Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Crafts and Me

So we have a great challenge for you over at  Fab'n'Funky Challenges

Our challenge this week is:
Floral Embelishments
(and floral print paper isn't enough)

 Our lovely sponsor this week is:

 This lovely image is "Summer-Days by Jeremiah-Ketner" I really like Jeremiah's designs, they have a beautiful delicacy. I created a stamped border to frame the image without detracking from it.
 I created the border using a two-step stamp set. The delicate ribbons are the loops from a top (waste not want not).

Unfortunately when I put it on the stand to take the photo it fell off and the small clay butterfly I made, smashed. The three dots you can see in the top righthand corner of the orangey backing are an emergency addition to disguise the glue.

I will make a new butterfly to share with you all when I have a embelishment making session.

Please remember to visit all the lovely ladies at Fab'n'Funky and leave them some good vibes.

Thank you to everyone who read my Japan blog posts. 
Back shortly
Buffy xx

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Masked Coffee Man

So back to crafting, I had a card to make for one of my workmates and lucky for me he's mad about coffee. Why is this lucky for me...because I bought a fabulous coffee stamp set a few months ago and I have been dying to make the perfect birthday card with it.

The Male Room are having a Masking challenge which is just right for the design I dreamt up.

So I stamped the cafetiere first on a post-it note then onto a white piece of card. I covered the cafetiere with the cut out post-it image and stamped the the coffee cup. I raised the cup image up a little to give a slightly more dimensional feel.
Card:- S.U. Chocolate Chip,
Stamp-set:- For the Love of Stamps - Coffee Time
Promarkers - Tan, Cinnamon and Henna

Back soon with more sharing
Buffy xx

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Finally of Day 5

I meant to write this up a few days ago, but unfortunately my husband started to feel ill and that took presidency over blogging.
When your are in a foreign country with minor language skills it's a little bit worrying, but he is fairing well and getting plenty of rest.
So where were we....
 Another of the Rakan carvings, this one has a beautiful pillar that is topped by a lotus-like flower. The skill and dedication of the masons who carved all of this is most admirable.
It's also lovely to have something that makes you giggle
Mawgan couldn't resist snapping a quick piccie of a sign that really doesn't apply to us, since we're vertically challenged ;-)
After quite a long walk in 28C heat and a humidity of approx 80% we reach....
Diabutsu of Nihon-ji

This is the largest statue of a Buddha in Japan. In 1969 in underwent a 4 year reconstruction to repair severe damage. If you look closely to the right-hand side you can see stone bricks & mortar. It was originally built in 1780 by Jingoro Eirei Ono and his 27 apprentices. They dedicated 3 years to it's construction. It stands 28 metres high, pedestal & figure. 
I can tell you when you are stood in front of it it is totally awe inspiring.
I took this photo whilst kneeling, to show respect for this religious site. 
I realise that might seem silly to some but I have always believed in showing respect for beliefs and traditions when visiting a foreign country. 
We were also extremely lucky to have gotten a photo of this beautiful Japanese resident
A member of the swallowtail family, this butterfly was approximately 6 inches long (including the tails) with a wing span of approx 9 inches. The photo is a little blurry because these butterflies do not hold still. The flower it's sitting on is about 8ft high. 
As you are leaving the Nokogiri-yama you pass several shrines, this is a pray shrine. On the left of the photo you can see all the prayers that people have written.
I'm afraid I'm not going to show any more images of this majestic place. Photo's can never tell the true power of this great mountain, only a visit can do that.

I will be back soon to share a few more things we saw and learned whilst we were in Japan and hopefully they will help you when you go...

Back soon
Buffy xx

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Day 5 adventure continues

After the Hyakushaku Kannon it was another up hill climb. But absolutely worth it.

This is Jigoku Nozoki (View of Hell) is an over hang that is very popular. The views are stunning and many people venture out to take selfies. You may notice a couple with their backs pressed up against the fence not far from the edge, well they had just snapped a selfie seconds before I took this shot. WARNING - the ground underfoot on the approach to the overhang is uneven so I wouldn't recommend attempting to reach the view point if you have any ankle, knee or hip issues.

Unfortunately it was a little hazy so we were unable to get the furthest view. But even this is a lovely view.
As we start our descent we reach our next point of interest. This is Saigoku Kannon.
These represent the Rakan, early disciples of Buddha. There are 1500 Rakan here at Mt. Nokogiri. They were carved between 1779 and 1798. You may notice several of the heads are missing, this happened when a revolt ensued. Some have been replaced.
I would love to show you more but I think it is now bedtime. Come back tomorrow for the final installment of our Mt. Nokogiri adventure.
I've saved the best for last

Buffy xx

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Day 5 of our Japanese adventure

So today we traveled by rail to the village of Hamakanaya.

