actually fit in just fine with the look.

The second is one of many yabane odori kimono that Ryujapan had listed last week. I'm partial to warm colors, so I opted to the red over the blue ones. The kimono is quite large already, so it should be a good candidate to adjusted to become a hikizuri...maybe. Or I may leave it as is. We'll see. =)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Steampunk Shamisen

I've been working on this piece for a couple of weeks now, and just finished it last night. I had this shamisen made of lucite that I bought on eBay some years ago for $11, and it has been sitting around my house ever since. It is technically playable, but the sound quality is poor, so I decided to turn it into an art project. Since I plan on doing a steampunk ensemble for some anime conventions this spring and summer, I decided to go that route.

The first step involved painting the whole thing. Since it was originally clear, it took several coats to get it opaque. Then I cut pieces of leather to simulate the skins. I made the neo (string retainer) and pegs out of sculpey; I painted those after baking. The koma (bridge) is actually a large square bead with a pin backing on top. The strings are thin gauge bronze colored wire. I decorated the top and pegs with cogs and a stamped compass. The dou (body) got a variety of cogs and a pair of stamped wings. All in all, I'd say it came out okay for a first time project. =)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Anime Blues Con 2012 - Memphis, TN - June 15-17, 2012

Last year was Anime Blues Con's first year, and what a success it was! This year, we're back with a bang and better than before! Guests this year are Johnny Young Bosch (Trigun, Bleach, Power Rangers, Code Geass) and Eyeshine (How About That, Alone), Robert Axelrod (Power Rangers, Cowboy Bebop, Akira), Todd Haberkorn (xxxHolic, Soul Eater, Fairy Tail), Darrel Guilbeau (Durarara, Samurai Champloo, Paranoia Agent), and Alex Zemke (Killzone 3, SOCOM 4, Turra: Gun Angel). Featured events will be the Cosplay Contest, adult Cosplay Off (18+), Anime Olympics, Lantern Festival, Masquerade ball, Lolita Tea Party, Maid Café, Official Pokémon Tournament, Kimono Jeopardy, Rave, and more! We will have many other events from the culture, adult, anime, art, and gaming, as well as a chibi track for the kids (see website for full list of panels and events)! Come "party at the tower" with us!


Hilton Memphis
939 Ridge Lake Boulevard
Memphis, Tennessee
USA 38120
Tel: +1-901-684-6664

July 15-17, 2012
(Programming will start at 10 am on Friday and will go 24 hours-a-day until closing ceremonies on Sunday evening.)

Tickets are only $25 for 3 FULL DAYS of programming until January 31, 2012!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween Costume Contest at the Nashoba Carriage Show

My parents drive carriage horses, and this year's local show was the weekend before Halloween, so they had a costume contest! My parents wanted to do a "rickshaw for rent" theme, so they asked me to wear a kimono and dress my dad in one (as he would be driving). My boyfriend Josh wore his new green tsumugi kimono for fun, even though he wasn't in the carriage with us. My sister made the saddle pad for the pony (his name is Third Rock :kawaii: ), the sign on the back of the carriage, and took the pictures. My kimono is not seasonally appropriate, but I wanted something synthetic so I could wash it if it got dirty.

The carriage!

When I saw the sign, I asked my sister, "Did you just write Japanese gibberish on it?!" XP

Dad just wore his regular clothes underneath the yukata, as it was cool outside and we had less than ideal conditions to dress (sorry no closeups of the yukata).

We got a lot of compliments, and won the "Traveled the Farthest" award!

Some other costumes are pictured below.

Batman and the Joker:

Red Devils:


Mayberry (the blanket says "Just Nip It") XD

General Halloween theme:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Kitsuke

Josh and I were off to two Halloween parties tonight, so we decided to go in kimono ^_^. Josh just got his first real kimono and juban the other day, so he decided to wear it. It's a nice dark green tsumugi.

I decided to go out of season and wear the tsubame komon. I needed to wear something washable, and the other choices were too plain or summer kimono, so I just said to heck with seasonality tonight and went for it. I wore a new fukuro obi that I received in a trade. Once again, breaking the rules (fukuro with komon), but I just didn't care tonight XP.

Our first stop of the night is a carriage show where my parents are competing with their pony. After the last class, there will be a costume party. Then we're going to Josh's friend's house for their costume party. I hope I'll make it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tsumakawa and other buys

Since all my bills have been paid for the month, I wanted to get some things from Rakuten with some of the money I have left. I bought a few small kitsuke things from Kimono-Kyoukomati (like plain white haneri and rain covers for zori), but my two bigger buys from them were tsumakawa and a hip pad.

I've wanted tsumakawa since I saw ones like these in The New Kimono, so at 2,100¥, these were right up my alley ^_^.

I also bought 2 obiage from Kimonozone on Etsy. The first one is white background with blue shibori momiji and various geometric designs. The second is brown and grey with gold paint and wax-dyed filigree.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another kimono bolt!

I won another kimono bolt tonight!

I'm unsure as the whether I'm going to make a kimono or a haori out of this one though. It's wool, but I'm unsure whether I'm going to line it or not. I guess it depends on how good I do on the first kimono. Here's to hoping!

Friday, October 14, 2011

My First Kimono Tan!

