News

Shop News: Restocks, Updates & Sales

Just a quick update on what’s new with my shops.

polymer stamps

Polymer Stamps

Lots of characters have been going out of stock but now they’re all back. Buy a matching set or pick and mix your favourites! I’m also working on a couple of new designs that will be available later this year.

wooden necklaces and keyrings

Wooden Keyrings & Charms

It occurred to me that my pendant necklace option for brooches could also let you make them into keyrings or phone/bag charms so I took some new photos and updated the listing. To be clear, you get the same attachment for them all – just add a chain, ribbon, split ring or phone loop as you prefer.

kawaii bunny and panda card

Bunny & Panda cards

I’ve had two of these cards in the sale for months and months because I couldn’t decide whether to reprint them or not. Well, someone eventually bought them and I decided they could come back. They’re also part of my 2 cards for £3.50 offer so stock up.

Tokyo Shopping Guide 2017

Tokyo Shopping Guide

The wheels of ebook updating continue to turn very slowly for my new Tokyo Shopping Guide. Amazon in their infinite wisdom need two weeks and counting to change the price so you can currently get it for 99p (or 99c in the US). For all non–Amazon e-readers, Lulu & Kobo have the new epub version. iBooks is telling me nothing yet so who knows what’s happening there.

spoonflower fabric pencil cases

Pencil Cases

Most of my pencil cases are out of stock (still some bargain cutie fruity ones in the sale!) but I have ordered more fabric so they’ll be back as soon as my busy mum finds the time to sew them up.

brooch sale

Sale

And don’t forget the sale! There’s half price wooden brooches and a few slightly damaged polymer stamps (that still print perfectly) plus bargains on stationery and zines.

Japan, Japan 2016

Japan Extras: My Favourite Tokyo Gardens

Hamarikyu Gardens, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

I like to visit gardens wherever I go in the world and that goes double for Japan! Japanese gardens are always so beautiful, quiet and well-kept. The design is always a delight too, with so much thought given to views. They’re often designed around a lake and will have something new to see from every angle. Here’s my top 5 favourite gardens in Tokyo that I recommend you visit.

Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Shinjuku Gyoen, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Shinjuku Gyoen

This is one of the easiest gardens to visit as it’s so central and it’s really beautiful too. For just ¥200 you can escape the madness of Shinjuku for this beautiful garden close to the station. While it’s great for a quick visit, it’s also a lot bigger than you’d think with different areas to explore. The ponds and lakes are very photogenic, especially with Shinjuku’s skyline in the background. Use the map to find areas based on different parts of the world and look out for exhibitions and events. I was lucky enough to visit during their Rose display with hundreds of perfect blooms in every colour. More information »

Hamarikyu Gardens, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Hamarikyu Gardens, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Hamarikyu Gardens

The is one of Japan’s most famous gardens but I only got there on my fourth trip.  It’s a stop on the Sumida River cruises from Asakusa and I definitely recommend combining the two as it’s a lovely journey with views of Sky Tree, Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge. Hamarikyu is squeezed in between the river and the Shiodome business district, which gives a lovely contrast. Wherever you look, there are modern skyscrapers looming over the traditional gardens and reflecting off the water. I also spotted more birds and wildlife here than other gardens, presumably because of its closeness to Tokyo Bay. More information »

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Koishikawa Korakuen

This was a last minute choice that turned out to be a new favourite that I hope to revisit soon. It’s one of Japan’s oldest gardens and feels quite remote even though it’s close to the amusement park at Tokyo Dome. There’s a large area to explore surrounding a lake and my highlights were the just-blooming Iris field, Full Moon bridge and turtle-filled pond. It turned out to be the perfect place to relax in the sunshine with a book. More information »

Rikugien Gardens, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Rikugien Gardens, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Rikugien

Rikugien means means “six poems garden” and there are references to 88 scenes from famous poems. It’s quite a small garden but there’s something new to see every few steps with turtles, carp, stepping stones, bridges and much more. The view from the observatory point is especially lovely. If you’re visiting Tokyo in the late autumn, Rikugien is a prime viewing spot for red maple leaves with late night viewing events.  More information »

Meiji Shrine Gardens, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Meiji Shrine Gardens, Tokyo - marcelinesmith

Meiji Shrine Inner Garden

While Meiji Shrine is a hugely popular sightseeing spot, most people miss the garden. That’s a mistake in my view as it’s well worth the small entry fee. Spring/Summer is the best time to visit in order to see the azaleas and Iris field but it’s nice any time with a big teahouse and a large pond with carp and turtles. It’s also famous for Kiyomasa’s Well, an ancient well with extremely clear water that is considered to be lucky to visit. There’s often a big queue to see it with a guard who will take your photo. More information »

Useful Links

Sales & Offers

Weekend Wrap Up

marcelinesmith

Not much to report this week. I’ve just been working on a few things and making plans for my upcoming London trip. We even managed to avoid the heatwave up here so it’s been quite pleasant.

