Japan Scrapbooking

Friday, July 30, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

Just a quick post to say hello, and I'm still here :) I've been struck down with a bad flu and I also took some time off from blogging to focus on zine making and my Japan trip scrapbook that I have been meaning to get done since last year!! I might eventually make it into a zine...however I have some other zine ideas I'm working on at the moment, so it will have to wait.
This is just a little teaser post as I'm working on a long blog on Japan decor (took some good pix of my study, photoshoping them is taking some time!- because I have a crap camera).

Souvenir and brochures from the 2009 Anime Fair!

Maps, photos, shopping tags

One of the first pages of my scrapbook...my writing so messy..might type it out later.

Yummy Treats and Kawaii buys

Friday, July 23, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

Went shopping at North Ryde and got some yummy treats from Top Rydes Yen Yen Supermarket and new patisserie Hello Happy!


This biscuit choc dip treat is from Singapore, it reminds me of the Yin yang treats that I normally find at Miracle Supermarkets...except they don't come with sprinkles. The Panda is another Meiji chocolate from Okashi-Land. Meiji is like the Japan version of Cadbury- good chocolate!


Peko is my fave character mascot in Japan, she stands at the front of confectioner/ Patisserie cafe Fujiya. I visited many of these over in Japan. I was ecstatic to find these choc lolly pops of Peko-Chan and her boyfriend Poko-Chan. I will blog more about Peko soon!

Ive been eating Hello Panda's since I was little, my mum worked near Sydney's China Town and ever so often she would buy my sister & I Hello Pandas...or even the Koala ones. I prefer the choc filling ones over strawberry and vanilla. So a visit to any Asian supermarket isn't complete without a Hello Panda purchase. Couldnt believe it when I found this 450gm bucket of them! Hello Pandas started my love for Meiji chocolate.Will be able to keep some other trinkets in it when I'm done :)

Always happy to find new patisseries!!! Found Hello Happy at the new Top Ryde Shopping centre. As well as coffee and hot chocs they do a great selection of cream sponges, berry tarts and mousse cakes. I got this yummy choc mousse with a macaroon.

Kawaii + Cats = best nail clippers E.V.E.R!

I spent weeks hovering in the toy shop, trying to decide if I should buy Buttercup, the sweet unicorn from Toy Story 3...her Kawaii cuteness was just too much so I had to get her!! Doesn't she look lovely on my bookshelf ??

Glossy Love: CLEO (August)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 2 Comments A+ a-

The cover of the August issue of CLEO reminds me of a Japan magazine cover, with it's bright fluro Blue background and orange scribbled cover lines- Harajuku Lovers Gwen Stefani is even on the cover! Stefani talks about family life, fashion label L.A.M.B and the No Doubt reunion!

After finding out my fave and most inspiring Aussie Magazine Editor, Sarah Oakes is leaving CLEO- nooooooo! (moving to Sunday Life), I quickly turned to the Ed. Letter page to read Sarah's goodbyes...and to see how long I had left with CLEO & Sarah (normally when Editors leave they do a goodbye letter). Phew! Sarah does not mention her leave in the Ed. letter, so this must mean she still has one more issue to go! Yay! Ok. moving on ...

Flicking through the pages of the August issue of Cleo...it seems they once again are reading my mind, even covering some things I've mentioned on my blog! eg. new interests and hobbies. Here are the best bits;

What's Now pg.28 interviews P.S I Made this DIY fashion blogger Erica Domesek- notice I added this wonderful blog to my blogroll. Each one of Erica's blogs features a inspiration board layout, followed by fashion DIY instructions. Her blog has become soooo popular she even has a book out! Just gotta get this!

Cleo features always seem to know where I am in life, with features I can relate to; Candice Chung looks at following your career dreams, and not being afraid to make changes in your life to achieve this in Dream it, do it pg. 62, Georgia Clark also solves your career traps pg. 107. Learn to 'open a jar when it's stuck', 're-gift without getting busted', 'write a meaningful birthday card' etc. with; 20 solutions to 20 common life dramas pg.68. Bec Whish looks at Twitter getting you a job vs twitter losing you a job pg. 90 This article reminded me of the blog I read about Mia Freedman twittering potential employees. Personally I don't see anything wrong with this, I use twitter and facebook to network alone or for blog PR. The most personal it get's is my everyday thoughts, but I would never consider putting anything negative or bad that it will effect my safety.

