Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life is Fragile

About a week before Christmas, I ordered this print for a special someone from an Etsy shop I had marked as a favorite for a while, MundoGominola. I knew it would not arrive before the 25th but I didn't mind waiting and giving it as a belated gift. So sadly, however, i was informed by the artist's friend soon after Christmas that Claudia Moya - the wonderful illustrator of these drawings - had suddenly passed away. It came as quite a shock. Even though I had never met Claudia, shopping on Etsy is always a personalized experience that connects you directly with the maker and it feels like you are buying from your friends.
A couple of weeks ago I was really moved to receive this print in the post. It really felt as though it had been sent from heaven rather than Spain. I'm not sure if Claudia had sent it herself before she passed away or if her friends and family did it for her but I am truly appreciative to have it and will treasure it knowing how special it is. It will be a reminder of how fragile and precious life is and how we should remember to embrace the ones we love. Claudia was a young illustrator in Madrid who died too early but it seems in her short life she was using her talents and sharing them with the world - an inspiration for us all. Claudia's shop is of course closed for sales now but you can still visit to see her past sold works and link to a lovely tribute from her friend.

Thank you Claudia. I am sure you are happily drawing in the sky. Your art will live on and bring happiness to all those who see it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Beginning.

I feel like my life started on a bus. I mean of course it started much, much earlier but it was one bus journey that felt like the beginning of really starting to live life. I was working for a jeweller in a department store in Adelaide and each day i would catch the same bus to work. It was a 40 minute journey so I had lots of time to stare out the window and contemplate my future.
One year earlier, I had cut out a job advertisement from the newspaper for a job in Japan. I kept it in my diary for a whole year. It was just an idea, just a dream. But I didn't know if I could really do it. But one day, the day my life began, I was on that bus and something just hit me on the head. Not literally of course but the realization came to me that I could do it - that i would do it. And from that point on I didn't look back. Life had begun!

It's been almost 8 years now since I first came to Japan. How my life has changed during that time. Like many foreigners who live here I taught English when I first arrived with the intention of staying a year, travelling and happily returning home with some lovely souvenirs. never did I imagine i would meet my husband here and begin my own little business making jewellery. I studied jewellery design at university but would never have believed i would be selling my work in a department store in Tokyo - of course i could never have done it without the help of my husband! We now have a gorgeous little boy together and another little one on the way. The journey has been a wonderful one so far and the next chapter is about to unfold as we make the move from Nagoya to Adelaide and continue to live...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Origami Crane

A while back I saw a segment on tv about this taxi driver somewhere in Japan who gives away a four leaf clover to each of his customers. On his days off he goes in search of the special clover then presses and laminates them and happily gives them away to share the good luck with all who are lucky enough to ride in his taxi. It is such a lovely, simple gesture i think and i imagine it must make his customers smile and for some people turn a bad day into a good one.

It got me thinking - what could I do for my customers? Just something small that I could add to their parcels to bring them happiness. And so i have been making origami cranes to send with each piece of jewellery that i sell. I have had a fascination with origami since i was child and long long before i ever came to Japan and the crane is such a strong symbol in japan. For my wedding i actually carried two origami cranes insted of the traditional floral bouquet.

That taxi driver's story certainly inspired me and i hope my little origami cranes can bring happiness and good fortune in the same way as his clover does.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A beginning and an ending.

Well, it's official. I am not a blogger. But with the New Year always comes hope of change and maybe instead of reading everyone else's blogs I may find the time to write something too. It is already past mid January now which is about the time I start to realize that the year has already begun and is running away without me again. If I hurry now i maybe able to just jump on board.

There are always endless lists of excuses that I can come up with. First it was the birth of baby 1 that sent me away from my blog for over a year and now we are happily expecting baby 2! And amongst all of this my time in Japan is coming to an end as we will move to Australia in March. it has been almost 8 years since I first came to Japan and although we have always planned to live in Australia, there is always a sadness that comes with anything good thing that ends.

So I will try not to focus on the ending but thing of it as a beginning.