The Fish Fairy. Friend or Foe?

Yesterday I planted fresh flowers in my flower pots.

This morning I noticed a hole in one of them.  Did someone steal one of my new flower plants last night? A closer look revealed that both plants were still there, but something silvery was peeking out from under the displaced plant.

3ED509C1-300D-4EB0-A100-83D9E0D323E6I lifted up the plant to discover a piece of fish.


And it was a nice fresh fillet, too.


Hmmmm. Friend or foe??

Hand tying


I decided to hand tie this quilt for a change. The last time I tied a quilt by hand was the very first one I made back in high school.

Using a quilting hoop and wearing a hand supporter is helping with  the osteo arthritis in my left hand. It is more fun than I expected!

Decisions, decisions…

Log cabin blocks are so versatile. Which layout do you like the best?

  • I think I like the main photo layout the best.

Happy Valentine’s Day


Hugs and kisses

I made this quilted pillow cover last weekend.  It is the first pillow cover I have ever made!


Hanging tabs

I added hanging tabs so it can also be a wall hanging.

You can find the free tutorial at A Quilting Life.

I wish you all a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Spread the Love…

…and make a doll quilt for an ill child. Bernie at Needle and Foot is hosting a challenge for crafters to make doll blankets. She has written an eloquent blog post about it HERE.  Please go and read about the amazing dolls Amy individualizes to each child.

Bernie’s post came at the perfect time for me.  This week I have been fascinated with 60 degree triangles. I fussy cut deer from a cute border print and was going to make candle mats, but then thought they would be perfect for a little girl’s doll quilt. A few borders later I had a nice flimsy. Searching my backing crate, I found the perfect backing. It looks and feels like a real sheep skin.  I hope some little girl will be happy with this!


Pink & grey deer


Sheepskin backing

It took me two days to make this small quilt finishing at about 18 x 27 inches.  Bernie says Amy can also use crocheted or knitted blankets. They will be given with 18-inch dolls so a good size to aim for is about 22 x 24 inches.  I am passing the word along in hopes of publicizing Amy’s cause.


In other news, I joined Instagram recently. I can post short videos there!  I have a couple of Fluffy talking and will post more if I can catch him on camera. My handle is ctmkyoto. You can see my feed even if you’re not on Instagram.

Also, we had a bit of snow last week and I just had to get out and walk in it. Even though the snow was gone by our house, just a ways up the hill in the secluded valley some remained.  Enchanting!


Snowy path


Typhoon damage

Once you got about 30 minutes up the road, there were a lot of trees still down from that last strong typhoon.  They are slowly working their way up the road, clearing it.



When I’m out walking alone, this is my turn around spot.  Every day those icicles are growing.


Hot dog?!?

The standing icicle in the stream is so funny. I think it looks like a hot dog standing on end.

More snow is forecast for next week!

I’m back from computer deprivation land

My laptop screen went kerflooey at the end of last year. I spent a long time debating between getting an iPad or a new laptop, and maintained basic computing needs via my iPod. It is amazing how useful that tiny device can be! After speaking with the genius at the Apple store last week, I settled on an iPad. I’m hoping that this will be sufficient for my computing needs.

So far, I love the automatic word selection that comes up when typing on the iPad. And at this moment, I am actually dictating this post! Typing on the iPad seems to be very efficient.

I’ve been quite busy these past two months, working on a variety of sewing and crochet projects. Today I will share two crochet projects made following patterns published by blogging friends.

Connie shared this quick strawberry pattern. You can fill it with soap and use it as a  scrubbie if you like.

I love the puffy 3D effect that makes it look like a real strawberry!  It works up super fast so you can make a bushel full lickety split.

The striped blanket was made following Theresa’s Shells on the Half Shell pattern.  The instructions are very clear and simple and I think this is the first time a blanket has turned out nice and square for me!




Pretty stripes


Lovely texture

This blanket measures about 34 x 37 inches square.  It took 15 skeins of 100 yen store wool yarn for the striped portion and almost 2 skeins for the edging.  I was generally happy with the yarn quality as it was soft and pretty colored, but there were a couple large slubs that now I wish I would have cut out instead of just crocheting them in.  They are there forever now.

This is the first wool blanket I’ve made. I used it last night and it is so much warmer than an acrylic blanket. I made it a bit larger than I wanted just in case it shrinks when I wash it.

I was rather disappointed in how small the dollar store skeins were. I had to keep buying more because one skein only made about five rows!  I was happy with the one dark purple section. Even though I bought the same lot number, only one had that rich purple. It adds nice character to the blanket.

Many thanks to Connie and Theresa for sharing their patterns!

Mt. Oe Burial Mounds at Katsurazaka

Twice a year, in spring and fall, the burial mounds on Mt. Oe in Katsurazaka are open to the public.  This morning I walked up to the park and was able to enter three tombs.

The photos on this sign show a map of all the mounds, the interior of one, and the artifacts they have excavated which include earrings, a sword, and spear points.  These mounds were constructed between the late 6th and early 7th centuries.


Entrance to park

Mound #14 was relocated from another spot to this location.  There are numbers and lines painted on the rocks inside where they carefully dismantled the tomb and rebuilt it exactly as it was.


Burial mound #14

The ceiling in mound #15 was quite high, though the entrance was very low.  I was surprised at how big the rocks used for the ceiling were.  They must have been very heavy to move into place.


Entrance to #15

Number 21 also had a high ceiling and low entrance.


Burial mound #21


This is a burial mound too

Notice the mound on the right below.  The ceiling has collapsed and the rocks are visible.  It was in this condition when it was discovered.


Three mounds here: left, center, and right.

As part of the special day, they were serving kodaimai rice, or ancient grain rice.  It tasted like regular rice but was red.


Cooking ancient rice the old fashioned way

I was happy to see that someone had cleared away most of the tree that fell and was blocking my walking path, so now I can walk that way again.  There was a family of five monkeys playing here this morning.


My favorite trail is clear to walk again

I love fall so much.  It is the perfect time of year to get out and walk, walk, walk!

Previous Older Entries