Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Zakka at Home in Japan

All the photos are courtesy of The Pal, who is a much better photographer than I.

I am so excited to be in Japan right now. Home of all things kawaii and zakka, I am in heaven. The attention to detail on everything from the warm toilet seats to the engravings on 800 year old temples is extraordinary- this is a culture that likes to get it right.

In a totally unexpected way, too, floods of schoolgirl Japanese are coming back. Words I haven't thought about for nine years or more are flowing out of me like water - such an odd feeling. These memories are of useful phrases such as "one way train ticket" and "I'd like the bill please" but are also peppered with "usagi means rabbit!" and "enpitsu means pencil!". Very strange indeed.

In that spirit of the stream of conscious, I thought I'd share with you a beautiful Nikko find called Nazuna - an antique and zakka shop that was a dangerous place for me to visit!
The most beautifully curated collection of antiquey things - I loved these old wooden spools (if I sewed they'd be coming home) and this set of Japanese family name stamps.
I ended up, in a very restrained way I thought, coming home with a few cards, an antique kimono jacket and a beautiful old key from The Pal for Christmas, which I shall find a chain for to hang around my neck.
I was also very tempted by these dolls, but my suitcase - yes, a carry on - is really already straining at the edges, and I haven't even hit Tokyo's stationery sellers!
I'll post some pictures of some purchases soon. In the meantime, Happy New Year! May 2009 be full of all you wish for.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Space Invaders II

I have written before about how much I love Space Invaders and was thrilled to find a few more to add to my collection. So unexpected - so lovely.

The Pal and I are trying to update our travel blog as we go, too, if you want more holiday love.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Best Book Covers of 2008

As we approach Christmas and New Year - a time of reflection - I thought I'd share with you some of the best judged book covers of the year. Have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones!

Monday, December 8, 2008

New York City

I know I haven't posted in a while, but I've been in New York City. How anyone actually lives here and can tear themselves away from all there is to do in order to blog? I just don't know!

Apart from being quite sick here, I have had the chance to catch up with some friends, meet the delightful Abbey (aka Blog Royalty! Even more lovely than on her blog!), and had a walk in the snow in Greenwich Village. The Pal made a short video which I think sums up the trip so far. So much fun.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Miroslav Sasek

Miroslav Sasek was an incredibly talented illustrator and released these beautiful books in a big series. While travelling, I keep wanting to buy them, but know they would problematise my carry-on baggage rules!