This week has been a long and frustrating one. Bad weather, work stress, and my grandmother is having some medical issues. So yesterday, when I found myself with some free time, I decided to self-soothe by working on a digital washi papercraft maiko collage. Typically, I make these based on characters from pop culture – movies, cartoons, etc – and prints of those are available here. However, I realised that the bold and graphic shape of them would be very well-suited to traditional woodblock printing as well. Armed with my large collection of washi and chiyogami paper stock textures and scans, I set out to work.
I stuck to a primarily dusty, desaturated palette to keep things feeling soft and vintage, and applied textures to her outfit to bring it all to life. I added the origami flowers as kanzashi and the bamboo pole on her parasol to bring a bit more depth to it and make it look even more like a “real” mixed-media piece instead of an entirely digital one.
Overall, I’m very happy with how she turned out. It always feels good to create something pretty and share it with the world. I suspect I’ll be making more of these sometime in the future.
This warm pink beauty made her debut as Aurora‘s outfit in the Disney Princess Kimono Project, but while I was working on that I saw these two pieces together and knew I had to coordinate them at some point. Since winter has finally hit in full force here in Montreal, I was in the mood for something happy and pleasant-feeling, and this seemed like the perfect thing.
The gold tones of the gorgeous Tokaido obi are offset by small hints of a dusty rose-raspberry colour (visible on the roofs in the back view photo) that is nearly identical to the kimono itself. There are also areas of pale blue on the obi, similar to the details in the kimono motif. Simple pink and metallic accessories pulled everything together; even the leaves on the haneri are gold. This makes for a very classic and cohesive outfit that wouldn’t be out of place at a wedding or formal event. I like how it came together very much and could easily see myself (or nearly anyone, really) wearing it at some point in the future if I could get it to fit properly.
This will probably be the last mannequin coordination for a little while; I’ve got something silly and quite possibly over-ambitious in the works for the next few weeks. There will still be updates and plenty of reasons to visit, but I just wanted to assure you all that this is still the primary focus of my blog, even though it may not look like it as the holidays creep up on us all. There will be outfits to make up for it soon enough.
Things look a little different around here, don’t they?
As much as I loved the seasonal themes I’ve been rotating through the past few years, I felt like the lack of cohesion was getting distracting. There’s so much visual media on this blog that it was almost as if the themes and the actual content were competing with each other. Also, as I continue to expand my social media presence between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now Patreon, it was taking more and more time and effort to update the seasonal theme across them all.
So I decided to create a more streamlined, straightforward, and sleek theme that will stay up year-round for now. This will save me a lot of time and allow me to focus on nothing but content from here on in. The basic layout and content are the same, it’s just the visual aspect of things that has changed. Well, that and my beloved koi pond, which wasn’t displaying properly. I’ll probably figure out what went wrong eventually, but it’s not a huge priority for me at the moment.
Originally, I’d been planning to switch over on January first to start the year with a bang, but with the holidays coming up I wanted to get it done while I still had some free time. Also, I typically change the theme on the Sunday closest to the season change date but it seemed quite silly to keep waiting and then put up the winter theme only to change it again in a week and a half. So now it’s all done, across all platforms, and I can go back to focusing on the fun side of things.
Today marks the 28th anniversary of the École Polytechnique massacre here in Montreal. A man, one who explicitly blamed women for all of his problems and failures, stormed a local university and shot twenty-eight people, killing fourteen women. December sixth has since become a day of remembrance for the women who lost their lives as well as a more general National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
Today’s ikebana is my way of memorialising and remembering the victims. White roses anchor the piece and represent hope, as well as the White Ribbon Campaign. The green buds bring a little texture in and protect the white roses, and the large leaves work to bridge the two disparate halves of the arrangement as well as evoking a bridge to a better world.
I’m fairly proud of this one. I’ve been trying to do more low, wide pieces and this worked out quite well. It feels balanced and organic as well, which I’ve come to realise is something I’m very fond of doing.
Realistically, I know that playing with flowers isn’t going to change anything in a world where there are still people who view women as second-class citizens, even here in North America. However, I would ask that you please spare a moment today to think of these women who violently and senselessly lost their lives for nothing more than the “crime” of wanting an education. Think of them, and think of the women worldwide who suffer at the hands of society around them.
Talk about sliding in under the wire! I thought doing Fudangi Friday once a month would be achievable but here I am, only the second month in, posting at the end of a very long day. I worked tonight and then ran some errands afterwards, so it was quite late when I got in. Thankfully, part of the beauty of this challenge is to encourage comfortable, relaxed kitsuke and try to break ourselves of the habit of insisting on overly formal, overly rigid style.
I grabbed my rusty wool komon because it felt warm and seasonal and perfect for this sort of a challenge, and realised that the mustard yellow reverse side of my Tokaido hanhaba obi would be the perfect complement. I can’t believe I’ve never paired these two up before! I really love the peek of red in the musubi that echoes the kimono so well. I made a point of fluffing the bow out to make sure it was visible.
A yellow haneri that matches the obi helped cozy things up further, and I pulled out a thin white and green obijime to echo the faint pattern in the kimono. It wasn’t necessary to hold the obi in place, but I like the finishing touch it gives to the whole outfit. I can definitely see myself wearing this exactly as it is at some point, and being incredibly comfortable and relaxed while doing so.