Tuesday, June 12, 2012

opulence: noun

wealth, riches, or affluence
When is an envelope not an envelope? When it's a gift wrapping! Or something like that ;)
I went to a party last night at Barbara's which she had to introduce us to 2 of her Japanese friends that were visiting the states.
Kanta and Mari.

So I went bearing a gift, ( pun intended, you'll see why ).
"The Japanese love to give gifts. This habit is not practiced only on special occasions, but it's widely accepted as giri - a social duty and obligation." 
Now I am acquainted with the art of Japanese gift giving, if you are not then please this visit this web site to learn more about it. My friend Barbara, after many years of living in Japan, practices the art of  Furoshiki down to a tee and amazes of us at all functions where we bring things wrapped up on paper plates with cellaphane, aluminumin foil or tupperware containers, her's are tied up in cloths.

This is my gift for Kanto and Mari, a bear magnet.
 It is suppose to represent the North Carolina mountains that they visited. The size of the gift is important, it is suppose to be small, not to suggest opulence in any way: read above website, but the wrapping and thought behind it are monumental! I actually enjoy the whole thought process that is involved here.
 I used my Cricut to cut out the envelope using the stitched setting on the Don Juan cartridge. I used jute to sew through the holes leaving a loop to slide over the tree branch for closure.

I applied a rub-on of a local bird from our area, the American Goldfinch. I signed and dated the magnet and it fits perfectly into this little envelope, which happens to be a Japanese paper that Barbara gave me when we first met. The colors are muted, and I used natural elements. So my wrapping theme goes hand in hand with my gift, nature.

Since this includes sewing, as an "off the page project", I am entering it into
Frosted Designs, Fabulous Friday challenge - stitching

and a gift for the hostess :)

I removed the flowers from their plastic pot and wrapping. Punched a hole in the bottom of a tin can
( recycling ! ) Added a cup of soil to the bottom of the can, and then put the flowers in. Wrapped the burlap around the can and secured with a hot glue gun. The frog was one of the book marks I had made that got published in the Cricut magazine; so I cut off the long flap and it fit beautifully over the edge of the tin. Added 3 strips of ribbon and finished it off with buttons that matched the color of the frog.
I'm entering this project in Unique Crafters Challenge #4 Buttons

Kanta does story telling, or a Rakugo, which is like a a sitcom with one person playing all the parts! He told us very funny stories using only a fan and a cloth for props!  He was very good! This is part of his Samari story, who are not being allowed saki in the castle.

He also did these skits called his 'magic carpet", now this one is a North Carolina 'ha ha', lol You may not understand why we are laughing but it a short video of part of his entertainment  and it's still fun to watch:)

Mari made us Sakuramochi, which was delicious. I admit I am the first person to eye suspiciously anything wrapped up in leaves but I tried it and it great! Barbara also served us green tea.

Kanta and Mari also had lots of little gifts for us!

Barbara in her "summer" kimono, doesn't she look great?

Lots of fun, thanks Barbara, Kanta, and Mari for an enjoyable evening!

and don't forget to link up your Project Pinterest Project here, you have a whole month to play along with us ;)


Redanne said...

Hi Sandee, I really enjoyed your post today, what lovely friends Barbara has, I love your gift of the bear magnet and your envelope is beautiful. Great job recycling the tin, the plant pot is so cute with the frog, love it! Crafty hugs, Anne x

Ann B said...

You made some beautiful gifts and the envelope is gorgeous. I know all about Japanese gifts as Mr B's cousin lives in Japan and is married to a Japanese girl who visits us once a year. She always comes 'bearing gifts' and I have a corner of my living room specially for my Japanese 'collection'. I have little fabric boxes, various origami items and lots, a lots of antique kimono fabrics, plus a raft of papers. I always try to make something special for her to take home with her. It is a wonderful tradition.
Ann B

enthusiastically, dawn said...

Wow, I feel like I learned so much from this post! How lovely and sweet.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I originally came to see your AB, but my computer froze up and did a dump. Some kind of computer dump, that is. Not sure what happened, but it took me forever to get back on-line.

You are a wealth of information. Where were you when I was creating my Asian AB? It would have been fun to share.

Now I'm off to see your latest AB pages (again).

Cheryl said...

Sounds like it was a fun night! I love the idea of giving little gifts like that--especially when so much thought is put into them. Your magnet and pouch are fantastic!

Rita said...

How interesting! Too bad the videos don't work. I just love the envelope you made! What a sweet custom. Thanks for sharing. :)

fairy thoughts said...

looks like you had a lovely evening and your envelope is great
from a very soggy wet southern England

Terrie said...

Love your little natural gift and the envelope for it is perfect - well done!

Lydia said...

What beautiful little gifts! Love that natural envelope with the bird on it. Beautiful. Thanks for playing along with us at Frosted Designs!

Unknown said...

Sounds like you had a great time embracing the customs of your visitors! Both gifts are lovely! Thanks for joining us this month at Unique Crafters Challenge!