Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grocery Shopping!

So...I got new kimono!

This year is supposed to be all about the "Healthy Aesthetic," which means I need to look nice and healthy (and get rid of some of the clutter and organize my space, 'cause that's healthy, too!). To that end, I decided that for every 5lbs I lose, I get to reward myself with a new kimono!

I've hit two of those milestones so far, and creeping up on the 15 lb reward, so I ordered a few kimono from Shinei a few days ago, and they came today! I picked out two that I can wear now, and decided to do some kitsuke practice. Just after I finished getting dressed, my BFF decided that he was taking me out to do our grocery shopping today--in kimono! Haha!

 Yep, it's Wal-Mart. We do most of our shopping at Costco, but for a few things, we hit up Voldymart. I just can't use bulk sizes of salsa and buttermilk fast enough, y'know?

The little cutie up there is my four year old. She's a dear and reaaaaaaaally wants Mommy to make her a kimono so we can go out wearing them together, haha!

When we got home, it was time for the bedtime ritual, which includes the before-bed story (the really funny part was where she found a rubber duck in a tree...HILARIOUS to 4 yo, let me tell you!):

 And then we snapped a few shots of my by-then very rumply kitsuke. My otaiko is doing all kinds of weird things, and my sarashi was creeping downward, so I felt kind of lumpy and bumpy...I also wasn't wearing makeup and took pictures in my study with its horrible lighting, so...Excuses!

 I did my obiage Lyuba-chan style, and I chose the green obi so I could toss this up on the Yipes!Stripes challenge. Otherwise, I would have chosen a different obi. Possibly the one I'll wear NEXT TIME!

How often do you wear your kimono out of the house for mundane outings? Things like going grocery shopping or to the library, or just out for an ice cream cone?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Third time's a charm?

Soooo...Today was the big day. The first time I actually went out in public in kimono! I was so nervous that I completely forgot my camera, so we had to make due with Greg's iphone camera.

We went out to eat at a Japanese restaurant and had some yummy noms, then drove over to the all-seasons garden, and let me tell you...I do not like riding in cars in kimono. I have got to figure out a better way to sit, because leaning forward the whole time is kind of killer on the back, especially when we have to go after being stopped at a stop sign or light. >_<;;

Anyway, I think I did pretty well on my kitsuke. There were a few wrinkles that I had to live with, or we wouldn't have made it to the restaurant before it closed, and my collars started slipping a little by the time we got into the garden, but overall it was pretty good!

I accessorized with my lime cashmere pashmina scarf and my hot pink cabled fingerless mitts that I knit for myself, so I'm a little all-over-the-place with color, but it was better than being cold!

My otaiko musubi was not quite as neat as it was last time. I made myself some sarashi and I haven't quite figured out the way to wrap them perfectly just yet, so I was a little bigger around the midsection than last time. My front camellia sits a little off-center because of that, but I didn't stress about it. A lot of things in the Japanese aesthetic aren't quite centered or symmetrical.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Quick addition

So, I whipped up a little han'eri today, preparing for my first ever public trip out in kimono! BFF is taking me out to lunch at a local Japanese restaurant, so I want to make sure I look super-nice!

It's just made of some quilting cotton that I picked up at  JoAnn's, but I like it and how it's almost peacock-y.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Practice makes...better?

So, my eri-shin came today, and I of course had to practice. It took me about half an hour to dress, but I really should have taken more time. The stiffer juban collar really helps, but I was too lazy to try and figure out the katan eri (eri sugata?) that I have...

I paid for it. My collars wouldn't stay tugged back. Le sigh. Laziness begets sloppiness, I suppose. I'm not sure I want to sew the easy collar on, so I might just measure to where the middle loop would be on my juban and sew a loop there for threading my koshihimo into. That'll teach it! Right? >_>

Also, I think I might use the blue as a haneri instead of as a kasane eri (meaning, take the blue layer and put it where the white layer is, so it's blue instead of white), because I'm not sure I like it as it is...that may just be because my collars kept creeping forward, so I'll hold off yet. I have some cute cotton prints that might serve better as haneri (easier to wash than the silk, yeah?), so...I dunno, yet.

