Japanese Crafting

I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so!

I remember getting lost in a Japanese grocery store in Japantown out in San Francisco in 2001. There I was on my honeymoon, and I couldn't be separated with the aisles of Japanese toothpaste, q-tips and gummy animals because their packaging was just sooo cute. My husband and I strolled the aisles for what felt like all afternoon, touching everything and excitedly showing the other what we found. Total geeks in love. Sick, huh?

Now, several years later, my fascination with Japanese design is back, and stronger than ever. So, I'm issuing a cry for help to my readers. If you know of Japanese magazines, crafts, websites, etc. please send them along to me so I can further this addiction.

Here are some of my favorite Japanese crafting links, many in English:

Buzzville blog - Japanese Crafting blog in English.
Shinobu's Home - Super sweet greeting cards that look like the dreamiest illustrations that you'd love to see in more children's books.

Also, if you go to eBay and search 'Japanese Crafts', 'Japanese Stationery', you'll pull up many results. eBay store King Garden features a great selection of pattern books, and This Was Then has some beautiful patterns (and modern mobiles too!).

Kitty Craft - Super fabulous online store, in English, with crafts, fabrics and magazines.
All things Japanese. ahhh...

Cotton Time magazine - totally addictive and Couturier Zakka magazine - yum! Best part, you can purchase them online!

CatCraft Alice - I don't know what it is, but these handmade cats looking up at
me with big eyes does something to my heart... This site couldn't be any cuter.

Sorale - Really nice garden items, I love their birdcages and wooden dustbins.

One term I'm seeing used a lot on these websites is "Zakka". I'm wondering, is this a term for a trend, like here we'd say "Shabby Chic" or "Cottage Style". Does anyone know what Zakka means? To me, it almost seems to refer to the floral country style made popular by designers Cath Kidston and Rachel Ashwell, along with a modern natural feel, like Lotta Jansdotter. If anyone knows, please share with all of us by posting your comments below.

(Images from Shinobu, Kitty Craft, CatCraft Alice and Sorale.)