Friday, May 22, 2015

Goodbyes and finished projects

Today’s coffee: Affogato, Father's day blend

Preparations continue. I checked another thing off the bucket list: my yukata is complete! The fabric was my birthday present from my mom last year, chosen while on a family vacation—batik dyed cotton with a pattern that looks like fireworks or chrysanthemums, both of which are very appropriate for a yukata. And if you’re still wondering what a yukata is, it’s a casual summer kimono which is typically worn for evening outings, in particular, festivals and watching fireworks.

In my sewing corner
I promise, it was perfectly ironed when I put it on...
While I suppose I could have packed the unfinished yukata up to finish when we come back, I received a lot of helpful advice from Fujiyama-sensei, our tea ceremony teacher, who also teaches kimono-making. Sadly, Tuesday was our last class. I definitely wanted to show her my finished work, so I hurried to finish it, and then I wore it on Tuesday… despite the fact that the “rules” state that yukata are only for July and August. Not to mention, it was cold, rainy, and the wind was blowing like crazy—definitely not yukata weather. Oh well. Sensei’s living room was nice and warm, so I didn’t get cold.

As a special treat for our last class, Sensei made us a delicious supper consisting of various dishes using 山菜 (sansai—mountain vegetables), including lots of pickles for Keith. We will miss her warm hospitality, her encouragement, the way she gets excited and talks on and on about Japanese history, the way she corrects us to help us make tea more beautifully.

Pickled cucumber, udo, tofu, and carrots, stir-fried fuki, udo tempura donburi, and miso soup with fresh wakame!
Thanks to her help, and the help of another experienced teacher in the area, I have been connected with a teacher in Seattle so I can continue my studies and start working towards certification.

Now I’m going to brag about my dad’s handiwork. I sent him pictures and measurements, and he copied a tea tray which is used for 盆略点て (bonryakudate), a simple form of tea ceremony, using gorgeous figured maple from our backyard. (I mean, he can make guitars and shamisen, so why not a tea tray?) Actually, he made two—we gave one to Fujiyama-sensei, and the other is waiting for us at my parents’ house… so be sure to come over for tea! Looking forward to seeing what other interesting things we can make in dad’s workshop to use for tea ceremony.

Dad used his bending iron (metal tube with a halogen light bulb inside) to bend the sides, just like making guitar sides.

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