Monday, 29 September 2008

Happy Birthday, Ma!

Today was my mum's birthday! I didn't call her till the day was nearly over in Malaysia, so I feel kind of bad now. Maybe I should've called her last night instead...

Patrick came down to London yesterday. He left Concord at 11am, hoping to get here in time for Borough Market, but he didn't *sighs*. Luckily for him, I went there in the morning with Mel to get all his food stuff, so all is well and happy XD We ate scallops, fish and chips and an oyster, which doesn't sound much, but is freakishly filling. We didn't eat the chorizo sandwiches or the lamb burger or the venison burger because the lines were too long and we were short on time :( As it was, we just barely made it in time to get to Euston to pick Patty and his friend up!

After depositing their bags at the flat, we went to Waitrose to buy some booze (haha, such a funny word!), dumped it all back in the flat, then headed to Chinatown to buy some groceries for Patty and meet up with his friends for dinner at Misato. Patty had gyudon and I had the katsu curry rice. Yum, I really ought to have that more often.

After dinner, we headed to Troccadero to play in the arcade abit and digest our dinners before we went to Haagen Dazs for dessert. Yeah, we're pigs! :D When we were done with dessert, we went home, Mel tagging along, to watch a movie while drinking beer. Well, they watched a movie while drinking beer. I went to take a nice long shower and burn a DVD for Patty.

This morning, we woke up rather late at 11am. Patty and his friend rushed to pack while I cooked some venison burgers for brunch. I cut the patties in half, put ketchup all over them, then placed the half-patty into half a wholemeal pitta with salad. Patty also added mushroom pate over his.

At 1pm, we left the flat and reached Euston Station in less than half an hour (we took a cab) so they got to buy their 3 dozen Krispy Kreme and eat a pack of fries before they left.

I must say I'm glad Patty came to London because I was feeling a little homesick last week. I still feel homesick, but it's better now than it was before! *sighs* 6 weeks at home seemed like a long time when I was there, but now I realise it isn't nearly enough at all....

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Event Aftermath: Pink striped wool kimono kitsuke

Today, there was a Chado (Japanese "way of the tea") talk and tea ceremony demonstration at the British Museum. I was curious about tea ceremony, so I dressed up and went! Of course, I didn't go alone :) aoi84 said she was free, so we met up at Holborn Station and walked to the museum, which took about 10 minutes tops.

There were lots of people in kimono around!!! Of course, they were all in nice, formal kimono (I saw iro-tomesode, tsukesage, iromuji, furisode..), so I felt really underdressed, but the two women in front of me were wearing komon, so I didn't feel too bad. Only thing was that my kimono was bright, so I kind of stood out, but hey, I'm a young girl! :P

After the talk (which was really interesting and illuminative) and the demonstration (very informative), we went to Haagen Dazs to have ice cream, then to Kulu Kulu for dinner because I was telling aoi84 about it, and we both got hungry (yes, while eating ice cream). We both realised we live really close to each other - if the DLR wasn't under works, there would be a direct train from her place to mine with only 4 stops! - so we promised we'd meet often and maybe trade some kimono pieces when we need them to match with our kimono!

We also made plans on what to wear for the MCM Expo this October ^___^ If hellokitty8182 is coming along too, then we'll dress up as Meiji schoolgirls again! That is to say, we'd wear hakama :P I'll be looking for a yabana kofurisode or kimono for the next few weeks hehehe.

Anyway, here are pictures of what I wore:

If my hair looks funny, it's because it's a side-ponytail. Very Ah Lien (how do you spell that??), but with what I was wearing, I think it worked.

The kimono is wool and has stripes of pink, white and what I think is purple, but can look maroon. For a wool kimono, it was quite soft and smooth! The obi has a pattern of kikyo (Chinese bellflower). I'm not sure if it's an August or September motif but *shrugs* it's an autumn motif, that's for sure. The obiage is black silk with the motif of ume (plum blossoms), which isn't seasonally appropriate, but you can't see it so NYAH. The zori are also black, but I really actually wanted to wear black tabi with bright pink zori. *sighs*

The point of today's ensemble is actually the han-eri, which is the black collar sewn onto my juban. I made this han-eri myself (okay, okay, so I cut two strips of cute cloth and sewed it together. It took work!!) and was happy that it turned out so well. I know I'm showing an ungodly amount of collar, but I think it brings the black bits in the ensemble together.

Ling, this was collar thing was made from the cloth that we bought in Singapore! It works really well! I can't wait to see the other cloth you got for me! :D

Friday, 26 September 2008

Bukit Tinggi!

