I was lucky enough to go to Tokyo a few years ago and whilst there I discovered two amazing things (well three if you include the fact that dogs are wheeled around in prams dressed as babies).
1. Daiso Harajuku on Takeshita Dori.
This shop is the Japanese equivalent of a 99p store known as a 100 yen store (and when I was there 100 yen was around 70 pence.) Now I love a UK 99p store but a Japanese one is extra special as everything in it has that extra sheen of ‘being foreign’ and therefore a little bit more cool (Although sometimes I find things lose their coolness at some point on the flight home). I took two trips to this store in the four days I was in Tokyo and spent £100 which as anyone good at maths will have worked out is …. errrrrr… 141 products? Somewhere in my photo album that is my computer I have pictures of all my spoils, one day I shall dig them out and share them with you.
I’d read lots of crafty blogs looking for tips on good places to shop for fabrics and bits and bobs before I went to Tokyo and while I didn’t manage to get to many of the shops I’d tracked down I did find something that blew my little crafty brain box! Whilst browsing in a bookshop two magazines caught my eye; Couturier and Minnk. They are both more catalogue than magazine but do have little visual (thank god as my japanese isn’t brilliant) step by step guides to the different crafts they are selling.
Couturier is stuffed to the gills with different craft supplies ranging from papercraft to embroidery to jewellery taking in the more unique Japanese crafts of tiny ornate cakes made from felt and other delights whereas Minnk has more homeware and clothing.
They both have simple stunning photography and are beautifully designed, I use them a lot not only to inspire me with craft projects but also in my design work.
Thing is, I want all the stuff in them but can’t get my hands on any of it due to the small fact of, ooh about 6000 miles and a translation problem… UNTIL NOW! Recently I have discovered that Fellissimo the company behind Couturier and Minnk have put all their magazines on line so you can browse to your hearts content AND you can also buy things and have them shipped to your door. I feel there may still be a bit of a gamble with the things you order as there’s not that much English translation on the site so it might be hard to tell if you’re buying 1 or 100 cross stitch monogrammed hankies or if the paper doily is 10 cm or 10 meters but with products this beautiful will it really matter?
Go see for yourself… Right here… Go now!
About four years ago I bought a pack of veneer wood, about 15 sheets of terribly, terribly thin wood in different colours and grains. I bought it to make some monogram gift tags for my Christmas presents. The wood was so thin it kept snapping as I was cutting it so I got cross, shoved it in a cupboard and forgot about it … Till now… The other day I was looking around for crafty inspiration when I came across this at the lovely blog that is youaremyfave
Well, that totally inspired me to have a go and make something similar. I went for a more eclectic woodland and I wanted to incorporate my Most Favourite Bird Ever the Owl. Then as I can never stop myself doodling on a blank piece of anything I used a white pen to illustrate my trees and owls.
If you want to know how to make your own follow these instructions…
This mobile is super delicate but it does make the most beautiful noise when moving in a slight breeze. Oh, and if you want some veneer wood I found mine here on ebay
Today’s post is bought to you by the letter H.
1. This letter H is currently in the shed and it’s raining so I’m not going to get it so I can’t measure it so I’m going to guess it’s about 30cm high.
2. It’s made of wood and is an actual antique, well it’s definitely old. It’s all beaten up and scratched and beautifully worn at the edges.
3. I found it in Aladdin’s Cave, one of my favourite reclamation yards on Lewisham Way. This place really does live up to it’s name, it has loads of house and shop clearance goodies as well as old radiators, doors, fireplaces and sinks. When I first moved to Brockley I would visit there every week and always came away with some beautiful old letter for a bargain price. Now when I visit there doesn’t seem to be so many of these classic wood, metal or plaster letters but an awful lot of plastic ones spelling out Starbucks or Wetherspoons, which kinda takes the romance out of them. I would much rather imagine my letters came from H.H Croft & Sons Grocers & General Store.
4. It’s in beautiful Gill. A font designed in 1926 by Eric Gill used everywhere from Penguin books to the BBC. It is most commonly mistaken as the font of the London Underground when in fact that font is called Johnston. Look at the difference in the W!
5. Good words that begin with H: Hurrah, humdinger and hatchback.
I can’t believe it’s practically been a whole year since I held my first proper published book Everything Alice The Wonderland Book of Makes. That was such an amazing moment when Hannah and I opened up our brown jiffy bags simultaneously so neither of us would see the book before the other and we saw the result of all our hard work. Well, now our sequel Everything Oz The Wizard book of Makes and Bakes is available to pre-order from Amazon. It has over 50 craft projects and recipes all inspired by the children’s classic The Wizard of Oz. Here is a little sneak peak of what went into making the book…
We had fun times making this book; shooting in a studio on one of the hottest days of the year thinking the air conditioning was broken as It Just Kept Getting Hotter and being told on the last day that we had it set to heat not cool, then though it had not rained for two months when we went to shoot on a farm it rained solidly for two days making our trip down the Yellow Brick Road decidedly soggy and see the picture of me bottom right? Well I’d just been rung up and told I’d been made redundant from my ‘proper’ job, so this shot for me was a complete blur as I lost all ability to concentrate properly from that point on. Ugh.
The book has some beautiful craft projects in it. From Giant Paper Poppies to the obligatory Ruby Slippers. There’s possibly the dandiest Cowardly Lion Glove Puppet you ever did see and the Emerald City Sweet Cart has a feast of treats and goodies everyone will love.
Our inspiration for the look and feel of the book came from L. Frank Baum’s love of traveling theaters, sideshows and the spectacle of early movie making. Hannah has done some amazing print and papercut illustrations (I love her cover illustration, it’s so bright and engaging) and for the design I looked at many of the sideshow and circus posters of the period and of course the original book illustrations by W.W.Denslow were lovely to work with.
So if you love the Wizard of Oz, love crafting and love bargains head over to Amazon and order your copy now!