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There are only a couple more days left in July to order your very own Custom Verse Sign!! The funds made from these signs will go to support our church’s sister church in Russia!

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See this post for more information. Thanks friends and don’t forget to order by the end of July!

this month’s art project is kind of fun, if i do say so myself. :) this is actually a project that Husbuddy and i are doing together… yup, you read that right, he is helping me! amazing, i know. but the reason he is helping will make sense in a minute.

first, a little background:

the church that we just became a part of has been supporting their sister church in Ukholovo, Russia through missions. one of the things that they are trying to help with right now is helping to raise funds to pay off the physical church building. the way our church decided to raise these funds was to use the idea from the gospel of Matthew chapter 25 about the Talents:

14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 

SO, one Sunday, they gave every family (or even every family member) 20$ bill. then we’re supposed to go and invest it in order to make more money from that 20$ bill by the end of the summer. in August, we will each bring back our envelope with however much money we made in order to send to the church in Russia.

pretty cool, huh?!

so a lot of people here in Lancaster county are good at making pies, or jams, or breads, or even bbq that they are selling. {check back at the end of the summer and see how much weight i’ve gained from all the goodness that is being sold… for a good cause! ha.}

but me? i’m not so good at cooking…especially in our gluten-free/dairy-free household. but i AM good at making creative pieces of art. this is an idea that came from a custom project last Christmas {you can see it herewhen a friend came to me and wanted me to make a sign with their family’s favorite verse on it. so, i thought, i wonder if anyone else would like a custom sign with THEIR favorite verse on it?!

Husbuddy didn’t really have an idea for himself, so we decided to pool our two 20$ so that we could afford to start this project. we bought a 4′-0″x8′-0″,  1/2″ thick solid mdf wood and then had the guys at the store cut it down to size since we don’t have our own machine saw in our tiny little apartment. {and no way to fit such a big piece of wood in our little Subaru.} then we primed it and we made a sample. Husbuddy’s main job is helping me to sand/prime, figuring out how to hang these suckers(they are a little heavy!) and then help me cut out letters when needed. :) i do the rest.

this is the sample that we made last Saturday:

Overall image

it’s been sanded and roughed up a bit. so it’s not as clean and crisp as the Christmas example that was on  canvas.  it’s rustic. i thought it gave it more character. these verses can stand the test of time  sandpaper. {yup, just cracked myself up over here}

anyway, i am kind of in love. combined closeupthese things are a serious commitment though. it takes FOR.EVER. to create the custom template, to cut out each letter so that i can paint over it with the darker color, then go back and touch it all up and then sand it. so, this isn’t an easy project, and therefore, they aren’t exactly cheap. i’m not sure how many we’ll be selling.  we’ll see if anyone is interested!

BUT, dear friends, i wanted to open it up to YOU. if you’d like your own custom-verse-sign and you wouldn’t mind feeling good about helping out a good cause… then please check out my Etsy Site for more information!! :) link HERE.

a few things to note:

  • the max # words for the verse needs to be between 15-20 words. 
  • choose a color– note that the words will be white, so a dark background color works best. {examples: gray, dark purple, dark blue, dark red}
  • order by August 1st. –in order for me to get all the signs done in time to turn in the money for the church i need to have your order by August 1st.
  • cost: $85.00 plus shipping. again, these puppies aren’t cheap, but i’m only making them for a limited time, so get one while you can! and remember it’s for a good cause!

there ya go. that’s how we do: artwork for a cause.

thanks for being here friends. in the next few days/weeks there are a lot of changes that will be coming, so keep an eye out! i’m working away on lots of new ideas!

xo-kimberly renee

photo (32)well, in this household, it’s really just strawberries. i used to make a wicked whipped cream but since Husbuddy can’t have it anymore, i save myself the calories.

can i just say, Amish strawberries are THE BEST! when we first got here someone said that how you can tell between Amish strawberries and grocery store strawberries is that Amish strawberries are red all the way through, no white center like you get from the grocery store.  i know, a random fact for you,  but there ya go. {i bet it probably goes for any home-grown or organic strawberries… }

we are super excited about the end-of-driveway produce stands and what it means for the rest of the summer… :)

strawberry season is almost done, so i’ll just go get myself a couple more baskets!

last weekend we did a little bit of “touristy-ness” with some dear friends from Gloucester. we went to Woodmans for fried fish because we just found out they had a gluten free version. {Husbuddy was super excited!}

it was a beautiful day {finally!} to be out enjoying the sunshine. 
IMG_2045_with Dubose

