Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sawako Lilly's October Kimono

For the month of October, Sawako Lilly models her autumn furisode (long sleeved) kimono, direct from Japan, made by the talented local artisan Suzuya Endo. Each kimono is one of a kind and unique, made from antique silk kimonos! ^_^ It's a sea of falling leaves and fall flowers on a backdrop of blue sky. I adore the details on this kimono, both the large patterns of the old, traditional cart, as well as the smaller patterns.

The star like colored leaves are momiji leaves, which is the Japanese maple tree and a very classic pattern for colder month kimonos.

The small clusters of flowers are kiku or chrysanthemums, which is the symbol of the Japanese Emperor. It is considered an autumn/winter flower and is also a very common motif on kimonos.

The obi matches the kiku or chrysanthamum pattern, but contrasts with a light green, grass colored backgroup, making it stand out boldly and compliments the sky backdrop of furisode. The obijime (tie) is a light lavender and the obiage (scarf which hides some of the knots from tying the obi) is a lovely deep orange and shibori dyed (the round squares dying pattern which is traditionally the pattern for the scarf worn with the furisode formal level kimono).

Details of front panel:

The back of the kimono is not any less detailed. The patterns and designs of the front carry over to the back as well and we see more kiku, traditional carts, momiji, and even botan or peonies.

Close up of the wheel of a traditional cart sitting in a bed of botan. I love the details of the tiny kiku on the edges of the wheels:

The obi musubi (knot) is in the fukura sukume design (plump sparrow). It is a formal musubi and usually only worn with furisode kimonos.

Close up of the back top of the right sleeve

Close up of kiku and botan on the bottom panels of the back of the furisode.

Small momiji patterns hidden near the nape of the neck:

The furisode without the obi belt. You can see that the patterns and designs don't stop but continue over the body with more kiku.

Close up of kiku across the front of the body of the furisode, normally hidden by the obi belt.

Kimonos are always worn with the left flap over the right. If you wear it right side over left, it means you are dead and in your burial kimono, the only time where the kimono is worn right on top of left. Even so, I like that this furisode still has a beautiful traditional cart hidden on the right panel. Many kimonos have small, secret patterns that are hidden when fully dressed, and only known to the wearer. It's one of the exciting, and fun things about kimonos that I love! ^_^

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Mini Josie at MIT in Cambridge, MA

Mini Josie's host took her around her university, MIT, and showed her some of the cool research the school is involved with! While there, Josie snapped a few photos outside because it was a rare, beautiful day in Boston.

Josie in front of an extremely magnified zebra fish embryo!

To see more of Josie’s adventures, click here to view her Travel Log!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lissie & Lilly: Episode 16 - The NOT Snow White Part 2 (L&L Theater Special)

Lissie & Lilly: The NOT Snow White-Part2! (Photostory)

Welcome back Ladies and Gentlemen! I hope you are all planted firmly in your seats to the thrilling conclusion to our tale of understood misunderstandings and color confusion! What will the Queen give? What will Snow White change into? How do mini dwarves reach door handles? Will the Mirror ever get a chance to impress with her impressions? Hang on to your fascinators as we bring you back to…. The NOT Snow White!

Snow Cecile: Are you quite sure it was a good idea to cut up your curtains into a dress? Now you don’t have anything covering your windows.
Dwarf Addy: Absolutely! We don’t have any other clothes or pieces of cloth large enough to make a dress for a non dwarf like you.
Dwarf Ruthie: Besides, no one comes here anyway so we don’t really have any need for curtains.
Dwarf Lissie: No one but uppity royals. We seem to be a tourist destination for them. Well, at least you don’t look quite so ridiculous now that you’re out of that white dress.
Dwarf Ruthie: Oh don’t mind Lissie, Snow White. He’s just grumpy because otherwise he’d have to admit how wonderful he thinks you look in your new dress.
Snow Cecile: R-really Lissie? Is that true?
Dwarf Lissie: DO I LOOK LIKE A TRUTH TELLING MIRROR TO YOU??? Come on, we’re leaving now!
Dwarf Addy: Hehehehe, you’ve won him over Snow White. Be careful while we’re gone. Don’t let anyone in!

Snow Cecile: Goodbye everyone! See you all later!
Snow Cecile: Well I suppose I had better tidy things up while they’re gone. I need to wash these dishes so I can fill them with more crème brulee. It’s so nice to be in a place where one’s culinary skills are appreciated!

