23 May 2010

The Yoshiwara and the world of Japanese courtesans by Lesley Downer

It almost slip my mind but on 18 May I went to a talk titled
The Yoshiwara and the world of Japanese courtesans
It was given by Lesley Downer who is an author of various books relating to the Japanese culture.

The talk was brought to my notice by a ImmortalGeisha member and I have to thank Lyuba for arranging myself and Hong to be on the guest list because tickets for the talk were £7.00. Although when we got to the place we mentioned we were on the guest list and the girl didn't know anything about it. However she kindly checked with the organiser for us and although there was no official guest list anywhere she said that we said the right things to her and it would appear that we are guests. SCORE!

The talk lasted for just over an hour and although it contained many interesting pictures of the Yoshiwara past and present, I have to say I didn't learn a great deal. It would appear that ImmortalGeisha website has taught me a lot about the courtesans life although it was interesting to see where the Yoshiwara is situated in modern Tokyo. However I don't think I will be visiting to anytime soon as it is not the most pleasant part of Tokyo.

Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures as there wasn't really anything to take photos of.

Afterward there was an opportunity to buy her latest book and get it signed but I don't read books often and the last thing I need is more useless things.

Cherry Blossom Series

After a whole week of intensive revision, I thought it was time to complete my Cherry Blossom Series. This will be my last set of kanzashi designs that I will put together until Art in the Garden event is over as I have a lot of basic stock to make before the event. Not too mention I will need to do a couple of professional exams in June, go on holiday straight afterwards and then find a flat in Sheffield in July. Phew it doesn't sound much but there is a bit to organise and I can't do any of it until my exam is over.

Anyway, I was getting side track......

First my designs.

Cherry crescent

Cherry fall

Cherry bow

These kanzashi were made from the cherry blossom flowers from the previous post and I always wanted to make kanzashi from cherry blossoms. Not sure why but I do.

Well this is how they turned out.

Cherry crescent

Cherry fall

Cherry bow

Surprisingly, this series was harder to arrange then my previous kanzashi arrangements but I am pleased with the overall design. Some of the flowers are not as circular as I hoped but this was the first time I used this fabric and the later flowers I made look a lot better.

Hope you enjoy them!

9 May 2010

New lunch box

I'm a little bit too old to get excited about a new lunch box but this one is great!

It is a little bit bigger then standard bento boxes that you can buy but the good thing about this one is that it is insulated! Therefore one can make something hot in the morning and it should be warm at lunchtime.

Supposedly you can carry soup as well and it will not leak but that will need to be tested. I'm thinking of creating noodle soup where the bottom container will contain all the ingredients (noodles, meat and veg) and the top container has the stock.

So many possibilities!! I can't wait to use it.

6 May 2010

Cherry blossom success!

I have done it! I have actually managed to make cherry blossom without resorting to glue.

It was mainly to do with the material that I used which was synthetic juban material that I brought from Ryu Trading frequent sales. At first I thought this would be too stiff for cherry blossoms making but as it turned out it was good! Somehow between the stiffness and the synthetic properties, I was able to create the desired heart shaped petal.

The process is still time consuming but nevertheless the results speak for themselves.

3 May 2010

Opps another impulsive buy

I am sure any girl will know this feeling, they see or think of an item and for some strange reason you become obsessed in hunting down this item, finding a bargain and then buying it all in a space of a couple of days.

Well this was me a few days ago when I had this urge to get a randoseru. The backpack that Japanese school children use for 6 years. I had a quick look and found out that the straps can be lengthen so an adult could wear one. So it is unusual and cute, well that fulfils my criteria for a handbag however a very big hurdle. Yep price. I know the bags last for 6 years of heavy use but $200 on ebay ekkkkkkkkk. I have to admit that is only $33 a year but I have a backpack that is 12 years old and that only cost me £30 and I take that back everywhere!

Oh I could get a second hand one for $50 but part of me wants it new so off I went to Crescent Shop to see what there is. And low and behold there they were with a starting price of only 1 JPY can you believe.

Too good to be true was my next thought but I asked Crescent Shop and it would appear to be for real so I made my bid and got one for 2000 JPY = $22.62 on their conversion rate. There appeared to be another bidder who was nabbing all these cheap randoseru from this seller.

Hopefully after the two lots of postage and packaging it will not exceed $50-$60 in total or I wouldn't have made a saving from the second hand ones on ebay but at least it is new! I am now praying that this is the real deal and that I haven't wasted my money.