Friday, February 28, 2014

End of the School Year

In Japan, the school year runs from April to March, with a little break in March between school years.  At the last class meeting of the school year, my music English students at the University gave me these beautiful and very delicious cookies.  Sweet of them, don’t you think?


I will be teaching these same Music students and a new group of Outdoor Life students at the University when the new school year begins. I really enjoy the university students, and it doesn’t hurt to only have to travel across the street for classes.

I still have a few more weeks of classes left at the children's English school in Sapporo and I have opted not to renew my contract for another year.  Having to travel to Sapporo in the winter weather, never being sure if I’d be able to get home, sealed the deal.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday - On Thursday

I made no progress on the small garden this week.  I stitched on my RSN garden with the Tuesday group.  I worked on the bushes in the opposite corner using all the different colors.  I also made a couple of plants near the water - more plants to come.

Here are the other gardens with mine.  We are all having a good time choosing stitches and threads.

It’s hard to see in the photos, but on the dragon, I’m working on the sparkle over stitching.

So much for my big project progress this week.  Hop over to SharonB’s Pintagle to check out the progress everyone else has made this week.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 Smalls SAL - In the Burgundy Scissors Fob

Here’s my completed small for February – a tiny biscornu fob, using the Fisherton de la Mere embroidery technique.  The pattern and the Silken Pearl thread (SP10 074: In the Burgundy by the Thread Gatherer) were a gift from Margaret.  I used the called for threads and beads, but used white 32 count linen in place of the tan called for in the pattern.  The finished size is about 2 inches by 2 inches.


The pattern is from Barbary Row by designer Sherelyn Whiteman.  From the instructions: “the style of embroidery is essentially pulled work with the addition of surface stitches.  It is named after the village of Fisherton de la Mere, where, in the late 19th centery (1890), Fisherton House was the home of a distinguished embroideress, Mrs. Josephine Mary Newall (d. 1923).  She adapted 16th and 17th century embroidery techniques, and developed and taught this style of embroidery, thus establishing a cottage industry for the cripples and the less fortunate individuals in the parish.  For over 30 years she provided the linen and threads for them to work the embroidered pieces.  She would then sell the pieces for them, passing the income received on to them.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Takikawa Lantern Festival

(I've added a tab to the top of my blog with links to posts about festivals we've attended in Japan).

Saturday afternoon, Ted and I took the local train to the town of Takikawa to attend the  12th annual Lantern Festival.  We arrived before dark and took a few photos before the official opening ceremony at 5 pm. After the opening, lighters were handed out so all of the candles could be lit.  There were about 14,000 paper bag lanterns, each with snow inside holding a candle. The venue for this event covers the train station area, the main street, several side streets, and the area around a shrine. The entire festival lasted only three hours and it was amazing.  We love living in Japan.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Morning Star Count - Starting the Runner's Edge

I basted 48 hexagons to use for the edge on the back side of the table runner.  I whip stitched them together in the shape of the edge.  Now I have them clipped right sides together to stitch the outside edges.

Check back next week for my progress on the edges.  If all goes well, this is the edge I’ll use on the quilt, but I’m trying it out on a smaller scale first.

I’m linking up with Jessica at Life Under Quilts.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Toilet Reading

This sign is in the women’s toilet at the modern art museum.  Most public toilets in Japan feature a toilet flushing sound machine, like the one pictured, so no one can hear what you are doing in the toilet stall.  I'm not sure why you wouldn't want anyone to hear you reading a book while hiding out in the toilet. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sampler Pear V

I took a break from my bigger projects to work on another of the pears.  This is pear #5 and the sixth of the twelve I have stitched. For this one, I used 28 count linen and two strands of DMC 4240.

Here are the other five I have stitched.

When I get all 12 completed, I will finish them all at the same time.  I think they will be tree ornaments.  The charts for all 12 are available for free at Samplers and Santas.

Friday, February 21, 2014


Pandas are popular in Japan and cute pandas can be found everywhere. Ted was in Sapporo without me and brought home this treat - chocolate for him, apple for me.