Friday, March 14, 2008

So what's the story behind the turtles?

I sometimes get asked why I have so many turtles in my projects. I have bees, too - but the whole "Queen Bee" connection to that is more obvious. Lazy Sister Sue has turtles in a lot of her projects, too - but that goes back to a close encounter with a sea turtle in Hawaii -and that's her story to tell.

My turtle connection goes back to my first trip to Japan - waayyy back in 1985-86, when I was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student in the beautiful city of Kanazawa. That entire thing is another looong story, but suffice it to say I had a great time, and even went back later to teach.

The turtle "trouble" started when my class took our class trip in March to a number of historical sites around the Nara region of Japan. One visit was to a lighthouse, and I found a couple of cute tiny little turtles carved out of seashells in the gift shop. I purchased 2 - one purple and one white -giving the purple one to my best friend.

The little white turtle came home with me - and I showed it to my mom. The following Christmas - there was a carved wooden turtle in my stocking. This was larger than my shell - but the same shape and design. Mom had found it in a local antique store.

The turtle collection had begun - although it grew slowly. I really did not add to it too much until I returned to Kanazawa, and then I began adding turtles from around the region - a jade one from China, a soapstone one from Hong Kong, an antique porcelain incense burner one from Kyoto, and a fun one made entirely of carved bamboo tops - it all comes apart and each part of it spins! My rule was to purchase turtles particular to where I was. So when I ever get to Austria I will get the Austrian Crystal one - but not before then.

I really don't know how many I have- or what they all are. It would be interesting to get them all together and take a picture. I don't have them all out and displayed -they are tucked here and there around my house, and some are still in storage, waiting for the right time to come out of their "shells."

My most recent "turtle" is my Miranda bag -with fabric given to me by Lazy Sister Sue. At least this one I can take with me wherever I go. Perhaps the little guy that started this all will find a home in one of the pockets.


Moneik said...

That's way too cute! I love the Miranda bag pattern.

Barb said...

Regina ~ love your Miranda and the accompanying story. I need to get to work on my 2nd Miranda ~ gotta finish 6 more quilts first though! Wish me luck.

Amelia said...

Do show us a picture of some of your turtle collection. I enjoy hearing about other peoples quilts...but really enjoy reading about the other things that make them who they are.

Have a great weekend!

Amelia ~ in Oklahoma