Art Gallery – Spring by Tsubame-Kimonoya

This precious piece was done by Tsubame-Kimonoya on Tumblr. I love how she was inspired by the adorable dog Luka in my original photo from Gofuku no Hi last year, and added not one but two dogs! The only thing better than one dog is two dogs. And the details in my outfit are perfectly spot-on.

The weather here in Montreal is finally turning a corner. We got snow on Friday but it’s been lovely since then, and this art feels like a welcome breath of the spring that’s to come.

Ikigai, or why this blog exists

Ikigai (生き甲斐) is most accurately translated as a reason for being, but often referred to more colloquially as a reason for getting up in the morning. Each circle represents an ideal; that which you love, that which you are good at, that which the world needs, that which can support you. Where all four overlap, there is your ikigai, your purpose for living.

I will be honest with you all right now. I haven’t been in a great place mentally this month. While there’s no one thing seriously wrong, there have just been a lot of little frustrations and disappointments piling up, and it’s weighing heavily on me now. I miss being able to actually wear kimono, but my health is a constant challenge, as is my size. I’ve been trying to do more, to share more things with you lovely readers, but work exhausts me and eats my free time. Last week I ordered a garment rack to display kimono so I could update my catalogue, and that became a whole absurd saga in and of itself (which I will share with you soon!). My point is, sometimes this passion of mine feels more like a chore, and I found myself wondering why I do it.

That was when I was reminded of the concept of ikigai. While I may not be able to use this blog to support myself financially (in fact, rather the opposite – as many of you know, this hobby ain’t cheap!) collecting, coordinating, and displaying kimono fulfill me in a way not many things can. Sometimes the thing you love the most can be the thing that drives you the craziest, but in the end it’s always worth it. I just need to keep reminding myself that frustrations are temporary. So thank you all for reading, subscribing, and sticking with me. Sharing with you gives me purpose. You are the reason this blog exists. 💗

Art Gallery – Seasonal Kimmidolls!

dolls_mine

Just a little entry today! I’ve been very busy with work and art commissions and was really in the mood to create something for myself. To celebrate coming up on the end of one year of seasonal themes on the blog, I thought I would make my own little custom Kimmidolls. I used real ones as inspiration for their faces, and then gave them each a custom body to match the four varying themes. They’re very simple, but they make me happy! I’ll be back soon with real content, but for now I hope these little ladies made you smile.

Review: Origami crafts from Tori Creations

As you probably know, I am always looking for unique ways to incorporate a bit of traditional Japanese aesthetic into my daily life. At my current size and health level, wearing kimono with any regularity just isn’t practical. Housewares and accessories, however, are an excellent way to accomplish this. Anne-Claire of Tori Creations makes incredible, beautiful works of art using traditional washi paper and various origami techniques. She was kind enough to send me a wonderful assortment of her products for me to review and share.

First up was this wonderful lamp. The lamp itself is very clean-lined and simple, which ensures that all the focus is on the beautiful paper she’s chosen to decorate the shade. The workmanship in this lamp, like all her other products, is impeccable. There is one seam line where the paper edges meet but it’s very clean and easily hidden. All the inside edges are very well-finished and securely adhered. It makes an excellent bedside lamp!

 

She also sent along this charming light string. Each balloon-style shade is a different pattern or colour, and they’re very fun and playful-feeling. The lights themselves are LEDs, which means there’s no risk of overheating and damaging the paper. So not only are these beautiful, you can tell Anne-Claire has put a lot of thought into the functionality of them as well.

Last, but not least, are these completely adorable ornaments. There is a blue crane, a sweet little fish, and a tiny horse. They’re very safely and carefully nestled into delicate glass ornaments, complete with a little bit of “snow” in the bottom. The snow makes these ideal for Christmas, but honestly they’re too cute to keep hidden away the rest of the year. I think I will hang them in one of my windows.

Anne-Claire was a complete pleasure to interact with. These are all very well-made, and were incredibly well-packed. The lights were in one box, surrounded by protective packing peanuts. The ornaments were in a separate box, very safely nestled in cotton wool. The lamp was disassembled (though it was very easy to put together) and all of them were bundled carefully with bubble wrap in another box. She even included lightbulbs! Canada Post is notorious for mangling things, but aside from having to re-inflate a few of the balloon-style lamp shades, everything was pristine.

If you would like to get one (or more!) of these beautiful and practical works of art, Anne-Claire has graciously offered a 25% discount to my readers through her Etsy shop. Simply use the code MOONBLOSSOM at checkout and the discount will be automatically applied.

I received this item from the manufacturer for review purposes.If you have a topically appropriate craft, product, or service you would like me to review, please contact me.