Bebe Taian: May 2015

May 21, 2015

Thinking Out Loud: It's Summer Already

It's summer already. Why. Why, Florida? Well, technically, it's been summer since the beginning of the year, but even so. This means I really need to work on converting all of my wardrobe to hitoe fabrics, preferably ro, sha, or perhaps even ra clothing. I'm seriously thinking of getting large spools of hemp and crocheting an obi! Something loose-weave and light for casual wear, which is all it could ever be, like heko obi-style. Fortunately, I still have one or two yukata to wear.

I'm getting prepped for Natsu Matsuri. I'm not sure what to do this year. I may have only one table and I'll bring the shoe rack. I need to find my Square reader and download the app for it. I do have two nice hanging mannequins to dress up this time! So exciting! Although I should think about a new design for how things are set up. I bought a display board for jewellery to help get it above eye level and painted it for Morigyaru style (my current fave). So... maybe a garment rack, which I can borrow... I will likely try to sell off a stack of books this year. There's so much to think about every time, and every time I think I over think the event! Really, it's only three hours long, and it starts so early in the morning most don't even start filtering in until the last hour. Maybe I should make some new stuff for the event?

I want to bring everything I can! Some things you can expect to see:

- Hanhaba obi, including synthetic and cotton obi in various stripes and colours.
- Vintage silk obiage
- LOTS of obijime! I cleared out my drawers of anything non-essential, and there's still plenty up for sale
- Haori accessories
- Obi kazari, charms to tuck into the obi that dangle and tie together colours you might not have thought to pair together
- Kimono (of course)
- A few high-end fukuro obi
- Lots of jewellery, including bracelets and earrings
- Books on Japan or about Japanese culture

Should I bring things like little drawstring pouches for sale (in addition to the jewellery)? Herb sachets for drawers? I'll probably make a bunch of magnets... those tend to be cheap, anyone can use them, and I can produce them quickly. How should I display them? Maybe I should get a really cheap but nice cookie sheet to prop up and cover in the bright sparkly things. I definitely need to print new business cards! Should I go with the old ukiyoe-based red/indigo/parchment yellow? Or should I go for a more modern peach/brown/mint/sky blue palette?

May 16, 2015

For Sale: New Obijime, Obi Kazari

Lots of things for sale this week! I'm clearing out my closets. There are so many beautiful things that I bought and love, but I either don't wear them because I don't wear many things of the formality level required, or I have enough similar things that my outfits can still work beautifully. I can always get more obijime later! I need to work on getting obiage!

 Obi kazari, an obi charm tucked into the top of the obi which dangles and catches light. Used for informal outfits. Hand-beaded in glass and copper; beads are in shades of purples, blues, and yellow, with a hint of pink in the AB finish.

Each kazari is one of a kind and made by me. I used new and vintage beads, so every item is unique! No one else will have one identical to this.

Wide obijime in hot pink and black! It's absolutely gorgeous, despite the subtle staining. I haven't tried to wash it, so they might come out. The tassels are in really good condition, too!

Wide obijime aren't very common, I think. They're informal in category, and this one is so bright and stark in contrast, you could go for a lot of different modern looks with this one obijime.

2.2cm wide x 133.5cm long, not including tassels.

Super-cute silk furisode obijime! Muted metallic threads, cotton candy pink on one side, saturated blue on the other. Tassels need some careful combing and ironing. There's a few tiny loose thread ends, but they don't seem to affect wearability.

1cm wide x 152.5cm long, not including tassels.

 Another formal obijime for young women, this one for ofurisode. It's still new with the tag and tassel protector on it! The main cord is mulberry red with a dusky pastel purple split cord. One side is a normal maru obijime, the other side splits into two cords to make fancier shapes like flowers or hearts when tying the obi.

1cm wide x 154cm long, not including tassel on one side. 

No flaws found.
Beautiful paprika red + green formal maru obijime! Bought new and worn only a few times. It's such a gorgeous colour combo! This one was perfect for houmongi, older iromuji (the kind that actually do have subtle colours and patterns, but pre-WW2 they were still considered iromuji), and maybe 1-3 crest irotomesode. You may also like wearing it with furisode! The tassels are still in great shape, too.

1cm wide x 157cm long, not including tassels.

Another new furisode obijime in mousy grey-green brown and soft purples. This one appears to have a loose thread or two from the manufacturing process. There are some other subtle additions of colour where the purples wrap into the main cords. The tag and tassel protectors are still on it.

1cm wide x 154cm long, not including tassels.

May 2, 2015

Eye-Candy Movie: Lady Maiko

*Paid*? To do art all day? And to hang out and perform and entertain people all night? Sign me up. Minus the art, that's basically what I already do as a waitress. You have to try to keep people entertained with conversation when the kitchen is running behind; it helps the time pass by more quickly, so they are not so upset when the food comes out. Pour drinks, offer another drink, are you sure you don't want just one more? Be beautiful every time you come in: a man will pay you more. But pay the most attention to a woman when she comes in with a man- she might take it the wrong way if you don't, and leave nothing at all. When I finally get some time off to pursue any kind of art, it's short-lived due to lack of resources or time/energy to invest in it. And I certainly don't get paid much for my efforts. Every crafter knows the dreaded "Why do you charge so much? I could make this at home!" or "Ugh, you know, I could get this much cheaper from Claire's!" Yes, you could make this at home... with about $200 in craft supplies, and four or five years of experience to learn how to make something meant to last years.

But that's a geisha's life, isn't it? Painstakingly dedicate years to learning art and how to entertain. Four or five years as a maiko to learn the ropes before you become a real professional. And you'd be paid exorbitant amounts to keep up with that lifestyle. Meanwhile, I spend a bad night's earnings on just makeup for that month... ::sighs::

I guess sometimes I share the fantasy of being something more. Or at least gaining something monetary beyond basic living expenses.

Anyways, I'm thinking this because I'm watching a new movie before I go to work. The downside: no subtitles, and I don't speak Japanese. Ara ma~ But even though it's hard to understand context without it, the storyline, in Kabuki fashion, is easy to follow without knowing the language. Young girl comes to talk with the okaasan of a maiko, is turned away, must learn some things, and reapply to become maiko. As the news review says, it's "My Fair Lady" in kimono.

Even though the movie isn't entirely accurate, even the person who created it says it's 'pure fantasy', so we'll go with it. ^_~ The sets and costumes are beautiful, and the lead actress has a Disney-quality voice (although it doesn't match with what is traditionally 'beautiful' for singing). The whole movie is on Youtube in two parts. Again, only in Japanese; no subtitles.