Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kotatsu time is quickly coming to a close...

I don't know who'll miss the kotatsu more, the animals or us! Now that it's springtime, it'll soon be time to put away winter things.

Baby Boy was the biggest fan amongst the cats, enjoying sleeping on it while the sun was up, and staying under it the entire evening before bed. Whether it was on or off, Baby would be there, secure in the hope that at some point it would get turned on, and would get toasty warm. Lila was the biggest fan amongst the dogs, but didn't realize it could be turned on even when a person wasn't sitting at it. When we were sitting at it, she'd come in from the cold outdoors and dive right under, but if no one was, we'd tell her to go under, and even put her under, but she'd come right back out again, looking at us wonderingly, "Why aren't you going to sit down? I'm cold!". She always falls asleep under there, and you eventually either hear her snoring contentedly, or panting because she got too warm, but doesn't want to leave. Pretty cute.

We put the kotatsu together ourselves, using our old coffee table as the base. We bought a kotatsu heater off of eBay (from shop owner gyatei), and a stepup/stepdown power converter (from export depot). We used a large bedspread/duvet, but never did get around to getting a proper table top made for over it. We plan on getting a piece of MDF and painting and varnishing it for next winter. Hopefully it'll get done! Otherwise the duvet gets pretty dirty from us eating over it all the time. :) The heater was very easy to install, a few screws were all that was needed. It provided us with a great place to all sit down together as a family, bundled up and warm and toasty to watch tv, eat, or do hobbies. Good way to save on oil heating too! ;)

Want to make your own kotatsu from scratch? mantilo: a miscellany has a great post on his own adventures in kotatsu-ing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Savings (with a little decluttering thrown in)

I love reading Maki's informative and entertaining blog Just Hungry. This month, she's doing some posts about financial frugality, and she did a nice little review of the Japanese educational manga Savings Techniques for Women Who Can't Save. She mentions something I've heard many times before, that reducing the physical clutter in your life can help reduce the mental clutter, and helps you financially, too. Check it out!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Pysanky Final

And here's the finished product! There are some things I'd change about it, like varying the line widths a bit more - but considering I was able to dig out only two sizes of kistky to use, I think it turned out pretty okay! Happy Easter Everyone!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Finally, Pysanky!

The sad thing is, I don't have as much time as I'd like to devote to pysanky these days - this is the first one I made all Lent! Spent a couple hours doing the white tonight, hope to finish it before Easter! :)

As per usual with the ones I make at the end of Lent, I didn't follow a set design, I prefer to make it up as I go along. Hopefully, it'll turn out pretty!