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FEEL GOOD FRIDAY


The Girl Next Door Grows Up
Blog started this Feel Good Friday meme. Pick one of her prompts and write about it on your blog!

My sister sent me this Christmas card. She made it herself; she silk screened it with 10 colors.

Image Copyright 2010 by HieroGraphix

 

I love my sister’s cards and I think this is my new favorite. Nearly every year she has created a Christmas card.

Image Copyright 2010 by HieroGraphix

When I was young I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. My sister has done that among other things. I admire the care and effort she puts in and shares with us. You can buy her cards at Etsy. You can place a custom order too.

I got some frames to hang her cards in a grouping at my staircase. For the holidays, I will replace my usual artwork with these, in the living areas near my Christmas tree.

Image Copyright 2010 by HieroGraphix

Image Copyright 2010 by Hierograpix

Image Copyright 2010 by Hierograpix

Image copyright 2010 by Hierographix

Image coryright by Hierographix

Image copyright by Hierographix

Image copyright by Hierographix

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

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Posted by on December 16, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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FEEL GOOD FRIDAY


The Girl Next Door Grows Up
Blog started this Feel Good Friday meme. Pick one of her prompts and write about it on your blog!

*

When I was in Japan, I was hot to have some indigo dyed fabric. I love fabric in general, and Japanese indigo is very valuable because it strengthens the fabric, makes it insect repellent and is so beautiful.

Now, if I did splurge and buy a length of fabric, I would have problems cutting it up, to make something out of it.

When I was at Abeke House, there were four Japanese ladies traveling together. They were very kind to me, including me in the conversation, making sure I understood what I needed to, praising me for knowing how to eat a whole fish and use chopsticks, making jokes and being excellent companions.

Earlier, I had given my host a gift of Kona coffee. I heard one of the four ladies say in Japanese – Kona kohi -(koh-hee  – sp?) . By her animation, I could tell she appreciated it’s great taste. So I gave them a bag of Kona coffee too.

She then gave me this:

It’s a piece of indigo made into a tissue holder and the opening is shaped like a cat. I love it.

The inside is lined with a piece of recycled kimono silk.

Now I have a piece of indigo fabric, I don’t have to decide what to make with it and it reminds me of one of my favorite evenings.

What is one of your favorite gifts?

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2010 in Japan

 

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TRAVEL JAPAN – Tenryuji Temple

After leaving the Imperial Villa, I went to the Arashiyama district to visit Tenryuji Temple.

It has beautiful gardens surrounding a pond with a trail around the pond and through the woods.

 

 

I sat for quite a while enjoying the view and the carp swimming.

This old tree is supported.

These stones are meant to represent a waterfall flowing into the pond.

People came and went and I stayed.

An older teen boy asked me in perfect English, with a British accent, if I was there by myself. I said yes, that I was there before and wanted to see it again.

He said the day his school class came to this World Heritage site, he had an attack of appendicitis and had surgery instead of a class trip. He was there now, for the first time.

I told him, I was planning to go to a flea market next but I wondered if it might be canceled  because it was raining. He took out his cell phone and made some calls and said it would be there rain or shine.

This was greatly appreciated by me. I wanted to go and see what they had AND it would have been a bummer to miss it.

 

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2010 in Abundance, garden, Japan

 

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TRAVEL JAPAN – Katsura Imperial Villa

My second day in Japan found me at the Imperial Villa. You have to have permission to go there. I appreciate that Esprit Travel and Tours got that for me.

You also need to be there and waiting at 9 AM or you are out of luck.

I arrived early and was admiring the beautiful grounds when it started raining. A very stylishly dressed Japanese woman didn’t hesitate to come over and hold her umbrella over me. I felt very touched by this gesture.

I showed her I had my handy dandy plastic garbage bag, raincoat with me.

They counted us as we entered the gate and counted us again when we went out on the tour and when we came back.

The Imperial Villa was built in the 1600’s for the Imperial family. Besides a residence for them, it has gardens and tea houses.

A path winds around the property that has been thoughtfully designed. The tree at the end of this path has been purposefully placed there to prevent you from seeing the lake and gardens beyond until later.

A stand of bamboo.

 

This garden spot is planted at a waiting area for guests so they can enjoy it.

 

A lake was sculpted out and the excess earth was mounded up so this tea house has views of the mountains and water.

 

This river rock makes you feel like you are at a river bed.

 

Tea houses have a small opening so you can humble yourself and swords do not fit.

 

A lovely garden view is framed by the opening.

 

There are many stone lanterns, all different.

 

The area for heating water in one tea house.

 

This tea house celebrates the industry of farming and keeps the fields as the view.

 

This field, near the royal family's residence, was used for archery. The trees were planted to keep the archers spaced or maybe it was to see how far the arrows went.

This center post is noted for it’s grace and effortless beauty.

This tea house has a water view out the right window and a mountain view out the left. It is set for viewing the moon as it rises over the water and reflects off it.

What other architectural examples, that use nature to their advantage, do you know of?

