One Good Thing A Day – Project Day 9 – Gachapin Craft Project

Gachapin.  He’s tall, green, has one tooth and looks like he’s stoned.

Gachapin is an odd character

This Japanese character is quite famous and well-loved by many -including many otaku, or hard-core enthusiasts.

Here’s a car I passed by that freaked me out but also gave me a great project idea just for fun.

This car owner could be an Otaku...

I decided to gather a few materials from my “leftovers” pile to see if I can get the right colours for a cut out collage type of artwork…..

… and I remembered that I had a few shikishi boards (decorative calligraphy boards) from Daiso (¥100 shop) a long time ago.

It was pure luck that I had one with a green fade on it!

I went online to see images of Gachapin and see if I can make a nice cut out. I started with the main body and arms, followed by his tummy area, which was just layered pink cardboard paper over peach magazine paper.

Find the right colours anywhere

The eyes were basically black cardboard paper and some white paper from the magazine.

I also had leftover faux chiyogami from a ¥100 shop, so I decided to cut out the groups of flowers from the page and leave the rest for the next project.

I placed everything on the shikishi and this is how it turned out:

Seems like a mini Gachapin shrine for the real otaku!

Potato + Cheese + Bacon + Vending Machine =

That’s right, potato and cheese potage.  Along with many other selections of soups and even sometimes *Oden , everything is available in random vending manchines in Japan.

*Oden is a popular cold weather soup that includes simmering tofu, fish cakes, daikon (radish) and many other ingredients.  Very easy to find in convenience stores all across Japan.

One Good Thing A Day – Project Day 8 – Man Flying Kite with Fishing Rod


We decided to take a day off…well….after doing a little work in the morning….and went down to Yokohama!

I love to visit Yokohama because of the large open spaces and general relaxing atmosphere.  Before getting some lunch, we decided to walk through a park and enjoy the scenery, when we noticed something truly unusual….. a group of older men gathered around one person and looking up at the sky. Naturally, we had to investigate.  Looking up at the sky, we saw a kite, nothing unusual about that….. but when we looked at the person everyone was gathering around, we noticed they weren’t holding a normal kite handle but a fishing rod instead.  Seem that the men were bored of finishing and decided to attach a kite to one of the rods.

I wasn’t able to snap a picture, so here’s a terrible 10 second sketch instead:

While this is certainly NOT the strangest thing I’ve seen in Japan, it’s up there!

One Good Thing A Day – Project Day 7 – Apple Ginger Drink

Keeping with the Ginger Drinks, like my Wilkinson’s from the other day, I found this fantastic ginger-apple drink from Afternoon Tea.  Apparently they boil apple juice with cloves, fresh ginger and a touch of lemongrass.

When it’s all done, they serve it with fresh slices of apple and ginger floating in the cup and a fresh ginger stick to stir it with.

How-to Project – Very Simple Handbag From Slacks

I had a pair of lovely slacks that sadly got some bleach stains at the top, so I decided to create things with them.

The first thing is a small messenger-style bag that I can use for casual and more dressy occasions.  The crease down the middle gives it a more structured look while the lace ribbon gives it a more feminine touch.

1 – Decided how long/deep you would like the bag and cut across one of the pant legs.  If the bottom has a cuff, cut that off as well and set it aside.

2 – Turn it inside out so the seams are showing and set it aside.

3 – Now you can prepare the handles.  For short handles, use the cuff by snipping through the loop once.  For longer handles, you can either use a long strip of fabric from the pants or any other fabric that you think will match.  fold it over lengthwise and sew along one side, making a tube.  Turn it inside out and set aside.

4 – With the main fabric, sew along the bottom as well as a diagonal on both sides. Turn it inside out.  Fold the top edge in and sew all around to give it a more finished look.  If the stitching is a little crooked, don’t worry!  That’s what the ribbon can hide.  * If you would like to add decorative lining, sew a tube from that fabric and attach it to the bag in this step, before sewing along the bottom.  Rememeber to keep the fabric pattern facing outward when sewing it to the bag, so when you turn it inside out, you can still see the pretty pattern.

5 – Now take the fabric for the handles and put one end inside the bag (at least 3cm) and sew it to the side. Repeat the step for the other side.

* Sew the ribbon to the top along the seam……. and you’re done.