Sweet Creamsicle Ikebana

During the summer, I really do try to work with flowers from the great outdoors but when I saw this marked-down bouquet at the grocery store I felt an overwhelming urge to rescue it. I realise that the flowers were dyed by tinting the water orange, but come on, they look like a creamsicle!

The bouquet was a little past due and a fair number of the flowers were beyond salvaging, but I managed to rescue the large spider mum and the carnations which were what drew me to the bundle in the first place. I didn’t have a lot of length to play with so I focused on a small, tight, rounded shape with a little height for drama.

The oranges and creamy peach tones got a bit lost against the backdrop but then I remembered I had this awesome shibori-like fabric which provides great contrast.

Overall, this might not be the most dramatic or stylish arrangement I’ve put together, but there’s something undeniably charming and happy about it, and we could all use a little more happiness in our lives right now.

Tsubaki Elegance

I’ve been trying to focus on saving money, only buying accessories to fill noticeable gaps in my collection and kimono that fit me and are versatile. However, I’d had this peach tsubaki beauty on my eBay watchlist over a month and when I got an alert that it was 30% off I just had to go for it. I’m so glad I did, it’s a really gorgeous, classic piece that I’m very happy to own.

Lately it feels like all I’m doing are themed outfits and challenges, and I was eager to get out of that rut. This kimono seemed like the perfect one to do it with, since it’s got such an elegant and timeless feel to it. I was very excited to do something with it, and the coordination fell into place so smoothly, as if it was meant to be.

I chose my beloved emerald green hakata obi to coordinate with the foliage on the kimono. It arrived with a vivid peach dateeri already attached but I decided to go all-out and use a green and gold one as well. I love the rich, layered look of multiple collars but very rarely find the opportunity and colour combos to do so. A simple white haneri with peach embroidery helps balance the busy distraction of the multiple layers. The finishing touch was one of the beautiful new brooches I bought to use as obidome. My initial plan was to use the one with the jade green accents, but they got lost against the obi so I went with the pink. It’s not quite the right shade of pink, but it adds a touch of sparkle that I couldn’t resist.

Items used in this coordination

Tokai-Dos and Tokai-Don’ts

I’ve had this 53 Stations of the Tokaido tsukesage for a long time now. I’ve never worn it myself, but I did put it on my friend Frances one day. The obi, by comparison, was an absolute impulse purchase a few weeks ago – I was buying another item from the seller and this was only $10 so I couldn’t say no! Especially since it’s a lovely stylisation of Station 49 – Saka-no-shita, which is a station I don’t have on any items in my collection yet. For the price, its absolutely gorgeous. The bulk of the design is woven in, and then touches are pulled out with beautifully lush embroidery to add depth and texture. It’s a bit slippery to tie, but definitely not the most challenging obi I’ve had to work with.

Generally the rules of kitsuke say not to match the motif on your kimono to the motif on your obi, and to contrast the colour of one against the other. However, when I saw these two pieces next to each other, my mind drifted back to my first experiment in very monochrome and matchy outfits, and I wanted to give it another shot. Rules are an excellent starting point, but sometimes breaking them with forethought and intention can produce some amazing results.

I’ve always loved the peachy pink sunset accents on the kimono and decided to make them pop with the accessories. I feel like this resulted in an overall very calm and serene outfit with a bit of punch, and I love it!

I do apologise for the quality of the photos today; my camera was being difficult so I used my mobile phone camera. It worked, but it’s not ideal. However, I make no apologies for the utterly terrible word-play in the title.