Saturday, December 22, 2007

Good Friend With Coffee

Firstly, mum, if you're reading this post before you get your Christmas present (which won't be until you move into your new place in New Zealand), please stop here! No peeking!

This post really should be called something like "Christmas shopping in Japan" or "Eye Candy from Japanese Books", or even "Yah! I'm on holidays!", but I just couldn't resist using this phrase....

Thursday this week was my last day at school before the holidays. On Wednesday night, I made a big batch of Rum Balls with a recipe similar to this one, but with double the ingredients and substituting some of the plain biscuits for ginger biscuits.

I would have photographed them, but they were finished late at night and then packaged up early morning before I went to school.

I felt like Santa handing out packages to teachers that I work directly with, teachers that I've become friends with and to one student who baked me cookies this week.

One teacher, who works from a different staff room to myself sent me an email to tell me how much he was enjoying them. He told me they were a "good friend with coffee". How cute is that! It's not a phrase we use, but I think we should. It's going to be my personal mission to bring it into the English vernacular.

So I'm now on holidays! Wayne and I celebrated our first day of freedom by going into the "big city". It's only 20 minutes by express train and we really should do it more often, I really enjoy Nagoya. It is however, very dangerous to my budget.....

One centre we visited is full of expensive brands which now includes a Marimekko shop. I was so tempted by the fabrics and there was even a tea cup to match my bedspread, which is the blue version of this one. It took great control to leave the store without buying anything.

Another real delight of visiting the city is the English book shop. Ahh... English, sweet English..... My husband and I wander around there for hours in bliss, it's such a treat. Ironically, both books I bought are in Japanese. I still can't get enough of the Japanese craft books. Again, it took great control to come away with only those two books.

The first book I bought is called "Mon kiri asobi" (ISBN978-4-7966-6074-7) or something like "Play with family crest papercutting"
I started laying with kirigami a little while ago and really enjoy the results. This photo on the right (assuming my formatting sticks, which it doesn't always on blogger) shows some of my earlier kirigami attempts. I want to play with them a lot more on these holidays and this book has not only a few patterns but some great inspiration of things to do with them.

The second book I bought is a Christmas present for my mum. It's called "Design of Japanesque Quilt" (ISBN978-4-418-07415-0). While she won't be able to read any of the text, it is full of gorgeous quilting eye candy.
This first image is the one that really sold me. She's a big fan of Japanese indigo and I love how in this book many of the quilts have been made in the shape of a kimono.

Lastly, I wanted to point out that Japanese design is certainly not all pretty flowers and just for the girls. In terms of clothing and accessories, there is far more for the boys! I will have to get my husband to model some of his funky wardrobe and bags that he's bought over here.
This key case is his Christmas present. It's a fabulous leather with a obi fabric insert. It's by a designer he's been drooling over (drooling over the designer's work I should say...) for a while.
The wallet was way out of our Christmas budget, but I know he'll just love this and I can get him a wallet at a later date to complete the collection.


Joanne said...

oh so lovely. I love the image of the boxes and the hiragana flash cards, or whatever they are.

I love the phrase 'good friend with coffee', so I intend to use it. Or good friends with anything indeed...

(Also I think we've decided to come back to Japan for another visit in September so the idea that I can get my mitts on some of these lovely things is making me sooo happy. Keep posting!)

Jenny said...

Wow!!Eye candy for sure-love the phrase too! Well done for being strong and not spending all your money-enjoy your trip :)

Silvia said...

I love all!!!

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Thanks everyone!


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