Art Gallery – Sakura Valentine

Sakura Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day! I had grand plans to do a really sweet, romantic coordination on the mannequin but that went awry as plans are wont to do. I still wanted to share something though, since I love you all so much for continuing to support me. I’ve been working on this illustration for a while now. Initially I was going to share it during cherry blossom season, but the pink floral theme seemed perfect for a Valentine. It’s not much, but it sure is pretty, and I hope you like it!

I’ve also set up a shop on Society6 with some prints of the occasional artwork I do and share here, including this one. I get a few dollars from each one sold, all of which will go back into the fund to help support the blog.

Think Pink Ikebana

Very, very pink! I think I was inspired by the #monokimono challenge and ended up doing a #monoikebana without really intending to. I found the two different shades of alstroemeria and thought they’d make for some interesting texture and colour interplay, and then I stumbled across a gerbera daisy which just happened to match exactly. The pink vase seemed like the next logical step after that.

Typically when I buy flowers I choose my own greenery and avoid the fluff and frill of ferns (woo hello there alliteration!) but I was rushing to an appointment and there was a new girl behind the counter, so when I saw she’d taken the greens out I decided to just run with it. I do like that they add a good grounding base to the whole arrangement, and another layer of texture. However, the arrangement felt like it was missing height and balance, and I racked my brain to think of something I could add. The green bamboo-like bits are actually simply the stems of the alstroemeria flowers that I cut off. I love the idea of giving them a second life that also helps make the whole arrangement feel more harmonious. I might have to revisit this sometime, working with the entire stem, not just the bloom.

A Promissory Note for Spring

I am utterly, completely fed up of winter! I am tired of the cold and the snow, and I am tired of this awful ear infection/sinus/flu situation I’ve been fighting off since the beginning of December. I really needed to remind myself that this will come to an end eventually, and spring is on its way.

This kimono always feels good for this time of year, since it’s got multi-seasonal flowers and the colour scheme is pretty subdued, but with the right accessories it can really pop. I got the obi from Lyuba of Strawberry Kimono and I suspect it’s going to be come a fast favourite. I love the bold pattern, and it’s really nice and soft, but textured enough to hold well against itself. I tend to dislike overly soft formal obi because they can also be slippery and don’t hold a nice shape, but the slightly rougher fabric of this and the fact that it feels more casual means it’s great for relaxed, natural-looking obi musubi.

Soft leaf-green accessories helped reinforce the spring vibe of the outfit, and a pink haneri helped to emphasise the pink bits of the outfit. Of course, since I got the obi from Lyuba I had to tie the obiage in a bow shape that always reminds me of her kitsuke.

After the winter-heavy efforts of the 12 Days of Kits-Mas, it felt good to do something more transitional and bright. It was tiring working through being sick to do this, but I’m glad I did!

Warm Pink on a Cold Day

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.

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!