Some of the best treasures I found while in Japan were paper goods. My husband spent his "souvenir money" on food, and I bought paper and tape. Shocking, I know. Washi, which is handmade paper, was everywhere. Even in the 100 yen store (you know, the dollar store). But we found this gorgeous little washi shop a little off the beaten path, and it was worth the walk.
An older Japanese woman ran the shop, and she spent at least a half an hour with us, giving us the play-by-play of making beautiful paper by hand. Her husband was a paper maker, so she knew her stuff. It was hilarious to hear her talk, talk, talk at an amazing speed for five minutes, and then motion to my husband to translate to me. Before he could get a sentence or two out, she'd be talking again. I'm pretty sure I missed most of the conversation. But it was a great experience.
In Hiroshima I begged my husband to take me to Tokyu Hands, the self-proclaimed "creative life" store. Love it. Here I found tons of japanese masking tape--my new obsession! It's a wonderful printed tape that leaves no residue on a surface and can be lifted without tearing paper. The great colors and patterns make for fun crafting. And it's all over Japan!
Luckily, I found a US vendor, Ginko Papers, that carries all the new stuff from Japan. She has an amazing selection. I picked up this set in Hiroshima, and she sent me a few more to try. I am in love!
Here's a card I made with this set. I used it as stripes across the card. When I laid down the first strip, it was crooked. But when I slowly pulled it up, it didn't rip my paper. Yahoo!
This is the 2-page layout I made for some of our Japan pictures. It features both the washi paper I bought and the masking tape. I punched circles out of the washi, and used the tape in several places. Can you spot the tape?
Here's one of them. . .
It was fun to do this layout, especially because I did a layout with pictures from the same place in my husband's Japan scrapbook about 10 years ago! (I'm using the leftover supplies from this book, but it's interesting to see how much my style has changed!)
Check out Ginko Papers and their amazing paper tape! But watch out--your wish list will be long!
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