Japan Stationery Roundup Part I

Japan was refreshing and mind opening. There are people everywhere, yet everything operates so well and time keeping is down to the second. There are organized lines to get on/off the trains! No one pushes or rushes, but people will squeeze as much as possible to get on a train. People use only their cafe locks on their bikes! Stations in Tokyo each have their own 10 second jingle and some even have their own custom stamps (Eki Stampu, more on that later.). The Skinkansen, their bullet train is amazing and wonderful and I just want to ride it all over the country eating out of bento boxes... People are mindful, considerate, and thoughtful. When I leave the house here, I usually leave with a cloud of anxiety over me, but in Tokyo, I could not wait to interact with the world. The mindset here is so different and I'm always trying to keep the mindset of places like Tokyo or Scandinavian countries as much as possible when I return. This is always the biggest takeaway when I visit other countries, but enough about that - let's talk stationery!  

Everyone is always going on and on about stationery stores in Japan. I did go to a few, but wanted to start off with two that usually don't get mentioned first.

I did not do this on this trip, but if you plan on visiting temples and want an amazing souvenir to bring home, buy a Goshuin book. At the temples and shrines, for about 300-500 yen, the monks will sign and stamp your book. I was planning on collecting Goshuin, but we also went during New Year and the lines were very long for the stamps/signings. I ended up just stamping my Traveler's Notebook with as many souvenir stamps as I could find. If you do intend on collecting Goshuin, Loft had the best selection. I mean, I almost just picked one up to have one - check out these photos! You can also buy these books at the temples. 


Loft / Shibuya 

Loft / Shibuya, Tokyo

My favorite store of all was Loft in Shibuya. It's six floors of "just let me hand over all my money and I need an extra suitcase for my return back home, please..." I had left my last day in Tokyo for shopping and it was the last store I decided to pop into. It was worth the wait, but wish I had had more time. It was also a holiday in Japan called, National Coming of Age Day. So, the store, especially the stationery/planner section was packed with young people most likely purchasing their 2018 planners. Could you imagine if San Francisco's stationery stores were packed with young people? That's what I love about Japan. There's a love for technology, but an even greater one for tradition. 

Loft even had a small letterpress at the door! Not sure what they were printing, as I do not speak Japanese and the kind man operating it did not know English, but he seemed happy I was excited it as I entered. Once getting past the press, I was in heaven. I did not get a chance to go through the entire store, but it's worth taking your time to climb up the floors. 

housewares / Small printing press at Loft

housewares / Small printing press at Loft

Yes, that is capybara stationery

Yes, that is capybara stationery

I did not do this on this trip, but if you plan on visiting temples and want an amazing souvenir to bring home, buy a Goshuin book. At the temples and shrines, for about 300-500 yen, the monks will sign and stamp your book. I was planning on collecting Goshuin, but we also went during New Year and the lines were very long for the stamps/signings. I ended up just stamping my Traveler's Notebook with as many souvenir stamps as I could find. If you do intend on collecting Goshuin, Loft had the best selection. I mean, I almost just picked one up to have one - check out these photos! You can also buy these books at the temples. 

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Aren't they gorgeous? i don't know how I would pick just one. This is definitely a must for my next trip to Japan. 

Top floor of Loft

The top floor of Loft has a lot of Japanese pop culture and omiyage gifts. Check out this amazing Shiba-Inu / Maru set up!

Kinokuniya Bookstore 

There is also a Kinokinuya inside, but I restrained myself since we have a Kinokinuya here in San Francisco. Next time I go to Tokyo, Loft is the first store I am hitting up.

Loft

21-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan

 


Yurindo / Ebisu Station

Limited edition Suica products and small Japanese envelopes at Yurindo in Tokyo

Limited edition Suica products and small Japanese envelopes at Yurindo in Tokyo

We happened on Yurindo by chance and I am glad we did! We ended up there twice. It's on the 5th floor of the shopping center at the station. It's a bookstore with a small stationery section, but it's worth checking out if you are in or out of the station. Not sure how often this happens, but they had a limited run of Suica products with the Suica penguin. (Check out some of the commercials. OMG, cute.) Most of it was sold out when I saw it, but came back with a few treats. He's the mascot because penguins can swim so smoothly through water. Have a Suica card is like gliding through the metro stations, which is totally true. I don't think we waited longer than 2 minutes for a train in Tokyo. 

I also bought a few coin size envelopes. In Japan, handing money directly to someone is considered rude, so many times an envelope will be used. So many shops had packs or individual envelopes for this purpose.  

Suica products: stamp, small ceramic dish, keychain, and furoshiki wrapping 

Suica products: stamp, small ceramic dish, keychain, and furoshiki wrapping 

Would it not be awesome if the Bay Area had a seal as their Clipper mascot? Much like the Suica penguin, it could be like "gliding through the public transit". 

