Tag Archives: ryoko

Ichiro: gift thank-you cards (vol. 2+) / 9.25~Oct. 13

Continuing on with Ichiro Cards (see vol. 1 of the meta proces documentation if inclined) obsessively custom, handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.

The batches change due to supplies (esp paper stock and printer ink) as well as as we fresh-up ideas… In general include special snaps cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?

As such, some started simple…

and got more “maximalist” as we went along:

Some get a few photos to connect other stories (with annotations on reverse), e.g.:

Or catch up with life and things folks might like:

with “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse metaphorical reasons or have some backstory:

sometimes the assortment doens’t make sense until you receive somehow corresponding items crossing in the mail. In this case, Richard Brautigan is the connective magic.

Sometimes we receive a snap of the delivered mail. In this case, the elegantly placed postal cancellation stamp from the folks at Higashi Okayama post office:

And while i sorta try to take snaps of most of the finished pieces, i invariably forgot most, but here’s a snap of a note which made the journey to California. Thanks JJ:

In general, we are trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times. First was to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.

Here’s another on display on a fridge in Vegas, to which we replied: 

“… fantastic to see! You know we absolutely love making these and seeing them complete their journey, hopefully bringing a smile to the recipient, especially in times of tumult. We truly appreciated your thoughtful gift.” (thanks C &T!)

Update Sept 26:

Ichiro cards batch, Sept 26

Each envelope receives an extra kiss before we send out upon a wormhole journey to points on earth Each one unique (of course) and crafted with affection for recipients… Get so excited thinking of the splendid cards arriving to post boxes elsewhere.

The stamps are chosen with care at the post office. Oddly, the standard international Air Mail rate of ¥110 is challenging to match up so we often over pay in order to get colourful designs rather than boring meters.

Update, Oct. 6:

Another 18 dossiers dropped at post office today (on a stroller walk with lil Ichi-Stan who is neighbourhood famous).

Each dispatch is hand-crafted / unique + that’s “batch 4” for Ichiro-cards, batch 5 already underway (about 23 envelopes) / noting each batch varies by materials available & inspiration sparks (do you want to see them all?)

Note: likely puts over 500 analog mail-outs for the year (including New Year’s cards) > this hobby does get a bit expensive (ink! stamps!) but joy to send a piece of “us” (with Ryoko Olson) is worth every yen. #kokoro

Let’s enjoy international correspondence from global correspondents!

Update, Oct. 13:

Another 18 going out into the world, or was it 23? Either way, another variation on the same idea… inky stamps, franked postage stamps collected around the world, special snaps of Ichi and other treats… scissors, glue, labels, love.

Batch 5, (or is it 6?) of Ichiro cards going out into the world… / hopefully finding hearts which are as grateful as we are. Each made with affection and truly unique. And yes, each is “important“ because the stamp says so.

Note: Persimmon not included

Redundant notes

Further annotations & postal tips.

Get in on the fun by mailing to:

Ichiro Olson
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku
Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
703-8217 Japan

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage

Diary: Spectacle choosing (for Ryoko)

My super power is spectacle shopping (in this event, w/ endlessly adorable Ryoko Olson)

Q: which 2 did we choose?

~~

Update: Top right and middle left were the choices.

Reasoning/recap: Top right with the clear frames allow me to see her adorable face, and the side/temples are translucent blue for a nice accent without being distracting.

(The face is “the painting,” the frames are the frame not a “statement”, rather a complement)

Went back-and-forth on the middle and bottom left choices but ultimately she preferred the way the middle ones felt on her face – so light! I tease that she looks like a *serious German scientist*.

Again, allows me to see her face – especially her expressive eyebrows – so very happy with them.

The bottom left were fun but overall just a bit too big and clumsy.

We pick up in a week so will update at that time.

Worth noting / regarding “objective”:

For Ryoko, we wanted one lightweight pair with blue filter for indoor/screen use time and another pair that was a little bit more rugged (while still being cute and not “sporty-goggley”) which she can wear out in the field when working.

PS When doing her jazz performing/singing, she usually wears contact lenses.

The top left and bottom right are both good “all around-ers” if we were only buying one pair – both safe/solid choices but really happy with what we chose – nice utility & variety.

