We are in Kyoto and have been here for 5 days now. There are so many beautiful places in this city. However, I think the high light was the day that we were walking around a Shinto shrine and met a young man named Oka from Tokyo who was touring on his own. He couldn't speak much English but we were able to communicate. He asked if we would have our picture taken with him for a remembrance. He was carrying a 3 string instrument and a violin case. He played us a tune on the 3 string instrument and when he saw that we were really taken with his music he presented us with a CD of it. We wanted to pay him but he wouldn't hear of it so I gave him a good luck bell that I had gotten at Mt. Fuji. He seemed very pleases with it.
We were very lucky in that when we went to see Mt. Fuji, the clouds cleared and we saw it in all it's glory. It was worth coming to Japan just for the sight of it. I took pictures but I'm sure they won't do the mountain justice. I'll post them after I get home and can do a download.
We also spent some time in the Hakona area which is known for it's hot springs. The Japanese use this hot water for their mineral baths. I soaked in one for about 15 minutes. It was about 110 F so I couldn' t take more than that but it felt so good. If you ever get the change to have one, take it.
This is a pastel portrait that I did from a photo of my late friend Edie. The photo was not great but because I knew her so well I attempted the project. My progress was closely followed by a mutual friend who had known Edie even longer than I. Finally both of us agreed that the picture captured Edie well.
It is going to be hung in a local show in the Lynbrook, Long Island, NY library and then I am sending it to Edie's niece who still misses her very much, even though it has been 10 years since her death. Fortunately, she does not read my blog because this is going to be a surprise for her.
I took the photos below at the end of each working day.
This is a pin I designed and beaded. It measures 5 by 3 1/2 inches (13.5 by 9.5 cm). I forged the pin back from a piece of 14k gold-fill wire. The medallion in the center is a German glass hatpin top made about 1900 to 1910. The large green pebble shaped beads are malachite. All the seed beads are glass. It's beaded on crinoline and the backing is Ultrasuede.