Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween!

The last day of October.  Really? So far, this is the strangest year ever.  

Halloween isn't a big holiday in Japan, but in recent years it has been catching on and becoming Japan's version of it. I haven't heard anything about it this year, but I'd guess it's not going to be the big celebration in Tokyo because of the pandemic.  From what I've read in the US news, trick or treating has been cancelled there too. 

I have good memories of Halloween as a child. We roamed the streets in our costumes, without adult supervision, and collected big bags of candy and treats. At school there were parties in the classroom with cupcakes made by someone's mother. At the girl scout meeting, we bobbed for apples and ate more cupcakes and sweets. Were those the "good ole days"?  Too much sugar!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2020

Friday Finish - Eyelet Box Lid

 I finished the stitching earlier this week and made it into a box lid.  This one didn't turn out as nice as the others. (here and here

Oh well.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Updated Subway Manners Poster

 Here is the latest Tokyo subway bad manners poster. It's been updated to show people wearing masks. One thing I find interesting is that the people with bad manners in 1 - 5, have blond or red hair (foreigners?). What do you think?

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Work In Progress Wednesday - Some New Starts

 I came across a little piece of left over fabric and decided to start a new eyelet fob.

I also found this small piece of fabric with squares and decided to start a Christmas ornament with it.

I thought this would be another ornament, but now I think it might be too big. I'll have to stitch more and decide.

Another new start is this bluebell cross stitch design from this book.  This might be finished as a pillow.

I started this last week at stitch group and have worked a little more on it.

I'm good at starting new things.  Finishing them, well, maybe not so good.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Foot Operated Vending Machine

 Vending machine technology is keeping pace with the pandemic. Dydo vending machine company has come up with a foot operated drink machine for those who are reluctant to touch the buttons with fingers when making a purchase. 

At the bottom of the machine are buttons with numbers corresponding with the drink offerings.  All you have to do is touch the button with your foot. There is also a foot pedal on the right side to open the plastic door to get the drink bottle. There are cashless payment options too, so the only thing you have to touch is the bottle of the drink you are purchasing.  

What do you think? Are you afraid to buy a vending machine drink during the pandemic?  Would this machine make you feel safer?

Monday, October 26, 2020

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 25

Year Four of the temperature quilt  

Week 25 

October 11 - 17 

73, 77, 77, 70, 64, 64, 59 

I am reporting the high temperature each day.  My Year Four 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  

You can see my finished Year One Quilt here.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Japanese Autumns Past

This is such a strange year. How can it be autumn again already?  Where is the time going? I took a look back on some photos from the last nine autumns in Japan. Here are a few of the many.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Special Bags to Protect the Nara Deer

The deer living in Japan's former capital of Nara are considered sacred messengers of the gods and are protected.  In 1957 the deer were designated as national treasures.  While technically wild animals, they are pretty tame and beg tourists for the deer crackers that are sold all around the city's central park. In addition to the deer crackers, they eat  trash that tourists leave around.

Last year several of the 1200 or so deer that wander around were found dead after swallowing plastic bags.  One of the dead deer had more than 4 kg. of plastic in its stomach!

This year, new bags have been developed made from recycled milk cartons and rice bran. If the deer do eat the bags, they will not harm the deer. I think this is a great idea.  

Have you ever visited Nara and seen the deer?

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Elementary School Lunch in Japan

What do you remember about lunch when you were in elementary school? Did you bring your lunch or eat lunch in the cafeteria or go home for lunch? I ate in the cafeteria. I remember it cost 35 cents a day. I don't remember all the meals, but I think they were more kid friendly than healthy. On Fridays, my school had fish sticks. I also remember tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. There was always some kind of dessert, like a piece of cake or a brownie. And the little cartons of milk.  

Here are photos of lunches at an elementary school in Hokkaido. No dessert, lots of vegetables, fish, and rice. And the little cartons of milk.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Work In Progress Wednesday - More of the NYE SAL and a Tiny Footstool

Magical's Quilt's hosted this Stitch-A-Long for New Year's Eve 2019. I worked on it over New Year's Eve and a little more after that.  Here is my last progress on this project. I left off at part 13, of 32 parts. Here is what I have done with it this week.

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17 

Part 18

Part 19

I also stitched this tiny footstool cushion.  It is a kit from Janet Granger.  Last year, I ordered several miniature kits from her. Now I need to put the stitching together to make the actual footstool.  Stay tuned to see this, hopefully sometime soon.