Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cloud pillow

Made a cloud shape pillow.
Thinking to make a small mat (maybe could be used as a place mat? a snack mat?) with the same pattern, it might be prettier than a pillow.... :D


Monday, January 24, 2011

"My husband".

Found one interesting thing today thanks to my friend, Terri.

When we were talking about my divorce, she asked me why I call my husband "my husband", not by his name. She also continued she was wondering about that for a long time, since she knows my situation and there is no problem to understand when I talk about him called by his name.

Well, my husband is still my husband since we aren't divorced yet, still I am his wife legally, even though we are legally separated for more than an year.

According to Terri, in this culture, when I call my husband "my husband", it sounds like I still have some feeling left for him. Because "my husband" is only one specific person who is in emotional relationship, but it sounds like just a person if you call him by his name because it's just a name and there are many people who has the same name, so, "my husband" is closer relationship than "calling him by his name".

Well, in my culture (Japanese), it is totally opposite.
We don't call people by their first name until we get to know each other well and get to in closer relationship. I call my best friends by her first name, but call other friends by their family name. It never happen in Japan to call your boss by his/her first name, but Mr./Mrs./Mis. --- or by a title. So to call a person by his/her first name means being in closer relationship.

"My husband" is just a way to call him formally in public, there is no other meaning to me. So I will call him by his name from now on when I talk about him. Although I feel like it is strange...

Very interesting, isn't it???


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Japanesey Traditional style quilt.




Finally, new quilt.
Kept thinking of making this, took a while to find right fabrics for this quilt. Since my friend gave me her Japanese boro style fabric about 4 years ago, I was thinking what is good to make with those fabric. I am glad I waited to start the project until I find the batik that go with.

It is interesting to see how "boro" can be an art in foreign country. I think "boro" and "traditional Japanese culture" can be related as kind of art, but original "boro" in Japanese means "dirty", "old", "wear and tear". I don't think my quilt is dirty, old, wear and tear, but I can feel how "boro" and "traditional" can be connected each other.

Hope this quilt will find a good home.

Kyoko

Friday, January 21, 2011

Place mats - Japanese garden -

I would say "everybody" who enjoy crafts have some uncompleted projects left in your craft room for a long time. We call it "UFO".

I don't remember how long this UFO was left, but I remember I was going to make a small pouch or a drawstrings bag with the piece. And then, it was left again, then tried to make something else, and they were left again for a long time. Since they were already quilted pieces when I found them, I decided to turn them out place mats. I am now relieved to see I finished one UFO.

The light green and white checkers pieces were already there, so I made brown solid part later, then connected 2 pieces together with the batik border. I had wanted to try to make "reversible quilt" by method of connecting quilted pieces afterward, I think this was a good practice, and I think it went well :)

Kyoko

Japanesey place mats.

Ummmmm.
Sew pieces of Japanese fabrics, made a big piece, cut it into smaller pieces, added frame and turned into place mats. After quilting, it looks cozy :)

More pictures are available here...
Japanesey Simple Quilted place mats - set of 5 - purple
Japanesey Simple Quilted place mats - set of 4 - navy blue

Making more place mats in other designs, it's fun to work on place mats because it's like making many quilts and can get it done easily since it is small.
 
Kyoko

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Birthday gift from Japan.

I have a friend who doesn't forget to send me a gift for my birthday every year. I think it started since I met her, so... it's almost 30 years (!!!). She didn't stop our gift exchange even after I moved in the USA, so it is still continued. Our gift exchange doesn't cost much, since we both like stationery, and Snoopy (Peanuts). Her birthday is July. It's always fun to pick up something for her little by little preparing for her birthday. Since she works for eye glasses company for years, she always includes a piece of glass clean special fabric in fancy pattern for my eye glasses :)

Kyoko

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Icy!!

Sleet started the late last night, and I see a huge ice skate link outside this morning.
My housemates are going to work as usual, how brave they are......
I was planning to go to the court this morning, but I guess I would cancel it. I am afraid of ice very much....

Kyoko

Friday, January 14, 2011

Visitors.

Now, 2 of them are here....
Well... I think I go to quilting.....

Kyoko

Visitor.

Well, Chloe, you seldom hang around and relax with me...
Wishing for your mom would be back from work soon.

Kyoko

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Board meeting.

My housemates are the president and the vise president of Home Owner Association. They go to meeting once a month, and I started to tag along with them to the meeting for my English listening practice. I tried to make notes about what they discussed, it is sometimes hard to catch up or to understand since 5 people keep talking at the same time, they are sometimes off topics, and new English words for me.

This time, the meeting was about 2 hours, I was bored to death the last 30 minutes, but I think I will be able to understand what they talk about after several times attendance.

Speaking of English practice, I took a placement test for ESL at NOVA (Northern Virginia Community College). I actually took another placement test in the last August, but it was for non-credit ESL, I didn't know the difference between non-credit classes and credit classes. Since my friend let me know that I can apply financial aid for credit course, and to know what my English level is, the placement test I took the other day was for credit classes.

They gave me level 4 of ESL credit course, I was excited to know you can take other college courses if your English skill meets level 4. Not sure what I would like yet, but anyway English comes first for now...

Kyoko

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Birthday cake!

Mont Blanc :D :D - which is a chestnut cake. This is very popular in Japan, it is hard for me to believe this cake is not on the market here! I love Mont Blanc since I was a little. One of my aunt occasionally used to get it for me when I was a little.

Mont Blanc cake images (Japanese site).

My friend called 7 bakeries in my area to ask if they carry it or not, and all of them didn't know what Mont Blanc is. I was going to make it by myself since other of my friend gave me a good recipe and she told me that I can get canned chestnut at Wegman's or Harris Teeter so that I don't have to go through hard process to make chestnut paste.

A pastry chef of one of the bakeries that my friend called called back later, and she said she would like to try to bake the cake specially for me :D :D :D :D

So, here is the Mont Blanc I had for my birthday, they were terrifically delicious !!!!! (>_<)
It was difficult for me to finish the last piece when I thought "This is really the last one!!". I believe the pastry chef should add this cake to her line as regular sales item for her bakery. It will be a big hit for her business!!!

Kyoko

P.S. I really enjoyed until the last tiny piece of this cake..... Gochiso-sama! 



Monday, January 10, 2011

Birthday Card.

The last Friday was my birthday.
I received a dynamic card from my landlord's cats, Sonny and Chloe.
They couldn't spell my name correctly since they are cats :D
Thanks! 

Kyoko

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Recent pictures of my nephews.

Received an email with their pictures from my sister-in-law :)
They looks very fine. So glad.

Kyoko