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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Travel Japan – Shopping – Kimono Accessories

My last day in Kyoto was for shopping – very wise planning by Esprit Travel and Tours. The next morning when I checked out, I sent my large bag and the smaller one that was in it to the airport to wait for me. The next week I would travel with just may backpack.

I brought slacks and tops to discard as I went. For the next week I had the slacks I was wearing and another pair. As I shopped in the next week I could let go go clothes and make some room in my backpack. Also, I planned to ship purchases directly to the airport.

I started out early and shopped near my hotel. Then I went back to leave my purchases in my room. The hotel, the Toyoko-In Shijo Omiya, caters to businessmen and depends on the clientele being out of their rooms during the day while they clean. Using my handy dandy translator card, I was able to communicate that I wanted to leave my purchases in my room. the manger accompanied me up to my room while I left off my bags.

The doors to the rooms were open and the only ones on the floor were hotel staff. I am guessing they go through all the rooms and clean all the bathrooms then vacuum all the rooms etc. The rooms are very clean.

I had this kimono from a previous trip.

I purchased these accessories to go with it. Now I have to figure out how to put them on properly.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Abundance, Japan

 

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FATHER’S DAY GIFTS TO MAKE — A seatbelt strap cover

Do you have a person in your life who is bothered by the seatbelt strap rubbing their neck? How about a seatbelt strap cover for Father’s Day?

To make this you will need:

2 oz. yarn (Red Heartt worsted medium)

knitting needles –  size15

crochet hook – size K

I wanted it to be thick and cushioned so I used two strands of yarn together.

Cast on 23 stitches. Knit 12 rows to make a rectangle approximately 5  1/2″ x 9″. ( 14 x 23 cm.)

Use the yarn at the end to crochet a row across the longer side. This row will form loops for buttonholes.

SC, (single crochet) in the first stitch, then ** chain 3, then skip one stitch and SC  in the third stitch. SC in the next three stitches.**

Repeat this direction between the ** three more times. Finish the row with chain three and then SC in the last stitch.

This should give you 5 evenly spaced button loops. Tie off the yarn and weave in the ends.

Next make crochet buttons. Take two strands of yarn and chain two. Leave about a 4″ tail of yarns.

SC 8 times in the second chain from the hook. Work tight.

Decrease 4 times. Pull the original yarn ends through the center of the button. Pull tight and tie off the ending yarn. Leave about 4″ ends on this also. Make 5 buttons.

Attach each button directly across from a loop. Place the button on the right side and pull the yarn ends through to the wrong side. Tie securely and weave in the ends. Block, wrap, give.

See also how to make a crown or bedside pocket.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2011 in How to

 

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MY EXPERIENCES WITH CREATING ABUNDANCE — Pretend ‘as if’.

Plumeria

Pretending ‘as if’ goes like this. When you want something, you pretend you have the wherewithal to get it. Then you go to wherever you would get it, if you could. For example if you want a new dress, you go to a dress store and try some on.

I’m not saying go out of your budget and buy it, I’m just sayin’ – pretend.

A woman I know went and tried on wedding dresses even though she was not in a relationship. She is married now, years later.

My experience has been,  that the item is often on sale and sometimes I CAN get it. One of the first times I did this, I took my niece to get a leotard for gymnastics. I decided to pretend as if. I watched as she went to the cheapest leotards. I had taught her to do this.

I told her we were going to pretend to get the one she liked the best in all the store. She picked out one with swoops of color on it. It was very beautiful and it was on sale 50% off and we got it.

My experience has been when I’ve done this that the item is often on sale and sometimes I can get it. At the very least, you get the experience of treating yourself well.

I’d love to hear about any experiences you have with this. As with everything I share, check it out and see if it works for you.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Abundance

 

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Travel Japan – Bizen Pottery

Photo by JAR ()

My first Sunday in Japan, I traveled to Bizen pottery village .

My first stop was the Bizen museum as recommended by Esprit Travel and Tours. It was uplifting and inspiring to see the work of masters in the art. I fell in love with a coffee cup in their shop. When I went to pay for it; I found they don’t take credit cards. I asked what places do take credit cards and they marked it on a walking map of the village that had all the pottery studios listed.

I found myself wishing I could live there. The town is so charming.

It is very beautiful and the streets were newly paved since my last visit.

I found what I wanted – a coffee cup that reminded me of the ones at Somushi’s. Their pottery is not from Bizen, it just looks like it to me.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had a little brown teapot. I used to drink tea sitting in a garden window and write letters to my birth family. When I saw this teapot, it took me back to that time and brought tears to my eyes. I bought both these items at a co-op gallery.

