Thursday, 31 March 2011

Share Your Thimbles First Quater of 2011

Hello there, thank you for reading my previous two posts.  The situation in affected area has not improved much and we have new problems but since this is supposed to a craft blog post and I have decided to concentrate on it from now.

Have you visited Flickr recently?  There are many beautiful thimbles and pin cushions from simple scales to more complexed design and you should really visit and have a look.  Here is a link for you.  We had seven participants this month including a new member.

I am facing a difficulty uploading the photo so I cannot show you the result of the lucky draw so I just give you the winner here:  the sixth entry, beadturtle who shared her lovely woven thimble in brown with us.  Would beadturtle kindly contact me via e-mail for shipping address? 

Tomorrow I am going to start a new photo sharing.  Come back for the detail tomorrow.  It will be our very first Monthly Challenge.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Thusday mumbling

It has been a week since the disaster.  In addition to the earthquakes and subsequent tsunami, we are now facing a nuclear disaster, too.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the kind words and efforts to help Japan.  We really appreciate it.

I have been thinking.  About many things.  I am watching the disaster reports on TV, just as you do who live outside Japan, from the safe distance and I feel guilty.  The guilt over surviving, not suffering, not doing enough, not being able to do more.  We are heavily discouraged to send stuff to the suffering areas individually.  So all we can do is donating money and there is a limit a person can donate and it makes me depressed.  The city halls and relief agencies, as well as TV networks, are collecting monetary donation and scholarships for orphans are expanding, but these efforts are not enough. 

The support efforts from overseas are reported here and we all feel good, that we are not alone.  The morale support is also vital in case of disaster as well as monetary support.  The supporting messages/articles on the paper as well as individual prayer on the message board help us keep going.  And then, jokes and malicious comments appeared, too.  They hurt us tremendously however, we all believe in the freedom of speech in Japan, so I exercise my right and say that it shows the person's bad taste and insensitivities.  In Japan everything has its time and place.  Whatever the personal belief is, it's not time, or place, to express it now, so just shut up and later when everything resumed normal then start talking, is the general opinion I believe. 

I have been wondering what I can do.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Friday mumblilng

I have finally finished the flower basket.  You may be wondering about the smudge at the bottom.  It is not a stain.  I put the smudge there to make my signing stitch obscure.  Yes, a signing stitch.  We sign the embroidery in the same way we sign the calligraphy in Japan.

Thank you for your kind welcome back comments and e-mails.  I am still trying to catch up with the correspondence and will take some more time to get back to you.  As for the monthly challenge idea, I am not entirely sure if it works, but I have decided I will give it a try, at least once.  The main concern is that restricting to one design may result in excluding some people who are not up to the design.  I thought about it for a few days and I realized that I was not sure how exactly the monthly challenge works.  Is it like "can you figure it out?" and I only give you the finished one and the participants will try to see if they could reproduce the design by themselves, or I choose the design and give the instruction, too?  I need more of your opinions here.

Some of you may remember that I considered changing the currency at my shop at Etsy.  The foreign currency exchange rate is relatively stable at the moment but it may fluctuate drastically again without warning and setting the currency at the shop as the denomination of the country I live can save the trouble of repricing the merchandise whenever the currency rate fluctuates, or rather save me from feeling guilt by increasing the price.  So, finally I have went ahead and changed it to Japanese Yen.  At a glance it looks the same as before, but once you opened the product page, the price is shown in YEN than US Dollars.  I apologize for the inconvenience caused but I have to protect myself you understand.

Lastly, as you may have already known, we were hit by the big earthquake and tsunami this afternoon.  The most affected area is north-east of Japan and luckily the area we live are not affected and all my family are safe.  I have been watching TV from the moment the earthquake hit and the damage toll just keeps increasing. ... ... ...  The earthquake itself was big with a lot of aftershocks, but it is tsunami that is devastating.  Please note that I am speaking in the present tense.  Tsunami is still rushing to the Northern coasts, over 10meters high.  It may take a few days until we knew the final number, but it looks grim even now... ... ...