 

we are thankful for friends to share life with, even if just for a year. these two have two more years of seminary at Gordon Conwell… so we’ll be praying for strength to endure as they prepare to receive a call to be a pastor.  IMG_2064_dad and girl-vintage

while we finished eating, Finley, the adorable 10 month old, was having a blast sitting in and crawling through the grass.  this was a new experience for her.  so of course i had to pull out my camera to capture her cuteness.
IMG_2050_Finley-vintage

i love her single bottom tooth… so adorable.

and this face looks like, ‘hey ma, watch me…’IMG_2052_look of trouble-vintage

 

as she takes off to get her first grass stains on her knees. IMG_2060_there she goes-vintage

 

so sweet.

gotta admit, i love sunshine and grass stains. :) warm weather is finally here and i’m enjoying every minute!

what about you? had a chance to enjoy the sunshine recently?

 

 

 

 

oh hello again. ready for a few more pictures from japan?

note to self. when traveling in japan, always find this:

IMG_1718_western stlye

much better than the alternative. ha. i just wanted to let you know that.

anyway, now we are in kyoto. i wanted to show you our little hotel room with my silly sister:

IMG_1515_kyoto hotel room

ok, it wasn’t that little. i’ve heard that there are some really tiny hotel rooms in Japan! we, thankfully, didn’t stay in any of those.  but check out the toilet. i thought it was so genius to use the rear-toilet water as a sink before it went into the tank! seriously! how genius is that? IMG_1511_kyoto toilet

and also note the fancy controller on the side… heated toilet seats, anyone? or fancy bidet buttons? {those got us into trouble… not going to lie…hee hee}

ok. this whole post is not about toilets. i promise.

it’s about pretty architecture and little details that i saw in Kyoto! it seems like every other photo that i took was of roof lines… so, there ya go… Japan has cool roofs. you’re inspired now, right?IMG_1670_rooflines

anyway, our first day in Kyoto we went to The Golden Pavillion. Can you believe it’s right in the middle of the city? it has a large preserved area around it, which is really beautiful.

{our tour guide went a little crazy this day trying to get a lot of family photos…lol}IMG_1533_golden pavilion family

but isn’t it pretty… oooo sparkly…

and it’s ALL GOLD LEAF. IMG_1537_golden pavillion nice

wow, right?! how crazy is that? and this isn’t the original temple! apparently in the 50s a monk {that wasn’t all there, if you know what i mean} thought that it would look really magnificent on fire… so he set the 500 year old wood structure on fire. our tour guide said it burned down in like 7 minutes, so that monk was the only one who got to see “the beauty of it”. ha! so…not only did they cover a building with gold leaf, back in the day for some emperor… but they had to do it again after the crazy monk burnt it down! HA! well, i think they have to reclad it with gold leaf every twenty years or so… cause it doesn’t really hold up to the elements the best. {i’m actually impressed it lasts 20 years!}

IMG_1543_golden pavillion

that is a phoenix on top of the temple. the legend is that when Japan has a perfect government, a real phoenix will appear. HA! when do you think that’s going to happen for any country, i ask you?!

another rule of japanese architecture is that apparently it is bad luck to have a “perfect” building. so they added this fishing hut on the back to keep it from being perfectly square. how funny is that? very different from european architecture which worked for “perfection”. IMG_1557_golden pavillion

after a long morning walking around all the shiny-sparkly-gold building we headed to a favorite restaurant of the tour guides’ for Udon and Tempora. yum!

IMG_1587_noodles +tempura

after lunch we went to another temple. this temple had a million cherry trees in bloom so it was a really gorgeous walk.IMG_1599_flowers

and aren’t my parents’ just the cutest?! IMG_1608_mom and dad2 and i love this girl to death :)IMG_1619_becca

so this shrine was for a rock garden. uhh… a rock garden. there were 15 rocks in about 30’x70′ space- you could only stand on one side because there was a tall wall around all the 3 other sides…and  if you stood in one place, maybe you could see all 15 at once… and you’d get good luck…

IMG_1627_rock garden

whoop-de-doo.

