Monday, July 28, 2008


Handmade gift from a friend
Thanks a lot for the many comments on my last entry
with happy birthday wishes ;) I sure had a great
Birthday and now am having a fantastic time in Japan!
Back Home here in Gunma, Japan! Hooray!
It's been only a couple of days since we got here,
but I already have lots of pics that I want to
share with you. This is a crafty blog, so let me
start off with crafty talk.

I think the best part of blogging on crafts for me is
how I can meet people through online who share the same
interest. I met this girl through my Japanese blog a long
time ago. She is seriously absolutely one of the most 
talented girls I've met. (well, I haven't met her in person
unfortunately though.) She makes great soap, grows natural
herbs, and owns a store in Nagasaki, Japan, where handmade
items from lots of people are sold. She does things I like
to do or would like to do. I love meeting this kind of people.

Anyways, this set of the little pouches is from her ;)
She used vintage linen from Czechoslovakia which she dyed
with Marigold flowers to create this little pouches.
How fun?! I absolutely am in love with it.

She included other handmade items that I believe aren't
made by her, but they are fabulous as well!
Two linen coasters with a cute key stamped on it.

Back view. These are just so cute!!
All of a sudden, I felt like I want a surger!
It must be super easy to make this type of coasters
and they will make great gifts, won't they?

And some hair accessaries! I love the items themselves,
but I really am inspired by this presentation too.
Such a pretty way to wrap up gifts. Inspirational!!

Ok, I've been inspired pretty much everywhere since
I got back to Japan. Zakka stores, craft books at
bookstores and at my home, and of course fabric stores!
Where I'm from, Gunma, is not a place where you can
find lots of cute things compared to big cities like
Tokyo and Osaka. Since I used to live in Tokyo for a
couple of years, I always thought Gunma to be a boring
country place, but let me tell you..this place isn't
bad at all now that I have an experience of living in
a place like San Jose.

I'm not a big fan of zakka, but I think zakka stores
are awesome, because it's a nice place if you're looking
for gifts or simply just inspiration. Zakka stores are
seriously everywhere in Japan.

They are always full of fun ideas!

Oh how I loooove this character.
What is this called? 'Moomin' is what we call.
I used to watch this cartoon as a kid.

My 3 kitties here would be jealous of zakka if I
didn't write how cute they are too. This kittie is named
Oto. Very furry and such a cutie! He has been at my home
for the longest so he's got a little attitude against
other two, but he is so cute.

Blacky, who my sister found on the street and brought
home a couple of years ago. He is the most mellow one
and loves everyone. Now he is purring next to Joe.

Shiro. He is a brother of Blacky and was also found
by my sister at the same time. He is the very sensitive
one of all. He wouldn't let anyone pick him up.
He scratched Joe's finger yesterday when he was
sitting on Joe's clothes in his suitcase.

They are all so cute. I'm a big cat lover!
I missed being around kitty cats!

Lastly, let me show you a couple of pictures that
show more Japanness!! This is Joe's third time in
Japan. He keeps trying to convince me that we should
move to Japan. It's so funny how someone who grew up not
knowing almost anything about other cultures can
suddenly change their viewpoints/lifestyle by
exposing himself to a new culture. I always think
about this looking at him eating fish and miso soup
for breakfast with a facial expression that shows
as if he's been doing this since he was born.

I find this picture to be a great representation
of how things are a lot smaller in Japan.
Joe is only 5 foot 8, less than the average in
the U.S. Look how gigantic he looks in this country!
No wonder he loves Japan!

Ok, it's time to get going to get a haircut
from my friend! Thanks for reading!!


  1. Your blog is so beautiful. As soon as I can, I'd like to make one of your fabric baskets. Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

  2. That pouch is just the greatest thing ever!!

  3. <3 Love this blog entry! For the pictures and the way you tell the story. :D I giggled a bit at the comment about Joe's height -- it's true; all the American/European/Australian tourists here appear very, very tall. XD I pitied them a bit when they had to stoop because one mall's ceiling was a bit low for them. Heehee.

    Oto is so freaking adorable, I love patting cats' fur, especially the part under the neck. ^_^ Looking forward to more cute stuff and Japan pictures! Oh, and I made one pencil case from your tutorial, thank you so much!

  4. Everything looks just great and beautiful!
    I love cats too, there are just too many of them around my house right now. Little cute kittens...

  5. oohhh...I didn't realise you just had your birthday, so Happy Belated birthday to you! Nothing nicer than spending it with your family in your home country. I'm so jealous, as my mother's family is from Japan as well, & seeing your pictures make me wish to go back again! Hope you are eating heaps of yummy foods, seeing heaps of sites & buying heaps of crafty things! Cheers Julia

  6. Such a beautiful entry!!! I wish that crafty store owner had an online store...those pouches are so cute! And O!!! Those cute little teapots!!! I can't wait to go back to Japan *sigh*

    Happy, happy, happy belated birthday, and have so much fun back home<3

  7. I love reading about Japan! Do keep us posted :) Are you still planning on going to that city with lots of fabric shops?

  8. Oh, I would love to go to Japan- it looks like you are having a wonderful time. And, finding wonderful finds - how fun!

    I love meeting crafty people online too, people who share my same is one of the main reasons I started blogging - so fun!

    Love that pouch you found - fabulous!

  9. Oh, I want to know so much about Japan! I'm glad you are there to write about it. I look forward to your posts. Great photos!

  10. enjoy your trip and your time there!

  11. I'm so glad you and Joe are having a wonderful time in Japan! I cracked up when you pointed out that he probably feels like a giant there! =)

  12. Looks like a blast, have fun! Your kitties are cute and so is Joe:)

  13. Thanks for sharing. I miss many things about Japan and would love to go back just to visit one day. Looking forward to more great photos.

  14. It is my dream to go to Japan one day, and this post just confirms it. I love how everything is smaller (I'd fit right in at my 5'2).

    So many beautiful things. The coasters remind me of a scrap piece I've had for about a year that I test my serging with... I never would've thought to use it as a coaster, what a great idea!

  15. Can I ask what is Zakka?
    Not familiar to me at all.

  16. Its so fun seeing and learning about Japan through you. The smallness would be hard for me to get used to. My brother-in-law works for a Japanese company and went on a 2 year volunteer church program there. He would love to go back and is hoping they will transfer him at some point. I can understand why your Joe like's it so much.


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