Destination Japan

Since our return from a recent trip to Japan, I’m incapable of answering the simple query So, how was it? with a simple reply. Describing the excitement of 3 weeks of daily doses of wonderment, newness and discoveries cannot be shared in a few words. Over a bottle of wine, perhaps.

Japan so tantalizes the senses, our group of 4 agrees that it’s impossible to choose a favorite city, site, experience or cuisine, but with two exceptions: dry sake over sweet and Tokyo’s Digital Art Museum.

PREPARE TO BE DAZZLED

Just opened June, 2018, the Mori Building Digital Art Museum is undeniably Tokyo’s most exciting museum. Dedicated to digital-art-as-experience, it is also the first museum of its kind…in the entire world!

Digital Art Museum’s landmark location is next to the ferris wheel at Palette Town, Odaiba, Tokyo

 

Envisioned by the digital art collective  , the Digital Art Museum (DAM) is the result of a three-year collaboration between artists and technologists. From the genius of such an alliance emerged a morphing of art and technology, and the result is like nothing you’ve ever known before. To put heft behind such a declaration, take a peek at this:

Watching this 58 seconds of video, my reaction is pure Pavlovian – I’m immediately back in the corridors, heart racing with anticipation.

Unlike a circus – where the performances unfold before a seated audience – DAM encourages active engagement with mind-boggling digital installations further enhanced by Hideaki Takahashi’s gloriously synchronized music.

The music does not blast as at a rock concert; rather, the volume is modulated so those sharing the experience can be heard but not prove distracting. Conversation isn’t really a factor, as the commonality of expression is pretty limited to lots and lots (and lots) of WOWS!

Shimmering lights and forms dance across walls, ceilings and floors, responding to and set in motion by your touch. Touch! The big no-no at most museums, touching the art is the whole point at DAM. In touching the art, you become part of it.

“To my amazement, touching the wall unleashed an explosion of color and movement that put me in the center of the experience.” EllynAnne Geisel

 

THE MORE, THE MERRIER

DAM‘s multi-level interior is ginormous and provides opportunity for endless exploration. The 60 digital art works are somehow connected and magically transform and interact according to the presence of people and their touch. Math isn’t my strength, but this factoring is my kind of calculation: 6000 visitors a day x their touches = explosive awesomeness.

 

ALL AGES WELCOME

Japan is extremely family-friendly and DAM is proof. The interior is divided into five zones – Borderless World, Athletics Forest, Future Park, Forest of Lamps, and En Tea House –   the Athletics Forest zone specific to children, with a section just for babies and their watchers, and a section only for kids. This zone is perhaps the happiest place on the planet!

Children poke and play with lighted spheres in a dedicated kid space.

 

FOREST OF RESONATING LAMPS

One further indulgence as I share this zone, which is breathtaking. Imagine a mirrored floor, walls and ceiling, the space hung with 1000 Mirano-shaded, motion-sensitive lamps. At different heights, each lamp is touchable and changes colors. Surrounded by thousands of mirrored images, the room is all warmth and wonder.

Put away the camera and experience the warmth and wonder of the lights.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Buy tickets to DAM in advance – https://ticket.teamlab.art/order. At 6000 visitors a day, chances of securing tickets the day of your visit will leave you crushingly disappointed
  • Dress for active participation. Think: sensible clothing and footwear. The Athletics Forest requires soft sole shoes
  • While the average visit is 2-3 hours, plan to spend the day. The DAM opens at 10 am and closes at 7/9 pm. Take a lovely lunch break mid-way.
  • Photos are allowed – selfie sticks are not! At some point, put away the camera…this museum is so much more than posing for Instagrammables.
  • For armchair travel, visit the website.
  • There is no gift shop (insert my tears, for I so wanted the tee shirt worn by staff)

STICK A FORK IN ME…I’M DONE

Japan is a smorgasbord of fabulousness, a country so filled with tantalizing wonders, it deserves Travel & Leisure’s 2018 awarding of destination of the year. Any year you can get there, however, will have you in my shoes – incapable of answering the simple question So how was it? with a simple reply.

So I lose a few friends. Japan is so worth it.

xxea

 

 

 

 

 

 

KINDNESS MATTERS

According to Oprah, “Kindness matters.”  Her sentiment is ever so timely, especially in light of recent events to the contrary.

Despite the turmoil, kindness does abound!

To lift spirits, be encouraged, and find inspiration, join in celebrating the 13th annual Tie One On Day!

Leave a comment at the end of this posting

 

 

sharing how you will participate in this year’s Tie One On Day.

Thanksgiving is a holiday of sharing, recollection and traditions, and the apron symbolizes these concepts.