In Store pg. 37; stylish illustration by Igore + Andre's Danny Roberts, he also has collaborated illustration designs with Forever 21 and Harajuku Lovers. Love his pop-culture and magazine cover illustrations!


Nicole Elephicks' Gen Y myths Busted pg. 94 makes me think...'yeah what she said' when dealing with social crap and judgement.

being a blogger, loved, loved, loved the 'How to' piece Get your blog on pg.96 features some great blogger tips by Daydream Lilly, Rachel Hills, Sarah Wilson, Mia Freedman and Meet me at Mikes Pip Lincolne...I also feature these blogs on my blogroll! Hope one day my blog is good enough to feature in Cleo. Cleo is 'the bloggers' mag after all.

2 page book preview pg. 80 of Neil Pasricha's The book of Awesome...which does infact look...awesome. The book reminds me of the Chik magazine section Gold & Old, however it focuses on the Gold aka good things in life like; wearing underwear just out of the dryer, popping bubble wrap, when you get extra items from vending machines. This is another case of a blogger producing a book- 1001 Awesome things.

Wish I had the One fine day wedding special pgs. 114-119 when I was getting married!Includes lots of wedding links and tips, bridal DIYs, Wedding profiles and wedding accessories spreads.

Always enjoy the Insight sections My Space pg.178- always features cool home interiors which often remind me of modern kawaii japan rooms- I will be blogging more about Kawaii interior soon!

Like Bec Whish I have newly discovered and jumped on 'The handmade revolution' pg.187, which is Etsy! I have only made purchases so far of Zines and Japan MT Tape.

Went C.R.A.Z.Y for Rachel Lewis's Illustrated food recipes!!! (hope she releases a book!), reminds me of Dawn Tan's Zines!


Also thanks to Cleo's Radar section I found out that my fave essay author Sloane Crosley has a new book out! How did you get this number, I loved her first anthology book I was told there'd be cake. Cleo book club also gave me some more reasons why I have to purchase Frankie writer Benjamin Law's book The Family Law.

Looks like more greatness, this month from Cleo!
See also: June Cleo for more glossy love.

Glossy Love: Zipper

Saturday, July 17, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

One of my purchasing weakness is Japanese magazines! Like I have mentioned before, I cannot read Kanji (something I really want to learn) however this does not stop me from buying heaps of Japan magazines! It will probably be a regular thing now that I share with you some of my recent J-pop mag buys, also from my page observations I will try to figure out what each issue is about and include some fave page scans off course. Today I share with you the latest issue of urban-street fashion glossy Zipper.

This issue caught my eye with it's bright yellow cover and model wearing black lace bunny ears. Zipper mostly focuses on rock/punk/urban/Lolita fashion pieces from labels; RNA, X-girl, Hep Five, Hanjiro, Monomania etc.
Japan mags and fashion have a direct focus on character merchandise so there is lots of accessories, bags, zakka with images of Jelly Belly, Snoopy, Rody, Barbie etc.

Zipper always does great new & popular store reviews, they all include links in English which helps! Tokyo shop mentions include; Virgin Mary, Poupee, Wesc etc.


The Big Bang beauty pages, shows the latest in Japan fringe cuts for short, long, medium hair.


Fashion spreads in Zipper...and most Japanese magazines always feel like snaps are taken while having fun with friends, as seen in this rock inspired shoot by fashion photographer Osami Yabuta. The more colourful fashion pages show how to take models (eating big pretzels) from looking boyish to girlish- so lots of overalls and over-sized business shirts, big bow headbands, funky clogs and Chuck Taylor's in all colours.

Zipper crafty section shows you how to make a flower lace bead broach.