Hey Ling, when I go home in December, let's have a one-day trip to Bukit Tinggi. Liss had mentioned the Japanese Village there, so I went to check it out. OMG I really really really wanna gooooo!! *whines whines whines* Teach meh to drive there so I can go there myself :P If we go, I'm soooo gonna wear kimono! And if we stay there for, say, a night or two, I'll wear kimono all the time XD (well.. unless I'm having my period, in which case, I'll be in a bear suit >:3 Rowr!) *singsong voice* It's only 40 minutes awaaaaaaaay~~

I'm kind of hoping Liss and I can go there together for a short holiday :3 Nyan!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Closet Feature: ool kimono shopping

I've been eyeing a few of Ryujiro-san's wool kimono lately, and yesterday, I'd noticed one of them was actually an ensemble! Ensemble = kimono + matching haori. I was so excited I decided to buy it straight off, and at the same time, buy those that I'd been eyeing too!

Here's a picture of the haori. The kimono is in the same pattern, which is red with white plaid/checks/whatever you call them.

I also bought this absolutely sweet kimono, which looks to be very transparent, so I'll only wear this in the spring or early summer.

Upclose detail.. I love the pink pattern and the ice-blue pattern on it!

AND I bought this piece.. It's white with multi-coloured stripes forming a plaid pattern.

Doesn't the pattern just remind you of a certain brand's bags? *cough*Coach*cough* I bought it so I can use those bags with this kimono :D I'm a little concerned that it might be a little too matchy-moo, but I'm thinking that with a nice solid-coloured obi, it wouldn't be too bad.

Ling, that last kimono was bought with you and Ma in mind :D

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Outfit Snap: More hakama kitsuke pics!

My camera revived a little after I posted the previous pics, so I took more! I saved the pics so that I can post something today :P

Unfortunately, the pics still aren't spectacular and are still very blurry. *shrugs* I'll take what I can get, I guess...

The back

Some people on the IG forums mentioned that the colour combination is very interesting (dunno if that's a good or a bad thing haha!) but I feel like it's alright. I mean, orange and maroon always goes! But still, I wonder if it would've looked better with a pale or bright yellow hanhaba instead? I think a navy hakama or dark green hakama might also look nice.

I'm also currently bidding on another hakama set which includes a teal hakama... As well as contemplating buying another kofurisode-hakama set, only the kofurisode is pale blue while the hakama is navy. Dear dear me, I'm spending far too much money...

Outfit Snap: Sweet lolita dress and kitsuke

This evening, I wanted to play dress-up a little. I've been wondering for ages how my sweet lolita schoolgirl-style dress would look with my white shoes from Singapore, so I put it on to see. Here are pictures! Okay, bad lighting = bad pictures, so forgive me for that.

This one is to see the colour! I love that shade of pink!

And to see the back.....

The hairstyle (actually just two clips in my hair) reminded me of Meiji schoolgirls in hakama, so I felt like wearing hakama. I have also been dying to wear this orange furisode for a few days now, because I keep remembering how cheap it is ($30.30 for BOTH the furisode and matching juban!! well, $85 if you include shipping, but it's still really cheap, especially considering the furisode is mostly shibori!). I've been trying to match the furisode and an obi to accessories, but I have yet to find anything that really "clicks" for me.

Since the furisode was out already, I decided to wear the furisode with the hakama, since it didn't look all that bad together. However, for the obi (the green strip above the hakama), I didn't have anything very suitable, so I just took whichever looked best and used it. Here's how it looked:

Sorry for the bad pictures again, but my camera started going all wonky on me, so I couldn't take anymore pictures. I didn't even get to take pics of the sides and back! :( Boo...

Wearing a hakama on my own with a furisode isn't as easy as it looks. It was my first time tying an ohashori on a juban, and the collar kept slipping! As a result, my furisode was also very messy and the front collar kept slipping too. At least I did a pretty decent job of it! Or so I think, hehehe...

*sighs* I'm not looking forward to trying to fold the hakama again for storage!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

University Rankings

I feel a very odd sensation of pride for my university.

I was checking the university rankings for 2009 on a whim, and I found out that my uni is ranked 3rd in the UK for its business courses. In 2008, it was also 3rd, but LSE was 5th. This year, shockingly, LSE had dropped to 11th. It kind of makes me feel odd because I'm very glad I got into my university as it's high-ranking and is more coursework-based than LSE (despite the stress, it's good fun), but at the same time, it makes me worry that it won't make a difference when finding a job because Cass Business School only gained its current name in 2002, and LSE is a famous name. I wonder if that sort of thing affects your job and stuff.

Am I being a brat? :P


Did I pass? Did I fail? I still don't know, but I'm praying and hoping that I passed. I don't think calling those of us who failed will take all that long, especially since there are only 50 of us left in the course, and I would think about 20% of us had to resit some stuff. Well... Not including the other years :P Also, I'd just received an email from Matt (our Course Officer) for Part 3 students. I dunno if I'm already considered as a Part 3 student or not though...

