2019 Photo Journal Tokai (東海)

Christmas Decorations in Gifu

2018 Photo Journal

Our Newest Addition

On the way home from work yesterday, I walked by a flowershop selling pointsettias. They were brilliant colored and available in a small size, so I picked one up. It’s been placed on my dresser for the time being, until I finish cleaning off my living room table. After that, all that will be left will be to give it a name. Any suggestions?

2017 Photographer's Note

Christmas Card

A very Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and a Good Monday to those who do not.

2015 Photo Journal

Happy Holidays

2015-12-13 10.56.35

Happy holidays all. Happy belated Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Christmas, Blessed Yuletide, Happy Winter Solstice, Happy New Year, and happy mid-week followed by an extended weekend to those whom do not celebrate the above.

2015 Photo Journal

Holiday Leftovers


No, no, it’s not what you think! I don’t still have food left over from Christmas in my refrigerator, don’t worry. I’m not talking about those sorts of leftovers.

I mean leftover holiday displays. Around where I live, a lot of people still have their decorations up. This might be due to the recent cold spell we have found ourselves trapped in, but it seems like there’s just more left out than in previous years.

As I said in previous posts, it seemed like the holiday sprit has been stronger than usual. I don’t know if that’s because of all the other rotten stuff that’s been happening (you know, to balance out the bad with some year end good) or if people just are starting to get back on their feet finance wise. Whatever it is, that sentiment is continuing into the new year.


These flowers are one such example. I found this display in an office building, while I was getting some paperwork done for my new job. At first I was a little surprised, but once I noticed that these plants were the real deal, I understood. Plants are living creatures, not things to be thrown away when their purpose is complete.

They haven’t gone completely green yet and seem to be doing well, so I assume someone’s taking care of them. That make me glad.


When I was a little girl, I used to be so envious of my grandmother’s plants. She would receive half-dead cuttings from her sister, and from them, manage to grow spectacular plants. These plants would live for years! I, on the other hand, am complete rubbish when it comes to taking care of anything that isn’t a cat.

Anyway, for my 8th birthday, my grandmother gave me a supposedly indestructible plant, that she claimed would survive my mother’s chain smoking and the lack of sunlight in our apartment. As she said, it did thrive, sat on my windowsill until I was about 15.

2014 Photo Journal

Crafting with Ren


I’ve been doing a bit of crafting lately, in preparation for the holidays. This year’s theme is up-cycling. This is mostly due to my being a poor college student. But I have to admit that it’s been pretty fun. Also, Brother has been amazed by my “skills” whenever I text him a picture of my handiwork. ((the above is an attempt at a poinsettia used on my mom’s gift))

I’ve been making old magazines into Christmas decorations and wrapping paper. I found a tutorial online for making hand crafted bows, so I thought I would try it out.


It looks simple, but really isn’t as easy as it looks. I may or may not have accidentally stapled my finger to a piece of paper as well.


These will be used for decoration on my male friends’ presents (also wrapped in magazine pages). The pages I used for the bows are from a cooking magazine, which I like reading for the recipes. The backgrounds are usually pretty mellow colors, but there are some really pretty pictures of food too.


I love how the text looks along the ridges. I know my friends will be sitting there, trying to read what it says, since it’s mostly in Japanese. I want to say it adds character.


For the ladies, I made some over-sized poinsettia flowers in place of the bows. I tried to add color where I could so it doesn’t look like a blob of text with no shape. Also, folding the tips made the whole flower look more like a flower.


I think they came out pretty well.

Lastly, we have the Christmas Lotus. It was supposed to be a bow, but went a tad off somewhere along the way. Ironically, this can be called “Ren no ren” or Ren’s Lotus.



2013 Photo Journal



It may be fake (we have a cat and poinsettia’s are poison) but it still looks pretty when put on the tree. We use them to fill in some of the naked bits. It’s a nice contrast against the green of the tree and the gold of the ornaments.