Tuesday, 11 July 2006

what have we here?

No boring old cardboard boxes from Japan! As soon as I saw the post van pull up outside my heart was thumping. A while ago Ellen and I decided to set up a mega swap before she finished her two year stint in Japan. I'm making her a bunch of stuff for when she gets home, she did a bunch of shopping for me - talk about a marriage made in heaven!
And inside all these brown paper packages, each one with its own hilariously cute Asian English saying. I so miss these! In Thailand I saw them everyday on T-shirts and stationary and they never ceased to enchant me. Here are two of my favourites:But enough playing around - time to rip open the paper and see the delights inside!

The fabric.

The top three are heavyish textured cottons - will be great for bags, perhaps a pair of pants for Amy and other more durable projects.

I love the abstracty design and colours of the top left (red and grey is such a winner for me), the subtle floral scene on the top right and funky combination of stripes, spots and colours on the bottom piece.

The next set are lighter cottons. Clockwise from top left:

Pale green, printed with pink, purple, red and yellow kimono, combs, pincushions and other adornments. This has a lovely soft finish and will drape really nicely in a summer dress for Amy.
Next is this deco blue/purple/watermelon red print and a really pretty almost Liberty style soft floral. They are both quite silky and very lightweight. Perhaps some summer tops?

And I ADORE this red and cream grid floral, with the odd non-conforming square. I think it will be a while before I can bear to cut into it. Love it love it love it.

This bottom lovely set just screams baby to me. Good luck to the next friend in my life who announces pregnancy! The three fabrics share the same natural cotton background, two with relatively simple rose and bee motifs and the third with a really cute animal scene.

And two balls of organic cotton in matching shades. Oh goodness, now the hunt is on for the perfect pattern to knit or crochet some itty bitty garment from 50gms (140m) of this heavenly yarn. Any recommendations?

And quite aside from the fabrics, Ellen also got into the whole spirit of buying Japanese for an Asiaphile stuck at home. Here's a lovely little pack she put together for Amy with some stickers, pencils, cuter than cute milk carton erasers and this gorgeous egg person. I'm putting them away ready for her 4th birthday in August.

A pencil case and memo pad from my heros at Aranzi Aronzo. They make really really cool stuff.

And a great CD of Japanese music which I instantly loaded onto my computer and am listening to right now. Why don't I ever think to send CDs with swaps?

And not one but two new Japanese craft books!!

The first one is full of totally gorgeous and unusual felt projects. I'm now desperately trying to corner my all too busy felt mad sister out law to teach me how to bring a few of them to life.

And the second one is full of patterns featuring this bear and chick, from hair bands and bath mitts to amiguruni and puppets.

Thank you so much Ellen. I hope my pack to you makes you as happy as this booty has made me.

I feel BLOATED just looking at it all. I think it's time to halt swapping for a while and get down to just doing some crafting. I just love getting things in the mail, and I love getting things from far away, but it can be very seductive to go from one swap to another without really digesting the materials and ideas as you go. I still have so many outstanding projects, and now a whole stack more.

So hopefully we'll see some heavy rotation on the production side in the next month or two.

She said optimistically.


Turning Japanese said...

Woo hoo!
I love every piece in the booty too. Of course I would only buy what I love. Now I feel the urge to go out and buy some of those things for myself.
Now I can upload my own photos to flickr. No surprises ruined!
Happy birthday to Amy to for very soon.

PS... The sad (or funny) thing about Japanese English, is that I have picked it up and added it to my vocab. Sometimes I come out with the wierdest things quite naturally and it takes a second for me to realise it is wrong. lol

acoustitch said...

i love that fabric with the tree and monkey and bunny and mushroom. So cute. I'm so into kids fabric at the moment (yet somehow it would make a cute handbag!)

Fiona said...

Wow, what a dizzying collection. I love the animal print, too! Enjoy your booty!

Ali said...

What a thrilling package.

I agree with your point on the endless swap treadmill though - it does take time to appreciate and use all the gorgeous things you come by via swaps.

African Kelli said...

WOW! Such a generous gift. You are a lucky lady!

The Shopping Sherpa said...

Fantastic parcel! Obviously the Mail Gods were smiling on us both yesterday. Loving the red flowery fabric and the monkey fabric.

I bought a copy of Zoe Mellor's Nursery Knits in the Angus & Robertson sale for $15 - there was another book by her there which had a lot of cotton knits for babies which you might want to hunt down - sorry, I can't remember the name of it...

moki said...

holy heck! Just complete lovliness!!!

Alison said...

Now that's a bounty! The materials are all gorgeous - I was looking through them and thinking of patterns for each of them and what I could make with them...except they're yours, not mine!

Have fun with all that!

suzy said...

Wow! That is a great haul. I'm looking forward to seeing what it turns into.

Suse said...

Oh my, the bag and baby shoes on the cover of that felt craft book have me absolutely swooning. Jealous jealous jealous.

Alison said...

HI Sooz, just dropped by your blog to see what's new, and boy do I LOVE those fabrics, especially the monkey in the tree! So sweet!