I’m an English conversation school teacher in Chiba, near Tokyo, Japan. Well that’s what I do, but not what I am! It would be a mistake to identify too much with a job. What I would like to say is something more like “I am an artist and a designer, a needleworking DaVinci, and I make the best pajamas you will ever be seen lounging in!” Or maybe something wittier.
When I was little, my mother and grandmother encouraged me to be creative and I was often thought of as so by my school teachers. I wove potholders at home and drew fabulous horses, animals, and people. But as I got older things and life got busy and I soon had no time for myself.
I miss things, like quiet days, pets, reading, and drawing. In Japan, I feel really limited on what I can do. The train is noisy, I talk all day at work, pets are not allowed in most apartments (yet children are, go figure!), English novels are scarce and require a day trip to procure… I am on the internet a lot! One day, while shopping, I found Etsy. I bought many things there, mostly for my upcoming wedding. It inspired me! I want to make something, but I did not know what… I want to work to make me happy, and be known for my accomplishments.
Its really hot in Japan in the summer- hot and humid. I was mourning the loss of my maiden name and reading up on Irish history, and when I became charmed by the description of the fabric of my ancestors lives- linen. Ohhh- I wanted some tea towels, some bedsheets, a table cloth of Irish linen! But it really is pricey, you know. Maybe smaller items are affordable… I looked on Etsy. Some cute linen dresses! But I work five days a week and hole up for the other two, usually, and therefore I have plenty of clothes that don’t leave my closet. A linen dress can wait. I hit the lights and… toss, flop, wiggle, miserably peel my knees from each other- its too hot for sleeping! Then it hit me…
I hope you’ll let me share with you, my little dream. Sleeping clothes~ comfortable, cute, classy. Good for sleeping, lounging, and not too embarrassing to answer the door in. Handmade, and hand embroidered… little drawings in thread. And made from time-tested, responsibly cultivated flax fibers. There is a lot of work to do, but I’ve already started and I hope to share the journey!
My world in Japan is so small, so this is my attempt to connect and share with family and friends, old and new. As the Japanese say after introducing themselves, Yoroshiku! (Wish me luck!)
P.S.- December 3, 2010. One day I hope to return to the original topic introduced on this page- making great stuff out of a great fiber. For the present, however, please bear with me for a while as put the linen aside and write freely about whatever is on my mind. Those of you who know me should understand that I do not give up easily, and this is no exception- only a set back! I am still and always will be a fan and supporter of small, local, artisan business, and the international online community surrounding it. And one day, I hope to stand proudly in its ranks. Until then, thank you for reading and commenting!