Please join in and tie one on…an apron, of course! and make a difference in someone’s life with a gesture of kindness.

TIE ONE ON … GIVE FROM THE HEART … THEN GIVE THANKS

 

Gratefully, EllynAnne

 

The Apron Book And Their Stories

I am so fortunate to have a space in our home dedicated to just my apron world. With southern and western window exposure, the room light filled year around. Seven years ago I painted it a perfect deep yellow, and even on the chilliest days, with the sun and yellow walls, it feels warm and cozy.

But for sporadic attempts to keep the space tidy, it represents my habit of not putting anything away. Peruse a magazine source, find inspiration, and set it down; years of such a practice, and not to wonder the result.

Creative Chaos or Creative Clutter
Creative Chaos or Creative Clutter
The habitual habit of never putting things back in their place
The habitual habit of never putting things back in their place

What finally motivated an epic tidying was not my conscience nor Prince Charming’s eye rolling, but that all the pieces had fallen into place for promotional activity in conjunction with The Apron Book. With the support of the publisher, Andrews McMeel, Beth flew from her home to mine, where we were joined by Tracy Wahl, the producer of my 2006 NPR All Things Considered segment.

I had but days to “make it work.” Without an idea of how to begin, I just did. Loathe to hide away the collections I so love being surrounded by, I chose a selection to display. The remainder went into cupboards and bins and suitcases, hidden by the quilt and oil cloth covering tables. So I’d know at a glance what was in each storage point, I hung clues on the doors: a child’s apron designated children’s books and games; an apron with a tea towel embroidered with a lady reading a cookbook = cupboard of cookbooks; a vintage sewing manual….and so on. A selection of sewing patterns is lined up in a child’s valise, a picnic basket holds vintage black and white snapshots, pamphlets on food, etiquette and household tips peek out of perfectly sized make up cases. I was on a roll! And the end result is amazing and wonderful and joyous.

Organizing the collections seemed impossible, until the tactic began to make visual sense
Organizing the collections seemed impossible, until the tactic began to make visual sense
Using pieces of my collections to hold like collectibles brought order to the room
Using pieces of my collections to hold like collectibles brought order to the room
The computer screen is tucked beneath the table until its needed
The computer screen is tucked beneath the table until its needed

The filming of Beth and me chatting aprons was the gift of Dustin Hodges, a professional in the field and a best friend.

 A happy hug after chatting for an hour about our apron journeys in cute aprons and fabulous heels
A happy hug after chatting for an hour about our apron journeys in cute aprons and fabulous heels

The next morning, Beth, Tracy and I discussed The Apron Book and why the apron remains relevant in the modern landscape of women’s choices. That discussion is a podcast, which you can listen to HERE:

Contribute your written apron story and pictures at apronmemories.com/stories
Share your apron story recordings and videos at facebook.com/apronmemories
#theapronbook on Instagram & Twitter

This collage is a pictorial summary of our gathering. So many smiles, hugs, tears and love, as the best journeys are.

A summary collage shares the smiles, hugs, tears and love
A summary collage shares the smiles, hugs, tears and love

Find us throughout social media! And join the movement of apron love by tying one on…an apron, of course!

Gratefully, EllynAnne

About The Apron Book:

The Apron Book

Warm and inviting, but (like an apron) quite practical, The Apron Book is a celebration of a great American icon. Apron enthusiast Ellynanne Geisel, who curated the traveling exhibit, Apron Chronicles, returns us to hearth and home in this updated edition of the award-winning book. In this paperback edition, EllynAnne reflects on the grassroots movement of apron love in a new introduction, and a new foreword by the former editor of Apronology magazine expounds on EllynAnne’s mantra that aprons don’t hold us back; they take us back because the connection to the past is a strong one.

The Apron Book showcases full-color photos of new and vintage aprons from Geisel’s vast collection, patterns for four basic apron styles and myriad variations, recipes, tips on collecting and preserving vintage aprons, and heart-tugging stories from the traveling apron exhibit. The book also explores the history and heyday of aprons and looks at the various roles aprons still play when worn in the kitchen, around the house, by the backyard grill, on the job, or for a special occasion.

Available To Order:

Order at Amazon.com

Order at Barnes & Noble

Order at Indiebound

Order at Booksamillion.com

Order at Andrews McMeel

TOODay & RAKfoundation #capturekindness

    Tie One On Day 2017 provided much reflection, as a means of honoring #nancyzieman and celebrating our recognition by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and its #capturekindness campaign.

 

Showcased by the RAKFoundation Week 2 challenge: Be Kind to Family, I considered the definition of family to include those we spend time with who support our endeavors.

