Saturday, 31 July 2010

Another New Book

I couldn't resist this book, It's so much fun!

Friday, 30 July 2010

80s fun

Now I am not usually a fan of the 80s, but these old greetings cards in a charity shop caught my eye yesterday. I love the colours and styling.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The birthday gift bonanza continues

Another present arrived in the post.....
....EEk it's a Yuki 7 print by Kevin Dart. I absolutely love his illustrations and wish I was a Yuki 7 girl.
My friends Sarah and Joe came over for tea and (too many) drinks the other night and we exchanged birthday gifts, as our birthdays are only 4 days apart. She got me the cutest brush and mirror set from Paperchase. My Mum also got me some things from the same range in Paperchase a Giant sketch book and folder.

This weekend we went down to visit my brother who lives in Cheltenham and he gave me some brilliant gifts.....
The Print&Pattern book, which is amazing, jam packed full of all my favorite surface patten and textile designers and is really inspiring.

He also got me these DVDs....

....and this FujiFilm instant camera!...What a great Brother.

Well while everyone else seemed to be treating me, I decided to treat myself and bought myself this mug by Lotta Kuhlhorn. I have had my eye on her things for aaaages here, but they are always sold out, so when I spied her mugs in a nice little shop called 'Pod' in cheltenham I just had to have one!

I also bought myself this months Computer Arts Projects magazine as it is their annual Character Design issue.
Phew! It has defiantly been the best birthday ever this year!

Friday, 23 July 2010

New Picture

I have coloured my sketch in on the computer, and I am happy with how clean and vibrant it makes it, so I am not going to do a hand painted version. I like the sketchy hand drawn look on the dark sad girls, but I think a fresh flat look works better with this fun colourful girl. If you click on the image to see the larger version, she looks less like a clown!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Also on my wall...

Last week I got around to framing some pictures that I have been meaning to do for ages. One of my favorites is this huge poster by Tado. I first came across their work when I impulse bought some cereal in Sainsburys due to the cute packaging, and later found out it was designed by Tado. I also found out they are a Sheffield based company, what a small world.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Birthday Girl

Today was my birthday, yey! But boo at being another year older....My best gift was from my husband and was a complete surprise. A beautiful limited addition giclee print by one of my favorite artists  Audrey Kawasaki entitled 'Saying Goodbye'. I love it so much.

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Finally I found the time and creativity to do some sketching. I have an idea how I want the final picture from this sketch to look, but I can't decide weather to paint it by hand, as I do miss painting, or to to do it on the computer (I have become reliant on the undo button). As usual I am incapable of making a decision so have decided to do both to see which I like the best.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

What can Coeliacs eat in Japan?

Nothing! especially if you are vegetarian too....Well that isn't strictly true, but eating traditional Japanese foods in restaurants or hotels is tricky. It is hard to find vegetarian meals and even harder to find ones that don't contain gluten, as nearly everything involves Soy sauce which has wheat in. 
 My translation card served me well. (get a free one you can personalize to suit your requirements at It really is worth it) The Hotels we stayed in were really accommodating and I was only ill once due to some naughty Soy sauce polluting a delicious grilled Egg plant. The meals were all beautifully presented but alas all I kept getting was cold bland slimy tofu, bean curd and strange pickled things.
 It all looked so nice.......
....but I think the face says it all.
The rice was safe and tasty though.
Happy face at fresh pure vegetables
Sad face...all gone and still hungry, only pickles and cold tofu left

It is my own fault for having such an annoying disease. They really tried their best but it was just too much not eating meat or fish either.

In Tokyo there is a lot more choice of different types of food and restaurants. It is still hard though. The best (and only!) place I found for an actual filling meal was a place called 'Eggs and Things' in Harijuku. There was always a queue outside, but it is well worth waiting as it's yummy! 
  Happy face again.....Om nom nom

I lived on snacks from 'Family Mart', which are a chain of convenience stores in the larger cities open 24 hours. I stocked up real good on things in there. I wish I could have bought and tasted all the cute packaged cookies and crisps and chocs, but I had to stick to the things I knew where gluten free. (I still picked the cutest I could find)  Here are some of the things I found that were safe to eat and drink......

Tasty Watermelon Juice & a Vodka and Guava Cocktail

Cute Apple Juice & Edamame Beans

Watermelon Sweets

Tropical Fruit Juice
Boiled Egg in a Box (still in shell)...good for breakfast


Happy Turn Rice Crackers..really tasty

More Cheese

Rice Triangles/Rice Balls-for Veggies (imagine this but round, this triangle one had a nasty fish surprise in the middle)

Ice-cream was also safe - without the cone, and I found some salad boxes, the egg and potato salads were fine and made a change from cheese and rice.

Well that is my last post about Japan I promise! ta ta for now x


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Where to visit in Japan

It's been a month since I went to Japan and I am still not over it! I have post Japan blues. 
While editing my photos (which hasn't helped!) I thought I would do a post on the places I think are worth seeing (not including Tokyo, as everyonre knows that's amazing!), so here we no particular order....


Kyoto used to be the capital of Japan for centuries, before it was Tokyo. There are loads of  Shrines, Temples, and gardens located in the city and on the outskirts. This is a great place to stay as there is lots to see and do and you get a real sense of traditional Japan.

What to do in Kyoto.........

Be a Geisha!
The famous Geisha district of Gion is located in Kyoto. There you can get transformed into a Geisha have a photo shoot and walk aroud the traditional narrow backstreets in your Kimono. I used the maiko-henshin studio. I would recommend the mini outdoor package as you get to have your photo taken outside, and half an hour free time to wander around and take your own photos.

The  International Manga Museum
This is well worth a visit if you are a fan of Manga. There is a huge library where you can sit and read pretty much every manga book ever made, as well as an exhibition on the history of manga and exhibitions of various artists.

Murin-An Garden
 A relaxing garden tucked away in the middle of Kyoto. Used by the Emperor for important business meetings and entertaining dignitaries.

Things to see around Kyoto......
Kinkakuji Temple - Golden Pavillion

Nijo Castle

Todai-ji Temple (with tame deer in the grounds - beware they bite your bum! - they did mine anyway!)

Nara Park. Beautiful green park with 1000 year old Cedar trees and a Buddhist Shrine.

Other Places around Japan....
Himeji is well worth a visit to see the castle which is in the Bond film 'You Only Live Twice' and 'The Last Samurai'.  There is not much else to do here, so not really worth staying longer than a day. We just got the train to visit the castle.


Miyajima is a beautiful little Island just 20mins ferry ride from mainland Japan. There are lots of things to do here, Including...quiet secluded beaches, a cable car up a mountain with views of Japans inland sea, Lots of wildlife - deer, monkeys lizards and birds. If you go to Miyajima I would recommend staying in a Ryokan which is a traditional Japanese guest house with the sliding panel doors, futons and natural hot spring baths which are usually outdoors.


Matsue Castle. Also known as the “Black Castle”, it is one of the few castles in Japan that is the original wooden form.There is also a museum of modern art and a wildlife sanctuary here.

That's my round up of the places I saw and would recommend. All I can say is if you ever get the chance to go to Japan...GO GO GO! x

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