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  • 02/03/13--21:44: Setsubun

  • I was supposed to post this yesterday but didn't get the chance. Many folks across Japan were celebrating something called Setsubun [節分] which is pronounced "setsu-boon."
    The reason why I completely forgot about it is because Setsubun is not a national holiday.

    The kanji for Setsubun is "節" and "分" - coupled together they mean "Seasonal division" and originally refered to the eve of each season. These days however, Setsubun is usually used to refer to the beginning of Spring and commonly celebrated on the 3rd of February.

    The first photo is taken at our local Tokyu supermarket. You can see some devil illustrations around the Setsubun corner where they stock food stuffs eaten on this day. You can see a blue devil holding a bat to hit roasted beans being thrown at it.
    It is said that as seasons change, evil spirits come out to play - beans are thrown outside ones house to ward off the evil spirits. During Setsubun, somebody will wear the mask of a demon while other family members throw beans at him/her and shout "Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!" [鬼は外! 福は内!] meaning "demons out! luck comes in!"

    It is also customary to eat some of the beans thrown outside to bring in the luck. This is why many of the products in the Setsubun corner are made of beans. Today's Sukiya had a special beef bowl served with beans in it. However, one should only eat as many beans as their age +1. If you are aged 21 this year (like me) then you would eat 22 roasted beans which would endow you with good fortune.

    In the video below, you can see some demons making little kids cry - kids retaliate by throwing beans at em.

    Continuing from January - today I share the February of the Moe Calendar a few days late ><
    The large wallpaper sized version lives here which should also be good enough to print.
    Eiji gets to play the demon while mirai-chan gets to throw beans at him ^^;

    During Setsubun, the main food stuff is Ehomaki [恵方巻] - the sushi roll that you see pictured above. It is eaten as a good omen - this one above would ward off calamity and keep all family members in good health.

    At our local shopping arcade, there are huge queues of folks picking up a load of Ehomaki.

    Marukaburi [丸かぶり] is another word for Ehomaki - folks for who for whatever reason can become one just by sticking their head through the hole.

    How much of the Japanese can you read in this photo?

    And here is the typical devil. Folks who want to be pelted with beans should simply print these and cut em out - images from Enjoy Tokyo.

    And yes - dolls celebrate Setsubun too - photo posted by Yamada over at

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    If you weren't watching the big game, or if you decided to relieve yourself during the commercials you may have missed one of the most stunning feature film trailers of all time. Thankfully, has your back and they've already uploaded the Star Trek: Into Darkness Super Bowl trailer. Follow the above link to watch it about thirty times. To think, this is the same director that will be giving us Star Wars... (giddy!).

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    Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess: Ariel's Coach

    Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess: Ariel's CoachYou’re going to love watching your little ones recreate the love story of Ariel and Eric … or create a whole new story of their own. This beautiful coach is filled with fun sounds and a song and Sebastian, who is along for the ride. Press down on him to hear his song. Then roll Prince Eric and Princess Ariel along their way, and you’ll see that the seahorse that seems to “swim”. Includes Prince Eric and Princess Ariel figures with coach and seahorse. Here’s some extra princess fun: Bring Ariel to the Little People Disney Princess Songs Palace to hear her phrases and song. (Palace sold separately and subject to availability.) . Requires 2 AA batteries.

    Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess: Ariel's Coach
    • Ariel's Coach goes perfectly with the Little People Disney Princess Songs Palace
    • Detailed Coach will add sparkle and shine to the Palace
    • Includes an Ariel figure
    • Bringing the figure to the Palace will result in songs and phrases
    • Collect all the Little People Disney Princess Figures and Vehicles

    Buy this Pre-kindergarten toys - Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess: Ariel's Coach...

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    If you appreciate non-licenced product names and are looking for environment pieces for your 1/6 Scale Nolan Trilogy Batman collection not currently being offered by Hot Toys (though they do have something vaguely related in the works) you'll be interested in the upcoming Arms Depot 1/6 Scale Collectible Movie Fitting environment from Premiere Toys. Click through for the full gallery of this cool complementary piece.

