News

New! Little Ghost Enamel Pins

OR NOT. It seems I should have taken a closer look at all the pins in my order as 80% were damaged and the company insist I return the entire order so I can’t sell any. Halloween is ruined. I’m really sorry if you wanted one – I’m so disappointed.

little ghost enamel pins

Once I started making enamel pins, it was inevitable that my Little Ghost would be on the list. He’s got a lot of fans plus it’s perfect timing for Halloween! The postman tried to deliver them while I was away so I had an unbearable wait over the bank holiday weekend until I could see them, but they’re as cute as I hoped.

Little Ghost enamel pin

It was hard to decide on a metal finish, but I’m glad I went with black nickel as it’s a really nice contrast with the white enamel and will stand out wherever you pin it. They’re in my shop now for £7 each and come packaged up all nicely.

I'm trying to photograph the ghost pins but they're up to their usual mischief!

Here’s an outtake from the photography session where they all seemed to be doing a runner. I don’t know why my ghosts always get up to more mischief than any other character but that’s probably why we love them.

All my badges are restocked and I also got extra ghosts for freebies next month 👻🎃

PS. I’m giving away spooky freebies with selected orders until Halloween. Things that will make you more likely to get something: ordering ghosts, ordering lots of things, leaving fun drawing requests or nice comments in the checkout box, being a regular buyer.

Creative Work

10 Years of MOO

moo

Last week, I received two surprise packages from MOO marking their 10 year anniversary (and my Cake-iversary! It turns out that I was one of their first customers and have ordered every year since. I had no idea.

moo cards

I had a look on Flickr and here’s my first order! What an atrocious photo. According to the caption, I got them free via a Flickr offer and then ordered more. I remember swapping these with everyone back in those days.

MOO aren’t the cheapest or quickest printers so I don’t use them for a lot of my products any more but I keep going back because of three things:

stickers

The stickers! There’s something so enjoyable about MOO’s Sticker Books and you all love these stickers so much that I had to start selling them and making more and more – look at them all! This is the #1 MOO product for me and why I’ve been ordering every year.

Japan trip postcards

Printfinity! MOO’s USP as no-one else really does this. You can order 100 business cards with 100 different designs or a pack of 50 greeting cards for 5 different occasions. Most printers will expect you to order at least 50 of each design so MOO are perfect for testing out new ideas and making limited editions, like the Japan postcards I included in my surprise boxes.

Surprise parcel from Moo

It’s fun! Who else puts big YAY stickers on your order and packages every product like it’s a special gift to yourself? Not any of my other printers.

Notebook from Moo

I love it when businesses do things like this, and not just because I love free cake and stationery. I’m very loyal to good service but often that goes unrewarded while new customers get all the offers and attention. For MOO to notice something that I didn’t even know myself and send me such nice gifts was super nice and will keep me ordering in future. Plus those cupcakes were really good.

I wrote about this on li.st with lots more photos so go have a read: This is how you reward customer loyalty. I think it made a few new MOO fans too, judging by all the comments!

Happy birthday MOO!

Creative Work, Featured Posts

Inside My Kawaii Japan Surprise Box

surprise box

If you didn’t buy one of my Kawaii Japan Surprise Boxes then here’s a look at what you missed, and which of the contents you can still get your hands on, plus a chance to win one! If you haven’t received yours yet then LOOK AWAY (and also email me, because it should really have arrived by now).

Surprise Box contents

Here’s what you should have seen when opening the lid, though it probably all got shoogled about in the mail. The mini zine included details of the contents and an A-Z of my most recent Japan trip that won’t be reprinted anywhere.

Surprise Box contents

And here’s all the contents laid out neatly. A few items had multiple designs so it could have been slightly different.

Onigiri notelets

These Onigiri notelets were my favourite thing, even though I had to cut 150 of them by hand. I plan to make these available as a printable soon so you can make your own.

Mt Fuji notebook

You’ll have seen my Colourful Ghosts & Ice Cream Cones pocket notebooks but box buyers got a special Mt Fuji design. I’m keeping the extras for myself as they fit perfectly in my handbag.