lol

i was a little more distracted by some of the other details around the temple grounds:
IMG_1637_wd work details

really really old wood work that is just gorgeous!IMG_1642_wdwork details

it’s just so perfect, without nails, or any of our fancy fasteners from today.IMG_1644_wd deatls

and this pretty window!IMG_1582_woodwork

and the cypress trees were even beautiful

IMG_1649_cypress tree

group shot in front of the cherry tree again:IMG_1655_family and flowers

then we stopped by the Kyoto Castle. this castle is a lot different than the other castles we’ve seen because it was built in a time of peace. the emperor just wanted a “summer” home or something in Kyoto.IMG_1680_kyoto castle

we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside but inside were the original “nightengale floors” were to protect the inhabitents from ninjas! the floors were designed to squeek when you walked on it. there was no way to walk across it without making it squeek! cool! :) made me wish my silly-totally-into-that-kind-of-thing Husbuddy was there with me to see it. :) this is how a nightengale floor is designed:

*thanks for the nerd-moment there*

a couple more detail shots from around the castle:

IMG_1656_rain gutter

pretty wood carvings were throughout the whole castle:IMG_1686_kyoto castle detail

a pretty bridge post:

IMG_1701_kyoto castle gateafter all the site seeing at castles and shrines, we were pretty worn out. the tour guide took us to a really fascinating food market… but that will have to wait for another day!

to be continued…

xo-kimberly renee

if you missed any of the previous japan posts click here:

part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 

 

ok, y’all getting tired of these japan pictures?

oh well. sorry, it is going to take a few more posts to get through them. ;) but in an effort to get it done, this is a super long one. don’t say you haven’t been warned!! fun fun!

while in Becca’ neighborhood of Yabu, we had a few adventures, driving in her car,  and lots of time to catch up on relax in her tiny apartment.

please note: car is backwards and it is tiny. it’s hard to tell just how tiny. should have taken a picture from outside. doh.

IMG_1506_becca driving

we made the obligatory visit to Becca’s school where she works and where they love her to death. and of course we had to take a family photo: IMG_1399_family

this is her school:IMG_1405_becca's school

after a morning talking with her friends and fellow teaches, we ventured to this town: Izushi. it had a pretty old clock tower and castle ruins and cute little streets:IMG_1416_town with castle ruins+ clock tower

a map of the tiny town:

IMG_1505_Izushi map

and it was really the only pretty day that we had while in her area of Yabu: IMG_1417_becca and mom and clock

look at how giant the produce was! those carrots. and then some strange root right next to it… wow:IMG_1421_town with castle ruins+ clock tower

i think the clock tower was pretty,  but the family would not pose for me:IMG_1423_town with castle ruins+ clock tower

a road side map to castle: IMG_1433_Izushi

i think this was my favorite little bridge in all of japan.IMG_1437_Izushi

IMG_1438_Izushi after you got through the gate: another little castle tower! so pretty!IMG_1445_Izushi

and a pathway up the mountain with this gates:IMG_1458_Izushi

another view of the “tower” from inside the wall area, looking past a shrine:
IMG_1467_Izushi

there really wasn’t any part ofthe castle left. just a wall and a couple of towers and a couple of shrines. i think it’s funny that the tower overhung the wall, they couldn’t build the wall exactly the right angle or something?IMG_1476_Izushi

from underneath:
IMG_1477_Izushi

another lantern? i don’t know, i just thought it looked funny with a giant rock on top of a tiny wood lantern area:IMG_1480_Izushi

had to beg for a picture of me: haha.IMG_1487_Izushi

Becca and i got a kick out of these dragons. on one side of the path were happy ones:
IMG_1489_izi dragon

and on the other side they seemed grumpy. Becca was trying to make it happy:IMG_1490_becca playing with the animals

not sure it worked, sweetheart. still looks grumpy even with the hug!IMG_1492_hugging animals

i think this may be one of my favorite photos of the whole trip: IMG_1497_dragon water fountainit’s a dragon water fountain! how fun! it’s actually so you can wash your hands before you go up to the temple but i just thought he looked awesome.

one of the other days while we were there Becca and i went for a hike up in the mountains above her apartment to visit a 1000 year old cherry tree. let me say that again: a cherry tree that is 1000 freaking years old! how cool is that? my dad wasn’t feeling very well so mom stayed with him for a while and it was a nice little sister hike. check out how pretty the path was:

1000 year old cherry tree path

in case you didn’t know, cherry trees are kind of a big deal in japan. Becca has had it explained to her that every year when they are in bloom, it is a cultural thing to go sit under the tree and drink sake until you’re drunk. this brings good luck or something because according to the japanese you’re not your “real self” until you’re drunk and all of your inhibitions are gone. oh boy. but apparently sitting under the cherry that’s 1000 years old brings extra good luck? anyway, it was a bit of a hike straight up the mountain… can you image coming down that when you’re drunk on sake?!

anyway. this sign was pointing out the 1000 year old cherry tree to all the sake drinkers:

1000 year old cherry tree

there wasn’t anyone else there because it wasn’t quite in bloom yet.  but check out how giant this tree was. it needed scaffolding to hold it up and keep it from falling down the mountain!! and i had to crop the photos together to get the whole picture! 1000 yr old cherry tree

we think maybe that sign meant that  something like “trespass at your own risk”  but we really can’t be sure. and all we did was look at the tree a little bit closer…
1000 yr tree becca being funny

but we don’t know for sure!

1000 yr tree becca

bawhaha. ok. she could get into trouble maybe for this one. but we don’t know what it says for sure, so really, could she? really, we’ll never know.

while in Yabu Becca also took us to her favorite sushi place. japanese sushi coming to you on a conveyor belt anyone?! how cool is this place?! you can just pick and choose which kind of sushi you want. you can also order it on a screen. then you pay  by the plate:

sushi plates and becca and it was really tasty:sushi

don’t we look excited?!

Sushiru

ha. we had a great time exploring the area where Becca lives. she is going to be there for at least another year! i’m so impressed by her. :) the next leg of the trip was Kyoto.

to be continued…

{to see the other posts about my adventure in japan click here:

Osaka: part 1, Osaka: part 2, Tondabayashi part 3, Himeji castle: part 4}

you guys, i’ve been sick. SO sick. cold/fever/cough from japan! oh man!

{hey that rhymed!}

i come to you today trying not to cough the entire post, but i wanted to keep going with getting these pictures up! so it will be a quick one.

***

after a couple days we left Osaka and headed to the mountains.

“I want to see mountains again, mountains, Gandalf!”

-Bilbo, The Lord of the Rings.

{betcha didn’t think you were going to get some literature quotes with this post, did ya?}

Becca lives in a tiny little town up in the mountains between Osaka and Kyoto. it was a lovely train ride. but before we really got into the mountains we stopped at this amazing castle that i wanted to see.

can’t you tell from this map that it must be a beautiful place?!  a castle on top of a hill. beautiful moats. lots of winding streets:

IMG_1347_himeji castle map

see? we’re so excited to enter the gate:

{well, actually Dad is sick-aka THE SICKNESS I HAVE NOW}

that and the weather was being super helpful with  a freezing-bone-chilling-drizzle of rain.

but just think, as soon as we walk through this gate, it’s going to be a gorgeous castle on top of a hill! IMG_1339_himeji castle family

womp womp:IMG_1341_himeji castle

it was in a BOX. thank GOODNESS SAKES that they put up a big poster of what it was supposed to look like, cause, man. would i have been disappointed if i didn’t have that.*

{*slight sarcasm in case you didn’t notice}

SAD DAY for this little architect.

AND this amazing park that was supposed to be around it was just a little disappointing…
IMG_1357_himeji castle

but i quickly got over it and focused on the details. they were still pretty!

and we actually got to go up inside the box and see the castle up close and personal. it also showed how they restore it. which is actually pretty cool! we kept telling ourselves that if the box wasn’t there we wouldn’t have been able to do that:

IMG_1363_himeji castle

and look, because it was being restored there were architectural/structural plans for us to check out: IMG_1368_himeji castle

and models! look, they even showed what the box looked like… in case you couldn’t see from, i don’t know, standing outside.*

IMG_1370_himeji castle

luckily i have a hilarious sister who always makes things fun: IMG_1372_becca

bawhahahah. ok i’m officially dead meat since i put up that up there. good thing she is still in japan for another year or more.

i guess the cherry trees were starting to bloom. that was pretty. and there were a couple pretty walkways. and my sister is pretty:

IMG_1379_himeji castle

and there were these cool little archery-holes. i don’t know if that’s what they were. i just guessed. seems like a good plan to me though. tiny holes, different shapes, surprise surprise, is the arrow coming at you from the rectangle or triangle?!
IMG_1380_himeji castle IMG_1381_himeji castle

haha. ok. i’m a dork.

but so are these two: and i love them anyway:IMG_1384_himeji castle becca and mom

we found lunch at a tiny hole in the wall down the street.  there were about 6 tables in the whole restaurant. 3 were typical japanese style where you take off your shoes and sit on the floor at a low table with your legs crossed. the other 3 were “western” tables with civilized chairs. we kind of thought it was hilarious that all the japanese in the restuarant were sitting at the western tables and all the japanese tables were open, so we had to sit on the floor… kind of made us wonder, why don’t they just give up on the whole japanese style thing if they’re all just going to go for western style anyway?