Snow Cecile: Let me see, there, it looks perfect. Not a speck of dust shall enter here while I’m standing guard. My, look at how dirty my dress and apron are already. Lissie was right, white is such an impractical color. Why did my mother name me –
Snow Cecile: Well hello, who is that standing outside in such a suspicious manner? Lissie said only the royal types ever wander here so I’d better go investigate. We don’t have enough crème brulee for a royal guest.

Queen Lydia: Huooph! I think this must be the cottage, and thank goodness too. My arms are killing me.
Queen Lydia: Now where did I put that bottle? Ah, here it is! Hehehehee, my beautiful concoction of dastardly doom! You are one special lady Snow White…

Queen Lydia: That’s right my elixir of fatal fallacies! Go! Soak that apple to destruction! MWAHAHAHAHAAA –

Snow Cecile: Hello, excuse me?
Queen Lydia: AHHH!! How dare you – I mean, Snow White! You surprised me!

Snow Cecile: Why, how do you know my name…?
Queen Lydia: Oh, uh, um, well, of course I know your name! You’re only the second fairest, I mean most beautiful, in the land.
Snow Cecile: Am I? What a silly thing to be. I feel sorry for the most beautiful in the land. What a useless title.
Queen Lydia: Useless?!? My dear child! It is the only thing that matters in this lifetime and the next!
Snow Cecile: Dear me, you sound just like my Stepmother. She thinks the same thing!
Queen Lydia: Never! Er, how could I, a simple fruit peddler compare to such radiance? No no no, I’m just your friendly local fruit merchant.

Snow Cecile: A fruit seller? How wonderful! I can garnish my crème brulee with fruits and take it to the next level of gustatory delight! Do you have any strawberries?
Queen Lydia: No, but I have a lovely apple, see its color!
Snow Cecile: Hmmm, apples don’t really go well with crème brulee though. How about any berries or oranges?
Queen Lydia: No and noppity nope. But apples are an excellent source of vitamins and fiber. They’ll clear out your colon faster than a brand new plunger.
Snow Cecile: For a fruit merchant you certainly have very limited wares. What do you have then?
Queen Lydia: AP-
Snow Cecile: Besides apples I mean.
Queen Lydia: Ohpeachesbananaswhatnot but who cares about that. Why not get a lovely ap-
Snow Cecile: Peaches you said? I’ll take it!

Queen Lydia: Here! Have an apple on me!
Snow Cecile: Oh no, I couldn’t. I would hate to waste food. Just the peach will be fine.
Queen Lydia: I insist! It’s a buy one get one free sale! Here take them!

Snow Cecile: Well… thank you then. How much will they be?

Queen Lydia: Oh, we believe in satisfaction guaranteed. No payment until you’ve tasted your purchase and decide you’re satisfied!
Snow Cecile: Really? That seems to be an overly generous policy, if you don’t mind me saying. I’m sure I’ll be satisfied, and besides, I want to save the peach for my crème brulee.
Queen Lydia: Forget the peach! I mean, why don’t you just take a bite of the apple?
Snow Cecile: Well… If you insist…
Narrator: And the Queen did insist. Not wanting to hurt the feelings of the poor fruit seller with bad business practices, Snow White raised the apple and peach and inhaled deeply. Ahhhhh… the peach would be perfect on top of tonight’s crème brulee. The apple smelled off though, a little too sweet, a tad bit malicious, and a dash of pesticide. Perhaps that’s why the seller was giving it away. But Snow White knew better than waste food whether she lived in a time of plenty or not. Lifting the apple to her lips, she nibbled off a tiny piece…

Queen Lydia: YES!!! Finally!!! Snow White is dead at last! It took an apple, a peach, and a bunch of bananas but it’s worth it because I’ll finally be the most beautiful person in all the land! You can keep the fruit Snow White! I hope you’re satisfied!
Narrator: With a diabolical cackle that was oddly out of place in such a sunny, peaceful wood, the Queen ran back to the castle, leaving Snow White stretched out like a tilapia on market day, the deadly fruit beside her.

Dwarf Lissie: Snow Dusty! I forgot to tell you –
Dwarf Lissie: SNOW WHITE! Everyone come quickly!!! Oh I knew it was a bad idea to leave a royal who could only make one dish alone! HURRY EVERYONE!