Memo:

The shop was a tiny boutique without the “endless walls of crappy frames” and the young gentleman diligently assisted us while I made a colossal mess of the place, and asked dozens of questions in my *rather unique* Japanese.

Ichiro: gift thank-you cards (vol. 1+) / 8.21~9.19

PS yes i do have 2 Dymo labelers, doesn’t everyone?

Aug. 21: Doing a batch of custom “Ichiro cards“, obsessively handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.

Just trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times.

Note: Packages are arriving from Canada… Just takes rather long due to limited flights coming across the Pacific these days – Further annotations & postal tips.

Memo: It’s worth noting that with the baby, various big changes in life, postal disruptions etc., I’m a little bit behind in my usual copious correspondence. Please know that every one of your letters is savoured, displayed, properly archived and what not. I will do my best to answer everything eventually. Your anticipated patience is much appreciated.

Update, Sept 3 / Batch one, away! 

Various countries (also Ichi’s Canada Citizenship packet – truly unimpressed with service from Canadian Embassy/ Consular section in Tokyo – ugh rudeness and hassles for a birthright and taxpayer… #stopcomplaining)

Update / Sept 7: Another chance for a session (this sort of project is hard to do in short bursts, doing what we can…) 

Best thanks for all your wonderful notes and thoughts (can’t quite stay up with everything these days).

Note: So glad we are documenting his/this journey. Noting all parents have different feelings about how much to share/ what to share/ permission/ privacy etc. This is all thought through. 

Update / Sept 11

Batch 2 into the wormhole! Stamps carefully chosen naturally (even though the desired designs resulted in overpaying for postage… you are worth it :)). 

Annotation: Pictured (below x2) is the “work stuff” / so many wonderful supplies to play with. Kinda hard to explain but as a project goes on, of course the form evolves and sometimes i worry that the first round isn’t as good as later rounds or maybe the opposite as i am definitely a “maximalist” and don’t do that “design is 99% invisible” flow.

Use all the goodness all the time! My point? I just hope they are enjoyed and care is noticed (so i don’t feel like the family who handmade caramel apples for Halloween just to have them all tossed out when kids return home from trick or treat). Am i making sense? Didn’t think so. #tinybitobsessive  

Even… sometimes include “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse me for metaphorical reasons and i think recipients will dig – especially “remixd” #meta photos of some kind or another or ones which are the answer to a question never asked (like the significance of a bridge).

Update / Sept 19:

So many treasures arriving for #IchiroOlson / each of course sparks a splendid handcrafted, unique postal treasure in reply. So very grateful.

As such, round 3 of “Ichiro Thank you for gift cards” underway. Changing styles to fit the supplies on hand and a few stationery items recently arrived. Each batch unique, each card… we’ll keep making until whenever. 

Note: the only existing complete analog series of the 43 (so far) Ichiro “#io” cards, cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?

(Redundant note) these are going to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.

Get in on the fun by mailing to:

Ichiro Olson
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku
Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
703-8217 Japan

Star of the show!

 

Diary: Closing Circles with Stones ~ Grandmother to the Ohaka

Buddhist monk (handsome!) and me, Father-in-law Takushi, Mother-in-law Junkyo and wife Ryoko with baby Ichiro at Grandfather Ichiro’s ohaka / grave, now with Grandmother Tomiko

Aug 19th was 49 days after Ryoko’s Grandmother Tomiko passed away at 94 years old, 6 days after baby Ichiro was born, and the night he was registered on the generational family register (koseki tohon) at city office with the same name (but different kanji characters) as her husband – Ichiro.

As such, in the Buddhist tradition, her ashes were put into the ohaka (crypt) with dashing Grandfather Ichiro who died at 49 years old, many decades ago.

Note: Throughout the pregnancy, we often visited grandpa Ichiro‘s ohaka (grave) as going to a cemetery it was easy to reduce risk while having a pleasant walk and while there, clean his grave, light incense and have a conversation.

Buddhist monk offering prayers/chants at family alcove/altar before taking ashes to ohaka

In early July were four days of various funeral ritual/ceremonies at the house (adjusted for current health protocols) before she was cremated, and since then, her ashes sat at the family altar with daily incense, prayers and so on. 

this smouldering incense was part of the ceremony at the house, pinch, put to forehead couple of times…

So as it goes, the remarkably handsome monk offered more incense and chants and led family in scripted prayers and incantations. Baby Ichiro rolled with it all.

the cemetery man opens up the ohaka crypt for first time tis century… (Father and Monk look on)

Following, we took her ashes to the cemetery where a kindly tall specialist removed the capstone of the freshly cleaned ohaka allowing us to briefly see grandpa‘s urn, before adding the new jar & gently sealing back up.

