Hotel Lobby Ikebana

This is what I tend to think of as Hotel Lobby Ikebana. It’s big, bold, tropical, and symmetrical, and it wouldn’t feel out of place as you’re checking in to a nice resort. This isn’t a bad thing at all, it’s just where my mind immediately goes when I see this sort of arrangement.

For this one, I challenged myself to work from a pre-assembled bouquet from the drugstore, of all things. Who knew you could get ginger flowers in that sort of a place? I love how sculptural and bright they are, and thought this red vase I found at the thrift store would balance them nicely.

I tried to keep the balance and framing I learnt about in last month’s ikebana atelier in mind while I put this together, but still kept it more modern and free-form. I liked the idea of symmetry and like how the end result has a pleasant fan shape that also adds to the formal and dramatic feel of it.

I can’t wait for the weather to start getting nicer so I can go back to using seasonal flowers from the garden and great outdoors, but for now I’m just glad I have access to interesting plant material.

Gryffindor Kitsuke

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and I finally hashed it all out. Over the next little while, I will be doing an outfit inspired by each of the houses at Hogwarts! Gryffindor seemed like the most logical place to start, even if it is not my House (you’ll find out which that is soon enough).

I knew the starting point would be the house colours for each outfit, so here we have the bold, firey red and gold of Gryffindor. I had to incorporate a lion, of course, but instead of just going for a typical lion-shaped brooch or something I thought I’d try to be a little more subtle, keeping these outfits looking more traditional. I thought on it for a while when it struck me – shishi, the protector lion-dogs!

After that got sorted, everything else fell into place. The bold red kimono, dramatic and attention-grabbing, seemed like the next logical step. I had to pull in the gold as well, so that was the accessories sorted. Unfortunately, this obi is incredibly short. So short I couldn’t even tie it around the mannequin, who is quite petite. I had to fake it with clips and extra cords and a helping hand from my dad. It looks good in the end, but man was it a hassle! The finishing touch was a golden snitch necklace I made years ago used as a sort of obi-kazari. I’m worried it gets a little bit lost against the obi, but I really wanted to include it.

All in all, I think this is a good start to this mini-project. It’s an outfit that could easily be worn anywhere without feeling costumey, but once you know the logic behind each choice the traits of Gryffindor come through clearly. I’m very much looking forward to the other three outfits in this set.

Items used in this coordination

Tropical Fire Ikebana

Tropical Fire Ikebana

I suspect you’re all probably quite tired of me complaining about winter, but I’m not done yet! Still cold and damp, still sick, and now they’re predicting half an inch of freezing rain overnight! I was very much in the mood for something reminiscent of the sweltering humidity of the tropics. The little flower counter at my local drugstore is not the place I’d expect to find birds of paradise or bright red waxy anthuriums, but lo and behold, they found me and called out to me.

The flowers are so bold and dramatic that I knew I wanted to do something big and sparse and sculptural. The beautiful blue vessel was a Christmas gift from my cousin and I love how it anchors everything, is reminiscent of water, and pulls out the hint of blue in the bird of paradise flower. I tried to arrange the anthurium to almost look like steps leading up to the stark angles of the bird of paradise, and attempted some fancy weaving of the palm leaves. It didn’t hold quite as well as I’d like, I clearly need more practice! The whole arrangement was perched dramatically onto this carved wooden stand that was my grandmother’s. I love the way it raises the whole piece up and elevates it to a work of art.

Spring can’t come soon enough! Aside from all my complaints about flu season and the cold and snow, I’m also eager to go back to working with seasonal flowers from my own garden and the great outdoors. There’s a forsythia bush in our yard that I never got the opportunity to work with last year, and I’ll be damned if I miss its blooms again this year!

Kits-Mas Day 12 – The Grand Finale

Okay, maybe not such a grand finale after all, but a finale nonetheless! Today’s outfit serves two purposes – the last day of this project as well as Fudangi First Friday.

This kimono, despite being quite casual, has always looked somewhat festive to me. Something about tartans and plaids just feel like Christmas. It’s a common pattern on wrapping paper, and (as you can see in my photos) tree skirts and decorations. So using this kimono in an outfit was a given, clearly.

Pairing it up with red to make it punchier might be a fairly straightforward and expected coordination but it just works so well! I love how the faint stripes in the obi echo the other colours of green and navy. Initially I had no plans to take a picture of the back of the mannequin without the red haori, but I realised as I was tying the obi that the karuta musubi looks like a present, so I had to capture that too.

Okay, so this is certainly not the most dramatic or exciting coordination of the project, it’s comfortable and cute and worked out quite well. It was also easy to put on after a frustratingly long day that started with me slipping on ice and smashing my elbow and ended up with me nearly being trapped at work because the lock on the front door froze. I honestly didn’t have the energy for anything more complicated.

While this has been a mostly enjoyable project, if I’ve learnt one thing from it, it’s to never commit to twelve consecutive days of anything, no matter how much you enjoy it. Between holiday stress, work, family stuff, etc, I am burnt the heck out right now . I think I will be taking a little hiatus from blogging for a bit, maybe a week or ten days. I’ve got lots of stuff in the works though, so I promise I’ll be back in full force very soon! <3

 

Kits-Mas Day 11 – Aggressively Festive

Since yesterday’s outfit turned out entirely not Christmassy, I thought I’d remedy that with today’s aggressively festive coordination. Red, green, and yellow/gold abound! For some reason, I thought the grey areas on the kimono were a lot lighter, but I think it still works out well and provides nice contrast for the obi.

I’m actually incredibly fond of how the yellow accessories pop against the darker kimono, and I think I’d very much like to see this outfit with a different obi. I guess I’ll just have to try it out later. Aside from that, there’s really not much to say about this outfit. It’s festive, it’s cute, it’s not terribly exciting.

Tomorrow’s the last day! The end is in sight! And honestly, it can’t come too soon. As fun as this project has been, I’m very much ready to have a few days off in a row and share some other things with you all.