Tag Archives: birthday

Felted Ball!

I am on a mission to make only handmade gifts for my (still kind of new) nephew. He is about to turn one, and when I realized his birthday was coming up, I also realized that handmade gifts require planning and TIME. Especially if knitting is involved (at least, for me, anyway).


The perfect idea came to me – age appropriate, and easily made in the time I had: a felted ball. It is a lot of fun to make, but also equal parts frustration and tiring, especially because my 7-year old son wanted to felt along with me, and it wasn’t going so well for him! I wet-felted the inner core, and then needle-felted the coloured design on top. I love how it turned out!!



I got to see my nephew open his gift via FaceTime today, and my SIL informed me that he has just figured out how to throw a ball in the last few days: what perfect timing!! Yay! I’m not sure who likes the ball more though: my nephew or his dog!!


Wordless Wednesday: Tokyo

(For more Japan posts, click here. So now this post is officially not wordless.)

Japan: The Food! Part One

For my 40th birthday this year, my husband surprised me with a trip to JAPAN! I knew I was going somewhere, but I didn’t know where until the night before. We just returned a week ago – it’s hard to believe it’s already a memory. I have so much to write about, but I will start with the food. For us, travel is always about the food.

Our first day in Tokyo, we went to the Tsukiji Fish Market. It was unlike anything I have ever seen before – I didn’t even know what half the stuff was!

Even though our book suggested getting sushi at the market (“what could be fresher?”), we were chilly and decided to get a bowl of ramen noodles from a very busy stand.

This little place even had a write-up in the New York Times!

As far as I could tell, the cities we visited only had beverage vending machines (with the exception of two: one ice-cream machine, and one snack food, both in a subway station). These beverage vending machines were everywhere, even in little alleys, making it really easy to find water. We did try some of the other drinks, but it was almost impossible to know what it was going to be unless there was a picture of fruit on it. There were even alcohol and cigarette vending machines.

Whenever we stay in hotels, we seem to get a craving for chocolate. I can probably blame the minibars for tempting me, and the fact that I will almost never take anything from a minibar because it’s so outrageously expensive. Needless to say, we made several trips to the local 7-11, but the chocolate bars left something to be desired.

There was not a huge amount of selection, but Japan does seem to have a bit of a love affair with Kit Kat. There were all kinds of flavors of Kit Kat: green tea, dark, regular, some weird one that I never tried and had no idea what it was, white chocolate with Oreo-type cookie, and even strawberry (which tastes like strawberry Pocky).

Kit Kat became the official bar of the trip, and I made it my mission to find the best priced green tea Kit Kat to bring back home.

There were lots of these little cookie/cake places around. I’m not sure what they actually are, but they are usually made fresh (the smell is amazing), they look cute, and they are filled with something chocolatey-ish. We tried one and it was kind of like a not-so-good waffle, and mega disappointing. In fact, many of the baked goods were disappointing, except in the French bakeries, of which there were many – we are still wondering why!

There were so many “fast food” stands, with many things that I had no clue about. I gave one a try and it was pretty tasty. It was a deep-fried rice/sesame batter with some semi-sweet stuff inside.

That’s it for now… but there’s more, much more.

To be continued!!

I’m away, but I don’t know where yet!

Not totally true. I do know by the time you read this, but not now, as I write this. I am turning 40 this year (yay!) and my amazing husband has planned a very secret trip for me. We are leaving soon (ok, we are gone), and I don’t know where we are going!!

His surprised was almost ruined when I received my birthday present from my mother-in-law. She gave me a Kindle. I registered it, which means I hooked it up to my amazon account, which is the same account my hubby used to register his Kindle. I had a look at the archived items, mostly stuff I didn’t want to read, and some dictionaries and a travel guide. HELLO… a TRAVEL GUIDE. It didn’t even register until he came home and had a look at my Kindle, saw his books on there, and kinda silently freaked out. Funny thing is, I could NOT remember what country the travel guide was for. I just didn’t pay attention, and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was! I promised I wouldn’t peek (I haven’t).

I’m looking forward to telling you about my adventures!

By the way, here’s what I “know” (he could be tricking me on any of these points):
1. I need my passport.
2. Fall weather.
3. We may both want to do some shopping.
4. Flight leaves in the morning.
5. His Dad sent him a package which he wouldn’t open in front of me.. which makes me think we are going somewhere his Dad has been, or on a cruise.

Here are all the guesses I have come up with:
1. Hawaii – but no more, since fall weather.
2. Spain – he says no, could be lying.
3. Japan – ?
4. Cruise…
5. Peru (I don’t think this fits with the shopping part).
6. Portugal
7. Turkey
8. New Zealand

What do you think?

This post is good enough.

I haven’t been outside for 7 days. OK, I’ve been out, but just to walk to and from the car. My son’s been sick and it’s a week off from school, so we have been chillin’ around the house. I’m starting to get a bit cagey, and noticing that I’m getting down on myself for not doing anything creative. Instead of focusing on what I have been doing, like posting something everyday on etsy and writing blog posts, I’m beating myself up for not painting. Then I go and make it worse by reading blog posts by people who are painting.

So. I wrote that paragraph yesterday, but I painted today and I’m feeling better about it all. I’ve even had moments of just enjoying (gasp!) the chilling around the house time. Been working on a jigsaw puzzle for the last few days. Oh, and now my daughters have fevers, too (why can’t kids co-ordinate their sicknesses?!).

Today is my 39th birthday (11/11/11!). I feel like I should be writing one of those big blog posts about 40 things to do before I’m 40, but that would be too much pressure to put on myself in the next year, so I won’t. I already have a lot of things that I’ll be working on in the next year, anyway. One is a new website. By the way, you can now reach this blog by typing belindafireman.com! My brother Nate bought me a domain- cool birthday present, eh? This is quite the mixed up post. I will publish it as is – think of it as a statement about not having to present everything perfectly! Yes, that’s it.

Oh, wait.. I forgot to talk about this painting. Ha! These messages are exactly what I have needed this past week (see first paragraph above!). This is part of why I am always using positive messages in my art – I hope that someday it will actually sink in!

Tick Tock

It’s November 1st. That means my birthday will be here in 10 days. I always forget about it until November hits. These days, anyway. My dad has taken over (what used to be my Papa Irving’s job of) the task of letting me know that I am approaching my 39th year on this planet. It’s crazy! The 30’s are just zooming by.

Meanwhile, I am also noticing that time is going by awfully fast for this Sketchbook Project as well! If I do a page a day, then I will be well on schedule for filling the book. If not, then, I have accept not finishing it, I guess. I don’t want that to happen. I will be posting all my sketchbook entries here, and on the Sketchbook Project page (once I figure out how).