Thursday, August 14, 2008

Japanese Craft Books
a.k.a. dreamy, yummy good stuff

A few more goodies from Portland. These came from Uwajimaya - a ginormous Asian supermarket chain in the Pacific Northwest. They actually came from the Japanese book store *inside* Uwajimaya, but I can't think of the name - and really, that's not important. Once you are faced with mass quantities of Japanese cuteness, all brain function seizes up and suddenly you realize your life wasn't complete until you found that perfectly scaled, tiny plate of squid and tofu eraser...

Or not.

But that's about how it was for me. The supermarket was actually a lot of fun to wander through and actually made me want to cook. (what!? Me!? Craziness.) Diane, Lee and I slowly made our way back to the bookstore and started flipping through the books they had out on their "July Japanese Craft Book Fair" table. They were fun, and it was nice, but .... I couldn't find any embroidery books. That's kinda what I was banking on. I played like I wasn't totally devastated, and decided to check out the kids' section to see what other cool stuff I could find for my kids, and then turned down the aisle of ... the.most.fabulous.selection.of.Japanese.Craft.Books.Ever.

I think Diane heard me kind of squeal or something, because she came spinning around the corner, and joined me in that deer-in-headlights-overwhelmed-with-greatness look. Lee was next and we all looked at each other and then dived in to our respective crafts of choice. (which I have to say was nice shopping with folks who were looking for things different than I was. We didn't have to get all on top of each other or fight over books ...)

I scored three books. There were dozens more I coveted, but I just didn't have the budget. As it was, I went a little over board.

Here they are - enjoy!

An Ondori book - ISBN: 978-4-277-31164-9
The typical, stinkin' adorable tiny Japanese embroidery motifs.

How amazing is that mane?

Next up, more of a plushie book, but with embroidery: Felt Mascot - ISBN: 978-4-277-56312-3
You might need to sit down, 'cause there's some faint-inducing cuteness coming up.

I thought this little finger puppet with a gun was hilarious.

Check out this amazing food! Good grief! It's so awesome, I have to include a close-up picture. The raspberry makes me swoon!

Finally, one of my all-time favorite, most inspirational embroidery books. It was a big splurge. Sketching Embroidery of Kazue Sakurai. ISBN: 978-4-277-31163-2
It's beyond gorgeous, and I can't wait to implement some of the stuff I see in this book.

I can't wait to get back to Portland for more Japanese craft book adventures, but until then, I think I'll be able to keep pretty busy with these little gems.


  1. I am so glad you got that last book because when I saw it at Uwajimaya, I immediately thought of you!

  2. Oh my gosh those books are so freaking awesome!!

  3. Japanese craft books are the BEST! I love the little fruit tart-so cute!

  4. Yes! I'm glad you picked up some Japanese books. I'm officially obsessed, and can't wait to add more to my collection.

  5. Eeee! That little hedgehog is killing me with its cuteness. It's too cute. I can't take it.

    Excellent purchases!

  6. Oh wow! how beautiful! I am in the woods about this Japanese embroidery thing. But of course how could it not be super fantastically cute,it is Japanese ...thanks for sharing love them esp the last one -quite inspirational

  7. Thanks for sharing those. I particularly like the delicate handwork. Maybe you would like to bring a couple to your next embroidery class:-)

  8. I love the books!!! The erasers are awesome too - I would have to get them myself, but never use hem... I still have fun erasers from the the 6th grade!

  9. oh my lord i love that sketch book!

  10. Oh man, I love Uwajimaya and that bookstore!!! It's so amazing.

  11. OMG. I am so totally jealous! I have always suspected that Portland was the motherlode of crafty goodness, and now I know I was RIGHT! I absolutely love Japanese Crafting books. I have a lot of them, and would have tons more if I could actually find them in a store around here. All of mine are from the Internet. Now I'm determind to go to Portland.

  12. Ack! So bummed that I missed hanging with you and Sister D and Lee for this one - and I LIVE in portland! Clearly, I need to get out more . . . weirdly, I'm on my way to Texas right now, and am sitting here making a list of "places to visit in Portland" - LOL!

  13. Oh - and that sketchy-embroidery book - too cool!

  14. cool books! you must have been in heaven!



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