Kiku The Bucket Ikebana

Behold, proof that I have not kiku’d the bucket. I’m sorry, that was a terrible pun but you put chrysanthemums is a lovely bucket-like container, that’s what you get.

I have been in southern California for the past few months and will be here a while longer, which is why I haven’t updated in so long. I don’t have access to my mannequin or any of my kimono, but I do have a few things I can share now so be prepared for more regular updates again!

The first is this charming ikebana I arranged after not having done one for so long. I have to say, it felt really good and I regret not sticking more regularly to it. The vessel, while looking very Japanese-inspired, is actually from a local ceramic artist who unfortunately does not have any sort of online presence (I did suggest he consider at least setting up an instagram or something, but he was, in his own words, “old and set in [his] ways”, alas). I saw it and fell in love, and had to buy it. I had no idea how much it cost, but when he said I could have it for twenty dollars I was over the moon.

The rangiku were actually from Wal-Mart, of all place. Mixed in with all the generic flower bundles were these little darlings and I knew they’d be absolutely perfect in this particular container. I’m so happy with how they combined!

I might try to do more ikebana in the near future, but it will likely all be in this container because I don’t have others with me XD

Spring Fling

I have a confession to make; I used to hate shibori. I suspect it was due to my aversion to certain textures and patterns. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve learnt to appreciate the beauty and incredible craftsmanship that goes into it, but it still wasn’t something I had much of in my collection (aside from some obiage). I also named my pet uromastyx lizard Shibori, due to the spots on his back.

This fully shibori beauty with pink botan and fans showed up on ebay, ending the same night as the rangiku piece in my previous entry. I found it with only minutes to go and only one bid. I threw out a ridiculously low bid and to my shock I won it!

It’s absolutely lush and gorgeous and I am completely in love with. What I was not expecting was how difficult it would be to coordinate!

The olive accessories were a given, they coordinate perfectly with the leaves on the kimono. However, this shade of warm salmon pink clashed with… basically every obi I could find. I settled on this silver one with tiny pink accents and it’s… fine? I guess? I don’t hate it, but it’s not as punchy as I would have liked. I’ll definitely have to hunt down the perfect obi for this piece and coordinate it again soon!

Have you ever changed your mind drastically on a colour, technique, or motif? Something you hated at first but have grown to love?

Items used in this coordination

(I haven’t had the chance to catalogue this piece either yet, but it will be added eventually!)

Dancing Queen

This is one of those coordinations that’s been on my to-do list pretty much since the day the kimono arrived. I love this dance piece and I really wanted to pair it with the orange hakata side of this vintage chuuya obi and do a fun odori-influenced outfit. For some reason the photographs don’t capture either orange properly, they’re a much better match in real life.

I decided to go with an ochre haneri to kind of reflect the gold of the kimono, a gold and silver obijime for the same reason, and this red shibori obiage was to draw attention to the red date-eri that’s sewn into the kimono. A simple bunko musubi literally ties it all together, a fairly standard one for odori outfits.

Also, every time I hear or think of Dancing Queen by ABBA now, this ridiculous video gets stuck in my head. If you have a few minutes and need a good laugh, I can’t recommend it enough!

Items used in this coordination

What’s Old is New Again

This kimono has always been one of my favourites, but for some reason I’ve never paired it with anything other than an orange obi. Don’t get me wrong, it looks great with orange, but I wanted to diversify a bit. I realised it had the same kikkou pattern on the shoulder as my green darari-style tsuke-obi and I knew exactly where this coordination was heading.

Red accessories because there’s a bit of red in the obi and it helps make the lining pop, and red accents always make an outfit feel a bit more vintage to me! I debated using a dark red haneri shigoki obi as well but it ended up feeling more balanced without it. Even if you’ve planned an outfit entirely in your head, it’s always good to be flexible when you finally get things laid out together. Never feel like you have to stick entirely to your original plans, and that doesn’t only go for kimono coordinating.

Items used in this coordination

Touches of Gold

(There’s some personal emotional garbage as well as an attempt at explaining the lack of content lately at the bottom of this entry. Feel free to skip it if you’re just here for the pretties.)

My lovely friend Maral was helping someone destash some kimono and I fell in love with this green odori piece as well as a gorgeous purple and white obi that will make an appearance sooner or later. Everything about this piece makes me happy; the colour, the bridge, the willow branches, and the size. It’s deceptively large!

I decided I really wanted to play up the warm orange and touches of gold in the kimono. I used my black shishi obi to help anchor the coordination and bring in even more metallic accents, and the red obiage to tie in the red date-eri that was already sewn into the kimono. My initial instinct was a white and gold haneri but I defaulted to this yellow chirimen one that I use way too often, because somehow despite being the colour of stale mustard it seems to go with almost everything.

This outfit is quite straightforward compared to a lot of what I’ve been doing lately, but there’s a lot to be said for the classics. The whole coordination feels balanced, and just flashy enough. It’s also sort of accidentally Christmas colours, which works well because it’ll be on the mannequin over the holidays. It wasn’t intentional, but let’s pretend it was.

Items used in this coordination

If you’re reading this far, thank you. The past month or so has been rough, you guys. I was supposed to spend my birthday (Nov 16) and American Thanksgiving with my dude but then my household got exposed to the virus that shall not be named and we all had to quarantine for two weeks. As we were dealing with the aftermath of that, we lost my grandmother. She’d been ill for quite a long time and it’s a relief to know she’s not suffering anymore, but considering I was going through some emotionally messy garbage before all this happened, you can imagine how I was feeling afterwards. However, we’ve buried my grandmother’s ashes and she’s at peace, and barring another exposure incident I will be spending Christmas with Keith so I’m starting to feel better finally. I should have much more new content and a more regular update schedule in the new year. 💕