ANYWAY, I went to collect a parcel at the Post Office today, and surprise surprise, there was another one waiting for me! I received 3 pairs of zori (can never have too many) and one bag. The bag is really cute, I will take pictures tomorrow! In the other parcel, I finally received two books I'd placed an order for. I LOVE LOVE LOVE those books soooooo much!! *hearts* Very inspirational for putting kimono ensembles together! I love Mamechiyo's book... *sighs*

Sorry for squealing like that, but come on, it's a book! How can you not get excited over a book??

A really odd addition here, but I'm absolutely craving for the weirdest thing. I want to cook some oven chips, melt brie cheese in the oven at the same time, and dip the chips into the cheese. Aren't I weird?

I'm thinking of taking pictures of pages in kimono books to show pictures of my favourite ensembles/outfits/books, etc. I could post a picture a day or something. Or post a book a week. Should I?

Friday, 19 September 2008

Outfit Snap: Frilly apron?

I'd meant to post this pic a few days ago, but I forgot :P

This is the ensemble I wore on Thursday. I was cleaning the flat and instead of my usual kappougi, I wore my new frilly apron which I'd received that morning.
Do you think I look silly? I felt silly and thought I looked very much like a waitress at a cafe or a tea house or cake shop. But you know what? I loved it.

I think I'm going to wear this apron with my hakama set to the London MCM Expo in October. Or maybe just the kofurisode. Either way, I'm wearing this, with a maid hairband and letting my hair down for the Expo! Yay!


No, they're not out yet.

However, I have found out that I'll know on Monday afternoon if I've passed or not. I'll be waiting the whole damn day for a stupid phone call. And if I do get a phone call, it means I'm screwed. Shit, I'm nervous.

Ling, tell the parents not to call me on Monday, kay?

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Random nonsense

I was reading some fanfics today and just happened to look at an author's bio page. There were some quotes there that I found hilarious or just plain loved and just had to share :D

"Men, chocolate and coffee are all better rich."

I love this one! *rofl*
"Every time I say the word 'diet', I wash my mouth out with chocolate."

"People may not remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel."

This one is my favourite...
"Be very careful if you make a woman cry, because God counts her tears. Woman came out of a man's rib. Not from his feet to be walked on. Not from his head to be superior. But from the side to be equal. Under the arm to be protected. And next to the heart to be loved..."

Monday, 15 September 2008

Event Aftermath: Japanese Jamboree - the aftermath :D

On Saturday morning, I got up at 8.30am, hurriedly washed up and got dressed. I was all set to wear what the IGers voted for me to wear. Unfortunately, when I put on the kimono and juban, I hadn't counted on the kimono being so sheer that the juban colour was easily seen through it! The obi that had been voted on looked horrid against the kimono, as did the second runner-up, so I picked the third runner up.

At 10am, I rushed out, thinking I was going to be late. Fortunately, the bus came along just as I walked up to the stop I usually use. When I got to the tube station, the train was just arriving too! :D Talk about lucky. I reached Embankment station at 10.20am - a full 10 minutes early! And to think I wanted to leave at 9.30am haha.

I met hellokitty8182 from the IG forums and we both crossed the bridge over to the Royal Festival Hall. Surprisingly, there were very few people about for half past 10 in the morning o_O We walked around for a bit, trying to find an entrance, and when we did, it wasn't open yet (we got there like 1 and a half hours early lol!) so we sat around and chatted. Time passed so quickly!

When it finally opened, we walked around the floor for a bit, and lurked mainly at the kimono-wearing section. Akemi Solloway, who is a well-known and respected professional kimono wearer was there! She helped put yukata on people and let them take pictures, then took the yukata off. I convinced hellokitty8182, who wasn't wearing kimono, to try it out :D

Anyway, there were a few demonstrations: kendo, Ikebana, calligraphy and a koto concert. I only watched part of the first kendo demonstration (OMG cute little yelling kids!) and the whole ikebana demonstration, because I'm fascinated by ikebana. I can never do a nice, simple Japanese-style flower arrangement!

Here is a picture of the GIANT ikebana they did with the huge bamboo construct on the stage:

This was only halfway through the demonstration, as there is still a pot on the floor that hasn't been used yet. I feel inspired to do ikebana!

hellokitty8182 and I had lunch at a Latin restaurant nearby. She had chilli con carne and I had a seafood risotto. It wasn't bad, but now I'm thinking I should've had the vegetable one!

After lunch, aoi84 dropped by and we all walked around a bit before I mentioned I had to get yarn, so we all trooped down to iKnit and spent some time digging up nicely coloured yarn. Ling, I got you 4 skeins of that funky GBP10 yarn :D Only two colours, though, because the colours are so great and it's better to have too much than too little!

