wafuku

Birthday Cakes and Surgery

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

 

A few days ago I had my gallbladder removed. I was fortunate enough to have it successfully done by laparoscopic surgery. The ability of that being done and the skill of the surgeon doing it really astounds me. I really must write a thank you letter to the surgeon and to the anaesthetist.

The symptoms of the gallstones I had me howling, wailing and begging for relief, usually for 20 to 45 minutes at a time. It is great to know that, if the surgeon managed to remove all the stones, I will have no more of those excruciating attacks. I don’t seem to be recovering as quickly as expected but I daresay it will pick up a pace.

Here are some diagrams that show the gallbladder and likely positions of stones and how they are removed via laparoscopy.

picture from health.harvard.edu

picture from health.harvard.edu

picture from surgspecswfl.com


Some of my Japanese items were borrowed by Vogue magazine for a photo shoot in their Polish edition. They took them all the way to Japan for the shoot. Here are some of them…

Chanel leather jacket worn with a Nagoya obi from wafuku.co.uk

 

Cotton spotted tabi with traditional kohaze fasteners

A golden chrysanthemum adorned Nagoya obi, from wafuku.co.uk, worn with Jil Sander knitwear


 

It was my only grandchild’s first birthday in July and my daughter’s birthday shortly after, so I baked them birthday cakes. I saw cakes by thecakeandsweet on Instagram that I really loved, so pretty much copied those, although I covered mine in buttercream rather than in the fondant icing the professional had used. I decided to make them using my favourite recipe, a very reliable lemon drizzle cake. The cake is only 6 inches in diameter but, being three layers high, gives 12 to 14 slices.

This is the first one I did.

I put the gum paste icing decorations in the oven to speed up drying, as it was too humid to dry them naturally, but I got them a touch too warm and the hedgehogs, balloon and number 1 puffed a little but I wasn’t too bothered by that. I made Italian meringue buttercream to layer and coat the cake because I find American buttercream unbearably sweet, but it is impossible to make it white. I can never work out how Americans get meringue buttercream so very white. Do they have white butter? I can’t find even pale yellow butter here in the UK, it is all pretty strongly yellow and yields this cream colour of buttercream at best. \i actually shaded this cake from green up to the untinted cream colour but should have started at the bottom with darker green, the shading is too subtle to show much. I was quite happy with the colour for this cake but I would like to have the option of white for other cakes.

My grandson didn’t actually get to eat any of the cake, as he is not yet allowed any sugar or salt, but it was for a family party to celebrate his birthday and it all got eaten.

This next picture shows the one I made my daughter, who is a massive fan of the Peanuts cartoon characters, as am I.

I have no idea how but I totally miscalculated the sizes for Charlie, Linus and for Snoopy and his kennel, all of which I made before the cake. I managed to make those things twice the size I should have. Charlie and Linus should only be tall enough to reach the top edge of the cake, with the kennel and Snoopy suitably proportioned.

For some reason I had problems with the buttercream for this one. I mixed up each colour (the blue ending up too dark because I was trying to combat the fact that the buttercream’s yellowness made it rather green) then put it in icing bags and stored it in the fridge. The following day I let them soften in the warmth if the kitchen then piped them all around the cake. I’d applied it all, ready to be smoothed out, when I noticed some of the food colouring had separated, producing water droplets all over it. I had to try to mix it back together while still on the cake, which wasn’t altogether successful, so it subsequently didn’t smooth as well as I hoped. It still tasted fine but it was annoying because the buttercream on my grandson’s cake had led me to believe this cake’s coating would pose no problems and work out equally well. It didn’t.

The Snoopy kennel was blondie brownies stacked and cut to shape, then coated in rolled icing, with icing roof panels made separately, hardened and then attached. After that, the icing Snoopy was modelled and popped on the top. Charlie and Linus were just 2D and painted with food colouring.

Despite the appearance of the buttercream and the ridiculous size of the decorations on the cake, my daughter really loved it, so it was worth the effort.

Apart from a mirror glaze cake I made a couple of years ago, I think this is the first time I’ve tried making decorated cakes, so they could have been much worse.


 

This is a ro weave silk kimono, stencilled with a slightly sparkly golden moon. I recently put this on the wafuku.co.uk website. Wouldn’t it be great for Halloween? However, in my opinion, it is great for wearing anytime.


I have been slowly but steadily stocking the new website. It seems to be working fine, although is slower to load the home page than I would like.