Can't wait to share the next few stores, along with a trick to NOT getting lost at Tokyo Station! 

Yurindo

5th Floor of the Ebisu Station, Shibuya, Tokyo

Booth Setup

One of my closet friends, Bret from Bungalow Modern and I started sharing a craft fair booth last year. Bret has been instrumental in Paper Parasol Press's success, always rallying behind what I am working on, offering constructive criticism, and early morning (we are early birds) phone call motivation. I was thrilled when he decided to try his hand at art shows. Here's our booth last holiday season at the Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles. 

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Hoping his 1938 International truck is restored next year so we can start adding that to our booth setup!

Happy Birthday Mom + Dad

Here are two new designs we rolled out for 2016. If I get birthday cards for anyone, it's definitely for my parents. I think parents are deserving of a two color letterpress printed card. My dad's birthday is this month, so perfect timing! 

Wonder Mom / Paper Parasol Press

In other news. Is it just me, or does working at home get you down? I should feel so lucky, but the lack of social interaction is so mind numbing. I have been trying to be better about going to coffee shops to get a little work done here and there and it has been helping. Cheers to that!

Spring Deals 1.0 / 20% off Select Prints

I have really enjoyed working on the state letterpress print series, but I am definitely ready to make room for new projects. Every week until March I will release sales on select state prints and limited edition prints. This week it is Spring Deals 1.0! I know it's a little early for spring, but it is feeling spring-ish here.

Here are the sale prints:

• Arizona

• Colorado

• Connecticut

• Florida

• Indiana

• Iowa

• Oregon

• South Carolina

• Tennessee

• Texas

If you are ordering any of the prints above use coupon code: springdealone at checkout for 20% off.

I am only offering this on my paperparasolpress.com website (sorry Etsy customers, but please mosey on over here to grab your prints!) and only on retail orders. Sale starts now and ends:  February 6th. Those are the dates, kittens! I will not extend the sale on these certain prints once the new week starts. New week equals new sales items. That's what makes it fun. 

 

Farm Inspired Wedding Invites

Wow, I meant to post this a while ago! Happy 2016, friends. 

Shortly after getting engaged, I started to think about the overall look and feel of our future wedding invitation suite. As a stationery person, the pressure was on. On our flight home from Hawaii, where we got engaged, Andrew and I brainstormed and worked on the huge guest list. It's amazing how much a budget can change your wedding. And so, it changed and changed and simplified, but it was ours and exactly what we wanted. After about a day of treading through all the frivolous stuff and researching venues (my mom all shut down) I threw in the traditional wedding towel. It's true, the wedding industry can easily become not only a money suck, but a complete time suck! Happiness ensued, the sun lifted, and I went forward with complete conviction on how Andrew and I wanted our wedding. All doubts and naysayers were brushed to the side! We wanted three things: an intimate gathering, locally sourced and good food, and charm without having to invest in things. I don't really need more things floating around or to buy more things. It then dawned on us that one of our favorite spots happened to have a loft space at their farm for dinners. Harley Farms it was! 

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When we decided on the private dinner at Harley Farms, my mind started designing the invites immediately. My style tends to lean toward the lively and whimsical and I was excited to put my style to work. I usually only print two color designs, but this kept calling for three colors. And heck, since it was for me I thought: Let's go three! Believe me, for 20-something actual invites going out, this makes for a very expensive letterpress wedding suite. I would not recommend it to anyone, unless you're a designer and own your own press. At the same time, much less labor intensive with just knocking out about 30. 150 three color invites on my Vandercook would not have been as fun to print. Printing only a handful allowed me to really enjoy the actual printing process instead of breaking my back on the press.

I also knew I would struggle and take far too much time on the hand lettering, so I contacted a talented designer, Amanda Raymundo. This was actually the first thing I did and then illustrated around her lettering. I couldn't be happier with her amazing work! I added California poppies to the overall design and the state bird, the quail, to the RSVP to reflect the California coastal countryside.  

The Thank You card has a llama on it, which yes the farm does have llamas. The best known and friendliest of the llamas is Ruby. The llamas will naturally herd and protect the goats from any predators that may get past the electric fence. Important and cute animals! I was thrilled to find gold glittery heart stickers, since gold was one of the colors I wanted to add to the suite. Metallic colors do not print well on the letterpress! That's a job for screen printing or foil.

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For the actual ceremony, we went to beautiful San Francisco City Hall. For this invite, since it was going out to an even smaller group of people, I went two color. I absolutely love Amanda's hand lettering on the ceremony invite. She rocked it. 

 Overall, a lovely wedding weekend with friends and family, many I never get to see. It makes you ask: Why don't we do more stuff like this? A party every few years does sound like a good plan.