Mommy’s Diary: Looking Ahead

20140420-kiko1

It’s been a while since I wrote mommy’s diary last, but I could not help putting up a post after finding these photo of my daughter taken six months ago. The photos had been waiting to be edited and saved in the hard drive but somehow got lost in the midst of busy days.

We just came back from our 10-day vacation in the U.S. That was the fastest 10 days of my life! It literally flew. I was glad that Kiko was able to meet with her daddy’s side of the family. She spent time with her gam gam (grandma), grandpa and great grand mother. In fact, I barely saw her during the trip because she was always with them.

After the trip, all of the sudden she looks grown up – talking in longer sentences, explaining her reasoning behind her actions (saying “because….”) and looking taller. With the amount of time she spends with Andy (Andy is very involved with the child raising), I thought she would be very much a tom boy, but she, for now, is super feminine. She loves doing her nails with me, playing with beads to make necklaces and braiding strings whenever she finds one long enough . I’m really enjoying having a girl.

Some of you had asked how our adoption process has been going. We are still waiting for a child. It has been two and a half years since we got approved by the adoption agency. We hope that the child will come sometime soon and are willing to wait as long as it takes!

On the bright side, we started to foster a child through a program called “friend home”. There are many kids in group home that are neither adoptable or foster careable in Japan. This blog by Sophelia explains well about the adoption situation in Japan, so I won’t go into the details, but to sum it up, the parental rights in Japanese laws are very strong, which makes it difficult to have kids up for adoption or foster care.

So for the kids who cannot be adopted or foster cared because the parents’ unwillingness to give up the parental rights, Tokyo has a program “friend home” where the kids get to experience home life by visiting certain family on regular bases for a day out or sleep over. We registered with the program last year and finally got referred to a child who will be staying with us once a month. Both my husband and I are very excited and it will be great for Kiko to have another child she can care for.
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Philadelphia Photo Diary

I am taking ten days off from sewing while traveling to NY, Philadelphia and DC. Here is part 1 of my photo diary. I brought my DSLR, but all the photos below were taken on iPhone 5 and edited with VSCOcam (my favorite iPhone app to edit photos with!). Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

{Leaving Narita airport. Love the view from the air plane.}Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

{Philadelphia city hall. The architecture is very impressive. They were doing construction for a long time but finally they have finished the small fountain and open area with cafe.}

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{Souvenir – Babushka} Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

{I spent a good hour hanging out at a local super market. The varieties of things they have at American super markets are amazing. You can never get this many choices in Japan. For mere hot sauce, they have more than 20 different kinds!}Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset

{We rented an apartment using Airbnb for the first time. We could not be happier with this cute apartment in University City, Philly. The place is well kept and is in convenient location. We rented a two-story row house with two bedrooms with two bathrooms. So much more comfortable than staying in a hotel, and we save a lot of money by cooking our own meals}Processed with VSCOcam with lv02 preset

{Revisited this street in Olde City. This is where I used to sell my handmade clothes during the monthly First Friday event. I used to sell pieces for $20, and it made me so happy to see people paying money for what I made.}purple nails and egg plants{Left: Ecletic purple nails  Right: Egg plant as big as Kiko’s head! You never see as big of an egg plant as this in Japan.}chie sig2

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DIY Distressed Denim from Thrifted Jeans

DIY Distressed Boyfriend Denim by Vivat Veritas

I’ve only owned one pair of jeans until today, and I am happy to announce that I added another, much more comfortable pair! I’ve never been a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. I find flowy dresses far more comfortable than skinny jeans. But after watching this DIY video, I became obsessed with the thought of  distressing jeans. Somehow, the thought of plucking threads with tweezers to make the denim distressed seemed so soothing.. in reality, however it hurt my hands.

I picked up these mom jeans from 390 mart (サンキューマート) in Harajyuku. Everything in the store is 390 yen, which is about 4 USD. Here are the before and after pictures – The jeans in before picture were comfortable, but very momsy!
Before and After of DIY Distressed Denim by Vivat VeritasDIY Distressed Boyfriend Denim Process1

Here is how I turned the mom jeans in to distressed boyfriend jeans. First cut the hem. I marked the line with a pen right above my ankles. I wanted the cuffed look and I wasn’t going to hem it. If you are planning on hemming, cut an inch longer.  DIY Distressed Boyfriend Denim Process2

Then I flipped the jeans inside out, took in 5 cm from each sides to make the jeans tapered look. I figured it would be easier to roll up the hem with tapered look than straight cut. I sewed the sides and serged them.

After this, to make a distressed look, I cut two lines in parallel on knees and pull the vertical threads (blue ones) with tweezers. I was pulling the threads so vigorously I forgot to take pictures!  This was a bit time consuming and creates a mess. It took me about an hour to finish both knees. I placed one a bit higher. Once this is done, turn the jeans inside out and wash them with cold water to make the hems and distressed parts look more frayed.DIY Distressed Boyfriend Denim2 by Vivat Veritas DIY leather choker by vivat veritas

Andy said he liked this look, which took me by a surprise! While we were shopping at 390 mart, I told him my plan of making the jeans “boyfriend jeans”. He pretended that he understood what I was talking about, but I later found out he had no idea what I meant by “boyfriend jeans”!
Pink Dress Kiko

Kiko always wants to join me in the photo taking sessions…
Temporary Tatto by Vivat VeritasThe day we went to Harajuku happened to be the day of Fashion’s Night Out by Japan Vougue. So at Monki, they were giving away fake tatoos. Kiko got a lip mark on her arm and I got a wrist tattoo.

原宿竹下通りにある390マートで買ったバギージーンズ(死語?)をリメイクして、ボーイフレンドジーンズにしてみました。
やっぱり自分のために洋服作ったりリメイクするのは楽しい!

最近自分の洋服づくりの時間が取れてなかったので、新しい仲間がワードローブに加わってうれしいです。

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