Sunday, February 23, 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020

The Art of Bunka Japanese Embroidery

There is a form of Japanese embroidery called "Bunka". Both my dad and my mom took classes in this art form. Today I passed on two of my parents bunkas (Double Cranes) and a good luck Japanese double Daruma doll. Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. I believe my mother created the "double cranes" which are especially significant to love (ie 1000 cranes when you marry will be displayed at your wedding). We passed these two framed pieces to my parent's first born grandson Tim and his wife Pauline today. So happy these will hang and bring good thoughts from my parents to their home. Also when we visited my mom's best friend Helen today we saw another Bunka of two beautiful koi fish swimming together. We recognized this familiar work and asked Helen who had made it. She smiled and said "Bill -Your DAD!" These reminders of things our parents made, make us all so happy.





  Double Daruma dolls made by my dad. Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement.




 Double cranes signifying long lasting love made by my mother Ruth.



 Beautiful Koi fish made by my dad. Actually he made two of these. One he gave to a caregiver in the nursing home he lived in at the end of his life. The caregiver was so kind to my father. He considered her like his daughter. She was dedicated and loyal to my father and even took him with our permission to her family party. He loved every minute of his outing with her. His request was to give this Bunka to that young woman and her fiance. The second one as you see was a gift to Helen.

Happy 103rd Birthday Helen

I've spoken many times about my mother's best friend Helen. Her birthday is March 2nd and she will turn "103 years old!" She is quite well and doing great. Since my sister Jocelyn and I will not be here for Helen's birthday we visited her for lunch today along with my brother Randy and his wife Barb and Joce's husband Vicente and Mike. Helen lives with her daughter Jill and son in Law Bobby. We had a wonderful day and gave Helen a big bouquet of flowers and Jocelyn made a cake. We worked on her jigsaw puzzle and she was able to finish her puzzle today. We got out a box of her old family photos when she was little and lived in San Francisco. Helen's father was a professional photographer so there were plenty of great family photographs to look at. Her father came to America from Japan when he was quite young. He spoke and wrote English beautifully and kept a small notebook with sayings he collected that inspired him in his new life in the United States. As we looked at the photos I read aloud some of the quotes he wrote down in beautiful penmanship. Happy 103rd Birthday Helen! Your chipper outlook and your keen presence amaze us all. We love you dearly.


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 A little notebook in Helen's father's beautiful handwriting, quotes to live by. He came to America as a young boy and learned to speak and write English beautifully.



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Relax and Dream A Little

 

Friday, February 21, 2020

The Hillcrest Art Festival Celebrates Its' 60th Anniversary

I always enjoy the Hillcrest Festival of Arts and Crafts which is celebrating its' 60th Anniversary this year. A local Festival of Arts which features juried arts and crafts. My cousin Nancy and friend Yoshio have been participants for many years (Yoshio from the onset of this Festival). Both are very talented artists. Today I was able to tour with my cousin Nancy. A beautiful afternoon with wondrous blue skies and stunning clouds and a wonderful Vietnamese lunch in Whittier.

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 3 dimensional collage made from found objects and plastic wings formed from recycled plastic gallon milk containers.


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TGIF


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Saving Some Space

Keep some room in your heart for the unimmaginable.

Not Just About A Book Club Reads "The Library Book"

We had a wonderful book club meeting today hosted by Judy.  


 Judy set a beautiful table that centered on a library theme. 

 She even gave each of us a wonderful Central Library magnet.



There were 9 of our members present. We had all decided to wear something "red" to honor our book club member and friend Kathy who had heart surgery yesterday. 


 Thankfully her surgery went well and we look forward to her full recovery. Our prayers were answered. Can't wait to see you soon Kathy.



  This was the first book club meeting of the new year so we had fun seeing each other and catching up before lunch.





 Time for lunch



 

After lunch we had a great discussion about "The Library Book" and all of us shared so many thoughts on the book's characters, the extensive research the author did, interesting history of the Central library and it's impact on the community and the workers before, during and after the terrible fire that took place in 1986. 






We all unanimously liked the book!
Judy had a short video which she shared where many of the Central library staff and a firefighter shared their experiences during the fire and days and months following the tragic event. 

 Judy also planned a drawing for two prizes. We all signed   our  names on paper hearts and placed them in a basket.   Two winning names were drawn: Donna and Maria


 Donna won vintage Los Angeles Central Library greeting cards

And Maria won a lovely L.A Libraray Tote bag!





We all had such a great time at today's book club.

Thank you so much Judy for choosing such an interesting book for us to read.
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