Kanzashi, kimono, seasonal motifs, handmade finds and cooking!

August and September Kitsuke

It has been a really long time since I wore kimono. What with having a baby, who is now a toddler, and what with toddlers being quite full on, I rarely have the time to put on a kimono anymore. Recently the Immortal Geisha forum, where I used to get a lot of my information on how to wear kimono correctly, became a Facebook page, and this has meant I am seeing kitsuke and kimono daily on my feed. You can find the new Facebook page . It has really inspired me to get wearing my collection again. So over late August and early September I managed to wear kimono 4 times! It has shown me how rusty I am with my dressing skills, that is for sure!

I won’t go into too much detail of each of my coordinations except to say that none are quite right in terms of seasonality – I still have many gaps in my collection and in my knowledge.

I would really like to identify what season the obi I am wearing in 2 different ensembles is right for. A lovely contact on Flickr identified the motif as Crape Myrtle . This flowers in summer, and the fabric seems to have a ro-like set of holes all through it , all of which point to it being a summer item. BUT it is lined and overall the material is quite thick, heavy and generally not very summerlike. If anyone has any ideas which season it should be worn in, then I would love to know! For now I am treating it as a summer piece.

Upcoming Event: Quaint Queer Weird Wedding Spectacular – Wedding inspiration for alternative brides in Brighton and Sussex – not just your average wedding fair!

I am very excited to announce that on Saturday 15th March, I am going to be exhibiting at Quaint Queer Weird Weddings , an amazing new wedding fair, that is a little out of the ordinary! aside from the fact that all the exhibitors at this fair are handpicked to represent Brighton and Sussex’s more eccentric side, this wedding spectacular is so much more of an event than your typical bridal fair. Featuring cabaret entertainment and burlesque performances throughout the day, you’ll want to attend this event whether or not you have an upcoming wedding planned!


I am very excited to announce that on Saturday 15th March, I am going to be exhibiting at Quaint Queer Weird Weddings , an amazing new wedding fair, that is a little out of the ordinary! Aside from the fact that all the exhibitors at this fair are handpicked to represent Brighton and Sussex’s more eccentric side, this wedding spectacular is so much more of an event than your typical bridal fair. Featuring cabaret entertainment and burlesque performances throughout the day, you’ll want to attend this event whether or not you have an upcoming wedding planned!

I’m even a little sad that as I’ve already had a wedding, I won’t be able to use some of the vendors at my own nuptials! Here is a sneak preview of some of the vendors I am most excited about seeing, to give you a little flavour of this unique event.

Tentario stunning tipis for hosting your event in

Tentario
stunning tipis for hosting your event in


Oh My Honey Dresses  - Unique and unusual dresses

Oh My Honey Dresses
- Unique and unusual dresses

Leon Simmonds  - celebrant. The book bursting into flames says it all really. How exciting!

Leon Simmonds
- celebrant. The book bursting into flames says it all really. How exciting!

Pyromaniacs  - fire based entertainment!

Pyromaniacs
- fire based entertainment!

Dig for Victory  - retro style handmade dresses

Dig for Victory
- retro style handmade dresses

Crown and Glory  - Kitsch and crazy bridal accessories

Crown and Glory
- Kitsch and crazy bridal accessories

Me, Cuttlefishlove Kanzashi !  image by Ali_Haikugirl

Me, Cuttlefishlove Kanzashi !
image by Ali_Haikugirl

Etsy Treasury: Neon pastels for summer 2013

I decided to make an Etsy treasury focusing on this summer’s neon pastel trend- inspired by Simone Rocha’s neon lace dresses and perspex neon bags. Put together an on trend summer look using pieces from unique designers and makers on Etsy! What do you think of the trend?

My favourite pieces from this treasury are the pink satchel by Titina Store neon Art Deco bib by Fab Parlour , which manages to combine the current Gatsby-related fad for Art Deco with the more up-to-date neon thing. Hmm, could Gatsby be the inspiration for the next trend-related treasury I do, I wonder?

‘Neon pastels for summer 2013′ by cuttlefishlove

inspired by Simone Rocha and Sister by Sibling, this collection features neon pastels, lace, pattern and perspex


1950s party dress / bright n…
$59.82

Neon Art Deco Bib Statement …
$40

Pastel Geometric Pouch,Hand…
$19.5

Neon lace earrings – Poison …
$30

Abstract art print – Mosaic …
$29

Neon Pom Pom Trio Necklace /…
$30

Spandex Bandeau Spandex Biki…
$23

neon pastel pink cross body …
$48

Hand Made Neon Fluoro Orange…
$29

Brooch. Scarf Pin. Recycled …
$35

Tie Up Hairscarf Headband Li…
$14

Neon Pastel Striped Earrings
$32

Neon Geometric Earrings ,La…
$10

vintage neon pink lace camis…
$18

OrangeTattoo art earrings
$28.9

Aqua Blue Wood Geometric Ba…
$15

Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

Cherry Blossom Houmongi, Peony Obi

In this outfit:

Synthetic purple cherry blossom houmongi

Green maple and peony obi

Mustard yellow and brown obiage

Deep Blue Obijime

Yellow and pink rose paper fan

White tabi socks

Nude patent flats

Vintage kimono hairbow by Ribbonreal

Another quick-grabbed kitsuke in between Etta’s feeds! This time I planned the outfit a bit better, but it was still a rush getting in and out of it without causing screaming from the baby!

