Wednesday, March 28, 2007

temple hopping

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We just finished a three day temple/shrine hopping trip to Kyoto and Nara. Everything was absolutely amazing and I'm not sure I'll ever get around to posting pictures of all the sites we saw...in the meantime, here are a few.



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Todai-ji temple...home of a 56ft tall Buddha statue.



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The Golden Pavilion



My favorite part of the trip so far was our dinner at a zen garden restaurant at Ryoan-ji temple. We had a vegetarian zen meal of boiled tofu and spices. It was delicious...but the best part was definitely the view...so serene and peaceful. This has got Jon and I dreaming of ways to transform our backyard into a private little oasis. We'll see.



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Jon has been missing our little kitties terribly and has been complaining that there are no cute animals in Japan for him to pet...that is, until today. Nara is known for its friendly sika deer and Jon took the opportunity to make quite a few friends today (feeding them crackers helped too!). This animal fix should him over for a few days!



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Sunday, March 25, 2007

our little journey begins

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We arrived in Japan after a long flight and lots of interrupted sleep. Joel promptly put us to work packing up his apartment on Friday night and Saturday morning. There was a lot of teasing going on as Jon and I never really realized how much of a packrat Joel is. He literally had two large shopping bags filled with plastic japanese bags that he wanted to bring back with him. Some other things we made him part with...orange plastic hangers, $3 Old Navy flip flops, clothes pins and a fabric covered piece of cardboard. Joel is still trying to pack up his belongings, but we have gotten to do some other things in the meantime.



On Saturday night we went to an izakaya, a japanese drinking and hanging out place, for Joel's going away party. We literally sat and ate little plates of food for about five hours straight. The food was delicious and it was fun to meet some of Joel's new friends and see past visitors to Michigan that we have met in the last three years.



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Jon and I were still trying to overcome our jet lag (not so much fun!) and were probably a funny site for everyone to see. Joel took this funny picture of us on the train on the way home to Mike and Chikage’s apartment.



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Luckily today we are well rested and mostly back to normal!



This afternoon we made a little trip to the grocery store a.k.a. "supa." Check out all of the yummy food in these pictures.



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After going to Joel, Mike and Chikage's church this afternoon, we went out to eat and had River Eel (unagi), a Nagoya specialty. Yummy!

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Tomorrow we're off to Kyoto on the Shinkansen...



Thursday, March 22, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

a little more embroidery

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I ended up purchasing some patterns from sublime stitching a few weeks ago. I picked up a few skeins of thread at a big sale and I'm all set to start this new little hobby sub-set in full force. I've started working on the sushi patterns in anticipation of our trip, but I can't wait to make something with the Dia de Muertos pattern. I get to review a lot of Spanish material and art books for my current job, so I always love when I find something Day of the Dead related that is totally kitschy! I'm in the process of stitching up the sushi patterns onto fabric squares to be included into a quilt sometime soon.



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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

afternoon delight

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I saw this tissue holder tutorial last night and Jon and I agreed that it would be great to have a fabric tissue holder for our long flight. So, this afternoon I pulled out some fabric from my stack and got to work. This was totally an instant gratification project and a great way to use some of my new fabric. Jon mended his belt while I worked - I'm so glad I didn't have to sew through that thick canvas! Shinji thought he was participating in a fun new game, so it took Jon a bit longer to finish.



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Jon has been trying to come up with non-girly fabric projects that he could use inside his messenger bag that could organize his stuff. Nothing has come to mind yet and I'm afraid to suggest anything with a zipper (i.e. a pouch or change purse) because sewing one in scares me. Any ideas?



Monday, March 19, 2007

irish hiking scarf

I finished this irish hiking scarf just in time for St. Patrick's day. Jon and I gave it to our friend, Drew, as a belated (or, oops, we completely forgot) birthday gift yesterday. I'm starting to think that I need to try knitting something other than scarves and rectangular purses...this got pretty boring near the end - thank goodness we watched a few good movies to pass the time while I knitted.



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Lamb's Pride Worsted

Christmas Green

2 Skeins

Size 8 needles



Sunday, March 18, 2007

one year later...

