Monday, November 28, 2016

happy holidays


"You can hear it if you listen. The sound of the snow."
Due to the increased risk of lost packages during the extreme congestion of mail delivery in December, and my reluctance to charge for the more secure but higher cost of Express Delivery, I generally close my Etsy shop every year from December 1 to 31. It will re-open on January 1, and shipping will resume a few days later. If there is something you can't wait for, I suggest you order it by November 30!! If you can wait until January for shipping, but want to reserve a listing or request a custom order, let me know by Etsy message any time. As always, you can get prints of my work from RedBubble every day of the year.

crow and persimmon in the snow
In the meantime, Happy Holidays to you all.  And if you have no holidays to be happy about, Happy December anyway. As for myself, I will be spending the month in the relative warmth of my drafty old house, quietly rejoicing in the grace of God, while the snow storms rage outside (both literally and figuratively), and store up strength and creative inspiration for the new year.

PS: The corrugated cardboard etegami crow-cards from the Crow-Card Giveaway are already on their way to the winners of the drawing. Thank you for participating. It was a lot of fun for me too!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

#twitterartexhibit 2017






















I started submitting to the Twitter Art Exhibit charity art call last year.  It says on their Facebook page "Through art we can change the world." I don't believe art is that powerful, or humanity that righteous. At least not enough to permanently improve the world. But the possibility of even short-term improvement in the world is a good thing. And the possibility of permanent improvement in one small matter is even better. So I participate.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

crow-card giveaway






















 Encouraged by the enthusiasm of readers for the crow-themed coasters I introduced in my last post,  I've now moved on from coasters to corrugated cardboard etegami. In fact, I've decided to thank you (commenters and lurkers alike) with a long overdue give-away.

I will accept the first ten requests I receive, but requests must be made by snail mail, and they must reach me by November 30, 2016.

If you'd like a customized, crow-themed, corrugated cardboard etegami, send me a note by snail mail with (1) your name and address written clearly in block letters, AND (2) the words that you'd like me to use on your card.  I will create an image suited to the words you give me. If you'd rather that I chose the words myself, please say so in your note.

I cannot accept requests by email or blog comment. My postal address is in the banner of my received mailart blog.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

one person's "ewww" is another person's "squee"


How do you feel about crows? I have a friend-since-childhood who loves them so much she squeals with delight every time she sees one, even stopping her car on the highway to beckon to them and feed them and coo at them. They actually seem to trust her and will approach her, even at first meeting.

She made me promise to paint a crow etegami for her birthday this year. I reluctantly agreed, but it took me a long time to get inspired. Before I knew it, her birthday had come and gone. Once the pressure was off, I was suddenly painting crows on everything, including these drink coasters. My friend loves to drink wine, and coasters seemed an appropriate gift for her. But I can't imagine anyone else in the world wanting to rest their wineglass on a crow coaster. What do you think?


Thursday, November 3, 2016

coast through the holidays

One of my favorite non-postcard etegami projects is hand-painted etegami drink coasters. You can slip one into an envelope and mail it as an alternative to the traditional holiday greeting card. Or let your party guests take home the coaster that was part of their place setting, as a souvenir of the event.  A set of coasters makes a nice stocking stuffer or hostess gift. You can probably think of waaay more uses for them.

I like to leave my coasters un-coated so I can enjoy the texture of the washi paper. The sumi ink and gansai colors I use won't smear even if the coasters get wet, and they soon dry out anyway. They will, however, stain a bit from dark-colored spills, so when I give them as gifts, I often cover them with clear adhesive film to help them stay pretty longer.

Custom etegami coasters are now listed on my Etsy shop, if you'd like to take a peek.



Saturday, October 29, 2016

the farmer's market

Mmmm. Just love these autumn colors and flavors. (top left) Japanese sweet potatoes (satsuma-imo); (top right) crane's neck squash (tsurukubi kabocha); (bottom center) Japanese pumpkin (kabocha).

Thursday, October 20, 2016

persimmon pudding pie


The snow bugs were right. We had our first snowfall in the city last night. Thick, heavy, wet snow. This snow will melt before the long-term, lingering snow comes; the snow that won't melt until spring. We call the long-term snow ne-yuki, which literally means "rooted snow" (snow that has taken root).

Along with the ne-yuki, winter brings persimmons. We get a big box of them from friends in Shikoku every year. Persimmons go from unripe to over-ripe very quickly, so I've learned to incorporate them into our winter menu in many forms so as not to waste a single fruit.

Once they become too soft even to peel or slice (just before they start to rot), I grip the fruit in my hand and squeeze the flesh out of the skin into a bowl. Fresh or frozen, this pulp becomes the basis for one of my favorite winter desserts: persimmon pudding pie-- a bit of sunshine to brighten our long, dark, freezing Hokkaido winters.