My Pioneer Spirit, with a Paypal account

There is a dilemma that I can’t seem to shake off.  My thrifty, DIY attitude does not approve of my lust for designer fabrics imported from Japan.  In addition to wanting all the cute fabrics I can get,  I want to make all the REALLY CUTE items I see on other people’s blogs.  Collin asked me this morning why I stayed up so late last night.  How could I tell him that I looked at at least 500 fabric swatches online, dreaming of spending hundreds of dollars of his military pay on imported fabric?  I could just see Collin and Obama shaking their heads at what I propose to do with the economic stimulus money.  I would buy Japanese prints like this:

Hedgehog Clover - Apricot

Hedgehog Print from

Or this cute pattern for sleepy bunnies in diapers:

Baby Binky Bunny PDF printable pattern

Baby Binky Bunny PDF printable pattern from mmmcrafts

Actually, this one is All-American, so it would stimulate the economy, right? But I’d definitely need some Japanese fabric for the inside of the ears!

There is one thing I really cannot do without and it is this cross-stitch pattern:

Gera Cross Stitch - The Giant Turnip

Gera pattern from

This would make a perfect keepsake decoration for Baby Claire.  She is learning her numbers and when she counts, she says “One, two . . . one, two” just like in the picture!  Also, this pattern brings back good memories of learning Japanese.  When I was taking lessons, I read the story “Ookina kabu” (The Big Turnip), which is actually a Russian tale.  Grandfather tries to pull out the turnip and calls grandmother to come out to help and so on.  It’s a really big turnip!  The only word I remember from it is “untokosho,” an exclamation each person said while pulling on the turnip.  I used to throw “untokosho” around occasionally to show off my vocabulary (but remember I don’t recall a single other word from the story like “grandmother” or even “turnip”!)  One day, my neighbor Yoko said, That’s what old people say when they are trying to get up out of their chair.  Well!  I decided then to learn more graceful-sounding words, but this didn’t happen since I learned most words from my Japanese preschool students.

There are some who say they are trying to live an “authentic” life by using natural items in their house or making things from scratch or buying things from thrift stores.  But to me, it is still consumerism to constantly want and buy things, no matter what the things are.  I want to be happy with what I have!   And most of the time I am, until I spend a late evening looking at all the wonderful items that abound on the internet.

By the way, I did buy the cross-stitch pattern after dreaming about it all night.

I don’t even know how to cross-stitch. 🙂


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by emilie on July 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I love this post! Ah, Amber…what was the thing that you picked up from the preschoolers that you thought meant “I’m done” and it really meant something like “I can do it!”
    You know who was once a cross stitch FIEND? My mama, Queen Wanda. She made me an intricate unicorn’s head embroidered on a pillow- I have it somewhere…you could commission her to do it!


    • Posted by amberjsquirrel on July 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm

      Dekimashita! I think that’s how you spell it. Yes, that is another story–I said it to our server after drinking a big stein of beer at the Sapporo Brewery. She was very amused when I said “I did it!” when I thought I was saying “I’m done”. Big difference, eh?
      Wow, a unicorn pillow! I hope my pattern will be as timeless as the unicorn. 😉 Was it purple, too? I bet she would do a cross stitch for Baby Quinn.


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