We walked back to the Royal Festival Hall and sat around listening to the Koto Concert (yay, more ladies in kimono! Stupid me, didn't take photos!) while chatting about random nonsense, like spreadable marshmallows and how it's like eating clouds :D

We did take pictures of ourselves then. I hope they don't mind me posting their picture :D
Japanese Jamboree 2008 2
Japanese Jamboree 2008 1
Japanese Jamboree 2008 3
Japanese Jamboree 2008 4
Once it was all over, we walked back to Embankment and took the Bakerloo line down to Piccadilly Circus to look at the Japan Center, because I wanted to see if they had kimono books there (nooooo they removed them!) and aoi84 ended up buying some groceries haha. We split up after that and went home.

A combination of lack of sleep and the long day made me exhausted, so when I reached home, I cooked a very small and quick dinner (blue cheese tastes damn good in omelettes), showered and went to bed.

I have pictures of the food I ate for lunch, which wasn't spectacular, but the drink was heavenly! Raspberry and elderflower with crushed ice! I sooooo have to learn how to recreate it!

I'll post pictures of those once I upload them :)

*sighs* Today was crappy. I woke up to see that my monthly visitor has arrived, and she brought a friend named "cramps" too, as usual. What's unusual is that her friend came today rather than tomorrow, the second day, like usual. *grumbles* I could barely move out of bed, and after taking a long nap, despite having slept for 12 hours, I feel much better.

The only thing is that I can't drink anything cold, which means even plain water triggers the cramps! D: The cramps even got so bad at one point that I had really bad backaches and felt very nauseous. I'm glad I didn't sick up my lunch.

Maybe I should go heat up some milk and make hot chocolate? Yum.....

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Outfit Snap: Borough Market pics! +kitsuke

Mel and I went to Borough Market today! It actually opened and closed early today because of some event that's taking place there tonight. Mel and I got there just in time to get our full 2 hours of feasting!

I had scallops, oysters, ice cream and juice, and we shared one of those.. raclettes, they were called? The boiled new potatoes with gherkins and picked baby onions topped with melted cheese and lots of pepper. Yum! Mel also had a double chorizo sandwich.

I bought another wedge of drunk cheese, and a tub of mushroom pate, plus a new type of honey that I haven't tried! The sample tasted really good though ^___^ It's chestnut honey.

I had my camera with me, but I didn't bother taking many photos. Here are the two that we took:

This was taken at Utobeer. This is the advertisement sign haha. Patty and I saw it last week, and we took pics on our phones, but I can't seem to upload pics from my phone, for some reason...The grocery shop next to the Chorizo sandwiches was selling puffball mushrooms!! They're HUMONGOUS! The smallest one is larger than my fist! The huge bugger you can see would make a 7-months pregnant woman feel small.

Okay, so I was being a brat and wore kimono there. I must say, though, that I felt very "homey"! I was wearing a wool kimono to a market and using a basket to put my things in. :D

FrontDetailUpclose detail

This morning was really chilly, so I thought "Good! The kimono I chose was thicker than yesterday's and will be warm enough!" and it was, but in the afternoon, as I was walking back from Borough Market (I walked there and back - only 40mins in a kimono! Not bad, I think I can halve that time in a shorter skirt), the sun came out and it was soooo bloody hot! So if I look tired in these pictures, it's because these were taken after nearly 4 hours of walking and carrying groceries around town.

The kimono is a green wool hitoe with hints of yellow and pink and a woven pattern of asanoha. The obi is a double-sided cotton obi with pink and white stripes and floral detail. The obi-jime-age set was actually from one of my gray wool hitoe ensembles. I loved the set so much, and thought it would look good with a green kimono that I wore it with this. Looks good, don't you think?

The obijime was woven with pink, purple and yellow strands. That was perfect because that was my colour scheme of the day! The han-juban and susoyoke (half-juban and underskirt) was yellow and the other side of the obi was purple. The cap and the bag just brought it all together I think. Yay to good coincidences! :D

I picked a white obiage, white juban collar and white lace tabi because I felt it would balance the ensemble and make it bright and fresh. Did I succeed? Also, the tabi are lace and not normal tabi because normal tabi seems to "solid" for this ensemble, and the lace in the tabi looks nice with the floral pattern of the obi.

You can see that the hem is a little higher than I'd like it. It's partially because the kimono is too short (I barely managed an ohashori) and partially because I didn't want to dirty the hem at the market. Unfortunately, it looked rather unattractive when I was walking!

What think you? Personally, I just love the puffball mushroom! I want one as a pet!

