Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wandering the streets of Tokyo

Last month armed with my Little Tokyo shops zine from Angela i found myself wandering the streets of Kichijoji looking for the Yokocho gallery since I'd read about it on three buttons blog... lots of tiny alley ways we came across the entrance..

Tiny but gorgeous..

we met the artist who created these soft caryon/pencil colourful delights..

I also had to buy this beautiful ceramic button, (about 2cm high) I love the texture and simplicity.. last weekend i added a brooch back.. which is about the only crafty thing I've done for weeks!
Last weekend was unbelievably hot with scorching 40 degree heat.. so alas i could not face doing anything too much at all.. I'm really hoping to do something soon... sewing? stamping? don't mention Christmas cards!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The hunt for the hedgehog...

I do love a hedgehog, yes i do. Actually when i registered for Etsy i used hedgie-pig (not hog - you see) for my user name... cute. But little did i realise i would be stuck with it.. THEN i found out that in Japanese it is harinezumi - which translated means mouse with needles (as far as i know). So when in Japan recently i stuck with a bit of a theme and found these...
The first two pieces of zakka were found wandering the streets of Shimokitazawa (Tokyo) - on the hunt for tiny little things..

This one a nail brush was a present from my traveling companion found at the Hara Museum of Modern Art gift shop...

This delightful piece was a great textile discovery from Raak Kyoto - notice the prickly edges of the circles.. lovely colours too. Raak was one of my favourite finds - really contemporary, (and yet traditional + established) beautiful quality.. see the window display below where the hedgehog fabric is used as wrapping.. i did buy a few more pieces - which hopefully will arrive in the mail soon.. I couldn't decide whether to wear them or frame them.

Go for a virtual visit here.. it is truly inspiring... oh dear! don't tell miss R they have just released a horse print!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Discovery ...

More beautiful watercolour work ... I bought quite a few postcards on my recent trip .. because lets face it - it is a fairly inexpensive way to collect art + inspiration! But while the majority of them are in transit (via sea to Australia) here is one i thought you might like to see.. by illustrator Ehina.. see more of her lovely work here
BUT there's more! on my third last day in Japan, hovering in a bookshop i discovered something called Happy New Year 2010 (published by Mook) ISBN978-4-79667313-6
Now this IS genius! Not only does it have over 100 pages of illustrators - divided into categories like pop, natural, japanese. It also has templates for making photocards. BUT THEN it has the jpegs on a CD!!! YES really! it even has the option of text and no text. I'm assuming that in Japanese it explains how the work is not for resale purposes and that cards are for personal use only... To make ones' New Year correspondence with style and flair.. Who wouldn't want to start printing out these gorgeous designs for personal wall paper immediately!
Here are a couple of Ehina's designs from the CD..

Ready to get out the inks/watercolours this weekend?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Discovery ...

So I must tell you about Design Festa. It was HUGE! and amazing. IF you are creative, or want to be inspired AND are thinking you may just go to Japan next year the next Design Festa is May 15. When i was there last month I think they had 800 exhibitors. Here's a beautiful piece of water colour work I found by MorinoMisako. While there i was always on the look out for how English was used.. don't you love the poetic phrase she has captured here ... 'Yesterday's dream dissolves into milk"
Here was her stand... it would've been nice to have had a chat..

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Onwards and forward...

So after an 'interesting' few weeks following on from my redundancy while on holiday in Japan ... I'm pleased to say I'm back to work!
I feel very lucky be staying with the same company... to join a new team with a great bunch of people and work on one of Australia's iconic titles.

This week, the next phase of my day job began with me working at the magazine that comes with the Saturday newspaper here in Sydney. I'm looking forward to the challenge of a different publication..

It's hard to make decisions (when faced with a change) not only on behalf of yourself, but also your whole family. I feel like i have the best of both worlds, and for that i'm grateful. To be able to 'go' to work but to also enjoy my time at home creating when i want to..

It's crazy all that debate about working mother vs stay-at-home mother, or the 'corporate' day job vs own handmade business... in the end we are all just doing what we can do, in the short time we have, to be happy. Surely that's all that matters ... however we choose to juggle it?

reasons to be cheerful

So did you still want to see some holiday pics? would you like to pop inside this cafe?

It's cosy and peaceful - pleasant for an afternoon stop, revive and survive!

Let's pop our bag into the basket and take a seat on this pretty cushion... what's on the menu?

Hmmmm, that looks like it has all my favourite food groups and is just under $8 Australian...

Yumo! it was gorgeous - you'll have to take my word for it. The jelly was amazing - so 'clean' and refreshing, the white balls were chewy, the green tea ice cream the perfect partner - topped with sweet beans.. AND if you still needed a pick me up you could pour the brown sugar syrup over the whole arrangement...
very cheerful indeed!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Better than sliced bread...

Masking tape! I had come across it before i went to Japan - but of course had to seek it out while i was there..
i found a book on it..
I don't know the title but the ISBN is ISBN978-4-07-262088-5.
Here's an example of how you can use masking tape to collage a project...
the book has about 80 pages of actual pictures with projects which are lovely + inspirational.. there's also some history and info (but in Japanese).. the tape has various transparency properties (depending on the colour) so you can experiment with overlaying and adding it to your own collages.. more from the book here...

or, you can create pictures with it..
so that led to my own experimenting..
or combining it with rubber stamping too! Stick down some random shapes ... then carve out a stamp and ink over the top...
So of course Christmas is a good excuse.. to get yourself some masking tape and start creating.. embellishing all sorts of things! I do have a few rolls at my Etsy shop over here..

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sanity + serenity

It was 2 weeks ago that i woke in country Japan to find that i no longer had my magazine job. That day i wandered in the grounds of temples and autumn coloured gardens. I remember thinking how still and peaceful it all was. How bright the light (not golden like Sydney) how diverse the greens. Then followed Tokyo, then a week back in Sydney - relatives staying, bag not unpacked, desk to sort, portfolio to organise.
I suspect you want to see some of the crafty things i saw, the bits i bought - and you will... I'll endeavour to post some this weekend .. while i share some of the serenity i found (all above pics are from Yamaguchi, except bottom left which is Gion, Kyoto). I don't really know what my next move is yet.. can't help wishing i could just go and sit on these stepping stones and ponder for just a bit ... I feel so lucky to have been (on holiday) and know that it will all work out ok.. stay tuned for crafty updates...

this was just near Gion too.. one of my regular strolls from my Kyoto hotel.. thanks for the comments so far!


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