Apr 17, 2014

O is for One of a Kind

Oso Bonito, an amigurumi that Romi has crocheted, ponders on the uniqueness of himself.

   During Blogging from A to Z Challenge, we have been writing about Romi and some of the teddy bears she has made.

   Her teddies don’t look like expensive antique collectibles many people admire. Most of us are made out of reused materials such as old clothes, used buttons, and leftover yarns.  Some of her bears already looked antique the moment they were born. Our faces tend to be asymmetrical, and the stitches are uneven.

   I often wonder what makes Romi’s teddy bears so special.

   We are special, because each of us is one of a kind. Romi has made most of her teddies according to the patterns found in a Japanese book, Watashino Teddy Bears (ISBN: 4-529-02283-8.) She has used the same pattern again and again for making a number of bears, but we look different from one another. She sometimes uses exactly the same pattern and materials to make more than one bear, but none of them are exactly identical. -- I guess that is why Romi will never become a professional teddy bear artist.

   I’ll tell you something interesting about myself, Oso Bonito. I am an amigurumi bear based on the pattern in pages 62--63 of the book mentioned above. It is a pattern for a knitted bear. The fact is that Romi didn’t know how to knit when she made me. She did know, however, how to crochet. So she translated the knitting pattern into a crocheting one. Instead of knitting and purling, she made single stitches using a crocheting needle. As a result, I am much bigger and heavier than the model in the book.
   Soon after I was born, I was adopted by a friend of Romi’s. I am glad that I can help my 'mom' with her blogging challenge now.

Oso Bonito

Spring Challenge 29: Camellias

Camellias in the park

Click here for my other posts for "Spring Challenge"

I am taking part in Four Seasons: 30 Days.

Apr 16, 2014

N is for NCIS

   NCIS is one of the American dramas I often watch. What I like best about the drama is that each of the regular characters has an interesting, distinctive personality, which is also magnetic. I enjoy watching these somewhat predictable characters trying to solve unpredictable crimes.

   Naturally, I named two of my teddy bears after the characters in NCIS, Jethro and Abby. This is a picture of them.

Abby (left) and Jethro (right)

   If you happen to be a regular visitor to my blog, you have already met Jethro, haven’t you? Abby is the one sitting with a red paper cylinder with white borders in her hand. Well, needless to say, the cylinder is supposed to look like her favorite drink, Caf-Pow.

   Do you often watch dramas on TV? What kind of drama do you like?

Spring Challenge 28 : In Abundance


Abundant water in the river

Click here for my other posts for "Spring Challenge"

I am taking part in Four Seasons: 30 Days.

Apr 15, 2014

Easter, Spring Flowers, Pizza Toppings, and so on.

Everyday Ruralty 

1. What are you doing for Easter?
I am going to church as usual, and worship the Lord.
2. How many spring flowers have you noticed the last week or so?
Let's see. Cherry blossoms, narcissi, tulips, croci, magnolias, weeping forsythias, Persian speedwells, and many more.

I took this picture on my way to the city library yesterday. Cherry blossoms are at their best now.

3. What was your favorite thing in an Easter basket, or as dessert at Easter dinner?
Sadly, my family hasn't had any traditions of celebrating Easter at home. --I am the only Christian in my family.-- At our local church, however, the pastor always bakes special cakes or cookies for Easter and give them to us. She always surprises us with her creativity. Last year, she made cakes that looked like alpacas.
4. If you were a dog, what kind would you be?
I would be a shiba-inu, my favorite kind of dog.
5. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Cheese, tomato sauce, and basil.

M is for Max

 Max Bear talks about his experience as an assistant language teacher in high schools.

    Hello. I’m Max. I’m an assistant language teacher. I have helped Romi to teach English as a foreign language to high school students in Japan. I mainly helped her demonstrate how to do show and tell, one of her favorite activities for practicing communicative skills in English. All I had to do was to go to the classroom with Romi and let her say a few short sentences about me in English. Some students smiled at me. Others laughed. I kind of enjoyed being the center of attention.

   I don’t know about you, but in my humble opinion, it is a great idea to bring teddy bears to classrooms, because we can help ease the tension when students have to speak in a foreign language in front of their peers. They always speak much better than I expected.

Max in the classroom

  Romi also let me help her when she wanted to entertain her students, making believe she was having a dialogue with me in English as if she were a ventriloquist. It was hilarious.

    By the way, I am named after a Canadian teacher, who occasionally worked with Romi in the year when she started teaching English, fresh from university. Between you and me, I suspect that Romi was crushing on that good-looking gentleman.

This post is linked up to 

Spring Challenge 27: Pansies

I went to the park on the other side of the river by bicycle,
 and found these beautiful pansies there.

Click here for my other posts for "Spring Challenge"

I am taking part in Four Seasons: 30 Days.

This post is linked to

Apr 14, 2014

Cherry Blossoms, Easter, and Sea Bream

Acting Balanced

1. Today is look up at the sky day - what does your piece of the sky look like today?

2. It's also "organize your files week" - will you be participating?
It's about time I organized my files... Maybe, next week...

3. It's almost Easter - what are your Easter traditions?
At the local church I go to, the pastor and the members of the youth group usually give us something special made of eggs. Last year, we got some colorfully painted boiled eggs. A few years ago, they made delicate containers out of eggshells with some potpourri in them.

4. What is a favorite recipe that you've dusted off for the holidays or just because it's spring?
A Steamed Sea Bream (-- just because it's spring)
Sprinkle a sea bream with salt. Put some olive oil and sliced garlic in the frying pan and heat. Put the sea bream in the pan and cook for a little while. Add 1/4 cup of rice wine (or white wine) and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and steam the fish over a low heat for 10 minutes. Add some grated lemon, and serve.  (serves 2)

My fifth question for today is
5. Have you ever eaten sea bream?

L is for Lapghan

Laura Bear writes about the lapghan Romi has crocheted.  


   Hello. I am Laura, one of the teddies Romi has made. It is my turn to write in this blog, and I am going to tell you about something beginning with the letter L.

   Well, do you happen to know what lapghan means? I had never heard of the word until a few years ago, when I saw it at ravelry.com, a website on crocheting and knitting. ‘Lapghan’ refers to a sort of small blanket that someone sitting in a chair uses as a covering for the legs. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that the word comes from the combination of two words, ‘lap’ and ‘afghan.’

    About two years ago, Romi took an interest in crocheting three dimensional afghan blocks. She was excited to find a large number of beautiful patterns through the Internet. Among them, her favorite is Mary Ellen's Gerbera Daisy Pattern. Based on the pattern, she crocheted a beautiful lapghan. I love the three dimensional floral motif and the color combination of white and navy blue.

the lapghan Romi has crocheted

   Do you llike crocheting?

This post is linked up to

10 Things Spring

Easter is just around the corner.