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Big Wheels Keep on Roll’n

April 28, 2010

We’ve had some busy days and busy nights since we’ve been back.  Typical days for us now are: out of bed by 7:30 am (sometimes I’m a little behind on this one), coffee and breakfast, check the emails, and start in on the studios by 9 am.  I’ll usually try to get two small Etsy paintings finished by lunch and after lunch I’m working on some oil paintings.  Motoko’s been putting together some nice pieces of jewelery she is making from reclaimed kimonos and Japanese fabrics, as well as some cool t-shirts.  After dinner, if I’ve been on a roll, its back  to the studio or if I need a break we’ll watch a movie  while working on either posting things online or making hand-made books. Lost is a rerun tonight so things don’t require my attention and I can work on things with more parts of my brain in tact.  Then  it is: try to be in bed by midnight.

Today I sent off a packet for  entry into a juried show at a local gallery that’s been written up in the NY Times before.  I just found out about it last night and the deadline is the 30th.  Cross my fingers on that one or its $25.00 wasted.  Well at least I get to go through some photos from Japan and not think about juries.

The Tsumamizaiku shop

Hey what the heck is <—– that?  That is the shop Motoko and Reiko learned how to make Tsumamizaiku.  I can hear you already.  Tsumamizaiku are traditional Japanese decorative fabric hairpins for women and girls.  Did that sentence have enough adjectives? It was a cold day out but it was in a part of Kyoto I hadn’t been to yet so I thought I’d brave the weather forecast and tag along.  We took the local train and met up with Reiko and hopped a bus over to that side of town, which I’m told is around the Silver Pavilion site.   This was late March and we had packed preparing for spring weather.  We did have some jackets but they weren’t quite up to the job.  Well that day it decided it was going to yuki all over the place.  Snow that is… and man did the wind kick up. We started hunting for this shop and the day started getting windier and colder.  So try to picture us racing around this unfamiliar neighborhood, the snow jettisoning down from the clouds trying dangerous aerial maneuvers, that would make Maverick drop out of top gun, in  attempts to attack us under our umbrellas, and we can’t find the place.  Finally Reiko calls the shop and in under a minute we see this older woman running down the street waving at us.  We’re were found.   Rushed into the small shop we were given some tea and warmed up quickly.  In Japan I drank green tea about every 30 minutes.   Its not a wonder that Japanese people are typed as hardworking…  they are geeked out on caffeine all day.  The tea that they served us at the shop was and interesting blend of green tea with a nice lemon and earth twist.  I swear Japan makes you start talking about food like this. Its all subtleties.

Settling down in the shop.

Choosing their fabrics.

The shop owner pulled out boxes and boxes of fabric cut into squares for them to look at and choose from.  A rainbow of colors; easily 200-300 shades and a giant variety of types that shimmered, wiggled and jiggled. Takusan. There were a lot.

Choices Choices Choices.

Step one. Fold square in a special way and glue to board.

Steps 2-10... repeat step 1.

And after that you glue them all onto a type of hair clip and add string with “petals” to make it look like the flower is shedding petals.  Oh, the transient nature of life.  The beauty of a flower in your hair and the reminder that everything dies.

Kawaii des ne? Cute, isn't it?


Whats a better way to beat a cold snowy day after learning to make a new craft? Mos Burger. recommended by Mos Def himself, at least that's what I've been told.

Mos Burger Chili Dog. Chiri Doggu. Better tasting than the Varsity's. Honto ni. For real.

The patient face masking, "Quit trying to take pictures of it snowing and let's go home!"

Another day had flown by.   We had hopes things would warm up in the next couple of days, however I secretly hoped for it to stay cool a little bit longer…  It would prolong the time before the cherry tree flowers peaking and we’d have cherry blossoms when my relatives and friends made it into town.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tara permalink
    April 28, 2010 1:28 pm

    Great, now I’m craving green tea. Is the hot dog beef? Looks yummy. So, now the last question is – are the hair pins for sale? I want some for the girls and myself and possibly gifts!

    • April 30, 2010 3:24 am

      Hotdog was beef. We are in the process of making more hairpins and will post when they are done.

      Sent from my iPod

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