Happy New Year! Hope you all have an amazing 2012 and had many great adventures this year. I spent yesterday making and styling this New Year banner using crafty materials in my little home.
Looking back on last years New Year resolutions...I actually accomplished them all and more! Like last year I am giving myself new obtainable resolutions like;
Hope everyone had an amazing Christmas! I very much enjoyed giving all my colourful wrapped gifts to family and friends and going through my new collection of Japanese books (gifts from hubby and family). Ate a yummy roast for lunch and knitted bows while watching classic Rankin Bass Christmas movies.
Colour-pop Xmas Wrap: Part 2
Hope you all have a Merry Christmas! Thank you for all your lovely support and comments this year.
Here is part 2: of my colour-pop Xmas wrap.
For these ones I used lots of bobble ribbons, mt tape, polka dot cello and made flowers out of cupcake patties,bows out of washi tape and pom poms from scratch.
I taught myself how to knit using You tube videos.
For my first knitted project I made these knitted bows. There are so many things I want to do with them; use as present toppers, make a headband and even put them on my shoes!
Colour-Pop Xmas Wrap: Part 1
My lounge room was a colour blast of paper, tape, ribbon, tissue and stickers when I spent last weekend doing my Christmas gift wrapping. I find myself buying extra gifts for loved ones just so I can have fun wrapping them up! Like my tree and decorations, this year I have gone non-traditional and using all colours to decorate and wrap my gifts in. I will be able to use my left over paper all year round too!
trinkets, seam and confetti fingers
My little hoard from Sydney's Finders Keepers, that I went to last Friday night. Faves of the night included meeting Dawn Tan and seeing her Handmade Love watercolour prints and products, Emily Green's colourful geometric jewellery, Etsy Australia, lomo camera's and zines, zakka from Storybook Rabbit (I got this little trinket box for my work Kris Kringle) and meeting and chatting to the lovely Linsey the creator of Seam magazine.
Here it is! My White Christmas tree decorated with my self-made and designed cute-pop Xmas decorations. I have been making a pom pom and mt tape bunting to wrap around it and have yet to add my xmas gifts under the tree.
Cute-pop Xmas Decorations
Having been one who usually likes to keep to the xmas colour tradition of green and red, this year I wanted to do something a bit different and more -fun! For my Christmas tree this year it's all about colour and cheer - so I hand and digitally made my own cute-pop character and collage xmas decorations out of paper.
Mark's Stationery Mook
I love Japanese stationery brand Mark's, so you can imagine my delight when I saw they had a stationery mook! Its full of yummy and kawaii stationery goodies like; biscuit and polka dot notepads, Paris inspired stamp range, ice-cream and donut puzzles, a tour of Japan's top stationery stores, Christmas mt wrapping projects and how about those cool Mickey and Minnie mouse scissors? The mook also comes with four sweet polka dot clips! I always enjoy gazing at their beautifully styled product layouts.
Some wonderful things have arrived in the post this year!
Every time I get something special I like to add it to my 'mail wall'. Since I rent I use pretty mt tapes to stick my mail packaging, business cards, letters, and souvenirs on with as it doesn't leave a mark. Below is a little package I received from Margaret, a cute bunting stamp, stickers and mini paper bags from her Paper Pastries store.
Happy Things: Nenz
I got the wonderful opportunity this week to be interviewed
on the pretty and all things happy Dutch blog - Nenz!
Nancy's Nenz blog is dedicated to posting about things that make her happy, so I was touched when she asked me to do an interview for her uplifting and colourful blog. I also designed a little 'Happy Things layout' to go along with the interview. You can read it here- so cool it's in Dutch! For those who don't speak Dutch I have translated it below.
Injecting a bit of colour
It's been a busy, but great week in my new job so I thought I would celebrate with some retail therapy in one of my fave Aussie fashion stores - Sportsgirl. Like me, it seems they are crazy about all things in neons, polka dots and crafts at the moment.
