2 Years with Haru

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It has been almost 2 years since Haru(Koharu) came into our lives and became the youngest member of our family. She is a miniature dachshund with shaded cream long hair.  Unlike Cocoa, our first dog, she has a very strong personality.  She is very carefree and doesn’t usually pay attention to what we say. I have probably spoiled her too much because she is my baby.

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Every morning and late afternoon, Haru sits on top of the couch which is placed against a big window, and she watches people and dogs walking on the street.  She often barks when she sees people and other dogs, as if she is reporting somebody suspicious.  Even in the early morning when it is dark outside, she sticks her face out to watch between two curtain panels.

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One time, Haru injured her paw on the escalator.  One of her toe nails got stuck and she got a bloody paw.  Her vet treated her paw with a truck patterned blue bandage.  I wished that she could have gotten a pink bandage.

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Flying Haru.                                                                                                               Cool down by swiming

It has been a joy to spend time with Haru walking, playing, and sleeping together.  We love her as much as we do Cocoa, and I love when Cocoa and Haru come to me excitedly every day after I come home.  We look forward to having more adventures with them in the years to come.

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We can see how much Haru has grown by the stuffed bear.

 

 

 

Home Again – Vol. 3 Pretty Zakka

 

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While I stayed in Japan, I visited many stores that sell “zakka”.  “Zakka” are small household and interior design items in categories such as  the kitchen, bathroom, stationary,  crafts, fashion, etc.  They are all so pretty, of good quality and design, and very functional.  Just looking at them makes me happy and always inspires my own crafts.

The pictures above and below are a lunch box from  a store called Afternoon Tea in Nagoya, Japan.  Each container has small partitions , and the three boxes can be stacked and tied with a belt.  I can’t wait to go on a picnic with Cocoa and Haru with this lunch box full of food in the summer.

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I found another pretty shop called “On and Off” at Odawara in Japan.  I bought two pairs of chopsticks.

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These are cup cake holders with pink and blue polka dots.  Another one has a Paris themed design. I bought them to use for my needle felt crafts.

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This schedule notebook with a buffalo check cover was a gift from my friend.  There are all kinds of cover designs and are very popular in Japan.

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Finally, this small pouch with a metal frame and a strap was found in a small shop in Kyoto, close to the Kiyomizu temple. There were many pretty items in the store but I picked this pouch.  I think it is very simple, but colorful and elegant at the same time.

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Spring Tote Bag

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Spring has come, at least in the Pacific Northwest!  For my next project I searched for brightly colored, elaborately patterned fabrics to mix and match.  I found two blue patterned fabrics and made a tote bag.  The bag is big enough to carry a purse, a phone, as well as many other things.  In Seattle, we need to bring our own bag  for shopping, so I can carry this bag to go to the grocery store, farmer’s market, or boutique.  There are two small pockets and a magnet clasp inside.

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Crochet Pillows

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For my next crafting project, I made pillow cases which have fabric pattern on one side and crochet on the other side. I learned how to knit before crochet, but I always thought that crochet was very pretty.  I started making simple scarfs and small bags with crochet.  For the crocheted side, I matched a white yarn with pink, blue, or yellow yarn.  I made 25 motifs and stitched them together.  For the  fabric side, I picked a patterned fabric that matched the crochet color.  I also attached a zipper so that I can remove and wash the pillow case.

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Yellow crochet and pig patterned fabric

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Pink crochet and pig patterned fabric

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Blue crochet and patterned fabric

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Blue Birds Coin Case

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This is another coin case that I made using the same fabric for the pot holders and the triangle shaped pouches from posts in the past.  The inside is lined with a blue bird colored fabric. The weather in Seattle recently, has been beautiful, and I can tell that springtime is approaching; the leaves are growing back on the trees, and the cherry blossoms are blooming. This coin case, with its sky blue, and bird pattern, is the epitome of spring.

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Piggy Coin Case!

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This adorable fabric with little colorful pigs all over it, is extremely versatile, and this time, I decided to make a coin purse with it. The outside is covered with the little pig fabric, while the inside is lined with a red polka dot fabric. I think that this coin case is not only useful for small amounts of pocket change, but is charming and eye catching as well.

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Hinamatsuri – A Celebration for Young Girls

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Spring is just around the corner and March 3rd is Hinamatsuri – Girl’s day in which people celebrate and pray for young girl’s growth and happiness in Japan.  When a baby girl is born, her family buys Hina dolls which are displayed with  five or seven tiers where on the top step are the Emperor and Empress.  The dolls in the pictures were given to me by my aunt.  When I was a child, most of my friends had a big set of dolls which even reached six feet tall, and I remember I wanted a bigger one like my friend’s.  Mine is a miniature set of dolls that can be placed on a table.  However, as I got older, I thought the intricate details of the dolls and accessories like the pink cheeks, lanterns, and musical instruments were unique and special and I came to like my Hina dolls very much.

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When my daughter was born, I passed my Hina Dolls on to her.  As March 3rd approaches, I display these dolls with spring flowers to symbolize good health and happiness for my daughter.

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This year, I also made Hina dolls with origami paper, with design instructions that I found on the internet.  The dolls are very beautiful and simplistic, but were actually very difficult to fold.

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I hope that girls around the world enjoy good health and happiness.

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Cocoa!

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Cocoa turned eight today!  He was a very cute puppy, but a very naughty puppy as well.  Cocoa destroyed several electrical cords, several pairs of shoes,  and my daughter’s toys.  While he was playing with my husband’s sweatshirt, he even ended up stuck in the sleeve.

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Cocoa loves to snuggle in clothes just out of the dryer, sleep by the heater, and sit on my husband’s lap. But most of all he loves his squeaky toys!  He plays and plays with them until they are broken and no sound comes out at all.

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When baby Haru came, Cocoa was a very good big brother and tolerated her, even when she played with his toys and woke him up at night. He even protects her outside.

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Cocoa’s once beautiful black and tan colors are now speckled with gray and his soft fur has hardened a bit, but Cocoa is still a beautiful dog, inside and out.  We love you, Cocoa and Happy birthday!

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Hana, Totoro, and Friends!

 

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I made a needle felted dog named Hana.  I made a dress for her with green lace trim and yellow shoes with hearts on them.  On her back, I attached a flower shaped button.

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These three needle felted creatures are the famous Totoro and friends.  They were created by my daughter’s friend as a Christmas gift.  The three of them together makes for an adorable trio.

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