Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bookcase Tour Tuesday - Nengajo Sourcebook

Every year in Japan, as the year is coming to a close there is a flurry of "nengajo" printing, creating, writing and sending. A nengajo is a New Years postcard, much like Christmas cards that are sent in other parts of the world. Stores in Japan are filled with not just pre-printed cards but also blank cards, rubber stamps, stickers and all sorts of supplies to create your own.

The first nengajo I created I used my friend's Gocco printer. In those days you could buy books filled with designs to copy with the printer. More recently however, the "Print Gocco" has been pushed aside in favour of the home computer printer and so design sourcebooks became popular.

Every year, around November, new publications are released to help people create their own cards. The books are filled with a huge range of designs, from the traditional to the cute, all saved on a cd for the user to upload.

2008 was the Chinese Year of the Rat, so this particular book was filled with many mice, mice being much cuter than rats. It's funny I remember that for the Year of the Dragon, there were many seahorse designs going around as seahorse is called a "sea dragon" in Japanese.

I really love these matryoshka mice!

Other than using the books for the Japanese writing on my nengajo, I mostly bought these books each year as they were jam-packed with inspiring illustrations and for a really reasonable price.

And lastly, my favourite piece out of the whole book...

Hmmm... I'm thinking... how fun would a crafty bloggy nengajo swap be.... anyone interested?

***Update - My good friend Mel from Crafty Japan has kindly offered to pick up a copy of one of the 2011 releases for anyone that is interested.  Please contact her through her Etsy store if you'd like her to get you one.***


Baa-Me Kniits said...

I love that idea! Count me in if you go ahead.

Those are some lovely images, can you get those books online? This is the year of the Tiger and I am a Tiger so it would be a treat if they are still available :-)

Jenny said...

Another gorgeous book-such beautiful images. A swap sounds like fun:)

BumbleVee said...

I'm in for a swap Melanie ..... although, I don't know if I quite get the whole gist of things.... but, more info will put me at ease I'm sure....

...and...besides, it's a ways off yet....

Anonymous said...

So beautiful!
We saw so many of these books. Peter seemed to understand what they were for and we bought one or two. I love the illustrations too, but anything other than typing on a computer, is beyond me!

origa-me said...

I'd really love to get hold of one of these books,I have just taken up making etegami after discovering Dosankodebie's etegami blog. I have a granddaughter with a Japanese Mum so My interest in all things Japanese is pretty high.


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