Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Here is the car and you are the driver ..."

Soon after landing my husband drove on the correct I mean right side of the road:

He made it all the way from New Jersey to Virginia. The best part was the
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. It is a strange sensation to drive in the middle of the ocean.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Would you like ...

"Would you like to review what your life should be...?"
Trash can at Jusco.

So we moved to the U.S. It is definitely an experience. For example, even though I am American the large selection and quantity of goods is slightly overwhelming. I almost can't believe how cheap things are. I feel better about the future but of course it is hard to leave friends and family behind in Japan.

Monday, October 12, 2009


I finally succumbed to the mt or masking tape craze. This tape is similar to regular masking tape but it's made of rice paper and is available in a variety of colors and patterns. You can stick and re stick it to many items without causing damage or leaving residue. For ideas I recommend visiting the mt site. You can also read the story behind the tape in both Japanese and English.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's not satisfactory.


I saw this on the way out of a Carrefour shopping center. I was a little rushed because everything was closing. Also, I don't think you are allowed to take pictures but I couldn't resist. I love the look on the panda. Maybe I'll go back and see how much it costs but for now I am going to pocket the "laughing got tired" phrase.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mini Giveaway!!!

WHY?: To make up for yet another long absence.

WHAT?: An envelope for the fall, a postcard for the spring, and a Rilakkuma (Relax bear) pin badge.

WHO?: This giveaway is open to anyone who is reading this.

HOW?: Just leave a comment showing your interest. Later I will randomly pick a winner and ask for your mailing address.

WHEN?: I'll consider all comments until September 25th midnight, Japan time.

ETA: Congratulations to Chie from Vivat Veritas!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

going bananas at Tomato

This Tuesday I visited Nippori Textile Town for the first time. There are 91 shops in the area but I went straight to Tomato's main store. Although I didn't find anything in the 100 yen per meter section I still saved some money. The selection was amazing and it was good to see so much Japanese made fabric. My husband was helpful but I think I've created a monster or at least a fellow fabric piggy. I now have more shirts to sew. Here's the break down of our fabric haul:

(Cotton, texture will wash out. 1st floor) My husband found this at the bottom of a shelf. I think I'll sew a dress out of this. I'm starting to think a shirt dress might be cute?

(Cotton and linen. 1st floor) I don't know what I should make with this fabric. All I know is I love Russian dolls. Maybe I should sew something kitchen related? An apron?

(Cotton. 1st floor) This will be a dress or maybe a tunic?

(Cotton with polyester. 4th floor) This fabric is actually quite black and the design is shiny. A blouse or a dress?

(Cotton. 4th floor) Hubby shirt fabric. I anticipate going a little cross eyed when I sew on the pocket.

(Cotton. 4th floor) Hubby shirt fabric. We completely splurged on this one but I know it will be worth it.

(Canvas) This is from a store near Tomato. Hubby bag material.

We also picked up some shirt buttons at the Tomato notion store. Where I live it's difficult to find nice buttons for men's clothing so I figured we might as well take care of everything at once.

So, I have to say that Nippori is as great as everyone says it is and if you get the chance you should go.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tokyo I'm on my way ...

Going on a short trip to Tokyo. I get to visit a friend, check out fabric at Tomato, and see a 18 meter robot.

Friday, July 10, 2009

back to the "internets!" (again)

It sure can be difficult to consistently add entries.

This time I got hooked on watching Monster. I recommend it if you like crime suspense stories and/or medical dramas. It was nice to watch a serious animated story that didn't involve space or robots. I enjoy sci-fi but sometimes it's good to see something different. Anyway I thought there were about 20-30 episodes but turns out there are actually 74.

I still managed to get some sewing finished. Here's a preview:

Short-sleeved version of BurdaStyle's Jakob shirt in a crazy plum blossom print.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

remembering spring

This last spring Iyemon gave away stickers with their tea. They are the type that are sort of dimensional for scrapbooking.

My husband managed to collect five out of the six designs for me. How nice is that?

I'm not a serious scrapbooker but I think these would go well with photos from a spring trip.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

I received this lovely award from HeathersSphere. Thank you!!! Be sure to check out her blog SEWspicious Minds. Some of my favorite parts are her song references and sewing from vintage patterns.

I'm passing on this award to:

1.Lunatepetal at not enough time for everything.... I'm a visual person so the changes in font size and color are truly eye candy.

2.Virginie at Jazz Couture. A jazz singer who sews. Cool beans!

3.noddyboom Lovely, lovely photos.

4.Chie at Vivat Veritas Just started to follow her blog. She is one serious sewing machine with a great sense of style.

5.Chez Larsson Uncluttered beautiful design in Sweden.

