Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Creative solutions???

 I seem to be spending a lot of time fixing things that shouldn't be broken in the first place.

When I finished quilting the border around the rainbow quilt, I decided it would look better if it had a one-inch border on the outside edge rather than bind it directly.

On three edges it was quite easy because the backing extended beyond the quilt top.

One edge across the top was a problem. When I laid it out on the floor for basting, I placed the backing, then the batting, and then tried to position the top in the center. It might have been helpful to have someone assist me to lower the top onto the batting but I had to roll the top out, adjusting it as I went along. Meanwhile, the backing which I had taped to the floor, became un-stuck. That alone caused a few problems when quilting but I was able to get things smoothed out as I moved the quilt in the hoop, removing the basting when needed.

The only real problem when adding the outer border was that the backing edge, though OK with the cable border, was short about half to three fourths of an inch. As I was sewing that last strip, I was thinking I could add another inch of backing along that edge.

Then I got another plan. I decided to cut the binding for the top a bit wider so that I could turn it down to meet the fabric where it was short. You can see how it looks on the back in the above picture. I quilted it along the sewing line on the front so the total effect is no different from the regular binding.

I couldn't make a mitered corner with two different sizes of binding but I think this solution is working and will hardly be noticeable. (at least by a man riding by on a fast horse).

Two edges are now finished ... two more to go. 

I have to admit that I probably would have finished this up today had I never been tempted by windows 10 last week. One thing has not returned to normal yet.
In the past, when I wanted to download pictures from my camera, I would plug the camera into my laptop and turn it on, then go to the picture file. In the list would be the name of the camera and when I right-clicked that, I got to the place to download any recent pictures. My computer looked over the camera files and just took the new stuff, giving me the option to put a title on the download. Oh, so simple!
Since returning to windows 7, my picture section does not recognize my cameras. When I click on the import icon, a window pops up saying to plug in the camera and turn it on. Well, it does not work from that point on but there is a message saying if you don't see the camera identification, push refresh. No amount of refreshing would fix the problem.

After hours of working at trying everything to get the pictures to download, I took my camera to my husband at his computer and asked him to download those two pictures on to his computer and send them to me by e-mail. 

Well, they came in the mail by Jpeg and the next three or four hours were wasted getting them into a file where I could locate them to download to the blog. As a result you can see the pictures of my quilting solutions. The camera issues are still remaining. Please enjoy the pictures and appreciate the hoops I jumped through to do what was once a no-brainer. I really need a resident guru who speaks English. There has gotta be an easier way.

And another solution that seems to work ... you may recall that when Ben requested purple as one of his favorite colors, I had almost no purple fabric. Thanks to friends to the rescue, he will now have purple and lime green on the back.,,, but, when I went to my thread stash to find something for sewing the binding ... no purple there either! I did find a blue that is very close so that is what I am using . The blind stitching doesn't really show and I am not going to go out in the rain to find a store that carries purple thread. 

My #1 rule is ... if it works, it is the right way.

Friday, August 28, 2015


Little by little I am getting things back to my old-fashioned normal.

My recent goal being to sort out the picture problem.

Ta da! How is this for a picture?
I don't know what these flowers are. They bloom along the wall in the spring and again in the late summer.

They seem to have been happy that the rain brought a bit cooler weather.

There is a yellow version too ...

And I think, in the past, there were some lavender ones as well.

Thursday I met up with a few members of my new quilt group and went to a wonderful quilt show at Seibu Department Store in Ikebukuro.

Of course, no pictures were allowed but there were attendants with gloves who would turn a quilt so the reverse side could be seen and lots of good close-up viewing.

The show lasted 8 days and included work by many well-known Japanese quilters and their disciples. Most were large quilts. Some were group quilts and there were some small items and framed smaller quilts. There was also a section of the show that seemed to be a collection of vintage quilts. There was no information in English, but even so, it was a very well attended and enjoyable show.

