Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you all have a great New Year celebration full of glitter and sparkles. :) Let the new 2011 year be everything that 2010 was not for you, with all your dreams and goals coming true.

I am not usually the one to make New Year resolutions, but in 2011 I would like to work more on my metal jewelry and make my own kimono items. Wish me luck! :) Maybe find a new (GOOD) job, but I will not wish for something that I know is really hard to come by as a military spouse. 

~ Lyuba

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Kimono Jack in Birmingham

Hello everyone,

I've been kinda slacking on my kimono posts lately. Shame on me! But I am determent to fix the situation as soon as possible :P

Show off. Yup, that's me.

This past weekend our group went to Birmingham for the third Kimono Jack in UK. Most of us stayed at April's house since she is local to Birmingham where we got to meet her two Shiba Inu doggies. I've never seen a Shiba dog before, so I was very surprised at how small they turned out to be. And how catlike! Especially her boy, Mizuki I think? (I'm sorry if I got the name wrong) He reminded me so much of my Echo :) :)  Just a little furry drama queen with a huge ego!

When we arrived on Friday, we had a Birmingham Japanese Society annual Christmas party/kimono demonstration, but that is a topic for another post. On Saturday we got up fairly early, had breakfast, realized that  we only have 15 minutes to get ready and as a result were 30 minutes late to our own event. Good thing that all of us had each other's phone numbers, so we could text and warn about our late arrival.

We were joined by 3 ladies that I've never met before. Kate aka Rubyminky from Immortal Geisha, as well as two girls from the night before. I was busy being a paparazzi and never got to talk to them, so I don't remember their names. :(

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just to prepare everyone, this is a rant post. A rant that I just really really really want to RANT ABOUT! It's nothing major, but it kinda got to me today.

As some of you might know from my Facebook, I recently (this Monday) started a new job at post office. It's just temporary for holidays, and I'm pretty happy with it. I like people I work with a lot, so I was thinking of bringing in something.... maybe cookies sometimes. Well today at least 3 people there were talking about how they NEVER EVER EAT ANYTHING THAT WAS PREPARED AT HOME AND BROUGHT IN FOR EVERYONE because you never know if the person preparing it washes their hands, or follows any sanitary/cleanliness standards. So they would only eat something that was prepared commercially....... There goes my idea with bringing something.

All I could think was SERIOUSLY? Do Americans (most of the people there are Americans, the people talking were definitely Americans) are really that spoiled? Grossed out? Narrow minded? I really don't know what else I can categorize it as. I try to respect everyone's little quirks, I sure have a lot of my own, but I think this is going a little overboard. (Just for the disclaimer, I've heard the same thing said before but never with more than one person at a time)

I really wanted to ask them what they do if they go over to someone's house for dinner? Not eat because the host dared to prepare food her/himself? Or watch them prepare it to make sure the sanitary standards were upheld?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Experiencing London in kimono

Last weekend I got to experience London in kimono once again. For me it wasn't a new thing, but for my friend Sachiko, who visited from Japan, it was a first time. We met on Facebook through one of the kimono groups and somehow hit it off right away. Kimono must be addictive huh? Earlier this year she told me that she was planning on coming to Europe to do some research for her class and I thought it would be great to meet up and wear kimono around London.

She couldn't bring any with her due to weight restrictions, so I offered to let her borrow one of mine. Those who know me, know that I have more than enough kimono and accessories to dress up several people. She picked my stylized roses beige kimono, thinking it was gorgeous. I can say that I agree with her wholeheartedly. :) :)

I picked her up from Standsted airport and we made our way to Eppings, where I could leave my car for 2 day without going broke over parking fees in London. First thing we did was check in to our hotel, and I thought it was the cutest little room ever. I actually never stayed in any Btitish hotels since coming to UK, so I was excited about everything :) Little beds, cute bathroom, tea cups, and heated towel racks :)

By the time we got done with getting to hotel, checking in and getting dinner, it was too late to do anything else so we just sat at the hotel room and looked at kimono :) Sachiko told me that her mother enjoys looking at my photos on FB, and wanted to contribute something to my kimono obsession. :) She sent me a kimono, reversible hanhaba obi and 2 obiage, all wrapped in a cutest furoshiki ever :) Green with little turtles. To say that I wasn't expecting anything like that was an understatement! I was extremely surprised and grateful :) Now I'm in a process of figuring out what to send her as a thank you gift. I got some ideas, since Sachiko told me about some stuff her mom wanted her to bring back...