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2010 in Abundance, garden, Japan

 

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TRAVEL JAPAN – The Master of Gold Leaf – Part II

Hakuya Noguchi, a 5th generation gold leaf master

This post was started and posted on November 30. This is a more complete post here.

In the afternoon of my first day in Kyoto, Kiyo took me to Gold Leaf Art,  the museum of Noguchi-san. I was going to see how he designs obi with gold leaf. I expected to find that he takes gold leaf and presses it onto fabric and then uses the fabric to make obi. The reality was much more interesting than I imagined.

When I walked in his workroom I said,

You have the sun in here.

The sun was shining and these obi with gold leaf were catching it.

Noguchi-san uses gold leaf and other metals for different colors.

The pieces of gold or silver leaf are made by putting a small piece of precious metal under a paper and pounding it thin. It ends up this size.

He uses brushes made out of woman’s hair.

This block of wood has tightly packed hair running through the entire thing. He ‘sharpens’ it like a pencil as it wears down.

He uses tweezers and tools to gently maneuver the leaf into place. He often uses his breath to move it ever so slightly.

In this picture, the ovals in the design on paper, will end up as circles on the obi. Noguchi-san has to adjust the design for the elongation that will happen as it is woven.

This finished obi with precious metals –

started out as a design on paper similar to this. This one in the picture has been sent out to a master cutter who cuts the paper, (impressed with metal), into threads. He leaves the border uncut. That way the threads stay in the correct order for the design.

The weaver takes the threads one by one and weaves them into an obi.

In the foreground of this photo is a picture of an ancient gold leaf screen. Experts have puzzled over the unique pattern in the gold leaf. It was not known how it was created.

Noguchi-san was able to reproduce it exactly. There is a book in the works detailing his findings. My understanding of what he did follows.

Noguchi-san gave me this piece of paper. It is used for pounding a small amount of metal into leaf. The metal ends up this size when it is pounded as thin as it can go. The edges are not squared off. It’s like rolling a pie crust, it rounds out.

This paper can only be torn in one direction.

By tearing the paper or the gold leaf, you can create more nearly square corners.

If you turn the leaf or paper so the ‘corners’ face out, and fill in the triangular shaped openings, then you have more of an even square coverage for working large areas.

Noguchi-san did it with gold leaf to show me. When he filled in the triangle areas, a gentle pressure makes the leaf adhere to itself, (again, like pie crust).

The Gold Leaf Art Museum is housed in one of the most photographed traditional Japanese style houses.

It has a garden in the center of the building.

And a garden to look out at while you have tea.

Noguchi-san’s son is also a gold leaf artist. Both artists have their work on display and some items for sale.

Gold Leaf Screen

Another screen and art work.

I am honored to have been there. It was such a joy to be surrounded by such beauty in so many forms – the people, the gardens and the Gold Leaf Art. I hope you get to go there some day and see too.

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2010 in Abundance, garden, Japan, Uncategorized

 

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Travel Japan – The Master of Gold Leaf

See the complete post here.

Noguchi-san a 5th generation gold leaf master

 

 

 

In the afternoon of my first day in Kyoto, Kiyo took me to the museum of Noguchi-san. I was going to see how he designs obi with gold leaf. I expected to find that he takes gold leaf and presses it onto fabric and then uses the fabric to make obi. The reality was much more interesting than I imagined.

When I walked in his workroom I said,

You have the sun in here.

The sun was shining and these obi with gold leaf were catching it.

Noguchi-san uses gold leaf and other metals for different colors.

The pieces of gold or silver leaf are mad by putting a small piece of precious metal under a paper and pounding it thin. It ends up this size.

He uses brushes made out of woman’s hair.

This block of wood has tightly packed hair running through the entire thing. He ‘sharpens’ it like a pencil as it wears down.

More on this another day. I just lost the rest of this post.

© 2010 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 30, 2010 in Japan, Uncategorized

 

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Travel Japan — Weavers

One of the first things I did in Japan was visit two weavers.

Kawamura-Orimono Co. Ltd., Hand woven obi shop.

The first owner at this shop showed me some of their beautiful work.

And from the back.

The weaver only sees the back as he works.

My back gets tired when I sew a long time. These men weave all day and their backs were very supple. My tour guide translator said they do it in a zen-like relaxed way.

Some of their thread.

The royal family in Japan is a customer of theirs.

 

Across the street we visited another weaver.

The owner of this shop showed us a photo of a woven waterfall that he created. He said it was very challenging to make, but he loves waterfalls. It is on exhibit. Just seeing the photo of it, I was enchanted. And alas I don’t have a picture of it to show you.

The top of the loom is similar to a computer punch card system.

This weaver gave me this skein of silk warp thread. He said it takes 10,000 threads for the width of an obi.

I have to think of something special to use this for. I love to feel it. I’m thinking of crocheting it around my geta straps. I have to buy men’s geta because my feet are bigger than Japanese woman’s shoes. I wear size 8 US. The straps are not pretty like on the woman’s.

In this picture below the black and gold fabric around my waist and hanging down my back is an obi. This is NOT a handwoven one.

I have a new appreciation for people who do hand weaving.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2010 in Abundance, Japan

 

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