Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A temari outing: our day trip to Uji, Japan

We were so excited to meet Ai! After years of friendship on the internet, Glenna, Kathy, and I finally got to meet her and spend a wonderful day together. It was the first Saturday that we were in Japan - a day off from the tour's organized activities.  Ai met us in the lobby of our hotel and we took a taxi to the Kyoto train station.

Uji was a short ride by train, south of Kyoto. There was a festival beginning on the market street outside the station - something to do with children or the local schools since there were a lot of activities for the kids and artwork they'd made. We watched as an adorable group of girls danced and lip-synced to some American rap/pop music. I didn't recognize the "song" and was glad to realize the girls and audience probably didn't understand the words exactly (if you get my drift)! After lunch (Japanese food, of course), we grabbed a cab to Itoh Sensei's house. Her class room is in the very front of her home - a tiny but quite adequate space filled with temari goodies of all sorts. She kindly let us take photos of all the temari - two large bookcases full. If you are a member of TC, be on the lookout for announcement that the disk is ready in a few weeks.

My photos from the day are in the picassa album (with the exception of all the temari that will be on the disk)

Happy temari stitchers
Snacks are beautiful and yummy, too

I started the ball in class. Ripped it out that night at the hotel and restitched the first row. After getting back to the US, I decided to save this one and make another to finish. I'm well on the way and will share the photo when I'm done.

The day was a really special one. I always felt like we were stitching blind - figuring out things ourselves as best we could. To be able to see our friend Ai stitch temari and have a lesson with Itoh Sensei was enlightening. Comforting too, realizing that we're not doing too badly on our own. My understanding of the Japanese language is very poor but I did hear Sensei mention to Ai that the pattern is very difficult and we were doing well. I'm not sure about the "doing well" part, though. We're sharing the tidbits of temari-making that we learned in our Yahoo group. One of the main things the three of us all noticed - they are more temari-crazy than we are. I was expecting to see temari toilet paper in the loo! Didn't, of course. Fun day.