Last year, me and my better half finally booked our dream trip to Japan! Firstly, I need to give you a bit of info about our history together, for you to appreciate what this means to us. I met Joe (18 at the time) when I was just a spring chicken of 17 years old. He was my first love, and introduced me to so many awesome things, that in turn shaped who I am today. He showed me my first ever Studio Ghibli film and introduced me to the world of anime and manga. We had made a pact that we would visit Japan together, and go on amazing adventures of culture, food and all things kawaii. In the year that we were together, we talked about this non-stop. However, when it was his time to go to University, we broke up. As you can imagine, I was pretty devastated. In spite of this, we stayed friends, and we were still close over the next few years. As we moved in the same circles, it was pretty hard to avoid each other! Little did I know, that five years down the line, we would start dating again, and five years after that, we would own our very own home together, complete with our little black panthers, Luna and Goku! So when we got the opportunity to book our dream journey together, we obviously jumped at the chance. So, in September 2017, we will finally embark on a three week long trip, nearly twelve years in the making!
It seems that I have become a planning demon recently too, and I'm loving organizing and arranging our itinerary plans, even though there is a hell of a lot of stuff to cover. Of course I bought another new notebook for the occasion (note to self: stop buying notebooks), and starting saving spare change in our custom made Japan Money Box that my Auntie and Uncle made for us for Christmas. I find that I spend most days researching new places, using google maps to learn the areas we will be staying in and learning Japanese alphabets (don't get me started on Kanji!), when I should be doing other things... like work. But hey ho! This is more important than earning a living, right?
In my Japanese procrastination stage, I've come across some amazing Japan themed items by incredible makers. So the rest of the post is an homage to all things kawaii, Japanese and just plain awesome!
I wanted to kick off with someone who I have girl-crushed on for a few years now. She is an amazing illustrator, cosplayer and advocate of all things crafty, cute and Japanese. Jordan Love is one of my all time favourite designers, and I instantly fell in love with all of her work. She mixes sassy, colourful and kawaii together to create unique items that definitely stand out. So I just had to give a shout out to my two favourite items of hers, her Baka Unicorn Kitty Sticker and the amazing Kawaii Babe enamel pin. If you havent checked out her stuff, do it now! <3
As you know, I have a massive love for enamel and button pin badges, so I couldn't do an appreciation post without including some of my favourites! Nothing says Japanese Candy more, than everyone's favourite sugary sticks: Pocky! Sally McAdam, the enamel pin queen over at Hand Over Your Fairy Cakes smashes it with this colourful and awesome pin of the famous treats. Her work is always incredible, and I can't help but love her bold style.
Another enamel pin on my payday-wishlist is this Mount Fuji pin by Scotland based Asking For Trouble. I have only recently discovered Marceline's work, and I've already popped a couple of items in my basket, poised and ready to go! I cannot wait to visit Mount Fuji, so as soon as I saw this pin, I knew it was one I had to buy. The famous "red sun" surrounding a super kawaii mountain is just the best way to sum up the famous landmark!
Now I don't just love Japanese pins, I've also come across some awesome art along the way. One of which, I was introduced to at the Northern Craft Fair, when I just so happened to be stall neighbours with the lovely Livi Gosling. I loved Livi's art, but didn't get a chance to fully investigate her designs during the day of the fair. So it was a complete surprise when we came home, and Joe gave me a gift that he had bought for me during the fair. It was a beautiful, dreamy and wonderfully illustrated print, from Livi herself. I was blown away by the lovely details and beautiful colours used throughout, and couldn't wait to hang it in our living room! It now takes pride of place, and is a reminder of the awesome places we will visit!
I know that I am just rambling now, so I will promptly wrap this post up, finishing with the super cute work of Stephanie over at Frilly Pops! I've always loved following her on Instagram and seeing her kawaii adventures and new work. Her Onigiri Bunny and Kawaii Your Eyes Out patches have been added to my payday basket, and I've already made space in my mind on my future backpack for Japan! I love the pastel colours she uses in all of her work, and the dreamy illustrations of Harajuku Girls are the cutest I have seen. It would also be very wrong of me not to buy a Sakura Mochi Bunny tee before our trip too, right?
Now that I have already spent all of next months wage on all this super kawaii stuff, I must say that I am more excited about our trip than when I first started this post. So if anyone out there has any Japan tips, tricks or must-do's please let me know in the comments section! I would love to hear any recommendations on places to go, food, drink and anything you can think of!
Crafter. Anime Lover. Cat Lady. Ghibli Enthusiast. Hufflepuff.