Friday, February 20, 2009

Shrine for the Happy Cat? I'm not sure.

Illuminated display during the day

Illuminated display at night

A cool wood-carving that we saw on display at this little bookstore near the restaurant

Mr. Owl

This is called "easy patchwork." Easy? I don't think so.

Glove puppy

Not sure what inspired me to put a shamrock on his bottom other than I thought it was cute because Zach is Irish.

Hello! I hope everyone is having a great Friday. I finally uploaded our photos from our Valentine's Day dinner last weekend and thought you might enjoy seeing our outing to the town of Gotemba at the base of Mt. Fuji. We went to a German all-you-can-eat buffet (strange choice, I know!) arranged by the base tour folks. The restaurant is located next to a park, which apparently puts together an illuminated display every year from January through March. The weather happened to be freakishly warm (Zach wore shorts!) on Saturday, and as a result, the poor plum blossoms around town are confused and starting to pop out. The weather is now back to its chilly ways, and today we got rain.

I also wanted you to check out a couple of my latest craft projects. The first is a picture that I made from a kit that I bought at the Yokohama quilt show. It's name translated into English is "easy patchwork" but I wouldn't call it easy, and this is probably the only one I will make. The surface is covered with an adhesive, kind of like tape, and you cut your shapes from fabric and press them onto the surface with a sharp, pointed tool. It's not so hard with the large pieces, but once you get into the smaller and tighter areas, things start to get frustrating. Or at least they did for me. I was also working with directions in Japanese, relying heavily on photos and illustrations to get me through. Sometimes this was easy, and sometimes it wasn't. I should have asked Seiko or one of my other Japanese friends to translate them for me, but I was too impatient as usual.

The other project is a dog that I made using a pair of gloves from the 100 yen shop. It's from the book Sock and Glove by Miyako Kanamori, a Japanese woman. It is now available in English if any of you are interested. She also recently came out with a second book called Happy Gloves, which I also own and recommend. The projects are so cute and easy. I made this little guy in a couple days, working on it off and on when I had time.

Okay, that's it for today. Enjoy!


Regina said...

Hi Ellen, happy new year! The "easy" patchwork picture came out wonderfully! i love the glove puppy too, very sweet. We miss you at Martingale! I haven't checked your block in awhile so it is fun to catch up on what you are doing. I love the snow monkeys, reminds me of the commercial where the people get attacked by them.

Anonymous said...

That glove puppy is one of the cutest little toys I've ever seen! I might have to get that book myself and see if I can be creative, too! -Happie :)