There were many booths of items for sale in the area outside the show. After a little lunch and chat with the friends, I went back to look over the shops. Some of them were connected to well known quilters and I could enjoy a bit of a chat with those I see from show to show. I saw a number of lovely packs of coordinated fabrics, but I was able to resist buying anything. After all, I will have to live to at least 200 to use up what I have.

I added a narrow outer border and have finished quilting a bit over three of the borders on the rainbow quilt.

Using my template and starting in the center of one side, I was able to make all the corners come together in a neat arrangement.

All the main part of the quilt is quilted in the ditch so I think the large cable is a good balance.

I haven't made the binding yet but am thinking of a medium purple that will fit the backing as well.  There is still a few day's worth of work until I get to that part so plenty of time to think it over.

There was sad news that the Yokohama quilt show will not take place. It seems "Quilts Tsushin", a wonderful quilt magazine, has gone out of business ... and I think they were the sponsor. The show was held at a large conference center and though it was labeled "Quilt Week" , it usually was only three or four days. I think vendors don't start turning a profit until the 4th day so that may have been a problem. Even the Tokyo Dome show was cut shorter ... I heard because of a sporting event. After all, it is really a baseball stadium. The over-seas vendors were having second thoughts on that one too.
Gossip has it that tourist companies that had booked a tour from Australia to include the show in Yokohama are now scrambling to find activities to fill their agenda. I can't imagine what effect this will have on the Dome show. A few years ago, another quilt show that regularly was held at Shibuya, also was discontinued. Certainly there is no shortage of quilts waiting to be displayed.

One more x-ray tomorrow and I am hoping to say goodbye to tape and bandages and have a lovely long-awaited soak ... and I don't mean in the rain either.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Happy Dance

I am so very grateful for my blogging friends.

I have only met a few, but every single one of those was as wonderful as I had imagined.

Last night I was in tears trying to just write an e-mail and make a post.
This morning I am in tears of gratitude for the sympathy and support I woke to find.

JoAnn ... the "revert" was found and it worked!
I still have a lot of messing around to do to get some things back, but at least now I have a better idea of where to look.

The typhoon brought rain. BUT ... I found a large pair of my husband's boots that will fit over the foot bandages. I will not have to sit in a meeting with wet feet. (and a bandaged foot will not get you a seat on the train anyway ... because all those kids sitting in the silver seats are too busy texting on their cell phones to even notice someone with crutches).

My sincerest blessings to you all!
Fondly, Julie

Jumping through new hoops

Last week I made a BIG mistake!
Being offered a free up-date to windows 10, I thought it might be better than the windows 7 I have been using,

Ever since then, my little laptop is angry with me. "What? You didn't like me the way I was? OK! Now you are going to pay BIG TIME!"

It is a Dell lap-top but Mr. Dell is gone ... there is no longer that icon I could click on to find things on the computer. Now Mr. Windows is in charge of everything. And Mr. Windows does not give pictures to blogger. (Also Mr. Windows did not just add the three new pictures from my camera, it had to download all 2090+ that were in the camera. BUT ... no access to them. Oh, I can click on the picture icon on blogger and download those three pictures to that select form but then the whole thing ... including this pace freezes up.
The result is ... no pictures can be posted.

Of course, since Mr. Windows took over, all my other files are hidden if they do still exist.

Mr. Windows  also does not like Mr. Yahoo. I can still get to my mail with some difficulty but reading it is a challenge and answering or writing even the shortest message is an exercise in patience. (why did I choose that as my focus word this year???)

That little hourglass pops up between every letter typed in. And if the hourglass actually meant to wait and the letter would appear, I might be able to hang in there, but no, left click and try again maybe 20 or 30 times before getting the next letter, then try to remember what I was trying to say.
I wrote my grandson a birthday greeting and two sentences took over half an hour!

I thought it might be easier to answer mail in my cell phone. Yes, it was a wee bit faster but very hard to touch the right letters or scroll the screen without losing the whole thing and having to start all over.

