Bellydancing in Kimono

Friday, July 29, 2005

Almost there...

We get the house today and move in tomorrow- soon I might actually be able to stay on the topics of my blog!
I want to put on some comfy pants or a skirt, throw on a hipscarf and a tummy baring top and dance my heart out.

Man, I just saw the Shakira music video for "La Tortura." Her chest circles are WEIRD!! She does them so violently that it doesn't look very good. I would have prefered rib cage lifts and drops for accents rather than a super-fast ribcage circle. Eeesh!
She does do some nice isolations in her stomach and hips, but that freaky chest roll was creeping me out!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Home, almost....

We're here, but we don't close on our house til Friday, so we're stuck here in a hotel for a few days. We let the cats out last night and went to dinner at 10pm. Luckily a few places were open. The whole time I was worrying about my kimonos, since I'd opened the boxes to let them air out. I was having nightmares that while we were at the restaurant, the cats were busy peeing on them. They didn't thankfully, but one did pee in the bathtub - there are worse things...
I can't wait to be organized and set up my room again. It would be nice to find a job soon that would work with me taking some classes at the university and still allow me time to take some dance classes. I have to meet some people from the local bellydance scene so I can find out what's up around here and find out if there are any dancing gigs around. It would be nice if one of my interests could financially support another, except that it would never work. Bellydance costumes are too expensive to buy or make (although much less to make) and if I'm not doing many gigs, I doubt I'd even come close to breaking even, much less fund my kimono exploits with those funds. I guess that's what a fulltime "gig" is for...

Monday, July 25, 2005


We're finally out of the house. The movers managed to get everything out and packed into the moving truck (they were ferrying stuff using a smaller truck which was the one that broke down). I worry about my kimono since they are probably in the back of one of our cars- I wasn't about to let them bake in the moving truck! I just hope they don't bake in the car...
After we close tomorrow, we'll drive up to our new town- it takes 8 hours and we don't close on the new house til Friday, so we're in a hotel til then. I only hope our kitties are ok with all the travelling. Tabi, my fluffy cat, seems to be taking it ok (we didn't name her after the socks, but it works). Zena (her sister) is still holed up in her cat carrier (Sherpa bags rock- they are so cozy) but she did let me rub her tummy and yawned- a very happy gesture. I'm mildly tipsy off of some champagne my uncle provided at dinner (hence my crappy sentence structure) and all I want to do is bellydance. I should have kept one hipscarf with me for emergencies! :P

Oh, and I am evil and bought one kimono and 4 or 5 obi on ebay for a total of $30 so I will have many things to play with when I get settled into my new house.


Thanks, Misuchi, for you comment about tsuke obi. I still haven't decided if I'll ever make a tsuke obi or not. Ichiroya did have some neat pictures of tsuke obi, especially the ones of how you put them on. I'm just hoping I'll meet someone who can show me how to tie a fukuro obi, then it will be unnecessary.
The move is going less than stellar. Yesterday we took my cats to my aunt's house to keep them away from the moving chaos and one of them flipped out and managed to unzip her carrier and tried to escape. My mom had to pin her to the ground and in the struggle to get her back in the carrier, the cat bit my mother's hand several times. She's been given a shot and antibiotics and should be fine, but it was nuts.
Also, the moving truck's starter died and all the moving guys were stuck at our house overnight. It was a nightmare but it's almost over. I have to go run my mom over to the house no, so I gotta go!

Saturday, July 23, 2005


I couldn't help myself- it was just too lovely. Man, I have a problem.... As my brother put it, it is "a testament to negative space." He's an artist, so it's cool. ; )
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(image courtesy of Yamatoku)
Now I just have to make sure it will arrive after we move in...

Thursday, July 21, 2005


I actually packed my kimono and obi and all my kitsuke stuff. At first glance, I thought, "Man, I've got a lot of stuff." Then I thought, "You can never have too many kimono and obi..." Seriously, I wish I could convince my family of the necessity of purchasing seasonally appropriate kimono and obi. Maybe they wouldn't give me such a hard time. I jest- they only tease me. Beside, my father has a collection of trumpet mouthpieces larger than -insert some really big thing- and he doesn't wear them hehe.