Every visit I head straight to their special gift tables covered in unique and quirky goodies.
I picked up this sweet DIY friendship bracelet kit as well as a drink bottle designed by Beci Orpin!!
I can always rely on Sportsgirl to inject a bit of colour and cool into my life!
Magazines in REAL time
Today I want to share with you something a bit more personal. For the past three years (or more!) I have been working towards getting a job in my dream industry - magazines. Well the other day I achieved such dream and am now a full time PAID worker at an amazing Aussie women's magazine working with the loveliest team!!!
I must admit the journey has not been easy. To get here I had to do many unpaid jobs, attend lots and lots of job interviews, take risks and fail and at the same time, try to remain strong in my belief that I could do it even after getting bucket loads of rejection.
In the end I think it was my persistence, willingness to work hard for nothing, dedication, positive outlook (even after the knock backs) and my passion for magazines that really got me through....oh and luck!
Magazines is a hard industry to crack into, but if you work hard enough and have a deep love for it - you can get there.....eventually!
I think I am proof of that. I started out with no contacts whatsoever. I began by doing volunteer work at an online magazine for free, building up my published portfolio pitching to online and print magazines, networking through social media, doing lots of work experience and an internship, remaining current in the media (starting my blog), using all work experience and job interviews as a spring board soaking up every bit of opportunity I could get out of them and finding some great mentors. Phew! I think I could write a book about it!
I hope that all of you don't give up on your dream jobs and remember to believe in yourselves and know that you are worthy and if you have the passion to live doing something you love....Go get it!!
Paper Peko + Friends
It's no surprise that I just love paper and Kawaii Japan characters! These are my latest paper creations for a little upcoming project - Japan Patisserie and confectionery Fujiya mascot Peko-chan, a ketchup smiley face 'Omu-raisu' aka Omurice a Japanese omelette filled with rice and meat and decorated with cute ketchup faces served with lettuce! They are famous at
We Love Mail
That's why I was happy and inspired when I heard about Newspaper Taxi's 'We Love Mail' project! All you have to do is send a letter to them with a little loved stationery treat inside. All the mail will be displayed in their shop window and you also go in the draw to win the WHOLE stationery loot at the end of the project! Oh my!
Queen Of Crafts
I first heard about Jazz Domino Holly's 'Queen of Crafts: Modern girl's guide to knitting, sewing, quilting, baking, preserving and kitchen gardening' from her monthly DIY column in one of my fave UK magazines' Company. I must say it is the BEST craft book I have read (in English) for a long time. It really is a great read and Jazz puts a 'new generation' spin on each crafting genre. The book design alone is oh so wonderful with cute squiggles, illustrations and chic, arty typography. Fave projects include; knitted bows, pincushion cakes, Thunderbird quilt, button biscuits and 'Make Tea Not War' tablecloth. It also covers all the basics on knitting, sewing etc. and includes how to's on organizing your own craft clubs, crafternoons and quilting bees. Jazz will you be my new craft BFF?
I really enjoy arranging and styling things. Here is a little collection of some of the wonderful things Kit has in her Mini Mart craft corner; pattern paper, polka dot bows, coloured straws, self-made pom poms, felt shapes, party toy trinkets, neon thread and lolly containers. I like how some of the things remind me of the crafty times that Kit and I have shared together.
There was lots of crafty Kawaii fun going on yesterday at the Mini Mart for my Kawaii Pop Rosette Workshop! Thank you to the talented lovelies who attended - big hugs.
Fairy Bread Cards
These are my Fairy Bread Cards! I made these last month and they have been on sale in the Mini Mart Pop-Up Shop. They are all individually handmade out of cardboard and paper and say 'Happy Birthday With Sprinkles On Top' inside the card. I also designed and printed my very own sprinkle pattern envelopes, they are see through as I wanted the Fairy Bread card to look like it was wrapped in sandwich wrap. I had lots of fun making and designing these and hope they make a very special birthday gift.
