Thursday, January 24, 2013

valentine give-away

Who would like an etegami Valentine card from me? I have three originals to give away, one each to three followers of my blog who have never gotten an etegami from me before. Leave a comment below and be ready to send your postal address to dosankodebbie (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) jp if your name gets picked. Deadline to enter the drawing is February 3.

And for everyone else, send me a Valentine (store-bought is acceptable) before February 14, and I will send you an etegami Valentine card in return, as long as your address is clearly indicated on the card or envelope. My postal address is in the header of my mailart gallery blog.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

dragon ball

One of the bright moments in my week is a TV show on the educational channel about Haiku. Every week the haiku teacher chooses, reads, and comments on nine haiku from the countless number that are submitted from viewers. The theme of the week is always a seasonal word (kigo). I don't write haiku myself, but the program often inspires my etegami. 

This week the seasonal word is Ryuu no tama (dragon ball), which are the berries of the Ophiopogon japonicus; known in Japanese as ryuu-no-hige (dragon whiskers) or ja-no-hige (snake whiskers). The berries are a beautiful, glossy blue-- like brilliant gems on a carpet of green leaves. The plant and the berries were both new to me, but the image of an oriental dragon with a pearl-like jewel grasped in its claw is a familiar one, so I recognized the reference at once.

Ceiling painting at Kenninji Temple, Kyoto
There are various myths or legends about this jewel. Sometimes the jewel represents the sun, sometimes it is a human soul or some other thing of value, but it always has magical properties. If you are from a certain generation, you will associate the title of this post with the enormously popular anime series Dragon Ball and all the resulting spin-off products.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

recharging my batteries

There are times in life when what a person needs most is to stare at the ceiling and daydream.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

etegami newsletter- february issue

Apple Stars (v.1)

I was afraid there for a while that I wouldn't be able to meet this month's deadline, but the February 2013 issue of the Etegami Newsletter is ready to push out of the nest, blemishes and all. It should be on its way to your email-box if you have already signed up for it. Let me know if you were expecting it, but can't find it anywhere in your mailbox, including your junk folder. The February issue covers such topics as "Alternative inks" and "Valentine cards" in addition to the usual selection from the writings of Kunio Koike, the founder of the modern Etegami movement.

If you aren't already signed up to receive this monthly, 2-page newsletter in pdf format, but would like to do so, all you have to do is send a request to this email address: dosankodebbie at yahoo dot co dot jp. It's free.

Friday, January 11, 2013

illustration friday (ocean)

If you've noticed my latest posts, you'll know that I'm on a "house" roll, and most recently "shoe-houses." This may be just the thing for someone without a lot of money in the bank, who doesn't mind the simple life, and who is also looking for beach-front rental property.

Monday, January 7, 2013

house and home

My daughter moved to a snow-less part of Japan about eight years ago. Now that she doesn't have to deal with the reality of living with snow for six months of the year, she gets a touristy thrill from brief visits to Hokkaido during the winter holidays. She took this photo of our house a couple weeks ago, and it became the inspiration for the first of the etegami in my new series of whimsical houses.

postscript: Bozena Wojtaszek of The Textile Cuisine sent me a wonderful quilted postcard which she says was inspired by my verbal and visual descriptions of our house in the snow. Check out her blog and her Etsy shop. You'll love them!! The card is in my mailart gallery blog.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

storm in my soul

One of my groups on RedBubble has launched a challenge to put an image to the lyrics of a Kenny Chesney song called “Spirit Of A Storm.”

I'd never heard of Kenny Chesney, but I didn't need to read past the first line of the song to see the picture in my mind. I decided to re-use part of an etegami I had painted a couple years ago for my series on the East Japan Earthquake/Tsunami of March 11, 2011. I cut out the mountain and waves from the original etegami, and glued it onto another card decorated with hand-torn colored wispy washi paper to express clouds and blood-red lightning.

Part of me feels bad for ruining the original etegami (it quoted from a cool poem by Robert Frost); but mostly I was curious whether it could be re-born as part of another image. The color combination grates on my nerves, and I'm not really pleased with the results. This agitation has produced a storm in my soul. Considering the theme of the challenge, does that make it a success?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

illustration friday (new)

newly hatched hognose snake

Happy New Year, dear friends and followers and valued random visitors. Welcome to the year of the snake. I tend to shrink from the sight, and even the thought, of snakes, but they symbolize some good things-- such as intelligence. I hope this will be a year in which we can all temper our emotional reactions with intelligent reasoning. The writing on this etegami means "The birth of a new year."