Sunday, 4 November 2012

Japan Scrapbook

This is very 'old school', but having a scrapbook, and spending an afternoon with scissors and glue and remembering a FANTASTIC trip is a lovely way to spend a cold, drizzly, Sunday afternoon. The only downside is that I'm now even more desperate to go back. Especially as I have the rest of the scrapbook to fill! I should really do this for every holiday.... !

The cover - I think I got a little carried away with it, but then once I'd gone too far there was no turning back!

You can't go to Japan and not do 'purikura' - which are basically fun photo booths! Also, if you are in Tokyo and you like Moomins, check out the Moomin cafe at Tokyo Dome!

Haha... receipts from Don Quixote and Junie Moon, and the bottom right is a leaflet from a really lovely ryokan (a traditional style hotel) I stayed in back in 2008 in Nikko.

How cute are these hand-drawn leaflets from 'Chocoholic Cafe' in Daikanyama (near Shibuya) ??!! Mental cute, I say. The one with the funny animal faces is actually a take-away 'to order' cake guide, and I coloured in the yellow one as that's the one I ordered (a small version, not the birthday cake sized one) - it was called 'Caramel Squirrel' hehehe!

OK, I am OBSESSED with this shop and brand - Karel Capek. LOVE LOVE LOVE it, I went and I spent about 30 mins in this shop (which is about the same size as an average living room) just going round and round and trying to decide what to buy (a bit difficult when you want EVERYTHING). It's basically tea and tea accessories, and some other cute things, all with the most beautiful and cute illustrations on. I could literally spend a fortune in here!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Eight Robbers and One Dumpling

Here is the result of Sunday indoors (I'm sort of refusing to go out because it's too cold! Also, my tube lines were down so couldn't get anywhere anyway really!).

I'm supremely knackered tonight, after churning out 8 robbers in a matter of hours - these are for a friend who is teaching English to schoolkids in Japan, and who needs some pictures of child-friendly thieves for a word game (^u^)

I also made this little fellow today! (Mostly crocheted whilst on the tube, and just did the finishing touches this morning, to be fair). His name is 'Dumpling'! (^u^)

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Mochi-Pots Part 2

I've just realised that I didn't share photos of some of the other things I made in my ceramics class, so I'm putting my two favourite ones here (^u^)

And for reference, this is how small they are! :

Little Pots

Oh I doooooo love pots and cups and bowls! If only making them was as quick as doodling them... haha!

Sunday, 30 September 2012

MochiPan loves... Awesome Friends and Mary Blair!

Well here's today's little story. I spent the morning attempting to make a cover for a new notebook, and after four hours the result was so embarrassingly terrible I think it's probably going to end up in the bin (>_<) so I was not feeling too happy about what felt like a waste of a Sunday morning. I didn't even learn anything from the exercise. I knew when I started 'this is not something you are normally good at doing' (as in, improvising with bits of fabric, including one piece of fabric that I hate anyway - why make something out of another thing that you don't even like? Gah!). Anyway, the result was that after a few more hours of sort of sloping around feeling miserable, not up to anything, tired, grumpy and achy I realised that I'm actually coming down with a bug too. So, I thought, perfect excuse to get into bed and feel sorry for myself for a bit until I get better.

A friend messaged me on my phone from Japan. He's just moved to Nagasaki and in the course of having a little chat, me having a gentle whinge and him being very encouraging about my arty-creative work things, he mentioned an exhibition he had been to recently, which reminded him of my stuff...

How ridiculously cute is this??!! And lucky Nagasaki!! BRING THIS SHOW TO LONDON PLEASE! It turns out that I have seen the work of Mary Blair before, and in fact I own one of her books, the simple and charming 'I Can Fly' - I bought it last time I was in Tokyo at Crayon House. So I knew I loved her work and I'd seen it before but I hadn't remember her name (it isn't so obvious on the book to be fair!).
She worked for Disney in the 1940s ( working on films such as Alice in Wonderland, for example, probably a reason for her huge popularity in Japan  - did I tell you there is an Alice themed restaurant in Tokyo?... anyway, I digress...) and she did lovely picture books throughout the 50s and 60s. This picture must be the Mad Hatter's Tea Party! I love the long shadows from the tables, and the blue forest behind... what vivid, awesome colours!

You can find out better information about her on the cute website that was set up and run by her nieces HERE (see screenshot below). This site has a gallery of her work which is interesting to browse through, I really recommend it...

I love this little plate she did for a relation (perhaps a niece?)

Mary also did advertisements and posters for chocolate milk! It's a similar style to her 'I Can Fly' cover, which is why I picked this particular picture I guess (^u^).

 And finally, just as I was looking through the section on personal work, I think it clicked why my friend had thought of me... Mary also like drawing redheads with kitties! haha! Now of course there is no way I'm suggesting I'm the next Mary Blair, she's way out of my league, and our styles are different after all, but I think I do see a similarity in theme and tone... what do you reckon?

Anyway, talking to a friend who totally understands the whole 'I need to keep making things to stay sane' thing, and discovering Mary's work really cheered me up, and although I'm still feeling grotty I don't feel so 'oh what's the point in ANYTHING' any longer, which is definitely a good thing!

Hurrah for instant message apps and mobile technology - I can talk to people on the other side of the globe, instantly, whilst lounging in my bed - woo!!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Little Notebooks (Handmade)

I've been experimenting with bookbinding - notebooks really - trying out different ways of doing it (mostly making things up a bit, as I do). It's been absorbing, to say the least! They don't take too long so I made one or two during a single evening after work (although I did sacrifice a bit of sleep!).

I guess making a notebook isn't the sort of thing that would occur to you (at least, it didn't to me until I went to an evening class) but really they are one of the simplest things you can make. At the most basic level it could just be some sheets of paper stapled together in the centre and folded. It goes up from there! Think of all the different papers you can use, different fabrics and covers!

I suppose that if you have a small stationery obsession like me that sort of helps with the excitement!

Cupboard Door Portrait

Blackboard paint and chalk pens