Mini Mart Launch
We had an overwhelming response from the crafty and creative community for the launch of the Mini-Mart Pop-Up shop on Wednesday night. For those who attend a big thank you for coming and supporting us, it was a great night and so lovely to meet and chat with some of you about Japan and crafty things!
Kawaii Pop Roesette Workshop!
Exciting news!! Next week (Saturday 15th October) I will be hosting a Kawaii Pop Rosette making workshop at the Mini Mart Pop-up shop! Eeeep! It would be lovely if some of you could attend. Each workshop participant will get one of these specially designed for the day Kawaii Pop DIY Kits, which includes all the materials need to make your very own Kawaii-Pop themed rosettes!
Spots are limited, so get in quick if you want to attend this crafty celebration xo
Mini Mart Pop-Up Shop
The day has finally come! Eeeep! The official launch for the Mini Mart Pop-up shop! Hosted by The Rocks Pop-up Project and FBi.94.5FM. The launch kicks of on Wednesday 5th of October (this week!) at 6pm. So please if you can, do come say hi, have a drink and check out some of the self-made stationery, party goods and zines we have on sale. I also made some little goodie bags that come with a free Japanese gift for the lovely peeps who purchase our handmade wares!
Kawaii Polka Pop Dreamcatcher
I have been super busy for the past couple of weeks making products and 'Kawaii-Pop decor' for my space in the 'mini mart' pop-up shop in Sydney.
I call this my 'Polka Pop Dreamcatcher'! It is now hanging in the shop along with some of my other creations. I will post a couple of pictures of the space in a few days.
Wonderful Magazine Of OZ
So I screamed when I saw what was on the cover of the October issue of my fave Japan travel magazine Oz! Koenji's cute treehouse cafe Hattifant! The whole issue is dedicated to Kichijoji, Koenji, Mitaka and Asagaya's cosy book, craft, zakka shops and cafes. I love the Amelie movie style photo story pages. I went to the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka when I travelled to Japan, which I mention in my new zine.
New Zine: Japan In A Collection
Yay! Its finally here my new zine 'Japan In A Collection' is now available to buy in my online store!
If you love Studio Ghibli, Blythe, Sanrio, Disney and Japan mascots you may love this! A travel guide, with a twist on the best places to shop within a collection of my own trip mementos.
Polka Kawaii Rosettes
A few pictures of an exciting upcoming project I have been working on! My 'Polka Kawaii Rosettes' have left me and my workspace covered in glue, bits of washi tape, paper and fabric scraps - but it's been a colour blast of crafting fun!
Sneak Peek: Japan in Collection
A little sneak peek of the cover of my new zine
'Japan in a Collection'!
Travel Japan with me in 62 mementos! ‘Japan in a collection’ is a little travel guide with a twist!
Discover the best shops for buying; character goods, stationery, books, magazines, gadgets, kawaii collectables, anime, fashion and yummy treats. Japan locations include; Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagano, Yudanaka, and Hiroshima.
Scribbles, Paper, Pastels
Getting some pastel 'colour-spiration' from washi tapes, nail polish and pretty polka dot paper in beautiful lavender, pink, blue and yellow hues. I found this wonderful book called 気持ちを伝えるちょこっとイラスト in Kinokuniya by Yuzuko. I just love his adorable pencil and pen drawings - these are called 'chokotto' in Japanese. This book teaches you how to draw your own simple chokotto characters and kawaii fonts and using them to make gift tags or for journaling. Loving the character with the odango (hair bun) and the little 'sad, sorry, tear' gift tags - super cute ideas Yuzuko!
I travelled all over Japan in 2009 during Cherry Blossom season. Everywhere I went I picked up brochures, catalogues, magazines and souvenirs like; napkins, and business cards from shops and restaurants as well as pretty packaging and train/admission tickets to put in my journal when I returned home. Ha! many bags in my suitcase were filled of these things.
