Vaguely Reminiscent of a Turkey

Today is Thanksgiving in that big weird nation just south of me. Here in Canada we celebrate Thanksgiving in October and it’s more of a generalised harvest festival than a celebration of any specific event involving settlers. It’s still a bit fraught, but it doesn’t have quite the same baggage attached to it. Last month, I posted a harvest-themed ikebana in honour of our celebration, but since the bulk of my readers and many of my friends and family are from the good ol’ US of A I thought it would be fun to do a thanksgiving themed outfit today.

I don’t really have anything with appropriate motifs, but then I remembered this gorgeous purple tsukesage with peacocks on it. The peacocks are quite abstracted, and if you squint, they totally look like turkeys, right? Humour me here.

Last time I coordinated this particular kimono I went for a very sleek monochrome look, so this time I wanted to do something a little more traditional. This orange and gold obi is an enormous nuisance to tie because it’s incredibly stiff, but it had a sort of festive harvest vibe to it which went well with the theme I was going for. The orange also pops very well against the rich plum of the kimono, I think. I kept the accessories in the same warm-toned range, leaning a bit more towards dark pink but still cohesive.

Unfortunately the weather is garbage today and the light in the living room was quite terrible, so these photos are overexposed in places and underexposed in others, but they still convey the mood I was going for.

If you are observing thanksgiving today, I hope you have a wonderful one. Spend time with your loved ones, eat far too much food, and take a moment to appreciate what you’ve got. Have a good long weekend!

Belated Birthday Ikebana

Last Thursday, my cousin sent me a beautiful bouquet of flowers for my birthday. I enjoyed them as-is for a week, but like all flowers, they eventually started looking a little limp. Some of them, however, were still great and fresh so I thought I would try to give them a bit of a second life, since I’m not quite ready to part with them yet.

There were some freshly opened lilies and beautiful lisianthus in shades of purple that were still looking quite lovely. I used the same lucky bamboo from the really architectural-style arrangement I made a few months back to add structure to the soft-stemmed lisianthus and anchored the whole arrangement with the pale pink lilies. I chose a green vessel so it would kind of fade into the background.

Overall I really like how this one turned out, but I’ve come to realise that I am definitely falling into a rut. I’ve been doing an awfully large amount of sparse upright arrangements featuring purple flower of some sort or another. I need to start diversifying, working on more modern shapes, and more low wide natural-feeling ones. Unfortunately now that winter’s nipping at our heels I don’t have as much access to interesting flowers. However, I know I will be splurging a couple of times and doing something for Christmas and something for New Year’s, at the very least.

Birthday Pastels

Today is my birthday! I’m now officially closer to 40 than I am to 30. Ack! My initial plan for today was to dress myself in the blue Cinderella furisode and take pictures, but this week has been a very long and exhausting one and I knew when I woke up I was not going to have the energy to do it. I might try on the weekend, but until then I decided I would at least redo the mannequin.

This obi was an entirely unexpected surprise; I was discussing my collection with a customer at work and she told me she had one of those “belt table runner things” and she’d bring it to show me one day. Imagine my shock when she showed up with this stunning springy green fukuro obi with flowers and foliage all over it and insisted I keep it. It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s also got a really nice sage green fabric with gold pinstripes on the reverse, and I’m looking forward to using that side of it sometime soon. It felt like the ideal thing to do a birthday outfit with. It pairs so perfectly with the pink takara houmongi that Naomi’s husband Arian got for me years ago. They feel so classic and elegant together, and subtle pastel accessories finish things off. The obiage is kind of a mess but let’s all ignore that and focus on the beautiful kimono and obi instead.

I’m still holding out hope that I can put the furisode on this weekend but if that doesn’t happen at least I did something productive today!

Unseasonably Sunny Ikebana

Typically, ikebana should reflect the seasons and the natural world around you. I’d been meaning to make an arrangement inspired by falling leaves, but haven’t sourced nice enough foliage. It’s also been very cold and dreary here lately, the sun is setting by half past four in in the afternoon, and we had our first snow of the year today, which isn’t exactly inspiring to me. I still want to attempt an ikebana with fall foliage, but I just wasn’t feeling it today.

So when I found this bright, happy sunflower at the florist’s I decided to bring a little sunlight into my day. Vibrant purple irises and these little yellow pom-pom like craspedia blossoms balanced both shape and colour of the sunflower, and combined to form a nice tall standing arrangement. This shallow, bright yellow vessel seemed like the perfect container. It’s actually a serving bowl, but it worked out so well.

It may be entirely inappropriate for the season, but it makes me smile, and we all need a little more of that in our lives lately, don’t we?

Holiday Gift Guide for Kimono Lovers

If you know and love someone who collects kimono, you know how difficult shopping for them can be. I’ve created this holiday gift guide as an attempt to help you all out. Hopefully it will offer information on some reliable sellers and suggest some slightly out-of-the-box ideas that will be of interest to kimono collectors without breaking the bank. I have been working on it for quite some time now, and I hope you find it helpful! This post is quite long, so please click through to read the whole thing.

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