Sunday, November 23, 2008

Slowing Down and Kimono Colours

At the time of year when I feel I should be, I need to be, speeding things up, my body is forcing me to slow down. Everything is OK and it will pass with time and then I'll be back on my feet.

As a result, I've stopped listing eBay actions for the moment. Getting parcels packed and off to the post office of an evening after a full day of work is more than I can manage right now and I hate to have anything less than fabulous service in my stores. So I've stripped it down to just Etsy for a while.

One thing I did get done today was to photograph some kimonos for a wholesale client of mine. I just loved the colours, they really brightened my day.

I'm off to Tokyo again tomorrow. I know that sounds exciting, but to be honest, I don't really want to go. I'm hoping this will be the last time I will have to make that trip to see my specialist. I only have four months until I move back to Australia so would like to have medication and stuff sorted for the rest of my stay, or for her to give my regular doctor instructions of how to manage my thyroid.

I am though, determined to conjure up some energy to do a spot of fabric and Christmas shopping while I'm there. I want to go to Nippori Textile Town, to Kincado (I'll be staying in that part of town) and off to a couple of bookshops (one, a full floor of craft books!), maybe an electronics store, maybe a department store, and hopefully to a place I saw a gorgeous present for my new niece that I regret not picking up last time.

While a bit frustrated at not feeling so well, I have also being enjoying some aspects of taking life at a slower pace for a while. Wayne and I had a picnic lunch yesterday and a lovely wander in the park, something we haven't done since... well actually I can't remember. There have been lots of early nights, perfect in this weather with lots of lovely cuddles from dh. If I don't watch out.... I could get used to this!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Goodness Gocco!

I first used a Gocco many years ago. It was my first year in Japan, and my first year to create and send nengajyo. My friend brought her little magical screen printer to my apartment and taught me how to use it. From memory, it was about to be Year of the Dragon and I created a design with a seahorse (they are called sea dragons in Japanese).

Recently, I've been wanting to play with some printed designs again. My friend has lent me hers that she doesn't use anymore. I plan on playing with it for a while and then decide if I want to get one of my own to take back home next year.

Now, here's the rub. I went to my local stationery store and there are suddenly no Gocco supplies. The shelf that was previously filled with Gocco goodness was now empty. So empty in fact that I suspect the removal of the items was very recent. Unless you count the "Gocco Jet" which you use with your computer. Gone were the bulbs, the screens and the ink. All gone. Sadly, it appears that Gocco may be on it's way out.

There certainly are still places to get the materials, but they are harder to come by. If you're a Gocco owner or a Gocco fan, I would suggest you might want to look at stocking up now. Goodness over on Etsy is a lovely friendly supplier who can help you out.

I love this Gocco print by Inkdesigner who also sells some gorgeous Gooco prints in his Etsy shop.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This is... my favourite thing from nature

Water. Maybe it has something to do with being a Pisces, but I just love water. It makes me feel relaxed, rejuvenated, refreshed, renewed. It helps me sort my thoughts and clear my head. Be it the sound of waves crashing and the smell of salt air; watching it tumble over rocks in a river; the feel of hot water running down my back in a shower; a body of it caress me as I swim through it; the weightless of it as I float in a floatation tank - I love it all.

Ironically, I don't drink nearly enough of it.

Thank you to Beth for this week's theme and to Angela, the fabulous hostess of This is...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Kimono Glass Pendants

I'm happy to say that not only are the pendants finally in my Etsy store but that a number of them sold today. Yah!

Ohhh... and if you haven't heard already, Big Cat has finally announced her not secret squirrel anymore business and it's very cool!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Print A Day

I discovered a new, eye-candy blog today, via Animegirlie, called A Print A Day. She regularly posts new artwork as well as downloadable designs and brushes.

Her Kokeshi are just so sweet!

She has her adorable Kokeshi in the sweetest little tags ready to download here. She had many more super cute downloads, just click on the, well "Downloads" in her sidebar.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This is... my favourite quote

I'm not sure about favourite, but I have one that I read on, and have now borrowed from Fuji Mama's blog. It says much about my life in Japan and the feelings of reverse culture shock that I get whenever I return "home".
"The emigrant's destiny: The foreign country has
not become home, but home has become foreign." - Alfred Polger (d. 1955)

Don't get me wrong, I'm very excited about moving back to Australia next year, but a good part of me is nervous and sad. I'll be very sad to leave this country that I love, this country that I left once and needed to come back to again. The last time I moved back to Australia, I went through nine months of horrible reverse culture shock, far worse than anything I felt moving to Japan in the first place.

When I move back next year however, I'm hoping it's going to be different. I hope that moving back with a purpose (business, home, family plans), will ease it all.

On a cheerier note, here are some others that strike a chord with me;

"You must be the change you wish to see in the
world." - Ghandi

"If you have built castles in the air, your
work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under
them." - Henry David Thoreau

"My religion is very simple. My religion is
kindness."- Dalai Lama

Thank you to Strawberry Kisses for this week's theme and to Angela, the fabulous hostess of This is...

Recipe for Success

How lucky am I! This is the gorgeous present that arrived in my mail the other day, a very generous and unexpected surprise from Big Cat. It's a fabulous collage on stretched canvas.

It came all wrapped up as a brown paper package, tied up with string (are there any fellow Sound of Music fans out there?) with a lovely note written on a frangipani postcard and a sweet cat playing card. Big Cat told me that the inspiration came when I was talking about my book aspirations. I have to confess, the book work has had to take a backseat for a little while, but I hope to hit it with re-newed energy in the New Year. This piece will certainly be encouragement and a reminder to do so.

The collage now has pride of place on my workroom wall. It fits perfectly with my other kimono artworks. I really wanted to photograph it on the wall, but alas, we've had a very dark and dreary weekend here, so none of the shots did the gorgeous piece justice.

Thanks again Big Cat!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Loving Friday and Feeling Blessed

Recently, I have been feeling truly blessed. Blessed by the kindness and generosity of people, blessed by good fortune and blessed by the universe for answering some prayers. What's not to love on a Friday like that?

Where do I start....?

Today at school, I only have one class. My junior high students have gone on a walking excursion for the day, up north somewhere to see the red leaves of autumn. The one high school class that I have is my favourite of the week. They are really enthusiastic and many have been good little students this morning, coming to have me check presentations they have prepared for today's lesson.

In last nights mail, I was delighted by a wonderful, surprise gift from the very generous Big Cat! I won't tell you what it is just yet, as I want to photograph it in some good light this weekend. Now as the days get shorter, it's dark before I leave school at 5pm.

Then this morning's email inbox brought another couple of wonderful surprises. I won $10US credit voucher in the very talented Amy's Etsy store, Moyou. I'm going to use it to buy one of her super cute Kuma Wheat toys. I've been eyeing them off ever since she started making them, and he's going to be perfect to cuddle up to on these coming cold nights.

And if that's not enough, I was also featured in another Treasury! I haven't done a screen saver of it yet, but you can see it here. It was put together by Hedda Vatter who creates some lovely warm things that would also be nice for winter.

I haven't been blogging or blog reading as much lately. With these shorter and colder days, I've been finding that I need to take life a bit slower for a while. My poor computer has been somewhat neglected as instead I've been snuggling under the covers with a book or three. I've been enjoying walks in the chilly air, visiting the local temple gardens often and soaking up the zen vibes. I had forgotten how refreshing sitting and watching the fish swim in a pond, eating good healthy food and taking care of myself really is. I'm enjoying the time while I can as after Christmas, life will speed up again as I prepare for the big move back to Australia.

I wish everyone a lovable Friday!


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