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    Continuing with the Japan in the Winter theme. Its so cold right now that there is still clunks of snow dotted around my house. Located in the West of Tokyo is a ward called Nakano which is home to the Nakano Broadway shopping complex. While you can get hold of a load of anime, manga, idol, figures, doll and doujin stuff, Nakano Broadway have a load of Mandarake stores where you will find some of the more rare goodies.

    To get to Nakano Broadway, get off at Nakano station on the JR Chuo and Sobu lines and the Tozai line.

    Going to leave you with the usual wall of photos while I go and get on with some other work ><
    Nearly forgot to mention that these photos are taken before Christmas.

    And you can check out what Nakano Broadway looks like in the Summer!

    A list of the Japan in the Winter photo posts below.

    And a list of Japan in the Summer posts listed up below.

    Find out more about the Culture Japan girls >>>

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    Main News … From the Press Release … Fourth Quarter Highlights Worldwide net sales up 5% from the prior year; North American1 gross sales up 5% and International gross sales up 8%; Worldwide gross sales for core brands: Barbie® down 4%; Hot Wheels® up 2%; Fisher-Price® up 6% and American Girl® up 13%. Full-Year Highlights [...]

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    We have updated the Hot Toys section of our Photo Archive with their incredible Batman figure. Follow the above link to check out this definitive 1/6 scale Batman DX Movie Masterpiece Series figure.

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    The "Egg Muff's" are a fun loving group of dolls that love to sneak around and maybe, every once in awhile, drop in unexpectedly. And, the Toni E. Hawk and her brother, Tom A. Hawk, are the most fun loving of the group. You might find then peaking around a corner, peaking over the windowsill, peaking through a keyhole in a door, or sneaking into your room. You just never know. Sometimes you might just catch a glimpse of their eyes and hair as they try to sneak a peak. If you listen carefully, you might even hear them laughing, even chuckling away. Sometimes you might even catch them doing a little jig. You just never know what they may do. They love to laugh. They love to have fun. But, most of all they love to play hide and peak! No, not hide and seek! Hide and peak!

    The 3rd oldest of the Hawk children is Penelope Pinhead Hawk and she is every bit as lovely as as she is a pinhead.  Common sense is not in her vocabulary.  She tries very hard to keep up with her older brothers and sisters but just can't keep up.  Truth be told she's rather be reading a fashion magazine than playing pranks on everyone.

    Penelope Pinhead Hawk is an 7" squared bottomed self-standing wool felt softie doll. She has a 1/2 white felt and 1/2 peach felt body. Her face is outlined and embroidered and she has large satin stitched eyes. Her nose is straight and embroidered as is her mouth, eyelashes and eyebrows. She has peach blushed cheeks.

    Penelope Pinhead Hawk has a mass of curly blonde hair of the top of her pin head with the back of her head left bald. She is wearing her favorite light pink felt shirt with matching felt collar and favorite peach felt vest. A matching light peach felt bow looks lovely under her chin.  She has a light peach felt bow on the top back of her head.

    Penelope Pinhead Hawk's lack of common sense can get her into trouble at times.  Luckily, she's as charming as she is lovely.  When she turns no the charm you'll do anything for her.

    For more information on Penelope Pinhead Hawk's E-Pattern please CLICK HERE.

    Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals Dolls - "Handmade Dolls & Crafts for Grown-up Girls!"

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    I just love Victorian Era dresses and also love creating penny rug pictures using wool felt and thought penny rug Victorian dress picture decorations would be nice. So, my Victorian Dresses Series was born.

    Gray Is Beautiful Mini Belles is an e-pattern to create a 5" by 5" Victorian wool felt dress picture in a  purchased picture frame and a 4" Victorian dress ornament in a penny rug style design.

    The felt dress piece is embroidered to the felt background and the felt dress overskirt piece is embroidered to the felt dress piece. Lace trims, seed beads, and other embellishments are sewn to the dresses and overskirt pieces.

    The base and back lining are blanket stitch embroidered along the edges.

    The picture  pattern can be made as just a penny rug wool felt blanket stitched picture or enclosed within a wall picture frame or tabletop picture frame.  The ornament is hung from a ribbon hanger.