On Monday we dressed up in kimono first thing in the morning and went to British Museum. I decided to wear the obi that I got as a present, because it matched so well! The other side is grey with printed lace, so totally my style too!! LOL I had trouble tying my hanhaba, because I'm not used to doing it.... Sachiko had to keep fixing it for me during the day.

Originally I intended on wearing pink tights with this kimono, but at the end I completely forgot... because the outfit I wore in the morning for breakfast didn't match with pink tights. Oh well, no big deal although I wish I didn't forget. The whole outfit would have matched a lot better :)

I've never actually been to British Museum until Monday, and I must say I absolutely loved it! I don't think we explored even half of it :) I think I will come back again sometime soon. Plus I still want to go and check out their Tea Ceremony, seeing as I never been to one. After museum we went to Soho area to do some window shopping :) Of course I had to show her my favorite Irregular Choice shoes as well as whole bunch of other cool shops :)

By the time we got done with shops, we were so tired that all we had energy for is to go back to her hostel, change from our kimono and rest. Well... I had to go home, and Sachiko went grocery shopping for dinner, but nonetheless we called it a night :) I had a blast, and I'm extremely happy that I got to hang out with her during her visit. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

First Kimono de Jack in UK and outside of Japan

Yesterday I went not only to another kimono meet up in London, but also to the very FIRST Kimono de Jack event outside of Japan. Ever since I've read about Kimono Jack in Ichiroya's newsletter, I've wanted for us (Westerners) to have something like that too. After a grand total of about 30 seconds of thinking, I decided that once a month would be a pretty reasonable amount of times to meet, killing several birds with one stone: having Kimono Jack, getting out of the house, meeting up with friends, wearing kimono! I mean what can get better than that? All of my kimono friends in UK immediately loved the idea too, and even helped out with Kimono de Jack (special thanks going to KittyKanzashi for creating Facebook group and promoting Kimnono Jack on her blog).

After watching the weather forecast for a week, it didn't look all that great for us. Rain, rain, and more rain. While looking for kimono to wear I came across a rain coat (?) that I didn't remember buying. Usually I'm really good with remember who/when/where I bought from, but not with this one. Nevertheless I was happy that I had it, and I decided it was a perfect occasion to try it out!

For kimono I picked a dark blue synthetic komon, which I also had for a while but was only waiting for colder weather to wear. Since we fully expected it to rain, I decided to wear a pair of western shoes instead. Well... it was because of rain, and also because I thought I would be too cold in just tabi as it was pretty chilly outside :) I paired it up with my all time favorite brown kokeshi fukuro obi, one of my new hats, sunflower obijime that I've made and a bright orange obiage., I still laugh at myself because my original thought was to wear a bright red beret to match my shoes, but while getting ready in the morning I completely forgot about it and instead picked up one of the hats that mom sent me. Overall I'm pretty happy with how everything looks, except the otaiko part which drooped on one side... Yeah I'm not showing those photos LOL.

We had a total of 5 people show up, even someone who followed my blog. Funny, I was telling everyone how I think someone from blogs will show up and sure enough there she was! Of course I don't remember her name anymore, but I'm terrible with names lol. I'm hoping that she will find me on Facebook, and that will help me remember. And that she will come to our future Kimono Jack events of course! :)

At first we walked around the National Gallery, but it was way too hot in all our layers so instead we went to hang out in our favorite Piccadilly area :) I got myself some teas from a tea shop (forgot the name), I've been looking to get them for a while but our store in Cambridge didn't care those :( Afterward we all went to get lunch at the SO restaurant. We were seated at the coolest table ever, if we ever go there again I would request that table and that table only lol. The food was great and decently priced, so I think I will be going there again. :) April and her husband were able to join us for lunch, and although she didn't wear kimono we were still very happy to see her! :) It's great when all friends are together :)

