Monday, February 28, 2011

Kikyo Summer Fukuro Obi

Today was my birthday, so I decided I would get a "birthday gift to me" with some money I was given. Since it's already been in the 60s and 70s over the past few weeks here in Memphis, I've been getting the summer bug. I had yet to get a summer obi to complete my ro ensemble, so I figured there was no better time than now, and I bought this fukuro obi I've been eyeing for a while now. It's a simple white/cream color with silver kikyo woven in.

Since I have some kimono demonstrations to do this summer, this will really help with keeping me cool, since some may involve going outdoors. After debuting my first ro kimono last summer, I learned the difference between ro and hitoe is phenomenal, especially during a humid Memphis summer!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birthday Kitsuke

Yesterday, some friends and I got together and celebrated my birthday early (it's not until February 28th). I decided, "It's my birthday, and what the heck, I'll wear kimono!" I pulled out my bangasa odori kimono (since it's washable) and my botan nagoya obi. I paired these with my pink sakura obiage, purple & gold obijime, black sakura tabi, and pale green zori. I was very happy with the combo and have gotten very positive feedback from the lovely people on the Immortal Geisha forums.

I also took the opportunity to dress my friend up in my sakura kofurisode because my matsukawabishi fukuro obi came today (great birthday gift to myself!!). I couldn't do a great job on her because I ran out of stuff to use for padding. X.X I also still need work on furisode musubi, so I'm not going to show the picture of the musubi. With more practice, I'll feel more confident, I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blue Striped Hitoe and Green Obiage

I put in a $2 bid on this kimono thinking I'd be outbid, but I won this lovely striped hitoe kimono. It's simple, and it should be a nice addition to the collection. ^_^

I'm actually thinking of doing a "casual courtesan" cosplay with it (e.g., from this Japanese advertisement):

With my fuji obi and a little temporary tweaking of the kimono, it just might work!

On a side note, I also picked up this green obiage:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First Attempt a Bunko Musubi for Furisode

I want to start by saying that this is NOT my best kitsuke ever.

This was my first time trying bunko musubi on a furisode. I had to tie it in the front and then turn it around, so the ohashori got messed up in the process. The obijime photographed as neon pink, but it's truly not that bright.

I am going to try this again when my matsukawabishi fukuro obi arrives.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Improvement Happens (or What a Difference a Year Makes)

I recently did a redo of some ensembles from last year, and the improvement is evident. Here's the pics:







The trends I notice from the past:
• Messy obiage and objime
• Long and poofy ohashori
• Kimono and nagajuban collars separate and uneven
• Little or no padding

Overall, my style seems neater and more mature. Things I hope to keep improving on:
• Keep collar from moving forward (need to make more chikara nuno)
• Smoother ohashori and obiage
• Flatten "the girls" more

Fuji Hitoe Obi

I bought this fuji (wisteria) obi today. I had been looking for a white- or cream-base obi, but every one I liked kept going for high prices, so when I ran across this one on Etsy for only $15, I jumped on it! I love fuji and have yet to own anything with this motif, so I am quite pleased that I got it. And it's just over 150 inches (380 cm) long, so it should fit my Western body. ^_^ I'm pretty sure it has some light stains, but if they're not too much, I'm sure I can work them out with some TLC. Also, I'm not sure whether it's red or orange. The pictures make it look like it could go either way. So, I'll just have to wait until it arrives to find out.

Close-up of the design

I plan on wearing it with my blue-purple ro komon, since the obi is hitoe. The fuji design will be great for summer. And with this komon, there will be so many stripes!!

Close-up of the blue-purple ro komon with leaf design

Friday, February 18, 2011

Yellow Striped Komon

I bought this yellow striped komon about one year ago, and I haven't worn it out but one time. It's a shame because it is one of my best fitting kimono, and my wine red nagoya obi matches so nicely with it. I did a quick kitsuke with it, and I am quite happy with the results. I had a dilemma between my blue obijime and green obijime. Both colors are present in small amounts in the kimono, and they both look fine, but I went with my gut and chose the blue obijime. Although looking back, the green would have been nice as well...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bright Orange Tsukesage

The orange tsukesage in my closet was calling out for love today (it is Valentine's Day after all), so I took it out and paired it with my pine fukuro obi (tied in nijuudaiko) as a last homage to winter before I put all of the wintery things away for the season. I chose my purple & mint obiage and my purple & gold obijime to round out the ensemble. I always felt that the orange and purple just mesh nicely. And I threw in my homemade netsuke for a cute touch. ^_^

Friday, February 11, 2011

Karabana and Matsukawabishi Fukuro Obi

I went on ahead a dished out a little more cash than usually so I could get this beautiful (and super shiny!) karabana and matsukawabishi fukuro obi. These designs tend to work for all seasons, so I'm happy about that for sure. I plan on wearing it with my sakura kofurisode and maybe my peony chuuburisode.

Close-up of detail

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine's Cupcakes

What better way to win over your sweetheart than with something yummy? My sister and I made red velvet cupcakes with a pink cream cheese icing. It couldn't be easier to make and the colors are just perfect! Top it all off with a cute cake pick, and you're ready to give it to your sweetie! (If Anti-Valentine's Day is more your style, I suggest dyeing the frosting black instead of pink!)

Blue Rose Komon With Reversible Hanhaba Obi

My kitsuke is considerably better than my last attempt with this kimono. It's very slick and hard to keep in place, but with some nice tight knots and a korin belt, it seems to be staying better. And it's quite funny that I bought this obi for it's orange-brown side, but the red and blue-green side is what I ended up using initially because it just looked so nice! I did take one picture with the other side. Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Kimono Lily is Closing =(

As some of you may already know, Kimono Lily is closing down at the end of February. If you receive their newsletter, you can get 50% off all items on the site.

I took advantage of this to finally get a summer obijime.

I'm not too sure the color will coordinate well with what I own, but I can always re-dye it if I find the color is not suitable.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Obi Chart

I made this chart to aid people in quickly picking the proper type of obi for different types of kimono. I hope you all will find it helpful. (Just click to see the enlarged image.)

(Note that it is not all-inclusive and you should use good judgment when selecting formality, season, and occasion. For example, it is proper to wear a fukuro obi with an iromuji, but you wouldn't want to wear a fukuro with a lot of metallic in it to a tea ceremony.)

Happy kitsuke!