Japan PhotoDiary Spring 2014

japanphotodiary14_1The crossing at Hachiko in Shibuya remains pretty much unchanged since last year.

After spending 3-and-a-half weeks in Tokyo in February and March this year, I wanted to share some of the photos I took. Since the reason we went was for me to take care of my mother who was hospitalized, I wasn’t able to travel anywhere else with my family or spend much time outside of my mother’s apartment or the hospital. So this time around I didn’t take a large number of photos like I had in previous years, but I still was able to take a few shots. Here is my travel diary from Japan during early Spring this year:

japanphotodiary14_2 (more…)

DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin Purse

0.diychocolatechipcookiepurse_introphotoWhile I was in Tokyo last year, I picked up another felt macaron coin purse kit. (I think I’m a little addicted!)

34.macaroncoinpurseI made a cute little half-and-half cookie macaron coin purse the year before, and within 6 hours of hanging it from my handbag, I promptly lost it somewhere on the streets of Tokyo. I did look for it, but never found it. (T _ T)

diychocolatechipcookiepurse_done1So the next time I went I intended to buy another kit and re-make the purse…except I couldn’t find the same kit again. So I bought a chocolate chip cookie version.  diychocolatechipcookiepurse_done2Here are photos of the process of making these cute little purses. You need yellow and brown felt, a thread and needle, a 5cm-long zipper, 2 pieces of stiff cardboard (like cut from a milk carton), some fiberfill stuffing, scissors, a pencil, brown eyeshadow, and a small ball chain to make these.) diychocolatechipcookiepurse_howto_pinterestHope you like it! Have fun making your own version :-)
Happy DIY’ing!




Japan Finds

japanfinds1jouetie double flamingo T-shirt, Tabio neon chiffon-trim socks, YOIM furfur ruffled sweatshirt

I’ve almost hit up all my favorite shopping districts after almost 2 weeks in Japan…and I’ve definitely sketched, photographed, and bookmarked more than I’ve bought (not being able to fit into the sizing here anymore helps with curbing one’s purchases!!;-). A couple happy finds include an oversized Summery-print tongue-in-cheek Flamingo tee, a deeply-discounted ruffled hoodie from one of my favorite brands furfur (originally $200 knocked down to $69-which is HUGE for furfur), pretty neon chiffon-trimmed socklets, and a whole bevy of unusual single-ear earrings.


various gold script earring cuffs, filigree earring cuff, rhinestone earrings cuff, and dangling L-O-V-E and celestial earring back sets

Now off to hang out with Hub’s grandparents, who are excitedly waiting for their great-grandson to come home from school…




beauchatbag_done4I picked up this iron-on decal set last Spring when I visited Japan.

Japan is such a treasure trove of nonsensical English.  I find it summarily hilarious.

beauchatbag_materialsSo of course I could NOT pass up this “Beau Chat” iron-on decal.  I am a crazy cat lady at heart (who happens to unfortunately currently reside with her husband’s crazy Ewok-lookalike dog instead of a big pile of cats, which is my personal goal).

So I can only surround myself with cat-themed items and try to be consoled in the meantime.  A stern-looking tabby sporting the crown jewels is an excellent addition to my collection.beauchatbag_done1

I figured the title of this iron-on image was French.  “Good Cat,” I believe, unless my French is really terrible (which, okay, it is…a kind reader told me it is “Handsome Cat.”  Whoops.).  “Since 1902” it also proclaims in English (making it one very OLD good cat, apparently).

beauchatbag_done2 And then follows a chopped-up paragraph in German.  I don’t speak German, but the online translator says it is something about being outdoorsy, wine, and making a blunder over a duration of timeMaybe.

beauchatbag_done3But the back of the bag is the best.

My cat is only active at night.


I mean seriously, who could resist a bag that accuses people of blowing the owner’s mind??!?  I always feel that my mind is blown by the amazing-ness (and sometimes craziness) of other people.  I think this accusation is excellent in a proactive sort of way.

beauchatbag_step1I made the bag following a pattern from a Japanese pattern-book I have; you could also use this pattern here and come up with a similar result.  beauchatbag_step2The faux leather handles were also from Japan; you can buy similar ones here.  The grey Essex linen I used for the outside I bought from this Etsy shop (I LOVE this stuff!), and the toile-print lining I bought from the fabric store.  beauchatbag_step3The iron-on is of course uniquely Japanese, but you can find something similar here and add some crazy paragraphs in a variety of languages on the computer if necessary.beauchatbag_step4

This little, crazy tote is the perfect size for a quick run out, or just a wonderful conversation-starter.

beauchatbag_done5From one crazy cat lady to all of you~


DIY: Quick n Easy Vintage-Style Iron-On Decal Leather Keyring Charms

DIYleatherirononkeychain_introWhile I was in Japan last April/May, despite the unhappy circumstances of my visit I did manage to go to some craft stores to see the latest trends and products.  One thing I came across were these beautiful vintage-style iron-on decals by Eruberu Co, Ltd.  They’re a company that manufactures a number of craft-related supplies, and these decals were just so lovely and whimsical I couldn’t help buying a few to play with.  Victorian-style kitties, bunnies, little girls, roses, and birds, oh my!

So I brought them home to Oregon to my trusty old iron and ironing board, and decided to whip up some quick little keychain charms using some scrap leather I had lying around.  And if you can wield an iron, you can easily make these pretty little keychain rings and cell phone charms too!  Here’s how: (more…)

Tokyo Photodiary April-May 2012 Part 2

It was Springtime in Tokyo and the cherry blossoms were in bloom whilst I was there.

As many of you know, my family and I traveled to Tokyo, Japan in April of this year to take care of my mother who suffered a spinal stroke.  (Who lives in Tokyo for her job.)  Though I didn’t have much time to take photos in the beginning of my trip, near the end my mother’s condition had improved, so I was able to do some activities with my family and take some pictures.

You can see Part 1 of my travel photo diary here.  Here are the rest of the photos I took during my trip: (more…)