Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The camera speaks!

My camera seems to be enjoying it's elevated position from case to handbag. Suddenly it is calling out to me as I pass a world of beauty.

When nighttime temperatures dropped to a new low, the Japanese Maples  turned on the red button.

 Wednesday I met with my friend, Shigeko for a day of beauty.

We went to the Nezu Museum ...
No pictures of the exhibits ... and viewed ancient treasures in the form of scrolls telling old stories.

Some were mounted on folding screens and many of those tales I have viewed as Kabuki plays.

There were some scrolls where the pictures were so tiny and detailed, it seems they must have been painted with a brush with only one hair!
The title of the exhibit is "Pictured Tales: From Courtly Narratives to Medieval Short Stories".

After viewing the main exhibit, we visited the other
Galleries seeing ancient Chinese Bronzes, Buddhist art, fan-shaped paintings, and tea ceremony implements.

Then, as if that was not enough walking, we went out to enjoy the beautiful garden attached to the museum.

The sky was a beautiful blue and the trees have reached their prime in color.

There were paths going in all directions and we needed to make a choice  ... left or right or straight ...every few steps.

The garden was also a show place of art with sculptures and lanterns well placed at every turn.

This stone fellow seems to be contemplating the beauty around him.

And how inviting is that path leading upward?

Those trails were almost like a maze.

High above in the trees, the Hiyodori (Brown-eared Bulbul) were calling out as they enjoyed the scene.

The black pines were wrapped with belly-bands in preparation for winter.

As I understand it, the insects winter in the straw bands rather than burrowing into the tree bark and the straw can then be burned in the spring.

I don't know if black pines are in great danger from insects, but the red pines are suffering greatly from pine blight carried from tree to tree by the pine-bark beetle.

It was a wonderful treat from my friend to enjoy all this and as we left, we noted the next exhibit will begin January 9th.

"Pine, Bamboo, and Plum: Auspicious Designs in Celebration of the New Year."

These little straw decorations along the garden path represent plum (can you see the shape of the flower in the twisted straw rope?) and the other might be pine or bamboo.

They seem to be saying, "Come back in the New Year to our show".

And Tuesday night, I grabbed this picture of the tree skirt on the floor at church.  When I returned home, I added the ties along the open edge and at this moment it is winging its way to Oregon.

I had to chuckle about a week or two ago when Quilt Inspiration (Check them out ) posted a terrific selection of tree skirt patterns. A little late for my use ... I had to come up with a pattern of my own .. but had I seen them, I would have had a hard time deciding on just one.

Now it is on to my Christmas presents (the tree skirt was actually a birthday present requested in February). Nothing like a deadline or two to keep me moving.


  1. I just had a look at Quilt Inspiration site an my oh my now I can't decide which pattern to use. The trees look beautiful, here in Brisbane Australia we don't have the season changes that others have so it is lovely to enjoy them through others eyes.

    1. If it is inspiration you are looking for, there is no better place to find it. That site is a year round quilt show with the best from all over.
      I often miss the oranges and yellows of my Ohio youth, but we do get lovely color here ... maybe not all on the same tree at once though.

  2. One of our favorite museums for sure! Your tree skirt is one of a kind and holds so much meaning with those snowflakes created by loved ones!

  3. The tree skirt is magnificent. Each snowflake is delightful. What a beautiful gift. The color on the trees is wonderful - after several big wind storms all of our trees are now bare. Just waiting for spring.

  4. Hi, and thank you for the shout-out !! Much appreciated, and we are glad that everyone is enjoying the free patterns for tree skirts and Christmas stockings. Julie, your photos of nature are lovely, and that tree skirt bound for Oregon is absolutely stunning. We especially love the gorgeous snowflakes that are each so unique and individualized. Julie, your work is exquisite, and you've created still another fabulous heirloom. :-)
    Blessings to all, from Marina and Daryl Lynn at Quilt Inspiration

  5. p.s. Your photos are amazing! The red-orange trees against the blue sky is heavenly. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Beautiful tree skirt! Love too your descriptions of the beauty of your adopted country.
    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

  7. Love seeing the beautiful things in your area and I like the idea of a tree band, I should try that. Your skirt came out beautifully and I think your own pattern is much better and more treasured because it came from the heart.


  8. I so love seeing your pictures - it's nice to see places I know I'll never get to go. blessings, marlene

  9. I envy you your outing to see the autumn colours. My chance to see the turning of the colours is when I sweep up the leaves of the cherry tree!
    The tree skirt is just great. I love the snowflakes your family members made for you to use.

  10. you certainly are surrounded by beauty x

  11. That's a really lovely colour Julie! I miss all those nice colours Japan can produce.

  12. The gardens are looking stunning! The foliage colours are beautiful. What a wonderful way to enjoy your day.
    Great finish on the tree skirt. It is lovely.

  13. Gorgeous photos! It is a real bonus that your camera is able to take more pictures! The tree skirt turned out lovely. I bet it will be loved!

  14. Good for you for getting the Christmas tree skirt on its way BEFORE Christmas! It is beautiful!