Thursday, January 24, 2013


I created a new flickr group this year, the  " Age of Elegance "dedicated to Jane Austen books , literature and the Edwardian and Victorian eras.... The idea was to give the artist time to create ... at least 6 to 8 weeks to really get into the craft themes of this era. 

SO, January/February's ATC theme was ' weaving" . All members were asked to weave a basket of posies for their ATC. 

Since  weaving is a Victorian past-time, that meant that it should be, somewhat delicate.
I tried weaving a valentine heart with mylar, then drawing florals with  prism pens, creating additional flowers with  floral punches and filling in with  fingernail confetti, however the slippery medium was too big. Quite frankly,  the whole concept was too modern... I liked it, but somehow I was creatively, "fretting."

 Then, I got this idea, to weave a basket of ribbons, using feathers, shredded organza, decorative gold wire and ribbons. Smaller ribbon would have been more appropriate. The result is pleasing, though bursting at the seams and overflowing the 3.5X2.5  size. Back to the drawing board !!!!

Realizing that the weaves were too big for the small ATC card size .... I was thankful, for the extra time, to develop an idea, Gradually I pondered  another medium and found myself playing with a simple piece of jutte string. "Bing" ...  the light came on !!!!!

The "Age of Elegance Age" era  encompasses many eclectic themes, such as  fashion  and  the Japanese culture ... so my mind was privy to a myriad of themes, that I hadn't even thought about in last two weeks... Yes..It took that long for the theme to gel !!!!

Luckily, I had brought some of my  empheria  to Japan and was able to find many appropriate vintage images to fit into the seasonal category.' Bling Bling"

 I was eager to use this cherry blossom background. Connie(http:// )  had sent me this lovely image, ages ago  so I very humbled cut  it up and separated into scraps, ( ha ha) to fit into my vision.... "girls floating through an ocean of cherry blossom". 

Of course the flowers are smiling( on top) along with all that childhood admiration. The jutte weave served as reeds wavering through the shallow passages of their imagination. ..Of course it's my childish imagination ( Ha Ha) ... I was now having fun with the themed medium.....I like it !!!!

So, I had to create another.

While  visiting in Japan , I've acquired so many beautiful papers. This gorgeous red washi paper  contrasted  so  beautifully with the geisha's kimono.

Again, I was inspired to use the jutte as flower stems, then "OOPS" with a sudden slip, I began to frame the whole outer image ... creativity was  taking over...WONDERFUL !!!! I'm so happy with the result !!!!

Often we take on an ATC  theme and hurry to the deadline, when really the lesson here is to take your time and try, try, try, again.. until you are content , little bird !!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


 "GREEN TEA RESOLUTION "  ... It's 2013...  Time for those New Year's resolutions. 

Today, I'm pondering life with a cup of tea in hand and  a myriad of exotic ideas to buzz me into the future. Hm-m-m-m ... In front of me, is the Fukuoka Now magazine and an article on the benefits of Green Tea that I really need to " sip" in.

Did you know that Green tea  prevents tooth decay? I didn't ... Green Tea leaves ferment and oxidize  as soon as they are picked, so nutrients such as catechin, carotene and vitamins are preserved. This helps in the prevention. How I would love to reduce  my dental visits ( ha Ha) Wouldn't you ?

The list goes on .... Green Tea effectively burns fat... so that means I should a consume at least gallon of the stuff  per day ( ha ha).. since it's a lose weight year. The caffeine in the tea promotes the metabolism of fat. Good news ladies ... Drinking green tea and engaging in physical activity burns body fat.

Drinking  green tea also maintains the skins elasticity, and vitamin C strengthens the capillaries, improving the skins ability to remain warm. I'm all for a natural beauty aid.  Aren't you ?

I bought the above teabags from the " Mararu" in Kitakyushu,Japan and wondered if it contained as many of the nutrients as the powdered frothy green tea... both are tasty refreshments, but I prefer the powered form. You can select your tea from hundreds of available green teas outlets  online, at  grocery stores  or  in specialty tea shops. It an exciting teatime journey !!!!!

Green Tea also," prevents hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure".  It reduces the cholesterol in the blood.  Wow ...  I'm impressed. This is valuable information that anyone over fifty or even younger should adhere to... There are so many benefits..benefits...benefits for a healthier YOU  and ME !!!!

AND ... Finally, a cure for the common cold... Green tea strengthens the body's defence system against infections, so using it as a morning gargle protects against viruses. ( gargle gargle)..It's an amazing little plant, isn't it !!!!

Here's another little tip,my friends ... Forget about expensive cosmetics and facelifts...  Drink green tea , as it prevents 'aging'. The strong anti-bacterial properties limit oxidization in the body and maintain a pH balance, by promoting the bodies alkalinity.  I, for one, can personally  can attest to the youthfulness and beauty  of the  elderly asian population.... The Asian ladies are age defying beauties.

Here's a Ripley's " Believe it or Not"...Green tea prevents food poisoning. ( Hee hee) The catechin contained in the tea, has a powerful effect on the bacteria that causes food poisoning and  it regulates the intestinal functions.  Possibly the reason that they paired green tea with Japanese beloved sushi.

YES...Tea is a perennial scrub, that we all enjoy. I'm encouraged into thinking  ' green' as one of my resolutions of 2013.  Green symbolized growth and renewal of  the heart and spirit.

 Wishing you all, a happy and prosperous, 'Green" New Year 2013