Kimono Diary: November 17th-23rd

Things were up and down this week for me. Fortunately, the ups outnumbered the downs. But only by one. So here’s what happened.

First, I finished it! Just a few hours ago too! The project I’ve been working on since September! I have a Christmas present for all of you. Starting later this week, on my YouTube channel (here) you can find (drum-roll please) The Twelve Days of Kitsuke! During the month of December, I will be posting videos (about every other day) with instructions for tying twelve different obi musubi. I hope you enjoy the videos. It’s the least I can do for everyone who has read my blog, contacted me, liked my Facebook page, and generally let me know that what I am doing is appreciated. So thank you so much everyone, I hope you enjoy the videos.

The second good thing that happened is that I finally got back into teaching after a month’s hiatus. It was really great seeing my regular students again. We moved on from hanhaba obi to Nagoya obi this week, and we’ll continue again next week.

Now for the bad news. I had a wasai lesson scheduled for Sunday. Again, my first in a month. But things weren’t going my way on Sunday. I woke up with a massive migraine. I had to cancel and I spent all day like a vampire; in the dark. I finally started feeling better around five at night. I survived on saltine crackers and green tea that day. Needless to say, I didn’t get much done that day.

Hope you all have a good week!

Kimono Diary September 28-October 4 2015

Hello again!  I hope you all had a good week.  My week didn’t start off all that great.  I’m collaborating with a friend to create a kimono based video for youtube (she’s a fantastic video editor).  While I was casually flipping through my notes, my heart sank.  I realized that I had used the wrong word to describe a garment.  What a goof on my part!  It only got worse when I messaged her and she said she no longer had the editable versions of the section in question.  AHHHH!  However!  When we got together on Friday, we found the autosaved edits on her external harddrive.  Thank you Adobe gods!

I managed to post about a couple of new motifs this week too.  I’ve decided to expand my geometric patterns section, so I added asa no ha and same komon to the list.

I also got together with my kitsuke teacher to practice dressing children for shichi-go-san.  In two weeks, my weekends will be taken up by helping my sensei dress small children for shichi-go-san for a local photo studio.  We started off by practicing on a small, child-sized mannequin lent to us by the photo studio to practice on.  And after that, I got to practice on my teacher’s grandchildren who are just the right age and size to practice on.  And they were so patient with us too!  Until it got too hot that is!

Photos or it didn't happen, right?

Photos or it didn’t happen, right?

Finally, I went kimono shopping with a friend of mine and managed to grab the steal of the month!  I gorgeous kimono bag in great condition that was originally 120,000 yen, and I only paid 700 yen.  I was really lucky that I spotted it before my friend.  One of us would have gotten it in the end.

Have a good week!

The bottom is a separate compartment for your zori.

The bottom is a separate compartment for your zori.

In the top half, there is a built in hanger for your kimono.

In the top half, there is a built in hanger for your kimono.

Kimono Diary: September 21-27, 2015

I realized today that I have a lot of little things kimono-related that happen in my life on a weekly basis, none of them are big enough to justify writing a blog post on, but I still want to share it all with you! After all, studying kimono isn’t just about the nuances of fabrics, seasonal motifs, and how to form a proper ohashori. There’s also all the great little moments that I experience every day. With that in mind, I’ve decided to start a weekly diary covering all the kimono-related small events that happen in my life. So let’s get started!

This week was a string of national holidays in Japan called Silver Week. Basically, it’s a shorter version of Golden week that falls in line with Respect for the Aged Day. Get it? Silver hair? Older people? Yeah. I groaned too when one of my students pointed it out to me.

My husband and I made a day trip to Himeji Castle, but there was a two and half hour wait to get into the castle, so we went to the gardens next door. They were absolutely gorgeous and I got some great pictures of different kimono motifs that I didn’t have before. I’ve added pictures of real hagi and kikyo to their respective entries in the motif section.

There was also a wonderful tea house in the garden, and of course I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have tea. I wasn’t wearing a kimono, but I couldn’t help but admire the kimono of the women serving the tea. If I can’t wear one, looking at one is the next best thing!  I wish I could have gotten a picture of the teahouse, but I always feel so awkward taking photos during a tea ceremony, so I never have any!  But here’s a consolation prize, a nice picture of one of the gardens!

 

kokoen gardens, right next to Himeji castle.

kokoen gardens, right next to Himeji castle.

After Himeji, we spent the afternoon in Osaka wandering around, and wandered right past a small kimono shop. From the outside, it looked like an expensive store that only sells new pieces. In other words, not the kind of shop that I will frequent because they’re just too darn expensive! But low and behold, they had a stand of clearance items out front for 1000 yen each. I walked away with two new oshima tsumugi kimono and a fukuro obi with an awesome motif that looks like a middle eastern man from a previous era hunting rabbit on a horse! I was a happy girl for the rest of the day!

My awesome obi!

My awesome obi!

The kimono are too small for me in the yuki, but I just learned how to extend the yuki in my wasai classes, so it’s a good chance to practice. The shop worker was worried about the fit, and almost fell over in shock when I told her I was learning wasai and would take care of it.

A close-up view of my favorite of the two tsumugi kimono.

A close-up view of my favorite of the two tsumugi kimono.

On Friday, I spend the day with a friend of mine editing a new video. I know very little about video editing, and she has a pretty successful youtube channel herself, not to mention the skills and willingness to help me. (GirlGamerGab, if you’re reading this, THANK YOU!!!) It’s taking about four or five hours to edit three minutes of video, and the video is over ten minutes, so It’s going to take a while. Basically, it’s looking at kimono in pop culture and talking about how accurate they are. I’m hoping that it’ll become a series, and the first one should be ready by the end of next month.

I had another wasai lesson on Saturday. Right now, I’m working on a shibori yukata that is too small on me in every way possible. I had to unstitch every panel and put them back together with a gusset in the middle to make it longer. When it’s worn properly, the gusset will be hidden by the obi. Even though I trust my teacher implicitly, I still had a mini heart attack when I made the first cut into the yukata panels. Especially since we measured everything three times to make sure that it was being cut in the right place!

My yukata with the gusset inserted. My homework is to put in the permanent stitches and remove the pink basting stitches.

My yukata with the gusset inserted. My homework is to put in the permanent stitches and remove the pink basting stitches.

That’s it for this week! Hope you have a good kitsuke week!