Other than that I am fairly happy with it. It now supports secure payment by bank cards as well as by PayPal and, so far, each method has been used equally, so I’m glad I am now able to offer payment options.

I still have so much stock from the previous site to put on the new one, I now realise what a vast amount I had available on that original version of the site, thousands and thousands of items, and it is a bit frustrating to not be able to add just new items but be having to redo ones I’d previously already done. I have an astounding amount of new things for the site too and am gnashing at the bit wanting to add more of those. I do add the occasional new thing, though, such as that stencilled kimono above. The web host (Wix) requires photos to be square in shape, in order to display them properly, and virtually none of my photos is square, so every one of the thousands of stock photos needs to be altered, making it a very, very slow process and it would have been great and a zillion times faster if I could have just used them as is, without spending time changing each one.

Here are a few pictures of some of the things I’ve added to the site since my last blog post. That post was ages ago because all my time is spent working on the site, trying to get all the stock back on it, plus regularly posting to social media, which is essential to ensure my site is ranked by Google when people search for kimono, haori, obi etc. This blog tends to drop to the bottom of the to do list.

Here’s a very elegant, black silk haori, with golden urushi coated silk thread creating the woven design.

A sumptuous silk kimono, with a gorgeous take on a diamond design.

An absolutely stunning, very long, pure silk, 1920s haori kimono jacket, with tree peonies and stripes. The upper lining has little flowers and haori are so beautifully made, with seams hidden even on the inside, that they can be reversible, so you can even wear it the other way to show off that beautiful silk lining.

When you photograph stripes you often get a moiré effect in the photo but, rather amusingly, this haori kimono jacket is actually cleverly printed with that moiré effect among the stripes as part of the pattern.

 

Here’s one last piece for now, the cream of the crop. I really love the colouring in the flowers on this kimono’s delicate shade of cream silk.

This and the garments I posted above are available at http://www.wafuku.co.uk

 


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables. Discover the joy of wearable textile art.

 


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress,by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

 

#kimono #kimonos #vintageclothes #vintageclothing #vintage #haori #wafuku #hyperjapan #kimonodejack #wafuku

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Last Few Days

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

There are a few days left to grab yourself a beautiful, genuine Japanese kimono, haori kimono jacket or all manner of other Japanese garments and other Japanese things from my www.wafuku.co.uk  website because right now there is 15% of everything on the website but only for a few more days.

Kimonos

Hakama

Buddhist Items

Children’s garments for wear or display

and lots of lovely haori kimono jackets.

…15% off absolutely everything on wafuku.co.uk, not just the clothing, still available for the last few days of this month.

 


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Grab A Beautiful Bargain -15% Sale on wafuku.co.uk

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Now is a great time to grab yourself a beautiful, genuine Japanese kimono, haori or all manner of other Japanese garments and many other things from my www.wafuku.co.uk  website because right now there is 15% of everything on the website.

Womens’, Men’s and Children’s kimonos…

 

 

 

 


All types of footwear…

 

 

 

 

 


All obis…


All haori kimono jackets…


Bags…


Cozy jackets…


More kimonos

 

 

…and 15% off absolutely everything else on the wafuku.co.uk, not just the clothing.

 


You can check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing a wonderful range of vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Forget-Me-Nots & Beautiful Kimonos

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Things outside are finally coming to life after the bleakness of winter. The trees are greening up and more and more flowers appearing. Where I live there is a big swathe of forget-me-nots just come into bloom. They cover a large area and look amazing. They also smell exquisite. If the weather is warmish and there is very little breeze, a beautiful, sweet scent rises up from them, sometimes wafting all the way over to the house. Last year was the first time they grew in such abundance there and the first time I realised that forget-me-nots had a fragrance. Unfortunately, they don’t look nearly as spectacular in photographs as they do in reality, photos just don’t do them  justice. There is a lawn in the garden that, in early Spring, is absolutely covered in crocus and looks amazing but it always looks pathetic in photos. The crocus are then replaced by masses and masses of daffodils all over it and again, although it looks fantastic in reality, it looks nothing much in photos. Anyway, here are a some photos of the forget-me-nots at my home.


The photos below show Satu Vaarre and her daughter wearing kimonos that they purchased from my wafuku.co.uk website, then took all the way to Japan to wear at Satu’s other daughter’s wedding in Kyoto. Satu’s black tomesode kimono has a scene with a magnificent temple in it, a temple that is also in Kyoto. Satu’s daughter’s kimono is a lovely warm brown shade of silk with painterly rocks with trees growing amongst them. Rocks, in Japan, are considered peaceful and contemplative.