Dwarf Marie: How could this happen?
Dwarf Addy: When did this happen?
Dwarf Ruthie: What happened???
Dwarf Lissie: Now what is that empty bottle doing over there? We have a strict no litter policy here at The Den of the Daring Dwarves of Digging.

Dwarf Ivy: Snow White! Snow White! Look, she’s still breathing!
Dwarf Caroline: That means she’s still alive then! Come on Snow White! Wake up!
Dwarf Cece: Lissie, what are you doing? We’ve got to help her!

Dwarf Lissie: Ah hah! Look at this! There’s been foul play at work here!
Dwarf Ruthie: What is in there Lissie?
Dwarf Lissie: Nothing, now. But if you smell it, you can easily guess what was in it – Poison!
Dwarf Addy: Are you absolutely certain Lissie? Poison is no joking matter!
Dwarf Lissie: Smell it for yourself! The scent of malice, hate, and despair is unmistakable. Why you can practically taste the doom, it reeks so badly. A half teaspoon of this stuff is deadly!
Dwarf Caroline: But why would Snow White drink poison? Do you think she was upset we ate all her crème brulee?
Dwarf Ivy: Or perhaps she was too overcome with guilt at cutting up our curtains? We told her it was fine though!
Dwarf Lissie: Who can understand what goes through the mind of a royal? They don’t think logically like the rest of us! Anyway it doesn’t matter, we’ve got to get help for her right now! Hurry, let’s go get the doctor!

Prince Sam: This is quite the lovely spot! Who could have guessed getting lost would lead me to such a beautiful – maiden?
Prince Sam: Gentle Maiden! Why are you lying down? Fair Damsel? Sweet Lady?
Prince Sam: I wonder if she is hard of hearing. Ah, her eyes are closed! She must be asleep then. In truth, I’ve yet to lay eyes on a woman so fair. If only she were a princess, she would be the perfect bride.

Prince Sam: No! Princess or not, I will have no other but her! Look at how soundly she sleeps! Only a woman of true character and grace could slumber so peacefully in the open like this. Oh Ethereal Fairy, why won’t you open your eyes and let me gaze upon your beauty? Perhaps a kiss shall wake you?

Dwarf Lissie: Stop! What are you doing? Who are you? Get away this instant you villain!
Prince Sam: Villian??? How dare you Sir! Unsheath your weapon this instant!
Dwarf Lissie: I’m no Sir! I’m a Dwarf! And I know better than to resort to violence to make a point you barbaric nimcompotato!
Dwarf Ivy: Yah! Nimcomsquash!
Dwarf Ruthie: Nimcomturducken!
Prince Sam: The nerve – Do you know whom you are addressing?
Dwarf Lissie: I’m not addressing! I’m ranting! And all I need to know is you have no respect for women! What kind of self absorbed royal are you? What makes you think it’s alright to go around kissing women who are unconscious? Did you get her permission? Does she even want to kiss someone like you? Assault is illegal in this world and the next you know!
Prince Sam: I am a Prince! This maiden will be my wife!
Dwarf Lissie: Of all the selfish, entitled, disrespectful things to say! And I thought wearing a white shirt was the height of your stupidity! An inability to say no does not equal an invitation!

Snow Cecile: Uhhnn…..
Dwarf Lissie: Snow White! You’re awake!
Prince Sam: Oh most beauteous lady –
Dwarf Lissie: Oh hush up! Snow White, how are you feeling?
Snow Cecile: Queasy... like someone tried to french braid my intestines.
Dwarf Lissie: I should say! It’s a miracle you’re not dead after eating that poisoned apple!
Snow Cecile: Apple? That’s right, there was an overly generous fruit merchant earlier.
Dwarf Lissie: Some merchant! That was the Queen trying to get rid of you for good! And she almost succeeded. I’m still not sure why she didn’t.
Dwarf Addy: Here’s the answer Lissie. Look how small of a bite Snow White took! Didn’t you say you had to have a quarter teaspoon to kill you? It looks like she hardly had a sixteenth of a teaspoon much less a quarter.
Dwarf Caroline: Hurray for royals and their tiny bites!

Snow Cecile: Please help me up Lissie, my head is still aching.
Prince Sam: Allow me to assist you, fair Snow White!
Snow Cecile: You must forgive me, but I do not believe we’ve ever met before….?
Dwarf Lissie: Ignore him, it’s just a creeper being extra creepy. Here we go, be careful or you’ll fall. Last thing you want is to survive the apple only to be done in by the vertigo.
Prince Sam: I am a Prince! And I have chosen you to be my bride, lovely Snow White!
Dwarf Marie: That nimcomcheeto was trying to kiss you in your sleep!
Dwarf Caroline: And who knows what other liberties he thinks he’s entitled to! Good thing we came when we did!
Prince Sam: How dare you spew such nonsense, you miniature half people! What’s wrong with kissing my future wife?