Kawaii Japan stickers

Everyone loves stickers and these sticker sheets feature all my Japan characters. I have some left over so they’re available in my shop.

polymer stamps

The Surprise Box is what initiated the new smaller polymer stamp design as I really wanted to include one. They turned out so cute and each box contained either Mt Fuji or Onigiri. They’re both in my shops now.

Japan trip postcards

For a personal touch, I had some of my favourite photos from my 2016 Japan trip made into postcards. There were lots of different ones, so I hope you liked the one you got.

Surprise Box packing

Also included were my Mt Fuji enamel pin, Sakura badge, Kokeshi mini cards and a set of temporary tattoos. I really enjoyed making these boxes so there will definitely be more in future with different themes.

surprise box giveaway

If you liked your box, I’d be super grateful if you left a review or shared a photo on Instagram with the tag #askingfortroublesurprisebox. And if you’re kicking yourself for not getting one, head over to Super Cute Kawaii where we’ll be giving away one last box!

Featured Posts, Japan, Japan 2016

Japan 2016: JAXA Tsukuba Space Center

Rilakkuma at JAXA

As a lifelong space nerd, I did some searching to see if there were any space museums I could visit in Japan. There are a few, but I was especially excited to discover you can visit many of the JAXA space facilities. JAXA is Japan’s version of NASA and they have quite a few big space achievements under their belts including the largest component of the ISS. Obviously I had to go.

JAXA Tsukuba Space Center

The easiest facility to visit is in Tsukuba, which isn’t too far from Tokyo and can be reached by public transport. The Tsukuba Space Center website has an English guide and map, but I was still very happy to find a detailed post by Trip to Japan and used that as my guide. There is an English tour but you have to book it by phone well in advance and I didn’t have the nerve to do this, plus I wanted to keep my schedule quite flexible so I just decided to turn up and hope for the best.

Tsukuba Space Center

I’ve never taken a bus in Japan before and even with a lot of research it was quite nerve-wracking – I’ll add a guide at the end for anyone planning to visit. The bus takes about an hour and drops you off right at the entrance. From there, it’s just a short walk to the buildings and the famous Rocket Square. As you can see, it was a glorious day and I spent a while just hanging around taking photos and thrilling at the sight of JAXA uniformed employees going about their work.

Space Brothers display at JAXA

Visiting Tsukuba was especially exciting because I had been watching Space Brothers, a Japanese anime about two brother astronauts. They spend a lot of time at Tsukuba as kids and also do their astronaut testing and training there so much of it was very familiar from the show. There’s even a big banner at the entrance! You can watch Space Brothers on Crunchyroll and I really recommend it.

Replica Kibo ISS module

Sadly there was no English tour that day, but I was still free to explore the exhibitions, shop and cafe – I just missed out on seeing behind the scenes. The main exhibition is huge and shows off all the areas that JAXA covers – satellites, rocket launches, astronauts, the ISS etc. Above is the life size replica of Kubo, the Japanese module on the ISS. The Kubo mission control is here at Tsukuba!

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Travel

Giant’s Causeway Day Tour

giant's causeway

Top of the list for our Belfast trip was going out to see the Giant’s Causeway and we eventually booked on to a coach tour. We don’t have the best opinion of coach tours after our first Japan trip, and indeed there were some extremely annoying people on board, but overall it was worth it. We got to see 5 different places with discounted entry to the rope bridge and a free guided walk at Giant’s Causeway, plus the driver kept up a pretty interesting commentary.

Carrickfergus

First up was a quick stop at Carrickfergus, which had a pretty harbour and a castle. We went on the early bird tour so it was quite cold to start but it soon warmed up into a lovely day.

Carrick-A-Rede

Next stop was Carrick-A-Rede, home to the famously scary rope bridge. It’s a bit of a trek down to the bridge, but so beautiful. Look at the colour of the water!

Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge

The bridge does look quite terrifying but I didn’t find it that bad as I’m short and the sides are high so it would be extremely difficult to fall off.

You can just see Scotland!

On the other side, there are no barriers at all and pretty steep drops so I didn’t explore much. You do get some lovely views and that’s Scotland just visible in the background!

Looking down on the way back

Going back over the bridge was actually a little worse as it was quite windy and wobbly. The walk back was also a bit strenuous but lots of lovely views. You can walk up to the bridge and back for free so it’s worth doing even if the bridge is too much for you. Continue Reading