Finally we decided to get some ice cream to finish up an already great day, but not before I checked out the Irregular Choice shoe store! Everyone laughed at me, but what can I say? I love that brand! :) :) :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Last weekend I attended the very first Hyper Japan event in London. If I had to describe it, I would say that it was something in between a traditional Japanese festival like Japan Matsuri and anime convention, but a lot closer to the convention yet not quite like it. The emphasis was on Japanese street fashion, especially Lolita. There were some traditional elements too, like kimono dressing and Japanese pottery and items for sale , but still there were more stuff that were pretty modern. My favorite were cupcake and sweets jewelry, especially chocolate mirrors. No they were not made from chocolate, but just looked like one :)

Overall I was pretty impressed with the event, for it's first time. I will definitely go again next year.

Back in August I even applied to be a model in their KERA fashion show, but sadly I didn't get picked. Oh well I said and decided to wear something that will make me stand out even more than any of those models. I spent over a week picking out an outfit, posting my choices on Immortal Geisha forum and changing it up based on suggestions. I never thought that hard about an outfit before lol. Usually all I do is pick a kimono, and the evening before or the day of I go into my room and grab an obi and accessories that will match. But not this time! I was determent for it to rock!

For kimono I choose one of my newest ones, striped meisen. I couldn't believe how cute it was when I received it! I think stripes are my favorite pattern now :) And the sleeves are so long, I think they are around 65cm or so. Compared to my usual ones, it is a nice change. I paired it up with my bright yellow nagoya obi. Actually it was my first choice, but then I changed my mind thinking it wouldn't match but at the end I still came back to it. I used a new belt for obijime and a sunflower necklace I made as a last touch.

But here comes the fun part! Instead of zori I wore my GAGA Irregular Choice boots that I've been waiting to wear for like... forever! That meant that my kimono had to go up higher than usual, just right below my knees higher actually :) :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Small Obon Festival in Pensacola, FL

While visiting United States this past month, I got lucky to be there during one of the annual Japanese festivals. It was pretty small, but with a lot of heart lol. And I could safely say that I never had more fun at a Japanese festival in my life :)

It was raining that day, heavily, but it didn't stop us from going out and enjoying out day. Who cares that we got soaked in the process? And of course nothing beats having your friends there. I missed them a lot. It is a wonderful feeling to come back and know that you are MISSED with a capital letter. :)

Afterwords we went to a Japanese restaurant to celebrate Fran's B-Day :) She ordered her favorite meal again, the one where she has to cook it herself lol. I think every other time I went out to eat was to a Japanese restaurant. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

London Japan Matsuri 2010

I was looking forward to this event since last September, and once again I was not disappointed. This year it was bigger and better, and like I said once before, the 30K people that came last year came again and brought friends. :)

This year Japan Matsuri occupied the whole Spitafields Market, which definitely helped with the breathing space. It got very crowded towards the end of the day, but we were leaving anyways so it didn't affect us that much. My favorite part was the kimono stalls, and a fairly decent prices. Still out of my price range, but being unemployed makes pretty much everything out of my price range right now lol. I still got myself a cute cellphone holder, as well as bought 2 other ones as a souvenirs for friends in Florida :) I will probably save them as either Christmas presents, or if I can't wait till Christmas, I'll send them out in the next care package.

We met up at the Liverpool Station, of course I didn't notice anyone and had Hong calling me from few yards away lol. :) She wore the most gorgeous green ro kimono that I wanted to steal (or at leas to borrow) from her :) :) :)

I wore my kokeshi dolls kimono again. I love that one! I think right now it is easily my favorite. :) I paired it up with ugly-by-itself-yellow-and-lavender-rose nagoya obi, which of course looked great :) Love that obi too! It is such an ugly shade of yellow when looking at it by itself, but paired up with kimono it turns gorgeous. It was pretty chilly that day, so I was hoping my layers of padding will keep me warm. Sure enough, I got hot in the crowd. But the moment we left all the crowds, I felt great again :)

We had fun looking for festival banners and taking pictures with each of them :) There were 4: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Sadly we didn't take any pictures with spring, because it was right next to a huuuuuuuge trashcan! Epic fail! Oh well, we did get the other three :)

Overall, it was a great event and I can't wait till Japan Matsuri 2011. :)