{note, we had the same discussion about the toilets…always a line for the western style and always open squatty-potties…but seriously, this is lunch, we won’t talk about that here}

i had chow mein: {i have no idea what that meat was. not bacon. not really pork. well maybe. i don’t know} it was pretty good though::Photo Mar 27, 2 43 30 AM

and then we hit up starbucks before getting on the train.

you think i’m joking.

but we were wet and cold and grumpy (from sitting on the floor) and needed a little encouragement. ha.

and we knew were headed for the boonies, so might as well get it while we can!

but look at this amazing view from the train! ::
IMG_1388_train ride

i love how the mountains stick straight up! and the land was totally flat going up to it- no foothills! not like colorado at all.

and we saw some pretty cool looking farm houses:IMG_1389_train ride

and i got to sit with my sissy, make jokes and laugh at our dad snoring from his cold…

little did we know we would get our revenge 2 weeks later… {cough cough cough}
IMG_1391_train ride

{please note, if i’ve said anything rude or un-fun while trying to be funny, i blame the cough syrup and take no responsibility.}

xo- this girl who stayed up past her sick-bedtime{7 pm} to write this.

ps- if you’ve missed any of my other posts about japan, check it out: part 1, part 2, part 3

 

i think it’s kind of fitting that as we walked to the second half of our first day, we came across this sign for the zoo: IMG_1230_osaka zoo sign

because let me tell you. it felt like we walked into the zoo! well, more like NYC Times Square meets China Town. it was sensory OVER LOAD. it was a shopping district that was totally over the top.

are you ready for this? we were not warned. i’m warning you… there were so many people, so many things to look at, so many signs and so many…everything.

Tinsekai: IMG_1232_tinsekai

that little gold budda idol thing is a “happy god” aparently though his arms are too short to reach his feet so as you walk by you’re supposed to itch and tickle his toes for him. hilarious.IMG_1235_osaka shopping district

kind of a helpless god if you ask me… lol

the abundance of materialism was amazing. IMG_1236_osaka shopping districtyou could go up in this tower to get a view of the city. but since we already had done that this morning we opted out. it reminded me of the space needle in Seattle though. i think it was built around the same time.
IMG_1238_osaka tower and signs

they had large figures above all the shops. i think this was a donut guy or something:IMG_1239_store sign

and i don’t know what that was:IMG_1241_tinsekai

but this is a crab obviously. the legs moved. ha! apparently you need to see a giant sculpture-moving no less- of what you are about to go order at a little window… to eat:IMG_1254_osaka crab

you can see Becca laughing at my parents puzzled faces. i WISH i had caught dad’s look! his eyebrows are sofocused! haha. IMG_1256_family

can you see why we were totally overwhelmed? this went on for street after street! it felt like there was no end! IMG_1258_osaka

and of course, octopus. the japanese like to eat octopus, in SO many different ways{as i will show you another day}. this shop though was for octopus in fried-donut-like balls. at every place like this there was always a long line. we opted to pass and not stand in line to wait for these little delicacy’s. i don’t know, maybe we missed out… but i think we were ok with that.IMG_1260_octopus phew! exhausted and over-stimulated, our guide took us down a couple of alley ways to this shrine. it was just in some back corner behind all the shops, but it was still highly frequented:IMG_1261_osaka shrine

i love that there is moss growing on their idol. they toss water on it when they pray so the moss just grew over time!IMG_1264_osaka shrine

i think the lanterns lined up in a row are rather pretty though:IMG_1265_osaka shrine

so after that, totally, exhausting day, we actually ended up at starbucks. Becca was so excited because there are only a couple of places “close” to her where she can get a starbucks coffee! {granted, i think we hit EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. …and my family doesn’t even drink coffee normally!! lol} this picture was from a different day, but you can see her affection:

Becca and starbucks

then we found dinner in the basement of a department store. yes. that’s a real thing. the whole basements of department stores are near the underground subway/shopping areas so they are filled with food vendors! think of the makeup/perfume counters X 1,000 and put food prettily displayed behind the counters and you’ll understand what i’m saying. :)

in the department store there was a little french shop where we bought a couple of rolls and bagels for our breakfast the next morning… we needed a little break from all the strange food… what can i say? hee hee.

