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)

Harley Quinn

I hate clowns, but I love Harley Quinn. Go figure! This was the outfit I was most looking forward to. It was the most fun, but somehow also the most awful to put together! Even though the other three outfits in this project have been relatively standard and traditional kitsuke, my plan for Harley had been a bit off-the-wall from the very beginning.

For a character who was only created in the 1990s and was never meant to be a permanent addition, Harley’s had an enormous impact on the DC universe and really pop culture as a whole. She’s had some incredible character development, and a long with that a bevy of unique costumes and looks. None are more iconic than her original red and black harlequin jumpsuit though, so I knew that one had to be my starting point.

My red ume komon was the grounding point for the whole outfit, along with a black petticoat to give off a cute feminine vibe. Over top of that, I used a ro mofuku kimono I have that’s basically rotted apart at the seams. I’ve been planning to sew it back together, but I realised that it would be perfect to use as a sort of overlay. Since the seams were already separated, I sort of bustled it in four segments over top of the komon. A red, black, and white obi and accessories with card suit motifs were the perfect next step. I added some white ruffled ribbon to the collar and sleeves, and tucked a white shibori obiage in above the obi to look like more ruffles.

Despite it being an enormous pain in the posterior to put together, I could not be happier with how this outfit turned out. I could absolutely see Harley wearing it.

This is going to be the last Batman-themed outfit for a while. It’s been great fun, but I want to focus on a few different things for the month of October. I do have loose ideas for a few more characters so I’ll likely revisit those in the future though.

Items used in this coordination