Friday, May 23

Trip Report

It sure is hard when you've been away from your craft epicenter for over a month.  I don't know where to start.  Thanks to jetlag, I am taking advantage of waking up early this morning to start writing something. 

I was actually happy to see some goodies waiting for me in my craft room after my visit to the Philippines and Japan.  There were 3 magazines, StampingBella stamps and a two page layout from Caroline Eckel of SplitCoastStampers.  For a moment there, I was trying to recall what other tools and supplies I have.  Which ones are new and which ones are not.  That's kinda exciting, don't you think?  I sometimes like it when I learn that I actually have a certain tool or product - talk about the effects of hoarding!

Anyway, my trip was a blast.  After being in the Philippines for a month, I realized that the scrapbooking scene there is not really as fun as in the States.  Scrapbooking supplies are not as accessible and they're a bit more expensive, because they're basically imported.  There are some local suppliers, but they are not as appealing when you already have a lot on hand.  However, I think that is a good thing for scrapbookers in the Philippines because it's more challenging to make do with what is available.  Their creativity pot is stirred up a little bit more,
and their page layouts are really amazing.  I enjoyed shopping for crafting stuff, not in the malls or department stores, but in the market.  Divisoria to be exact.  There are so many craft finds there, you just have to know how to look.   I am so excited with the stuff I was able to buy there, not to mention the price.  My favorite spot is Tabora Street, where you can find a lot of stuff you can use for crafting.  I so wish I can show you the photos right now, but all the stuff I bought are still in the mail.  I'll blog more about it in detail when they arrive.  So, my goal of being able to create a traditional layout while in the Philippines wasn't met.  However, thanks to the internet, I was still able to make one (yeah, only one) digital layout.  I used Memory Mixer entirely for this one.  IThis is actually a sample I made for my cousin who wants to give digital scrapbooking a shot.  I can't wait to see her first layout :) 

While in the Philippines, I was able to contact a good artist:  Stakkkato.  He's really good with digital caricatures.  I just had to ask him to make a caricature of me and my husband.  I so love the final product!  The price is very reasonable too :)  I wish you all the best in this business of yours, Stakkato!  And thanks! 

I have to admit that I was more excited to go shopping in Japan than in the Philippines.  To tell you the truth, my Japanese shopping list was a lot longer. 
Even though Japan doesn't have a lot of the popular scrapbooking brands from the US, they still have a lot of their own products which a lot of American crafters are so crazy about.  Take for example the Copic Ciao Markers

Stampers are so crazy about them here in the States, and they are not cheap.  Each marker costs $3.95 from the original website.  Some select online shops sell it for $2.99. 

In Yuzawaya Craft Store near Yamato Station in Japan, I was able to get each marker for $2.38, based on the current dollar-yen rate.  So I bought 50 of the popular colors.  You should see the big smile on my face.  This alone made my trip oh so worthwhile.  Yuzawaya is my favorite craft store in Japan.  You'll find everything there - from stained glass, beads, wood crafts, scrapbooking, sewing, needle crafts... name it.  You can even take craft classes, but being in Japan, they are not cheap.  If you become a member (for 500 Yen, about $4.85 yearly), you automatically get 10% discount on most of your purchases.  Because I was by myself, I took my time and feasted my eyes on each of the four floors.  I wanted to live there. 

Of course, my trip to Japan won't be complete without going to Daiso, a very popular 100 Yen Store.  However, I already bought a bunch of stuff there before we moved to the States, so I didn't have to buy so much this time.  If ever you guys go to Japan, make sure to visit the Daiso Giga Machida Store, as it boasts a floor area of 35,500 sq. ft. of goodies.  That's the one I go to frequently way back when.  I just learned that the biggest one is the Daiso Giga Funabashi Store with 71,000 sq. ft. of shopping area.  I'll make sure to go there next time I go to Japan (I wonder when???).

Another goal of my Japan trip is to buy me a Pullip Doll.  I blame it on Marie Montero, for her blogs about the darn doll (hehehe).  Thanks to my dear friend Atsuko, she was able to find a shop that sells Pullips.  The one we went to is Sunny Side Up in Valley Vanguard of World Porters Mall, Yokohama.  I was actually surprised to see how big the dolls are.  I thought they're the same size as Barbie dolls. 

The one I bought is Zuora, which was released on my birth month (October) 2006.  I really want to have the Youtsuzu, to be released in July or August this year.  I have a feeling I'll be having a new collection....  I can't wait to crochet some clothes for my Pullip doll.  Who knows what else I can make for this doll???

OK, that's it for now.... 'till next blog!

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