They both look so natural in their kimono ensembles, as though they have been wearing kimonos all their lives. They both look fabulous.

I also rather like that the kimonos returned home to Japan once more, and were worn and appreciated again.

I was so pleased when Satu sent me these photos (and gave me permission to use them).  I have some of the nicest customers. They make me happy.


I came across this photo of one of my meisen silk haori. This was made way back when the fashion was for extra long haori with extra deep sleeves. Meisen silk is a bit like taffeta in texture. Meisen kimonos and haoris are becoming harder and harder to find in good condition and are now collectable garments.


 


You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Happy Easter!

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

 


You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Magazine and Novel – In Print

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Some wafuku.co.uk footwear was used in a fashion shoot in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of the high end AnOther Magazine. It was interesting to see my tabi and geta as part of ensembles with the likes of Alexander McQueen couture.


Here we have a pair of  wafuku.co.uk  tabi socks with Proenza Schouler dress and Feben Vemmenby shoes.


Wafuku.co.uk pink tabi socks and geta shoes, with pink Helmut Lang coat.


This froth of ruffles is a National Theatre costume worn with wafuku.co.uk taupe tabi socks and Vic Matié mules.


Alexander McQueen pink dress worn with with pink wafuku.co.uk tabi socks and geta shoes.


Taupe wafuku.co.uk tabi in the ensemble on the right.


Yesterday was International Women’s Day 2018, which made me think of the fact that the first novel ever written was written by a woman. The novel was The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari), written by the Japanese noblewoman and lady in waiting, Murasaki Shikibu, in the early years of the 11th century.

The Tale of Genji is a novel about the life of Hikaru Genji, the son of an ancient Japanese emperor, who, for political reasons, removed Genji from his line of succession, demoting him from noble to commoner. The story follows his life, especially romantic life, from that point on.

Many traditional designs in Japanese textile art, graphics etc. reference this work and there are motifs that reference it too, such as genji-gumo, a stylised shape of cloud used in early illustrations for the text, and genji-guruma, a Heian Era imperial carriage wheels. Clouds are often included in artistic scenes referring to the Heian Court because courtiers were referred to as “those who live among the clouds” (Kumo no Uebito). Genji-guruma motif, the carriage wheels, represent nobility, court life and good fortune, as only nobility from the Imperial court were allowed carriages with such huge wheels (because they did so much damage to roads, so had to be limited in numbers).


You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Padded Hanten and Burlesque Beauty

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

I’m still dealing with the slow process of putting all the product photos back on my wafuku.co.uk website. My original photo host suddenly wanted a massive amount of money to host them for my website, so I had to find new photo hosting. I then had to find the thousands of photos and upload the, changing the thousands of links to them on the website. This would have been time consuming enough but I found that I needed to colour correct 85% of the backed up photos and that is a very slow process, so, months after losing my original hosting, I am still dealing with the missing photos on the website. There are lots back up now but many, many more to still be done. It is maybe not such a bad thing, really. It may mean my site will lacking a lot of photos for still quite some time but it has made me aware of the need to fix many of them and the improvement is worthwhile. It also make me look through everything on my website and it is nice to have a good look at all the kimonos and other things and remember how nice they are.

This wonderful oil painted tomesode kimono’s photo is much more correct in colour now. I have bought a few oil painted antique kimonos but this is the only oil painted kimono I have ever found. It is very striking and the oil painting doesn’t make it rigid or anything, it is very wearable. I love its craggy landscape.


 

This reversible, padded, Japanese hanten from my website is perfect for a chilly, wintry day like today. It is so soft, light and cosy. One way round it has a Mount Fuji design and the other way it has a traditional Japanese design called Kamawanu; a pattern of sickle, circle and the hiragana script letter ‘nu’. This pattern was especially popular in Japan’s Edo Era and it represents the meaning, “don’t worry”. This is one of four padded hanten available on wafuku.co.uk, each with different patterns, each reversible and cosily padded.


 

This is actually a girl’s kimono, worn here by a UK size 8 adult of 5′ 1″ tall. These shichi-go-san girl’s kimonos are always wonderfully colourful, much moreso than most adult ones. Because children always wear their kimonos with a big tuck in each shoulder, making the shoulder narrower, and a big fold over at the waist, making them shorter, they are actually quite a good size for an adult when without those big tucks.

This one, at time of writing, is available on my site for £68.