Before all this, my biggest problem was trying to fix the no-reply. My son tried to help me. After all, he was the one to set up my blog for me ... but when he logged on from Colorado, using my password, Mr. Google blocked him and bragged to me that it had caught him at it ... and ... made me change my password. Gosh, I have so many passwords they take up two pages in my notebook (and my notebook cannot be left within reach because Nikko is sure to eat it while I am sleeping.

Oh, there is more ... much more ... but I have probably ranted enough for one sitting. I have managed ... thanks to that hourglass ... to finish quilting three borders on the rainbow quilt. From tomorrow school starts with a teacher's meeting. I am looking forward to working with little kids again. Also, the coming typhoon has pushed some cooler air into our neighborhood. (though I am hoping to make the walking ends tomorrow without a wet foot as it will be another week before I can get into boots or shoes that fit, and my sandals won't be much help if we get the rain that comes with it). My flowers (which are hiding on the windows file) are celebrating the cooler weather and the gardenia is full of buds.
My greetings to all my friends whether I can reply or not, and my advice will be not to fix anything that ain't broke

Monday, August 17, 2015

Singin' in the rain....

Well, at least my garden is.

I think we have some kind of record going for the number of days with high heat and no rain.

Oh, so hot and humid, like living in a sauna.

Starting last Monday, I was engaged with Vacation Bible School at our church. The enrollment had to be closed a week before because classes were full and indeed for the space available we were pretty tight.

The whole interior was turned into a jungle with hanging vines separating work areas. I was in charge of games and basket weaving.

Creating games to fit the available space ... simple enough to understand and active but safe and easy for one person to control... as I had no assistant this year ... it was a challenge.

The basket weaving had been a big hit last year so they decided I would do that again too. It kept me running from place to place and assigned helpers had never made a basket so I was teaching new people every day.

At the last minute, I was given one more day of games and ended up staying up until after midnight preparing the game parts. My husband came the last hour of the last day and after watching said. "Now I know why you come home so exhausted".  Well, it is all over now and I got the cast off my foot on Saturday. (Of course there is still a lot of wrapping and I was told not to walk around) Hah!

Last night around midnight the rain rolled in. Good thing I don't have to wade in the puddles, but after a week away during the day, the laundry had to be done. The laundry poles and clippies were not going to work today.

So, there, among the plants in my greenhouse/ bedroom is a bit of added humidity.

Meanwhile, all the blocks in the rainbow quilt have been quilted in the ditch. I had to remove the basting around the edges and work to smooth wrinkles out of the backing.

There are a few tricky spots but I am thinking of re-basting the border before quilting it. I have begun working on a simple cable template and hope I can get it basted and marked this week.

This time of year is "Obon", a big summer holiday. Many shops are closed for a few days and travel is heavy. My car is out with my daughter from last week and I have no plan of going anywhere. Wouldn't it be nice to have  finished border to show off by next week?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Not melted yet

Oh, but it is HOT here in Tokyo!
Within the past week, 11,672 people were taken to the hospital with heat prostration.
That is up from 7,743 people the week before.
Of those, 25 have died and 312 are in serious condition requiring at least three weeks hospital stay.
Of those affected, 5,689 are age 65 or above and Tokyo had the largest number of all the prefectures with 1,095.

This morning, Nikko and I walked behind a woman carrying an umbrella for shade and wearing gloves that covered her entire arms to above the elbows. I am wearing shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt and carrying a towel to keep the perspiration from dripping onto my glasses. Though the temperatures are in the mid-30s, that is the average and the neighboring area next to us is much hotter.

Tuesday we escaped to the city, where we met one of my "old" scouting buddies. (actually, I was the oldest one there) We have been friends since the early 80's when he was in Japan with the navy. He and his lovely wife helped us celebrate our anniversary with a delicious meal and fried ice cream, while we caught up on several year's time and gossiped about our mutual scouting friends.

