Thursday, April 3, 2014


Long time no see!
I haven't had any trips to share with you lately, and my sewing machine has been quiet as I've been knitting things for cold weather. Now that Spring is thawing us out, my other half and I decided to cross off another prefecture on our list and go to Ibaraki.

We stayed in Mito, a decently sized city, to go see Kairaku-en, the last garden of the 3 Great Gardens in Japan list we hadn't yet seen. Also, our timing was to see the Ume Festival (plum blossom) there.

We weren't disappointed. Usually the plum blossoms bloom right before cherry blossoms, and so I have a hard time telling the different between the two.

We were a little early for all the flowers to be in bloom, but to see the first signs of them warms your heart after a long Winter.

This trip was not complete with me trying some plum ice cream. I don't care for plums in their sour, pickled versions, but in sweet ice cream... divine! We also spent a day at the local aquarium, Aquaworld Oarai.

I'm not usually excited at the idea of seeing an aquarium, but this one had a sight I really wanted to see.

I have a thing for Ocean Sunfish, or Mola Mola. I can't explain it. Maybe it's the "it's so ugly it's cute" sort of thinking. They're unique compared to other fish in their size and shape.

The Capybara were cute too, even though they couldn't be bothered to pose for me. They were too busy napping and taking in the morning sun.

On the shinkansen I tried a hamburger rice ball from 7-11. It looks as appetizing as it was. The plum ice cream was better!
Ibaraki may be grossly overshadowed by nearby Tokyo in things like sightseeing, but it's a nearby getaway from the busy metropolis.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Summer Crafting Leftovers

I promised I would share my odds and ends of summer crafting, and I'm finally getting around to it. It's nothing spectacular, I warn you.
My "let's get back into knitting" project I previewed ages ago. It's a simple bow headband you can make with only the skills of casting on, knit stitch, and finishing off. It's called the It's a Cinch Head Wrap and Collar and the pattern is free and easily done in a day (even for slow beginners like me).

Here I am modeling it in my then newly made Archer shirt. With the heat, it's a goofy combination. For some reason, I think I look flapper-esque wearing it.

Over the summer I discovered a yarn shop in Fukuyama that dyes and winds custom yarns for you. They're a bit pricey, but worth it if you want something unique. I bought this pre-made skein because I loved the colors. I haven't picked a project for it yet. I had one in mind, but I'm fickle. 

Towards the end of summer, I attended a community class done by the vice principal at one of my schools. He showed us ladies how to do some basic woodworking to create necklaces and brooches. I really struggled with designing mine, because all my ideas were too elaborate and required too much work for a 4 hour class. My VP told me to go natural and organic in shape, so I tried to aim for a leaf-like shape, but it looks more like a tooth, doesn't it?

I never knew woodworking was so tough. All the time went to sanding and polishing. Some ladies chose wood blocks that looked like shiny gemstones when they were finished, but mine turned out pretty plain. Adding the small gemstones added a little pizazz. I'm not in love with it, but it was a fun experience and it's neat to say "I made my necklace."

With the transition from summer to fall being a long one this year, I've been struggling to plan out what I want to sew. Right now, I'm working on a navy twill Beignet skirt from Colette Patterns, and I have a Grainline Scout Tee I want to make up before it gets cold. I'm moving so ridiculously slow that I should change my blog name to Slow Sewist.

What are you all working on and keeping busy with as it turns chilly? 
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