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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Crochet Mini Bags

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These crochet mini bags are the perfect size for daily handheld things, like snacks, lunches,  phones, or cosmetics.  I bought 3 different kinds of yarn; green, orange, and ivory of 100% Peruvian Highland Wool to make bags in each colour.  As I was making the crochet bag, I realized I did not have enough yarn, so I decided to combine the colours.

This is a star shaped crochet stitch, so a star shaped pattern can be seen in the bag.

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The insides of the bags are lined with similarly coloured fabric and Kokobiyori’s logo.

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Besides the crochet mini bags, I made a crochet doughnut shaped pillow for Haru, which she loves!       As I was making the mini bags, she was lying on the pillow keeping me company.

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“Oai dekite ureshii desu” – from the book “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet”

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“Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” is a book about the love story of young Henry and Keiko set in the World War II era, in Seattle.  The setting is actually in my neighborhood and I even occasionally go to the Panama Hotel tea room in which many important scenes take place.  I love this book because the setting is familiar to me and I can see how it was seventy three years ago.  But most of all, I love the innocent love of twelve year old Henry and Keiko, despite their different cultural background and  the war turmoil.

The title of this post “Oai dekite Ureshii desu.” is Japanese and translates to “How are you, beautiful?” in the book.  A more general translation would be “It is nice to meet you.”   I like the way this phrase was incorporated in the book, and how it was used to strengthen the bond between Henry and Keiko.

The tea room is in the Panama Hotel which is located in the International District where there are many Asian restaurants, groceries, and other businesses.  The interior of the tea room; like the brick walls, antique furniture, the tea sets, and subtle background music are the epitome of calmness and serenity.

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On the brick wall, there are pictures of Japanese Americans who used to own businesses in Nihonmachi (Japan town) before they were sent to the internment camps during World War II.  Part of the floor is made of glass so that we can view the preserved bath house.

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In the tea room, we can enjoy a variety of different kinds of tea and sweets.  They also have Japanese style sweets and my favorite is the green tea roll cake with sweet red bean paste.  Unfortunately, they did not have the roll cake when I visited, so I had a sugar cookie and a cup of Darjeeling tea instead.

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For me, drinking tea in the Panama Hotel allows me to submerge myself in both the past and the present of my culture.

Hand Warmers – Part 2

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This is my second post about hand warmers. After knitting my last pair, I decided to try out three new designs. One is grey, another is orange and yellow patterned, and another is an ivory color with eyelet stitches.

I like to knit hand warmers because I don’t need much yarn to make a pair and it only takes a few hours to make.  Once I decide the design, I can knit hand warmers in various colors.

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I especially like the off white colour because it gives the essence the snow.

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Happy New Year! 明けましておめでとうございます。

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Happy New Year!

This is a traditional Japanese new year food called “Osechi” which is set in boxes with a variety of small dishes.  When I was a child, I was not crazy about Osechi but I now miss this traditional food, especially since I am older and away from my parents.  I skipped some of the foods because they are simply too expensive in America, like fish cake (kamaboko).  I enjoyed Osechi and mochi with my family on this new year’s day breakfast.

May this year be a good one for everyone!

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