This is one of those lessons that reminds me that auction photos can be very inaccurate. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely obi, a nice crisp hakata in a forest green on cream, but in the auction photos it looked very pink. I fell in love with the idea of green on pink. Thankfully I only paid a penny plus shipping for it, and I am sure I will find a good use for it, but it was a reminder not to get too excited or attached to things until they’re actually in your hands.
I’ve already posted photos of me wearing this particular item, but it really needs a proper entry to showcase it. Shinei was having a huge sale and I saw this and really fell in love with it. In the photos, it looked like a modern piece – heavy silk, relatively “standard” proportions. When it arrived I was shocked at how old it was it was, evident in the length of both the body and the sleeves, as well as the brightly patterned lining. It’s incredibly lush and thick, and the cranes are so vivid. The lining is also exceptional. I am not generally fond of karako (stylized playing children) but since it’s mostly hidden I am actually quite fond of them in this case. I love the ridiculously vivid linings on vintage haori.
This piece was actually done for a contest on Gaia, and it was definitely one of the most amazing entries I received. As you may know, this particular furisode is incredibly special to me so of course I’m going to be biased when it comes to artwork of it. But look at the sheer amount of detail in this piece. The artist, Elsa Lee, put in a painstaking amount of work to faithfully reproduce the pattern on the kimono. What’s more, can you believe she did it with a mouse?! My hand hurts just thinking about it.
If you want to see the incredibly high-resolution version of this (and believe me, you do!), you can check it out on Elsa’s DeviantArt account
After the devastating earthquakes in Japan just over a month ago, several of my friends decided to raise money by auctioning off items in their collections, with proceeds going to Global Giving for disaster relief. When I saw the adorable navy yukata that Jess had listed, I knew I had to have it. It’s got such a fun, summery feel to it. I love the trellis-like design, and I can’t wait to wear it.
I know it’s going to look adorable with my green hakata. I just have to wait for the weather to improve! I love how I keep ending up with more yukata and nowhere to wear them.
Most of the teas I drink are relatively light and floral. However, sometimes I need something with a bit (ok a lot) more oomph. That’s where a good old Lapsang Souchong comes in, and one of my favourites is from the classic English tea house, Taylors of Harrogate.
This is not a tea for the indecisive, by any means. It’s strong, it’s potent, and it’s rather an acquired taste. Lapsang Souchong is a black Chinese tea that gets a very distinctive character from being smoked in bamboo baskets after the drying process. It imparts a distinctly toasted smell and taste to the tea, almost reminiscent of a smoked fish or cheese. My mother refers to it as “that stinky tea,” and while I do love it I can see where she’s coming from. To me, it smells like woodsmoke and evokes a campfire. It reminds me of summers spent at the cottage, which may be why I find it so comforting.
The tea is quite “dusty”, little charred bits flaking off the leaves, and it tends to sneak through the strainer, leaving a bit of residue in the cup. It’s got a lot of personality, and can be sort of overwhelming consumed straight, especially since it continues to steep due to the residue. I prefer to soften it with a bit of milk or cream and sometimes some sugar, depending on my mood. It’s a great tea for warming up on a cold, damp winter day, or pairing with a big hearty breakfast.