Using that expanded definition of family, my TOODay 2017 recipients included two women I look forward to seeing at the gym, Roxanne and Karla. For almost 2 years, we’ve met four days a week at class, the commitment to attendance partially based on encouraging one another in our fitness goals. What better way to celebrate this sense of family than with cake!  Taking a hint from the RAKfoundation website, personal notes expressed my appreciation of their friendship.

#capturekindness and TOODay 2017 with cake and a handwritten notes

Throughout the week, I continued to #capturekindness with deliveries of individual slices of pie, complete with napkins and forks for instant yummy indulging, to those whose paths

#capturekindness & TOODay deliveries of individual slices of pie

I cross who unfailingly greet me with a smile.

For Thanksgiving dinner, we’re gathering at the home of our son and daughter-in-law, who are hosting the evening with two full tables of family and friends. An undertaking that’s been days in the making of cooking and baking, we’re arriving with a TOODay #capturekindness offering – a lunch of hearty soup and freshly baked bread to nourish the host and hostess through an afternoon of final food preparation.

A TOODay #capturekindness delivery of nourishment to our Thanksgiving host and hostess

May your Thanksgiving #capturekindness and celebrate a bounty of family and friendships!

Gratefully, EllynAnne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tie One On Day Kindness Catch-Up!

Despite the recent events to the contrary, acts of kindness abound! To lift spirits, be encouraged, and find inspiration by others,

1.  Visit the Tie One On Day page on EllynAnne’s website and honor #NancyZieman

2.  Enter the Bernina USA / Tie One On Day apron event and giveaway

3.  Join the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s #CaptureKindness Campaign

 

visit apronmemories.com to participate and enter the TOODay 2017 Giveaways!

TIME IS A-DWINDLING to participate in the 12th annual TOODay!

 

Tie One On Day’s loving sponsors are tied together by the belief that through kindness there will be change.

 

To bring attention to TOODay and encourage participation, sponsors Bernina USA, MikWright, Colonial Patterns, Heirloomed Collection , Amy Barickman/Indygo Junction, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Sarah Stitham-Workday Wear, author Paul Samuel Dolman, author Sherry Gore, Nails magazine, Union Stitch and Design, author Jill O’ConnorThe Vintage Apron, Taste of HomeSchmetz Needles, Country Woman Magazine, American Sewing Guild, Cultivar Wine/Caspar Estate, and SewNews provide giveaways of their products, which are divided among four (4) randomly selected winners. Twelve years of TOODay giveaways = lots of very surprised and happy folks. To put your name in the giveaway hat, CLICK HERE FOR INFO AND ENTRY!

 

And this:

 

Gratefully, EllynAnne

 

 

Cake, I really, really love you!

The occasion was a celebration, with champagne and a dessert, the menu. Only a most fabulous cake creation would do, and within the pages of

“Fruit is not dessert. Cake is dessert.” EllynAnne Geisel

CAKE, I LOVE YOU !, was this confection: a Dark Chocolate-Pudding Banana Cake. Author Jill O’Connor describes this cake’s chocolate pudding frosting as “…almost too decadent.” A chocolate pudding aficionado, I’d found the perfect dessert.

At first glance, this cake’s two-page recipe might intimidate; however, Jill’s talent as a cookbook author shines with straight forward, step-by-step instruction. For encouragement, I constantly referenced the photograph – three tiers of divine sumptuousness.

Bakers of all levels, take heed…if you can read, you can make this cake!

This is a cake completely from scratch. It’s helpful to study the recipe several times before breaking that first egg. Also helpful is noting you will need three cake pans of the same size (a detail I missed, which wasn’t a catastrophe but did have the cake looking a tad “Leaning Tower of Pisa”), and that the pudding must be made a day before use.

The day of, I baked the layers and assembled per the instructions. Minus the chocolate curls’ topping, the cake was a close enough approximation to have me pretty, pretty excited to present and serve.

Chocolate pudding as icing is da bomb!

Almost a week later, what’s left is still moist and delicious. Tonight’s dessert should finish it up, a sad note to what everyone who tasted agrees is the best cake ever!

 

Now, for some happy news – As a sponsor of Tie One On Day, Jill is giving away two (2) autographed copies of CAKE, I LOVE YOU!

 

In it’s 12th year, Tie One On Day is an annual opportunity to offer a gesture of kindness before giving thanks at Thanksgiving. Sponsors, like Jill, support TOODay because of the shared belief that through kindness comes change.

Give from the heart on Wednesday, then give thanks on Thursday!