My friend had made a trip to the World Jamboree.

I had been half hoping to go ... I had attended the Japanese Jamboree at the same location two years before and, looking back to that week without shade and flooded campsites ... though I would have liked the experience, the lack of information about what might be different (other than thousands more people) along with the price in yen, gave me cause to reconsider.

Well, I got the first-hand report from my friend.

The next day, I also got a first-day-cover ... a real neat gift if you are a stamp collector. (my husband went over to our post office and brought back a sheet of stamps) These will go into my album of scout stamps from around the world. My friend and my husband both know how to make me happy.

This past week I have been working on an extension to the Women's Conference banner.

The end of this month, the church will have what they call a "Rally Day".

After the service, different ministries of the church have displays showing what activities are available.

In the old days, this was a good opportunity to get people involved in the activities of the church and show new members what goes on during  the year.  The last two years it has become just a day to walk around and have a look.

That day I have a scout event to attend so I added a pocket to the banner that can hold the printed brochures for those who want to know more.

I am not a fan of acronyms and this event has become WOCON.

For that reason I put those letters larger and darker fabric.

The owl fabric is the pocket.

The colored piano-key blocks are for attendees to sign their names so I added a few more around the pocket.

The park (where I borrow the fence for picture taking) was very hot in the morning sun but the Saru-suberi tree was bursting with blooms.

In Japanese this tree is called monkey-slip tree because of the very smooth bark.

Crape Myrtle is a tree I wish we saw more of in the city.
It comes in such a variety of colors and blooms throughout the summer and into the fall.
The tree takes in the pollutants which are flaked off in the bark. It can also be pruned way back to the main branches during the winter and yet come back with lots of shade and blooms in the next summer. I suppose it drops a lot of petals and flowers but both Linden and Zelkova drop sticky stuff and they are used for street trees anyway.

And one more piece of trivia ...

Sunday night ... or early Monday morning we had a "Blue Moon". Well, in Tokyo it really was rather orange and I thought I might take a picture of it dangling between the power lines outside my greenhouse windows.

For that, I needed to open the window.

Well, the camera was not keen on being awakened in the middle of the night and got confused about what I was focusing on.  I gave up.

BUT ... the mosquitoes didn't mind being awakened and took advantage of the open window,  I took a picture to show how tiny these critters are ... especially if you are used to those blood-sucking helicopters they have in Minnesota.

If they bite and you refrain from scratching, they do not itch for long. BUT, they never seem to bite me (like the nurse, they can't seem to find any blood), they just fly around singing in my ears and driving me nuts.  This one wouldn't sit down so I could swat it so I had to turn on the lights and pick it out of the air.
We do have bigger mosquitoes in the city and one park was closed part of last summer because those "Tiger Mosquitoes carry Dengue fever. These tiny ones are more common and can breed in the smallest amount of standing water.

I am still sitting with my foot up. The blocks on Ben's quilt are almost all quilted and by tomorrow I will think about how I want to do the border.  And while I am wiping my sweaty brow, I am thinking of my son, Ken, fighting fires in Washington State ... Maybe I don't really know what HOT is ... and I don't want to find out. Stay safe, big boy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Serious holes

In 1993, I made a quilt using a friendship star variation, and using a variety of plaid scraps. It was finished in August and named "Paul's Plaid Stars". It was presented to my husband on August 4th as a 30th year anniversary present.

As another anniversary nears, I am looking at this old quilt ... well used, but also chewed all over by Nikko. (The pink and blue clothes clips indicate all the areas that have been chewed)

Our queen-sized bed had a quilt made in 2001 that Nikko had chewed one hole in while I was away.
I was able to patch that hole with spare blocks, left over from when the quilt was made.

