Tea Time – DIY Floral Tea Blend

Today I have something a little different for you guys! You all know I love tea, and I love flowers, so this nifty DIY floral tea bag project on the FTD By Design blog was right up my alley. This is a great way to make a custom tea blend that’s perfectly suited to your tastes. With Mother’s Day coming up here in North America, these would make a really unique gift!

The post has some great selections of food-safe dried flowers to work with. I actually had a harder time finding some of them than I anticipated, oddly enough. I’d suggest hitting up bulk food stores and organic speciality stores.I chose to start with a base of the wonderful organic sencha tea the lovely folks over at Tea Forte sent me, and added dried rosebuds and hibiscus blossoms. I remembered we had some dried lavender from our garden and decided to add a little of that too.

The DIY includes incredibly thorough instructions on how to make your own tea bags using items you probably already have at home, and offers some super cute printable tags. Personally, I’m in favour of loose tea, and prefer not to create more single-use waste, so I chose to print one of the adorable tags and package the tea in a mason jar. However, if you’re taking it to the office or offering it as gifts, the DIY bags would be a fantastic idea.

The tea blend I made was really nice, the florals didn’t overpower the earthiness of the green tea but they were definitely noticeable. It also turned a really pretty pink colour. I’m glad I made a bunch of it, and I can’t wait to steep myself another cup.

Thank you to FTD for sharing this tutorial. I hope you check it out and have fun as well!

Daruma Colouring Page

Here we are in the first day of a new year. Twenty-eighteen was rough for a lot of people, and I think we’re all hoping for a happy, healthy, rewarding twenty-nineteen.

To start the year with focus and intention, I’ve created this Daruma colouring page. Daruma are traditional representations of a monk named Bodhidharma. When you purchase one, usually from a temple, there are no eyes painted on it. When you set a goal or wish for yourself, you paint in the first eye. When you’ve accomplished it, you can paint in the second eye.

Daruma can be painted in many different colours, based on your goals, but red is the most traditional and versatile, There are often characters painted on the front, again varying depending on your goal, but like the red colour, 福 (fuku, good fortune) is the most common. 

Here’s my daruma. I have set a few goals and dreams for myself this year. I’m no good with resolutions, but maybe this will encourage me to focus better. If and when I manage to accomplish any of them I will complete it and share again!

Here are a couple of blank versions, with and without kanji, for you to colour. Feel free to colour it digitally like I did or print it out and use more traditional methods.

If you colour it in, I would love to see! And I wish you all the best for this upcoming new year.

Say Hi to Sophie!

Yesterday, my dear friend Sophie came over and I had the pleasure of dressing her in kimono! She’s worn yukata before, when we went to the Yatai! street food fest, but never anything dressier. She chose this plum tsukesage with stylised peacocks because she loves purple, and we coordinated an outfit around it. I went for a big punch of contrast with the gold obi, then chose an obijime with the same plum tones and an obiage that pulls out the icy blue of the obijime for a good sense of cohesion.

I did dress her over western clothing and undergarments, so the collar isn’t as smooth as it could be, but for someone who’s never worn this many heavy layers before, she looks great! Some people are just kimono naturals.

She was a little nervous posing at first, but once she got a little more relaxed everything just clicked. I think she looks absolutely lovey, and I do like how the gold obi and kasane-eri pop against the rich aubergine of the kimono. Sometime in the future, I’m very much looking forward to both of us dressing up and going out together.

This last photo is a bit of a conceit on my part. I really loved how thoughtful she looked, but unfortunately my flash didn’t fire and the photo ended up being incredibly noisy and under-exposed. I decided to make it look like a vintage daguerreotype, and I think it worked out quite well.

Items used in this coordination

Kimono Tsuki on Everyday Expertise!

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Angela of Everyday Expertise. We discussed the ins and outs of collecting kimono, from how I got started to why I still do it. I admit, it was a little awkward watching myself; my voice sounds so different in my head! But it was a lovely experience, and I’d be so happy if you gave it a watch!

Kimono Outfit Inspiration Generator!

Feel like playing with kimono coordinations, but aren’t sure where to start? Use this to generate ideas, and use as few or as many as you like! I made it to keep myself from going bonkers at work earlier today, and figured it would be fun to share it.

It will generate two sets of data. Traditional will give you a few simple options to work from, and Adventurous may result in some really out-there looks. You don’t have to use everything it suggests, but it would be fun to try getting them all into one coordination! If this results in any really cool (or really ridiculous) combinations and you put them together, I’d love to see them.

(Best viewed on a full screen, parts may overflow or be cut off on mobile apps)