 

the sealing sealing removed by hand…

Then we burned more incense, gave regards to other graves and left a lovely lunch to take her into the next journey.

special lunch to take Grandmother Tomiko onto the next part of journey

Note: of course there’s more to share of the story (eventually, perhaps), and if you’re curious, see the wedding picture of grandpa Ichiro and grandma Tomiko, plus notes from Ichiro’s first month and an Ichiro card with her casket and his basket.

wonderful mother in law at the cemetery, what a huge couple of months she’s had!

The circle is complete, the family continues, I’m very proud to be part of this clan. We’ve had seven weeks of birth, death, (re)birthdays, and so much transition in real time. i’m privileged to be a participant.

So very gratefully,
daveo/UW

for a brief moment only, we could see Grandfather Ichiro and Grandmother Tomiko reunited in their urns, then was sealed back up… what a treasured experience!

Diary: Postal scale and Ska band (<3 Ryoko)

Ryoko’s postal scale at Tsuchida Cottage

Truth is, I didn’t marry Ryoko Olson *just because* she already had her own annotated postal scale, but it certainly added to the list (along with her organized/labelled drawers of letters sets and stationery).

Then, I just found out she played piano in a Ska band at Nihon University. Yep, they even had a trombone. I definitely made the right choice.

(PS i tried to show off with photo of me and Lynval Goulding of The Specials)

Note: Ryoko points out the note on the back is out of date, ergo:

Oh. This scale is a bit old. Now it’s 82 → 84, 92 → 94.

Diary: Get on the Omnibus (annotations from the fog)

Winderness Hotspring painting by Noriko Miyake

Lots on my mind to riff about sometime about with various dangling topics & conversations unfinished and yet the days go by so quick, ergo:

* libraries (lost in Showa)
* meeting Ed Abbey (for Heads Lifestyle)
* my next postbox paintings/poems
* Ryoko’s new Fluevog shoes(!) / below (note: Vancouver company but these came from the Amsterdam store in the magnificent box with extra treats. She will look so great in these, and hopefully can wear in her next concert sometime this autumn if things well, get safer.) + I kept an eye on the sale section and special sale days to find just the right pair at well, a good price and this was my third attempt
* Dennis Kearns & Quinn Hughes
* Canucks family cook book circa 1981 (contents thereof)
* paintings by Noriko Miyake (She’s local to our area but spends a lot of time in France making her vag!na goddess art. We have 2.5 of her pieces. Purchased this “wild hot spring” as a surprise “momma’s gift” for Ryoko Olson) & Jean Smith (she’s rocking it so well right now)
* reducing humidity for book and record archiving in kura barn
* Fast Times (film & soundtrack etc)
* Itami’s “The Funeral” film
* scheme for house modifications/extension (safety & efficiency)
* so many letters out in the post, absolutely fantastic custom and complicated… And time-consuming(!) but so worth it
* Ichi-Stan’s CDN paperwork / checkmark #io
* The Queen never getting to know the pleasure of making a perfect grilled cheese sandwich
* further annotations re: hemp in Japan (state of & unpublished artifacts)
* recap #daveo50 / 190+ posts project
* wild boar sausages & inflatable pool (+ impending typhoon)
* how i ended up in Japan this time around
* how are you?
* condolences for losses (i see you)
* yes *the illness* persists #chronic #complex yet research drastically increasing (note: One strange /good thing is with *the virus*, there’s suddenly a lot more attention and awareness and research going into CFS/ME vis a vis so-called “long haulers” / Would be so wonderful to see so many people get so much of their lives back #MillionsMissing)
* “Hollywood” Scurlock (for Dark Poutine Mike Browne) #weird
* etc
* full email box #trying
* autumn is best season in Japan
* questions??

> in the meantime…

Note: The reality is, I wrote this as a little bit of “stuff I’m thinking about but I can’t do anything about right now“ list when I was in a crash mode from my silly consortium of syndromes.

