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Showing posts from January 5, 2014

Shinjuku Shop Windows

On the whole, I am not a devotee of shop window displays. I used to occasionally stop to admire Liberty's but that was about it. But following Rachel's guest post about christmas windows I have been a bit more aware of them, and the ones in Shinjuku this week definitely caught my eye. I was on one of the main roads near the station and the juxtaposition of the Louis Vuitton opulence with the Oioi (I think) department store nearby was very effective*.
The one thing that does always occur to me with these windows is logistics. For example, were the flowers shipped to the store as is and over how great a distance?
How were they packed to ensure they didn't get crumpled and bent? Are those cherries vacuum formed plastic, and what about the balloons? Or sprayed polystyrene perhaps?
Could they even be inflatable? And what happens to it after this display is done with? Does every LV shop have the same display or were these designed specifically for this space?

Moving on I admired…

Normality Has Been Achieved

My facebook status a few days ago read
Every now and again, I look up at all the neon and so on, and think "Holy shit, I'm in Japan." This happened to me again on the train this morning, and again while I was pottering around the kitchen. I have concluded that this means I am finally used to being here. Being on the metro, walking around the streets, using ingredients whose labels I can't understand, is all quite normal to me now - it doesn't seem obvious that I'm in a different country. A pretty good thing after just 7 weeks on this side of the world.

Normality coincides with my first finished knitting project since I arrived (there was the blanket but that was crochet). It is a Multinomah Shawl (rav link to free pattern) with a beaded cast off.
It also coincides with my acquisition of this FQ bundle in very japanese colours.
It also coincides with another visit to my favourite cat cafe in Shinjuku. Prizes were awarded for...Cutest Feet:
Most Variegated Eyes:

Japanese Craft Books

I have been having a lovely time over New Year, tucked up on the sofa under the new crocheted blanket next to Pooch, looking through a selection of Japanese Craft books. Not only do I have access to the usual bookshops (photos in this post) but also the Book-Off chain who do second hand books. And not only am I able to buy books and magazines BUT I have a library five minutes away which has a monthly quilting magazine you can read there AND a big craft section upstairs. I really am pretty lucky.
Those of you not familiar with japanese craft books, their usefulness lies in their extensive use of diagrams, charts and symbols. This makes them highly accessible to non-japanese speakers. There are a number of websites helping you understand them too. There is a brilliant collection of resources here and I have bought new books from Pomadour on Etsy before.

A few favourites from recent reads:
and this is the kind of instructions you get for the hexagon bag.
There are also usually templates …

Washing in Tokyo

Space in Tokyo is really scarce. However, a lot of apartments have a small outside space or balcony - even if only because you need somewhere to stick the outdoor bit of the aircon unit which is standard here. On the majority of balconies you will see something I've only rarely seen in the UK - and which I've just found through googling described by an ebay seller as a "Plastic Fold Hanging Rack Peg Dryer Airer Wash Drying Hanger Indoor Outdoor Clip" which is quite a good name, or by Lakeland as a "Magic Hanger". These often hang from laundry poles for which there are standard fittings on most balconies. A la these in the flats I can see from our balcony.
I made myself foolishly happy this morning by using mine to hang out my knitted socks.
Eleven pairs in all. All made by me except for the pinky red ones second from the right which were a present and are lovingly cared for. They include the first pair I made using ProbablyJane's Bracket Fungus pattern …