Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Presents for the Boy

I've created a monster! My husband grew up in a family that recognised but didn't do big celebrations for birthdays or Christmas. Since we've been together, I've been trying to explain to him how important these celebrations are to me and that they are treated as special days.

At about 10 o'clock last night, he started singing "Happy almost birthday to me", which changed at midnight to a version closer to the original and requests of whether he could open his presents yet. Just like a five year old child. Throughout the day he's been breaking out into song again, except rather than "Happy birthday to Wayne", it's been "Happy Birthday wonderful Wayne"... As I said, I've created a monster, but it's a cute lovable monster that makes me laugh.

Present number one is not one that would be on most people's wish list, but one that he really likes. I made him a new sword bag, that is a bag to keep his Japanese katana sword in.
I thought the bag would be much easier to make than it was. It's only a simple straight up and down bag with a split at the top to make the sword easier to access and and strap to tie the top. What made it difficult though was that it is so long and thin, 14 x 150 cm, the obi fabric was heavily embroidered and metallic thread in the fabric didn't want to flatten out in the end. Turning the bag was really time consuming and flattening out seams was unthinkable. Still, I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out and Wayne loves it. He says he can't wait to show it off.
While I think he'd like to be if our funds allowed it, he's not a sword collector, but he uses the sword for his training in Iaido. It's an old martial art that is focused on the drawing of the sword and striking imaginary opponents. That may sound quite aggressive, but is actually very beautiful and calming to watch, I think of it as the traditional tea ceremony of swords. This is the video I took of his grading last year.

Present number two was on his wish list. It's a book on Tenugui. Tenugui are thin Japanese hand towels made of cotton and often decorated with funky designs. He has quite a collection of them now (I just love that he's collecting something fabric!). Some he uses, others are simply to keep or for display. Here are some images from the book...

This is one we have hanging in the apartment now, we both just love the dragon design, which I think is a copy of a painting on the ceiling of a temple we visited in Kyoto on our honeymoon.

I thought, what more appropriate than to wrap his presents in some new tenugui. The ribbons are also strips from old tenugui. Very environmentally friendly!

So Happy Birthday Wayne! I hope you love your presents and are enjoying your day!


ckillin said...

love the tenugui!
new word, new concept.
what a thoroughly modern guy you have there melanie, collecting japanese fabric (of sorts).
he deserves a happy birthday indeed.

and thanks so much for your comments on my blog.

hope 2008 is a fab one for you.

teresa fsw said...

Your husband is one lucky man!!! Great birthday gifts!!!

Jenny said...

Happy belated birthday to Wayne.Great presents-that sword bag is special.What a lovely wife. Loved watching the video:)

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Thanks everyone!


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