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Outfit Snap: Navy Blue Striped Wool & Green Tsukuri Obi

I've been dying to wear kimono lately. I had put together this ensemble on Tuesday (9th Sept 08) and was supposed to wear it yesterday, but since I went to Soho, I didn't get a chance to. Today, I was feeling restless because of the lull in my kitsuke, so I wore this to go to the post office to buy a box (to post Ling's yarn in).

This kimono is my new navy wool hitoe komon with gray and white stripes. Yes, it's komon and not tsumugi as the design is very obviously not woven once you look at it really closely. The juban is my new ro juban, which is very slippery.

The obi is a double-sided cotton tsuke obi that I bought last year but didn't get a chance to wear till today. I felt that yellow would be a cooler colour to wear than pink or something like that. Plus, yellow accessories make the stripes look brighter. I wore white tabi to match the collar (because I don't have a han-eri that matches) and pale yellow geta. To top it all off, I wore a gray cap (omg, bad pun!) with black trimming and a green bag with white polka-dots.

September is hitoe season for kimono, but still ro season for juban, obi and other accessories. Technically, my obi is wrong (double-sided = awase?) but I like this colour with this kimono so I don't care! Everything else is seasonally appropriate, though :)

By the way, I sneaked into my James's room to take these pictures while he's not around ^^;;; It's because my room is too messy at the moment! Haha.

Front view taken in the mirror. I dunno why, but I like this picture.

Side view taken by camera timer.

Back view. Bad picture, and messy crooked otaiko, but I'm still proud because I took ages to figure out how to use that side of the obi!


In that last picture, you can see the komon's pattern. You can also see the little coloured dots on the obi, and the yellow ro obiage and obijime. I used handphone charms for obi decoration: one of a gingerbread man and another of a fat transparent yellow cat. Oh yeah, I did figure out how to put multiple charms on the plastic thing! I tied a bit of string onto the plastic thing and put the charms on the string. Looks cute, doesn't it?

You like? I certainly do!

Coordination Comments: 9 Ensembles!

Yesterday, I mentioned that I would put together a few ensembles today and take pictures. Well, I ended up doing it last night while I was waiting for my hair to dry after my shower. Okay, so I was restless and couldn't sleep too, which is why I stayed up so late.

ANYWAY, I was determined to create an ensemble that would match the triangular Japanese shawl that my sister knitted for me. Here's a picture of it folded, but you can see much better pictures if you follow the link above.
Japanese Triangular shawl - purple, blue and gray

Since I had that gray kimono, all I had to do was choose the right accessories. Of course, I kind of got carried away with creating ensembles, because not all of them match the shawl very well! =^_^="" I did have some difficulty trying to match the shawl and make the ensemble look younger at the same time because the general colour scheme is quite mature, but I think I managed at some point.

I also need some help choosing a hat! I have four hats that could go well with some coordinates, but I can't decide which! Here's a picture of the hats. You can see which ones to choose from in the pictures of each ensemble.

Here are the ensembles I created!

1) Pale blue obi with a pink and red hawk on a gray branch. This one is my favourite, I think. I don't think hawks have seasons, so I can wear this at any time in June and September!
Gray Wool Hitoe Ensemble 1

I chose pink accessories to accentuate the hawk. Here is an upclose picture of the details:

As you can see, I have some phone charms on it. I have this handy plastic device onto which I can attach these charms and then slip behind the obi so that the phone charms can dangle from the top of the obi. You can vaguely see the red mushroom attached to it here and tucked behind the obi. The only problem is that I can only put one at a time! Which one should I choose? Or should I find a way to put multiple charms onto it? Maybe tie a bit of string? Hmmm, this requires some thinking...

2) Magenta (or wine-red, I can't really tell) yuzu obi with pink accessories.
Gray Wool Hitoe Ensemble 2

The obi and the kimono together matches the shawl very well. I chose pink accessories so that the outfit will feel warmer. A little difficult to see, but the obi accessory is a pink cupcake, the same one in the earlier detail picture. This seems suitable for wearing in late September.

3) Magenta yuzu obi with blue accessories.
Gray Wool Hitoe Ensemble 3

In this one, all the colours match the shawl really well. Almost too well, perhaps? It certainly makes for a cool-feeling outfit. I think I would wear this in late June or early September, provided the weather is right.

4) Magenta yuzu obi with dark green accessories.
Gray Wool Hitoe Ensemble 4

I'd thought to accentuate the green leaves in the ensemble. Unfortunately, this turned out really dark and dull! I don't think I'll wear this anytime soon (read: within the next 20 years), because the colour seems to be more suitable for a 40 or 50 year old woman!

