Moving

Since I am out of photo space for this blog, after considering a number of options, I have decided to start Crafty Tokyo Mama II.  I know, I know, how imaginative is that?  I was going to open separate blogs for each area of my life, but you know what?  That is a real pain to set up so let’s just forget that and keep on with the same format, only at another address.  Please come over and see what I’ve been up to this past month.  I just realized there are a couple more things I’ve made that didn’t make it into that post, so once I get pictures taken, I’ll share them with you.

Please come and see my new blog, and sign up for e-mail alerts if you like so you never miss a post.  You’ll find me HERE!

Happy New Year & a Quilty coincidence

 

 

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Happy 2014 to you!  I hope your dreams will come true this year.

Last month I was reading a post from one of the quilting blogs I follow and was very surprised to see the name of an acquaintance on the fabric right in the center of one of her apple quilt blocks.  (You can see the post HERE.   Fabric with text and writing on it is all the rage in quilty blogland right now.)  I have not met Mrs. Ito personally, but recognize her name from my AFWJ foreign wives group.  We are a small group and I mail out our bimonthly club journals so I have come to know everyone’s names.

I set out to search online for this fabric and was doubly surprised to also find my little town in Oregon listed on there, as well as some other antique-y newspaper ads from Oregon.  What are the chances of ever seeing fabric with so many things related to my life on it all at once?

The fabric was out of print and I could only find bits and pieces on Etsy at high prices, what with that crazy international shipping.  I thought to do a search in Japanese and lo and behold I found a shop from my old Japan hometown offering it, another coincidence!  Her price was reasonable so I got two colorways, red and white.  I’ve been using it as the background for my shop photos lately because I like it so much.

The Japanese shop, Cotton Garden, sent me an e-mail this month informing that they were going to open a traveling shop for the weekend in Osaka so I bundled up and headed out to Osaka to see them in person.

The owner was a lovely lady who had been to Portland many times and loves it.  She was happy to hear my story of coincidences, too.  I even found a set of matching prints from the same designer with a bit of that fabric in brown so I bought that pack too, along with a number of other unique prints.  As we were talking, lots of people came to look at her shop and she thanked me for bringing in customers. :-)  When I was ready to leave, she was busy with people so I couldn’t say goodbye.  I looked in the other shops on the same floor and then when I was ready to leave, saw that she was not busy anymore so I went to say goodbye.  She gave me two packs of scraps as a thank you for coming.  I will definitely stop in at her shop when we visit my in-laws next time.

Last week I finally had some time to sit and make up some bags for Jill.  I hope she likes them and will get a kick out of having personalized bags now.  :-)  She used to write a cooking column for the newspaper here, so it is just funny that the fabric designer chose that particular column, and a free antique shop paper from Oregon to use for her fabric.  Now I’ll have to make something from the Oregon part for me!

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30% Off at Sandra Spencer Art!

Sandra is having a big sale in her Etsy shop until January 2nd:  30% off everything, even things that were already on sale, including a handmade quilt!  I have my eye on one painting already, how about you?

 

Christmas sewing

There are so many fabulous sewing tutorials out there in Internetland that spark your interest and make it look like you can make a wonderful project in just a short time.  These Christmassy ones drew me in this month and I gave them a whirl.

These are paper pieced Christmas tree coasters.  They came together really quick.

Christmas tree coasters

Christmas tree coasters

This is a fun coffee cup sleeve.  I did not clip the corners correctly so it is a bit puckered.  I also do not have any insulated batting, only cotton or polyester batting.  I’ve asked at all the sewing stores in town and no one has even heard of Insulbrite over here!

Christmas tree coffee cup sleeve

Christmas tree coffee cup sleeve

This one took a bit longer because I like to fussy cut.  It is called a cookie plate crumb catcher.

Cookie crumb catcher

Cookie crumb catcher

It’s just the right size for a plate or serving bowl.

Crumb catcher at work

Crumb catcher at work

It is much prettier in person.  The colors look a bit washed out under the fluorescent lights.  Lots of gold detailing and even gold threads in the plaid!

Arashiyama Illumination

For two weeks in December, there is a special nighttime illumination display around Arashiyama.  I biked over there last night to see what I could see.  It was freezing cold, but worth it!  What a great way to get people out during the cold season.

Farmhouse gate with persimmon tree

Farmhouse gate with persimmon tree

Lighted street

Lighted street

Nisoin Temple gate with ikebana arrangement

Nisoin Temple gate with ikebana arrangement

Pilgrim writing a haiku

Pilgrim writing a haiku

The farmhouse gate in the first picture is there in the background, between the pilgrim and the lantern.  You can kind of see the persimmon tree.  It’s really dark where there are no lights!

Pilgrim resting

Pilgrim resting

Jojakkoji temple gate and ikebana

Jojakkoji temple gate and ikebana

The highlight!  Bamboo tunnel!

The highlight! Bamboo tunnel!

Gate and bamboo grove

Gate and bamboo grove

Looking up

Looking up

Ikebana in bamboo grove

Huge Ikebana in bamboo grove

Bamboo tunnel

Bamboo tunnel

Illuminated mountainside

Illuminated mountainside

It had just rained before I got there so everything smelled fresh and dewy.  I hope you are enjoying your December so far!

Free Shipping in my Etsy & Zibbet shops

Come and take advantage of free worldwide shipping through Monday, December 2nd, in my Etsy shop.  Use coupon code THANKS13 when you check out.

For my Zibbet shop, please check out as usual and I will refund your shipping cost via PayPal.

Hope to see you there!

Smiley gourds

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Embroidery pattern giveaway at Sandra Spencer Art!!

Hello my crafty, sew-y friends!  My sister received a windfall of cute Aunt Martha’s embroidery transfers from one of her customers and is sharing the love with her blog readers!  Head on over to her giveaway post HERE and see if you can’t win yourself some embroidery pattern goodness.  Good luck!

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