Monday, September 15, 2014

respect-for-the-aged day

September 15 is a national holiday in Japan called Keirou-no-hi (respect for the aged day), although now-a-days the day is always celebrated on the second Monday of the month, to turn it into a long weekend.  People often take their grandparents out-- maybe for dinner, maybe for an overnight stay at a hot springs inn. I  was once a part of a women's group that would serve up an elaborate luncheon on this day with various entertainments for the elderly ladies at our church.  

As a joke, I gave my husband a respect-for-the-aged card (the one posted above) this year because he's 61 and we don't have any grandchildren yet to celebrate it for him. But really, I think you have to be over 65 to qualify as "early elderly," and most people who were interviewed on the street in Japan thought that you don't qualify even for that until age 70. If I remember correctly, anyone past age 80 is called "late elderly." But the Japanese are, overall, a long-lived people. The turtle, as you probably know, symbolizes longevity.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

save the date

I was recently commissioned to design an etegami-style save-the-date card, which was a totally new experience for me, because I'd never heard of such cards, nor of the custom of sending such cards. So I did a search on Etsy, and was astounded by the number of shops that offer card designs for this very purpose.

I floundered a bit, and finally came up with the design in the photo above. Then I floundered a bit more, until I came to a better understanding of the concept of save-the-date cards, and a better grasp of what my clients were looking for.  I can't show you the design that won their hearts just yet. That one will remain a secret until their special event is over.

My world got just a little bit bigger and I'm wondering how many other greeting card customs there are in the world that I have never known-- customs that could bring Etegami new purpose.

Monday, September 8, 2014

the harvest moon

Fox and the Harvest Moon. Hand-painted Etegami fox glued to a card cut from the cover of a gift box of Japanese sweets.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

the sandstorm

This is a fennec-- a desert fox. I painted the fennec on a washi card, then cut it out and glued it to a card cut from a food product box with a pattern that made me think of sand blowing in the desert.

When I was little, my mother used to sing a song about the Sandman to help me fall asleep at night. I have several friends who are struggling with insomnia right now, and I dedicate this etegami-collage to them. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

a week of thanksgiving

I promised my nephew that I would post a series of "thankful" etegami for one week on Facebook. I decided to fulfill that promise with etegami-collages, so that they could do double-duty as my own contributions to the box-card etegami challenge I am currently hosting.  

I made #1 (rooster crowing) and #2 (early morning newspaper delivery) because I am thankful that I woke up this morning. I'm planning to do a spin-off series with these two, called "The Sounds that Morning Makes."  I made #3 to express my delight in the coming of autumn.  I made #4 because watching some people peck at the keyboard with one finger makes me so grateful that I was taught how to type properly. I made #5  because I'm thankful for being able to live in Japan. I made #6 because I'm thankful that there are always things to take delight in, no matter how hard life is sometimes. I made #7 because I take delight in the form and function of dragonflies. I made #8 to express my thankfulness in being able to see colors.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

new etegami calendars

I made three new desk calendars for 2015. The Cat calendar and Dog calendar are also available as wall calendars, but I think the etegami look their best in the desk calendar size. They're all listed on my Etsy shop, so please click here for details and check out the sample pages. I'll be taking orders until November 1. The calendars will ship in late-November.

Monday, August 18, 2014

illustration friday (journey)

What an amazing journey the salmon take each fall, returning from the ocean, migrating up the river, over the rapids, and finally to their spawning grounds! On the way to assure the birth of a new generation of their kind, they become food for countless creatures, who themselves, are trying to survive and perpetuate their own kind. The Japanese words on this corrugated cardboard etegami say "Life is desperate for everyone."