It is August, time for this month’s Happy Homemaker Tag Along. Living in Texas August is the hottest month and right now here in Houston/Tomball we are going through our 8th consecutive day with Temps over 100 degrees on top of that we have not seen rain for months. Our poor yard is looking like something out of a Mad Max movie, so all we can do is pray for rain enough to lift this drought. August also is a hectic month with family birthdays, college starting back up and my nephew’s baby shower it makes for fun through the house. In our humble abode right my son is on a Netflix Japanese movie marathon, we have had the pleasure of watching Japanese horror, comedies and on a rare occasion a documentary. Though he has the ability to watch some of this instantly (which he does more than not) some sound so interesting I have been renting DVD’s. In his first year of college he decided to take Japanese as his dream is to one day go to Japan, but his love of all thing Asian has been something he has had for a long time. My love of Asian culture started when I was young and my mother who worked as a picture framer would do work for an Asian Antique store in our city. I loved going with her because the owner would always have on hand for me an assortment of candies, he would explain to me the meaning behind some of the artwork that hung in his shop along with the history of the many dynasties that encompassed certain artifacts. It was in this shop I learned about the Ming Dynasty, who Buddha was, how Kanji or the characters in the paintings were words. To this day I love to go to the Asian markets here in Houston to shop for food and stuff for my bento box. In Japan during August Obon is celebrated by those regions on a Solar Calendar. Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed (deceased) spirits of one's ancestors. This Buddhist custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors' graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori. So this August tag is a tribute to those of my family who have departed and to the man that made me aware of a world outside my own house. It is through them that I am able to pass the tradition of open mindedness to my son.
For this Tag I used multiple mediums for the girl I used Photoshop to color her in I found a wonderful tutorial from itKuPiLLi Tutorial on how to color using Paint Shop Pro (which worked in Photoshop also). I then used Tsukineko pewter glitter ink that I have in my stash and distress ink to color the page from a Japanese mystery book. Using multicolor chalk ink to give the effect of tie dye I added embellishments. I highly recommend checking out itKuPiLLi’s blog she is amazing.
I also have participated in the Bella Creation Volia Ink challenge for the month of August again I went with an Asian theme. It had to have a butterfly and the use of spray inks. When I thought of Butterfly I imaged Madame Butterfly the opera. Usually every year during the Summer Herman Park’s Theater under the Stars does a free performance of an Opera. It gives the average person who would not usually go to the theater a chance to enjoy a theatrical event many years ago when my son was about 7 I took him to see the Houston Grand Opera’s performance of Madame Butterfly at Herman Park. We had stopped to get fried chicken and drinks for our picnic on the hill in front of the amphitheater waiting for dusk so that the performance would begin. What surprised me was how enthralled he was in the opera sitting as still as a house mouse, it wasn’t until the end that he became hysterical because of her actions. So I made Madame Butterfly for him. I used the same method of coloring with Photoshop and used of assorted inks.
If you are looking for wonderful stamps, ephemera or other embellishments check out Gecko Galz I won a challenge and my gift was from their shop. Check them out.