Hope you enjoy these pictures of pages from my journal during my time in Tokyo. Please excuse the very messy writing! Eeep!
DIY Kit Making
As well as working on a new zine I have been making some little DIY kits - a 'cut & paste collage' one. This is one I made recently for my mother as she is making Christmas cards at her local craft club. I put it together to match her xmas colour theme; purple, green and gold (she always has a different colour scheme every year). In the pack I included lots of different crafty bits and made some pretty paper buttons, a confetti Christmas tree and added some washi tape strips. I had so much fun making these kits and designing the little packets, so looking forward to making some more.
One for the Dads
It's Fathers Day here in Oz, so I am sharing with you something I made for my dad. An envelope card decorated with my polka dot and alphabet stamps, a little text square with some new mt slim two tone tape. I also made a cute origami t-shirt to go on it!
Hope your Dad's are having a wonderful day!!
Just wanted to post today a little thanks for the wonderful blog mentions and opportunities I have had this week.
Self-Made Envelope Making
Here is a little neon coloured, Kawaii-pop themed self-made envelope collection I have been working on.
Materials used include; pretty papers, Tokyo maps, Japanese magazine cut-outs, mt washi tape, self-made/alphabet stamps, paper scraps and used postage stamps.
As usual I wanted to include lots of polka dots and cut & paste collage elements.
Glossy Love: Yen
Issue 52 of Yen magazine is HOT HOT HOT with technicolour fashion that jumps of the pages, interview with my recent fave actor Emma Stone, pastel watercolour artworks, profile on Melbourne based Japanese zakka/book store Mr Kitly (it's on my 'must visit' list) and a feature on Zine making and distros + much more!
I love picking up Yen for it's fresh fashion page layouts that always give me lots of great colour inspiration and their interesting features on creative peeps.
Crafty Book Goodness
As requested by some of my lovely readers, some inside pictures of my latest Amazon Japan craft book buys!
1. 女の子の大好きをたくさん集めた 乙女なコラージュBOOK (Girl Collage). This has to be my favourite book at the moment as it includes some of my most loved Japanese collage artists; Wool Cube Wool and Bleu Blanche. Learn how to make collage; bookmarks, cards, boxes, envelopes and journal pages using materials such as; mt washi tape, lace, doilies, postage stamps, pretty papers etc. It also has a downloadable collage section containing pictures of macaroons, bunnies, bakery goods and pink and white stripe backgrounds!
カメラ日和 Life With Camera + Neko Love
One of the lovely things in this weeks Amazon Japan package included an issue of J-mag カメラ日和 Life with Camera. This issue is dedicated to taking pictures of cats! (Neko in Japanese). The magazine is packed full of kawaii pictures of cats, photographic techniques and photobook making ideas. I've started to make my own photobook of my cat Salem (Yes, named after the cat from 'Sabrina the Teenage witch'- my family's idea). However unlike the cats in the book Salem is a bit more anti-social than the other cats in the mag, so it was hard to get some different posed shots.
Hello Mr Letterbox!
Incoming Mail - Some of the lovely things in my letterbox from the past two weeks. 1. Amazon Japan! Like it's box I had a big grimace on my face when my new Japanese craft books arrived. Will share some inside pix of them soon! 2. Little tags found in my Japanese books, I think they are used for cataloging books 3. Package from Crafty Japan which included....4. Latest washi tape purchases!!! Eeep! new mixed colour and pattern range! 5. Package from Sandy (Cookie Cutter) her travel zine Run of the Mill was inside 6. When Beebee sent me her latest zine she also included this hoard of kawaii letter pages/envelopes..and wax paper! Thanks Beebee! 7. Obsessed with MMMG stationery, had to by this letter set, love the simple use of shapes in the design. 8. Latest issue of Frankie magazine, jam (pun to come) packed with inspirational creative peeps. This issue comes with 'Jam' sticker labels illustrated by Dawn Tan and Amy Borrell.
