Thursday, January 24, 2013


Weaving a basket of posies was  the January/ February theme for the  " Age Of Elegance " ATC group... Of course, when I chose the Victorian pastime of weaving ... I didn't realize just how challenging it would be to fit a woven basket full of flowers on an ATC, 3.5 X 2.5 card.

 I also wasn't sure what medium to use. At first I wanted to use something shiny and glittery, so I choose a few lovely pieces of origami mylar to weave a heart basket for the flowers.  While searching through my paper stash I found this  unassuming pink polka dot background. Yes, it was perfect against the bling of the mylar design... and a nice, subtle contrast too !!!

While the  interlocking heart design is simple, the mylar was slippery ...  Still I loved the  shimmering effect, so continued on the theme and punched out some flowers,  The card needed some feathering up, so I drew some additional posies with the prisms pens and filled in with finger nail confetti.  This is  number one of four weaving cards that I have to show you ... so please do vist me again soon.

The woven heart is a perfect Valentine craft . It's  a simple and lovely way to make a pretty card. Take the time to .....  Give it a try  ... ENJOY !!!

Please check my ( for further information on my weaving ATC  creations.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


It's 8a.m. ...The raining is softly falling, scenting the air with a brisk emollient, " wake-up" call. Even the lonely  Sakura' are  shyly exposing themselves to the cool temperatures.

Imagine ... I could be snuggly, sleeping in my bed,( z-z-z-z-) instead of braving the weather( br-r-r-r) in search of  a new car ... Saddly our vehicle  was totalled a few days ago and thankfully we only have the effects of whiplash ... back massages and prayers are definately, the order of the day. 

Every car on the lot  is  either white, shades of white, pearl or grey ( Ha Ha)...OK .. A " Pearl'  Nadia will  fit the bill... SOLD ... 

A more colorful vehicle selection would have cheered my mood, like the decorative florals surrounding the car dealership. Luckily, the skies are lifting, in favour of  a more vivid day to come.

We started our sojourn early and now it's already 5 o'clock, way past we'll stop at one of our favourite restaurants. 

The  menu is in the window, all you need to do, is select a 
 dish  .

Classical musical softly meanders through the restaurant creating a lovely delectable mood that offers, traditional to western dining.

TEA...I'd love a cup of tea, in this traditionally thrown  pottery cup. It's a tad off kilter, but then what or who isn't today!!!! ( Ha ha)

Our  pretty waitress is dressed in traditional garb, favoring an apron and a western teapot. "Times are a changing." 

Yes, two cups of brown tea,would be nice ..Thank You....  " Genmaicha", brown rice  tea is the Japanese name for green tea combined with roasted brown rice. It's sometimes referred to colloquially as " popcorn tea" because a few grains of the rice pop during the roasting process.

 This type of tea was originally drunk by the poor Japanese, as the rice served as a filler and reduced the price of the tea; which is why it is also known as the " people's tea".

It was also used by those persons fasting for religious purposes or who found themselves to be between meals for a long period of time.

Today it is consumed by all segments of society.

 This tea  is only half fermented, so the quality of taste and goodness is more readily savoured in the each cup. It's flavour is mild and combines the fresh grassy flavour of the green tea with the aroma of the roasted rice...  Brown tea is so  tasty !!!! 

                        I also enjoy the use of the handmade crudiments jars that compliment the  
                                                        asian essence of our dining experience...
                                                                    Don't you !!!!. 

We have spicy peppers and seasoned herbs to choose from 

                                         or a soft blend of sea salts to season our foods with. 

A thin, light soy sauce is the perfect compliment for a  tempura dish....

                           or maybe  you'd enjoy a  heavier, delicious  soy mixture for your Sashimi

OH ..Here's a surprise... a little drawers for the chopsticks(  Hee Hee)  There's always something to  makes me smile !!!!

Your food will be here soon, " Would like another cup of tea?"

Our appetizer is , sesame, teriyaki, honey chicken wings... It's simply delicious !!!

Oops..I forgot to take a picture of the  raw egg on top of the Ceasar salad ... You just  stir it into the creamy salad sauce, divide it in two ... Yummy  ... It's almost gone !!!!

Laughter and giggles abound and often overflow within the fine dining restaurants, creating a happy and relaxing atmosphere. I dare, say there's alot of teatime gossiping going on here too !!!!

Then there are others 
who quietly drink tea and discuss their daily business. 

