Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tokyo Metro

This page was the simplest thing to make ever. I had taken lots of photos aboard the subway trains in Tokyo over time and finally decided I wanted to use them. Especially since the machine spit back my hubby's ticket (usually, the machine eats it when you leave the station). I've had the negative-strip photo mat in my stash for quite some time so just printed my main photo and my journaling to fit. I adhered it to my cardstock at an angle then arranged all my smaller photos, plus the ticket in blocks around it. The title is just the metro logo downloaded from the Internet. To finish, I cut blocks of washi paper to fill in any blank areas. I like the angle as it seems to suggest motion.
Here's my journaling:
I’m comfortable with the role of being a stranger in a strange land. But I try to blend into the crowd when I’m riding the Tokyo Metro. With color-coded signage, punctual schedules and a high level of cleanliness, it’s a fast and easy way to get around.
Japanese people sleep on the subway without concern, and though I do feel myself lulled by the low vibrations, I am more inclined to people watch. The stations sprawl underground connecting so many people and places making it a great place to trend watch and observe microcosms of Japanese society. While most people keep their head down sleeping, reading or texting, I am sometimes the recipient of a curious glance or a slight smile. Traveling underground in the hushed environment can feel mysterious and even a bit romantic.
Once the train arrives at my station, the hush evaporates from the crowd as the doors open and we split apart, scattering along hundreds of individual paths.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What's the Story?

I love staying at the New Sanno hotel in Tokyo. You can't beat the price anywhere in Tokyo and the service is always excellent. There are a number of dining choices inside the hotel, but the renovated Japanese restaurant is my favorite. Everything about it - from the decor, to the food - is stellar. And being a bit of a sloppy eater, being able to wear a bib is a dream come true for me. Hence the inspiration behind my layout. The journaling reads:

What’s the story, Morning Glory? What’s the tale, Nightingale? What’s the word, Mockingbird?
Kikuya’s beautiful entranceway is decorated with soaring cranes and the doors are etched in a bamboo motif. The inside is just as lovely and our teppanyaki chef cooked our meal to perfection. But my favorite thing about the place? The bibs! I’m always slopping food down my clothes and have long had the idea to make bibs fashionable in such a way that every restaurant would want to have their own design and every patron would clamor to wear one. It looks like Kikuya is paving the way for what I hope will someday be THE must-have fashion accessory.

Since I was using an analogous coor scheme (side-by-side colors on the color wheel), I needed to give the edges of my paper more definition by adding a bit of coordinating ink. The easiest way to do this is to take the ink pad and gently run it along the paper’s edge. A dye-based ink or Colorbox Fluid Chalk Ink are ideal for this application. I usually take a bit of leftover paper and try a few colors until I find the one I like the best.
But if you have tiny bits that you want to highlight -- like letters or paper flowers, -- the direct ink-to-paper technique is bit more difficult. A small eye-makeup applicator is just the thing needed to get into small spaces. Rub the applicator on the ink pad, and then apply the applicator to your small letters. Easy-peasy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Remember When

This altered clipboard is a Valentine gift for my Mom who likes to do crossword puzzles. I created the crossword puzzle at http://www.custompuzzles.com/ using my own clues and answers.
I chose clues such as: Baseball/Bowling team you coached; Whenever we complained of being bored, you told us to do this; We decorated the house with these on Christmas Eve. Mom raised 6 of us, so there were plenty memories to make clues out of.
Once you finish inputting your clues, you can choose to print out your custom puzzle with a photo background or plain. I chose one of their chocolate backgrounds, but then trimmed around the puzzle so it would show off the background papers on the clipboard. To make a nice smooth surface to hold her newspaper crossword puzzles, the entire project is covered with Mod Podge.
First I prepped the clipboard with acrylic paint, then glued my paper to the clipboard and sanded the edges smooth. I like the look this gave the paper. Next, I inked the edges all around, then spread the Mod Podge on the top of the paper and smoothed it down so there are no bubbles. I finished with chocolate stickers from Jolee’s and a few lengths of ribbon.
The back is finished in coordinating papers and has the puzzle answers.
Once Mom finishes this nostalgic crossword puzzle, she can use the clipboard to hold her daily paper's crossword in place. Happy Valentine's Day and have fun reminiscing Mom!

Monday, February 9, 2009


Living in Japan, I just can't help myself when I visit the local craft store and stand in front of all that beautiful washi paper. It comes in so many colors and patterns and is in huge sheets on bolts like rows of colorful fabric.
You may recognise this flowered washi from my Abe Lincoln birthday card. It is such a beautiful pattern enfused with pink, purple, turquoise and yellow flowers on a black background further enhanced by gold threading.
To make this layout, I simply cut the washi papers into 1/2 inch strips and wove them together. Once I matted the photo of Miwa, the rest of the page just came together.
The vines are made with Fancy Pants clear stamps. I cut them out once they were stamped and traced the lines with Black Diamond Stickles.
The row of gems along the bottom are from the 100 yen shop and are meant to decorate a cell phone. Oh, the fun things I find in Japan! Miwa's name in kanji on the bottom is also a sticker I took off of some packaging.
Journaling: Miwa, who can resist your big brown eyes? Everywhere we go, it's "Kawaii!" One look at the picture of Miwa, and I'm sure you can tell that kawaii means "Cute!"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Once Upon A Time

I could not resist using this pretty Sea Glass paper from K and Company for one of my beach photos. I guess I am missing the Florida beach this winter. It was 60 degrees here today -warm for February in Tokyo, but cooler than it usually is in Florida. You can see the date in the heart is from December 2007.
I used stickles to bring shine and sparkle to the big blossom and the little silver starfish are from Nunn Designs. I found those in a stationery store in Tokyo in their scrapbook section and just had to have them.
The line of crystals under the shadow photo are actually cell phone decorations!
I love my fairy tale story that goes with the photo:

Once upon a time there was a really cute princess who was walking along a California beach all alone when she heard a voice calling, “Hey, Really Cute Princess!”
She looked around and saw a handsome man with chocolate-colored eyes and holes in his pockets. She started to carry on her way but the man called again. “Hey, Really Cute Princess, if you marry me I will take you to far off lands and show you many more beautiful beaches.”
It had been a very boring day and the cute princess liked to travel, so she decided to date the chocolate-eyed man, though she was not sure she believed him at all.
In no time at all the princess discovered that the man was really a Handsome, Strong, Hardworking Prince. They were soon married under a canopy of brilliant fuchsias.
Not long after, the Handsome Prince arrived home from work and made a Royal Announcement. “It is time to move to another beautiful land,” he proclaimed. The Princess excitedly packed all their things for the move. Through the years, the Prince and Princess honed their packing skills to perfection as the Handsome Prince moved them from one beautiful land to another – every 3 to 5 years.
True to his promise, the Prince took the Princess to set up house along many beautiful beaches and river banks.