Thursday, June 25, 2009

More about the treasures

Today I decide to post another blog on the goodies from Jo because I knew I was not satisfied with my last night post. Pictures were too small to tell what I had received from Jo. As I wrote yesterday, I can tell Jo is really talented with "handmade" and I can tell how much she enjoys it in her every day life. As I explained it yesterday her scraped book is really lovely. Besides her own hand made items, she picked up a book on water color paintings and magazines introducing the way of American women enjoy handmade in crafts, house-living, cooking and all sorts. How inspiring ! There were some other nice goodies like a box of chocolate, a fragrant candle, a box of bath flowers, a frame she added her art on, handmade tags and a collection of cute little, colorful buttons and a roll of tapes in a drawer of the paper Efel tower, writing pads and finally and unexpectedly cute summer pajamas in beige bordered with lace! This is really something to know how much she devoted her time out of her busy life to make this surprise for me. I'm so happy!

Well, well, for those who want to see the pictures much closer, click the picture above and you will see the slides show starts.
Hope you will be able to see the lovely treasures I received from Jo.
Thank you everyone that left each comment in my last night post.
And Dionne, thank you so much again for hosting this Summer Swap.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Seeing is Believing!

I was trying to explain every thing I found in Jo's swap package. I tried but out of my poor vocabularies, I gave up. So, everyone, here is all the images of what she had selected for me.

In fact, I wonder how could she kindly take time to get these things prepared for me. First of all, wrapping was sooooo sweet. Every thing is in pink and look at the paper tower she made.

Each present was wrapped very carefully and each one was just so cool. Pink ribbons and white wrappers. They were so cute. Having so many neatly wrapped presents, how can I start opening them. I just enjoyed watching the whole picture of the gifts in pink.
It was like the Christmas morning gathering around the trees with lots of presents waiting for us.

The one that made me so impressed was her scrap booking in which she carefully made each page with lots of surprises. I can take out a card of her own made and I read her messsage on the back of each card. How nice it is to know about her and her family. Thank you so much, Jo, for preparing the goodies so carefully and lovely.
And thank you, Dionne for sponsoring this second swap for us. Without your talent of organizing us, this never happened to me.
Meeting new frieds-----how nice!

A package from Jo

Here is a picture of a big package from my swap partner, Jo.
Yes, it finally arrived today! (and I knew Jo received the package I sent, too)
Things she packed inside were all so precious, lovely, awesome, original, fragrant, delicious, cute----darn, I'm so excited.
I'm going to take some more pictures and show you here.
Keep your eyes wide open!

(to be continued tomorrow)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One way to past time

I only use Photoshop elements---and surprisingly---its version is "2"! But I think this is enough for me for the moment. I'm really enjoying it. Using an original picture above, here I made a card. This is one of my favorite ways to past time. Oh well, it's just a begining of the week. I've got to go to bed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Which one would you like to have?

Basically twice a month, I have a get-together with some of my ex colleagues to study computers mainly on handling soft wares.
Here, at my friend's, there are three pieces of different cakes. How lucky I am! It was just one day after my birthday so a friend of mine got some cakes for a coffee break. It was such an exciting moment to decide who was going to take which one. Imagine women in their fifties discussing who was going to have a privilege to pick up the first one out of different three! Funny, funny! Anyway I had that privilege just because of my birthday. Oh what a perfect decision! I had that chocolate one. It came out so good with a coffee.

I remember one day on TV program, foreign residents in Japan from almost every part of the world were interviewed what was cool about Japanese culture. Some of them mostly women pointed out that they can take out any kinds of cakes by pieces in Japan. Then the rest of them agreed. Well, I've never thought of that. So, I'm asking my blog friends here, "Is it true? In your country or town, you take out cakes by a whole, not by pieces?"
In Japan it is common to buy a birthday cake or a Christmas cake in whole but usually for daily use we prefer get different kinds of cakes by pieces. At any confectioneries they put each piece of cakes into a box very carefully using some paper partitions in a box so that each cake won't stick each other. They even put a small bag of dry ice in a box. It is exciting moment to decide and tell a clerk at a shop which one to buy. Oh, sometimes I start telling before I know what to take. Poor clerk!

Friday, June 19, 2009

They are so precious!

