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Inspiring Images from Japanese Craft Books

decor8 reader Emy from Sicily told me about this great flickr craft pool that posts inspiring images from Japanese craft books so of course I had to snoop around. I’m certain most of you will really love browsing these 2,400+ photos, 150 pages worth of inspiration. I think I’m going to print some of the ones I like in full color and use the images to paste into my look books.

Thanks, Emy!

(photos from flickr craftbooks/pool)

Posted in uncategorized on April 19, 2006

Zara Home

The fabulous trend-spotter, Imedagoze over in Singapore wrote all about Zara Home on her blog yesterday, which is a store that I’d not heard of before. I’ve shopped at Zara before for clothing, but didn’t realize that they had home stores. From the looks of them, they are quite fantastic, too. Has anyone ever experienced Zara Home in your part of the world? We don’t have them here in the states, but according to their website, the closest one to me is at 79-83 Brompton Road in London. Just a quick hop over the pond (ha!).

Imelda, thanks for posting about this fab find!

(Paola, if you’re reading these, please check it out and report in before you relo to Seattle, I’d love to get your thoughts on the in-store experience!)

(images from imedagoze)

Posted in uncategorized on April 19, 2006

Japanese Crafting

I think I’m turning Japanese, I really think so!

I remember getting lost in a Japanese grocery store in Japantown out in San Francisco in 2001. There I was on my honeymoon, and I couldn’t be separated with the aisles of Japanese toothpaste, q-tips and gummy animals because their packaging was just sooo cute. My husband and I strolled the aisles for what felt like all afternoon, touching everything and excitedly showing the other what we found. Total geeks in love. Sick, huh?

Now, several years later, my fascination with Japanese design is back, and stronger than ever. So, I’m issuing a cry for help to my readers. If you know of Japanese magazines, crafts, websites, etc. please send them along to me so I can further this addiction.

Here are some of my favorite Japanese crafting links, many in English:

Buzzville blog – Japanese Crafting blog in English.
Shinobu’s Home – Super sweet greeting cards that look like the dreamiest illustrations that you’d love to see in more children’s books.

Also, if you go to eBay and search ‘Japanese Crafts’, ‘Japanese Stationery’, you’ll pull up many results. eBay store King Garden features a great selection of pattern books, and This Was Then has some beautiful patterns (and modern mobiles too!).

Kitty Craft – Super fabulous online store, in English, with crafts, fabrics and magazines.
All things Japanese. ahhh…

Cotton Time magazine – totally addictive and Couturier Zakka magazine – yum! Best part, you can purchase them online!

CatCraft Alice – I don’t know what it is, but these handmade cats looking up at
me with big eyes does something to my heart… This site couldn’t be any cuter.

Sorale – Really nice garden items, I love their birdcages and wooden dustbins.

One term I’m seeing used a lot on these websites is “Zakka”. I’m wondering, is this a term for a trend, like here we’d say “Shabby Chic” or “Cottage Style”. Does anyone know what Zakka means? To me, it almost seems to refer to the floral country style made popular by designers Cath Kidston and Rachel Ashwell, along with a modern natural feel, like Lotta Jansdotter. If anyone knows, please share with all of us by posting your comments below.

(Images from Shinobu, Kitty Craft, CatCraft Alice and Sorale.)

Posted in uncategorized on April 19, 2006

Kita Usagi

Why do I torture myself with things I can’t have? I’m becoming more and more obsessed lately with Japanese crafting, ceramics, fabrics, illustrations and then, I just had to stumble upon this whole world of Japanese crafting magazines and sewing patterns and now, Kita Usagi, this beautiful website featuring an adorable bunny in nearly all of their designs from stationery to teapots. They also stock these gorgeous wood clocks. I can’t read any of the text on the site (holding back the tears), but the photos are just adorable that I’m sure you’ll enjoy flipping through the site even though we can’t have any of it. This is such torture… But I’m bringing all of you down with me! (evil grin).

I’m in contact with Kita Usagi, so I’ll let you know if these items are sold in America. Stay tuned… I’ll be back with more Japanese goodies!

(images from kita usagi)

Posted in uncategorized on April 19, 2006


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