The monthly black & white middle insert always includes star signs, letters to Zipper, anime strips, as well as stockists.
While the back Culture Burger section is movie, music news and reviews in J-pop entertainment.

There is a special feature on Japanese Comedienne Yoppy! Great name hey! Yoppy has appeared in many issues of Zipper, in and on the cover. If anyone knows the link to the official Yoppy website, please let me know :)


Here are a few more scans from some back issues of Zipper;

How to make a Mori Girl: Lesson 2

Thursday, July 15, 2010 0 Comments A+ a-

My order at Kinokuniya arrived the other day- a Japan e-mook (a book/magazine that comes with a free 'present'/ gift which is normally a special brand bag, purse or jewellery) on Mori Girls: Lesson 2. Like Gothic, Lolita etc. Mori Girls is another Japan fashion subculture which I would describe as 'forest girls' who live amongst cedar pine trees (Mori means 'forest' in Japanese). Mori girls look could be described across between Little Red Riding hood, Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables and any other pastoral fantasy characters you can think of! According to the Mori Girls blog, Mori Girls are; fairytale forest wanderers in loose dresses, vintage prints and quaint accessories. Mori girls choose to live their lives on their own terms, stopping to appreciate the little things that others overlook amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The Mori Girls: Lesson 2 e-mook teaches you all about the Mori Girl, how to be one and how a Mori girl dresses, where she shops and Mori Girl activities. This issue came with a cute Alpaca (love Alpacas!) Marble Sub bag that says "Quete Vaya Bien" in Spanish this means "hope all is well for you". In true Mori Girls enviro fashion, the pages look to be recyclable, layouts include Polaroids and quaint pictures of Mori Girls in forests, page boarders have Paisley patterns, dots and even Japan MT Tape! A Mori Girls pet...apart from the Alpaca would have to be Rabbits as they are included on most pages.

The How to make a Mori Girl lift out teaches you about Mori Girl beauty and style, giving you visual step by step lessons on how to plait and curl your hair, adding the right flower hair accessories, how to team boots/flats with long slouchy print socks and flower stockings, different ways to wear woolly scarfs (a Mori Girl key piece!).
Here are some more lessons I learned from reading visually observing the pages of the Mori Girl: lesson 2 e-mook;

- A Mori Girl wears loose dresses, skirts with vintage, flower, paisley etc. prints, blouses that look like smocks, favours natural colours like dark blue, brown or green, looks warm and comfy with over sized woolly scarfs, long ruffled socks, print stockings, knitwear, ear- muffs, fluffy or french inspired straw hats, ponchos, boleros a leather bag or pochette to carry her trinkets, likes gold or vintage jewellery with large motifs or animal/food/character inspired necklaces and rings, while flats, clogs, sandals or boots are the choice for footwear.

-Mori Girls shop at; ConocotoColkinikha, Mother  Super Hakka for vintage and other fashion pieces, Ooso and Q-pot for accessories, Tabio for footwear/socks, On Travelling, Sunui, Hiroko Hayashi, Ponia-pon, Marble SUD for handmade things, eating and relaxing at Scai Bathhouse, Go Slow, Too-Ticki and buys her craft supplies from Pin-dot.

-A Mori Girl loves all things handmade and can be found doing many crafty things like candle making as seen on pg. 78-79, which includes a cupcake candle making lesson with Vida Feliz, loves to read Spoon, Jasmine Zine, Syrup  and Murmur magazine, always carries a good camera to capture special moments, to later put in her scrapbook or journal.

Here's a Mori Girl inspired picture I found in an issue of Aussie Cosmo...I think, has one of my fave models Mariana in it!
In Japan I visited Nara, which is known for it's famous hall of the 'Great Buddha'- It's also the place to see deers! They roam around free through the town, you can even pat them, so well natured. I got a few pics that look like a scene out of the Disney movie Bambi. A true Mori Girl location!


I mentioned I loved Alpaca's earlier...so here are some pics I took at Hartley while on holiday up in the Blue Mountains. How cute are the ones romancing with their necks together!

