Friday, December 8, 2023

Friday Finish - Floral Bouquet Set

I found a pillow form that was just the right size at the fabric store inside Bay Dreams shopping mall.

In 2006, I finished this matching bell pull kit. I know it was 2006 because I stitched my initials and the year on the backside.

Nice to have both pieces finished.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Twelve Years

On Tuesday, it was twelve years since I moved to Japan. My, how time flies. I arrived in Hokkaido during a blizzard. I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to start a new life here and I am thankful every day, even for the mountains of snow those first few years.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Work In Progress Wednesday

 A new start - chicken scratch projects, from this book.

Beady Panda Progress

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Elderly Crime at the Nursing Home

This is another strange crime story from Japan.  Strange and sad. 

A 77 year old man in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture was arrested on suspicion of assault for hitting his 80 year old wife with a cane in the nursing home where they both lived. 

According to the police, the incident happened about 4:30 pm last Monday. It was reported the man hit his wife in the face with his cane after accusing her of letting another male nursing home resident come into her room. The wife of the suspect suffered minor injuries to her face and told police no other man had entered her room. The police detained the man for questioning and quoted him as saying, "I guess I must have hit my wife if I'm at the police station." 

I have to wonder if this violence toward his wife is an isolated incident or if this is what their life was like even before coming to the nursing home to live. How very sad.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Monday Morning Star Count - 142 and 4 Rows


Seven new hexagon flowers for a total of 142, plus four rows of 12 connected.

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Birthday Party Lunch

If you've known me long, you know I love my birthday and celebrate the entire month of December. My friends invited me for a sushi birthday lunch yesterday, as they have in the past. They are always so kind. 

After eating sushi, we talked and looked at a United States map and I pointed out various things. I hadn't looked at a US map in a while and I think I had forgotten how big the country is. 

When it was time for me to leave, I was given this trio of special Japanese sweets made especially for me! On the left is Mt. Fuji with sakura petals, Miho no Matsubara (pine trees), ocean waves, and Happy Birthday.  The middle sweet is my favorite animal, complete with a bamboo snack. On the right is a mikan, a tangerine type of citrus fruit which is grown locally.

I am so thankful for the good friends I have here in Shizuoka.  I think I will stay here forever.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

People's Choice SAL - Chocolate



Every month, on the first  Saturday, Jo at Serendipidous Stitching hosts a Stitch A Long, with the topics chosen by her readers. This month's topic is Chocolate. I don't have any stitched chocolate, but in 2015, I did stitch a blackwork piece called Box of Delights, which I imagine are chocolates with fancy tops in a box.

The designer is Elizabeth Almond, Blackwork Journey.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

KitKat Japan Does It Again - Holiday KitKats


KitKat Japan has hundreds of flavors. Now, they come in Santa shapes. The regular chocolate flavored Santas were introduced on November 6th, but I haven't seen them in my local stores. They come individually packaged in packs of six, seven, and twelve.

They are very cute, but a little different than the regular shaped Kitkats because to get the Santa shape, some chocolate areas are a little thicker. 

I think KitKat should get a marketing award for all the flavors and now shapes they come in. As cute as Santa is and even though I do like chocolate, I don't think I will buy any. What do you think about them?

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Work In Progress Wednesday

I finished the stitching on this pillow and need a pillow form for it.  I checked at the closest fabric store to where I live, but they didn't have the size I want.  The store clerk suggesting regular loose fiberfil, but I don't want it to look lumpy.  I will check another fabric store to try to find the size I want.

This is the Japanese hanging I am making with my stitch group. It is coming along.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Stitch Group Sunday - Starting the Japanese Hangings

Another fun afternoon with my stitching friends!

First some show and tell from the last project - drawn thread and chicken scratch.

I had already started my Japanese Hanging, but the rest of the group was starting on Sunday.

Here is what they did during our get together.  We are using kimono and obi cuts for these hangings. We will meet again next month to continue.

Tea and sweets

Until we meet again...

Monday, November 27, 2023

Monday Morning Star Count - 135 and 3 Rows

Seven new hexagon flowers for a total of 135.

I have connected three rows of 12 flowers. 

I think I have enough flowers made for about eight more rows. Not enough! Until next week...

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Japanese Textile Artist Konekono Kitsune

It is easy to get lost on the internet looking at interesting embroidery.  Here is another - 

Broccoli (2021) by Japanese textile artist, Konekono Kitsune

(I won't be able to look at vegetables the same way again.)

Saturday, November 25, 2023

The Self Check Out Gadgets at the Grocery Store


At the grocery store where I regularly shop, there are gadgets like these that shoppers can use to scan their own items. (This photo is from the internet, but my store has the same kind of set up.) I have not used them myself, but I see many Japanese people at my store using them. After scanning the items and putting them in the shopping basket, the shoppers go to a self checkout area with no live cashiers to scan their gadgets, then pay by cash, credit card, or smart phone. 

Since I have never tried them, I don't know if the gadgets are more convenient or if they save the shopper time. Maybe they save the store money. Or it might be that there is a shortage of workers for the cashier jobs.

