Category Archives: DIY

Sometimes, You Need A Good Afternoon of Crafting Fun. (And yes, it doesn’t hurt when Origami Cranes are involved!)

Yesterday, I needed a  break. It had been too many days of too much working.  My son was home sick, and in the morning, my husband worked from home while I went to work. We swapped in the afternoon with my plan being to work, work, work some more.

Then, I got home and crafting beckoned. Seriously – I needed some down time! Often, doing something with my hands is just the solution. And I am one of those crafting folks who gets obsessed. I can sit for h-o-u-r-s, forgetting to eat, to go to the bathroom, to feed the dog. And most of all, forget about everything I would normally be stressing about!

Our favorite neighbors are having a baby in the next few weeks, the first baby on our block since my son came home more than 11 years ago. Needless to say, the block is EXCITED. We can’t welcome to welcome this peanut!

Thus, my craft project – a mobile for this newest arrival. Made from origami cranes, my son and I evaluated it from all angles.

And if I do say so myself, it looks very sweet from every approach. And sways nicely in the breeze too.

To hang the cranes from their dowel rods, I threaded waxed thread through the center of each crane, choosing a thread color that matches the theme of their nursery.

If they don’t like it, totally okay. No pressure to put it on the baby’s room!

Of course, I hope they do like it, but at the very least, it gave me a lovely afternoon of crafting fun, free from checking email, looking at FB, or blogging obsessively.

Oh, and most important, my son is all better. And working on some crafting projects of his very own!

Kitty Cats Spinning Plates. Handmade Stamps from Duding 3600.

Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Cat Folding a Paper Crane "DO NOT BENT" - Pottering Cat

Down the Etsy rabbit hole a few days ago, and stumbled upon these cutie-pie stamps.

Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Cat Fishing with Sea Gull - Pottering Cat

I will admit again that I am not a cat fan. Too allergic to like them. But cute pictures of cats? TOTALLY a fan. And these fit the bill nicely.

Cats fishing. Cats Spinning Plates. Cats playing trains. And most important, cats bowling a strike!

Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Acrobatic Cat with Mice "Great Job" - Pottering Cat
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - "Nice" Bowling Strike- Pottering Cat
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Cat Playing Train "Circulation" - Pottering Cat

From Etsy Seller Duding 3600. Handmade rubber stamps for your crafting goodness.

You know what I’ve learned from these? Cats are talented animals.

Folding cranes? Yup. Making an important call? That’s a yes too.

Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Cat Playing Piano "NEWS" - Pottering Cat
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Cat Folding a Paper Crane "DO NOT BENT" - Pottering Cat
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Cat on Phone - Pottering Cat
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Name Frame - Pottering Cat
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Cat with Return Paper Plane "Required Return" - Pottering Cat
Tee Hee Hee! Copy Cats!
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - 4 Cats "COPY" - Pottering Cat
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - Cat Drinking Milk - Pottering Cat
Are these guys looking out the window? Waiting for a special delivery?
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - "Read" - Pottering Cat
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - "Secret" Cat Flying a Kite - Pottering Cat
Japanese Cat Wooden Rubber Stamp - "Please" Cat Playing Puppet - Pottering Cat
What stories would you tell with these extraordinary kitties?

Washi Tape Fabric – and a dress I would rock any day of the week.


(Photo credit to Made-By-Rae.)

You can add sewing to the list of skills I don’t have. (Okay, I did make my son a KILLER Luke Skywalker Jedi cape a few years ago, but it required a friend to help me and a 1-hour pattern took me three days.)

I love this Washi Dress from Made-By-Rae. Admittedly, it might be a little young for me, but with some jeans or leggings, I think I could pull it off.


(Photo credit to Made-By-Rae.)

Pockets! Yay!


(Photo credit to Made-By-Rae.)

At the very least, maybe I could make a pillow–another one of my sewing skill sets–from this Washi Fabric.

The fabric is available from Pink Castle Fabrics and is designed by Rashida Coleman-Hale. There are other Washi Fabric designs too.

Washi Fabric in Charcoal.

Washi Triangle in Beige.

Washi Triangle in Gray

Do any of you sew? What would you make with these??

How to make your Rilakkuma Bento box – Paper Craft tutorials from Happy Puppy Truffles.

I am a big fan of Paper Craft, and while my skills leave, ahem, a little something to be desired, I have the best of intentions.

Sometimes, we all need a little assistance with our paper artistry and I was delighted to find these tutorials featuring the Rilakkuma Bento Box Paper Craft we sell at Japanistic.

