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 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.