    The pattern includes text instructions, step-by-step color diagrams for finishing the penny rug dress picture and ornament from start to finish, full page picture layout sheet, and full page single sided pattern piece sheets. The pattern also includes step-by-step illustrations and instructions for Basic Blanket Stitching.

    For more information on my Gray Is Beautiful Mini Belles e-pattern please CLICK HERE.

    Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals Dolls - "Handmade Dolls & Crafts for Grown-up Girls!"

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    Next up in our Photo Archive updates is the last figure in Hot Toys' Predators collection. Follow this link to have closer look at their Classic Predator 1/6 scale Movie Masterpiece Series figure.

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    It's really amazing to me how many e-patterns my sister has created in the last year.  To say her mojo is on overdrive is an understatement.  Here's one of her newest e-patterns and what she had to say about her Quilted 4 in 1 Mug Rugs e-pattern:

    I have been noticing lots of mug rug patterns out on the Craftsy and Etsy sites so I thought I might create some myself utilizing my flowers from my Frame or Quilt Fabric Wall Art Patterns.

    I have created five patterns in all.  Individual patterns for each of the above pictured mug rugs and then a combination 4 in 1 pattern which includes all four of the flowers in one pattern.

    The patterns contain detailed instructions for creating the quilted Mug Rug with illustrations to guide you along the way, and full size pattern pieces. Patterns also includes both the forward and reverse page for easy tracing onto the sew able adhesive for the applique portion.

    The 4 in 1 pattern which includes all four flower designs.

    For more information or to buy Quilted 4 In 1 Mug Rugs E-Pattern please CLICK HERE. If you'd like to see all of Debbie's Inspired Creations By D e-patterns please CLICK HERE.

    Posted by Linda Walsh Originals- "Doll Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals E-Patterns - "Instant Download E-Patterns for Grown-up Girls!"
    Linda Walsh Originals Dolls - "Handmade Dolls & Crafts for Grown-up Girls!"

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    The ToyMakers of East Lake have produced and distributed more than 250,000 wooden toys for children's hospitals, fire departments, women's shelters and other nonprofits.

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    set database: LEGO 31003 red rotors

    image courtesy of Grogall
    set number: 31003
    set name: red rotors
    theme: creator
    year: 2013
    pieces: 145
    prices: us$15
    minifig: none
    nice creator set.
    can be built into 3 building alternatives.
    can be built into a rotors helicopter, a propeller plane and a twin rotor hovercraft.
    the helicopter has rotatable twin rotors, a rear cargo ramp and landing gears.
    the plane has a rotatable propeller and an undercarriage.
    the hovercraft has twin rotors.
    great color scheme.
    great playability.
    Bookmark and Share

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    The most pink and girly instrument you’re likely to see in a long time, this three-piece descant recorder comes in a pack with a chart, book and CD.

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    From Patakk – You can check out dozens more at his Tumblr Site. Tweet This Post

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    G.I Joe Retaliation Roadblock by rodpowley952 Submit your Flickr photos to Poe Ghostal’s Pic of the Day!

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  • 02/04/13--06:00: my favorite DIY valentines
  • I’m wrapping up a fun free printable to share with all of you, just in time for Valentine’s Day. But my weekend was derailed by someone else’s DIY: my husband’s home improvement plans. SO, while I spend today continuing the overspray clean up efforts from a very overzealous paint sprayer and a newly white ceiling, [...]

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    By now everyone’s heard about the controversy surrounding NECA’s Django Unchained toys. The Weinstein Company asked NECA to stop production. Predictably, the publicity created a run on the toys and drove prices through the roof. Najee Ali, the director of Project Islamic Hope, stated, “I actually enjoyed the movie, but we cannot support this type of commercialization.” [...]

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    If you’re looking for some Valentine’s Day Gift ideas and you have someone to buy for who a) loves Build-a-Bear, b) either is a Girl Scout or wants to be a Girl Scout or c) is obsessed with their Thin Mints like me, this is for you! Did you know Build-a-Bear came out with aRead More

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    [Business Wire] - This year, Hasbro, Inc. celebrates 50 years of classic kitchen play with the iconic EASY-BAKE brand, stirring up culinary inspiration for generations of young chefs everywhere.

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