Friday, February 11, 2011

Keeping warm

Most homes in Japan do not have central heating. Some of the newer homes come with a hot water heating system under the living room floor to keep that room warm, but other rooms need a space heater or cooler. When buying or renting a new home, the number one consideration in the average Japanese person's mind is southern exposure. Because there is no central heat, in the winter people rely on the sun to heat up their homes. A living room anywhere but on the southern side of the home brings the value of the home way down. Since people are presumably in their living rooms most of their time spent at home, they want that room to be the warmest. Moving along that same thinking, the bedrooms end up on the north side of the home. No central heat and no sunshine to warm them up, bedrooms can be miserably cold in the winter.

We've had a pretty mild winter in Tokyo this year. Even so my bedroom is down-right cold at night. I sleep in my pjs, with two undershirts and a turtleneck, socks and leg warmers. I am one of those people who sleep on their side with their arm under the pillow so in order to keep my arm from freezing I wear another pair of leg warmers on my arms. If its a particularly cold night I've been known to wear mittens and a stocking cap to bed as well. Yes, I do have fleece sheets, a huge down comforter and quilt on top of that. Even so, every once in awhile I still feel cold.

Several years ago, after my mother retired from her job, my father invited our entire family to celebrate the occasion with a family vacation in Kauai. My husband couldn't get the time off from work - too bad for him - because we had a wonderful time. My son was only two at the time and wanted nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the ocean water. So my daughter and I would spend hours playing in the tide pools and the shallow surf just in front of our rented condo. It was such a wonderful, warm time. I hope to take my children there again one day. Actually, I want to go there today because this beach just looks so warm and sunny!

all papers and elements from Island Dreams by Sherwood Studios
page template from You Complete Me by Fiddle-Dee-Dee Designs

This is a page I made for the January Artisan Notebook. Our assignment was to write a letter to our future generations. My husband was kind enough to not laugh when I asked him to take a picture of my hands while standing on a chair leaning over me. My journaling, if you're interested, can be read in my gallery.
papers and elements from Illuminated Journal and Old Letters by ViVa Artistry
stacked photo frame cluster by 4 Shades of Blue Design
dried leaf branch from Touch of Spice by Studio Gypsy

Studio Gypsy has a fun new grab bag along with a few other designers at Scrapbook Graphics. Its just SO cute that I needed to find a cute girly picture. This is my daughter several years ago. Seems like just yesterday.

everything here from Sugary, Sweet and Shabby 
by Studio Flergs, Studio Rosey Posey, Studio Dawn Inskip and Studio Gypsy
page template is from You Complete Me by Fiddle-Dee-Dee Designs

That same little girl has grown up all too quickly. She's a lovely young lady now, twelve years old.

all papers and elements from Vanilla Noir by Quirky Twerp
page template from Easy Breezy pt 18 by Busy Bee Designs

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you are keeping warm. Please come by again.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Love is in the Air

Its February. I wonder how many of you are suffering due to the huge storm that is currently blanketing 1/3 of America in fluffy white snow. I am slightly envious because I really, deeply miss snow. Growing up in Denver I could count on it to snow each winter just for my fun and entertainment. HA  After moving to Tokyo I could probably count on one hands the times I had enough snow to play in.

I'm horribly late posting this, but Busy Bee has a few FREE templates on her blog for MScraps Birthday Blog Hop. While you're there you might as well just go along for the ride and see what other goodies are along the hop.

I thought it being February my blog needed to get out of Christmas mode, so I've updated with a Valentines Day theme for the month. Using the same kit, Love Potion by Shabby Miss Jenn, I made a Lovely page of my two babes.

page template from Snowflake Clusters 6 by Busy Bee Designs

I hope you are staying warm and dry where ever you may be. Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come again.