Sunday, January 29, 2012
My Birthday Weekend
Last weekend was my birthday weekend and I couldn’t figure out how to celebrate it. I finally decided that I would spend it trying various crafting techniques I’d wanted to learn for a while. I have about five main techniques I’ve picked up supplies for over the last few months that I have been putting off: Viking knit, kumihimo braiding, various clay projects, origami, and chain maille, as well as some necklaces for my sister that just seemed like such big projects I didn’t want to start since they would take so long to finish. What better way to celebrate my birthday than to stop the research, writing, and basically spinning my wheels on internet work and to just be creative for a few days? My plan for Saturday was to call home and talk to my parents before going out to Yokohama and the mega-store called Tokyu Hands. I had planned to let myself take out about a hundred fifty dollars for craft supplies or whatever really caught my eye and lunch out there. It was a good hour train ride from my place, or so I thought, and I figured I’d leave midmorning and get back to my train stop about supper time. The problem was that I forgot to get yen out the night before and for some reason my cash card wasn’t accepted at the ATMs around my place. As I was walking to a number of ATMs, I passed a store I went in once before. I had gone in and left with the feeling that it was kind of a boutique where cool Japanese things were sold for decoration and a few craft supplies were thrown in. Um, yeah. I had only been in one floor. This time I realized there were four floors. The street level was mostly kitchen goods, the lower level or basement had stamping, gel pens, and scrapbooking things. So far I was interested and had a few ideas but wanted to check out everything before deciding on anything. The second floor was basically school or office supplies. Again, I had some ideas but not much I needed at the moment. The third floor was all origami and paper with paintbrushes, paint, clay, and rows and rows of paper in all lengths, colors, textures, and styles. That got the ideas going but I still didn’t have yen. Finally I settled on about twenty dollars worth of paper goods and an extra bit of Japanese modeling clay to add to the bit I already owned. I had an idea in my head of creating a clay sculpture, maybe not that weekend but soon and needed some extra clay. I picked up a small lunch at the convenience store and was back in my room by 3 pm ready to start my projects. I hadn’t gotten to the mega store, which looks awesome in its multilevel floor-plan for do-it-yourself and souvenir items but it was bordering on rain outside, I wound up saving a lot of money, and I found myself an awesome craft store about ten minutes from my place. (It even sells metal clay I can practice with before spending lots of money online to get things shipped to me.) Tokyu Hands will wait awhile as I get a better idea of my preferred craft techniques and make money to spend at the mega-store.
The weekend definitely did not turn out the way I had hoped. I finally finished two necklaces that had been sitting around for a while. They were ones my sister had requested based on characters from her story and I really liked the design ideas but had never gotten around to actually finishing them and putting clasps on them. I got those two done and started on another simple design I decided to complicate some once I got the components in front of me. I also set up the kumihimo loom so I could start the next day. I also tried to work on Viking knit only to realize the wire I was using was too thick so I’ll have to find thinner wire in the stores around here.
All in all my birthday weekend was relaxing but not as productive as I had hoped. Oh well, that’s what weekends are for and I did manage to finish those two necklaces. (And it turned out my card problems were really just ATM problems. Apparently some Japanese ATMs don’t like foreign cards. Oh well, lesson learned.)