Dawn Tan's +Handmade Love+

Monday, July 12, 2010 2 Comments A+ a-

I have not only fallen in love with creative crafter artist Dawn Tan's Zines, but all her handmade love works as well! Ironically, the week I purchased Dawn's Super Speedy Three-day Sydney itinerary and A-Z Few of my Favourite things Zines, she was featured in the July/August issue of Frankie for her 1 metre food illustration project.

Dawn hard at work in her studio

What attracted to me to Dawn Tan's zines are her unique, intricate and detailed food/product watercolour illustrations. I have always been a fan of these type of illustrated drawings- so I just had to get Tan's Zines.

I was lucky to get the last copy of Dawn & Darren's Super Speedy three-day Zine (I got zine 33/40), which is a quick and easy itinerary of quaint shops, cafes and restaurants visited on their....speedy Sydney trip. Written and designed like someones personal travel journal/ scrapbook it focuses on the main Sydney areas Glebe, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, The Rocks and CBD. Dawn Tan also writes about the best things to eat at each location which are accompanied by Tan's special food/map watercolour drawings. Like me, it seems Dawn is also patisserie obsessed- she has made me want to go to Glebe and Surry Hills to pig out on glorious food! There is also an 'extra writing' space' page in the zine for me to write my own Sydney adventures in- Thanks Dawn!



A to Z: These are a few of my favourite things is 26 watercolour food illustrations of...you guessed it her favourite everyday things. My fave ones include; her polka dot glass, oil colours, tissue pouch, iced chocolate, Body Shop strawberry spray, Dove Products, Nutella (like the pic on my Zine sketch book) and Dawns peach/apricot tea. I was even inspired to draw one of my very AND first favourite thing...My first doll Golly! (note: this is a very rough illustration).
                                                               My illustration


As well as her zines some of her other cool creative projects include her huge Pascals Marshmallow bag soft sculpture and French Macaron pillows....gotta get one of these! Cute and amazing. Note: Some photos from Dawn Tans' HandmadeLove blog.


Here are some more food/product illustration that I found/ have;

Waku Waku it's La Carmina!

Friday, July 09, 2010 3 Comments A+ a-

The word Kawaii, meaning cute became prominent in Japan in the 1970's brought upon by Japanese childlike fashion and Hello Kitty. Now Kawaii has spread into every aspect of living- including food! I was so Waku (excited) to get an exclusive interview with Cute Yummy Time author La Carmina and chat with her about all things Kawaii.

La Carmina describes herself as an 'undead Queen Victoria, crossed with Hello Kitty, and mother to the world's kawaii Scottish fold cat; Basil Farrow...who even has his own blog
La Carmina is also the author of three books on J-pop culture and food, Cute Yummy Time, Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo and The Cosmos in a Carrot. She also runs her own clothing line inspired by Tim Burton and Marie Antoinette, and blogs obsessively about Harajuku street style, goth fashion, Japan subcultures and her daily photos and adventures. La Carmina has even hosted segments on The Today Show (US), CNN and Bizarre foods with Andrew Zimmern for the Travel Channel....is there anything that La Carmina doesn't do???


Jenna: Tell us about your books
La Carmina: Cute Yummy Time: 70 recipes for the cutest food you'll ever eat (Perigee/Penguin USA) is a “kawaii” (think Hello Kitty) cookbook based on the Japanese trend of decorating bento boxes to look like cute characters. Using familiar and nutritious ingredients, I show you how to easily turn even the most mundane meal into a squeal-worthy sensation: pancakes become adorable koalas, grilled cheese sandwiches become hippos, and lemon tarts look like puppies.
As well as the writing, La Carmina does all the designs and cool illustrations in her books!

Crazy Wacky Theme Restaurants: Tokyo (Mark Batty/Random House). Theme restaurants are big in Japan, and no experience is complete without monster attacks, sneaky ninja waiters, or French maids that offer to clean your ears. In this book I takes you on a tour of Tokyo’s most outrageous dining establishments, with jaw-dropping photos of the costumes and interiors. My adventures include a haunted jail, Dracula’s lair, Wonderland, Little Hong Kong, and cafes where women are served by waiters dressed as schoolboys.

