Renovation Time!

Just a quick note today as I’ve upgraded to WordPress 5! What does this mean for you? Ideally, in a perfect world, you shouldn’t notice anything, aside from maybe some quicker loading times. However, there’s always the chance some of my older posts or plugins might not work quite right. If you happen to notice anything that looks off or outright broken, please use the contact form and let me know. I’d greatly appreciate it!

Fudangi First Friday – Flirty Florals

I’ve been pretty terrible at keeping up with my Fudangi First Friday project, but since this is the last one of the year I figured I had to make an effort! This gorgeous raspberry red hakata obi is one I got from Kimono Yuki back during the summer and hadn’t gotten around to coordinating yet. I love how rich the colour is, and it’s also super long, I can’t wait to wear it myself!

The obi is one of those strange colours that’s super bold and vivid but still manages to fall into the neutral category, at least when it comes to kimono. So I knew I could pair it up with almost anything. I haven’t done much with this multi-season komon recently but thought it could work and make a sort of sweet, feminine outfit that still felt a little mature due to the black base and richer tone of the obi.

I’d also never gotten the opportunity to use this adorable owl haneri. It matched some of the pinks in the kimono so perfectly, I’m very glad I thought of it. The finishing touch was a peach and white obijime that again ties in to some of the accent colours on the kimono. It was feeling a little drab against the obi, somehow, so I thought tying it in a cute bow would help balance things out a little better.

As much as I’ve loved doing the Fudangi First Friday project (and the MonoKimono challenge), I’m pretty sure that in 2019 I’m not going to commit to any challenge or project where I have to do something at a fixed and repeated time. I’ve just got too much going on. I hate feeling like I’ve failed and I don’t need that sort of stress going forward.

Today’s post was apparently brought to you by the letter F.

Items used in this coordination

 

Art Gallery – Floral Fans Colouring Page

Recently while browsing Pinterest, I came across a lovely colouring page with fans on it. However, the scan was very small and blurry, which would have made it quite difficult to colour digitally. So I decided to redraw it from the ground up before painting it on my Surface. I really like how the end result turned out, so I thought I would share it with you.

If you’d like to colour this yourself, here is the clean version of the lines. Whether you print it out and colour it traditionally or do it digitally like I did, I would love to see!

Review – ZenPop Stationery Subscription Box

Today we’ve got something a little different, but very cool. ZenPop.jp offers a selection of themed subscription boxes featuring all sorts of neat products from Japan, curated and delivered directly to your door! There are boxes that focus on sweets, one with a focus on ramen, a mix of sweets + ramen, and then the one I have here for you today, filled with an adorable assortment of Japanese stationery. I was offered the choice, but since I have a fair number of food allergies I felt like this was the safer bet. I’d hate to receive a box of things I couldn’t review properly!

The box was mailed on Nov 4th and arrived on Nov 29th, but Canada Post was on rotating strikes for most of the month so I’m fairly certain the long delivery period was due to that, not due to anything on ZenPop’s end. The first thing I noticed was the mailer box itself. They could just as easily send these in plain mailers, but seeing this custom packaging with the adorable mascot in the mail added to the whole experience. It’s a really nice touch!

Upon opening the box, you’re greeted with a sweet little thank-you note and a paper detailing the contents of the package. This insert was very useful, since the packaging on the items is nearly all in Japanese. Removing the insert and unfolding the tissue paper feels like unwrapping a present, and was very exciting. Since this is the last box of the year, the overriding theme is winter/new year, which seemed like a wonderful introduction to the service.

  • First up is a sweet little 2019 calendar. The cards are roughly the size of a photo or large index card, so this will easily fit on any desk. The designs are super cute.
  • Next is a packet of incredibly charming dog stickers. This past year was the year of the dog, so this is a nice little farewell to 2018. The stickers are really nicely made of heavily textured paper with gold accents. I know I’ll be using these in next year’s planner.
  • The third item is a nice little paper and envelope set. I’m really quite terrible at keeping up with physical correspondence but maybe with such cute stationery I’ll be more motivated!
  • This fourth item is really awesome – it’s a portable staple-less stapler. Is it still called a stapler? Who knows! But it’s really nifty. It cuts and folds the paper into a secure little flap. It’s not ideal for large reams of paper, but for someone who is constantly losing receipts and medical papers in the bottom of her purse, this is going to be really helpful.

  • This next picture actually showcases three items. First up – the notepad, which is a great little portable size and has sweet little winter scenes on it. My only issue is that it’s clearly intended for a Japanese audience and the rules on it are vertical. But for scribbling a quick note or two, it’s still totally useful. The red pen is a really fun little glitter jelly Sakura pen – I tried my best to capture how shimmery the writing is, but I’m not sure it picked up well on camera. The Beetle Highlighter by Kokuyo is incredible! The tip is very strange-looking, definitely reminiscent of a staghorn or rhino beetle, but it makes it very practical. Depending on how you hold the marker you can either get a standard wide line, a thin underline, or even a double-line. These would be incredibly helpful for a student or someone who needs to take a lot of notes.
  • Next is another adorable doggie item, this time they’re little self-adhesive flags. Great for marking up textbooks, planners, or just your current relaxing read. I can’t wait to see these cute faces sticking out of my stuff.
  • The ninth item is clearly intended for the holidays, and may not be useful in its intended purpose to people outside of Japan. These are decorative envelopes intended for gifts of money. However, they’re a good little size and very sweet-looking, so you could absolutely use them for a love note or a gift card.
  • Last but not least is a roll of washi tape, again with pretty winter landscapes on it. I love washi tape and use it to decorate so much stuff, this will definitely get great usage.

Overall, I’m really quite impressed by this box. For $29.50 you get a fantastic assortment of items that are both adorable and very practical. If you’re like me and you love getting little surprises in the mail, or you’re looking for a unique gift for someone who loves all things cute and Japanese, I highly recommend one of ZenPop’s offerings. Click here to check out ZenPop for yourself!

Bonus: ZenPop is 100% Tribble Approved!

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

Shishi Overload!

This kimono is eventually going to live with Naomi, since it’s got some of her favourite motifs and colours and will never, ever fit me, but I really wanted to have a little more fun with it before I sent it off to its new home.

Typically overloading on the same motif in the kimono and the obi isn’t ideal, but when has that sort of thing ever stopped me? I just wanted to do a full-on shishi overload! Despite the obi’s neutral black base, I wasn’t sure if they’d work together, but think the almost shocking contrast of the blue-and-red accessories managed to bring cohesion to the outfit.

I was also reminded how ridiculously short this obi is when I pulled a muscle in my back trying to tie it. I have skills, you guys. I had the same issues with it while doing the Gryffindor outfit, but I conveniently forgot about all that. One day I’ll likely end up turning it into a tsuke-obi to make it less of a pain (literally) in the future, but at least I got it to look the way I wanted it in the meantime.