Monday, December 31, 2012

Once a Week Kimono Challenge 2012 summary

Hello Everyone, 

As 2012 comes to the end, it's time to look back at all the times I wore kimono this year. When I started the challenge, I was very excited and motivated. As the weeks went by, I went from excitement to being burned out, to being upset at the weather, to back to being excited again. Some weeks I didn't wear kimono because of the rain, others because I simply didn't want to. I still managed to stick with it, and this year had been the best kimono year for me yet.

When I added everything together, I came up with 40 times that I wore kimono. While it is not exactly once a week as I was hoping, it is still ended up being much better than I though I did. Below I posted a photo from each kimono day, and if you click on the caption, it will take you the blog post. 

Enjoy the photos and wish me luck in my 2013 Once a Week Kimono Challenge!

P.S. Brace yourself, it's a long post. :)
First kitsuke of the year
Cambridge in kimono
Mittens and kimono
First kitsuke in February
Kimono and snow!
So not dressed for the weather...
Spring is in the air.
Leap Day kitsuke.

Japan Day in Cambridge 2012
International Women's Day kitsuke
St. Patrick's Day kitsuke
Exploring Cambridge as a student
Sunshine and kimono

Hanami that didn't happen
Kitacon 2012 demo & talk
Kitsuke in April

Camcon 2012
Golden Festival
Travelling Kimono in Cambridge

Lesley Downer lecture
Kimono de Jack at Kyoto Gardens in Holland Park
Kimono at the Harry Potter Studio Tour

Supporting Travelling Kimono in London
Kimono de Jack at Bury St. Edmunds
Poppies and asanoha
Black, white, and matching

Reverse kitsuke
One day in August...

Hong's wedding
Life imitating art

Kimono de Jack at Harry Potter studios
First proper fall kitsuke
MCM London Expo day 3
MCM London Expo day 2 

Finally cold enough to wear gloves
Kimono de Jack Oiran Showdown at Hyper Japan 2012

Christmas shopping in Cambridge
Kimono de Jack at Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market
Going out for sushi
Secret special kimono project

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Will Miss #7: Kinder Surprise

Back when I lived in Ukraine, Kinder Surprise was one of my favorite things. Unfortunately, these chocolate eggs with a toy inside are illegal in the US, so I haven't seen them until I moved to UK. Now I buy them sometimes for the sentimental value, and because I actually really like the chocolate. I don't even care about the toy anymore, but I still get ridiculously excited to see what's inside.

I will miss buying Kinder Surprise egg, and being so impatient to see what's inside that I would open it up on the way to the car. And like I said before, the chocolate is really good too. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Won't Miss #6: APO address

Having an APO address has has many benefits and one, relatively minor all things considered, annoyance. In case anyone is wondering, APO address is a sort of PO Box address used for military overseas, which allows for mail to be sent using domestic prices instead of international.

The problem comes up when some companies or sellers simply don't ship to APO addresses either because of restrictions or because the simply don't want to. I understand when there are restrictions, like mailing nail polish or lithium batteries, but a lot of times I can't even get non-restricted items to be sent to me. In other times, it takes a very long time for me to get items. I've started asking people to only use USPS priority mail instead of First Class or FedEx, because the latter two take almost two month to get to me. I also avoid using companies that I know use those services.

On the other side of the problem are restrictions that I have to abide by. I also can't mail any nail polish, perfume, lithium batteries, and other stuff that I don't recall at the moment back to the US. It makes thinking about any gifts extra troublesome, because I can't mail some of the things I know my friends and family would love.

While the benefits of having an APO address definitely outweigh the negative aspects, I will not miss getting excited over something only to find out that the company won't ship to me or that I'm not allowed to ship it back to the US.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Going out for sushi

Yesterday I went to Cambridge because I haven't had sushi for a while. Of course, it also meant a kimono day! I didn't have much of an outfit planned, other than knowing which shoes I wanted to wear, so I just picked a kimono that I thought would go well with them. At the end, my whole outfit turned out to be even more monochromatic than usual.
The obi I'm wearing is the one that Hong gave me a while back. It has kitty paws and cat designs :)
Overall I'm pretty happy with this coordination, with the exception of the way I tied obiage. The top ones looks pretty sloppy, so I re-tied right before I went out. It's hard to see because none of the close up photos turned out, but you can see a bit in the haori photo.
As always, you can check the rest of the photos out in my Facebook album.

~ Lyuba

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fun at the Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market

This year I have a lot of "lasts" to write about. It's my last year in England, my last December here, and my last Birmingham Frankfurt Christmas Market. For our December Kimono de Jack we have a tradition of going to Birmingham for the Christmas Market there, and like I was saying before, this year is my last. I'm starting to get a bit sentimental about leaving England. Yes, it's not my favorite place in the world, but I still spent the 4 years of my life here, made good friends and great memories, and I will miss some things about living here.

The day before leaving for Birmingham I picked up Hong from London so she could keep me company on the 2hrs drive. Several month ago we talked about wearing out twin kimono, and this trip seemed like perfect opportunity. I mean think about it! Twin kimono, in dark red, with PINE CONES being worn to a Christmas Market. Could it get any more perfect than that?

In reality, the two kimono are not completely alike. Hong's looks like it's made from chirimen, while mine is from rinzu silk with various designs woven in. Also, the mons are different. It's almost seems like her kimono was trying to imitate mine but whoever commissioned it didn't have the funds to get one exactly the same. We had a blast making up stories about these two kimono during the weekend. So far we came up with a story of two sisters, living during Taisho era. One got married into impoverished samurai family (Hong), and the other into a successful merchant family. They got two kimono made that looked almost the same, except the samurai wife could only afford chirimen silk. The merchant wife was a flamboyant modern woman of her time, so she went all out on rinzu with extra SNAZZ!