Monday, December 12, 2011

New Floor

It's the day before Saint Lucy's day, and I have spent the day putting down new flooring in my room. I finished it though!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mom's Birthday

So, my mother's birthday, 'nough said.

Mom's cake; chocolate peanut butter.
Of course the boys put the cake too close to the stove when they were helping with dinner, so it's saggy on one side.

Mom's present from me.
She wanted a sea shell set.

The other present from me.
Fall kanzashi have such pretty colours.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Maggie's Birthday

Maggie's 8th B-day is here, and so are the frogs. She's obsessed with the little amphibians. Her birthday party this week end is Hello Kitty/Keroppi themed, but until then here's her present and a piniata!

Maggie's new amigarumi frog.
It's huge!
Hello Kitty-chan Pinata.
Made by me!
The frog was promptly named Frog.
What else would you name it?  

Friday, July 15, 2011


When I tell people I make yukata, many people have no idea what I am talking about. You say kimono, and most non-Japanese people at least have an idea about what you're talking about, but yukata? What is that?

Yukata were actually originally robes worn at hot springs, much like dressing gowns here in the west. As time went on they became clothing in their own right, often worn at summer festivals. Think of them as the blue jeans of the kimono family; appropriate for play and work, but you can't wear them to a black-tie affair^^ They are actually seeing a return to popularity by younger generations, possibly because thy are easier to wear and care for, and with fewer 'rules' on proper patterns and colors, than formal kimono.
For a long time yukata were almost always made of cotton, with white, blue or bluish gray patterns. Now they are made in a variety of bright colors and patterns, 'though cotton is still by far the fabric of choice. Most men's yukata are still fairly plain, with geometric or water-themed prints, whereas women's yukata are often floral patterned. Children's yukata can end up having just about anything on them, from solid colored to toys, Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty-chan.

There are actually several different patterns with which yukata are sewn.
First, women's yukata are open at the arm pit, sleeves and body both. This is to allow the wearer to adjust the fabric around and under the obi so that everything lies smooth. the fronts of the women's sleeves are usually curved at the bottom hem, and may be slightly longer than the men's.
Women's yukata come in two standard lengths; ankle and 'ohashori.' The second is considered more formal or proper. It is as long as the woman is tall; the extra fabric is folded up under the obi for a smoother, more formal fit. The shorter length is more popular with my younger Japanese friends but that might not be an accurate thing to say about length preference in general^^
Men's yukata sleeves are sewn to the body almost all the way down to the waist, and have sharp corners on their sleeves. Since men's obi are almost half as wide as woman's and are worn lower in the body, there's no need to adjust the fabric around the obi.
Unisex yukata are about halfway between the two. They are usually seen at hot springs and are usually blue or the hot spring's colors.
There is also 'western' style yukata, which do not have the cool sleeves we think of kimono as having. These look like cotton European bathrobes, and aren't particularly popular anywhere any more as far as I know.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Easter and Mother's Day

Unfortunantly, Easter fell right before finals week this year, and I didn't bother to post anything. So I'll post the Easter stuff along with Mom's present. Crochet is such a good thing to do while studying; put your fingers on auto-pilot and go to town. I never follow patterns any way, and if you over do something a few quick tugs puts you back on track. Gets rid of fidgiting fingers and nail biting too ^^
Mother's Day set
Double soled slippers
Amigurumi bear

Amigurumi bunny. They don't have a face or limbs, but they're so cute. I made almost a dozen of them^^

Turtle amigurumi

stalker amigurumi turtle ^^

Easter fairy bunny
The wings are like a back-pack, and come off

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First Communion

My youngest sister, Maggie, just recieved first communion today. I made the veil she wore, including kanzashi flowers for the head band. Took forever, but she looked adorable. I'll post some more pics when I find my other camera.

Kanzashi veil.The veil detaches from the headband.  I love trying new flowers.

Veil. It's almost as long as the dress. The hemming took hours.

Kanzashi Butterfly Pin. Butterflies are so much fun to make!

Maggie. She's the one in the middle of the front row.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Funeral Blues

So today I went to my grandfather's funeral; or I would have if I hadn't gotten hopelessly lost driving a twelve passenger van with five screaming yahoos (I mean five adorably well behaved younger siblings) in the back down a windey little road system. I pulled into the funeral home three and a half hours after I left home; just as the funeral ended.  The good news is I will never get lost taking the new route to Grandma's. The bad news is that half my mother's family now thinks I'm an incompetent moron.

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Blog

I've been told countless times I should start my own blog. Now that I've started it I'll promptly forget it, I'm sure; or have nothing to say for months. However, now my mother will have a place to nag me about putting up pictures of things I've made or done, so it's all good. Might even post something useful, or at least interesting.