Sep 8, 2017
Maurzen has a long history in Kyoto. It first opened its doors in 1872! The store closed in 2005 for 10 years, and finally repoened in 2015 - on two floors of the basement of BAL department store (downtown Kyoto).
Its everything a book store should be --- large selection, helpful staff, coffee shop and cafe. And lemons! Wait... lemons???
There is a popular Japanese short story titled "Lemon." Its very poetic and children read it in school. The main character ends of creating a sculpture out of books in the old Maurzen book store, and he places a perfectly shaped lemon on it. So people used to bring lemons and leave them on the shelves of the old store. Now, you can find the lemon table in the new store, along with copies of the story (Japanese only). Or you can go the more commercial route, and buy a lemon shaped cake in the cafe!
So, if you go to Kyoto, or live there or nearby, be sure to visit. Check out the quirky lemon story. And ask for my book!
I'm so happy to be a part of this beloved book store.
Maurzen Books / BAL department store
Sep 6, 2017
Here are two highlights.
The other highlight for me was this stunning swirl of small circles made by Yoshiko Katagiri. The hundreds of small circles are all made from antique silk kimono, and hand appliqued. The quilt is also hand quilted. Antique silk kimono, paired with this chalky black cotton background, is her signature style. If you want to read more about her story, she is featured in my first book "Japanese Contemporary Quilts and Quilters."
My friend Noriko Endo and I walked through all the vendor booths... fabric, purses, patterns, and notions. Just two aisles of booths - mostly commercial cotton. Not too much antique or specialty fabrics.
After a morning of quilts, I headed off to a store that sells denim made in Japan. 'Evisu the Tokyo' is the name of the store, and its near the Ebisu metro stop.
Good night Tokyo. See you next time. I'm off to Osaka and Kyoto.
Sep 5, 2017
Sep 2, 2017
And the artists who came from all over Japan to help celebrate the launch of my new book certainly brought lots of both!
|The fashionable Akiko Iki!|
|Quilter Yaskuo Saito and Indigo dyer Toru Shimomura.|
|Indigo dyer Ken-ichi Utsuki.|
|A lovely bouquet sent for the event.|
|From left, Jackie Sakuraoka, Yasuko Saito, me, Shizuko Kuroha.|
Sep 1, 2017
First step is to get the book in the hands of all the people who contributed to the research... everyone who gave a significant amount of time... everyone who shared their talent (and images!) with me... and for this book, of course, those individuals are mostly in Japan.
Aug 30, 2017
I just sat down in the last row of seats on a plane at the Dallas / Fort Worth airport.
My husband and I said good bye and good riddance to Harvey yesterday and made the long trek here by car.
Heading to Japan. So grateful. So blessed.
And so thankful for all the comments and thoughts and prayers from my quilter friends at home and in Japan.
Most of all.... I am grateful the sun is shining over parts of my city today!
Aug 29, 2017
Truly awful and not over.
My heart aches for my city. So much devastation.
Its too early to talk about recovery.... we are still in the disaster. Our levees and dams and bridges are at risk. And all the people.... and homes... its all so much.
For now, we must keep moving forward... and for me, that means going to Japan.
I have an event that was planned months ago and people are coming from cities all over Japan.
So United Airlines helped book me on a flight to Narita from Dallas. Thanks #unitedairlines
My very kind husband drove me to Dallas today.... was difficult to get out.
Tomorrow I will be on my way.
Houston will be on mind and in my prayers.
Aug 27, 2017
Aug 26, 2017
Aug 24, 2017
The Japanese Tenugui is a bit of an enigma. On the one hand, you see them pretty much everywhere in Japan. On the other hand. some Tenugui are considered precious and rare works of art.
The cotton Tenugui has been a part of Japan's textile history for many centuries. The translation means hand towel.
Its infinitely practical, yet highly decorated. In fact, the "real" ones are all hand dyed using a process known as Chusen. The design is applied using stencils and a paste-resist, then steaming hot dyes are poured over the cloth. Mastering this art form takes many years of study and dedication.
Making a hand-dyed Tenugui is a painstaking process... I describe it thoroughly in my new book: "Cotton & Indigo from Japan." Want to read more, click here.
The cotton Tenugui is a type of super thin towel, originally designed to be used at bath houses. The paper thin cotton was designed to dry fast... and the Tenugui does not have any sewn edges or bulk.
Today it has many uses. One of the most obvious is as a type of head band - its worn they way this artist below is wearing his. Staff in many noodle shops and restaurants wear Tenugui on their heads.