I take my basket to a live person cashier, who scans my items and directs me to a pay machine that takes my cash and spits out a receipt.  I understand how this works, so that is what I do. The cashiers greet me and seem to recognize me. Sometimes they tell me things, like if I spend another 50 yen, my eggs will be half price that day. They know I can't read the sign next to the eggs. I appreciate their letting me practice speaking Japanese without laughing at me. I'm not in a hurry and I like the interaction with the store workers.  

Do you have these store scanners where you live?  Do you use them?

Friday, November 24, 2023

Smalls SAL for November - 2023


Thank You, Mary (at Mary's Thread) for hosting this link up. If you also want to join, check out this page on Mary's blog to find out how. 

This month, I finished the Lizzie Kate freebie called Give Thanks.  The chart can be found here.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Separate Thanksgiving Celebrations for Republican and Democratic States

Today is the American holiday, Thanksgiving. To tell the truth, I am very thankful not to be in the United States today. I am sick about what is happening in the country I once thought of as mine. Who could have imagined in 1939 when the big problem was which Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving that there would be the big division between the political parties there is now? 

I have many things to be thankful for every day, not just the fourth Thursday in November. For me, life is good.

Please read this interesting article about which day to celebrate the holiday, which comes from and is by Anne Ewbank, written in 2017.

IN 1939, PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DELANO Roosevelt faced a dilemma. He was responsible for declaring the last Thursday of November to be a day of Thanksgiving—something American presidents had done since Abraham Lincoln began the tradition. But November of 1939 had five Thursdays, which would shorten the holiday shopping season. Retailers still struggling from the Great Depression encouraged him to move Thanksgiving earlier by a week. To the country’s shock, Roosevelt agreed. For the next three years, some states recognized the federal government’s new Thanksgiving date, while others defiantly stuck with the old one.

Roosevelt had rejected previous requests to change the date of Thanksgiving, fearing that he would foil local plans and disrupt football schedules. But according to The New York Times, due to the urging of “department stores, general stores, small stores, and almost every kind of store,” Roosevelt announced on April 14, 1939, that Thanksgiving would be on November 23 instead of the expected November 30.

Angry Americans sent Roosevelt thousands of letters and telegrams about the breach of tradition and their disrupted schedules. An anguished calendar maker from Salem, Ohio, wrote in a letter to the White House that the decision would cause “untold grief” in the industry, since 1939 calendars and many 1940 calendars had already been printed. Just as the White House had predicted, football schedules were scrambled, leading some coaches to vow to vote Republican.

Things quickly became partisan. Several states ignored the presidential proclamation due to tradition or convenience, and others ignored it to snub Roosevelt, a Democrat. This muddled schedules even more. A girl in a New York boarding school wrote Roosevelt on October 18 that her home state, Republican-governed Connecticut, was celebrating Thanksgiving on the later date, making it impossible to go home for the holiday.

In 1939, 22 states celebrated Thanksgiving on the new date, and 23 on the old. But Texas, Colorado, and Mississippi took the best approach: They celebrated Thanksgiving on both dates. Many Americans did the same. In New York City, which celebrated the earlier date, restaurants offered turkey dinners on the “old” Thanksgiving date, too.

Journalists and politicians invented names to mark the confusion. The mayor of Atlantic City called the new date “Franksgiving,” which stuck. Others used the moniker “Democratic Thanksgiving” or “New Deal Thanksgiving,” describing it as another example of the president inappropriately flexing his executive powers.

People were still confused a year later. In 1940, a restaurant sent a telegram to the White House: “CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR REELECTION. WHEN SHALL WE SERVE OUR THANKSGIVING TURKEY 21ST? OR 28TH?” Only 32 states ultimately celebrated on the new Thanksgiving date. After a survey of 200 stores depicted no real economic benefit, Roosevelt announced that 1942’s Thanksgiving would be held on the original, traditional date.

The president seemed to find his failed Franksgiving experiment funny. The New York Times reported that he seemed lighthearted at the press conference, which was supposed to be about wartime foreign policy. But Congress was less jolly. In October of 1941, the House passed a resolution to make Thanksgiving a public holiday, celebrated on the last Thursday of November regardless of presidential proclamation.

But the resolution was amended when it got to the Senate. Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the fourth Thursday. That way, most Thanksgivings would happen on the last Thursday, without cutting the holiday season short in other years. Still, some states held onto the last-Thursday date for years, sustaining the sense of confusion. In the 1942 movie Holiday Inn, which starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, an animated scene shows a turkey hopping between two potential dates before giving up with a shrug.

And the two-Thanksgivings phenomenon didn’t end there. In 1944, which featured another five-Thursday November, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, and Tennessee all celebrated a week after the rest of the country. Texas was the last holdout, observing Thanksgiving on the last Thursday until 1956. Today, Americans all celebrate on the same date, without waiting for a presidential proclamation. In 2017, that’s probably a good thing, because President Trump might have kept the country in suspense.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Work In Progress Wednesday

New start

New start - Japanese Hanging (stitch group project)

Floral Pillow Cover progress 

Kogin progress

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Japanese Artist, Hosanna Hirano


Lin, who blogs at St. Victor Quilt introduced me to Hosanna Hirano.  (Thank you Lin!)

I'm not on instagram, but if you are, you can check her out at @towelket_tokyo

You can also see more at the website here.