5) Magenta yuzu obi with white and green accessories.
Gray Wool Hitoe Ensemble 5

From the previous ensemble, I was hoping a white obiage would lighten and brighten up the ensemble. Luckily, it did! I forgot to put in a pair of white lace tabi that I would wear with this. Unfortunately, the green seems to clash really badly with the shawl, so I won't wear this with the shawl (i.e. not gonna wear on Saturday). Besides, this is more of a late May ensemble anyway.

6) Grayish pink obi with white and yellow accessories.
Gray Wool Hitoe Ensemble 6

Not seasonally appropriate because the embroidered flowers are sakura. I think I would wear this when I'm at home in hot Malaysia and it's sometime in March or April. Here are upclose details of the obi decoration:

If you squint, you can see that the stamen of the sakura are done in deep yellow, which is why I chose a yellow obijime. The obiage is white because a yellow obiage would be too much. The obi accessories are of a pink cupcake, a yellow chick and a brown monkey eating a banana.

7) Pink striped obi with floral detail. OMG I think that if I didn't have to match this with the shawl, this would be one of my favourites, right up there with the hawk obi! I would wear this in Malaysia from March till May.
Gray Wool Hitoe Ensemble 7

You can see that the leaves of the flowers are the same shade of green as the obijime, which is woven with strands of pink the exact same shade as the obi! It looks as though they were made for each other! I chose a cupcake and a gingerbread man accessory because the obi motif reminds me of the countryside and country kitchens, which also brings to mind home baked goodies. The obiage is white to balance the colours and to lighten the ensemble. I had placed a pair of pink lace tabi on the picture, but now I think a pair of white lace tabi might be better.

8) Plain white summer-weight obi with blue accessories.
Gray Wool Hitoe Ensemble 8

This is a rather cold outfit. Also, because of the lack of motifs on, well, everything, it's very plain and dull. Really everyday-wear, this. I'd thought to brighten it up with a flamingo obidome and three accessories of a transparent yellow cat, a yellow chick and the banana-eating monkey, but it doesn't really do much. Definitely a late June ensemble, this.

9) The final ensemble: the same plain white obi with pink accessories.
Gray Wool Hitoe Ensemble 9

Once again, really really plain. The obijime is the same shade of purple the shawl is. This seems to be more of a late May ensemble.

I paired all of them with geta rather than zori because I haven't received my new zori yet. Besides, it's expected to rain this Saturday, so I guess geta would be better.

Sooooo people? Opinions? Which one should I wear on Saturday? Which one do you like best? Any suggestions on improving them?

*shivers in the cold*

Brr, it's certainly chilly tonight!

I went out with Mel today. I was planning to go to John Lewis on Monday to buy yarn for my sister's birthday present, but I forgot till Tuesday night, so today, I headed out. Mel originally didn't want to come along because she was waiting for her results, but at around noon, she told me she'd passed and wanted to buy a bass guitar, so we could meet up.

We met up at Borders on Charing Cross Road, and ate a late lunch at Abeno Too. Good stuff, that. I'll miss it for sure! I wish Malaysia has okonomiyaki bars! After lunch, we took the tube to Harrod's to buy her guitar, and I bought a couple of piano books (Les Miserables and Sound of Music. Classics!). Then we bought gelato at the Harrod's Food Hall, and ate it while walking to Sloane Square where Mel thought a John Lewis might be, but it turned out to be Peter Jones instead.

No problem there, because they sold the same yarn! I bought my sister alot of yarn, all Rowan because I remember her mentioning that you can only buy Rowan yarn in Singapore, but I won't tell what kind or what colour so that she can wait in suspense *nyahaha!* :P I'm wondering now if I should've bought her some Debbie Bliss yarn, or if I should just send this over as a birthday present, and buy the Debbie Bliss yarn for a Christmas present.

I won't send the box anytime soon, though, because I haven't visited Loop yet, and I'll prolly go there tomorrow or on Monday. I can't go on Friday because Mel and I are planning to go to Borough Market for some scallops and oysters, and on Saturday, there's that Japanese Jamboree thing. I'm not sure if it's open on Sunday, but anyway, there's a Korean New Moon festival that I want to check out on that day anyway.

Mel can't go to the Japanese Jamboree because it's her moving-in day :( I'll just go on my own I guess. I hear there'll be a professional kimono dresser doing a demo there, so I'm gonna go watch! I must remember to bring my glasses and camera and wear kimono too! *hearts*

This month is hitoe (unlined) month for kimono and obi, but the juban, obiage and obijime are still ro. Luckily, I just received my ro juban yesterday! I'm still not sure if I should go in a dressed up yukata or a kimono, but I suppose it depends on the weather. If it's cold and rainy, I will wear a kimono, but if it's warm and sunny, I'll wear my new yukata.

