Last Saturday was the last day of my Japanese language school for the 2014/15 school year. It has been 8 years since I started teaching Japanese to children. Every year the students in my class are different and each class is unique. Over the year I get to know my class by communicating, studying together, playing games, and doing activities, and by the end we have formed a bond. On the last day I had mixed feelings, because I was happy to finish another year and to send the students off to the next level class but I was sad to say good bye and not see them in my class anymore. But I know that the next year holds new students and a different teaching adventure.
Each year students have given me very special gifts; handmade thank you cards, paper cranes, animals made with origami paper, drawings, handmade stuffed animals, etc. I love to see their short, handwritten messages in the Japanese I taught. I love to see pretty drawings with their names in Japanese characters. Those are very special gifts from my students that I keep in a box. But most of all, I love to hear how much they enjoyed my class and that they look forward to coming back to school next year. I am fortunate to be able to receive these priceless gifts from my students.
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.
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.
Yellow crochet and pig patterned fabric
Pink crochet and pig patterned fabric
Blue crochet and patterned fabric
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.