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Showing posts from March, 2009

Gallery Juana Monthly Newsletter

I plan to post the current Gallery Juana Newsletter on the 31st of each month at GalleryJuana.com. I hope to include tidbits about my art and the process as well as exclusive discounts for my newsletter readers. The newsletter will be viewable on line. Or you can sign up to the mailing list to receive it in your email box.






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Mokutan-Charcoal and Shadow Shot Sunday

On my walk last week, I passed by a shop dedicated to charcoal. Japanese have several uses for it. Some restaurants will place it in water to assist with water purification and your digestion. Or I see it decorating the shelf which helps to prevent dampness in the room. I bought two sticks about the size of my palm. I was surprised to discover that they are heavy, maybe the same weight as a dessert bowl. I just love how they look and have them sitting on my shelf.

There are subtle shadows between and throughout the charcoal.


For more shadow photos, please visit Hey Harriet's blog.

Spring Clouds in the Sky

This is the view of this afternoon's clouds from my balcony. The weather has been crazy. Last Thursday, felt like spring. Then the weekend and early week brought biting winds and snow. Maybe today's sunny weather will stay for good?

To see more beautiful photos of the sky, please visit Crazy Working Mom's blog.

Sepia Scenes

I was on the bus and it happened to get the red light which gave me a chance to take a photo of this statue. I have passed this way several times but have never actually noticed what is in the building! I always just look at the statue.


To see more Sepia Photography or to learn how to join, please visit the Sepia Scenes Blog.

Vending Machines in Japan Part 2 and Shadow Shot Sunday

Thursday was a warm breezy day. I had originally intended to walk for about 30 minutes, but I ended up walking for 2 hours! Vending machines for drinks are on every corner. Thanks goodness too, because I needed water midway through my walk. I dumped my empty water bottle in the recycle bin at the next vending machine I came upon.

Part I of Vending Machines in Japan talked about the homemade crepe vending machine. I still haven't tried it. That previous post had links to other sites with photos. I finally got some photos of my own on my walk the other day. Of course, the odd vending machines are the most interesting. I found two on my walk, one was tame and the other was for family planning:)

First up the tame one: Did you forget to buy batteries? Hop over to your neighborhood vending machine and get the size you need. This machine looked aged. I could hardly see through its window.


Next up, feeling a bit in the mood but want to be safe? No drugstore in sight? No worri…

Looking at the Sky on Friday

I am joining this photography meme for the first time. Yesterday was a really warm and sunny day. I got out of the house and took a two hour walk through an old part of the city and alongside Hirose River. I will be posting more shots from this walk throughout the week.



These two towers stand alone in a neighborhood. They mark the neighborhood of Kawaramachi in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. I am not sure how many floors there are, but my guess is definitely more than 5o floors. For a small town girl, that's a tall building:) Whenever there is an earthquake, the elevators stop working, so to return to your apartment, you have to take the stairs!

To view more sky shots, please visit CrazyWorkingMom's Blog.

Japan Trains and Station Clock in Sepia

Japanese trains usually run like clockwork, but are sometimes delayed because of weather such as strong wind or snowfall. The train station is busy throughout the day. During the day, it is filled with shoppers and travellers. By 10 p.m., the shops have closed and the homeless have come inside to claim their spot for sleeping in any corner they can find.

This photo is of the clock that hangs in the center, above the ticket gate. The lower deck is for the local trains. The second floor is where you can catch the Shinkansen-Bullet train.


I took this photo a couple of days ago. I didn't even notice the man on the second floor until I was editing the photo.

For more Sepia photos, please visit Sepia Scenes.

Or for more photos on the "clock theme," please visit Photo Theme Thursday.

Shadow Shot Sunday

I started my new 27-hour work schedule in mid-February, and now the weeks just fly by. Teaching ESL is actually a nice break for me. My students always have something interesting or funny to tell me. I finally have a balance between my Art and part-time work. Hurray!

I needed to get some outside business done last week. I took my camera with me and got this shot of the street hydrant and my shadow. It was sunny and windy. I was bundled up in my double coat.
For more shadow shots, visit Hey Harriett's Blog.

Thursday Photo Challenge - Broken

To view more Broken themed photos, please visit Thusday Challenge Blog.

Used Books and ACEOs

On Mondays my Husband and I have the day-off together. Yesterday we walked through the city to get to the used Bookstore. It usually takes about 40 minutes on foot to get there. I had a stomachache and Hubby suggested ice cream, so we veered off course to hit Baskin Robbins. I felt tons better after my Jamoca Almond Fudge Sundae!

The bookstore has 4 floors of used books which line all the shelves, tables, corners and floor ... just about every spot is covered with books. I got some beautiful, old Japanese books for my collage works. We must have spent more than an hour looking at old books. By the time we got home, we had been gone for 4 hours! Not all of that time involved walking, but I was sure tired when we got home.

I joined the ACEO Bounty challenge group last year on Etsy. It has been fun creating art works based on the challenges. Anyone can join. On a monthly basis, a Mini-Aceo Bounty is held. For this mini-bounty, a random number is chosen, and the matching …

Kaeru and Shadow Shot Sunday

I just want to sayThank You to Cloud 9 for featuring one of my prints on her blog. And Thank You to LDPhotography for including one of my paintings in her Etsy Treasury of ACEOs.

Shadow Shot Sunday

A couple of years ago, one of my ESL students from China gave me a gift on the last day of school. As she explained why she had chosen this gift for me, I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. The word for frog in Japanese is "kaeru." Kaeru also translates into the word for "return." Souvernirs with frogs are given to travelers to wish them a safe return from their journey. And she wanted to wish me a safe return Home to my Family. The red frog is braided thread and sits on braided leaves. I keep it hanging in my art studio. On a side note, frogs say "ribbit" in the States and they say "Gero" in Japan. For more shadow shots, please visit Hey Harriett's blog.

昆布、ネクタ Konbu Kelp Necktie

Have you ever eaten Konbu (Seaweed-Kelp)? Konbu is eaten in many forms in Japanese cuisine: dried seaweed, seaweed extract, whole seaweed, fresh seaweed, seaweed flakes. You've probably seen the dried seaweed sheets wrapped around sushi. 90% of Japan's seaweed is harvested in Hokkaido.

I like watching T.V. while I do my workout on the treadmill at the gym. Today, the news discussed Seaweed as a creative alternative for a necktie. The Konbu Necktie looks similar to crepe paper but is a bit thicker . The seaweed tie is shaped like a necktie with a large rubber loop that goes around the neck. One necktie is 1029 yen (10.50 USD, 16.40 AUD, 8.35 EUR). This Japanese blogger posted a pic of someone trying on the necktie in a shop. And, I believe it is edible but I think I would pass on it as a meal.