Sunny Balance Ikebana

Full confession – I actually made this arrangement back in November, using some more of my birthday bouquet, and then forgot to post it! It’s worked out well though, for multiple reasons. The weather here is cold and dreary and terrible, and seeing some bright sunny flowers is good for the soul. Also, I’ve been fighting off some really unpleasant ear infection/flu situation for nearly a month now and don’t have much energy to do anything right now, so finding these to share with you guys was a stroke of luck.

I wanted to work on “off-balance balance”, countering the airy reach of the branches and greens with a more mounded, solid-feeling arrangement of flowers. I am quite happy with the chaotic profusion of the flowers, how you can’t completely tell where one ends and the next begins. It’s a contrast to the sparse and open arrangements I’ve been gravitating towards recently and getting out of my comfort zone is never a bad thing!

I may be feeling miserable physically at the moment, but at least these pictures are bringing a little sunny happiness into my life.

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.

Rusty and Warm

Talk about sliding in under the wire! I thought doing Fudangi Friday once a month would be achievable but here I am, only the second month in, posting at the end of a very long day. I worked tonight and then ran some errands afterwards, so it was quite late when I got in. Thankfully, part of the beauty of this challenge is to encourage comfortable, relaxed kitsuke and try to break ourselves of the habit of insisting on overly formal, overly rigid style.

I grabbed my rusty wool komon because it felt warm and seasonal and perfect for this sort of a challenge, and realised that the mustard yellow reverse side of my Tokaido hanhaba obi would be the perfect complement. I can’t believe I’ve never paired these two up before! I really love the peek of red in the musubi that echoes the kimono so well. I made a point of fluffing the bow out to make sure it was visible.

A yellow haneri that matches the obi helped cozy things up further, and I pulled out a thin white and green obijime to echo the faint pattern in the kimono. It wasn’t necessary to hold the obi in place, but I like the finishing touch it gives to the whole outfit. I can definitely see myself wearing this exactly as it is at some point, and being incredibly comfortable and relaxed while doing so.

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?

Mulan – Disney Princess Kitsuke Project

🎵True to you heart,
You must be true🎵

When I started this project, I knew Mulan was going to be a challenge. Unfortunately, there is a tendency to lump a lot of traditional Asian clothing together – quite often you’ll find Chinese cheongsam labelled as kimono, and vice-versa. I wanted to find a way to avoid compounding the confusion by putting Mulan in a very straightforward outfit. However, kimono are legitimately inspired by and derived from ancient Chinese hanfu so I knew there had to be a way to make this work.

After finding this gorgeous creamy yellow dress at the thrift store, everything clicked into place. By bustling a green iromuji over the dress I was able to achieve an outfit that evokes her outfit quite well while not deviating from the theme of the challenge. I finished the outfit off with a blue obi with a metallic tiger’s eye type pattern and red accessories to echo the red sash around her waist. The necklace is something i’ve owned for a while and reminded me of Mulan’s makeup in the matchmaker scene, and the pink floral corsage is a callback to her hair comb. Of course, I had to include a nod to Mushu, and this dragon was the perfect finishing touch.

I think I struck a good balance between hanfu and kimono, and I quite like the way it looks, but I’ll be happy to go back to a more traditional look for the last few outfits.