Friday, April 26, 2019

Smalls Stitch A Long 2019 - April

This month I stitched an ornament from Magical Quilt's Friday Freebie Ornament of the Month series. I used DMC Flower thread, Krienik gold, and #15 gold beads.








This year's Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary at Mary's Thread.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Golden Week 2019







This year Golden Week will be ten consecutive days of holidays in Japan. Normally, Golden Week consists of four national holidays in a seven day period, but this year, with the abdication of the current emperor and his son ascending to the throne, it becomes a rare ten day holiday period.  


It begins with the weekend, Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th, followed by the first national holiday, Showa Day on Monday the 29th.  Showa Day is the birthday of the former Emperor, who died in 1989. 


This year a one time holiday was created on May 1st to celebrate the Crown Prince's succession, followed by the regular holidays May 3rd (Constitution Day), 4th (Greenery Day), and 5th (Children's Day). Japanese law stipulates that any weekday sandwiched between national holiday becomes a holiday, so April 30th and May 2nd become holidays this year.  In addition, because Children's Day (May 5th) falls on a Sunday, it is observed on Monday the 6th.  


April 27th through May 6th makes Golden Week ten days this year.  There will be an additional holiday this year on October 22nd, Sokuirei Seiden no Gi, an enthronement event for the new Emperor. 


Since the end of World War II, Japan has enacted special laws to create holidays for imperial celebrations three other times.  The Emperor and Empress were married on April 10, 1959; the enthronement of the Emperor on November 12, 1990; and the wedding of of the Crown Prince and Princess on June 9, 1993.  In addition February 24, 1989 was designated a one time holiday due to the funeral of the current Emperor's father.



Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Stitching Bunnies

On Sunday, three of us got together to stitch.  I had seen a cute tutorial on the Craftpod Blog for a Spring Bunny Finger Puppet out of felt and thought it would be fun for the stitchers.  Yes, it was both cute and fun! (And did I say fast?)  





After stitching the bunnies and playing with them a little, we worked on Assisi or hardanger or an ornament (me). I hope to have the ornament finished by Friday.  



The bunnies were very interested in our treats.  





Until next time!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

It is Best to Bring Your Own




In Japan, you can't always be sure there will be toilet paper available in public toilets.  You might want to bring your own little packet of tissues in your bag. Otherwise, you better have a 100 yen coin so you can buy some.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 50

Year Two of the temperature quilt  

Week 50

April 7 - 13  

68, 55, 61, 46, 59, 54, 61 




I am reporting the high temperature each day.  My Year Two temperature/color (Fahrenheit) scheme remains the same: 

100 + Brown 

90-99 Red  

80-89 Orange 

70-79 Yellow  

60-69 Green  

50-59 Blue 

40-49 Purple 

30-39 Pink 

20-29 White 

10-19 Black  

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easters Past

Easter isn't well known or celebrated in Japan.  The overall Christian population in Japan is low. On Crazy Victoriana Crazy for Quilts, Janie asked the question, "How do you and your family celebrate Easter?"  


When I was a child, I went to Sunday School and Church (Redeemer Luthern Church in Gillespie, Illinois) in a new Easter dress and decorated boiled eggs and received an Easter basket with chocolate and marshmallow Peeps from the Easter Bunny. 


In the last few years before coming to Japan, we hosted Ted's mom for the holiday weekends and colored eggs. Sometimes we took a little trip to the Botanical Gardens or Lake Johnson or another place.  One year we went to Appomattox. 


 




Now that I am in Japan, I think about Easter on the day and remember why it is celebrated, but that's the extent.  No church or chocolate candy or marshmallow Peeps or colored eggs. I did receive a card from my friend Jeanette in the US.



Saturday, April 20, 2019

Spring Festival

Last Sunday was the Spring Festival where I work.  It is an annual free community event with many children's activities.  














Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Stitching on Sunday

The stitch group met on Sunday afternoon. I worked on some little fobs and the rest of the group worked on hardanger.  











We have many ideas for future projects.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

92 Year Old English Learner

I recently read a heart-warming story about 92 year old great-grandmother, Setsuko Takamizawa, deciding to conquer the English language before next year's Tokyo Olympics.  When she was young she was not allowed to study English. When World War Two broke out, she was a first year high school student and the following year English was banned as the enemy language.


She is one of more than 200,000 people who have applied to be volunteers at the Olympics and Paralympics. Less than one percent of the volunteer applicants are over the age of 80. The ability to speak English is not mandatory to be a volunteer, but it is a crucial skill and Mrs. Takamizawa wants to take this opportunity to finally learn the language. Her grandchildren helped convince her that she is not too old to learn. 


According to the EF English Proficiency Index, Japan ranks 49th, which is considered low proficiency. (Sweden ranked is 1st, with very high proficiency).  

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Work In Progress Wednesday - More Handquilting, a New Ornament Start

I'm still working on the hand quilting of my Year 1 Temperature Quilt.  I think the repetition of hand quilting is kind of soothing.  




I started a new ornament for the Smalls Stitch A Long and plan to have it finished by the end of the month.




Today is the start of a new term.  I have some new students and some continuing, a new schedule to learn, more than enough to keep me busy!  I love living in Japan.