These are some of the swap presents Kimberly had kindly sent me across the ocean in the previous swap organized by Dionne.
There were lots lots of goodies in the big box. Some of them I'd shared with my family and eaten them up! Some are in the bookshelf. And here are the things which remind me of Kimberly everytime I see them.
I like seaglasses she found on her beach behind her house.
And look at her beautiful framed art!
I enjoy them every day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Hundred of Gerberas

It's our annual friendship event. Three of my dear friends sent me a bouque of a hundred of gerberas from a gerbera horticultural farmer. This year too, just yesterday right on time, a box of beautiful flowers arrived. How gorgeous! I know they make it a rule to send it to me every year. It's not really "a surprise" anymore, yet each time flowers are not the same at all. Every year those colorful gerberas of all kinds are breathtaking. It never let me down. They indeed made my day.
See also here to check my post on the same topic last year. You will know the reason why I get these gerberas.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A temple town "Osu" in Nagoya

I read in the book that no fewer than 36 of the capital cities of Japan’s 47 prefectures were originally castle towns. Today they are popular sightseeing spots through out the years. We have the Nagoya Castle in our city.

When talking of a castle, we can’t ignore the development of a town around a castle. One of the most popular towns in Nagoya and one that has been developed as a temple town is called Osu. In those days of warriors many temples were relocated from other places or constructed to prevent outside invasions from coming straight into the castle.

Well it is a historical story. Nowadays Osu is one of the exciting areas for visitors of any kinds with huge covered shopping arcades which only pedestrians are allowed. You will be surprised to see the numbers of shops being small and big of different kinds. It is indeed a hodgepodge of over 1000 shops of every size and style. You’ll never see fancy brand boutiques here. Rather you will see shops run by young owners to provide fashionable outfits with reasonable prices for the young, or the second-hand stores for kimonos, even street side food stalls to cafes to restaurants of international cuisines, discount grocery shops, and of course there are some well-known traditional shops and restaurants that are run by the families for generations. Besides them, Osu has been famous for the area where many computer freaks love to visit to find the items they’re looking for while checking in and out varieties of shops there.

But more than this, it’s a temple town after all. You will see shrines and temples spread throughout Osu and its surrounding area. Osu is a historical and active town and is a must-see for visitors as well as local people.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ready to go!

There is 14 hours time difference between Jo and me.
I am ahead of her by 14hours.
It's about the swap that Dionne arranged for her bloggers.
I'm thankful for her giving me a blogger from abroad, the same chance to take part in her swap and grateful for other participants who accepts us from abroad.
June 15 Monday is the mail due.
It's tomorrow!
Jo, I'm ready!
I'm going to mail it tomorrow.
Hope you'll enjoy it.
It's just a small international goodwill exchange!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Coming soon---

Wait for me!
This should be an exciting story.
All I need is more time and more physical power.
But now it's too late. I'll go to bed so that I won't look awful in the morning.

Friday, June 05, 2009

It's been raining all day long

It's a rainy day today.
It's been raining since early morning.
But it's been raining gently and softly.Quiet afternoon-----
every plant in the garden from flowers, trees, moss and even to weeds stay sit to enjoy raindrops.
I love a quiet rainy afternoon.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The folktale behind the "Kibidango" sweets

These are one type of Japanese wagashi called "Kibidango(ki-bi-da-n-go)". Dango literally means dumplings but this "Kibidango" belongs to sweets and each one is wrapped in an illustrated paper and comes in a pretty box full of animated characters of a Japanese ancient folktale, "Momotaro(Peach Boy).

Momotaro is a hero from a Japanese folktale, who fights the evil demons for bringing back the peace in his land. His name "momo" means "peach" and "taro" is a typical name for boys.

Since this story is so well known and loved, it is associated with many ways in movies, books and in almost any way possible. This cute box of sweet dumplings is a good example. One confectionery in Okayama Prefecture took an advantage of its long history that they had been producing wagashi associated with a story of this folktale. They asked GOMI Taro, one of the famous illustrators and writers for children's books to design a package and wrapping papers featuring the characters of this story.
Oh, I like his illustrations so much and still keep many children's books I got for my kids. Now in a picture , can you tell the hero Momotaro, the dog, the monkey, the pheasant, and the devils? They are just so cute!-----even the devils are adorable!

Any children who have grown up in Japan know this story and they love to sing the story of Momotaro.

So here is an adventure story of "Momotaro" and his three followers of the dog, the monkey and the pheasant. (it comes up with a song. If you don't want a sound, turn off a sound before you click a link above.)
Hope you'll enjoy it.