When we moved back to our small rabbit hutch, there was no room for that lovely big bed and the quilt went off to Oregon for one of my daughters to use. Paul got the small bedroom and I use a futon on the floor of the greenhouse.
Nikko sleeps on the landing outside Paul's door at the foot of the stairs to my "room". BUT ... you can see by the holes, when I am away, Nikki likes to sneak on to Paul's bed. That might be OK except Paul tends to go to bed around two or three or four AM and then sleep late. Nikko, like me, tends to go up to bed at ten PM after her evening walk and get up early. On days I am away, separation anxiety sets in ... papa is not responding ... and the quilt is chewed. "Please do not let Nikko on the bed", is heard but ... maybe thought ... well, just this once... and here it is, 11 holes later.

After having read Cheryl's  wonderful post about repairs she made to a dog-chewed quilt, I am wondering if I would have the patience to attempt these repairs. Somewhere in a small tin, I have spare blocks I did not use in the quilt. The border would need complete replacing as well. At any rate, it will not be something to present as a 52nd anniversary present. ( and will Nikko just wangle her way on to his bed and repeat the crime?)

Meanwhile, Ben's rainbow quilt is moving along nicely. So far the quilting lines up pretty well with the backing blocks. I have removed the basting as I reached the wrinkles and stretched and smoothed in the hoop.
I still have the tree skirt to work on and those two items will be going to the same home address so I should get them done together.

Also, I need to do a bit of work on a hanging that will advertise the Women's Conference. I am planning to make a pocket that can hang from the rod at the bottom edge to hold hand-outs giving details of next winter's gathering.

I guess that is enough to keep me busy while I am sitting with my foot elevated (ha ha).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Facing challenges

I am always impressed by my many blogging friends who love to join in to all kinds of challenges.

There are block swaps and all kinds of group challenges involving the creation of blocks or even whole quilts. I browse these posts with a great deal of awe.

Sometimes it is all I can do to manage the assorted challenges that life tosses my way ...
without looking for more.

Continuing challenge #1 is the tucks in the basted backing of Ben's rainbow quilt. I have now quilted most of the center. I started with the center two blocks and have been going around those two, increasing one row at a time. So far I am satisfied that the quilting on the back is coming out relatively square. As I near the borders, I have reached the places where there are tucks in the basted back.

Yesterday I began the outer row and so far I have been able to remove all the basting and smooth out the tucks in the hoop as I go. This challenge is one block at a time. It means a lot more stopping and starting than I like (I usually work with a very long piece of thread so I don't have to stop and start so often). This way I work the rows leading to the border and then do the cross rows one-by-one.

The nice thing is that now I am nearing the edge, there is less quilt to sit under. Seeing the progress encourages me to keep going and dreaming of the day Ben can take the baby quilt off his bed and have a big-boy quilt to replace it.

Yesterday I added another challenge to the equation.  I had a date set up with one of my best friends who came to Japan for the up-coming World Scout Jamboree.

He will be off to the site tomorrow and had brought me a huge shopping bag of fabric that his mother was cutting from her stash.

Of course this is not the first "gift" she has sent.
Last time I needed to drive my car to pick up the many boxes he brought. (In fact, this may be her way of getting me to live to 200 just to use it all).

I figured one large shopping bag could be put into my roller bag and I could tale the train for free with only a short walk to the meeting spot.

Rushing around to get things organized so I could get out the door in a timely fashion, I kicked something. I can't even remember what it was ... a chair leg ... a corner of the furniture ... the door frame ... but when I finally stopped long enough to look, my little toe was sticking straight out at 45degrees from my foot. Oh, that does not look good. I tried pushing it back so I could put on some shoes. Nope, not going to work. Well I was pressed for time but I hopped on my bike and pedaled
off to the local clinic.

So much for my schedule. x-rays did not look good and it took several sets of x-rays and a lot of pulling and twisting before the toe was back on the right direction. Then a partial cast and all kinds of instructions about not walking and elevating my foot etc. etc. I barely had time left when I got home to change my clothes and grab my roller bag and rush out to the train station, calling my friend to say I might be a wee bit late. Actually the 15 minute walk didn't take so much longer so I was still in time.

