Road Map for 2023 (and beyond?)

First of all, let me make it clear that the kimono content will always be the primary focus of my blog. Whether it be outfit coordinations, events, or informational posts, this is never going to stop. However, I have realised that in my current situation I can’t keep up with the rate of mannequin coords I have posted in the past.

There are multiple reasons for this. Firstly, I used to work a maximum of twenty hours a week. Then the pandemic hit and I was fully unemployed for over a year. This meant a ton of free time. I now have the luxury of working from home but I work a full forty hours a week, plus occasional overtime, which leaves me much less in the way of free time. My collection has also gotten so overwhelming that sometimes just looking at it while deciding what to coordinate with is exhausting!

Secondly, I am spending months at a time with my boyfriend in California, and hauling significant portions of my collection and a mannequin back and forth is just entirely unreasonable. His house also doesn’t have the space for me to take over a kimono corner, let alone the entire room.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I am dealing with the early stages of a frozen shoulder. This makes it difficult for me to even dress myself in yofuku (you should see me trying to do up my bra, it’s hilarious), let alone dress an uncooperative mannequin in wafuku. I am doing physical therapy and getting injections for it, and we’ve managed to slow its progression, but it’s not really getting better yet.

So what does all this mean for you, my beloved readers and followers? It means I’m going to be making a concentrated effort to bring you more content relating to Japanese arts, culture, and lifestyle, still while focusing on kimono, but broadening my scope somewhat. I also hope to bring more accessible products to you, not only imported things. Between shipping times, fluctuating currencies, and carbon imprints, it’s nice for those of us in the Americas and Europe to be able to experience a bit more wa in our lives with more ease. Expect to see more tea reviews, restaurant reviews (I am going to Morimoto Las Vegas next week and I cannot wait to share my experience with you), book reviews, and health & beauty products (Tatcha and Rituals of Sakura coming up soon). These are all things I will be able to do after work, with a bum shoulder, while away from Montreal, or any combination of the above.

I realise some of you did not sign on for this and if you decide this blog is no longer for you I fully understand. But I hope some of you will choose to stick around and see what the future holds for all of us! And to thank you for sticking around until the end of this ramble, here’s some photos of the beautiful Lego Bonsai tree Keith got me for Christmas. I love that you can easily swap between green leaves and beautiful sakura bonsai! I am terrible with real plants so this is a lovely way for me to enjoy bonsai on my desk without worrying about killing it.

(Sakura tokidoki unicorno not included – she just happened to be on my desk and I couldn’t resist)

Gardens of Light 2019

I don’t know if it’s the changing seasons or the general state of the world or what, but my motivation for new content hasn’t been fantastic lately. Also, I’m still unreasonably enamoured of the last outfit I put on the mannequin and don’t want to change it yet.

However, I don’t want to leave you guys hanging for too long! And I’ve been sitting on these photos trying to decide if they were relevant enough to share for a year. A year! I’m such a trash panda sometimes. That said, I figured I may as well get off my butt and share.

Every year, the Montreal Botanical Gardens holds a lantern festival called Gardens of Light. The reason I was hesitant to share this initially is that the bulk of the lanterns are in the Chinese Pavilion, and I try to avoid encouraging that “all far-east Asian cultures are analogous” mentality. But there are also displays in the Japanese Garden, as well as exhibits of Japanese items inside the smaller Japanese pavilion. Also they’re just beautiful lanterns and we all need some beauty right now.

Last year, I was lucky enough to finally meet Elsa of Elsa Eats after knowing her online for nearly fifteen years now. She and her sister were in town for a short period of time, so we hit up a food truck gathering, then the lantern festival, and then drinks and snacks over at Le Blossom Bar. We all had a lovely time, and one day when I find myself on her side of the pond we can do this again.

And without further ado, the photos! First up, of course, the lanterns.

The Lanterns

Japanese Pavilion

Blossom Bar

A Quick Note

I’m sure you’ve noticed the lack of updates in the past two weeks.

I started 2019 still dealing with post-holiday stress, and that just got compounded as the year progressed. One of our cats (Vinnie), got very ill with pancreatitis and that became my only priority. He’s hale and hearty again now, thanks to the skills and efforts of our veterinary clinic, but I was justifiably distracted for quite a while. The arms I recently purchased for my mannequin don’t work as expected, and while I know I’m going to be able to fix them with a quick trip to the hardware store, it sort of killed my motivation. An obi I was incredibly excited to coordinate seems to have gotten lost in the mail. I had to deal with the unpleasant task of banning an incredibly rude and abrasive person from the Kimono Tsuki Facebook page (and subsequently my personal account). On top of all this, the weather here in Montreal has been absolute garbage recently and the available light for taking photos is nearly zero. Despite all this, I thought today I’d do a coordination to get my mojo back, and pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did, so I stepped away.

All together, these things have added up and my motivation has taken a huge hit. But I do definitely have some art and DIY projects in the works, and the mannequin’s arm issue is going to be fixed one way or another in the next few days. so I’ll be back in full force soon!  I’d like to apologise, and sincerely thank you for sticking around. I haven’t gone anywhere, I promise! In the meantime, I do still make sure to share interesting links, videos, and photos on my facebook page, so you can always come hang out there. And as a thank you for reading til the end of this silly post, enjoy this photo I took of a beautiful doll several years ago at the Montreal JCCC.

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!

Review – Paperless Post Project

Recently, I was contacted by the Paperless Post Project, offering me some credits to explore and review their service. At first, I admit that I was uncertain about a way to tie it in to the content of this blog, but my worries were unfounded. We had a kimono club event coming up, and there’s such a wonderful variety of invitations and digital paper products that I knew it would be a great way to send out invites.

Paperless Post is a fantastic alternative to traditional mail. It’s infinitely customiseable and eco-friendly, but still feels exciting and cohesive, like receiving a physical invitation. The interface is fantastic – you can personalise nearly every aspect of the “mail” you’re sending, from the card to the envelope and stamp to even the backdrop surface the envelope opens on! For people who don’t have the time or skill to create their own designs, many of the pre-existing designs are absolutely gorgeous. However, if you enjoy that sort of a thing and like being in control, you can change or alter every element involved. As you know, seasonality and aesthetics play a huge part in kimono, so the fact that you can tweak and customise and find designs for nearly everything really appealed to me.

There are plenty of options on the site that are free, but some premium options do require an in-site coin currency. However, it’s totally possible to make and send a beautiful card or invitation without using any coins!

The interface is very straightforward and intuitive;  to change an element simply click on the part you’d like to edit. All the options will be displayed, and a small text in the upper corner will tell you how many coins you’ll need for each card or invitation you send out. You fill out your information and then finally enter the names and email addresses of your desired recipients. One feature I would like to see here would be some sort of integration with Facebook Events. In this modern age of social media, collecting email addresses seems almost archaic. That’s really my only “complaint” about Paperless Post, and it’s definitely a minor one. But if you’re hoping to share your card or invitation online, it’s something to keep in mind.

Now that the event is over and done with, here’s the lovely little invite I created for our kimono club meetup! You can see how much it looks and feels like “real” mail, from the envelope front to the card sliding out of the flap. It’s a really fun and charming experience.

Will Paperless Post replace physical mail entirely? Probably not. But in this brave new world of long-distance friendship, increasing postal service costs, and awareness of carbon footprints and environmental impacts, it’s definitely a service worth looking into!

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