Hubby enjoys a feast of Sashimi, with a perfect custard. Just look at that lovely little floral cup. The Japanese dishes are so beautifully presented and varied in size and shapes. It makes the meal , most appealing. The word Sashimi often refers to uncooked fish preparations. It is traditionally considered the finest dish in Japanese cuisine.

The sliced seafood is typically draped over a garnish of Asian white radish, daikon, shredded into long strands accompanied by one green perilla leaf. Wasabi paste is sometimes mixed directly into the soy sauce.  A reputed motivation for serving wasabi or pickled ginger with sashimi, beside the flavour, is to kill harmful bacteria and parasites that might be present in the raw fish. Sashimi is an acquired taste that most Asians love.

I chose, tempura.... two shrimps, two white small white fish fillets,eggplant, a cluster of mushrooms and tempura lotus leaf... Rice, dipping soy, pickles and miso soup usually accompany this dish.

Tempura is made of cold water ( sometimes sparkling water) and soft wheat flour to keep the batter light. "Kakiage", is a type of tempura made with mixed vegetables which are deep fried as fritters. Vegetables such as green peppers  and eggplants  are  culinary favourites.

                                     It's a lot to eat and I'm getting a little full.. Aren't you !!!!

                                                            Would you like more tea?

It does smell good , but " No Thank You ".... It's time to  go home.

On the way out ...I notice a few packaged foods for sale... pickled radishes, bamboo, udon noodles, shredded greens and .....

Salted fish...

                                    Which one would you like to buy for  your late evening snack.?
                                           It's past my bewitching hour and time for a rest.

                              If you'd like another cup of tea.. I'll keep the kettle simmering
                                              To make the best ' genmaicha' brown tea ,        
                                be sure that the water has  boiled for at least  thirty seconds,
                                                          then enjoy the aroma.

                                                          Good-night Ladies  !!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


"PAPER, PAPER" ... Beautiful paper. ....  Presentation is everything in Japan... 

 Look ... 

 at how artfully this  Japanese Sweet is wrapped .

Whatever could  be wrapped so prettily !!!! 
I didn't want to disturb the decorative tissue paper.. Would you ?
 I 'll unwrap carefully and save the lovely  paper for a  paper doll craft or maybe even a card. ( Ha Ha) 

One never knows what's inside a sweet box or paper tissue in this country ... This particular pastry sweet , is a japanese favorite ... 
It's, " OH "  so  gummy and yummy ... with a name,  that I can unfortunately not pronounce nor spell...
basically it's plain  Gelatin.

                          It's a satisfying, local goodie that comes sealed, complete with a small

                                                                       wooden spoon


 a tiny package of maple syrup, which is probably from Canada.

 This gummy delight is really quite delicious !!!! 

But what's dessert without a nice cup of tea ...
Luckily,  I discovered this set of cups,  just in time for our Tuesday teatime ... 
The butterfly lids were a bonus( hee hee)  ... It will keep the tea warm until you arrive.

Today, the blue and black combination  seemed appropriate since, I'm lagging alittle behind the times, ... Goodness, I better get my make-up on before you come ....
 but I do  need a cup of tea first.

 Hustle, bustle ....  Something quick will fit the bill.  I bought these two packaged teas at the local market, " apple and lemon" ...  Which one would you prefer?

 I'm sure. they're loaded with sugar, but then, maybe, that's what  we all  need to kick start a meandering  day...   A little sugar buzz is quite desirable, every once in a while !!!

There were five tea packets in each bag ... odd numbers seem to be popular here .. everything including sweets and cups come in sets of  fives.

Don't you love this  fabulous wooden tea spoon ..It was a dollar store special  ... The label said , "Chinese teaspoon , manufactured in Japan" ...  ( Ha ha) That was my morning chuckle. 

 It would be a great scoop for loose tea ...  Here in Japan, wooden spoons are used for  just about everything, including tea, soups and for the traditional tea ceremonies...
They come in various shapes and forms.

I'm enjoying the simple use of the utensil to stir my tea ... infact I'm quite attracted to the ' apple ' aroma  wafting through the air. 
This tea smells good to the olfactory nerve... m-m-m-m-m-..
It's almost therapeutic.

                         The pottery is local and affordable ...  There are no particular markings ...
                                               Just the  constant reminder that  it 's teatime.

          I do think it's a user friendly set, that is far too humble, since it's visually lovely and    
                                                    holds one and half cups of tea ...
                  As mentioned the bonus is that it stays hot longer than most  lidded teacups...
                                                                   FABULOUS !!!!!

