NEW computer friendly kimono cuffs !

a wonderful woman (margaret) at a shop called "home body" (selling clothing, jewelry, journals & crafts) told me i was neglecting a very important group of people. those women & men who would like to wear bracelets but are afraid that those "demolition derby" baubles that they see in magazines might cause their laptops to die an early & ugly death...so i now have an ample grouping of kimono cuffs at my site to please those "bauble-fearing" freaks :)
checkout margaret's shop if you're in the area: "home body", 119 N. main st., suite 101, blacksburg, VA 24060, (540) 552-8880. she is of the rare breed of non-exploitive shop owners, we should all support.


My Swap-bot Shrine Project

this my last swap project for a while... made parts of this miniture shrine from a vintage buddhist headress (the golden "cock" on top)... i was disappointed that my "swap partner" didn't send me anything... will need to drown my sorrow in my work for a while.


"Fan" Pocket Scarf

My new website "stuff"...

being a california girl i really don't have an affinity towards winter scarves, but i love experimenting with patterns & textures...plus i just wanted to not have to carry a purse if i didn't have to...thus my "pocket scarf" was born.

big enough for cash, credit cards, bus/subway tickets, paper & pen .... but please remember not to load it up with "heavy" items ... don't want anyone to choke :(

Reiko's Purse

new handbags...

new entry...cards! ...

new earrings...

New bracelets...

My new website...thank god !!!

it has been such a long time since my last entry. would you believe i forgot my "username" & "password" !!! ... i would blame an early onset of menopause, but back when i was in my early 20's i forgot my atm pin#. i know machines shouldn't be judgemental, but i swear my atm treated me like a criminal after my 6th attempt.

finally got my new website up and running...check it out.


Berkeley...Michael...Cat Stevens

I moved to the Bay Area in ’81, from a small farming town, wanting to be grown-up, live in the “Big City” or as the natives said, “THE City”. After the first year, I finally got the hang of things. Lived in a cute studio apartment beside Lake Merritt in Oakland. I use to take the BART to the different places in the East Bay and the City.

On one of my earlier trips, I went to Macy’s and found the “perfect purse” just by accident. It didn’t have a famous name. The shape was a simple rectangle of black leather. The strap was thin and deceptively strong while being long enough to go over my head and shoulder and drape across my body without mussing up my clothes. It was big enough inside to hold my checkbook, credit cards, money and a paperback novel. There were “secret compartments” that I usually forgot to use that could hold more. I loved to have it on my “walk-abouts” because it freed my hands and shoulder from my off balanced load of “stuff”.

It was a beautiful clear day, breezy not windy, cool not cold. I decided to go to the “Kittridge” to see a film I had wanted to see for weeks. It was in downtown Berkeley a short distance from the BART station. Money was tight, but I had enough to take the subway, make the matinee, walk around the shops and markets and than have a nice lunch at a nearby restaurant I wanted to try.

I didn’t realize that I would have to go through a gauntlet of panhandlers and I being such a neophyte “big city” dweller found my pocketbook drained of my matinee & lunch money before I got to the theatre. I felt a little foolish, but decided to just go to the corner produce stand, get an apple & soda for lunch, and sit on a bench and enjoy the weather.

While I was there…two homeless men sat down at the end of the bench. They were relatively young, maybe a few years older than me. Their hair long and dirty, both needing a bath. The one closest to me started talking about something in the paper he was reading. I was surprised he wasn’t ranting and raving but actually responding to an article. He was well spoken, and well educated. I became more alert of my surroundings, holding my ” perfect purse” closer to me. Maybe it was the way I was raised, but I think I surprised him when I spoke back. He recovered with a growing smile. We continued talking. I found out that his name was Michael. He was once a student at the college. His father was a high-ranking officer in the military during the war. There was a falling out between them when he dropped out and became part of the “lost generation”.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the other man approach. The hair at the back of my neck stood up…”Danger! Danger, Will Robinson”. Luckily, Michael stood up between us, had shared a few whispered words between his friend, then said rather apologetically, “Ellen…I’m sorry, but could you spare us some money for food?”

I felt so foolish and thoughtless…rambling on and on when they were so hungry. I rummaged through my purse, took out an apple and the money I had for the train. Michael took me by surprise and kissed my hand. When he looked back up at me, I glimpsed at what he must have looked like years ago. I saw a warmth and twinkle in his eyes, his humor as he kissed my hand dramatically like a stage actor in his prime. He then started to sing to me…Cat Stevens…he was rather good. Before Michael left, I wanted to give him something more…I rummaged through my purse again and pulled out my paperback. His eyes popped…we smiled and said good-bye.

I was still smiling when I reached the ATM for some money to get home. I hunted for the secret pocket of my purse and there along with my card was a beautiful Japanese maple leaf in full autumn glory. I realized that Michael and I were both hungry…for human contact…wherever and with whomever…aren’t we all hungry?


Alligator Purse

I’m sure my parents didn’t know about my “secret place”, or at least not by that name. It was the hall closet where they stored old clothes, books, and bedding.

One summer my Mom had invited an “old friend” from the internment camp. They had met in Poston, Arizona. Both their families had been moved away from the coastline for national security reasons. I saw old pictures of my Mom and her friend, so young, so surprisingly happy under the circumstances. Mom seemed happy but guarded when introducing her friend and his wife to Dad. Dad talked and laughed a little too loud. Mom cooked foods we had not had since our last big family New Year’s celebration…steak, fried shrimp, and sushi. Dad even drank beer and whiskey which I had never seen him do before. I went to bed with a full stomach, the smell of stale whiskey, and an anxious feeling.

After a few days, Mom’s friend and his wife left. There was a dense quiet that draped over us. Mom seemed “empty”, tired beyond what a nap could solve. Dad retired to his chair in the corner with the paper hiding his face. So when my brother and I started running around fighting over a toy, his loud voice boomed like thunder, stopping us in our tracks. Mom stepped in between us and Dad…then all hell broke loose.

My brother ran and hid in his room. I ran to my “secret place”. I tried to buffer the yelling by sandwiching my body between the old coats. Yelling was bad enough, but yelling in Japanese terrified me. The yelling seemed to get louder and louder. I started to cry silently. I climbed higher on top of a cardboard box. My foot fell through. I dare not make a sound even though it was doubtful Dad could hear over the yelling. My foot was hooked on my Mom’s old alligator purse, which fell on the floor when I finally got my foot free. I opened her purse and found; a small mirror, a lace monogrammed handkerchief, and an old picture of Mom and her “friend”. This picture was different somehow…something in the way they looked at each other. I was too young to really know what it all meant, but I started to cry, but not so silently.

This is a story I submitted to a beautiful site I found: pursestories.com/