CLICK HERE to be inspired by how others are embracing Tie One On Day and to enter for the giveaways provided by generous sponsors, like Jill O’Connor, the author of my now favorite cake cookbook, CAKE I LOVE YOU!

Thank you for participating in Tie One On Day – and making someone’s day brighter.

Gratefully, EllynAnne

 

Apron Love, a Tie to the Past and Future

In 2006, Andrews McMeel published The Apron Book, trailblazing a non-existent landscape with a worldwide movement of apron love.

Seen as a symbol of drudgery and an obstacle to women’s success, the apron is being rediscovered in a new and modern context.

In recognition of the apron’s continued relevance in our daily lives, The Apron Book is releasing as a gorgeous softbound with a new foreword crafted by a dear friend, Beth Livesay.

The Apron Book
The Apron Book releases Nov. 7 and is available for presale at www.apronmemories.com

As a founding editor of apronology magazine, Beth knows aprons. For three years, we emailed of our mutual love for the humble icon and the exhilaration of the apron’s recognition as a canvas of artistic expression, the premise of the magazine. In 2011, our paths crossed, a meeting captured on video, for revisiting and recalling our excitement.

Beth and EllynAnne
Of course, when Beth and EllynAnne first met, they’d wear their favorite aprons!

Six years later and Beth is the executive editor of Nails Magazine, a professional publication showcasing nails as canvases of artistic expression. Aprons to nails puts Beth in the forefront of recognizing the possibilities of blankness, no matter the canvas.

Seeking a new perspective and voice for newly crafted edition of The Apron Book, Beth was my first and only choice. Beth’s foreword is an acknowledgment of aprons taking us back and honoring the women of earlier generations, for it is because of them that young women can make their choices in a landscape of opportunities. Aprons, writes Beth, take us forward…the only place really worth going.

Beth's nails
Beth Livesay, executive editor of Nails Magazine, coordinating her nails to the cover of The Apron Book

Please join Beth and me throughout social media as we tie one on…our aprons, of course! It’s a lovely ride, and we want you to be a part of it.

Contribute your written apron story and pictures at apronmemories.com/stories
Share your apron story recordings and videos at facebook.com/apronmemories
#theapronbook on Instagram & twitter
Gratefully, EllynAnne

About The Apron Book:

The Apron Book

Warm and inviting, but (like an apron) quite practical, The Apron Book is a celebration of a great American icon. Apron enthusiast Ellynanne Geisel, who curated the traveling exhibit, Apron Chronicles, returns us to hearth and home in this updated edition of the award-winning book. In this paperback edition, EllynAnne reflects on the grassroots movement of apron love in a new introduction, and a new foreword by the former editor of Apronology magazine expounds on EllynAnne’s mantra that aprons don’t hold us back; they take us back because the connection to the past is a strong one.

The Apron Book showcases full-color photos of new and vintage aprons from Geisel’s vast collection, patterns for four basic apron styles and myriad variations, recipes, tips on collecting and preserving vintage aprons, and heart-tugging stories from the traveling apron exhibit. The book also explores the history and heyday of aprons and looks at the various roles aprons still play when worn in the kitchen, around the house, by the backyard grill, on the job, or for a special occasion.

Available To Order:

Order at Amazon.com

Order at Barnes & Noble

Order at Indiebound

Order at Booksamillion.com

Order at Andrews McMeel

TIE ONE ON DAY 2017 Celebrates 12 Years of Kindness!

The more who participate, the more who receive acts of kindness

 

Twelve years ago on Thanksgiving eve, I wrapped a baked good in an apron with a handwritten note of sympathy tucked in, and delivered it to a neighbor experiencing more heartache than should ever be. Her response of delight and warmth was unexpected and very touching.

In offering a small gesture of recognition to her family’s situation, I was stunned at the joyfulness that I experienced. The win-win of the exchange was so memorable, I knew it had to be shared. So I created TIE ONE ON DAY™.

 

PARTICIPATION IN TOODAY IS SIMPLE : WRAP A BAKED GOOD IN DOMESTIC CLOTH; ADD A SWEET NOTE; TIE ON AN APRON & DELIVER YOUR OFFERING!

ENTER! PARTICIPATE! ENTER! PARTICIPATE! ENTER! PARTICIPATE!

To encourage adding Tie One On Day to your Thanksgiving traditions, a dedicated group of generous SPONSORS are putting some fabulous “give” into the TOODAY 2017 GOODIE GIVEAWAYS!

To enter the Tie One on Day Giveaways, leave a comment at the end of this blog posting, sharing how you will participate in this year’s TOOD. Your comment is your entry into the November 22nd giveaway drawings! Four (4) Giveaway Winners will be randomly selected and contacted via their provided email. ***Winner must live within the USA.