Snow Cecile: Although Your Highness seeks to honor me with your request, I must decline.
Prince Sam: Decline? As in refuse?
Dwarf Ivy: As in denied!
Dwarf Caroline: As in rejected!
Dwarf Marie: As in NO!
Dwarf Ruthie: As in HECK NO!!!
Prince Sam: But, I don’t understand! Why would you refuse me?
Dwarf Lissie: Your pride? Your sense of entitlement? Your penchant for assault? Probably your white shirt.
Snow Cecile: These dwarves are my dear friends and I won’t stand for anyone being rude to them. Besides, I can’t marry someone who I don’t even know. Especially since I already like - *blush* I mean, I can’t return your feelings.
Prince Sam: Very well! Who needs a Queen who’ll just sleep away in broad daylight anyway! Goodbye!
Dwarf Lissie: Good riddance!

Dwarf Lissie: Are you sure you won’t regret this Snow White?
Snow Cecile: Absolutely! I wouldn’t like someone who tried to take advantage of me in my sleep.
Dwarf Lissie: Well, I suppose it wouldn’t be too terrible if you decided you wanted to stay with us a bit longer.
Dwarf Addy: Stay with us forever!
Dwarf Caroline: Still with Lissie til death do you part!
Dwarf Lissie: Hey!
Snow Cecile: Oh my! I mean, um, if all of you don’t mind… I should be very very very happy to stay.
Dwarf Lissie: Really? Argh! I mean, do what you want! I don’t care!
Dwarf Marie: Lissie is blushing!
Dwarf Ivy: Dwarves don’t blush!
Snow Cecile: I suppose I’ll have to learn how to make other dishes if I’m staying. Crème brulees are not very balanced meals.
Dwarf CeCe: Just put a bowl on each side of the table. What the doc doesn’t know won’t hurt him!
Dwarf Lissie: The doctor! We’ve got to go tell her we don’t her to come anymore!

Queen Lydia: Whew! I finally made it back and changed out of that ridiculously, unflattering costume! But it was all worth it because at long last I am the most beautiful woman in all the land!
Mirror Lilly: Welcome back Your Majesty, would you like to hear an impre –
Queen Lydia: Mirror, mirror, on my vanity, who’s the most beautiful of all?
Mirror Lilly: *sigh* You and Snow White, Your Majesty.
Queen Lydia: AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU LIE!!!! HOW CAN THIS BE????
Mirror Lilly: I never lie! How rude! I always speak the truth, and the truth is, you and Snow White are both beautiful! Granted, I haven’t seen a single other woman yet besides you two…

Queen Lydia: Wait! You mean, all this time, you kept saying we’re beautiful because we’re the ONLY PEOPLE YOU’VE SEEN?!?!?!?!?
Mirror Lilly: Of course! How can I compare you to those I haven’t met before? That would be dishonest.
Queen Lydia: Oh that’s it… I give up… What’s the use? I’ll never know if I’m the most beautiful.
Mirror Lilly: Well, why do you want to be the most beautiful anyway? Will you gain deep insight to the ways of walrus’ if you are?
Queen Lydia: Because people won’t like me if I’m not the most beautiful! They won’t admire me or respect me. What am I without beauty?
Mirror Lilly: That’s not true Your Majesty. Take a look!

Queen Lydia: What am I looking at? It’s just my saggy, baggy, flabby face.
Mirror Lilly: No it’s not! It’s the face of the nice person who dug me out of that musty old attic and brought me back into the world.
Queen Lydia: Well… that was only because I wanted to ask you questions for my own reasons.
Mirror Lilly: But it made me so happy! And that’s why I think you’re beautiful, and no matter how many people I see that won’t change.

Queen Lydia: Really? Do you mean it? Even though I’ve been so rude to you?
Mirror Lilly: Certainly! And you were so giving to your stepdaughter Snow White too!
Queen Lydia: Snow White! What have I done? I must go to her with the antidote immediately! Oh no, please don’t let it be too late! Thank you Mirror! When I get back show me all your impressions!
Mirror Lilly: Oh yes! Your Majesty is too kind! I’ll start practicing right away!