For the kimono, I'm absolutely determined to use the triangular shawl my sister knitted for me! I just recently bought a wool hitoe kimono that's the perfect shade of gray for that shawl. It looks rather mature for me, but I suppose I can make it younger with my accessories. I was thinking of wearing it with my light blue hawk obi and pink or red obiage and obijime, with a gray hat, but I can also match it with a blue and white striped tsuke-obi with the pattern of shoes on it. There is also the option of wearing it with a magenta obi that will match the purple in the shawl.... Ahh so many choices!

I think tomorrow, I'll put together a few ensembles and take some pictures then post them here and on the IG forums for opinions! ^_^

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Event Announcement: Japanese Jamboree

Location: Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX
Date: 13th September 2008
Time: 11am - 5pm
Entry fee: FREE
Website: here

12 & 2pm Wakaba Kendo demonstration
1pm Giant Japanese Flower Arranging
3pm Giant Japanese Ink Painting performance
4pm Kakehashi Koto Ensemble workshop concert

Summary from site:
"On the eve of the Japanese moon-viewing festival, Tsukimi, enjoy a free and fun-packed running programme of activities and demonstrations for everyone with Japanese games, origami, manga-drawing, storytelling, taiko drumming, kimono, and calligraphy workshops. Come and see the creation of a giant Japanese flower arrangement, and an amazing giant Japanese ink painting by 70-year old master painter Soho Nakano."

I want to go! And I'll probably wear kimono or a dressed up yukata too! :D

Butterfly yukata and grape yukata!

Bad news. The book is a private print by the Sodo Kimono School from 2006, so no ISBN :( The person I asked said it would've been easier to get when it was printed out, but now it'll be difficult to find. She did say that she would scan it when she goes home in December, though, so I'll wait for it! ^_^

I went to Parcelforce's Charlton Depot today. I've been waiting for a parcel for ages, but it's been held up, so I went to collect it today. I received the yukata set I posted earlier!! Omg, it's soooo much prettier in real life! It was 20% off too! I absolutely do not regret getting it :D I regret not buying more!

On the way back, I was passing through Canary Wharf and decided to take a look at Accessorize. Having been greatly inspired by CLAMP Mokona no Okimono Kimono book, I wanted to get alot of hats to match my scarves. I did buy hats, along with some other stuff, but I forgot to get some gloves :( Boo. My hats are pretty, though! Maybe I'll take pictures during the day and post them XD

OMG I was shopping on YJA just now when I stumbled across these two beautiful yukata!!!

This one has grapes on it!!!
This one has huge butterflies!

*whines whines whines* I waaaaaaaaaaant oooooooooone. But it's ¥13,000 EACH ;_; That's USD130! *heart breaks* They're so gorgeous, but sooooo expensive.....

If I had the choice, I seriously don't know if I'd rather get two of these yukata or one of Mamechiyo's obi, or even a couple of polyester kimono sets. A part of me wishes I have unlimited money so I can buy 'em all pretties! >:3 Nyahahahaha!

P/S: Ling, I forgot to go buy your yarn today, so I'll go tomorrow. Call me at about 10am or something and remind me XD

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Biyo-sugata book

I was scouring through the Internet for instructions for biyo-sugata tonight as I have the instructions for fukura-suzume only and usually wing it when it comes to the other types of obimusubi. Surprise of all surprises, I found a blog where its owner was talking about a biyosugata book she'd received. There were 12 musubi and 5 themes, including a DVD that showed how to tie 5 of the bows! Then I found out she is also from the IG forums, so I PM-ed her there asking for the book's name and ISBN number so I could get it for myself, if possible.

I hope I'm not troubling or disturbing her too much!! But I really really really want (and desperately need) that book...

I did try looking through, but my Japanese isn't good enough to translate, and the only biyosugata book that came up in the search function was out of stock, anyway. I tried looking through Crescent-Shop and Rakuten, but once again, without the book's name, it's very difficult to look for it and see if it's the right item. However, if I have trouble looking for it online, I thought I'd try contacting Kinokuniya and see if they can help me procure a book.

*awaits nervously* I really want that book...

Saturday, 6 September 2008

What we've been doing...

Patrick arrived in London on Wednesday. He took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station, and from there, took a cab to my place. He arrived in the late afternoon/early evening. We couldn't go out, because I had to study for my exam, so instead, we walked to Waitrose to buy some essentials (i.e. toothbrush) and stuff to cook.

I made a cheat's fish pie, using smoked haddock chowder as the base of my sauce. I heated it up, then stirred in the fish till it was cooked, then added some peas and ready-cooked prawns to heat them up. The sauce was really watery, so I added cornflour to thicken it. I poured it into my Pyrex bowl, then heated up two packs of mashed potatoes (which was one pack too many, actually) and spread it on top of the pie, then baked it in a 180C oven till it was golden and bubbling. It was not bad, but then again it was a cheat's way of making it, so of course nothing could go really wrong.