Courtesy of Happy Puppy Truffles, the Daily Origami series with more than 700 helpful tutorials showing you, step by step, how to make those cutie-pie things you’ve admired.

With help on your Rilakkuma, watch this tutorial.

For the Strawberries, watch this one.

Need help with your Octopi? No worries. Here you go.

Thanks so much to Happy Puppy Truffles for helping me, and so many others, perfect our paper artistry! (I, for one, can use all the help I can get!)

Animals Wearing Polka Dots, from Yoros Factory.

Yoros Factory. Paper Friends.

Cards. Cut Paper. Animals in Polka Dot bikinis.

Um, yes. Anatomically correct.

Look at those belly buttons! And he can stick out his tongue!

Even better? A Koala, with Butt Cheeks!

Monkey, with butt cheeks and more.

I know, it’s ridiculous. But so darn cute! It’s like Paper Dolls, but so much better I mean, there are Tigers!

And Hippos!

And Cows!

What else could you need in a card?

Sora Stamps – Yes, there’s a hedgehog.

It’s Design Festa time again. And alas, yet again, I will not be there. But I can’t help looking at EVERY SINGLE participant

This time, Sora Stamp has captured my affections. Handmade, carved stamps, that would look just perfect as part of my collection.

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My favorite? The Pug Stamp.

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You didn’t think I’d let these pass without showing the Hedgehog, did you?

Is this next one a Panda Ghost? A Panda Pacman creature?

Once again, I don’t even like cats — Please, no flood of comments from cat lovers — and yet this sleeping kitty is adorable. A true testimony to the power of these stamps.

Now, can we have Design Festa over here please? Please?

Color-Coding with Washi Tape, or My Guidebook to Vietnam now looks awesome!

I am leaving for Vietnam in just over two weeks. Yay!!!!!! (Have I mentioned that I am jumping out of my skin with excitement??)

In preparation, because I am an overly organized geek, I have color-coded my guidebook according to the places we will visit. And yes, I’ve done it with Washi Tape.

Each destination gets its own color, the places I want to go marked with tape at the top or side of the page.

And in case I forget which city gets which design, I’ve put a key in the front of the book.

For some reason, it just makes me happy to look at this. My travel guide neatly organized, and cute too.

Need your own travel guide system? Get your Washi Tape at Japanistic.

The DIY Holiday Window – Getting our Holiday Craft Fix!

Throughout the week, I’ve given you some sneak peeks of the trees I’ve been making for my in-store holiday window. This year, my theme was DIY holiday crafts using only craft supplies you can buy in the store.

Oak tag gift tags, washi tape, twine, bits of holiday wrapping paper, raffia gift wrap, recycled holiday cards as ornaments, and a whole lot of scrapbooking tape.

Most important, doing this let me get my holiday craft fix! Love it when I can craft for work!

Happy Turkey Day!

Have a lovely Thanksgiving! (And to make your own Amigurumi Turkey, visit Stacey Trock’s Fresh Stitching.)

And to everyone else, um, Happy Thursday!

Is iichi in English the new Japanese Etsy?


Of course, I want you to do all of your shopping at Japanistic, but  sometimes, I can possibly allow you to shop elsewhere. Now, there’s another option for Japanese handicrafts, and yeah, it’s a good one.

Just launched in english, iichistarted as a new project with a mission to connect Japanese craft-makers with users everywhere,
Our vision is to build a trusted marketplace that is open to the world.
In the near future, we plan to offer workshops, craft fairs and other unique iichi events. We sincerely hope to see you there.
” (via)


Yup. They pretty much had me at iichi! But wait-there’s more.

iichi is a new marketplace for Japanese handmade goods. Just as with other countries, there is a rich culture of handmade craft in this small island nation.
Each region offers an abundance of natural materials and traditions rooted in its own distinctive history and personality, and there always have been people who find fascination and fulfillment in using their own hands to create things.
” (via)

Still growing, the site doesn’t have a ton of product yet, but I like the direction they’re going.

Small Plates from Yoshiaki Tadaki.

Yup, I would completely have made my little boy wear this Polka Dot Bowtie when he was little!

I cannot believe this gal is called Little Chubb Chubb!!

Little Chubb Chubb artist, Kumi Takada, also makes these Angel on a Swing folks, which are the size of your thumb.

Bird ring from Tools Van de Lune.

Cute Furoshiki from Kyoko Bowskill.

The rub? The shipping ain’t cheap. But for something that’s perfectly wonderful and totally unique, it’s worth treating yourself sometimes, don’t you think?

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