Friday, January 29, 2010

my new fave tool

I loooove my new loop turner!!! They're made of sturdy steel fabric, not some flimsy steel :).  They're a beauty if you need to turn narrow ends :).  Got this from Japan last time, by cotton boll called quick turn...Don't think they have a website but here is their fax and phone number
Ph: (03) 5687-8511
Fax: (03) 5687-1108
They come in a few sizes...mine are coded 17303 and 17304

misfit's art apron

I've finally finished an art apron for misfit.  I think I might need to make another one...the pattern I got from the latest Cucito magazine (one of my favorite Japanese children clothing magz).  I hate the bias tape...but it turned out pretty well :), the next one I will make the bias on the neck go all the way, so I can just tie the apron at the back instead of putting grommet buttons :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

tutorial: the making of mr. seahorse


Ok...I love the seahorse costume so much, I've decided to make a seahorse doll and I thought I'd share my tutorial for everyone to enjoy!  This is such a fun project...The tail can be frustrating, hence I've made 2 versions of this pattern.  The first one is the original Seahorse as pictured above...it has longer curly tail which is extremely difficult to turn if you don't have a loop turner!  That's why I made version 2, a stubbier and shorter tail, which should be easier to turn :p...I don't want you all to curse me, you see... :).  Enjoy and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE share a link of your finished product or email me your finished product :).  I would soooo love to see  your version :).



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

a seahorse costume

The other day, my friend's friend asked me if I could make her son a seahorse costume for his school play.  I came up with this apron like seahorse :) made of felt fabrics :).  I hope the little boy doesn't mind the seahorse costume :).  I asked misfit to model it for me...she was reluctant...and ended up crying because she thought she looked like a worm hahahahahahhahhaa...so I asked the nanny to madel it instead.

li'l misfit's first birthday

This is long overdue...but I just wanted to show you what I made for my second misfit's 1st Birthday :).  Her birthday party theme was animal farm (because she doesn't seem to be interested in watching TV, unlike her sister...therefore I have no idea what characters to pick).  I made her birthday backdrop using felt fabrics :)...I asked my ever so talented cousin to draw me some animal characters :)...so, all Patrice and I did was cutting and pasting hehehehhee....it was a fun and hectic day.  I was going to make her goody bags...but errrr....didn't have enough time :)...I ended up ordering these goody bags...each goody bag is personalized with the child's name on the back...and on the other side is the animal farm theme.  As for the cake, it was sooo expensive if I ask them to make the characters out of sugars....I'm sure they'll be cute...but not worth the ridiculous price :)...So, I ended up buying one of these Happy Land Goosefeather Farm set from ELC (Early Learning Center) and that way, I get to keep the toys for misfits to play :).  Oh, and my sister in law and I also did some origami and paper cutting...we were in a world of our own...the children weren't impressed hahahahaha I guess they were too young :).  O, and btw...they spelled Misfit's name wrong, on the cake! Ow well...





Monday, January 25, 2010

i love origami

I found this great website through whipup.  Have a look and try some! :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

a little giveaway


To my dearest readers, I've decided to do a giveaway....a little something from Japan :). There are 2 sets to be won...

The first set is the one on the left:
1. A piece of approx. 60 cm of Japanese blue fabric
2. A piece of approx. 50 cm of pink flowery cotton/linen blend fabric
3. A frog mobile phone chain
4. A piece of Japanese washcloth

The second set is the one on the right:
1. A piece of approx. 60 cm red/off-white Echino fabric
2. A piece of furoshiki rabbit wrap
3. A piece of iron on embroidery
4. A fish mobile phone chain

To get a chance to win any of the above, comment on this original post, telling me where is your favorite place to buy fabrics (preferably with links) and let me know your winning set of preference and PLEASE make sure you leave your EMAIL address. I will draw 2 random winners. The first one I draw will get first priority, the second one I draw will get the other set :). Good luck!! This competition is open internationally and will be closed on Monday, February 8th 2010 at Midnight.  I'm going to have to change the deadline to Friday, February 5th 2010 Midnight so I can send these gifts by the 8th, since I will be leaving to Singapore then :).