Thanksgiving is a holiday of sharing, recollection and traditions, and the apron symbolizes these concepts.

Please join in and tie one on…an apron, of course! and make a difference in someone’s life with a gesture of kindness.

TIE ONE ON … GIVE FROM THE HEART … THEN GIVE THANKS

Gratefully, EllynAnne

Giving Back

Over the past eleven years, my Tie One On Day gestures of kindness have centered around deliveries of baked goods, hearty soups and casseroles.

The more who participate, the more who receive gestures of kindness! www.apronmemories.com for more info & giveaway entry
The more who participate, the more who receive gestures of kindness! www.apronmemories.com for more info & giveaway entry

 

This year’s November deliveries have been of that norm, until my path crossed last Monday with Megan, a long-ago high school classmate of my sons. In playing catch up, she mentioned preparing for hosting an extended family Thanksgiving for forty (!), and in attendance would be her husband’s beloved grandmother, Eleanor Rusler.

Some 16 years ago, I told Megan, Eleanor was among the first to share her apron memory with me. I remember visiting her at the farm, where she reminisced about her grandmother, a wonderful seamstress who made pin money by sewing clothing, including aprons, for others. Her story and aprons were included in The Apron Book.

The apron sewn by Eleanor's grandmother
An apron sewn by Eleanor’s grandmother

 

Eleanor gave me an apron sewn by her grandmother, and it was time to return it to her family.

In a Tie One On Day package, I included the apron and a copy of my book with Eleanor’s story marked with an apron cut-out, on which I’d written an apron memory of my own. Copy the template, I wrote to Megan, and provide pens to her guests to record their apron memories of Eleanor; then read the memories aloud.

Provide an apron template and pens so guests can share their apron memories
Provide an apron template and pens so guests can share their apron memories

 

Eleanor had never mentioned to the family that she was once interviewed for an apron recollection that was included in a book. Megan’s delight when she heard this news solidified my decision to return the apron to its rightful home.

Preparing the package, I experienced the same unexpected joy of my first Tie One On Day delivery, and the win/win of extending a gesture of kindness.

Giving from the heart before giving thanks at Thanksgiving…that’s the message of Tie One On Day.

xxxellynanne

 

Draw the outline of an apron on cardstock, outlining a pocket for guests to "fill"
Draw the outline of an apron on cardstock, outlining a pocket for guests to “fill”

What’s in my pocket?

"n my apron pocket is a pretty hanky, pink lipstick, readers and a packet of M&Ms to nibble and share."
“In my apron pocket is a pretty hanky, pink lipstick, readers and a packet of M&Ms to nibble and share.”

 

A New Thanksgiving Tradition

Put the "give back into Thanksgiving!
Put the “give back into Thanksgiving!  click HERE ! to learn more & enter to win!

 

It is especially gratifying to learn of families incorporating Tie One On Day as part of their Thanksgiving. By participating in TOODay, this mom and her young daughter made many people’s day brighter:

carton

“My 9 year-old daughter heard about this unique day and wanted to participate so we baked muffins together, wearing matching aprons, to give to neighbors and friends. She wrote notes thanking them for their friendship and we delivered them together, explaining Tie One On Day to each recipient. We even gave treats for the dogs! Some we wrapped in scarves instead of aprons to mix it up a bit. Each person was touched and thrilled. Think we have a new tradition!”  Mindy C.

Inspired by this mother and daughter, I invited two sisters to participate in Tie One On Day. In the 3 hours between drop off and pick up, we made up mini peach pies and cookies from scrap dough, worked a puzzle while the pies were in the oven, created note cards for the pie recipients,  ate the cookies and packaged the pies for delivery.

There is no perfect pie crust, except for dough rolled with lots of laughing and flour everywhere!
There is no perfect pie crust, except for dough rolled with lots of laughing and flour everywhere!
The scraps of dough are perfect for cinnamon sugar cookies
The scraps of dough are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar = yummy cookies

 

Handmade notecards for their sweet sentiments
Handmade notecards for their sweet sentiments

 

Jam-topped cookies made from dough scraps
Jam-topped sugar cookies made from dough scraps
Ready to deliver their TOODay sweet offerings
Ready to deliver their TOODay pies

Tie One On Day is an annual opportunity to bring joy to the lives of others through gestures of kindness, no matter our age.

xxxellynanne

ENTER! ENTER! ENTER! ENTER! ENTER! ENTER! ENTER!

The sponsors of TOODay Giveaways encourage your participation because the more who are involved, the more who experience the love that is at the heart of Tie One On Day.  ENTER the giveways and share how you will participate in TOODay!