The next day, we both woke up at about 9am, and I studied a bit more till it was time to shower and leave. Went for exams, then realised that I'd forgotten my calculator at home!! So, 15 minutes before the exam started, I ran down 3 floors to 2 different shops before I found a calculator that the University accepted, then ran back up just barely in time to enter the hall and still have my full 10 minutes of reading time.

The paper was much easier than the January one, I think. They repeated the first two questions, but I didn't answer one because it was the most difficult question in the whole paper and I suck at it. (The paper was to answer 4 out of 5 questions at 25% each question). Some of my answers worry me though.... I feel like they were waaay too short for what they're worth, but after studying my notes, there is no way I could expand on them... *shrugs* Oh well...

When I went home, Mel came over, and we all walked to Waitrose to buy stuff to eat. I cooked, and we had a long leisurely meal of lamb burgers, pork fillets stuffed with apples, roasted courgettes and roasted lamb (yes, it's alot, but we shared it all!).

Yesterday, the weather was so bad, and we woke up really late, so we didn't go out at all except to walk to the Post Office to collect Patty's flashlight. I got a nice surprise when I saw that there was a parcel for me too! It had 3 wool kimono that I'd ordered from RyuJapan's website. At USD10 each, I'd say they were a good bargain!

Today, Patty and I went to Borough Market! We ate loads, but not as much as we usually would. In order, we had - apple and raspberry juice, scallops, chorizo sandwich, chips with salt and vinegar, oysters, ice cream, and creme caramel. We shared the chorizo sandwich, and I didn't have a lamb burger, so somehow it wasn't too filling. Of course, we sampled alot of other thingies along the way.

We tried the mushroom pate that I'd been looking at for ages, but never bought. It's the tastiest mushroom thing I've ever eaten! I love it! *hearts* ^____^ Patty and I bought a tub for us to eat for breakfast tomorrow over toast.

Patty and I found a new cheese that we like! It's an Italian cheese called "Drunk Cheese" that was matured normally for 18 months, then further matured in red wine for 6 months. It tasted really unusual and rather sweet for a cheese. I think it's something Pa would like, but I don't know how well it would go with red wine. It seems a little much, don't you think? Red wine with red wine-matured cheese... I suppose this is more the sort of cheese you'd add over a salad or maybe cut into slices and eaten with burgers.

*sighs* I think I ought to go to Borough Market more often... *pats tummy happily*

Closet Feature: New furisode! (+ 1 yukata set hehe)

As promised, here are some of the furisode I've bought in the past month.

This first one is a modern furisode with stylised sakura, phoenixes and cranes on clouds. The orange birds are phoenixes, and the purple ones are cranes ^_^
Stylized flowers and birds furisode 2

Stylized flowers and birds furisode

Isn't it pretty?? The second picture shoes how the front will look like when I put it on. I tried it on a few times, but I realised that the sleeves are almost too long - they nearly touch the ground!! I was told that this seems to be the fashion as of late.

Its length is very nice - 163cm. I'm only 160cm tall, but I feel most comfortable in 163cm long kimono, which is really lucky because most modern yukata and synthetic kimono are at a standard length of 163cm. It is also nice and wide at 133cm (give or take 1cm). I don't know if I have a juban that will fit it, but I will start looking after Patrick goes back to Concord tomorrow morning.

This next one is a Taisho era (1912 - 1926) furisode.
Antique black Taisho furisode 2

I've been dying for one like this for ages!! This furisode is exactly the sort that would have had its sleeves cut to become a kurotomesode once the girl who owned it gets married. See the black background? See the family crests on the shoulders and back? (These are butterfly crests by the way) See how the pattern is only at the hem of the skirt? See how the sleeve patterns stay at the bottom, leaving space so that when it's cut, the sleeves become plain black? That's how one identifies it as a kurotomesode-to-be furisode. Of course, I would never cut the sleeves :P I love this furisode too much! Besides, kurotomesode are so common now.

Also, one can identify its age by looking at the lining and the crests. From what little I've gleaned from the IG forums, smaller crests (about this size) are indicators that the kimono is from post-Meiji era (1868 - 1912). Plus, all Taisho kimono (that I've ever seen) had red lining, which you can see through the sleeve openings here. I'm not exactly sure what else denotes a kimono's age, but those few are sure indicators!

There are a number of flaws on this beauty, but I don't know if it's wearable or not. I'll have to wait to receive it and see... It's on its way now and should be here sometime next week ^___^

Lastly, I finally gave in to my desire to buy a new UNIQLO yukata set. However, the one I really wanted was already sold out by mid-summer, so I settled instead on this year's bunny yukata!
Black bunny UNIQLO yukata set

I can't wait to receive and wear them!! :D:D:D