Monday, February 20, 2017

I know you've done this.

I know you've done this.  We've done it too.  Many Japanese who live by us have never seen some of the things I've seen in this last year and a half.  I remember when we lived in Southeast Texas many, many years ago.  It was our first move away from home and we thought we'd be there about two years.  Nine months later my husband was given a promotion and we would be moving to South Dakota. We had two weeks. It was a huge wake up call.  We hadn't done a thing in the area.  We hadn't driven around to see Galveston, we hadn't driven to Houston.  We had just set up house and gone about our business.  Often it takes having company to go see interesting things around your home.  Stop that, right now!  Enjoy where you live.  Take the time to investigate all it has to offer.  Go on day trips in your local area.  Check out the parks, museums, events and even the aquarium!

My friend took me to the aquarium in Nagoya in January.  You may have seen some of the photos on Facebook or Instagram.  It's super hard to narrow it down here.  I think I almost love the people, especially children, more than the actually sea animals.  Take the little tour in no particular order. 

 This is a new one for me.
 "who are you looking at?"

 Play ball!

 "ichi, ni, san, chizu"

 You just never know what you'll see!

Lesson learned. I'm heading out Wednesday for hopefully an amazing location.  I'll keep you posted! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Light and Darkness

I've been stuck at home for several days fighting a cold.  I'm tired of sitting around and watching television and movies. But, then again, I have a natural affinity for being lazy. Today I actually have sewn a little bit. My sewing machine is old and really not cooperating today. I've also run out of thread and don't feel up to walking to the fabric store for more. So my next plan of action is to write a long overdo blog post. The majority of these photos are from a place we visited called Nabano No Sato. It's a park and a nursery.  There are an unlimited number of begonias on display. For several weeks they light up the entire park in the evenings and droves of people visit in the evenings.  It really was magical.  

See you next time! 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Fall in Japan

Hello again.  What's up?  It's turning cold here in Japan.  Chilly really, not super cold.  But, I'm finicky.  We are heading to Kansas City over the Christmas holidays.  It's suppose to be arctic cold while we're visiting.  I hope Kansas City lives up to it's reputation and vacillates back and forth between cold and mild when we arrive.  What have I been doing you ask?  I know you've been wondering.

Well, the days do seem to be flying by.  Can you believe we have lived here almost 16 months? When we return from Christmas we will have about 8 months left of our stay here.  Therefore, I'm trying to take advantage of everything I can.  My youngest daughter came to visit in late October.  We crammed as much as possible into those two weeks.  We did glass blowing, pottery and indigo dyeing.  We visited Kyoto and Tokyo along with sites around Nagoya.  It went fast!

I've done some more pottery since then and think I might make several more trips there before I leave.  I pretty much love everything I make.  Here are the pieces I made from this trip. 

I've been doing a lot of knitting.  I have several friends that knit.  We meet often and hang out at a coffee shop or a friend's home.  I have a shawl that I need to finish asap as it will be nice to have this winter.  I know you can't really tell, but its a beautiful chunky Noro yarn that should be nice and warm.  I've got two scarves in process and just added two different shawls to my queue.  Although I haven't bought yarn yet.  I definitely have enough to keep me busy.  Here are the new possibilities, The Parlour and Find Your Fade.
I was also able to explore some new areas and take Fall pictures.  Fall and Spring are very big in Japan.  They take it seriously.  Japan illuminates the beautiful fall trees and it's a site to behold.  First of all, I'll show you some trees from a Shrine out in the country on a rainy day.  

Last night I went to an Illumination and took some fun pictures.  

Fall is now all over and winter is upon us.  I don't have plans to travel to Sapporo for the Ice Festival. I hear everyone in Japan goes to the Ice Festival.  It's too late to get flights and reservations, etc.  So you may just get more photos of knitting.  Sending you lots of love and wishing you all a 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Japanese Pottery

Pottery is a big deal in Japan.  There are several cities in the surrounding area that are known for their pottery.  Last weekend we visited Setomono Matsuri which is a festival in the town of Seto. Their specific pottery is referred to as Setomono.  We left early on the train in the hopes of beating the crowds and the heat.  We weren't really successful with either.  Evidently they expected over a half a million people to visit Seto during the festival.  

 Dachsunds are one of the most popular dogs in Japan.  
 This is not your usual festival food in America.  It is a rather healthy choice.  They are obviously cucumbers on a stick, but they are being washed with salt water.  Perfectly refreshing choice for the hot and humid day.
This sweet little family was sharing this spiraled potato on a stick. 
Sounds like a good snack to me. Especially if its fried and salted.  

 Some of the pottery is very beautiful.  I love the rustic, handmade pieces the most.

 I wanted one of these big pots, but didn't want to carry it around.
Again, not your normal festival food. 
 This guy wouldn't get away with smoking while serving food in America.
They had a cute section for kids to make crafts.  Or was it a section for cute kids to make crafts? 
This is the pretty mug that I came home with.  It is hand made, hand painted and pricey. That's what happens when you want original pieces.  
Speaking of pottery in Seto, this last Friday I was able to go to a pottery workshop and make pottery again.  This time we were at a different studio with a very helpful sensei. This teacher actually has people come to live at the studio for 30 days to learn.  There were a handful of these students helping us that day.  Here is the link to his program. 
 Kneading the clay is hard work!


 These are my final pieces, a cup, small plate and a large serving bowl.  We were able to pick out the glaze and they will finish them once they are dry.  I'm very happy with how they turned out.

 Kato-sensei and Nanda.  Nanda made two Ramen bowls and a larger one.
 Kato-sensei is demonstrating how he cleans up the bottom once they have dried.
 Can anyone guess what these are?
 He was showing and explaining his kilns.  Fortunately he speaks very good English.
 The paint pots for designs on the pieces.
This is the beautiful table in his reception room.  
The cushions are where you sit so it's all very low to the ground. 

I definitely want to return for more time on the wheel!!


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