It is a traditional old Japanese village, with narrow streets, shrines and statues.

It an hour and a half to reach the village by train, but it wasn't the village we had come to see. Graham had been researching places to visit a few weeks before we left and had found our next destination.
Mount Nokogiri (translates as sawtooth mountain) was where we were headed. Now for those of you who know me quite well, you will know that abseiling down a hundred foot rock face is child's play but to me a cable car is the most horrific idea in the known universe. Well
I took this photo from inside the cable car. Yes I am exceedingly proud of myself (although I did hold Mawgan's hand all the way up). It was no little ride either.
  This is the view from the cable car dock at the top. The small yellow box you can see in the distance is one of the cars. Each car can hold about 25 adults, although it is a bit cosy when full. 
There is a small cafe at the top which is wonderful on a hot day because the have ice-cream. Since it was 25C with a humidity of 85% I felt ice-creams all round. Needless to say Graham and Mawgan were not arguing. So 2 strawberry ice-creams and a frozen blueberry yoghurt later we set off on our journey of discovery.
After a very steep staircase we reached our first temple. This is the Jusshu Ichiran observatory
 You get magnificent views of Hamaknaya and on the opposite side the saw-tooth mountains. 
 Our next stop, was the Hyakushaku Kannon, this is the Buddhist goddess of mercy.
She stand Hundred Shaku (which is a Japanese measurement for the average length of a bamboo node),approximately 100ft tall. Many people leave small offerings, an few coins or incense.

I'm afraid I am complete knacked now and I shall share the rest of our Mt. Nokogiri adventure tomorrow. I will tell you I took photo's of the largest one in Japan.........

Back soon
Buffy xx

p.s. to Gill, thank you for the comment and yes a craft day sounds great xx Maybe you should start blogging about all your adventures in Hong Kong/China. I'd definitely read it.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Update from Japan

So, a concert to beat all concerts.This is who we went to see
 This is a statue of Hatsune Miku.
The difference being the live Miku is in fact a computer generated vocaloid. The band were actually a live band who play next to a screen where Miku and other vocaloids appear and preform.

The Japanese are definitely passionate fans, two and a half hours of none stop raving. SERIOUSLY! Two and a half hours, they never sat down once, they didn't stop swinging there electronic glowsticks once. Even Mawgan didn't sit down. (She is suffering shoulder pain now)

There was also a Miracle Mirai Expo 2017 in the next event hall, which was fascinating. I fully understood the young girls dressed up like there favourite character (Miku is not the only vocaloid, there are another 5).
Those of you who remember Mawgan's prom outfit will be familiar with this

Mawgan getting a photo with one of the official Miku reps.

I did tell her to take her costume with her, and it is a real shame she didn't because her prom outfit is one of the special edition Miku  costumes and no one else at the expo was wearing it.

Would you believe me if I told you Miku has a racing team? No? Guess again
She has, it's a definite thing over here, there are 3 dedicated drivers.
But back to the Expo, you meet some very colourful characters. Most are warm, sincere youngsters who want to emulate their favourite character, some are downright creepy middle-aged men but then you get the ones who are just there for the shear fun of it
This very manly man was a true delight, whilst most serious male fans wouldn't dream of insulting Miku by being unshaven and makeless this fabulously funny american chap was just having fun.

Much to Mawgan's horror I insisted on taking a piccie of her with the design concept of her favourite costume, whilst holding the prom picture.

It hasn't been only the Expo and concert, oh no, there has also been,

Evening walks along the skywalk.
(a footpath built above the roads, shops and businesses for safe pedestrian travel, genius)

Geocaching, naturally.
We couldn't resist the chance to get Japan on our search history list.

Observing the local wildlife.
It's hard to tell from the photo but this butterfly was larger than my hand. The stripe on the underside might be green but at certain angles it looks more like electric blue. Truly beautiful.

And last but not least (for this update)
No one who works for the railway can possibly come to Japan and not visit the Monorail. Yes, it's an inverted monorail. It's the only one of it's kind in the world.
What is even more clever is the fact that in certain places there is a walkway above the track.
Separating people from traffic seems to be a theme here.
But more people walk and use public transport than drive. Not surprising when you think it cost £4 to get from Oakwood to Derby (3miles) on the bus and yet to cover a distance of 10 mile on a train over here only cost £1.50

It's starting to get late, so I shall leave it there for the moment.
Back soon with much more NON Miku information ;-)
Buffy xx

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