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Crafty Things

As school is winding down (for me at least, I only have 2.5 days left!) I've started to either complete projects or get them back from teachers. So without further ado, I present to you the various crafy/artsy things I've done recently.

Marco the Phoenix from One Piece. Forgive the horrendous way the colors came out, my camera killed them.

Poplar from Working!
Both pictures were sketched and then painted with watercolors for club.

Scarf and pattern detail that I knitted for Home E.C. Now that I'm finished...I wear it, because it's ridiculously warm, if a little short (I ran out of yarn, so I just use a pin to attatch the two ends together and then it stays in place). The teacher had us knit them all ridiculously wide, so each row is 40 stitches...I could have made a longer scarf if I'd gone with 25 or 30 per row, but I'm not in charge so couldn't complain.

Book that I made with some of the calligraphy I did. The middle photo's left page says "ookami" or wolf. (The right side is backwards where you see the ink through the paper. But if you're curious, the right page says "utsukushii kokoro" or beautiful heart). Bottom is binding detail (and cover pattern detail).

Final little project I did, on a piece of cardboard, so you can stand it up or frame it or whatever. It's supposed to look all uneven and wiggly, it makes it more interesting. It's a haiku by one of the four haiku masters, Issa Kobayashi. It says (reading vertically, right to left): kusa no hana/ yondokoronaku/ sakinikeri, which translates into something like:
out of the grasses
the inevitable
(Translation courtesy of THIS WEBSITE!)

I actually like it a lot.
And that's what's up in life. Tomorrow I have my school speech and I'm having dinner with the extended family so I can see them one last time before I leave.


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What have I done the past few days?

Well, on Sunday my host family and I took a drive to Yamanashi prefecture (re: near Mount Fuji) to visit the Oshino Hakkai, the Eight Sacred Ponds of Oshino. According to the signage, when people used to hike up Mount Fuji for pilgrimages, they would purify themselves in the ponds before starting their journey. And having stuck my hand in an (acceptable) corner of the main pond, Wakuike, it was FREEZING. Some other ponds have specific purposes, however. One was for people who wanted a good marriage, for instance.

Cat Cafe

Today I went with my host brother to a cat cafe for "research". Yes it is a cafe and yes it has (canned) coffee, but also I really really really wanted to go to a cat cafe. By doing a little research, I found one off a convenient train station that not only didn't require a reservation in advance, but had free drinks and was actually significantly less expensive for more time than other cafes. On to Nyankoto!

For cat lovers, this is paradise:

This shop had fifteen cats, each with their own names and personality described in a photo book:

This cat's name is Kinta and he's a mix--though most of the cats there were breeds I was unfamiliar with and had fur of various kinks and degrees of fluffiness. 
They were all very social, active cats as well.

Kinta greeted my host brother by literally jumping on his back. 
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