tokyo diary: day 7 and back home

Right now, I'm writing this at home...so I'm actually recollecting my last day of Tokyo :'(...I am currently missing Japan so very much already :)...but...hopefully, we'll be back again next year for Sakura Matsuri :D. On our last day, we decided to go to Nippori again, because my sister didn't go there the day before, she went to Disney Sea instead. So, this time I took a closer look at all the fabrics at Tomato and some other shops. I am quite satisfied with the fabrics I got from Tomato, so I didn't add anymore to my collection.

However, remember the fabrics shop I told you selling remnants? Well, I ventured to the shop right next to it (it's still the same one)...and Thank GOD I went there!!! Because, I found 2m Nani Iro fabrics for half the price...YES...HALF! There are a bunch of other half priced beauties. I guess the reason behind the price is the fact they don't have them in bolts...They're remnants...so they only have a 50cm, 60cm, 1m and 2m. I panicked..and bought some more Nani Iro :D. The shop is the on in the corner...and if you turn left to the alley, right next to the corner shop is their annex where I found the Nani Iro fabrics :D...The shop is right before all of the Tomato shops...should be easy to spot :D


We also realized...the gas station is a tad bit different from most gas stations...notice how the nozzles are coming from the ceiling....I just find it interesting :D...and take a look at that very slim parking building hahahaha...well, it's probably a common thing in NYC but I still find it amusing for a car to go into a lift to park...I'd like to experience it one day :)


I took some pictures of Pakira shop, the shop that sells liberty fabrics...it is right in front of the red light when you cross the street (left side) to Nippori area.


On the way back to the Nippori Train station, we passed by Fujiya and bought a strawberry shortcake :)...the shop is soooo cute, they also sell handmade candies.


From here, we went to Harajuku again, because Big Misfit asked for Goofy...so we went back to Kiddy Land to get tapping Goofy...we also stopped by GAP which is very fashionable compared to GAPs in the US...they even have special limited edition "Japan Only" clothes there....then on the way back we went to Marimekko....I LOVE MARIMEKKO but they're damn expensive! In the end, I could only afford 50cm of their PVC fabric :'( ...at least for now, I have a Marimekko fabrics hehehehehe


From Marimekko, we went back to Shinjuku Station and went to Takashimaya....where I finally went to Yuzawaya on the 11th floor...wowwww...what an interesting place!! Sorry, I didn't take pictures...but they have a big range of cute Japanese fabrics, including trefle, kokka, Yuwa and others! They also have a large range of Liberty fabrics for about 30USD/m. They have notions, arts and just about everything you need for your hobby :). It's ONE WHOOOOOLE BIGGGG Floor filled with goodness :) and yes, they take credit card...which is always a plus :)

Overall, I still think Okadaya has the most notions, Mihama has the cheapest fabrics and Tomato could sometime be very cheap too...I am so sure there are yet other beautiful stores I need to explore...like a stand I found at the quilt show...where they sell just the most beautiful fabrics as well as PVC, but their prices are a bit high...but still beautiful nonetheless. Oh, and I finally found those delicious chocolate daifuku at the airport!!! Do buy them when you're at the airport...they're so delicious...the green tea daifuku with chocolate filling is also delicious :). Well, that recaps my whole trip in Japan....and I miss Japan already :'(

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

tokyo diary: day 6 - Nippori, finally

Nippori....oh Nippori...how art loves thee :). So, I finally arrived in Nippori textile town :D. It wasn't as big as I was expected, so the walk wasn't too bad. First stop was Pakira Knit, they didn't have much there...so we fast forwarded to Tomato notions...I still think Okadaya has more notions than tomato, regardless of the price :D...from here, we went to Tomato Honkan (the 3rd Tomato store walking from the station). That's the place you want to go...stay around the 4th, 5th and 1st floor...and you'll be in haven :). Do bring your cash, here...they do not accept credit card in most of the stores.