One Lovely Blog Award Rules: 1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.2) Pass the award on to 5 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

one coin, 100 yen, de shiawase (part 3 - sewing edition)

(left) I can't believe I could get sewing machine needles for 100 yen. I hope they are at least OK for sewing with cotton. I like using a fresh needle for each project and it would be nice to have a cheaper source for needles.

(right) So far I have no idea what I'm going to use these appliques for. I couldn't help buying them, I fell in love with the bear. Maybe they would be nice on a pouch? Or I could secretly put one inside of a garment?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fit for a queen?!

Recently I went to a discount store and found these shoes for the summer. I wanted a pair with some height but not too much height. I like wearing 4 inch heels but there are a lot of stairs in the city. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to fall down and break my neck. Yes, I know, they are very gold. These are my fourth pair of metallic shoes. I should just get it over with and move down to the retirement community in Florida. Anyway, there's more ...

What's this? Yes, that's right, here in Japan my feet are extra extra large, queen sized in fact. I wear anywhere from a US 8 to a US 9 and it's almost impossible to find shoes that fit. So even though this is funny I'm thankful that I found something. (Bonus: Made in Japan.)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

10 yen getchu

Today I heard some giggling and then I heard something drop into the mailbox on the front door. I found a ten yen coin wrapped inside a piece of advertisement. (Ten yen is only worth about ten cents.) So strange, I mean why? Secret admirer? Some inside joke? A hint that someone needs to go shopping? Whatever the reason I'm now ten yen richer. ;-)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

my first upcycling

Wow, this is exciting for me because for the first time some of my sewing ended up in BurdaStyle's Featured Creations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

swine flu

It took a while but the virus has made it to Japan. Unfortunately most of the confirmed cases are near my address. I'm trying to exercise the highest level of caution with the least amount of paranoia.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tilt Shift Maker

Even though I don't have too many photos that work for it I'm addicted to the Tilt Shift Maker. The Tilt Shift Maker transforms your photos into miniature scenes, making you feel like you are looking into a diorama box. Here are some examples using some photos from my Flickr photostream:

Now I want to take some pictures of things that I'd normally wouldn't. I'm thinking a neighborhood and the airport would be some good choices.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

ミシンで着物 (Making kimono with a sewing machine.)

Last year I purchased this book. I didn't think too much about it, as soon as I saw the pink fabric with the rabbits it was over. The kimonos themselves are made of non-traditional fabrics and styled in an interesting way. Some of my favorites:

I have to admit there are a couple that are too crazy. There's one that reminds me of the plaid flannel robe my brother once had. I could never walk down the street in something that looks like pajamas. However the rest of the book more than makes up for those few.

The book also includes a paper pattern, step by step sewing instructions with color pictures, ideas for accessories, information about what to wear underneath your kimono, and an illustrated guide for putting on the kimono.

# ISBN-10: 4766119010
# ISBN-13: 978-4766119015

Sunday, April 19, 2009

one coin, 100 yen, de shiawase (part 2)

Do you see how large this leaf is? Can you guess what it is?

Here it is with some lettuce and a cute tomato:

Would you believe it's a basil leaf?! Recently I went to a discount supermarket and discovered that they sell two packages of herbs for 100 yen plus tax. Amazing! Usually it's hard to find fresh herbs and when I do they are of course expensive. The first package I used was pretty normal but the second package had some of these enormous leaves. Crazy. I can't wait to go back.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

denim ribbon

A few weeks ago I was browsing through Felissimo's haco. catalog and came across this adorable bag:

It's constructed of 12 oz cotton denim. The bag also has pretty purple lining and a handy strap.

It costs 3,300 yen and if it wasn't made in China I would probably consider purchasing it. Although while I'm describing it to you I'm starting to forget its origins. This bag has just the right amount of cuteness.

However the real reason for sharing these images is that I am pretty sure that it can be copied by any sewist.

(Dimensions: Height: 20cm Length: 40cm Width: 5cm)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hello Kitty x matryoshkas

Some other recent Kitty acquisitions:

Oil blotting face paper. Just like a pop-up book, only 100 yen, and made in Japan.

Strawberry scented toilet paper.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

even more packaging

Sometimes I think I have more appreciation for the packaging than I do for the actual contents. I'm sure other people don't think twice about the fork with a smiley face, the Mary Quant-like flowers on the tissue box, or the outline of the teapot on their oolong tea. Although I have a feeling that the Nepia company must think something about their colors. Every color they use has a number and a name. So far "sango", number 048, is my favorite.

Monday, January 26, 2009

strawberry milk tea

Packaging so cute even a coffee drinker can't resist.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

back to the "internets!"

There were so many reasons why I was away from the Internet. One of the most recent ones being The Twilight Saga. I had to find out why grown women were going crazy over a teen romance. I think I read the first three books in one sitting. The first book is my favorite. Sure some parts are cheesy and these books are for entertainment purposes only but I bet the most cynical heart will be melted into some disgustingly sweet syrup.