Friday, June 30, 2023

Smalls SAL for June - 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 Remember Me.  The chart can be found here.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Another Tokyo Disney Price Increase

Tokyo Disney prices went up twice in 2021, and once in 2020. Beginning October 1, 2023, the variable ticket pricing for park tickets to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea will be increasing again. Ticket prices vary depending on the day of the week, holidays, and other factors.

Tokyo Disney is not just for children.  I'm always surprised when I hear about groups of adult women who go to Disneyland or sea. I've never visited the Tokyo Disney Parks and have no plans to do so.  I'm rather frugal and don't especially like to be around crowds of people (less so since the pandemic). Expensive, crowded places just don't mean "the happiest place on earth" to me. 

What do you think about the price increases? Would the cost or the crowds deter you from visiting the parks?

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Work In Progress Wednesday - Continuing with Summer One Thread A Week Challenge

I continued stitching one or more lengths of thread on each of these projects this week.

Apple Pin Cushion - The cross stitching is finished, so I will put this away until the next time the stitch group meets.

The House - another green thread in the grass.

Snow Days - Progress where the scissors are pointing.

Scarf - the blanket stitch inside the running stitch.

Blackwork Sampler - The stitching on this piece is finished, so I will put it aside until I decide what to make it into.

Cross Stitch and Buttons  

Virgin Queen's Pocket - Betsy Morgan

One thread on the needle page where the scissors are pointing.

Dogwood Afghan - I finished the flower where the scissors are pointing.

Mt. Fuji Pouch  - more quilting

Nine Patch Quilt 

Quiltworks - Ruth Dilts

So far so good. I will continue with the Summer One Thread Challenge next week.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Monday Morning Star Count - Kitchen Set Finish

After I finished the other pieces, I decided to make a tea pot mat.

Here are the placemats and tea pot mat on the table.

My fridge and microwave mats and pot holders.

The two dish towels hanging below the sink area.

I like my colorful kitchen set!

Sunday, June 25, 2023

My Prefecture - Shizuoka

Japan is made up of 47 prefectures, and I live in Shizuoka Prefecture. The big island at the top of this map is Hokkaido, where I lived when I first came to Japan.

If you don't live in Japan, you might not be familiar with the geography. Shizuoka is on the Pacific Coast and shares Mt. Fuji with Yamanashi Prefecture. 

The prefecture was established in 1876 from Izu, Suruga, and Totomi provinces.  The population is 3,633,000 (as of the last census in Oct. 2020), the total area is 7,777 square kilometers, and the capital is Shizuoka City. Fujippi is the official mascot of the prefecture.

The prefecture is the leading producer of green tea, mandarin oranges (mikan), and wasabi, as well as almost the only place to find sakura shrimp. 

Famous people from the prefecture include Shimizu no Jirocho (1820-93), an entrepreneur, gangster, and folk figure who had influence with members of the Meiji government; Toyoda Sakichi (1867 - 1930), founder of Toyota Industries; and Inoue Yasushi (1907 - 91), an author known for historical fiction including Ryoju (translated as The Hunting Gun) and Togyu (translated as Bullfight).  

The largest cities and their 2020 populations include Hamamatsu (791,155), Shizuoka City (693,759), Fuji (245, 489), Numazu (189,611), Iwata (166,744), Fujieda (141,385), Yaizu (136,891), Fujinomiya (128,147), Kakegawa (114,989), and Mishima (107,851).

It is easy to travel to other areas of the county by Shinkansen or local trains. I'm not so crazy about the rainy season, but most of the year the weather is comfortable. I love living in Japan, and especially Shizuoka.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

International Day of Yoga in Japan

A large event was hosted by the Indian Embassy in Japan to celebrate the United Nations designated International Day of Yoga on Thursday at Tokyo's Tsukiji Honganji temple. The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated across the world annually on June 21 since 2015. 

This year is the first time I have heard of it. (Maybe because I do not practice yoga.) Do you practice yoga?  Did you know about this annual day of yoga?