Here are some of my latest 'colour-coded' buys, makes and eats;
1. Always a sucker for buying pretty wrapping paper, neon green catches my eye, 2. 消しゴムはんこのちょこっとアイデア by Mizutama; A cute Japanese book on stamp carving. Let me know if you want to see inside! 3. Blue/white cross washi tape, 4. My new android smartphone - in white! 5. A little self-made notebook 6. Fujiya Peko Milky chocolate bar. Peko is my favourite mascot in Japan.I love collecting Milky chocolate boxes as the packaging is oh so pretty!
Blog Love: Bonjour Johanna
Bonjour Johanna is a collection of daily updates about the work & life of french artist Johanna Tagada, who currently resides in
Zurich Berlin. Looking at her inspirational blog it is clear we share a love for many of the same things; pretty packaging and incoming mail, Japan, Polka dots, stationery, pink, circle stickers, mt taping trinkets to the walls and mixed typography title headers.
I love re-discovering past travel mementos! One of my most loved items include these amazing kawaii buys and souvenirs from Lazy Oaf a store I stumbled upon on Carnaby Street in London when I was there in 2007. Hearts, stripes, character typography, polka dots....what's not to love about their cut & paste feel designs.
Going Postal For.....
Postage stamp collecting and collaging!
While doing some 'almost' Spring cleaning I came across my Stamp Gang Collecting kit that was a hobby of mine back in the 90's. It brought back some great memories of stamp collecting and attending stamp month. It has also inspired me now years later, to use postage stamps for my new craft love - collaging.
Below are some of my Stamp Gang Explorer monthly magazines from the 90's and my favourite Japanese collage books that incorporate postage stamps in collages and for making gifts and self-made zakka and stationery.
Party Craft Workshop
Yesterday I attended Kit's Party Craft Workshop which is part of this years Sydney Design Festival celebrating - 'Is old new again'. As you can see by the pix Kit had set up quite a crafty celebration in her studio! We got to make bunting, party hats, crackers, invites and a SURPRISE BALL. There were so many trinkets to add into our projects that really took me back to my childhood; sherbet in fruit containers, spin tops and mini kaleidoscopes etc. We even got given a goodie bag of lil trinkets at the end of the day!
Little Paper Lane
Day = beautiful, Mood = excited and honoured, Sounds = Sarah Bareilles: Kaleidoscope heart.
My hubby and I went on a one day road trip out to Mona Vale located in Sydney's sunny Northern Beaches today to pay a visit to Little Paper Lane.
Crafty Video Love
You all know I enjoy making crafty videos, but today I thought I would share the love around by sharing with you my recent favourites. On another note I have been busy making new projects that I will share soon and been putting together a few new self-publications.
Marie Claire Idees
I have a glossy love for the french magazine Marie Claire Idees, by looking at the cover I bet you can guess why! This issue includes a wall tree made from washi tape as well as other decor ideas for like; decorated lamp shades, tables, chairs, windows, plates, journals and pretty birthday cards.
A Creative Gallery
Kawaii J-pop Ponponpon!
Warning kawaii overload! I found these wonderful photos and video via one of my fave blogs Tokyo Fashion. It's a new music clip called 'Ponponpon' by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The whole clip is themed around what it means to be a Harujuku girl, and that means lots of bright candy kawaii outfits, Popples (had these in the 80's) and products from the ultimate kawaii brand 6% DOKIDOKI!
I am a Writer / Designer / Craft Artist who works in magazines who loves crafting, zine-making, nostalgia, photography, styling, Japan, op shopping and trend reporting on the creative & inspirational.
Hope you enjoy My Life As A Magazine, looking forward to reading your comments!
Hope you enjoy My Life As A Magazine, looking forward to reading your comments!
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