Apparently I haven’t posted since last Tuesday, which is a rather long time for me to go without writing at least something down. But then, life has been busy lately (for better or for worse). And over the past week, I’ve been crafting, sewing, worrying about a job, working a job, and failing at writing my articles. Not to mention my room/work space is once again in dire need of cleaning…
So as I sit here, Little Ari is sitting up in her chair staring dazedly at the wall. She got a lot of sun over the weekend! And while that’s typically a bad thing for a BJD (since it will yellow the resin exposed to the sun), there doesn’t seem to be any damage done. And why was she in the sun?
On Sunday, we went to the Sakura Matsuri festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Every year, they hold this festival in their Japanese Hill and Pond garden to celebrate the annual bloom of the hanami–or cherry blossom–trees. The lovely garden was packed full of people out and about enjoying the trees, the flowers, and just the park itself. There were even cosplayers! And there were many people dressed up in kimono–even ADORABLE little kids.
In fact, Little Ari and I were also there in kimono, along with our friends Denya and HLF in theirs. Sapphire was going to come, too. But she was a little too shy to take the train and decided to stay home. Maybe next time 🙂
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working to put together my kimono ensemble. I had my bright purple cotton kimono and bright yellow pre-tied obi to work with. So from there, it was all about accessorizing and putting together the finishing touches.
First, I really wanted to get geta sandals, which are wooden sandals which are usually worn with kimono and yukata. I found a really adorable pair on eBay of split sole geta (which are elevated up on “stilts”). After checking the length, I thought they would fit, and I won the auction. Well, apparently Japanese women have smaller feet than American. And these geta (though I can get my foot into them) miss the mark by about two sizes. So I’ll probably be selling them on my blog or eBaying them off again soon. Keep an eye out!
To make up for the fact that I still didn’t have any footwear, I visited one of my favorite online Asian supply stores, Asianideas.com, which specializes in cultural and novelty imports for Japan, China, etc. They have a huge selection of goods to choose from, and they ship very quickly–though I would suggest buying bundles of items at a time due to the shipping costs. I ended up finding a whole department devoted just to Asian footwear, and managed to get a pair of gold lacquered geta in my own size (which I’m sure they take into consideration considering the number of U.S. and Canada based sales they make).
Next, I did my homework and also knew that I wanted to find a cheap pair of tabi socks–which splits the big toe off from the other four toes so that you can wear them with thong sandals. Tabi are usually not cheap, unfortunately. But it did bring me to a really great find in the form of the Cool East Market, which is based in Canada. They specialize just in Japanese tabi footwear–which includes socks as well as split toe boots (which are really adorable, if I do say so myself). They seem to offer tabi for every budget and style, and the more you buy the more you save. I ended up purchasing a special “Surprise Me Tabi Socks” set, which is a blind pick of five pairs of ankle socks. I ended up getting five colors in the mail, including the cream colored socks which I ended up wearing with my geta. They’re cute and comfortable!
Done with purchases, I also created a cherry blossom hair piece and a traditional quilted bag from kimono scraps (which you all know I really do have just lying around). But maybe I’ll talk more about those at some other time.
So, maybe the whole effect of the outfit wasn’t completely traditional. I definitely know that my kimono is rather garish and showy (in a cheap looking way) compared to Denya and HLF’s pretty and understated varieties. And I guess I could say the same about Little Ari’s crimson red, black, and gold furisode. Maybe I’ll have to work on something a little more traditional for next year (I have my heart set on a furisode of my very own ^.^)