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Share Your Thimbles - First Quarter of 2011 (Jan-Mar)

It has been quite awhile (two months, to be precise) since my last post.  It was not my intention to disappear completely for such a long time and I am sorry to have you made worry about me.  We had a bit of a crisis, which I do not wish to discuss here, and keeping up with the world of world-wide-web became just too much for me.  Thankfully the everything is back to normal, at least as normal as it could be and I am back to blogland and trying to catch up.  I would like to thank everyone who was so kindly worried and asked about me, sending me an e-mail, send me a message at the comment section... Thank you and your kinds words helped a lot.

During my absence some of the ladies continued uploading their beautiful works at Flickr.  If you have not visited there in two months, please do so now and admire their rings.  Lydia suggested on the discussion board at Flickr that we may choose one design and every participants make it, like monthly challenge.  The idea intrigues me but I need some more time to organize it and I wonder by choosing one particular design we may exclude some of the people who are new to thimble making.  I would like to know  what you think of the idea.

Some of the new readers may not be very familiar with my monthly photo sharing called "Share Your Thimbles" and let me explain briefly what it is.  As the name suggests, it's a monthly photo sharing of the Japanese silk thimbles you made.  It's not a contest or anything, just the group of us who make thimbles (or any other objects using the same technique)  upload the photo of the work at Flickr.  It says monthly but actually the photo pool at Flickr is never closed, therefore you can upload at anytime as you like.  However, We are going to have a monthly lucky draw and it has a close date.  I am repeating myself but this is not a contest and anyone can join the group and no criticizing at anything at all.

Here are the general rules of  "Share Your Thimbles"

1. The thimbles (or any other rings) have to be your own work.

2. Although the name of the group reads as "thimbles", your work is not necessarily a thimble and you can make your rings in any size you would like, as small as a focal beading for a necklace or as big as a bracelet, or even bigger.

3. As stated above, they have to be your own works however, you can use the ring base from the kit if you choose to do so. It may not seem to be fair, considering I sell the kits, however, they are many other kits available (at least in Japan) and some of you may be able to obtain them, and it is definitely not fair to exclude the people who is brave enough to share their first work with us from the group.

4. No technique restriction applies. You can use back stitch and weaving in addition to the forward stitch, and even embroidery on the surface if you choose to do so. This is not a contest. You do not need to use these techniques if you are not up to them or you simply do not feel like it. A simple and elegant bi-coloured scales design is always welcomed.

5. You can use any material, and in any colours, you would like.

6. Please state the size of the mould on which you formed your ring base in the description field of the photo, either in millimeters or in inches. Please also mention what threads and padding you used, too, so that we could compare notes. In case you bought one of my kits, here are the sizes and materials: "first thimble" is 50mm in circumference and Tire Silk size 9 & floss silk padding. "small pincushion" is 61mm in circumference and Tire Silk size9 & floss silk padding. "medium pincushion" is 103mm and Tire Silk size 16 & knitting yarn for padding.

7. You can upload as many photos as you like. You can upload several photos of one thimble if you choose to do so.

8. The closing date is 21st of March 2011, Japan time. Please note that we are 9 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) in Japan. You can still upload your photo after the official closing date since I do not close the photo sharing pool, however, I do close the discussion board for entry to the lucky draw.

Now you can start uploading your photos from here at Flickr.

We are going to have a lucky draw at the end this month, as stated in the first part of this post. One lucky winner will receive a thimble of my contribution to photo sharing which shown as above. To participate in the draw, please leave a message at the discussion board at Flickr under the subject of "Thimbles of First Quarter of 2011". As stated above, you can upload as many photos as you like however, you can enter the draw only once. The winner of the draw will be announce here at my blog, NOT at the Flicker, by the end of the month.

You may noticed that I haven't named this month's photo sharing as March 2011, but First Quarter of 2011.  As I said, some of the ladies have kept thimble photo sharing going during my absence and I would like to include them even if they won't add more of their work this month. 

If any question, please don't hesitate to ask.  You can ask your question as a comment on this particular post, or send me an e-mail directly which you can find in my profile page at Blogger. 

I look forward to seeing a lot of beautiful works by the end of the month.
Happy Stitching.