One thing though, Those "Silver Seats" which are reserved for the elderly, physically handicapped, pregnant women, etc mean NOTHING to the average rider. They may line up while waiting for the train to arrive, but once the doors open ... it is everyone for himself ... the fastest and pushiest get any free seats. The rest are squashed in and you are lucky to end up with your body relatively above your feet or with a grip within reach. Crutches, walking sticks, casts on feet, mean nothing

When my kids were young and paying half fare, I told them I never wanted to see them sitting as long as there was someone older standing. Travelling with them yet today I notice they hardly ever sit. However, when the seat was offered to a mother with little kids, she would put the kid on the seat and remain standing. Japan has raised several generations of kids who still feel entitled to sit. Since they are all sleeping or texting or reading cartoon magazines or playing games in their i-pads, they conveniently can not notice anyone standing. Well, the train ride was only 29 minutes each way so not too bad.

Sunday I attended with our choir, a memorial service for a long-time member who had recently passed away.

At the end, those in the congregation followed the Japanese tradition of putting flowers on the table in front of the picture of the deceased.

The florist had provided  large white chrysanthemums all in a uniform size. They must have been imported because this is hardly the time of year for chrysanthemums. As we were leaving after the fellowship hour at the end, we were offered flowers to take home. Those Japanese members of the group would never take them home so the foreigners were pressed with big bunches. Well, why not?
Mine went into the entry-way where I can enjoy them coming and going and considering the heat, they have lasted quite well.

The final challenge is the silkworms.

There are still 12 cocoons that have not hatched. I rather doubt that they will as some are way too unfinished or have signs that the efforts to get out didn't work. (dark spots indicate the liquid emitted to dissolve the silk at the opening did not work.

Note the wimpy wings on this little lady.
The eggs are a bit smaller than poppy seeds.

I will put them in a zip=lock baggy and stick them at the back of the vegetable drawer until next summer. It might pe a bit of a challenge to get things right to raise another generation.

Enjoy all your challenges ... the most frustrating one of mine is not doing vacation bible school games with my foot in a cast, it is facing the continuing problem of being no-reply on many of my long-tram favorite blogs.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

more silkworm trivia

Yesterday I had an early start to my day.

I left before 7:am for a pre-school who had expressed some interest in interviewing me for a job. Though the interview was around noon, I wanted to have a look at the school and see how the classes were run. Luckily I was able to spend time during the morning in a class with kids and teachers. Two to four year olds have a lot of energy but they are fun to be with and the morning flew by.

I was able to get a more complete tour of the school after the interview. The building used to be apartments and my son-in-law was the architect who converted the space into class rooms and activity areas. Though space was small compared to other schools in the area, the space they did have was very efficiently used and well organized. The director held my SIL in high regard. I think it will be an interesting place to work on a part-time basis,

When I returned home in the afternoon, two of the silkworms had hatched out and were sitting on the side of their apartments. This morning, 14 more crept out of their cocoons. I had never in the past paid much attention to the schedule but it took from four to five weeks for caterpillar to cocoon and a little over two weeks for hatching to begin.

This morning, before I even came downstairs, the first two pairs had formed. These moths look well developed but are unable to fly.

More often they have stubby wings like the one in this picture

So far, there are only two pairs.
Those  others are sitting around waiting for a partner to hatch out.

Just like the caterpillars that patiently sit and wait for leaves to drop on their heads, the moths patiently sit and await a mate.

Though it is getting very hot and humid for sitting under a hoop, I have completed quilting 31 blocks.

Checking the back, I have not yet arrived at the problem areas but so far, what I had considered a possible problem of crooked quilt lines on the back side, seem to be not as expected. If this might be used as a reversible quilt, I worried about how the quilting would line up.

So far, so good.