{to be continued}

ok, are you all ready for some Japan photos?!

OH. my GOODNESS! i took way too many photos.SO… I apologize already for a massive photo dump over the next few japanese posts. i’m really excited to share them with you though! :)

we traveled to Japan to visit my little sissy who is teaching english to a bunch of junior high kids in Yabu {a tiny little town outside of Osaka and Kyoto}. my parents were super kind to offer to take me along! it was such an adventure!

we start with photos from our first breakfast on the morning after we arrived in Osaka. i know, weird way to start a blog post about Japan… but you guys, this breakfast was just so different than what we were used to! Dad was excited about it though:
IMG_1153_Breakfast1 please note: only chopsticks to use.

please note #2: they don’t use napkins. they give you a wet washcloth or a toilette at the beginning of the meal to wash your hands… and that’s it… kind of difficult for a my super-uncoordinated-self. just saying. ;)

please note #3: about all you recognize in the picture below is the rice and the tea… right?! :) hahah. ya, me too.  lucky for us there was also salmon, steamed eggs, pickled plums and vegetables,  some sort of meat that had the consistency of worms, miso soup, and more pickled some sort of vegetables.  hee hee. did i mention this was an adventure? from the very beginning! IMG_1155_breakfast

my little sis is already becoming japanese. peace signs all around!  i love how you can see my dad in the reflection of the wall next to us. mom LOVED the pickled plum and had one every single day!  {slight sarcasm there}IMG_1156_breakfast

our tour for the day started out with a trip to Osaka castle. smack dab in the middle of the city there is a big moat and a few towers:
IMG_1167_Osaka1

some very large, impressive gates:IMG_1175_gate

that lead to this castle: {i think i remember that our tour guide said this wasn’t the original castle because the original burned, but the walls and gates are! }IMG_1187_osaka castle

and look at that: so picturesque! a real japanese garden! and the castle reflected in the pool! IMG_1197_osaka castle nice

what’s funny is that while we were trying to take our pictures a sweet elderly japanese man was determined to help these foreigners get a good picture. but he didn’t speak english. so, he spoke rather loudly in japanese and made gestures that we should turn our camera vertical so that we get a better picture! haha. i did that to appease him, but i actually like this one above the best and guess what… it’s landscape… lol.

again, Becca shows off her ability to fit in: 

IMG_1203_osaka castle and fam these fish are like 4′-0″ tall! they are adorning the castle because it was believed that since they are water creatures they would protect the castle from fires. {since the original building was all wood… and apparently the fish worked so well the first time…}IMG_1208_osaka castle fish

it was impressive and really cool to see the unique architecture. what we later found out though, was that the japanese culture takes so much from the chinese. throughout history japan copied a lot of chinese culture because china was such a large civilazation! i was fascinated by that. our tour guide said that this style of architecture really came from china but was slightly adapted with longer eaves and a few other things because of the rain that japan gets.

it was a museum so we actually got to go up in it! very interesting. IMG_1212_osaka castle

you’ll notice throughout my next few posts about japan that i seemed to have a fascination with the different roofs that we encountered. they are all so beautiful and i love all the different lines!
IMG_1217_osaka castle rooflines

i loved the corner details:IMG_1219_osaka castle

as we finished the tour of the castle we walked around the other side of it. these are the “defense towers”. but they are so pretty:

IMG_1226_osaka castle towerthe cherry trees are just starting to blossom in Osaka. we were so lucky to be there at that time!!

my family walking {with the tour guide} off to our next adventure:IMG_1224_family walking

{to be continued} 

sketch for tuesday {#53}

today’s sketch uses only 5 colors:
pencil, blush, true blue, raw umber, and sepia

it’s kind of fun to limit yourself!

i can’t get this image out of my head. maybe since i saw a beautiful painting last summer in Martha’s Vineyard… here’s the original that i LOVED. it’s so beautiful, don’tcha think?!

but since the image is stuck in my head, i want to do my own version/painting of it… so let’s just count this as one of the many rough drafts i’ll have to do. :)