Thursday, January 29, 2009

One World - One Heart Giveaway


I've joined the One World - One Heart Gypsy Caravan! Lisa at A Whimsical Bohemian is hosting her third annual One World-One Heart, where bloggers worldwide can participate in giveaways. As I type this, there are 735 giveaways being held, and probably more to come. Click the badge or the link to see all the other giveaways.

To enter, simply enter a comment on THIS POST ONLY by 11:59pm PST (US), February 11. The winner will be selected by random drawing and announced on February 12. And please make sure I have a way to link back to you or contact you in case you win.

If you'd like to join the gypsy caravan, you have until February 3rd to hold a giveaway of your own and let Lisa know.


I have, for my very first giveaway, a collection of items from my Tokyo neighborhood:

Scrumptious, isn't it? But don't eat it. It's a small but delightful eraser to make you smile while you rub away your mistakes. 0 calories.

And this is a set of very small notecards on Japanese paper (approx. 10.5 x 6.5 cms). I believe there are 5 notecards and 5 matching envelopes. Perfect for sending those tiny wishes and smiles to someone you love.

Now this. This I thought was pretty cool. It's a 2009 desk calendar from Itoya. You assemble the pieces to build a small rocking chair. The months are printed on the seat cushions, and you change the cushions to change the month. I know, I know, but there are plenty of other months left in the year, folks.

A set of paper balloons to play with or decorate your creative space.

And lastly, a notecard with sleeve decorated by yours truly. It reads "you are never alone," to hopefully bring cheer to someone in need of a smile or a hug. This is not a reproduction. It is original pen on paper.

Thank you for taking a look. I hope you enter, and if you do, good luck to you!



I used a random number generator to select the winner, and the number chosen was 71.

The 71st comment was made by Oxana from FancyScrap. Congratulations!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

IF - Climbing

click for larger view

This past weekend, the city built a fantastic new treehouse in the park by my house. It was part of an exhibit on "Trees Meet Water," much of which I didn't understand because it was written in Japanese. It took nearly one week to build, and then it was open for all to climb and visit over the weekend. And then, just like that, they dismantled it and took it away on Monday. I have no idea whether it was brought back to life somewhere else. I hope so.

Have a wonderful week!


My goodness, I don't know what to say. Thank you, Yoon See, TattingChic, and Ces. You've melted my heart with your generosity and thoughtfulness. I would like to share this bounty with the following bloggy buddies who make me smile almost daily, and who make me feel like I'm never really alone:

I know many of you have already received some of these awards. So please take the ones that are new to you from the list on the right. What a way to start the new year.

I love you all!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

IF - Pale

Hiromi selected her pale green kimono.

Can't get much paler, folks.
Have a vibrant and colorful week!

Friday, January 9, 2009

IF - Contained

The contagious yawn, once unleashed, cannot be contained.

Did you know, there's research to suggest that the more empathetic you are, the more likely you are to catch someone's yawn? And did you know, even dogs can catch your yawn? If you're part of their social pack, it just may happen. Scientists are gaining more insight into why we yawn in the first place. I've read articles on how the brain heats up more during times of transition or fatigue, and yawning cools the brain. This might explain why some people yawn more just before experiencing a migraine or seizure -- these are times of transition. Cool stuff.

So, did you yawn while reading this?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

IF - Resolve

Once upon a time, not too long ago, in a suburban primary school in Japan, little children prepared to perform a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

The parents, however, protested that it wasn't fair to have only one Snow White. And so, after a bout of parental bullying, the school relented and put on a production of 21 Snow Whites and No Dwarves. Issue resolved.

I kid you not.

Japanese parents used to respectfully defer to the school and teachers. But in the past decade, it seems, they have become more aggressive and demanding. Some say it's a symptom of the economic downturn. Perhaps it's because many families only have one child (it being too expensive to have more), so they want the best for him or her. Whatever the cause, I thought this story was hysterical when I read it. (You can read more about it here.)

Good golly. What on earth do you think the storyline was?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year, and Keep Your Eyes Peeled!

Happy new year, everyone!!! Boy, 2008 could not have ended fast enough. But the best part of last year was the discovery of new friendships that both comforted my soul and tickled my last creative brain cell, coaxing it out of dormancy. I can never thank you enough.

My new year's challenge for 2009? To walk forward with my eyes wide open and welcome new opportunities.

Here's something to chew on: Richard Wiseman, a professor in the UK, studied the difference between lucky and unlucky people. The key difference, he found, was in their behavior and way of thinking. Unlucky people are seemingly so tense that they do not notice opportunities that present themselves. In one fascinating study, he told people to count the photographs in a newspaper. Now, buried in the middle of the newspaper was a half-page ad written in two-inch high letters that said, ‘Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $50.′ Well guess what. People who described themselves as lucky were more likely to spot the ad than people who described themselves as unlucky.

Moral? Keep your eyes peeled, people! Believe in yourself, and 2009 will be yours for the taking.

And it wouldn't hurt to describe yourself as lucky.

* * * * *

Nancy presented me with two beautiful awards recently. She is a gentle and generous soul who spends her life daydreaming and creating the most beautiful images. Even while waiting at bus stops. Thank you, Nancy!

"This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated."

To all my bloggy friends, I feel like we've been friends forever. You are always just a click away. Please share these awards with me. You deserve them!

2009 is the year of the Ox. Dare I say it? Should I??? No, I couldn't. Oh, but I can't resist...

Happy MOO Year!