Jenna: Your fave Kawaii things?
La Carmina: I have a collection of cute animal rings, such as panda and teddy bear faces. I write to friends on kawaii stationery, and sometimes wear Japanese stuffed toys like Miffy with my outfits. But to me, the King of Kawaii is my fat yellow earless kitty, Basil Farrow!

Jenna: What Japan restaurants and cafes can we go to that sells Kawaii decoration food?
La Carmina: The Alice in Wonderland cafĂ© has Cheshire Cat ice cream sundaes and sushi decorated like a caterpillar. Maid cafes will draw adorable creatures on your omelette-rice using ketchup, or they’ll brew a latte with a kitty-face on it.

Jenna: Living in Australia (even other countries) it's hard to find sandwich cutters, bento decorations and other Kawaii treat making equipment (like the ones featured in your book). What are some great places or websites we can visit, to make our own Yummy Time food? I noticed you sell some great kawaii equipment on your own bento store!
La Carmina: Absolutely! You can find heaps of Kawaii inspired bento and food accessories like; sushi, ice-cream and sandwich stamp molds in various shapes and characters via my own personal bento store. I also sell other Kawaii products like an Hello Kitty toaster (toasts a Hello Kitty face on your bread!), J-pop character bento boxes, aprons and lots more including my books of course! However, there’s no need to have any special equipment in order to make kawaii food. In my book Cute Yummy Time I demonstrate how you can use anything from a cup rim to the end of a straw to cut out and combine shapes - so get creative!

Jenna: Have you been to Australia before?
La Carmina: I haven’t… I’d love to visit one day. I have some friends in Australia, and it’s not far from Japan.

Jenna: Fave places to shop in Japan?
La Carmina: I spend most of my wardrobe budget at Closet Child, the secondhand store that stocks brand-name Gothic Lolita Punk clothing (such as Moi-meme-Moitie, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Alice and the Pirates and more). There are store locations are in Ikebukuro, Harajuku and Shinjuku. La Carmina also has her own Tim Burton inspired fashion line that includes T-Shirts and hoodies. Which has her own illustrated pictures of herself and her cat Basil Farrow on them!

Jenna: What new projects are you working on at the moment?
La Carmina: I’m excited about upcoming TV projects… I’m also currently writing for CNNGo.com (an Asia travel/lifestyle website), blogging daily, writing a column for Lip Service Webzine, and working on other things that I can’t announce yet!

Jenna: What inspires you?
La Carmina: My friends are so creative and daring -- they inspire me to reach for the same heights. And I love my blog readers for sending me messages and links… often, I discover something inspiring through them.

Jenna: I’m a big cat lover/ owner myself and I just read on your blog that your cat Basil Farrow was on a TV Show! How did that come about? He seems to be a celebrity himself!
La Carmina: Basil Farrow grew up in a movie star family: Mia Farrow is his grandma, and Ronan Farrow is his dad! Now he lives with his mom (me), and I often put up videos of Basil’s cute antics on our YouTube channel. They got a lot of views, and Discovery Channel took notice... A producer for Animal Planet/Discovery’s “Cats 101” TV show contacted us. Basil Farrow will be in the “Fat Cats” episode, airing this fall or early next year!

Jenna: One of the things I loved about Japan are their cat cafes! For those who have not travelled to Japan, What can we find in a Cat Cafe?
La Carmina: You’ll always find a Scottish Fold (fold-eared cat) in Japanese cat cafes. They’re very popular for obvious cuteness reasons! Many residents can’t keep pets at home, so they come to these cafes to pet and play with dozens of cats… and have a drink or snack at the same time. It’s the one place where you can’t complain about finding cat hairs in your food!

For more about La Carmina’s cute cooking and fashion adventures, check out her blog below. Note: all images and illustrations are from La Carmina's official website/blog. Header picture layout arrangement by My Life as a Magazine.


                                            La Carmina Gothic Lolita Punk blog. Harajuku Japan fashion.