Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Pojagi and Basins

I've been a terrible blogger recently and have only just caught up with your lovely comments and emails on my recent posts, thank you one and all.  Hetty sent me a link from that I thought I'd share with you, especially those of you who appreciated my not strictly correct pojagi seams.  This shows you how to do the seams properly.  The text is in Japanese but the diagrams are excellent.  Click on the orange box at the bottom right of the first page to continue.

DH got the all clear from the doctors and is off on his trip to New Zealand tomorrow and I will have two months of me-time when I will hopefully get a lot of sewing, blogging and reading done as well as a little gardening if I have energy left.  Speaking of reading, have you discovered Good Reads ?  DD put me onto it. Instead of writing lists, or forgetting what I've read, I now add my books to these virtual bookshelves and also get books recommended based on my reading preferences.  Thank goodness the site doesn't have a direct link to Amazon!
Normal blogging service will be resumed as soon as possible and here's a little something to make you smile - the handbasins in Dobbies garden centre in Peterborough:

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

World Textile Day

I've just been reading Susan Briscoe's blog where she has announced the dates and website for World Textile Day 2013.  Most excitingly for me there will be a World Textile Day England and it's going to be in Norfolk.  Here's the information taken from the website at  Put the dates in your new diary for next year, it's going to be great.

World Textile Day England 

7 Sep 2013

The People Behind the Cloth

FREE admission to our exhibition of stitched, embroidered and woven textiles and artefacts from around the world. 10am - 5pm.

11am and 2pm lectures
Jim Gaffney and Magie Relph introduce 'The People Behind the Cloth' and show pieces from their personal collections - £2 per talk.

Five specialist world textile traders:
  • Textile Techniques
  • The African Fabric Shop
  • John Gillow
  • Martin Conlan - Slow Loris Textiles
  • Susan Briscoe Designs
Refreshments to be confirmed.   Disabled access.  
Mundford Village Hall, St Leonards St, Mundford, Thetford, Norfolk, IP26 5DW

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I Was There!

As the main photographer in the family I am rarely in photographs and I don't mind this as I don't like having my picture taken.  I don't think the camera will steal my soul or anything, I just don't look as gorgeous as I know I am once translated into megapixels.  However, it is nice to have one or two pictures to remind myself that I was at any given event.  My Indigo Sisters agreed that we would send each other CDs of the photos we took in Japan and today I have received Jean's having already got Judi's and Cynthia's.  Mine are organised and ready to burn and so will be heading around the world very soon.  Here is a self indulgent post of photos of me on the Japan Textile Study Tour 2012 - I was there!!
And finally a picture of very elusive Fuji san who was also there but appears in very few photographs:
Thank you Judi, Cynthia and Jean.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Displaying Silk

I purchased some vintage silk while I was in Japan and have now found a way to frame, protect and enjoy it.  I bought an acrylic frame from muji which allows a view of both sides of the fabric, the decorative rightside and the interesting wrongside, with the stitches and pieces of lining.  My photographs are not very good but I'm sure you get the idea.  Now I must go back to watching London 2012, Murray v Federer...

Added 6 August 2012:

1.  Many thanks to sensei Bryan who emailed details of my little piece of silk:

It is a piece of Tegakiyuzen on chirimen.(silk crepe) (Hand drawn yuzen dying.) Probably from Kyoto. I think it from after WWII. Maybe in the 50's as the woven quality of the crepe is very high. It is the shoulder piece from a kimono it seems by the cut marks. It looks like the motif is the seven grasses of autumn.  Very nice piece.
2.  Congratulations to Andy Murray

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A Gift in the Post

Well isn't it interesting how things turn out?  A little while ago Visit Japan from the UK posted a giveaway on Facebook of little mobile phone cleaners.  I fancied one and sent in my details.  Today I have received a package from the Japan National Tourism Organisation containing loads of tempting maps and brochures plus, not a phone cleaner (they quickly ran out when they received 280 applications within the first hour) but this:
They said they didn't want to disappoint applicants who didn't get in soon enough and so found other things to send.  I am delighted!  Inside the little glass bottle on the keyring are grains of Star Sand from Iriomote Beach in Okinawa.  Here is a link to the legend of how these came to be created:
and while I was Googling "Star Sand" I found the science bit:
Who knew there was a sand atlas?  Cool.
I love walking on the beach and am one of those people you see with head down, scanning the sand or rocks for little treasures. 
 DS in Norfolk, like Mother, like Son!
There are laws about what one is allowed to remove from a beach (sometimes nothing can be taken in which case I will take photographs) but if I can I collect a souvenir from beaches I visit.  I was over the moon when I found my Indigo Sisters collecting pebbles while we were out and about in Japan.  I had taken them all a little sea-polished carnelian from "my" beach in Norfolk.  I'd hesitated over sharing them in case they thought it was daft, as soon as I saw them collecting I knew they'd love the little gems - and they did!
Thank you JNTO, you made my day!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Shifuku 2

I have a couple of Japanese finishes to share today.  Firstly, another little shifuku that was started while I was in Japan.  The first one had a seaweed motif, this one has an elegant willow tree by the water.  I love the colours of the kumihimo, they go well with the willow theme I think.  Again the fabric was dyed in the indigo master's vat, it is very special.
I also finished making, not exactly an obi, more of a sash.  It is double-sided, one side has a lovely fabric from Yuzawa-ya in Shinjuku, the other was eco-dyed while I was in Japan.  I stitched it by hand which seemed appropriate to me.  I have several kimono and will wear them casually (as dressing gowns/housecoats) with this belt.