Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween in Japan!

Japan doesn't really do Halloween...at least...not yet anyway! But that really hasn't stopped me from trying to stir my neighborhoods up into an evening of fun! 

After about a month of planning out a Trick or Treat Event, we finally carry out the plan! The Weather God was good to us, gave us the perfect evening, thunder and lightning all around our hills, very very slight drizzle, but nothing near chilly or miserable as was last year's weather (and yes, that image was captured by my daughter on my point and shoot camera!) --

Approximately 60 kids showed up dressed in costume (well, most of them anyway!), this year's favorite costume being The Witch in many various degrees of color, coolness, blandness, glitter, cuteness and well, mostly cuteness...

But my Little Man and I decided to be unique! Angry Bird and Day of the Dead! Amazing what a bit of lipstick and eyeliner can do!

And one of our local British kids joined our more unique costume trend--

After a short gathering at the neighborhood park to practice 'Trick or Treat' with the kids, go over a few guidelines like good manners---and yeh, good manners was the main guideline!-- the kids divided into five groups headed by one of the American Halloween Party Committee members--

And off they were to collect enough snacks to last them a few days! We have some awesome neighbors, at least 40 houses, maybe more, gave out candy to noisy, spirited, excited children! All in all, it was a success! 

Until next year! A few shots of dressed up little guys for your enjoyment---

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I had a chance to use bloodstone for the first time last week. One of the pieces I was commissioned to create used a New Jade base (from what I understand, this is a Chinese jade, in a natural and undyed state, not as costly as Burmese Jade, but pretty in its own right), with accents of crystal and mother of pearl. As I was creating the bracelet, it felt like a small touch of dark green would work well to balance the colors, so threw in a single bloodstone between each pattern set.

The customer loved it (and so did a lot of other people!) fortunately.

Knowing relatively nothing about bloodstone, I took a bit of time to research it, discovering the name comes from the belief that it was formed from the blood of Christ dripping to the green earth, and indeed, the stone does look like a dark piece of green earth with specks of red blood in it. But the earlier  Greeks called it heliotrope, and believed it brought about change. For ages it has been used as an amulet of protection against the evil eye and symbol for justice.

It has its healing properties as well, circulation of energy, aligning the centers of the body, aiding blood circulation, and people who want to increase the flow of life energy in the house should place some stones in various places around their home.

Mined in India, China, the US, Australia and Brazil.

This triple wrap bracelet will soon be available at Off on a Whim Jewelry. I've named it:

Forest Frost