 

 

I got a couple of lovely photos of one of my wafuku.co.uk kimonos, now owned, modelled and photographed by CherryFox, with very kind permission to us them.
By Day, Cherryfox® is a mild mannered professional photographer and Costumier. By night she is a Burlesque Fascinatrix and Sing-and-Fling show girl.


You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Appliquéd Kokeshi & Winter Kimonos

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wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Kokeshi Appliqué Waistcoat.
Back in the 70s my mother bought three appliquéd, quilted waistcoats while on a trip to America. She loves them and still wears them, so last Christmas I made her a grey one with silhouettes that represented her garden and the wildlife in it, then I made her another for this last Christmas, with chickens on it because she used to have chickens back in the 1960s and I remembered that, when I was a child, she painted little cockerels onto all her biscuit tins, so the waistcoat is a memento of those things. It will be her 96th birthday next month, so I made her one more, this time it represents my love of Japanese things. I bought a pattern for a small quilt from The Gourmet Quilter and adapted some of the appliqué items from that for my mothers new waistcoat.

Kokeshi doll waistcoat

kokeshi-back

kokeshi front.jpg

I also bought a couple of inexpensive kokeshi brooches for myself, as mementos of making her the waistcoat.
kokeshi-memento-broochb


Yukata Times Magazine.

I wish this magazine was easily available in the UK. Yukata are ultra-casual, summer kimonos that are still very popular in Japan and worn by many to summer festivals etc. Further down this page you can see some fabulous, less informal kimonos for winter.

yukata-times-%e2%98%86-poster


Tasuki
Tasuki are used to hold the long, swinging kimono sleeves out of the way while working wherever they might be a nuisance if hanging loose. You can get tasuki clips, like the beaded one in that picture (available on my wafuku.co.uk website), which threads through the obi and clips onto the sleeves, providing a very elegant option to hold them out of the way, or you can simply use a koshi himo (soft tie) to do the job, as you see in the diagram. I was sent the diagram picture by a friend, so don’t know who to accredit for it.

tasuki

 


Winter Kimonos
Check out all the wonderful kimonos in this wa-art.net site’s display of winter kimonos – HERE. I particularly love the three below but there are many more at that link.

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Want to see some stunning kimonos and fantastic kimono styling? Check out the Akira Times blog.

d0208557_2028198


You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk


Rita Ora.
One of my vintage, silk kimonos, from wafuku.co.uk, modelled by the beautiful Rita Ora.

haorisweeritao

Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it. 

Kimonos, Cats and Cords

wafuku blog aug 12 logo A

wafuku – noun: traditional Japanese clothing

Welcome to my www.wafuku.co.uk Wordpress blog

Wafuku.co.uk in another magazine feature.
My website and I were part of a feature in the How To Spend It, the FT magazine, a few months ago, in their fashion edition.

how-to-spend-it


Huge Kumihimo.
I have two of these huge kumihimo; they are enormously long, hand braided, silk cords, each with a loop at the centre and lovely tassels on the end. They are unused and the tassels are still wrapped in paper. I have no idea what they are for . I think they may have been made for a Buddhist or Shinto temple, because they very thick and long, pure silk, hand made, rather special and must have been exceedingly expensive to produce. They are really rather lovely and, when you move the cord about in your hand it has that lovely sound that silk makes, like footsteps in deep, crisp, new snow.
In that photo my daughter is holding just one of them.

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9


Contemporary Take On Kimono.
This floaty, contemporary kimono is by Hayami Mariya.

kimono-and-obidome-by-hayami-mariya


Pretty Kimono.
Although this will fit an adult as a beautiful robe, it is actually a girls’ kimono but girls wear them with a big tuck in the shoulders and at the waist, which reduces the size of them a lot. They are always made big so tht these tucks can be inserted, so, without the tucks, they can fit adults surprisingly well. My adult daughter, whom you can see holding the kumihimo in a photo above, wears this size of kimono a lot. She especially likes them because they come in bright colours with vibrant patterns

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Here she is again, wearing a kimono of same type and size. She is not a tall woman, so it is ankle length on her; on a tall woman they would be shorter.

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Feline Fabulous.
Check out these great cat obis. I would love these.

cat-obis

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You can also check out my www.wafuku.co.uk website, providing vintage & antique Japanese kimonos & collectables.

www.wafuku.co.uk

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One of my kimonos being modelled by the singer Rita Ora

haorisweeritao

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Please note that any advertisements shown below my posts are put there by WordPress, not by me. I am not responsible for whatever product or service is advertised and it being there does not mean that I endorse or recommend it.