Saturday, November 29, 2008

Aren't these gorgeous?!

I don't usually blog about things I buy on etsy but I think these are so fab that I had to blog about them!! I just had this wonderful etsy jeweler, María Goti Joyas, from Spain make me these:

I had been admiring a ring she had in her shop just like this but with coral and I decided to ask her if she could make it with a pearl and she did it!! She also made these earrings for me! I can't wait for them to arrive!! Merry Christmas to me! (Ok they are actually part of my Christmas present from my honey...I always get to pick out what I want since he has no clue when it comes to jewelry!)Oh and the pics are Maria's!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Tuesday Class

I love Tuesdays! I have some great classes. My first student is a doctor. She is amazing and we have great conversations!! Later I have a class of crazy fun girls ..Saki, Misaki, Kyoko, Nagisa and Ren-very very fun girls who loved posing for this pic!!

Other news-I'm in the process of trying to shop for my office as I have almost no furniture down there so I really need to get some. One room is mine-I have a computer and I use my mini trampoline down there, do yoga etc. I will also put in a sofa and use it as my craft room. I have been really going crazy with ideas-there are so many things I want to make!! I have even been thinking of names for the line of products I want to sell. I really want to do this full time but we can't swing it quite yet. I don't want to rush into it and make a mistake. Besides, I love my job and my crazy students!! ^__^

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas lights in Tenjin.

Yesterday my honey and I went into Tenjin, which is the heart of Fukuoka city. First, we had to go to a lawyer, so that she could sign a marriage affidavit (which I then have to send to the Canadian embassy, along with her statement saying she witnessed me signing the paper-they then sign it and send it back to me so I can get married-all foreigners in Japan have to do this).

After that was over we shopped and took a ton of pics. First we went to a kind of shopping mall called IMS-it was decorated for Christmas!! This is a round shopping mall so most of the decorations can be seen from every part of the mall!

After I took the pictures of the Christmas decorations, we went upstairs to the atrium (floors 12-14) for lunch and took more pictures because it is so beautiful!

We ate fab Indian food!! Then we went walking around to our favorite places and of course, many places were decorated for Christmas. This Iwataya store had giant Christmas cakes in front.

The front of this shop was beautiful in pink.

This shop had many decorations for sale. In one of the displays is a reindeer with a note from Santa, in Japanese, not to feed the deer!

My honey put these pics up on another site and someone wrote that they hope to spend Christmas in Japan one day and I just have to respond to that comment. My first thought....don't. Yes, the decorations are pretty but it isn't Christmas like we in Canada or the States are used to. I can't speak for all North Americans but Christmas is more than 1 day which Japanese kind of think it is. There is a build up in Canada....decorating the outside of your house, decorating the tree with your family (and if you are like my family...decorating your whole house including bathrooms! ^__^). There are cookies to bake, cookie exchanges to go to. Kid's Christmas plays and parties. Adult parties.Shopping for gifts in stores that are decked out and with Christmas music playing. Wrapping the gifts. Hiding the gifts so little ones don't find them. Advent calendars to open....counting down to the big day! Going to the mall to have your children's picture taken with Santa. Christmas cards to send. Laying out the stockings for Santa to fill. Leaving carrots and sugar cubes for the reindeer and cookies and milk for dad...I mean Santa ^__^. If you are religious then you have other activities to signify that Christmas is coming. Then there is the big day itself with the family gathering, presents to open, turkey to eat, eggnog to drink etc. There is such a build up to it and it just isn't here in Japan. I totally understand why-it isn't their culture and that is ok. I have to say when I do go home for Christmas I appreciate it all that much more!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A week in pictures

I took lots of pictures this week so I thought I would share.

The first picture I took at my local shopping mall. It shows a typical Japanese Christmas cake-covered in "nama" or whipping cream and and white!
These next 2 pictures I took while shopping on Friday. Next year is the year of the ox/cow so there are cows everywhere!

While shopping we stopped for a drink at starbucks. They have 3 holiday flavors now...gingerbread,dark cherry mocha and creme brulee. This is a pic of creme brulee. Sadly-no eggnog lattes in Japan.

At one mall they had lots of these pretty trees up.

At another shop I took a pic of these tofu plushes....sadly the blue ones only come in the big size!

A picture of a great "kaiten" (round about) sushi shop....everything is 105 yen! I love the salmon with onions and mayo on top!

And I was so thrilled when I found this game to sell on our yahoo site.....OMG it is so cute! It is both a game and a great way to practice using chopsticks. It comes with a bowl, a pair of chopsticks and little "chicks" in different shapes that you try to pick up. I LOVE this!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's 3am so of course I'm making lip balm!