We are enjoying another very hot sunny day but a typhoon is moving in from the south-east and should make changes by tonight. (hopefully with enough warning to run and shut windows).

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fun on a rainy day

Thursday, with a short one-day notice, my #3 daughter, Norie, set up an outing with friends to an art exhibit.

One of these friends I see rather regularly for visiting art exhibits but two others I had not seen for many years.

The group was made of pre-school teachers ... one new acquaintance and three retired teachers that I have worked with at the American School. The show was the work of two artists and a Ikebana master.
When we stepped off the elevator into the exhibition hall, my first reaction was WOW! There was so much to see ... artwork everywhere calling out for your attention.

To the right are the elevator doors and a counter with guest books to be signed.  Two of the artists were on duty and more than willing to show us around, answer questions, and engage in conversation.

The largest amount of work was by Atsushi Inada, a very versatile artist, with paintings, soft sculpture, stitchery, and a number of objects, some small that could be purchased and taken with you. It seemed his main topic was cats.

Though some were in a rather contemporary design, all were whimsical and identifiable as cats. I asked Inada-sensei if he kept cats and he said he had three.  Certainly he had captured their poses and personality in his art.

This was one of my favorites. The paint seems to be dry-brushed .

The cat looks quite contented in it's chosen pose.

This cat was all hand stitched.

He said his mother sewed kimonos and he learned to sew early in childhood.

There were a few stitched pictures  and when I went to take a picture of this one, there was a hanging cat which he moved out of the way. it was a shoulder bag and the tail was the strap. It was like many of his soft sculptures, decorated with beads and buttons and the like.

  Here is a sample of the sculpture.

Norie and I both thought of #4 daughter, Kimie's friend who holds workshops in her craft shop in Portland OR for making creative art. I once made a garden elf in one of her workshops and her stock of supplies must be quite similar to what this artist was using ... yarns and beads and a variety of felt and fabrics.

The second artist, Keisuke Kawakami exhibited a number of paintings that reminded me of fabric art.

The detail was amazing and the colors, so rich.

Here is one of Imada's soft sculpture cats guarding a three-panel work.

And a few more of his paintings.

I should have taken close-ups of the detail
but you can get the idea,

The Ikebana was everywhere. setting off the exhibition atmosphere. Tatuhiko Matsui seems to be a creative flower arranger belonging to no particular school. He began in 1985 making arrangements for the Hotel New Otani. I do remember back then admiring the large showy displays in the hotel lobby. In those days I was studying Ikebana with the Sogetsu school which also tended to be rather more creative than traditional schools.

I was amused by this tub of cut tree branches covered with lichen and moss and mushrooms yet quite attractive in design and texture.

I'm not certain how long we all stayed but it was hard to leave that amazing display.

Before leaving we had a photo op.

The cat artist is the gentleman in front and the other painter behind him. You can see ikebana mobiles swirling above our heads.

We followed this event with a lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant the cat artist showed us to.

The rain fell all day ... not too hard but persistent.

In the evening I went to choir practice, again wading my way along but it was a waste of time because the practice had been cancelled. I was not the only member who made the mistake so probably the notice had been delivered in Japanese when we were not paying attention. The Sunday bulletin claimed "music practice"and we should have taken note of the word "music" replacing "Choir" Well, isn't choir music?

Ah well,

This morning we were greeted with only clouds which soon parted to give a glimpse of the sun.

Yes, it is still out there.

We have enjoyed cool days and by now I have managed to quilt 16 of the center blocks on Ben's quilt.

The first typhoon of three ended up heading to Taiwan and it looks like the next one may be going to Shanghai. More rain is predicted here. Today was warm in the sun but with so many houses so close together, our room gets very little sun. The windows behind me face south and the time was around 5:pm but very little light makes it inside. I will keep working until it gets too hot to work. It is always nice to have a bit of stitching waiting for me while I ponder the fun of a day with friends.