so, today was an amazing day! it took three hours to get there, but visiting kokedera was definitely worth the trip. the peace, serenity, closeness to nature, and so much unique greenstuff of this place is surreal.
moss was growing everywhere; on both living and dead trees, on rocks, on cement, on the walkways, it was incredible. i took so many photos, it was hard to narrow it down to the few i'm posting.

the temple complex itself was really nice, and in lovely condition. the way they limit the amount of people who can come at once, preserves the tranquility and makes taking photos a breeze; i had so few photos that had people in them.

there were two trees growing together, which i think they marry, and tie a cord around to show this. it was kawaii.

i love this place, i hope to come back to it one day. if you're in kyoto, this haven of peace is absolute bliss.



i have tried my hand at kasuri weaving, and i love it! take some little learning mishaps (but they're good, because you learn more that way), and slow dawning of understanding, add a little time, voila! a kasuri sampler. i want to do more.

the tying of the kasuri areas, to protect them from the dye, was a tiny bit painful; but with practice, those muscles and digits will be in tip top shape! i'm still not sure if it was easier tying bigger sections, or little sections. hmm.

the warping of the kasuri was not as traumatizing as i suspected. plus, i learned of an amazing doodad to help with tensioning. it's called a kasuri zurashiki. i want. will post photos when object of desire is acquired.

sensei had some amazing samples of past student work. for future reference, i drew pictures and took photos. i've posted two of my favorite pieces, detail shots. well, more kasuri creating tomorrow, and this time on silk!


tactile color

today was a colorful day! it started with the dyeing of my kasuri skeins, which went well; that is, after i corrected the first batch of dye which i had made a mathematical error in, by having to discard it down the drain. eh, check math twice, measure dyestuff once.

after lunch we took a visit to the kawashima selkon factory and museum. very neat! they have a ginormous 24 meters wide hand loom which they create large tapestries on, such as special stage curtains, and large scale wall tapestries. there are smaller hand looms which are used for weaving obi, both ooak commissions and regular orders on the second floor. most of the obi can take anywhere from one to six months to complete. i love the little shuttles they use, i would think they would definitely be useful for inlay weaving.

i actually had an opportunity to try my hand at weaving an obi earlier last week (see hand in upper right corner of below photo? mine). so hard! you work from the backside of the piece, so you don't see it until you take it off the loom, as well as the loom takes a lot of muscle to operate. i was so nervous!

after dinner, one of my classmates had a box of natural dye samples she completed at a retreat last weekend. they were so lovely, both silk kinu and wool uuru.

tomorrow is the start of my warping the kasuri. i'm scared, but excited, i don't want to mess up the placement of the warp kasuri areas.


most awesomest ever

i read about the handmade market at kamigamo shrine, on the fourth sunday of the month, and knew i would have to attend. i've seen photos of the amazing hand crafts of japan, and most definitely wanted to see them in person. i was not let down, in any way. point of fact, i was really blown away by all the very creative and beautiful pieces people are doing!

there was plenty of delicate jewellery, an amazing selection of pan, cookies, and cakes, really pretty accessories made from old kimono, and adorableness with hints of kookiness everywhere. i wish i had brought more money with me, but regardless, i did manage to decimate my o-miyage list down to three items remaining. when i return home and gift the prettiness out, i will post photos. something i've noticed, and not only here today, is the attention paid to packaging in kyoto is really amazing; it makes me want to set a higher standard for myself when it comes to my work.

i did not think that the artists would want you taking photos, or i would have taken more, but when i noticed my friend kyo-san taking photos and the artists happily allowing it, i started photographing some of the things that caught my eye.

well, a return to class tomorrow; dyeing of the kasuri yarn.



well, what have i been eating? as that seems to be a general theme when visiting other countries, i'll tell you. mostly, throughout the week, oishii nihon ryuri, prepared in the cafeteria at school. i've eaten udon, battered squash, beans, various mushrooms made into soups, seaweed, lots and lots of cooked fish, soups, rice, and so many other things which can be labeled home-style japanese cooking for which i have no name.

i make most of the classic japanese food choices while out and about kyoto on the weekends; sushi with miso soup, cold soba, ramen (oh delicious fresh ramen, steamy hot giant bowl of ramen, how i will miss you), pan, mochi, matcha anything. kyoto is known as quite the foodie capital, so there are many options. as for trying a nice variety of foods, somehow, i haven't gotten very far past ramen, as it has become my ichiban suki food here in japan. i've got eight free days left, so perhaps, i will try many more things (but i can't guarantee anything, as i really do love ramen).


small landscapes

just checking in. there really is a lot of neat moss and lichen growing here, i pass by some interesting miniature landscapes on my way to the bus. they're very neat, and so strange. i plan on visiting kokedera moss temple, on an upcoming weekend, which has over 200 different species. it makes sense, though, all this moss, because the humidity here is definitely making itself known.

i freak out a little when i have to take photos; because, for the most part, my forte lays elsewhere. but i'm beginning to think that maybe i should just photograph interesting bits, and miniature details, things that appeal to me, rather than what i think would please others.

some photos i take are for academic purposes; to gather information in visual form. others, are to remember, or to post here. i'm very horrible when it comes to including people in my photos; i don't like my picture taken, so i try not to capture other people. which can make my photo album look kind of lonely. well, anyways, memory creates a certain fondness for someone when there isn't any photo to look at.

food update:
still foaming at the mouth when i think of all that matcha goodness that is so close. so far, i've had a milky matcha iced drink with tapioca this last weekend, haagen daz matcha ice cream paired with toast and blueberry jam one day for breakfast, a matcha kit-kat, matcha infused pan, matcha baked goods, matcha birthday cake, matcha soft serve ice cream, and matcha tea. so much matcha, but so little time to hunt down all that goodness! must make better headway this weekend.


a bit of randomness

i was going through various folders on my laptop, and came across some pictures of the paperclip dress i created in college. they were a little blurry, as they were small parts of larger images, and this was the best of the lot. and yes, it weighs ever so much; 43 lbs. and it's a cocktail dress at that.


beginning to weave once more

i am learning that there really is more than one way to do something, more than one meaning to a word, more than one use for a tool. different methods with the same name are created when the origins of a need differ. the way of weaving that i was first taught has a mirror like image in the way i am learning now, but that mirror is as the one in alice through the looking glass; so familiar but really not quite the same.

it is interesting to tread the line which on either side is a culture, more difficult perhaps to walk it down the middle, using bits of both. well, i continue to warp the loom today, something i have done several times in the past, but do freshly for today.

food in my belly

now that i've been in japan almost a week now, i have gotten use to the time change and am able to sleep through the night and not feel quite so sleepy during the day. the first few days were spent doing a little fiber shopping; linnet, avril, nomura tailor, and ein shop.

the food here is delicious! i've had ramen made up fresh, udon with it's plump little noodles, sushi with an invigorating touch of wasabi, matcha icecream in its smooth and deep green yumminess, and many other dishes i have no name for.

i hope to visit a tea house, ohara, kokkedera moss temple, mina perhonnen, and a few other places soon. this weekend i will be going into gion; there is a haven for matcha bliss there that has matcha in every menu item. yum! oh, and to finally get around to taking non-weaving related photos.