                            I better put a lid on it ... I mean the tea ... and keep it steeping for you
                                                           Today, is a quiet, pensive  teatime, Ladies ..

                                     The sky is gray, but the birds are singing .. .and there's 
                                                                           NO SNOW . 
                                                                  "COME ON OVER" 
                                                                     and enjoy a little 


Sunday, January 6, 2013



Warm up with a cup  of "green tea", Japan's  nation drink... m-m-m- mild and soothing 

Green Tea, cold packed, fresh or bagged  is a very essential part of the Japanese  culture. I love the morning infusion of  this  calming tea.

With the New Year well on it's way, the stores are open and I chose a bagged Green Tea today... It's an   unfermented tea that provides many healthy benefits.

Green tea leaves are oxidized and fermented as  soon as they are picked. It naturally preserves the catechin, carotene and vitamins.

GREAT ... Just what I need for a morning zest !!!!.. WOW ... It beautifies the skin, prevents high blood pressure  and aging... It's the Fountain of Youth in one sip !!!!

I hadn't been back to Asia for some time,so, finding a teacup was a bit of problem. Hubby had packed most of my china away in cardboard boxes...  It was an archeological expedition( dig,dig,dig) .....  Fluttering butterflies led me to a calming stash.

This Japanese logo is denoted to the famous Japanese  designer, " Hanae Mori", born January, 1926 in Yoshika, Shimane. She's the first, female, Asian Fashion Designer, to be admitted to the 'haute couture' design house of Paris and New York.

As an icon of Japan, Hanae  has many beautiful artisan works dedicated to her... I believe  this porcelain teaser to be, one of them... and it is truly lovely to see, touch and sip tea from... ethereal !!!!

Equally, delightful is this  roundelay of rabbits ... "Sweet "... "Sweet."...  I'd love to be a teapot, just to sit on top of this magical tea ring.( ha ha)  "It's a must 'BE" tea accessory"..if you can find one!!!

Imagine ... It was a $5.00 caste iron 'find' ... bought at a humble, Japanese antique "refuse " yard for lack of better word ... Most of the  items had gathered the wrath of natures, wind, rain and sunlight, being left outside for two maybe three months  or years plus. Some china pieces were faded from the constant sun or ruined by sheer neglect ... but then hunting through the ruins is half the pleasure in Japan.( ha ha)

Kim and I salvaged, two of these lovely little bunny teapot coddlers.. and I do treasure them.
See how comfortably they sit and await the royal teapot crowning ( Ah) ..Even the rabbit are tea toddling happy. I'm amazed that they're in such great shape.

Japan is the land of ' Sweets' and I just couldn't resist the olfactory nerve of smelling out ... 'strawberry and cocoa truffles' .. alas, venturing  into this sweet  land of "milk and honey" dooms we, western dwellers, to pounds of sugar coated adventures ... I devoured five of these coconut truffles .... ( guilty )

OK ... I'm  blaming everything on 'jet lag' .. but boy isn't ' teatime' a sweet retreat  and  a reason not to  count calories( shhhh) ...  just ENJOY !!!

I've been too abnormally lazy this past year. Hopefully, 2013 will kick start my passions and blast me into some new teatime journeys and experiences. Basically, I need something to light the cracker under my tea lid( BOOM) ... and ignite me into action.  I'd love to take on a brewing course and become a real teatime socialite  with a teatime gossip page( Ha Ha) "DEAR MISS BREW ".... Only kidding ...  but it is time to start up some New Year's Resolutions and do something adventurous. 
What do you have on your agenda?

Here's a  Green Tea List of benefits that read in the  " Fukuoka Now " Magazine
It prevents tooth decay.
It's a picky-me- up that sobers you up.
Effectively burns body fat.
Beautifies the skin.
Prevents hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure.
Protects against colds.
Prevents aging .
Prevents food poisoning .

Since  Green Tea is so darn beneficial to our well being ... maybe the  first New Year's Resolution should be, to drink green tea everyday. 

There are so many different types of green teas to choose from ... I prefer the powdered frothy green teas, but it's your personal taste, as in tea buds. Japanese green tea is readily available online, at most grocery stores  and in tea shop around the world. 

 Frankly ...  I'm so pleased to have you all here, for this, our first New Year's Teatime... I look forward to new kettles steaming, new teas 'a'  brewing and new dreams 'a' humming on new horizons. 
Wishing you all, much  health and happiness