It is 3 am here in Japan and I just made some lip balm, my famous (ok...famous with friends and some family members) green Japanese beauty mask and some bath salts. You might ask why I would do this at 3 am and my answer would be .....because I've been getting antsy.

See....I've been working hard on my 2 businesses and at my job and I've had little time for other things. Somedays I really am a chicken running around without a head (side note....had fun explaining that one to my he just looks at me when I'm stressed and says " head?"LOL) . Reading? What's that? Making day I kept thinking but then.....

I've been feeling just to burn and walking and bouncing on my mini trampoline hasn't helped. I have always made things....but lately it has all gone to the wayside. I make lists of things I would like to make and then never get around to doing it. And perhaps I have put too much of an emphasis on making things to sell and so I just haven't made anything. But tonight (or rather early in the morning) I got the urge to make these items and I have to say it feels damn good!! I also can feel that energy has been toned down a bit. I guess what I have learned is that I need to make time to make things....even if I never sell them because it is just a part of me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

One Match Can Start A Fire!

So, the other night my honey and I went for a walk. On our way home I could suddenly hear the sound of sticks being banged together and a voice on a loud speaker and then people repeating what he said. It was weird as I have never seen this in 10 years. These kids and a few adults were walking around yelling "Hinoyoujin matchi ippon kazi no motto" which means "one match can start a fire".Okaayyy.....what? Why, I asked him, do they go around banging sticks together and yelling this? He said it is a community service to warn the neighbors to be careful because the winter air is dry so if a fire starts it will burn faster than normal. Then he told me that they repeat the above sentence 3 x and then they say " okasan gasu no mottosen kiotsukete. Otosan netabako yamemashou" which means "mother check the gas (many houses still use kerosene heaters). Father don't fall asleep smoking". This is beyond odd because in this country...they may go around yelling to be careful about matches and checking gas but no one has a smoke alarm in their house!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Feeling a bit blah!

I'm feeling a bit blah. It's rainy outside....has been for 2 days. I normally like the rain but this has been kinda weird....not at all like November. I've still been wearing sandals! So when it feels rainy it just feels humid not at all the way I like my rainy days. Not sure any of that made sense...maybe I'm rambling! cheer me up (and probably you after reading that) I will put up this picture I took earlier in the week-this garden is across from my apartment building.

Oh and one day when I came home I found a lovely envelope addressed to me and inside was this lovely card that my customer made for me-I've never received a card from a customer before!!

Hmmm.....what else? Oh the other day I received my fall copy of "The Portico" which is my University's (University of Guelph) alumni magazine. It was so cool to see all the research my university does and inside I found a picture of a prof that I once gave a presentation with at a national conference . Anyway, I took the magazine to work to show a couple of students and I talked about it with my boss. I asked him if Japanese universities do this and he said no and then said it probably is because people don't donate money to universities. I was surprised. Then he said most Japanese don't donate money to charities. I was less shocked by this but I never knew why they didn't. He said it is because it doesn't help them with taxes. So if they donate money they don't get a receipt for tax time. Wow! I swear I learn new things all the time even though I have been here 10 years!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm guessing all boys are like this?!

So, it was my first day back from holidays! I got updated on Kimiko's (one of my favorite students...she is like a mother to me) trip to Thailand, Hong Kong and Macau. It was great to see her pictures and I loved the souvenir she gave me.

Later I had a class of 3 junior high school boys. I love this class as they are really generally good, sweet boys but .....they can be monkeys (one actually makes monkey noises)!! They are worse than girls when it comes to talking. They hardly speak English (it might actually be my Japanese class) and they can get a little wild. Today, one of them comes in and says he has a present for me. He handed me a piece of crinkled paper that I unwrapped only to find this in it....

Yep....that is a rubber poo! They thought this was the funniest thing....hmmm. So it made me really realize that no matter the language spoken or the culture or country....boys will be boys!!

Here they are:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Woohoo! We are featured in....

A few months ago, I was approached by Krissy Mosbarger from Scrap N' Art Scrapbooking Ezine. She is the project manager and they wanted to use some of our products to make fabulous things with so of course I sent them some paper, tape, stickers etc.

Well, we are featured in their Nov/Dec edition which came out today! If you don't know this ezine it really is fantastic! This issue is about 100 pages and is filled with great projects, ideas, stories, reviews etc. It is amazing to read! You have to sign up order to download it but it is free to join. Just click on the link and follow the directions on how to sign up and then how to download.

The items they made with our supplies are on page 24 and our ad is on page 68. If you love scrapbooking or even just looking at gorgeous cards, altered items etc then you will love this!


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