Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hinamatsuri (Doll’s Festival)

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Last night, we finished a wonderful chapter book called Ship of Dolls by Shirley Parenteau. My dad gave it to Lily for Christmas and I understand there is a sequel, Ship of Hope, in the works.  It is a work of historical fiction based on a true event that we did not know about – the gift of friendship when over 12000 dolls collected from school children all over the United States sailed from San Francisco to Japan in 1927.  The exchange was arranged by a teacher missionary, Dr. Sidney Gulick.   You can read more about the history and goals of the Friendship Doll Mission here.

The dolls reached Japan by freighter in time for the Japanese Doll Festival, Hinamatsuri which is celebrated in Japan each year on March 3rd.  On this day, families (generally those with daughters) set up tiered platforms displaying hina dolls. 
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For the international component of her Girl Guide fashion badge, Lily chose to learn about kimonos. She had a chance to model a kimono at the Textile Museum as well as learn about the kimono's structure and piecing.
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I stitched up a kimono for one of the American Girl dolls. I used this pattern by Pixie-Faire.  Technically, married women wear kimonos with short sleeves and unmarrried women wear kimonos with long sleeves.  The fabric is from Japan and features miniature kokeshi dolls (I picked it up from Kallisti quilts). The obi belt is a leftover piece of dupioni silk
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Time to take a break from the photo shoot and enjoy some sushi (miniature erasures from Daiso).
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Happy crafting and thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Winter Stations

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It is the last day of February and I thought I would post a few photos of the warming huts that are on display at Balmy Beach. The beach life guard stations are temporarily transformed into warming huts. The project was as a result of an international juried design competition is called Winter Stations.

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The fabric, above, acts as a swing.

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This hut has a fire pit.

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The shoreline is spectacular right now.  We have experienced the coldest February on record.

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Looking forward to warmer temperatures. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Crafting with my kids: Lunar New Year 2015 Year of the Sheep, Goat, Ram

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Today marks the first day of the Lunar New Year festival.  This year is the year of the goat or the sheep (as I understand it there is no distinction in the Mandarin language between these animals whereas English language has more categories).

For the last several years, my daughters and I have been crafting our way through the Zodiac.  This year we made sheep by painting on laysee / red money envelopes with cotton balls.
We cut the envelopes open along one long side and both short sides so the envelopes lay flat. The girls dabbed cotton balls in white acrylic paint on the envelope. 

[We have a large stash of laysee in a wide range of styles and shapes.  We like to use them in our CNY crafting (different examples here , here, and here).]
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The white painting is then embellished with black feature (legs, ears, nose, etc.).
The standing sheep are made from yarn, cardboard, and clothespins.  I posted about this Easter project nearly three years ago here.
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Happy crafting and for those celebrating we wish you a very healthy and prosperous new year!