Tag Archives: Review

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.


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


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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!


I am feeling so good about the fact that When I became so absorbed in a book I have been reading: I had the opportunity to drop everything and just read yesterday.

I finished the book, except the epilogue. It was so good, I didn’t want to stop reading. I laid outside on a lounge chair and read. Life doesn’t get much better.

The book is THE HELP.

The book is about the lives of black housekeepers in the south in the 60’s. It is an exquisite balance of the ugly and the beautiful. I liked it even though the author sidesteps sexual abuse.

© 2010 Jeanne Litt


Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Uncategorized


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Favorites – Kitchen tools

These are three of my favorite kitchen tools. They each came from my daughter who used to sell Pampered Chef.
She isn’t connected with them anymore but while she was she gave me so many nice things.
I wouldn’t have bought them for myself, thinking they were too expensive.
Once she gave them to me, I saw how fantastic they are.
My all time fav is this stone bar pan.

I don’t use the microwave. I prefer my toaster oven. I use this pan everyday. It started out beige and gets darker with use. I first wanted a bar pan because my sister used to keep cookie dough in her freezer and make a couple of cookies when she wanted them. I like my cookies warm from the oven and thought that was a great idea.
I stay away from the cookies but I do most of my cooking in the toaster oven.


When I burn food, I always say that’s how I know it was ‘done’, 5 minutes earlier. There is less burning with the stone. I don’t know why.

Pampered chef has this little plastic scraper tool to clean the stoneware.
I love it. It works so well. I use it to scrape stuck on food before putting things in the dishwasher too.
My third favorite product is this little serving spatula. It is so convenient because of it’s smaller size.
What are your favorite kitchen tools?
I received all these things as gifts from my daughter, but have no connection to Pampered Chef except to appreciate their quality.

© 2010 Jeanne Litt


Posted by on October 4, 2010 in Uncategorized


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At my grandchildren’s school library, they feature a list of HornToad books. These are children’s books chosen for their excellence.

Two nights ago I started reading one to my grandchildren. It’s called

43 Old Cemetary Road

Dying To Meet You

by Kate Klise

Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise

I wondered if I was going to lose the children’s attention as the scene was set. A grumpy children’s writer rents a house so he can write a novel about a ghost tamer. To his surprise the house comes with a ghost and a boy whose parents are traveling.

The children were entranced. We read 1/3 of this 154 page book.

The entire book is written in newspaper clippings, letters and handwritten notes, plus the many illustrations.

The characters are well developed.

We can’t ait to finish it.

Copyright Jeanne Litt 2010


Posted by on August 18, 2010 in Abundance, Uncategorized


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Last night I watched THE COVE. I who cry so easily didn’t even cry.


I just became very clear and committed to do what I can to help the dolphins.


And that means canceling my Trainer for a day with my grandson, that is coming up next month.


Please consider watching THE COVE.


© 2010 J.B. Vadeboncoeur


Posted by on July 4, 2010 in Abundance, Japan


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Travel to Honolulu – Review – The Embassy Suites Hotel at Waikiki Beach

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of staying at the Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach.

It was a pleasure, very clean, beautifully Hawaiian themed and breakfast and evening snacks were available on the fourth floor – grand lanai, (patio). The evening snacks were all carb, but the breakfast as cooked to your order omelets, and a very wide array of breakfast foods, even miso soup and rice for our Japanese friends.

They bill it as the only all suites resort. Our suite was nicely decorated. I love the palm tree motifs. It was very solidifying to have a suite. We only watched TV in the sitting room. (good feng shui)

And the hula artwork.

And the hibiscus bed cover.

The people were unusually friendly every where, hotel staff and hotel guests. Was this a reflection of my inner reality?

One of our beds needed replacing. It made it so you were sleeping with your head downhill. Otherwise it was a sublime weekend. I highly recommend it.


Posted by on January 20, 2010 in Uncategorized


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A Review Of Dolphin Quest At The Hilton At Waikoloa Village HawaiI

Edit – March 22, 2011

Since viewing THE COVE, I would never support Dolphin encounters, anywhere. See more info here.

Original post starts here.

Recently I took two grandchildren to the Dolphin encounter at Dolphin Quest. We did the Kids Quest for children 5 to 9 years old.

It is quite amazing. They took 17 children into a learning center and sat them on a rug and played games and talked about dolphins. Each child was given individual positive attention and a chance to show what they know about dolphins and to learn even more.

A game showed the children more about echolocation when they tried to guess what was inside different boxes with sound as their only clue.

One grandson was a little bored at times. The other was delighted and knew that Killer whales are the largest dolphin. The facilitator was amazing in her ability to manage 17 children, virtually all in rapt attention. And she spoke Japanese to children from Japan.

After an hour of that, they went out to the water and another amazing trainer. This time they were in groups of six. The trainers live their way of training – rewards for desired behavior, ignore negative behavior. She had the groups’ attention and they were enraptured the whole time. They met three different dolphins, all highly trained. Their routines are fun and funny. Participants get to feed fish to the dolphins, feel them and join in signaling the dolphin’s different behaviors. They heard the different sounds dolphins make and experienced their anatomy. Did you know their “melon”, the bulge at the top of the dolphin’s head is where the echolocation happens?

Pictures are taken, and you can buy a twenty minute video ($65.) of your child’s session. We ordered the video which comes in the mail about two weeks later. You don’t get to see until it arrives in the mail and you prepay. They put a plastic bracelet on your child’s wrist so they know which children will be receiving the videos.

The pictures are worth at least a thousand words. BTW parents have a clear view and are kept a distance away. You can take your own pictures from the distance. You will want theirs because of the beauty of them and because your pictures will be of the back of their head..

I knew I planned to buy all the pictures, ($150). They come on a CD. I went inside to purchase them. A young woman who seemed like she needed a break told me that I had to wait and view the pictures, once they were up on the screens. That took about 15 to 20 minutes wait. We went swimming and came back later.

When I viewed the pictures, I had to point out which ones had my grandchildren in them. It takes a little while. Then I learned the CD would not be ready for 24 hours. If you are staying at the Hilton, that’s easier. We weren’t, so it meant a trip back. We could have arranged to have it mailed but I wanted it sooner than that. I see the pictures are available online for up to six months.

At home I discovered I could look up the pictures on line at my leisure. I don’t think you can order the CD on line. I was a little disappointed that our camera person was shared with another group. We ended up with 22 pictures of my two grandchildren. Many of them are group pictures.  On line the group pictures look disappointing, faces in shadow or an arm across them.

The children already want to go back for another encounter.

© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.

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Posted by on December 27, 2009 in Japan


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