Narrator: When the Queen arrived, she found Snow White preparing a delicious dinner of portobello mushroom patties, with crème brulee and peaches for dessert. Although Lissie and the other dwarves flatly refused to let her into their cottage at first, even though she wasn’t wearing any white, Snow White convinced them to listen to what the Queen had to say.

After a sincere, heartfelt apology, Snow White forgave her stepmother and invited her to stay for dinner. The Queen had the best meal she had in forever because for once she didn’t have to count her calories and could enjoy the food. When dinner ended, the Queen extended an open invitation to The Den of the Daring Dwarves of Digging to come visit palace any time they wished. Snow White promised to come often for visits and to listen to the Mirror’s Greek philosopher impressions.

Snow White lived happily with the dwarves despite never finding the answer to why her mother named her as she did. It didn’t matter to her as much because after a few years, Lissie mustered up the gumption to ask her to marry him. Queen Lydia didn’t change overnight, but with the Mirror’s loving coaching and guidance from thinkers of times past, she started to care less and less about her appearance until one day it took her only ten minutes to get ready. To her surprise, she found she now had more time to spend with her subjects who in turn appreciated her more for caring about them.

We assume Prince Sam never did find a wife due to his arrogant, disrespectful ways towards woman. We know his father passed the crown to Prince Sam’s brother who was much more pleasant and did not kiss women while they were incapacitated. All in all, everyone lived more or less happily, except the doctor who now had an unprecedented number of patients with hypertension from crème brulee consumption.


*Disclaimer: L&L does not advocate the copious consumption of crème brulee! Hypertension is not fun and leads to many other diseases that can kill more efficiently than a poisoned apple ever could! Eat all fattening, unhealthy foods in moderation!*

Thank you for reading to the end! ^_^ I had so much fun writing and setting up the scenes for this photo story. It was difficult to assign the roles for this play. Cecile was unanimously chosen to be Snow White, because after all, you have to have the most beautiful doll play the most beautiful in all the land. She protested how could a black doll play someone with skin “white like snow” but all the other girls told her being black doesn’t mean you can’t be most beautiful in the land.

Lissie flat out refused to play a role that made no sense, and decided to be the leader of The Den of the Daring Dwarves of Digging because that seemed practical enough. Sawako Lilly was busy with studies so we had her video chat with us as the Mirror. :D Technology is wonderful! The minis were happy to come out of their boxes and join in on the fun and crème brulee feast!

Originally I wasn’t planning on changing the story so much, but the more I thought about it, the less sense it made to have Snow White marry the Prince. I know I don’t want to be kissed while unconscious by a stranger. That’s harassment and assault. It is not romantic, and definitely not attractive in the slightest, just creepy. And once I’d had that thought, there was no going back. It made so much more sense for Snow White to fall in love with someone she knew to be kind and good.

I had a hard time deciding what fruit I was going to use to be poisoned. I was about to go with the pineapple because the only fruit set I owned clumped the apple and peach together! In the end I stuck with the apple/peach combo because it photographed so nicely, and also because it just didn’t make sense for Snow White to have to cut and clean a pineapple to eat. Even if she did, cutting off the skin would have cut off the poison too so it wouldn’t work. XD

Thank you for sticking with the story to the end! I hope you enjoyed the L&L Theater’s production of The NOT Snow White and all of its contrariness. ^_^ Have a wonderful weekend and eat lots of unpoisoned fruits with a tiny dollop of crème brulee! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

$10 off $100 Crayola Coupon & Singer Coupon

There is currently a $10 off a $100 purchase coupon in select Crayola Fabric Markers. The coupon code is: 179780 and expires on 12/31/2014 at 11:59 pm. They are available at some Michaels locations as far as I know and are available for $5.99 before tax.

Be sure to go online and print out or download the weekly Michaels coupon to save another 40% on the markers:

*DO NOT use these on your site/blog/channel, or direct link to the images. Feel free to link to this post.*

To view full sized image, Right Click on the image, then select "Open link in new tab" or "Open link in new window".

Crayola Fabric Markers with the coupon will have a little label in the upper right corner:

 Coupon Front:

Coupon Back:

I also received this Singer Coupon with my AG online order. It states that with a purchase of a Singer brand sewing machine, you can receive a special gift, Fashion Designer Trim Kit. Visit the website and register your machine to receive the gift. On that website, you can also download a free sewing project.