After countless fruitless searches for the perfect fitting kimono, I just decided to try to sew one. I have legitimate patterns to make one, but finding a good tan at a great price was a bit challenging. I finally settled on this purple bolt from Ichiroya:

The colors remind me of Easter eggs! XD I also don't have any purple kimono anymore, so it will be unlike anything I already own. And it's synthetic, so cleaning will easy. I now just need to hope that there's enough fabric to make a kimono my size (68 inches [173 cm] tall and 58 inch [147 cm] wingspan) as well as enough width. I know I will at least be able to get the height, so here's to the wingspan! If you have any tips on how to make the shoulders wider, please let me know!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yellow Tsumugi with Purple Bird Obi

My *expensive* purple bird obi arrived the other day, so I begged my boyfriend to bring his nice camera over to take some kitsuke pictures. I'm kind of in the middle of redoing my kimono collection at the moment, so the kimono that I chose was this yellow tsumugi, though I'm sure there are better coordinations out there. The obi itself is super soft, so it was frustrating to try to make a very straight line across the top of my otaiko. Any suggestions to help with this?

I also got these cork soled zori in the mail recently, and the purple color was right in line with the obi. =)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Autumn Grasses Houmongi

I finally put together an ensemble with the autumn grass houmongi bought way back. When I originally bought it, I thought it was a much light "café au lait" color but when it arrived, it turned out to be chocolate brown. After much searching for a compatible obi, I found one a few months ago. Then came the trouble with selecting the obiage and obijime. I like the colors I've chosen (dark red obiage and brown obijime); they don't stand out very much, but they don't overpower the outfit either. For the most part, that is a look I like. But I also think green and coppery orange would suit it well. I finished the ensemble off with a yellow momiji kanzashi and pale green zori. My sweet boyfriend took the photos:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tsubame Komon

I've had this light grey-blue tsubame komon for several months now, but with the weather being so hot during the summers here, I didn't dare even try an awase kimono on, even in the house! So now that the weather is FINALLY starting to be reasonable (still 85˚F during the day though...), I decided to finally try it on. I put it with an obi I hadn't used before - a black tsumugi nagoya obi with tsuta. I used a dark red obiage and goldenrod yellow obijime. I also tried "flattening" and padding the boobies a little better than I have been previously. So what do you think?

My obi's a little crooked =(

And my pale green zori =)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Two Subdued Hanhaba Obi and "The Case of the Sakiori Obi"

I went on more of a buying binge last night, but I got each of these hanhaba obi for 99¢, $5.50, and $7.50 - a super steal for mint or brand new items! They're all subdued colors, which I seem to favor lately, so I was super pleased to win these!

The first in a brand new striped cotton hanahaba:

Next we have an ochre grid design cotton hanhaba:

Last is an hanhaba width sakiori obi that appears to be tsukuri in style, but I'm really unsure of how to wear it properly. It has two shorter pieces, one of which has obijime-like ties; the other piece has no fittings. One suggestion was to tie it in karuta or kai no kuchi musubi, but I'm unsure if it can support itself alone (well, maybe in karuta musubi it can), so I'm still asking around to see if anyone knows. Please tell me if you know how to wear this!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Selling My Stuff on eBay!!! Plus, New Zori and Tsukuri Obi!

I just moved into my new house a week and a half ago, and in moving, I saw that there were a lot of kimono and kitsuke items that I either did not use or the style no longer suits my tastes. So I listed many things on eBay. You can view them here.

I also decided to buy some nicer zori that I found on sale on Rakuten for 1500¥. It was one of those love at first sight moments, so I hope I have something to match!

I also picked up this faux shibori tsukuri obi for 500¥. It's simple in design and will be easy to put on in a time crunch, so I'm satisfied ^_^.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Purple Shioze Blue Bird Obi

I have been on the hunt for a purple and a dyed obi, but after not finding any (especially the color purple) at the right price, I decided to splurge a little on this beauty:

It blew my whole kimono budget for a while, but I was so smitten with it when I saw it. The perfect color, simplicity, and a beautiful image of a graceful bird... I can't wait to try it on! I will post pictures when it arrives!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kimono Break - Bring on the Cosplay!

I'm taking a short hiatus from kimono to work on cosplay. I just received my custom Elizabeth "Lizzy" Middleford cosplay (from Kuroshitsuji/Black Butler). I'm very happy with how it looks!

Once I have the wig finished, I'll post my Makina Hoshimura cosplay (from Shikabane Hime/Corpse Princess).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Yukata Night Out

This past Friday, my sister Jessi and I met up with a large group of people from Anime Blues Con at a local Japanese restaurant. Many of us staff members were there, as well as a few attendees. Believe it or not, I asked Jessi if she would wear her yukata with me, and she said yes! =D I think what convinced her was that I told her I could tie her obi in karuta musubi so she could sit back on it without crushing it. The whole outfit was so cute on her (she's the one in white and blue below). We inadvertently wore opposite colors, too, which is definitely ironic since we are opposite personalities.

Here's just one picture from inside the restaurant:

I didn't realize it until I looked at the pictures, but her collar is backward. (I killed her! X_X) And it was soooooo hot - about 100˚F (38˚C)! You can probably tell by the pink in our faces how warm it was. The restaurant was air conditioned, but with so many people and the fact that we were on the 2nd floor of the building, it was still quite warm inside. Thank God these yukata are washable!

More pics: