Look at all the fabulous flea market finds!!!!!!

ok.  there is really nothing better than handmade. really.  handmade is good.  handmade is the roots of american living.  Hand picked, hand dyed, hand woven, hand knit, hand sewn.  It’s all good.

BUT

if you can’t make it from scratch, and if you can get it at a GREAT PRICE from a flea market and then make something wonderful from it, it is really really good.

Use it up

wear it out

make it do

or do without.

OR GET IT FROM A FLEA MARKET!!

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8 balls of blue wool

bag of red and white wool

size 11 bamboo DPN’s

2 balls of blue

free ball of pink

cute rabbit furoshiki (for wrappin up and carrying things)

I got there early but they were already into heavy discounts….. about 20 vendors and 3 of them had yarn!!!  it was a good day my friends, a very good day.

Oh, and for those of you wondering….“what are you going to make?”  Well, that doesn’t matter.  Just finding it and possessing it is good enough for now.

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BLOOD MOON

—from the book FULL MOON FEAST….by Jessica prentice—–

blood moon

 

Those animals which I use for riding and loading,

Which have been killed for me,

All those whose meat I have taken,

May they attain the state of Buddhahood very soon!

–Ladakhi prayer, translated from the Ladakhi

 

the blood moon has passed, but I have been stitching it… it is on my mind….the season when enough meat for the long winter season has been preserved and put away to last until spring.

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hunter moon and hunter

 

here is my hunter, he is out ready to stock up his freezer with a winter supply of……………

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CARROTS!!!!

come on!!!!  you know I’m a vegetarian and must give thanks to mother earth and her bounty of VEGETABLES!!!!!!!!!

 

progress on the moon quilt (formerly known as the ugly quilt)….. today I am stitching a snowflake to celebrate the snow moon…….

the amount of pleasure I get from just sitting and stitching is beyond measure……and making a quilt for myself and sharing the moon stories with my kids is amazing…..they are following along with me on the progress and with creative ideas…… and I hope to involve them with some of the stitching…..

 

small update on the kids……

Kayla and Kai both passed their end of the month swimming tests.

Kazu’s christmas card he made was chosen (2 from his class) to go on display in some  department store gallery….. I can’t wait to see it!!!

Kayla and Kazu both passed their english proficiency tests and will continue working on improving their reading and comprehension skills to take the next level.

Kazu passed his karate test and is wearing a yellow belt now.

I am going into the city today for the city wide concert of 4th grade bands…. Kayla’s class is playing the theme song from RAIDER’S OF THE LOST ARK……Kayla is playing the organ…..

Yuki will be gone 3 days in Tokyo to attend some sort of convention that his school is sending him to attend…… so at home we’ll be enjoying simple dinners and lots of pizza!!!! 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!

oops.  I forgot to hang up my turkey this year.

(by the way, I made the turkey, from felt and the feathers are REAL….. from a cheapo package of colorfully dyed feathers from some poor bird).

this is an old photo, I probably took it 2 years ago…so Kai is probably about 4….. he is 6 now but still looks about the same!!!! In fact he is still wearing that great shirt (typical english for japanese shirts) but it is getting kind of small.

and, I am blogging this thanksgiving post late.

it wasn’t thanksgiving in Japan, but it was a three day weekend…which tends to throw me off kilter..what with all those extra people around.

so, late post that this is, I still want to wish all of my faithful readers (like all 5!!!) , to a rich fall/winter season full of treasures and love, peace and magic……….

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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now, I am worried that my father might feel like chopped liver for not being included in a previous post…..so I would like to take this opportunity now , in list form, to thank my dad for all that he has done in raising us three kids and for helping to create the person that I am now…..

  1. at all times he expected the very best from me.

  2. taught me through example and words that no job is worth doing if not done well.

  3. impressed upon me to take good care of your tools and to put them away when you are done.

  4. trusted me, at a very young age, to ride solo on snow machines and motorcycles…

  5. taught me to shoot a gun.  and to respect that gun.

  6. he loves my mom.  and he respects her. they are a great team….from them I learned that true love is possible and not just fantasy.

  7. I very very rarely saw him lose his patience, even with 3 kids …he kept calm….and also kept order….and discipline….HOW DID HE DO THAT???

  8. he took a pile of lumber and a bottle of glue and a roll of canvas and some clamps and built an amazing airplane….. that really really flew…… HE BUILT AN AIRPLANE. and HE FLEW IT.  he followed his heart and his dream and lived aviation all his life.

  9. he should have a tatoo on his chest…DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GET YOU DOWN.

and finally, when I disappoint him and let him down, he still loves me.  and he has pointed out to me so many times….. TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE.

ok.  that should do it.  there is so much more to my dad (and my mom too)  if I can do only half as well as they are doing…. and if I can raise my kids following their example, then, I am doing well.

 

BECAUSE I FLY.

 

I laugh more than other men

I look up and see more than they,

I know how the clouds feel,

what it’s like to have the blue in my lap,

to look down on birds.

To feel freedom in a thing called a stick….

Who but I can slice between God’s billowed legs,

and feel the laugh and crash of his step.

Who else has seen the unlimbed peaks?

The rainbows secret?

The real reason birds sing?

Because I fly, I envy no man on earth.

–anonymous–

 

 

QUILTING QUANDRY

oh dear…… the quilt top has been basted and the quilting has begun…. the back is a soft piece of purple sewn to a soft piece of yellow…. the blocks, which are roughly 12 inches by 10 inches are being quilted around the edges/borders with a variegated thread in purples and greens and yellows…… but… and herein lies the quandry.. the red strips… about 6 inches at the wide points and maybe 4 inches at the narrow….. WHAT SHOULD I DO???…. the possibilities are endless…  from red quiet quilting to riotous massive quilting.. to sashiko , to plain white lines, to foot prints, to fish prints , to stippling….

WWYD???????????

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so, in the midst of decision, I knit……..

some glove love….. with some tweaks….

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and if glove love doesn’t do it for you, how about some brotherly love……..

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don’t they look sweet??? like they never -ever….. fight……..

ANOTHER BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!

My nephew, who seems like a pretty good kid, is celebrating 17 years today!!!!  I have seen him sporadically over the years.  I see him every time I go to the states……every 2 or 3 years…so he changes radically each time I see him.

Despite the huge age gap…. he and I have a few things in common….some similar tastes in music.. and he tells me about his latest guitar purchases and wish lists..  We saw him two years ago on our last visit.  He was all grown up and tall and had this LONG hair!!! and he hung out with his little cousins and treated them well…..my oldest, especially, thought he was pretty cool…..

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here’s a great shot of my son just “hanging around” with his favorite cousin…..

Happy birthday from all of us and hope to see you soon!!!!!!!!!!

Happy birthday to someone special.

Today, november 15th, a good friend of mine will celebrate her birthday.   Like me, when a birthday rolls around, she will probably look over her years and contemplate the good, the bad and the loss of her youth.  She might count her blessings…. which are many….. and mourn her losses….which I hope are few….. she might celebrate that she has  healthy children ,food in abundance , employment opportunities and a strong roof over their heads……

TIME OUT FOR A KNITTING UPDATE!

 

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 some olive drab loveliness

 

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some dish rag love

AND NOW A FEW WORDS OF ZEN.

Birth , old age, illness, and death, as well as happiness and misfortune, gain and loss, love and hate, all these are important tools for weaving the brocade of human life.  A brocade cannot be woven with the single color of happiness. Given time, place and occasion, everything “contains all colors.”

(from the book ZEN SEEDS…by shundo aoyama)

 

which brings me here…. a wish and a hope for a good friend.  I wish you a happy day…..full of love and laughter, good food and good friends, and many happy returns.

 

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 some glove love

More

give thanks to someone you love day.

I don’t know how many people realize that today is “give thanks to someone you love day” in blog land.  It’s a chance to write a post about someone who has had a positive impact on your life…… so I am going to write about my mom.

Mom….. what you have given me has made me the person I am today.  When I do well, I can appreciate all that you gave me when I was a child and when I screw up…. I can hope to do better next time and try to make you proud.

I actually want to keep this short…. but I have a few specifics I would like to mention….in list form… the many gifts you have shared with me…..

  1. you taught me how to sew a nine patch block.
  2. you gave me (and my brother and sister) access to needles and thread, exacto knives, microscopes, flammable liquids,axes, hammers ,tadpoles,carving sets, lincoln logs, tinkertoys and barbie dolls.
  3. You drug accompanied us kids to any free musical event in the greater Anchorage area.
  4. You showed me that moms can and should chop wood, ride motorcycles, sew clothes for their kids and cook dinner over the fire place.
  5. You gave me (and my sister) hard cover copies of one of my favorite books (as of yet not fully read) WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES.  I turn to this book often for comfort and inspiration. How did you know that it was going to be such an inspirational book for me?
  6. You showed us all how to be green way way way before green was even a “thing”. You taught us to love and respect mother earth just because it’s the right thing to do. 
  7. And most importantly of all, you gave me the strength to be me.  To find my own happiness and to live my own adventures. You gave me independence and support.  Roots and wings.

Thank you mom. 

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