Cherry blossoms are only just blooming here despite it being mid-late May, so decided I could still get away with wearing the motif even though officially cherry blossom season is over.

I bought this obi last year, and have been itching for peony season to arrive so I could wear it. It is really nice and long, which is definitely needed now I have a post-pregnancy tummy. I still have problems with my obi being too loose- I wonder if I need to use obi clips to keep it in place while tying it to prevent that?

Doing kitsuke post-pregnancy has made me wonder about how to breastfeed in kimono. I looked in the Immortal Geisha forum discussions and apparently it is done via the gap in the sleeve at the armpit, so from the outer edge of the kimono. I am uncoordinated and clumsy at the best of times, so not sure if I dare attempt it!

Vintage Fairs and Open Houses

At Betty and Friend's open house

At Betty and Friend’s open house

We’ve been to about four private views now with Etta, for the Brighton Artists Open Houses in the Brighton Festival, which runs all through May. I love this part of the festival and its a great opportunity to catch up with all my arty, crafty friends and see some really exciting art and craft too. Sadly I took zero photos of art at the events as was so busy passing Etta round to everybody and trying not to get squished by the crowds of people! It was slightly overwhelming taking a baby to the private views! Betty and Friend’s Open House is at 20a Springfield Road. I also recommend going to see 45 Preston Drove, Hummingbird Studio, 3 Surrenden Road, The Cake House, The Pink Bird House and Polish and Pin if you get a chance!

I also went to Pop-Up Vintage with her and went mad at Ribbonreal’s stall where I bought all the things in the world (and still wanted more).
Here is my haul:

My haul!

My haul!

The ball has a bell inside and is from Big Tree Little Moose Etta is loving playing with it!

Can’t wait to go to one of these events again as it was really buzzing, and had a great mix of both vintage and ‘made with vintage’ handmade! I am thinking about expanding my vintage kimono range (not yet available online, but soon to be launched!) and applying.

What exciting events have you been to this month?

Etsy Treasury: Japanese seasonal kimono motifs: April

‘Japanese seasonal kimono motifs: April’ by cuttlefishlove

swallows, cherry blossom, bamboo, willow, deer, peony


Hand drawn swallow, vintage …
$5

Cherry Blossom Box Pink and …
$17.5

Pin up tattoo style red stri…
$13

Vintage Retro Kimono Pillow …
$34.99

SALE Cherry Blossom Cuff Bra…
$15.95

Dr Seuss Birthday Baby Headb…
$13

Silver Round Blue and Red De…
$10

Tangerine and Navy Origami B…
$40

Japan Cotton Fabric- Colourf…
$9.5

Handmade willow leaf porcela…
$16

Baby Blue and Red Deer Head …
$122

Mens Necktie – Aqua & Poppy …
$28

Red Peony fascinator, brides…
$120

Business Card Holder, Credit…
$18

Cherry Blossom Hair Pins For…
$30

TURQUOISE PUSSY WILLOW Potte…
$35

Treasury tool supported by the dog house

Kimono wearing with baby Etta Maud

So I realise I haven’t posted since I was 20 weeks pregnant, which is a long time ago now! Lets just say that although it is definitely possible to wear kimono comfortably while pregnant, it is probably easier if you are better than putting it on than me, and have a smaller frame to fit your kimono round in the first place!

After 20 weeks not many of my kimono fit me, and probably none of my obi!

So the big news is that on 13th March I had a little baby girl called Etta Maud! As you can imagine I haven’t had much time since then to wear kimono, but I have managed it once! It was a very hurried affair, and I don’t think I chose my ensemble very well- it was grabbed in between cluster feeds when she was 4 weeks old – she is now 7 wees so it has already taken me 3 weeks just to put the pictures up!

I almost feel that the less said about my kitsuke the better – it was very saggy, the obi fell down just before we took the photos, but I’m trying to think of it more as proof of concept, that I can dress in kimono even with a new baby! :D

I was really pleased to get a chance to put on my new obi, which was a recent purchase from Japan Crafts 

Hopefully I will be able to wear kimono a little more now that I am not quite so enormous! Since my last post we have also moved house,  – the pictures are taken in our new garden! I am hoping the new garden will provide a great backdrop to my kimono shots!

Ok now I have to gratuitously share a picture of Etta who is the biggest cutie ever!!

Etta at 2 days and 39 days by Rob Watkins

Etta at 2 days and 39 days by Rob Watkins


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