Limited Time Shopping Offers

  • Half price brooch sale in my shop, plus bargain seconds on polymer stamps.
  • I also have some misfit brooches I’ll be giving away for free so keep an eye on my Instagram.
  • Up to 40% off selected items in my Not on the High Street shop.
  • 15%-50% off everything in my Zazzle store through Monday with the code GREATINDOORS.
  • Repeat customers get 15% off all Solar System products! Just login and check the cart page for the code. (How do you become one? Place an order in my shop and you’ll have the option to create a customer account for exclusive monthly offers!)

Ongoing Shopping Offers

  • $10 off your first order at my Society6 store with this link.
  • 25% off any 4 small vinyl stickers from my Redbubble shop or 50% off any 10!
  • 50% off your first personalised card at Thortful with the code TTSHUVNO.

News and Reminders

  • Amazon have updated the ebook edition of my all-new Tokyo Shopping Guide but not the price yet so if you’re quick you can get it for 99p!
  • Still time to win my Bunny & Panda brooches & badges over at SCK by signing up to the new monthly newsletter.
  • My new paper craft tutorial is online – make kawaii Planet cards and a mobile! Sign up to my mailing list to be get it sent straight to your inbox along with news and offers.
Shopping

Recent Purchases: April-June

Another round up of stuff I’ve been buying.

mofutans - pink samurai pins - marcelinesmith

As you know, Easter is my favourite holiday so it was impossible to resist buying The Pink Samurai‘s easter enamel pins. I think I might be going back for more soon. I also now finally own a Mofutans plush, a surprise gift from Nicolette for Easter. I saw these in Japan but couldn’t decide which one to buy.

elhorno enamel pin - marcelinesmith

It feels like I’ve been very restrained in my enamel pin purchases lately but that’s because I filled up my frame! This was the last one to fit in by El Horno. I’ll show you my new display set up soon because obviously I wasn’t going to stop buying pins.

uniqlo x nintendo - marcelinesmith

Nintendo’s collaboration with Uniqlo was so cool and I managed to snap up my two favourites. A lot of the designs sold out really quickly but hopefully they’ll restock.

san-x plush - marcelinesmith

I need to stop browsing Amazon Japan as it’s all too easy now with Amazon Global. I bought all these little San-X plushies and got them 3 days later with no customs fees! I wrote about them more over at Super Cute Kawaii.

noodoll pear plush - marcelinesmith

My plush display needs a major reorganisation. The newest addition is this unique Noodoll pear plush from their sample sale. Hilariously, Nicolette bought a pear too. We are so predictable.

sumikko gurashi rement - marcelinesmith

In other sister coincidences, we both bought a box of Sumikko Gurashi House Rement and both got our favourite, the cleaning Ghost! The dustball is my second favourite so this was perfect for me. I want human-sized versions of all this.

strawberry pot holders - marcelinesmith

My kitchen has a bit of a fruit theme so I couldn’t leave these strawberry pot holders behind in Tiger.

suitcase - marcelinesmith

And it’s only a few weeks until I travel down to London for my first Hyper Japan! I’m flying back and quite excited about my new Aerolite carry-on suitcase. I was tempted by the yellow but the blue contrasts perfectly with my Aranzi Aronzo luggage tag.

On-Demand News, Shopping

Redbubble Fitted Scoop T-Shirt Review

Redbubble sent me a voucher so I decided to order a couple of t-shirts. I already own a Space Brothers anime-inspired design so I knew the sizing and quality was good, but I wanted to try my own designs.

Redbubble Fitted Scoop T-Shirt

I picked the Women’s Fitted Scoop T-Shirt with 5 A Day (my most popular design) and Kawaii Outer Space. The sizing on these is a bit crazy so definitely check the measurements before ordering. I had to buy the largest size, despite being generally a UK 12/14, and it’s fairly close fitting.

Redbubble Fitted Scoop T-Shirt

Redbubble ships t-shirts regionally so I only had to wait a couple of days for my order to arrive and no worries about customs fees! Everything arrived in good condition and I like the fabric label that’s attached with a tiny peg.

5 a day t-shirt - marcelinesmith

You can see already that there is a clear difference between the marketing image and the real thing. I know that printing onto fabric is never perfect but thought I’d contact support anyway to check. It’s always worth asking if you’re unsure if there’s a problem – any nice shop or seller will be happy to answer questions. They offered to reprint it for me and another one arrived a few days later.

5 a day t-shirts - marcelinesmith

While that was a kind offer, I can’t really see any difference. I think they might be better adjusting the marketing images to look less perfect. I’m used to seeing my designs digitally printed on fabric but other people might be disappointed.

Redbubble Fitted Scoop T-Shirt

The good news is that none of this is noticeable from a distance. It also means the design is soft and flexible and won’t crack or peel in the wash. Overall, I’m perfectly happy with it and really like the bright blue.

Redbubble Fitted Scoop T-Shirt

The Outer Space design has similar issues but it’s less noticeable since the original drawing has a lot of fuzzy outlines and layers. It has disappeared into the background a bit but I quite like the effect.

outer space t-shirt - marcelinesmith

Despite the print issues, these are really comfy and good value t-shirts and I’ve been wearing them a lot. I would order again and would recommend them, as long as you’re realistic about the print quality on fabric.

Redbubble t-shirts

You can buy lots of my designs on t-shirts at Redbubble with a big range of styles and colours available. Keep an eye out for their regular discounts (usually on Sundays or mid-week) and let me know if you buy one!