I haven't had much time for kimono related activities lately. I've been concentrating on papercrafts and taking care of my kitty cat. I've actually downsized my collection, so I have few coordinations to work with anymore, and what I do have needs alterations. Honestly, it is starting matsuri season here in the Seattle area, so mostly I've been working on getting my yukata collection ready. I know many kimono lovers don't care much for yukata, but for some reason the opportunities to wear yukata far outweigh opportunities for other types of kimono in Seattle. Strange, since the weather generally isn't as nice here as it is in other areas of the world. And my family will agree to wear yukata with me!
Anyways, the only kimono item I've been working on is a yukata tsuke obi. I have plenty of yukata, but a lack of yukata obi. If my sister and nieces decide they want to wear yukata to a matsuri this year, I need to make sure I have enough of everything. The obi I am making is to go with this yukata:
The obi I am making is the same color as what is pictured, apple green. The obi I used in the picture is actually a nagoya obi tied so that the design of the obi does not show. I like the green color with this yukata. I've tried it with a red obi as well, since I usually see similar orangy-yellow yukata with red obi, but I did not like the look of it at all.
The Seattle Cherry Blossom festival is this April, but I don't know if me or my family will dress up. My family likes to wear yukata, but the weather has been so yucky (it snowed earlier this week!). I suppose I am going to have to decide when it gets closer to festival time.
Anyways, I am still rather excited for Kodomo no Hi, and have been working on more toys and papercrafts for Kodomo no Hi. Here is what I've done so far:
I wanted to make some more toys for my son to play with. First I made a den den daiko.
I made it out of cardstock, using this pattern. It sounds great! And it is fairly sturdy. My husband was playing with it, more vigorously than I liked, but the paper held up just fine. I think my toddler will be able to play with it without breaking it too quickly.
Then I made a tiger pop-up toy:
You press it flat and press down on it's body and it pops up using a rubber band strung through it's body. It doesn't always work, and the printer ink is rubbing off, but oh well. The pattern printout makes two tigers, one slightly smaller than the other. They are both rather small and surprisingly not as easy to make as it looks.
I sometimes see toy tigers as Kodomo no Hi (Tango no Sekku) decorations, and my son was born in the year of the tiger, so making tiger toys made sense to me.
It turns really well, maybe better than plastic windmill toys I remember having as a child.
I remember playing with a taketombo when exchange students visited my Japanese class. I remember the taketombo being temperamental, but this flies very well, and high! I can make it fly everytime. Maybe because it is so light because it is made of cardstock paper. I think my son will love this one!
Ok, this isn't related to Kodomo no Hi or Japanese toys, but my son is at the age that he might like playing with flash cards.
I've already made one koinobori toy for my son to play with, here are some more I've done in the last few days:
You can't see the whole thing, but this is just a single paper koinobori tied with string to a large cooking chopstick. I printed the koinobori from this site, but I enlarged it so that it would print larger. The cooking chopsticks already have a hole through it because the two sticks were originally tied together. My son has already played with this one and he loves it! It reminds him of a cat toy, so he immediately waves it around and chases after the cat with it! I also practiced making origami kabuto.
A miniature koinobori set with origami koi. I like the look of the Japanese paper toys next to the bright colored retro looking toys. Maybe if I do a display I will include some of my son's toys.
This is my favorite miniature koinobori I've made so far. It is so cute! The pattern is here. I have a pattern for one other koinobori papercraft, but I don't think I will make it, since this one I have is very nice. Here is the link for the other one if anyone else would like to make it.
Collection of paper toys so far!
I also made some paper airplanes. My son (and my cat) had fun playing with paper airplanes this week, and I love the retro patterns on these ones.
I mentioned my kitty cat, Matrix. My cat had to go in for surgery, again. Months ago he got a hematoma on his ear, from having an ear infection. He never showed any signs that his ears were bothering him, so the hematoma caught us by surprise. He had two surgeries then and got better, but now he got another hematoma on his other ear. This time the vet can not figure out what caused it. She said it is rare for cats to get repeat hematomas, and thinks he may have a rare skin condition or allergies.
My cat's new hematoma is larger than the last one, but the vet still said it was very small. I guess they can swell up and cover the whole ear.
You can see his left ear is bent down at the tip, from the weight of the hematoma. His right ear has a wrinkle in it from the last hematoma.
Matrix is doing just fine. His ears look a little funny. He's dealing with the cone around his neck, and he has been enjoying lots of attention.