Monday, 10 March 2008


Oink! Yes, today I am a pig in Clover.

A few months after I finished high school, when I was 18, I went off to Japan on a
working holiday visa for nine months. It was, well, a disaster. My first host family unceremoniously got rid of me by telling me "tomorrow you're moving out" (they did organise somewhere for me to go), my first job was as a curiosity at an English language school in Nagoya and surrounds, my second job was at the baseball stadium in Tokyo with a bunch of ex-US marines who subjected me to sexual harassment and at 175cm tall with blue eyes and light brown hair, you know, I never did quite fit in. And now I find myself wishing that I could go back, even just for a quick trip or stopover.

This is all, of course, a result of the influx of Japanese craft books and products onto the Australian (and international I guess) craft scene. When I was 18 I was, sadly, not a crafty girl and I wonder now what an incredible jump I could have got on the market by discovering that whole world earlier. Perhaps the craft phenomenon in Japan too is only recent - does anyone know? Anyway, I would love now to return to Shibuya Loft or Tokyu Hands and scour their craft sections. I'm not into Japanese cute (at all) but I do like the shapes and ideas in the craft books and the nifty gadgets and accessories. Knowing me though, I would probably be totally overwhelmed and walk out with no purchases and an empty feeling.

So, in the meantime I'll content myself with the very manageable display of Clover products at my local Spotlight store. They had 20% off everything today (sorry, at 10:39pm that news comes a bit late) and I bought these great patchwork pins, fine with a heat resistant glass head.

Just to finish, three wonderful things about Japan:
- Hiroshima Museum of Art where one of my all-time favourite Picasso prints of two people drinking at a bar resides
- Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art - (great animation on the website) I saw an exhibition of David Hockney's stage designs for Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress there which made such an impression that I went to see the opera when it was in Melbourne a couple of years ago; and a huge Henry Moore sculpture, just beautiful
- Muji - the store's full name means 'no brand quality goods' and they are

1 comment:

MildlyCrafty said...

Hey that's a weird coincidence, I bought those same pins at my local Spotlight on Monday too!

I was in Japan for 9 months teaching English in 1999. I used to go to the craft shop and buy little kits for beaded key rings and little animals, cross stitch and so on. I couldn't really say how popular craft was in general though, I had a pretty sheltered life there :)