Yes, there is a little chip in the spout, that I did. Funny but my old teapot had a chip in the spout also. All my pottery pieces arrived home with me unchipped and in excellent condition. They pack them well.

Before boarding my train back to Kyoto, I had time to stop at the small restaurant at the train station. I was enchanted to find myself surrounded with beautiful pottery.

The menu had pictures of the food, so I pointed at what I wanted. The waitress communicated to me that they only had one item available at this time.

When it arrived I was even more enchanted. It was served on a chilled Bizen plate and it was this beautiful dessert.

There was a card on the table advertising beer and I held it up and asked for one. My waitress said it’s non-alcoholic. I laughed and said that is probably even better for me.

When she brought it, it was in a chilled Bizen glass. It doesn’t get any better than this. Now I want to go back to Bizen to get a plate and a glass.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Abundance, Japan

 

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FATHER’S DAY GIFTS TO MAKE — A Bedside Pocket

Here are directions to make a bedside pocket for a Father’s Day gift.

It looks like this, with a big pocket for a book or personal electronics and smaller pockets for pen and paper or eyeglasses or cell phone. You can adjust the size of the pockets based on what kinds of things it will be used to hold.

It goes in between the mattress and box spring like this.

You will need:

Sturdy fabric and thread to match or contrast. (Don’t use knit or stretch fabric)

Sewing machine and tools including –

    Measuring tape

    Chalk

    Scissors

Cut or tear a piece of fabric 24″x10″. (61cm x 25 1/2cm)

Next cut a pocket 9″ by 10″ (23cm x 25 1/2cm) and a smaller pocket piece 7″ x 10″ (17 1/2cm x 25 1/2 cm)

Press under 1/2 ” (1 1/4cm) on the longer side of the pocket pieces.

Then fold over and press another inch, (2 1/2cm).

Sew across this folded edge. I used contrasting thread and a zigzag stitch for decoration.

Repeat for the smaller pocket.

Pin or baste the smaller pocket on top of the larger one, keeping the bottom edges even.

The next photo shows chalk marks to divide the small pocket into sections. Leave 1/2″ (1 1/4cm) for seam allowance and then measure over 2″ (5cm) more from the left side and mark the small pocket from top folded edge to bottom. Make another mark 2′ (5cm) more to make another pen section and notepad section.

Sew along chalk lines reinforcing stitches at the top edge.

Place the pocket pieces on top of one end of the long fabric piece, keeping the right sides of fabric facing each other. Sew around the three outer edges in a 1/2″ (1 1/4cm) seam. Reinforce and trim the corners.

Pink or seam the other end of the long piece. Fold it over, right sides facing and press at 9 1/2″ (24cm). Sew a 1/2″ (1 1/4cm) seam at the raw edges. It will overlap the pockets.  Reinforce and trim the corners.

Turn it all right side out.

Press as needed .Brush off the chalk marks and fill with a new pen, etc.  Have fun and let me know how it goes for you.

See also how to make a crown or seatbelt strap cover

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2011 in How to, Making Lei

 

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MY EXPERIENCES WITH CREATING ABUNDANCE — Wanting Things.

Plumeria

When you want things, ask for them for your highest good. What I mean is, that you want things that will be good for you, not the things that you are sorry you asked for, once you get them.

You can also add that you would like this thing or better. Once I did this when I was going to a writer’s workshop. I asked to get a publishing contract out of it, for my highest good of course, and I added, this or better please,  Address this to the universe or god or whatever is your source.

I came away from the workshop with an editor’s words in my ears that my story was the best thing she read that weekend and that it needed to be a book. I realized getting spurred on to write a book was better than having a story published. I did go on to write that book.

It is so comforting to think that something better is coming when you don’t get something. Perhaps the whole thing is a psychological trick to play on yourself. Whatever! It works and when you go looking for the better — you are likely to find it.

Also, consider adding for your own highest good and also that of all concerned. I find they are really the same thing.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2011 in Abundance

 

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Frozen computer

In order to keep some sanity there is no post so far this week due to technical difficulties.

Thank goodness for a computer savvy husband. XD

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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FATHER’S DAY GIFTS TO MAKE — A Crown

For Mother’s day, I sent some of the mothers in my life a crown I made using this pattern from Midnight Knitter.

Tiaras

You can’t see it in this picture but the crown ties in the back so one size fits all and it can be used as a necklace.

Father’s are regal too, so I decided to make some for Father’s Day. I wanted to omit the tie in the back so I made double the front and joined the ends.

and this one.

I made them with rattail for extra stiffness.