Also, it was snowing. I wasn't too chilly until we'd been outside for a while, but the wind also wasn't blowing. If I were going somewhere for reals, I would wear at least a scarf...and some kind of western shoe until I got where I was going, 'cause it was so slushy on the walk that I didn't want to climb down off of the steps!

See? Snow! Sad thing about snow is that it blows out the exposure a little. Sorry for all the white!

The Boy was being silly and got me laughing. Hurr, I'm a doof. But at least I'm a happy doof! Here you can probably see what I mean about the blue layer. I'm not quite liking the way it's laying, but I do have quite a bit of wrinkling up there because my collars are creeping forward so much. We'll see how adding that loop helps. Also, I did my obijime just a little differently, and I think I like it better this way. Oh, and see that bag? I have zori that match, but they didn't make it into any of the pictures, heh.

And here, we have a goofy pose as I try to catch snowflakes off the porch. Boy said "BEHOLD! Grand Gesture!"

I'm also -much- happier with my musubi this time. I still need to make a DIY obidomekanagu to make sure my makura stays up where it's supposed to be (I promise it was up higher when I tied the knot, but this was the last picture we took, and it had crept down by then.). I'm much more pleased with the way the interior of the knot is laying this time, as compared with the last time.

Funny thing? Last time, I had help tying. This time, I did it 100% myself. I suppose watching videos on youtube and scouring the Immortal Geisha forums for pictures of other people Doin' It Right helped a lot, hehe.

Please forgive the messy craft area, but Boy got cold and we had to head inside. I'm can't expect me to be neat, too! ^_~

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I need an eri-shin...Badly

So, my nagajuban came in the mail on Christmas Eve, and although I have ordered an eri-shin, it hasn't actually been shipped yet. But I couldn't stand not trying it on, so I have some sloppy First Kitsuke pictures to share!

So, yeah...I know my collars are messy and I totally need a stiffener...I also need to open up (and figure out how to use) my katan han-eri.

Also still having some problems strapping the girls down, but I read on Kimono Tsuki that a 'magic belt' datejime works wonders for that...I've got one on order from the same place as my eri-shin, so we'll see. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try a FtM transgender flattening shirt.

On motif: Camellias are a winter flower, both in Japan and here in the Midwest.  Here, they can bloom as early as October, but mainly bloom in late December, all the way through April

Saturday, December 22, 2012


So, my iromuji and one obi came in the mail a few days ago, but I'm still awaiting my juban and a few other accessories before I can actually wear it.

Happily, my yukata and hanhaba obi also came that day, so I took the time to try those on!

Important note here is that I have a massive chest (34G) and my fibro makes it so that I can't squish them down too much without horrific pain. So I'm still looking into different binding techniques so that I can avoid the dreaded Kimonoboob! 

Also, I wasn't sure at the time if I would need an obiita with yukata, but apparently I very much do. Please excuse the wrinkly obi, as I lacked the proper stiffening and probably should have padded my waist out more.

My musubi there is a little weird, yeah? I guess it's because I'm a fair deal larger than the normal Japanese woman, so I need a longer obi to work with for traditional knots. My bow would have been tiny, so I wrapped the obi one less time and kind of jury-rigged it. 

I'm pretty chuffed that I got my ohashori so level my first time, even if it was kind of poofing out right under the obi (more waist padding will take care of that?)

Also, I need to get my darling BFF a gift certificate for photography classes or something. Dear boy had to take almost 70 shots to get a tiny handful that I was even starting to be okay with (no small part due to the fact that I completely forwent makeup that day!). 

Question for any experiened kitsuke fans out there: are cotton yukata supposed to feel so stiff? I'm wondering if mine still has sizing on it or something that I should be washing out...on the other hand, I've read some discussion about the best starch to use on them, so...Thoughts on the matter?