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.


Heather T. said...

What an amazingly versatile and thoughtful scrapper you are, Holly!

Lulutoo said...

Remind me to never visit Japan in winter, Holly! We have central heat and I still wore my hoodie and sweatsocks to bed last night. Like you, I had a heavy comforter on and I was still cold! I do have some retro leg warmers, so I might have to give that idea a try! I don't know how cold it was for the low, but when I took my son to school this morning it was -3F.

Your layouts are SO beautiful! I love that hat your DD has on in the pink page. What a cutie!

ViVa Artistry is: said...

I very much remember our one winter in Kyoto and how I just about froze to death. I think I slept with those sticky hot packs, one on my back, one on my chest. Coldest I'd ever been. Ummm...thanks for bringing back those memories? your layouts are amazing. vivienne

Mitsue Iwata said...

The layouts are totally beautiful! Love the pictures in Hawaii, that is a great place to visit. Just reminded me about the time I lived in Tokyo, yes the house is really really cold compared to the houses in the US. We are in the US temporary for my husband's work but can't wait to go back to Tokyo. It's a fun place!