I missed out on a nice synthetic kimono last night- made me mad. But I have plans for another obi or two. I really only have one hanhaba and one nagoya and the nagoya is too fancy for daily wear. I don't really count the fukuro because I doubt I could tie it myself.
Which reminds me....
Anybody our there have any experience making tsuke obi (pre-tied obi)??? I figure I might have to sink to that since I'm the only kitsuke-inclined person around, plus I don't think most other people have the patience for deciphering kitsuke directions that come mainly from photos.

Monday, July 18, 2005

I got a question for the kitsuke masters out there...

So what exactly is the small object tucked into a woman's kimono in the fold where the edges of the of the collar overlap, just above the obi? I saw it in a couple pictures- I don't know if it is a fan or a handkerchief or some other symbolic object that I haven't encountered in my reading. Anyone out there know??

In other news, my dark blue bedlah is almost finished. I need about 2 more inches of fringe for the belt part, but I realized I have to add more beading to the bra because it is looking unfinished.

Moving sucks. I can't wait to get out of here and settled into our new house. I'm also looking forward to taking a class or two this upcoming semester. Japanese would be a blast to take and maybe I would stop being silly and running around saying "Ne?"
(the equivalent of "huh?" or "isn't it?" in japanese) all the time to my sister.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Let's get this show on the road...

I'm bored waiting and also panicky because we haven't started packing. Sure, the moving company is packing everything for us, but isn't there something I can do now?

I've spent nearly all day on my computer since I woke up, trying to keep myself busy for a while. I looked up various websites about modern ways women are wearing kimono/yukata. I also looked up various kimono accessories ad nauseum. I want to try on a yukata with my juban and use my nice new accessories (the 3 untouched obijime and 1 obiage), but the thought of cleaning up is making me hesitant. Maybe I should just clean up some stuff in my room so I don't feel as chaotic.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Time to move on

I think our old house is trying to tell us something. Everything keeps breaking or needing fixing or in general not working. Today, the garage door decided to fall off its track and get messed up. I give up, honestly. The house is mad at us for leaving and is seeking revenge.
In other news, I am coveting ebay listings I can't pursue since we are moving. I'm soooo tempted on one in particular. Maybe I can get expidited shipping to make sure it arrives.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Less than 2 weeks til the move

I can't wait to get out of here. I think packing will begin in earnest tomorrow. I went to Bethany Beach this week with my mother. My grandmother (my sitou in arabic) wanted to go to a "Japanese import store" near the boardwalk an I tagged along although I was pessimistic, thinking it would probably be chinese since (pardon my apparent rudeness) Sitou isn't always the most culturally aware person despite her attempts to the contrary. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that "Japanesque," as the store is called, was indeed a Japanese import store and I was able to acquire two new obijime. They are very thin and different shades of red, but I think they coordinate well together and would look great together on an obi. They were also reasonable ($16 for both- yay for no shipping charges!). The store had a small selection of haoris, obis, and one kimono, but it was nice to see some of the textiles that I have studied online and in books finally in person. I really liked what kasuri looks like in person. It seems a bit stiff and not soft, but it looks lovely and I can see how easily it must have been to wear it casually on a daily basis. I also like the sakiori obis I saw. The texture is fantastic and it would look great with a casual kimono. On the whole, their prices were too high (wouldn't be cheaper than buying from Japan), but the haoris they had were pretty nice. I was not expecting to find kimono in Bethany Beach, but there they were... Now I just have to find a place like that in my new state of residence (not telling :P ) that has more kimono, of course.

Monday, July 11, 2005

My quote for the day

Dance is not in your blood-it's from your heart.

Possible future projects

This is a post to remind myself of the crack-brained schemes I've come up with in case I forget them over the next two weeks.
  • I was thinking about making my own han eri using Fraise's directions. I need to find nice fabric though.
  • Buying a karinui and finishing it myself. Gotta read up on lining or just skip that part hehe.
  • Finishing up my bedlah and taking some pictures of the darned thing for Bhuz.
  • Working on my pink bedlah some more to go with the plain beledi dress I made.
  • Checking out my local chado chapter- maybe someone knows kitsuke or I could just learn chado...
  • Finally making a veil and skirt out of my blue chiffon fabric - same for my pink sparkly fabric.
  • Starting on my sister's cosplay outfit- a character from Chobits (a dark-haired persocon with a pleatherish outfit whose name escapes me).
  • Too many projects!!!!
Still coveting hakata obis and I want a copy of Kimono Hime magazine!!!

