Thursday, June 30, 2016

2016 Smalls Stitch A Long - Little Fob

This month's small is a little cross stich fob, with a blanket stitch to join the two pieces of linen together.  I used two strands of DMC varigated cotton floss.

Linking up with Heather at Stitching Lotus, the hostess of this stitch a long.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Work In Progress Wednesday - Next Step Beads

This week the little fobs have been calling me, so that has been my main project. I've added the second layer of stitches and the chain stitch that will be used to connect the two sides. The next step is to add the beady dangles.  

The pink block got very little attention this week.  I added a button and a few stitches, but not much to show.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Six a.m. Vegetables

While out walking a few days ago, I came across this little vegetable stand outside someone's house. This person gets up earlier than me!  I bought some cucumbers, leaving my 100 yen coin.  This is one of the things I love about Japan.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Morning Star Count - It Could Be Finished, But It's Not!

I think the flap needs some beads!  

I added the additional quilting and closed the bottom.  I put one snap on the flap to keep it closed.  It could be finished now, but I really think the flap needs a beaded edging.  

I think I might be able to finish it this week.  We'll see.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

"Neko no Te" Cat Cafe Permanently Shut Down

A few weeks ago I wrote about the cat cafe in Tokyo that was closed down for a month for having too many cats and for having sick cats. (You can read about it here).  On June 16th, the government in Tokyo shut the cafe down permanently. This is the first time a cat cafe has had it's license revoked permanently in Japan.  When officials went back to check after 30 days, conditions had not improved. Twenty-three cats were found hidden in a nearby apartment leased by the cafe and the animals had not been taken to a vet to be checked. 

I've heard there is also a cat pub, or izakaya, in Tokyo.  I've not been there, but here is the information I found if you are interested in going.

Neko Bar Akanasu / 猫BAR 赤茄子
Address: Tokyo-to, Nerima-ku, Ashigaoka 1-77-2, second floor
東京都練馬区旭丘1-77-2 2F
Telephone: 03-6915-3166
Open 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Closed Mondays

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Do You Ever Have Days Like This?

I don't know what this is about, but not knowing what things are about in Japan sometimes makes me feel like this looks.

Friday, June 24, 2016

PBS American Experience

I like to watch television programs on Youtube.  My most recent find is the PBS series American Experience.  If you are at all interested in American history, you will want to check out these programs. I thought I knew about these historical people and events from history classes in school, but these programs give all the details you don't get from the history books.  They are all so interesting! So far I've watched programs on the Great San Francisco Earthquake, the Mine Wars, Bonnie and Clyde, the Trans-continental Railroad, Jesse James, and the Alaska Pipeline.  There are still many other AE programs available, so I will be watching for quite a while!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summer Job Opportunity in Japan

Here is a job currently being advertised.  I wish I were young enough to apply!

Togakushi Myoukou Rensan National Park

Located at 2000m elevation. Located on a map between Mt. Myoukou and Mt. Hiuchi. Located at the border of Niigata Pref. and Nagano Pref.

There is less snow there this year than in the last 20 years.

The place is not on the road system. The situation is you live at the hut.

The hut sleeps (can hold) 100 persons. Average is 20 persons per night.

Work is restaurant, cooking, cleaning, maintenance, more cooking, more cleaning, more maintenance. Work schedule is morning 3+ or so hours, afternoon 4 + hours. Primary function is cooking and serving food and doing dishes.

Pay rate is a day rate of 7000-9000 yen.
The right person can work from June 20th to October 15 non-stop. Your food and rent included. The right person can work 100 days in a row or more. 

This job is not to be taken lightly. It is serious, endless hard work at the top of the mountain. 
But at the end of the summer you will have had an excellent experience, learned a lot, seen a lot, practiced your Japanese on a lot of Japanese people, excercised a lot, and have a nice chunk of cash. 
This job is what you make of it. Bring some books. Bring a camera. Bring some sketch paper if you draw. Bring some hiking boots. Bring an open mind. Be careful. Do not catch the hut on fire. Do not get eaten by a bear.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Strawberry Potato Chips

Japan has many seasonal or limited time food items.  I recently saw these potato chips in the store and decided to try them.  There was a faint berry taste, but mostly salty, which is what I like.  I probably won't buy them again, even if they are still available but I'm glad I tried them.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday Morning Star Count - the Tube

The tube is together and the flip hexagons on the flap stitched down.  Here's what the inside looks like.  I need to do some additional quilting on the area where the join is.

This is what the outside (which is still inside) looks like from the top and from the bottom. After I do some additional quilting, I'll join the bottom edge to close it up.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Japan's First Naked Restaurant

I read on RocketNews24 about Japan's first naked restaurant. It's set to open in Tokyo on July 29th and reservations can be made online.  I'm sure I won't be going.  Even if I wanted to go (which I don't - eww), they wouldn't allow me to eat there because I'm too fat!   There are restrictions on who can dine at this restaurant - only people age 18-60, with no tattoos, and who meet the body weight guidelines set by the restaurant.  If you look to be "overweight", there is a scale to weigh you and you will be denied entry if you weigh too much.  It's not a totally naked restaurant - the restaurant gives the diners paper underwear.  And, in case you are wondering, phones and cameras are locked away during the dining experience. So, what do you think, would you want to eat at the naked restaurant (wearing paper underwear, of course)?

Friday, June 17, 2016

Heart Ornament Finish

This piece was my unfinished, but stitched May Smalls SAL.  I've finished into a heart shaped ornament with twisted cord made from cotton floss.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Kakegawa Castle

Last Sunday I took the train to Kakegawa.  Luckily there was no need to tranfer trains or rush, so I was able to stay on my feet.  Good thing because my knees are still sore and bruised from the last incident.  Walking from the train station to the castle, I saw this mural on the side of the building depicting a festival.  

I crossed over a stream and there were millions of lilies on both sides. 

As with all castles it seems, there was a steep hike to get to it.  Once inside, there were also very steep steps and three floors.  

This castle was build about 500 years ago by the daimyo (lord) Yoshitada Imagawa. It was destroyed by the earthquake of 1854.  The castle tower was the first in Japan to be rebuilt entirely of wood.  Its height is almost 20 meters.  It is not as large as it appears, with total floor space inside being 305 sq. meters.   The wings and decoration make it appear larger.  From the top floor, there is a grand view of the entire area.  On a clear day, Mt. Fuji can be seen, but unfortunately it was very cloudy the day I visited and I did not see Fuji san.

Inside were several displays including a small stitched piece on the wall.  

I enjoyed my visit and learned a little about Japanese history.