Both of these designs were made in my sketchbook next to one another…
The “Maneki Neko” or “beckoning cat” is very popular in Japanese culture. I could not resist making my own very cute, wide-eyed cat.
The owl, or fukurou, is a good luck symbol in Japan as well. The sounds of the Japanese word for owl also mean “no trouble” which means the owl is lucky. It also symbolizes old age, and owl themed gifts are often given when someone turns 60. I wish my owl was on a lighter background now, because you cannot see just how adorable he is.
Only one more week of Japanese culture weeklies to go.
I absolutely love this background fabric by Lakehouse Designs. I wish I had more than the little fat quarter I have of it (or what is left of it). When I put the moon on the background, there was a design problem. You could see the flowers “through” the moon, and they were very distracting. I quilted over them quite a bit, and it still didn’t “knock them back” (as Pokey Bolton says). So, even though the piece was quilted and bound, newly confident via Judy Coates Perez and my recent class with her, I dragged out the Setacolor black paint, and painted over the flowers. The “cool” thing was that Lakehouse outlined the flower with a thin shimmery rim and metallic gold, which the paint didn’t really cover. In the end it was so much better for having “shadow flowers” inside the moon. I really like the new piece. This month’s theme has been fun so far.
I’m on vacation this week also, and have been enjoying the relaxing times I have spent at home with DH. I have not been sewing as much as I had expected, because my DH got a new video game for Christmas that I am enjoying watching unfold, probably as much as he is enjoying playing it. I have been doing a lot of thinking about the past year and am really looking forward to 2009.
I have decided to do another year of weekly quilts, but I have decided to challenge myself again with changing the size and continuing to do them in themed groups by month. The size for 2009 is 8 inches by 5 inches, landscape orientation. I have a theme already for January.
I got great presents for Christmas from the DearHusband, and he was even so thoughtful as to wrap my gifts in fabric! Plenty of things with which to make art this year, and some more Nohohon Zoku (Hidamari No Tami) for my office. I have the best collection of these now.
I have been doing plenty of Japanese culture research for some quilt themes this year. I love the idea of nengajo, New Year’s postcards that are supposed to arrive on Jan 1. This year is the year of the cow (or Ox), and it’s also the sign of my birth year too. I love some of the holidays and traditions of Japan.
Anyways, have a great New Years celebration, be safe, and see you again in 2009, with a lovely giveaway!
It’s rotten to be sick, and this cold really knocked me for a loop. I was so drained, I thought sewing this weekend would be impossible.