See also how to make a seatbelt strap cover or bedside pocket.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2011 in How to

 

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MY EXPERIENCES WITH CREATING ABUNDANCE — Saying No.

Plumeria

It occurred to me some years back that to have wealth, I needed to be able to say no to people. My experience has been the ‘takers’ out there are happy to relieve you of your wealth.

At that time, I consciously started practicing saying no. It became fun and felt empowering. I have said no to people who stopped talking to me and stopped interacting with me. That was my biggest fear, that I would lose them as friends. My biggest learning was that they never were friends really and this left me free to move on to truer friends.

The courage to say no and risk what happened next, came out of being tired of the way things were going and feeling determined to grow in healthy ways.

I think it happens naturally as a byproduct of listening to yourself and taking care of yourself.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2011 in Abundance

 

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Travel Japan — Up The Creek

My fifth day in Japan, I planned to travel from Kyoto to Imbe, the home of Bizen pottery.

For years I had been dreaming about the small pieces of Bizen pottery acquired on my last trip. Soy sauce pots and small vases went to my offspring and now I wanted a piece for me, maybe two pieces

Arriving alone at the train station, a solo traveler, probably an hour ahead of time, I was ready for this or so I thought.

Soon into the trip I had to change trains. Back out on the platform I studied the overhead signs. Of the three facts I needed for my train connection, (train name, destination and time),  the board had listings with two out of three, but never all three things in one listing. Puzzled, I wasted some time, mulling this over. Then I waited patently to speak to a rail employee. They told me I needed a different platform.

I ran over as the doors closed on MY train.

Panic filled me. This was my only day to go to Bizen. The rest of my days were filled with places I equally longed to return to. Breathe, stay calm.

A railroad employee pointed out the next train would be along in 4 minutes. Four minutes –muhaha. I can live with that. Wow, it goes to show there is no reason to get upset.

I got on the next train, ate my bento and whoa. We stopped. EVERYONE got off.

But wait, this isn’t where I want to go to make my next connection.

Oh this train doesn’t go that far. You need to take another train to get to your connection place.

A bit of tension returns but I remember how well the last miss worked out. It will be fine.

I ask a young woman at the station if indeed this is the train to Okayama. She digs out her schedule and shows me. In tiny print I see my arrival time will be at 11:58. Thanking her I get on and we’re off. At about 11:20, with the motion of the train lulling me to sleep, I close my eyes. I awaken to the sound of the train starting up. I see the young woman across the way looking at me with stricken eyes. That was your stop she says. What!!! It’s only 11:40. I look at her schedule. It clearly says 11:38 is my arrival time. OMG, Mercury must be retrograde today.

I get off at the next stop. It may as well be a million miles away. It is too far to walk in one day. This stop is completely deserted. No human in sight. No train station employees. Will there be any more trains here on a Sunday afternoon? There is a schedule which I stare at, thinking I may suddenly start to be able to understand Japanese. There is no English.

I look at the highway and wish somehow to be transported in the direction I came from. A truck passes every so often.

Despair floods me. Remember, breathe. This schedule has to make sense somehow.

A thought creeps in. I read a blog by a man who hitchhikes around Japan. He says it isn’t done there but if he waits long enough someone picks him up. He has had some very interesting experiences with the people who give him a ride. He speaks some Japanese.

I read body language and use pantomime.

I could do it. I know everyone who cares about me will have a fit when they find out. But Japan has a very low crime rate. It appears to be a straight hop down the highway to my left. (When I get back to my hotel later this night, I find the e-mail I printed up from my tour group warning me about the train connection and the short timing.)

I take out a pen and my largest piece of paper. On the blank side I start writing in block letters Imbe. I use up all the ink in my pen, when a boy arrives at the station.

A human being. I pounce on him with questions. Finally he understands and looks at the schedule. Very hesitantly he puts forth the time a train will come. In another half hour. I can live with that, it will work. I still have time to get to Imbe. The way my day has been going and his hesitancy have me worried. So when woman shows up I ask her also. She starts to tell me and then she sees the boy and she seems to know, that I have just asked him. She says something to me in Japanese, while making a downward motion with both of her palms. My understanding of what she is saying based on this motion and her tone is –

Chill out lady.

I realize I am very unchilled. I sit and breathe and tell myself it is all okay. A little while later the lady comes over to me and seems to ask me where I’ve come from. I show her on my maps. She speaks in Japanese and I reply in English and pointing.

The train comes and I get to Imbe. It is pouring rain but I don’t mind a bit. I got myself a Bizen coffee cup and a tea pot that makes me cry. Ah, but that is another story.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Abundance, Japan

 

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