Calling All Japanese Craft Book-a-holics

After touring northeast China, my hubby and I stayed a few days in Japan, hanging out in the city to eat, shop, and eat.  So you won't see pictures of Japan's beautiful temples or gardens from me.  I know how sad is that?'s a great find if you're into craft books and if you ever make it to Japan...

Just drool over these prices!  Only 450 Yen for books that normally go for around 1000 yen!  I only picked up 4 books because (unfortunately) I went to Kinokuniya book store on our first day in Shinjuku where I spent way too much $$s.

Here's a project from the first book that is simply adorable !

I'm sorry but I can't recall which store we went into but I believe it's in Shibuya.  Book-Off, is a new and used book store (they sell dvds too).  They have several locations in Japan and in other countries.  Two locations opened recently in Hawaii, one with a limited offering of Japanese books. 

I'm planning my first give-away with a couple of awesome craft books I bought here locally.  So keep tuned in.  Till then...have a great day~~

nǐhǎo : Hello

Our trip to China was simply amazing, traveling to the northeast for the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, surviving -18 degrees F temperatures, eating 10-11 course meals for lunch AND dinner on most days, and bargaining with the fiercest shop keepers who I'm sure eat kids for dinner.

As we stepped through the entrance of the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, we were transported into another world.  It 's like going to Disneyland; being so excited, with sights so beautiful that your eyes can't focus on any one thing. It was breathtaking. It was why we came.

Keeping warm was our biggest challenge on this trip.  Our tour group was a sight to behold, all dressed alike with over-sized black puffy jackets, boots, gloves, ear muffs, and neck scarves supplied by the tour company and with triple layers of clothing. We looked like a bunch of wobbly weebles!

Amazing as this trip was...would I go again? HELL was too-ooo cold! Call me a wimp but  fifty degree weather is probably the most I can handle without the fear of losing toes and fingers! Hahaha.

See You Laters!

I'll be going on a trip to China & Japan. Don't forget me please...See 'ya.

Japanese Thank You Card Tutorial

Each Year, Hawaii celebrates New Year's with a big bang...literally.  Families spend up to thousands of dollars for fireworks...make that illegal fireworks that explode, jump, spin, howl, fly, and sparkle.  I read somewhere that folks spend as much as $10,000! Holy Moly. In almost every neighborhood, families set off fireworks, as if in competition...and in the end, the island is covered with a thick smoke cloud.

This year there was this one very scary, very loud firework that sounded like an exploding bomb; shaking the house, setting car alarms off, and scaring the poor dogs in the neighborhood.

I took this picture of a neighbor's fireworks display from our yard.  I was told that just one of these guys can cost up to a $1000!  Imagine how much fabric that money could buy!  hahaha   And how much money did we spend on fireworks? NADA..ZILCH...ZERO...we're stingy like that.

 AND now for a tutorial ~~

concretenprimroses asked for a tutorial for the Japanese Thank You card in my last post.  So here it is..enjoy..

Start with a 8 1/4" (l) x 5 1/2" (w) piece of your favorite paper

 Measure 2 1/2" from the top on each side of the card, then 2 1/4" from the sides.  Use the measurements as guides to make diagonal cuts on each side. Score down the 2 1/4" line to make it easier to fold the sides over.  I used a scoring tool but a crochet hook or something similar should work.  ( I drew lines for the tutorial.When you make this card,  use light markings instead. )

Cut the outside piece : 2 3/4" (height) x 8 1/2" (length). The length is a wee bit longer than the card to allow for wrapping the piece around the main piece. 

Next cut the pieces for the band.  Cut the length 8 3/4".  The width can be any size. For this card, I cut the solid colored band by 1 1/4" wide and the bird piece by 1".  Glue the 2 pieces together.  Wrap the band around the card for sizing.  IMPT: the band needs to slide over the card so allow for this when wrapping the band around the card for sizing.  Also, watch that the ends of the band is close to the middle of the card. Glue the ends of band together (there will be overlap). 

this pic shows a different paper from what I ended up using for my card
Cut 3 pieces for 'knot'.  Cut 2 pieces 4" x 1/2".  Cut 1 piece 3" x 1/2"

Lightly fold 2 of the 4" pieces in half. Then fold as shown in the photo.


Before moving to the next step, take a look at the knot in this photo. 

Okay, this is the difficult step to explain...Take one of the pieces and slip one end into the other knot as shown in the picture.  Then slip the other end through the opposite side.  Fix the knot as needed. 

Now take the 3" piece and fold in half.  Slip one end under the horizontal piece in the front. Fold both ends to the back of the knot and secure under the horizontal piece in the back of the knot.  At this point the knot should be secured.  Cut excess. Glue knot to middle of band.

Optional ~ You can add a piece to the inside of the card to write your thank you message.  Cut a piece 3 1/2"x 5".  Glue to inside of card.  Add a border like I did to the inside top if you like.  

***H A P P Y *** N E W YEAR***