Monday, January 4, 2016

a barrel of monkeys

Happy New Year to all my blog followers and mailart friends! In Japan, it's already the evening of January 5th. I don't know where the first 4 days of this year went. I hate to think how fast next New Years will sneak up on me.

Every year I get fewer and fewer art nengajou (New Year postcards) and, rather than all arriving on January 1st, as is the custom, they trickle in until mid-January. But I am just as guilty of sending fewer and later, so I am delighted and thankful for all cards that I receive.

Some of the etegami nengajou that arrived this week are shown in the photo at the top. All but one depict monkeys (yes, the gorilla counts) for celebrating 2016, the year of the monkey. The exception is the one at the top, far left, representing a shishi-mai, or Japanese version of a lion dance.

I sent out as many handmade New Year etegami as I could manage, though many were the non-orthodox sort. ... collages of etegami images glued onto corrugated cardboard covered in vintage-kimono fabric scraps, for example. Like those posted in the second photo. The one with the image of a red-crowned crane (very auspicious!) doesn't even have words on the image side, so it doesn't  count as etegami I suppose. Still, it was fun, and I hope the receiver enjoys it.


  1. Happy New Year, Debbie! The nengajou are all so dear. I got as far as doing a pencil sketch this year....The past few months have been a flurry of activity and not all my goals got met. So my vision of monkey cleverness will remain a vision in my head...unless I can start now for 2028?

    I love your non-orthodox creations. The caption on the monkey got me laughing. That is a gift on this cold morning.

    Best wishes for a happy new year.

  2. Beautiful. I especially love the crane trying to catch the snowflakes on its tongue. I was just doing that myself the other day, until my embarrassed daughter who was with me told me to cut it out.

    Some monkeys are late/slow. Still hoping to send out a few monkeys soon!

  3. lovely selection of cards! Such a lot of cheeky monkeys and the crane is beautiful!

    Happy New Year!