Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Swedish stamp set

I found this precious little stamp set yesterday - I'm in love! I've actually been on the lookout for a "Tack" stamp for a while so I was so surprised to find this one here in Japan. I thought for sure I'd have to order one online or at least look somewhere in the states, but here it is!

And not only does it have a "Tack" (which means thank you in Swedish) stamp, but it came with the cute little bird stamp on the right too!

So I tested them out...

...and liked what I saw!

I'm going to have a lot of thank you notes to write after the wedding and I think this stamp will prove to be very useful.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Last weekend Ryan and I got to watch a sumo tournament! It was pretty cool!

We also got to eat at a chanko dining restaurant, which is a traditional sumo wrestlers' dish. They fill a clay pot with various veggies and meat, add either miso or soy sauce broth and then bring it to your table over a flame. You wait for a while for it to cook, then turn your heat down and chow down!

All in all, we had a super fun day at the tournament!

Sorry for my lack of crafting posts recently, I've been busy traveling and seeing things so I haven't had much time to create. I do have a few things a-brewin' though, stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A knit bench

First things first, I apologize for the low-quality photos. Wouldn't you know it that as soon as we got on the train headed for Tokyo I realized I forgot my camera. Oops. Luckily nowadays we always have the backup cellphone camera.

I took these about a month ago but forgot to upload my cellphone pictures until now. Ryan and I had taken a little trip to Ebisu (near Tokyo) to visit the Yebisu Brewery Museum. Since we went before Christmas there were still lots of decorations up and a big Christmas tree in the square. Surrounding the Christmas tree were about 5 of these "knit" benches. I thought they were pretty awesome so I took some photos.

Some sections were knitted and other parts crocheted. Then they were tied onto the benches, or in some cases knit around them.

I don't know why they were like this, but it appeared to be some sort of group project. There was a sign that I assume explained the whole deal but, unfortunately, I can't read Japanese. Your guess is as good as mine.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tochigi City, Japan

Last Friday, Ryan and I spent the good part of our morning and early afternoon in a nearby city - Tochigi. There're lots of old buildings and it's known for its historic warehouse district.

If you're ever in the neighborhood it's worth checking out. Then while you're at it you should stop by my place and say hi. Then we could do some crafts. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

The 2-minute earring holder thingy

I used to keep all of my earrings in a little box or jewelry bowl but I would forget what pairs I had, and often forget to wear them altogether. When I started hanging them up on lace, I could see all of them easily and pick out a pair that matched without any hassle.

This is so quick and easy to make! I've been using it almost 2 years now and I love how handy and convenient it is.

Ok, ready for the instructions?

First, buy approximately 12 inches of wide lace, any color that matches your decor.

Second, hang it up on your bathroom wall or bedroom wall next to your mirror. Hang up your earrings. You're finished!

Enjoy your new earring holder thingy. :)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

T minus 5 months!

It's coming fast, in just 5 short months Ryan and I will tie the ol' knot!

While we were back in the States for Christmas, we attended my BFF's wedding on Jan. 1, it was a blast! She made all her bridesmaids these adorable black velvet cape-lets (as seen below!), how precious is that?! And on top of that, she also made all her wedding favors - Michigan apple butter and Swedish nuts in adorable mini mason jars. Needless to say, I left her wedding quite inspired and motivated to get cracking on me and Ryan's wedding crafts.

I found a beautiful wedding dress when I was home over break and am so excited about it! And when I move back to the States in 3 months my mom is going to help me make my veil using the pearls and applique from her wedding dress. I'm so excited to work on it!

I've been scoping the world wide web for some other fun DIY wedding ideas and came across this adorable idea from La Belle Bride. This fantastic tutorial shows you how to make your own felt heart bouquet. Isn't it adorable? I was thinking it would make a cute toss bouquet!

And in my previous wedding post I mentioned how I wanted to use these Swedish salt and pepper shakers as the wedding cake topper, and guess what? I ordered them, we are going to use them, woo hoo!! Plus, I'm excited to be able to use them after the wedding, a fun little reminder of our big day!

For our favors, we're planning on doing a Swedish-themed candy table. Ryan has a pretty big sweet tooth (more like mouth full of sweet teeth) and we thought it would be a fun idea to have it all be Swedish! Swedish fish, junglevral, bilar, polka mints...the options are endless!!

I would also like to DIY the center pieces, place cards, bridesmaid gifts, and programs for the ceremony. So much to do! But luckily I have very crafty friends and family to help me! :)

Monday, January 10, 2011


I love crafting. I've always loved crafting, especially as a kid. My parents kept some of the projects I made when I was a kid and although they certainly don't show any signs of artistic talent, it's fun to look at things that I was excited about creating.

I've recently realized that I always want to craft. Whether it's just for things around the house or to sell in stores. I would love to one day be able to sell things I make, but I want to make sure I stay excited about what I create. Having little experience selling what I make (I've only done 1 craft fair), I know it will be a balancing act to make sure I stay focused and excited instead of getting burned out.

All that to say, I got some really awesome craft books for Christmas! They are very inspiring and informative on what to expect when starting up your very own craft business. I'd like to start up at least an etsy shop by the end of 2011 and these books have already been very helpful, check 'em out!

The Handmade Marketplace is a gold mine of information on starting up your own crafting business. It has some great tips on branding your crafts and discovering your style, both things I need to figure out!

Craft, Inc. overlaps with some of the information given in The Handmade Marketplace but gives tons of first-hand experiences and insights by professional crafters which I found extremely helpful.

This book isn't about starting up a craft business at all, it's all about creating things for your home that reflect who you are as a family. I absolutely love it! I've already started the list of what to make for when Ryan and I get hitched and move into our first place together. I'm also going to make his wedding present from an idea in this book which involves a word-burning tool kit, and no, I've never used one before...wish me luck!

What are some of your favorite craft books?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggidy jig

I'm back! I had a lovely Christmas celebration with my family! There was lots of coffee-drinking, chit-chatting, picture-taking, and game-playing (Monopoly, Euchre...). And there was pickled herring aplenty, of course. It was simply wonderful. I hope you had a lovely Christmas too!

I want to give another huge thank you to everyone who participated in the Scandinavian Christmas series, it was so much fun to do. Plus, I met some really awesome new bloggers! If you haven't checked them out yet, now's your chance!