What are Tenugui?

I simply love Tenugui. They are eco friendly, versatile and pretty fabrics from Japan.

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Tenugui are normally 30-40cm wide and up to 1m long. They are a 100% cotton gauze weave fabric that can be used for anything from table runner, placemat, dish cloth, or, wrap it around your head to soak up sweat when you’re working hard.

They are still very popular in Japan spreading across the world. Since they come in a wide variety of beautiful patterns and colours, ome people even frame them as decoration in their homes.

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If you would like to see more Tenugui, please check out the shop

Published Online! *^_^*

Thank you to all who have been supporting me through my shop, blog and my articles!

I’ve published a few articles through ezine and have gotten a great response -especially for kirigami and my article about the benefits of origami for children.

If you’ve missed out on them, or would love to read the benefits of origami (at least to find more excuses to play with it), please check it out when you get a chance.


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Handbag with inner pocket how-to

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Hello everyone!

I hope you enjoyed my last handbag posts. I’ve decided to try somthing new since I still had a lot of leftover fabric, so I decided to make a handbag for my mother’s birthday *^_^*

I generally love to figure things out for myself, so I didn’t have patterns or even a clear idea of how this would look.

Here’s a brief how-to to show you how I made it:

* one large rectangular piece of fabric
* one smaller rectangular piece of fabric for the pocket
* a long narrow piece of fabric for the handle (or find a nice ribbon that compliments the fabric)
* thin ribbon for decoration

Step 1: Find a rectangular piece of fabric and hem the ends. Fold it in half.

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Step 2: Sew along the sides (following my red dotted line), making sure to leave the hemmed ends open at the top.

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Step 3: Taking the smaller piece of fabric, hem the ends, fold in half and sew along the edges (make sure to leave the opening with the hemmed ends!)

If you would like, add two little straps and sew the top of the straps to the seam of one side of the handbag -this will ensure the stitches will not be visible from the outside.

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add ribbon on the pocket to match and hide the inner stitching

Step 4: Turn the bag inside out and sew a ribbon to the seam all the way around. Here you have the option of keeping the ribbon flat, or lightly hand sew and bunch up the fabric to give it a more romantic look.

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Step 5: Add a handle by sewing the long fabric to the ends (I made a tube, flattened it, and bunched it like the main handbag) but you can also use a nice ribbon.

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Pretty much done! What do you think?

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I thought it came out quite cute…..I’ll have to make one for myself later!

Kamishibai – Japanese Story Boards

Kamishibai are fantastic story boards used mostly for children. Unlike regular story books, these are large boards with full colour images on the front, and the writing on the back.

Last year, I taught at a number of daycares throughout Tokyo and other areas. The children loved kamishibai stories, and asked me if I had any english ones to show them. Naturally, I didn’t have any and finding english version ones in Tokyo would be very difficult and expensive, so I decided to make my own.

Here’s an example of my Halloween Story of a kitten’s halloween adventure:

large fun image without written distractions

written story at the back for narrator

I find kamishibai very fun and practical to read to children, since you can clearly show the images while comfortably sitting back and reading from the back – no more trying to angle your head to read the story and blocking the view of some children!

White Day in Japan

Happy White Day Ladies *^_^*

In Japan, Valentine’s Day is celebrated February 14th and White Day is celebrated March 14th.

Generally Valentine’s Day is celebrated with romance and presents -mainly from men to women. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is the time women give men chocolates or cakes that they make and decorate themselves (but of course there is a HUGE variety of ready made things for purchase as well).

As a “thank you” or counter appreciation, the men give marshmallows or sweets to the ladies in March.

Of course it’s a brilliant marketing from the confectionery companies…..but with so many stunning delights available, I won’t complain!