(When I “crash“ I can only be in bed with the lights off, audio playing but not video, no outside light or noise,… but my head is swimming with ideas of stuff I really really want to do but can’t. In this case, three days of almost complete an activity aside from bathtime with baby.)

Dictating out a “laundry list” of thoughts, helps the brain calm down and well, means I’ll maybe address the topics eventually… maybe.

“Champey” Fluevogs for Ryoko (bit of another Noriko Miyake painting)

Fondly, dvo

PS 

Introducing Baby Ichiro’s Name: Japan Cottage Musings

A riff about (son born June 23rd 2020) Ichiro Stanley Thorvald Olson’s name including the kanji meaning and katakana writing plus inspirations behind each of the monikers and anecdotes about grandparents, teachers, parks, brothers and ice hockey by proud parents Dave and Ryoko in front of the family altar in Tsuchida, Okayama, Japan, August 2020 (Reiwa 2).

Ichiro: card #36 “Ichi-kun & Mom” (in kura) / 8.18

Ichiro: card #36 “Ichi-kun & Mom” (in kura) / 8.18

Ichiro: card #36 “Ichi-kun & Mom” (in kura) / 8.18
#IchiroOlson / card no. 36 of series #io

Remarkable Mom Ryoko and darling son Ichiro Stanley in the Kura Grain Barn Studio/ Music Lounge on 8.16

Ichiro: card #35 “getting so big” (from mama) / 8.17

Ichiro: card #35 “getting so big” (from mama) / 8.17

Ichiro: card #35 “getting too big for his boat” (from mama) / 8.17 #IchiroOlson / card no. 35 of series #io

Definitely need more (from busy mama) Ryoko in this series. In the meantime, in her card annotation debut, she points out how Ichi-kun is almost too big for his handmade (by Ryoko of course) lounging mat (which fits in his matching cozy basinet. Also note his fetching gauzey shirt and diaper set-up. Comfy!

#daveo50 ~ 2018 / 50 years > days > photos

#daveo50 ~ 2018 / for passport, visa, or other ID, Vegas (photo Andrew Olson)

Project: Upon turning 50 years old on August 16, 2020, Dave Olson (me, hello) is posting a photo (or maybe photos) a day / per year – starting with 1970 with intent of chronicling existence through various primary evidence sourced from studio portraits, class photos, ID / passport photos, or occasionally other “casual/group/random” shots when the above don’t exist in my archive (note: not “artificial intelligence,” really me, pulled from shoeboxes, journals, wallets and whatnot – diligently scanned and dated via glasses and haircuts, lightly annotated).

Continue reading #daveo50 ~ 2018 / 50 years > days > photos

Diary: Ichiro clothes hanging to dry

Ichiro set for sharp outfits for a bit. Sorting into “now” “soon” & “later” piles.

Thank you for all the wonderful gifts, having so much fun dressing him up (though I always want to wear matching outfits #WorkingOnIt)

Also working on special “thank you” cards for the folks who sent things along (as usual, i’ve over-complicated this idea but totally worth it, right?)

Address Reminder:
Ichiro Stanley Olson
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku
Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
703-8217 Japan

Handy: Postal Tips and details

 

Diary: sewing things for Ichiro + tie-dyes and pee-caps

Diary: Sewing Things for Ichiro / assortment – card, hat, bib, tie-dye and “pee cap”

{Catching up with…} Scant days before our adorable baby came into the world, my remarkable wife fired up her mom’s sewing machine and decided to start with making so many thing… Then we busied ourselves with a few photo collages combining these handmade items with custom tie-dye shirts received from brother/uncle Dan and card from Kim, Brad, Ben, April (among other delights to be documented later). 

Started with cloth diapers (not pictured) / easy right? So Then moved on to these incredibly handy “pee caps” (meaning little cloth “cones” to put over his willie when changing diapers…

– as it turns out, lil fellas in general often use the sweet freedom of a diaper change to let loose with their venting)…

Then made a completely cute soft cotton hat with “io” initials (which i want to make into a rubber stamp as well).

Then came bibs! oh the bibs! using Aloha print cloth i’ve had in my stash since 1996 or so, these hav a velcro tab for easy (and safe) on and off and style points to spare.

Continue reading Diary: sewing things for Ichiro + tie-dyes and pee-caps