Yukata Photoshoot

My sister is going to camp for two weeks and during the last week, they are heading to a Japanese tea house. She was so excited when she found out, she told me she wanted to wear her yukata, so I taught her how to put it on. Hopefully she'll be ok putting it on herself, but anyway, here are some pictures from our kitsuke experience:
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From the front. My yukata is courtesy of an exboyfriend, but it was probably the nicest thing he ever did for me and I could never give it away because it's kimono- duh!
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This is a nice view of our obis. My sis did a great job on hers. The contrasting pink of her obi looks awesome. Also, note the tabi and geta (socks and shoes). It just adds a nice touch, I think. It's funny, the geta came from my trip to Viet Nam- I pad something like $6 a pair and they look just as nice as Japanese geta. Viet Nam gets boatloads of Japanese tourists no doubt due to its proximity and ridiculously cheap goods so I bet they were for Japanese export.

In other news, I have been lusting over Hakata obis. I did some reading on the textiles and they were originally reserved for nobility and the weavers were highly regulated. I love the look of them and I also would love to try the old geisha trick of pairing them (they have a more informal status now) with fancier kimono. used a hakata obi with a yukata in a recent post, which only added to my enthusiasm. I like the idea of dressing up a yukata with juban and obi accessories.
So many ways to spend money....

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The waiting begins

It's frustrating because I'll be moving so soon, I can't make any purchases for fear they'll never make it to me before I move. Why do people have to list nice kimono while my hands are thus tied??

I worked like a mad woman on the train so I finished about 8 inches of my 4 inch beaded fringe (for anyone keeping score, that was about 8 hours of work...). I'm almost done! Hopefully I can work on that today, but I have a bazillion things to do and calls to make. I have to have my wisdom teeth follow-up visit and maybe a hair appointment. I have to deal with some change of address issues and help get my sister packed up for her summer camp experience. It's gonna be so quiet around here when she's gone, but we're going to be packing this house up so it won't be too quiet. I want to be able to find time for practicing kitsuke. I want to put up more pictures or at least have an informative post about kimono or textiles or something.
Well, here is one pictures I can post: my obiage.
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As you can see it is silk with shibori. I looooove shibori! I hope it looks nice with my other stuff. I really do.
It's so pretty thatI can't understand why no one bid on it other than me. Sometimes the stuff that gets heavily bid on is such a mystery. Some unremarkable items go for way too much and other lovely items are ignored. If I had a dollar for every kimono that's lovely and fits me and I wouldn't be ashamed to wear that wasn't bid on, I'd be able to afford one!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Obijime, how I love thee!

I just got home after a horrendous 13+ hour train ride from my new home state. A freight train derailed and hence the delay but it sucked. We sat next to two awful moms who had no clue what to do wth their kids on the train ride- screaming infants and satanic toddlers are not hours of fun... They were actually yelling at their kids because they got bored and one threatened to shut her kid up in the train's bathroom!
Anyway, when i got home, I found my obijime with the rest of the new mail. It is PERFECT!!!! It matches so well with my pink tsukesage I wanted to cry. It's also bigger than I thought. I only hope the obiage I snagged isn't too bright or overwhelming. I will post pictures soon when I have time to play dress-up...

OOh! I almost forgot. My new house has a nice room with a lovely and smooth wooden floor and plenty of space- I'm going to install mirrors and have myself a proper little dance studio! Maybe when I'm ready to teach my own class I can use that space for a small class (that'll be a few years yet hehe).

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Moving soon!

We bought a house and everything. Now I get to move my mountian of kimono stuff and I might even have my own room to display all the kimono craziness. Yay! Today it occured to me that I'll need to find what I really am looking for in terms of furisode, etc. before Memoirs of a Geisha comes out because I think new fangirls wil be born and will drive the prices of everything up. Argh.