It's hard to believe that we've already been married for a year! On one hand it feels like just yesterday we were getting ready for the wedding, but on the other hand it feels like we've been married forever. I think we'd both agree that it hasn't been too much of an adjustment getting used to married life and living together. We've had our share of disagreements about laundry washing and folding, dishwasher loading, door locking and comforter hogging, but we take great joy in teasing each other about silly matters like these. Jon has shown himself to be such a patient, gentle, kind and silly husband in the past year. I'm a lucky girl!



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Jon got me the greatest anniversary card ever! I helped him out a little by hinting that I've always wanted a cheesy "to my wife on our anniversary" card and boy did he deliver! This tri-fold beauty has embossed gold filigree work, a lovely script font and a lavender to teal gradient. It's so pretty that Jon was embarrassed to have the cashier ring it up. Now that is true love! :)



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We thawed out the top of our wedding cake and pulled it out this evening for the traditional one year anniversary cake eating. Not so good the second time around...but the frosting held up beautifully!



Thursday, March 15, 2007

goodbye Jen!

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I said my final goodbyes to my good friend Jen last night. She's headed off to Colorado Springs to work for Citizen magazine. I'm so excited for her big move, but sad to see her go! I'm going to have to call her frequently to get some good doses of sarcasm. I'm not sure who is worse at dishing it out...her or me!



She loaded me up with some really meaningful gifts last night...a bottle of bleach, half a bag of frozen walnuts, a dozen eggs, and some Texas toast. The funny thing is that Jon thought that I had gone shopping at The Gap and brought home this food. "But I just bought eggs on Sunday," he said. Loved the funny look on his face when he realized what had actually happened.



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

new fabric

A few weeks ago I got a call from a telemarketer...I don't know why I didn't hang up at first and I'm glad that I ended up taking the call. After a short survey the woman on the line asked me to come into her company for a two hour focus group discussing my health insurance company. All she had to do was tell me "you'll get a free dinner and $65." I was so there! I participated in the focus group on Monday night and I'm hoping I'll get on some master list to get called back for another group soon!



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In typical Rebekah style, I had extra money burning in my pocket and just had to spend it on something. So, two weeks before the focus group occurred, I had the money spent on new fabric from Hancocks of Paducah. Some of it arrived this afternoon and I've got a couple more shipments of backordered items coming soon. Lucky me! I'm looking forward to making some patchwork projects with this stuff...some pillows, tote bags, purses and other things. We'll see...



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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

holy spring!

dude! If I were still in school, I would totally be studying on the commons lawn right now. 75 degrees and sunny! What I wouldn't give to not have an office job during days like this. Today was totally the perfect day to be a postal carrier!



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Monday, March 5, 2007

busy weekend

I'm just getting back into the swing of things as the weekend I just had needs its own new weekend to recover from.



Jon hopped on a plane yesterday morning for a few days of After Effects training in Charlotte. And I headed out to the Detroit Kennel Club dog show with my fellow dog-loving former college roommate Amber. She got to see her beloved Australian Shepherds and I got to see two little pugs that are up for adoption with the Michigan Pug Rescue. Let me tell you...if they would have let me adopt one (or both) of those little pugs on the spot I totally would have! The plan is to fill out the application and turn it in when we return from Japan. I've wanted a pug for years and the time is just about right to add another little fur ball to our family...hopefully the cats won't mind too much.



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And on a side note: lots of the dog handlers store the dog treats in their mouths! I hope they're giving the dogs beef jerky or some other human food!



After the dog show, we had a delicious barbecue dinner at Slow's Bar-BQ in Detroit. I guess I introduced Amber to the real Detroit, as she saw her first warehouse fire in the reflection of the window across the street from our table. It's always something, right?



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And my not so little anymore sister, Ruth, turned 23 yesterday. We had a family party for her on Saturday night at our house and broke out the catch phrase again for a good clean game of family fun...it really brings out the quirks in everyone's personality. And...we had yet another fire in our house as the cookies on top of her cake caught on fire while we were waiting for her to blow out the candles.



Friday, March 2, 2007

tying up loose ends

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I took a cable knit purse workshop at a local yarn store and this is the finished product. I have had this purse sitting around for about a month now waiting to add the finishing touches. Last night I made the lining and attached the magnetic clasp and this afternoon I just finished attaching the handles to the purse.



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This was a fairly quick knit...just a wider, shorter scarf that was folded over and attached up the edges. Glad to have another work in progress crossed off the list!



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Lamb's Pride Bulky

Persian Peacock

180 yds.

Size 10 1/2 needle