From Tomato, I went to a shop called Mihama Cloth (if not mistaken), it's the one next to Tomato notion...on the corner, just berfore Tomato. They sell fabrics already packed in plastics...I think they're older style but a lot of cute prints :). I think it's worth the visit.From here, I went to elegance (Pakira's shop as well) but nothing of my interests...and finally found the pakira I wanted to go, where I finally find liberty fabrics and souleiado. It is the first Pakira shop...you turn left when you see Edwin shop on the right...it's on that big main street on the side of Nippori town. Then, my shopping was done :D.


From Nippori, I went to Sunshine City in Ikkebukuro, where I found Shinzi Katoh shop...it was a bit disappointing, though...most of the stuff are ready made goods, I was expecting to find some of his fabrics or ribbons...but no luck here...he has 2 shops in Sunshine City, 1st floor, one of the shops is close by Comme Ca store and the other one is just around the corner.


Here is a tip...when you are tired...go to Yodobashi in Akihabara, go up to the 3rd floor and find the section where they sell massage chairs, etc...sit down on one of the chairs and get the foot massager like the one on my picture...and you'll be a happy shopper :D. I stayed there for about 1 hour, until hubby was finally done browsing the whole store :D...he's happy and I'm happy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

kyoto diary: day 5

We went to Kyoto yesterday...we bought JR line pass for 7 days, only for tourists and you can buy it overseas through their agents. I think it is worth the 28,000++ yen. According to my friend, it is equivalent to a return travel to Kyoto from Tokyo and you can use all JR line trains within Tokyo as well as Narita Express, so I think we've saved a lot by buying this pass...and I recommend you do the same if you're planning to travel around Japan by JR trains.


Kyoto is absolutely beautiful...very authentic and very Japanese, unlike modern big city Tokyo. I always love the country side of a new country, where the old history is still rich :). We were running late in the morning, so we took the next Shinkansen Hikari train to Kyoto, arriving in Kyoto around 10:30am (about 2.5 hours ride from Tokyo). We bought our bento and ate it once we got on the train :) and slept throughout the whole journey...though I bet the view must've been beautiful :). The ride was so smooth and the nap was nice :).


We only had the time for Kiyomizu Dera...famous for its magnificent view :) and I believe it's listed as World's heritage site. There were also a lot of charms for sale...for love, for good luck, for wealth, for easy delivery during pregnancy, for exams, etc etc...you name it...they have it hahahaha...I find it very interesting, though...there were also a lot of small stands for people to pray and put their hopes. Two of the most interesting ones were the Love stone where you're supposed to walk from one stone to the other with your eyes closed...if you succeed, then your love wish will come true soon, if not, then it will be a little while more :D. Another one was where you write your troubles on a human shaped paper then you put it into the water bucket and when the writings dissolve, your wishes will come true :).


Along the street towards the temple, there were so many street vendors...so very interesting...I was full from trying all the snacks...and we bought a lot of snacks to eat as well :p. To go around Kyoto, we bought the daily bus ticket for 500 yen, which would pay itself after you've traveled more than 3x, because each ride costs 220 yen. You can buy this ticket at the tourist information center at Kyoto Station.


We found another Totoro and Hayao Miyaki's characters in Kyoto...This shop is sooo cute :) Got Papa Panda and Baby Panda from the movie Panda Go Panda, because when I showed her a Papa Panda key chain, she demanded for Baby Panda...ow well...


From Kiyomizu Dera, we were supposed to go to Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Temple) but the bus we took went off duty! So, we had to change to another bus which circled the loooong route and we decided it was too late to go so we went to Nishinjin Textile Center!! A very interesting place, I must say :)...bought some Kimono fabrics and a bunch of other cute furoshiki fabrics.


We then had our dinner at Kyoto Station before finally heading back to Tokyo. I will definitely visit this place again next time...and definitely will spend a night or two here...I am yet to explore Gion area (used to be where the Geishas live). Got back at our hotel so late...I didn't have time to blog :)



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