Tuesday, July 5, 2016

creative excuses

Well, a week has passed and I can't blame the internet because it has been restored.
I can't blame the camp cleanup and wash because there is still a lot to be done ... and even craft boxes sitting in my genkan.

So, where did the week go so quickly?

I finished the toilet paper holder and sent it off to my elder son, along with a Japanese covered hanger.

I was also able to put a roll of bird-print paper into the holder. It was something from long ago that I had saved and had pictures of Japanese birds with their names in English and Japanese.

So what would you think if your mom sent you such a thing for your birthday? Ken is very handy so I'm sure he will be able to install the hanger and I really like the idea of a spare at your fingertips ... thinking back to all the times in my youth that I found myself stranded.

So, the owl is flying on it's way to Oregon and will probably arrive early with plenty of time to perch in the right place before his birthday arrives. I don't think he checks my blog so the secret is safe.

Friday I spent a wonderful day with my blogging friend, Tomomi. We met in Nippori, known as "Fabric Town", and after a quick lunch, hit the shops up and down the shopping street.

I really had no fabric needs but was looking for a few alphabet subjects. If I had been looking for cat fabrics, I would have hit gold. I have never seen so many cat prints in so many stores in all my life!
I did break down and by one small piece of cat print in a color that matches my handbag. I am thinking of making a new bag for carrying my school stuff and maybe a lunch bag.

I'm not sure what was on Tomomi's list but she seemed to have found a few fabrics to buy. It is always fun to hang out with another quilter and meeting up with a blogging friend is a very special opportunity.

I have Lis to thank for friendships beyond the internet, as she was the first of my blogging friends to meet in person. What she showed me was, that every blogging friend is as wonderful in person as over the internet, had been true in every case.

After checking both sides of the road ... up one side and down the other ... we met up with her charming husband (who took this picture) and beautiful daughter over a cup of coffee (for me, anyway).

I smiled all the way home and am still smiling as I look at this picture. And, if I didn't need the friendship to make me smile, Tomomi brought me a darling reminder of her visit.

I need to find a place to display this beautiful beaded lace doily and the pretty pieced pouch.
For now they sit on the chest beside my quilting chair where I can admire them as I recall our time together.

Soon Tomomi will be winging her way back to Ireland and I'm waiting to see what she will post.

Meanwhile, life flies by.

Sunday was our choir party. Pot luck means lots of foods and lots of variety and the party was fun to talk with all those friends we are always too busy singing with for much of a visit.

Monday I was called to substitute for one of the teachers so it was a long day. The weather was very hot and humid all day but the rain started in the evening and the last two days have been cooler.
I have begun at last the cover for my daughter's tissue box ... a lot late for Christmas. I tried to find a box that size so I could be sure to make a cover that would fit. I finally gave up and made one out of tagboard.

Marie had asked for some indigo and sashiko.

I found yukata fabric with the zodiac animals on it and cut a diamond section of a horse for Marie and a dragon for Tim.

It was really too small for real sashiko ...

So I decided to just quilt in the designs.  They are "Fuku" meaning good luck or fortune and the Fukuda family crest.
My next challenge will be to join the sides and add the square bottom. Then, I am thinking of making a gathered strip at the top to be closed around the opening in the tissue box. I have no idea what the shape might be but I think that should work ... if I can just take it one step at a time and one problem to solve in each step. Hopefully Marie should not have to wait until another Christmas to get her gift.

Marie, if you see this, you will know the wait is getting shorter.

So, that's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it!


  1. You have made a charming owl for the loo! What son would not want to have one! Great fabric, too.
    Great fabric for the tissue paper box, too. By quilting in white on dark blue you have made sashiko! I am sure you will construct the cover in no time.
    You have also had plenty of time for social fun, shopping and a feast with the choir.
    Stay cool in the heat.

  2. I love the toilet paper holder owl. How cute! What about not putting a bottom on the tissue holder, but, adding it to the top, with an oval opening, where the tissue comes out. I'd be glad to send some pictures of what those boxes look like.

  3. That toilet paper holder is wonderful and such a fun idea to decorate with.
    I also love your stitching and doing it in the center was a wonderful idea.
    It is fun to meet up with online friends and looks like you had a wonderful time.


  4. An owl in the toilet, do you have a pattern for this? And what a day out together, love the doily and the gathered wee bag, and the tissue box, those blues and whites are superb.

  5. You surely have been busy - and looks like enjoying yourself too. Love the owl, you are indeed so clever. And the blue and white one will be great too, knowing you.

  6. It is surprising how quickly a week can go by. But it does look like you have been very busy.
    Your toilet roll holder looks wonderful What a great idea. Yes, sometimes it is hard to think of ideas to make, but this one is lovely.
    Great fabrics for the tissue box.

  7. Hi Julie! Looks like you had a nice time with your friend. I love the beaded doily, such neat work!! And the owl toilet paper holder for your son is so cute. Talent abounds!Thanks for visiting my blog . I left a reply to your comment but copied and pasting here...... Julie, My "lovely garden" goes only 4-5 months a year, if its a good year. Yes, chickens do need sitters. Are you volunteering??? LOL

  8. It was really nice to meet you Julie and thank you so much for showing me around Nippori. Hope I didn't tire you out! Take it easy over summer.

  9. How wonderful to meet your blogging friend!! I wish we would have known each other while I was still in Japan. It would have been wonderful to have a quilting friend while there.

    Take care and enjoy your summer!

  10. I love your toilet owl, who wouldn't? The fabric for the tissue holder is perfect with the zodiac signs in the individual squares, it will work well. I think our families get used to getting handmade gifts when they're finished, not necessarily on the right date! I am currently stitching my fingers raw trying to get a quilt finished for Sara's wedding, a week today. I might end up binding it and asking for it back to finish the quilting. Hoping you're keeping comfortable in the Summer weather.

  11. Your tissue box holder is wonderful! I wonder if I remember how to do sashiko... You so a beautiful job!