Friday, June 23, 2023

Friday Finish - Dragonfly Lace

The stitching has been finished since 2013. I thought I wanted to use it on a box top, but put it away until recently. It was finally time to finish it!

I made a padded box top and twisted cord, attaching it to the top of the box. Inside, I added felt to the top and bottom of the box.

The design is called Dragonfly Lace Sampler and is an original design by Thea Dueck for The Victoria Sampler.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Vitamin D Deficiencies Found in Tokyo Residents

I read an interesting article about a recent study conducted by Jikei University School of Medicine in Tokyo, which found 98 percent of physical exam results in Tokyo showed a lack of vitamin D. Blood tests of about 5,500 adult men and women from the year before the pandemic found that 98 percent of them were below the recommended levels of vitamin D. 

Vitamin D is necessary to properly take in calcium, which leads to strong bones. It can be taken into the body in several ways, including absorption of sunlight, eating fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, and eating mushrooms such as shitake. In the US, milk is commonly fortified with vitamin D, but that is not normally done in Japan. 

Women in Japan commonly wear gloves, sleeves, and hats to prevent the sun leaving marks on the skin, so I suppose that also prevents getting Vitamin D. On the other hand, salmon, mackerel, tuna, and mushrooms are common foods in Japan, so why are so many people in Tokyo below the recommended levels of Vitamin D? This is very curious!  

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Work In Progress Wednesday - Continuing with Summer One Thread Challenge

The projects below have all received at least one thread this week.  Some were hard to put down after only one thread.

New Start - Lizzie Kate freebie - chart found here.

The Apple Pin Cushion

The House - continuing with the yard.

Snow Days -This project is on 36 count linen with silk thread.

The Scarf - I did one purplish-blue thread where the scissors are pointing.

Cross Stitch and Buttons

Blackwork Sampler - I started the second line of the border, but unfortunately, I discovered a mistake in the first line. I will have to do some unstitching before I can continue.

The Virgin Queen's Pocket - Betsy Morgan.  I stitched one thread in the white area, where the scissors are pointing.

The Dogwood Afghan - scissors show stitched area.

Mt. Fuji Pouch

Mini Nine Patch Quilt 

Quiltwork - Ruth Dilts

I feel good about making progress on these projects.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Kyoto Wants Tourists to Pay More to Ride the City Buses

If you've visited Kyoto, you know that the many tourist sites are spread out and that buses are the most common way to get around.  There are only two subway lines and no trains lines running through the largest part of the city. Traveling in Kyoto by bus is about to get more expensive for tourists. Kyoto's municipal government wants to start charging tourists (residents of Japan outside of Kyoto and those from overseas) higher prices than city residents for using city buses. 

It seems there are two reasons given for the plan and they are against each other.  Kyoto mayor Daisaku Kadokawa said the primary reason is to reduce crowding, not raise the price for tourists. The Kyoto City Transportaion Bureau cites a 14.2% drop in Kyoto bus ridership since 2020, as well as having operated in the red for the past three years. Wouldn't raising the prices decrease ridership even more?  In addition, the city announced in March that Kyoto will stop the sales of the one-day unlimited ride bus passes. I've used these all day bus passes and they are very convenient.

The biggest potential roadblock for the tourist price plan is that under current laws the Kyoto bus network is prohibited from unreasonable or unfair fare discrepancies, so it is unknown whether this plan is legal. Time will tell.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Monday Morning Star Count - Flip Edge How To

I like the look of the flip edge on my hexagon epp projects. The first step is to make an edge piece of the same size as the main top.

Next, the top is stitched to connect the edging. (Sorry for the bad picture.)

After it is connected all the way around, the paper hexagons need to be removed.

Next, the connected edging gets flipped to the backside.  I use a chop stick to poke out the points.

I pin the edging so it doesn't shift when I stitch.

I press it to make sure the edge is crisp. Next I will stitch the flipped edge to the backing fabric.

I'm working on attaching the edging on the bigger piece and will soon be flipping this edge also.

I like how this is coming along.