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raak: textiles from japan

raak: kyoto

getting lost in a foreign city has its benefits when it turns up little goldmines like raak. this itty bitty boutique was tucked away in the back streets of gion, kyoto – it would’ve been easy to miss, but once we’d found it, there were raak stores popping up on every corner! and just as well, because i was smitten!

raak: textiles from japan
raak was established in 1615 specializing in tenugui, traditional japanese facecloths. the range today covers face cloths, scarves, and furoshiki cloths – to wrap gifts, or fold into bags. their designs are spectacular, some more traditional and simple, and some bright, busy and contemporary!

raak: kyoto store

the smallest soft, lightweight cotton cloths on display

raak: my souvenir
did i mention i picked up some souvenirs? because i did. a lot.

raak: maple design

a spectacular maple design

raak: my dandy scarf!just a little head scarf i picked up – to brighten my wintery days back home!


a contemporary chair design by raak

rack: hydrangea gauze scarf

hydrangea cotton gauze scarf

raak: hillsiderolling landscape panel

images taken from raak and my shamelessly extensive personal collection of raak products

raak: lady bugs

bonnie & buttermilk

while enjoying the latest edition of kleinformat a cute little photo caught my eye and led me to bonnie & buttermilk! you know when you find something so perfect, so you, that you almost can’t breathe? i clicked through the store like a crazy lady, almost not believing what i was seeing: had someone broken into my head and brought all my ideas for dream outfits into existence? perhaps… but i’m happy they did!

how many ways do i love thee bonnie and buttermilk?

colorful: check!

fun fabrics: check!

cute, simple sihouettes: check!

adorable styling: CHECK!

three perfect skirts

home style skirt

two cute

tweet chic

fabulous colors

all photos from bonnie & buttermilk

go forth and shop, friends. and maybe take mr google translate with you if you sprechen sie nicht deutsches!

japanese packaging and promo


as you would imagine, shopping in japan is BANANAS. the first day was really tough – we had two weeks ahead of us, but we were seeing so many amazing things already. would we make it home without exceeding baggage limits? would we go broke before we even bought dinner? as time went by we got a little more jaded, but it was still a shoppers paradise! sadly i was too, er, ‘amazonian’ to fit the shoes or clothing. perhaps for the best, financially speaking! but here are a few treasures that made it home with me…*

*not pictured: 900 pairs of socks. japan loves socks!

swimmer/chocoholic tape, vintage stamps from 'pinups' in kitchijoji
 swimmer/chocoholic tape, vintage stamps from ‘pinups’ in kitchijoji


flower push-pinsflower push-pins and push-pin hooks!

i’m a big fan of buying fun but practical things while on holiday. i like to be able to use the things frequently, and each time i do, i get that little thrill i like to call “reverse buyers remorse”.

cute memo pad and faux-marimekko letterset from kiddyland

cute memo pad and faux-marimekko letterset from kiddyland

picture puzzle dominoespicture puzzle dominoes

are these for me? or for my son? hmm… both. but mostly for me! don’t worry, he got plenty of presents all to himself.

stickers! pens! memo pad!

 cute stamp stickers! erasable rainbow pens! cram cream memo pad in my favorite design!


face cloths

 i came to love these little face cloths really fast! because its so humid a little discreet blotting cloth is essential. and in typical japanese style, even the sweat rags are beautiful. i’m almost looking forward to a hot australian summer to use these.

false lashes and mary quant daisy hair clipfalse lashes and mary quant daisy hair clip

i almost passed out when i saw the mary quant store. i love mary quant and so to own one tiny little mary quant item is really exciting. and can a girl ever have enough falsies? no. so i bought about 12 or varying style. eep!! blame it on the ¥100 store!

scandi treasures from parcoscandi treasures from parco

i found a fab little corner of parco stocked with scandinavian treasures! i thought the elephant bank might help me save up for a trip back to tokyo soon. and the apple dish towel? practical AND chic!

i heart tokyu hands!

tokyu hands was the most mind blowing place of all. i’d heard people reccomend it as a “department store that sells everything”. in my mind “everything” meant carpet, clothes, mattresses, luggage.. y’know. everything. but apparently “everything” means E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. umbrellas, suitcases, wood, fake flowers.. and lots and lots of stuff for crafting, creating, and making with! what colored perspex rod would you like? did you need some bright green leather? hey weren’t you just saying you were running low on silversmithing tools/flocked styrofoam balls/miniatures for your train set? yes. everything. my brain almost fell out and it was difficult to take in. on our first visit we experienced an aftershock, but i’m almost certain it was my mind being blown. so i bought a pom pom maker and some glittery plastic. because i’m pretty sure i’ll need them sooner or later. australia doesn’t have a great range of anything, if you want something you have to search online and sacrifice a kangaroo in hope of them shipping it to you. so this might not sound exciting to you americans and europeans, but it was like candyland to a supply starved australian! if i lived near a tokyu hands i would never ever ever stop making EVERYTHING.



furoshiki!furoshiki fabric

furoshiki is all about giftwrapping using beautiful fabric – but i’m thinking i might just giftwrap my head with this one!


fab fabric! it would be easy to blow tons of money on fabric in japan – but what am i going to do with it all? nuthin’ that’s what. so i only bought a couple of pieces that i know i’ll put to good use. the fabric above is latex backed and is going to turn into a swim bag for my son.

handmade fabric bentohandmade fabric bento

and lastly, an extra special little present for my son. play-sushi! he also got socks, some crazy bath salts that turned his bath chartreuse, some candies with hello kitty’s face in them, and a totoro all of his own.

i can’t wait to show you one more special purchase next week – in a post all of its own! ooh

plastic bag from the swimmer store
the roof at kiyomizudera
face cloths for sale in kyoto
candystripe staircase in the omotesando camper store
hand painted silk kimono seen in nippori
saki cup pincushions
rope at kiyomizudera
cintia's kimono
the roof at kiyomizudera
candies seen in kyoto
the roof at kiyomizudera
the roof at nijo castle
tiled wall in kyoto
paper cranes seen at a shrine in gion, kyoto
shrine stickers

some inspiring colors and textures seen in japan.

thirty before 30: visit tokyo

if you haven’t followed me on twitter for the last few weeks you might have missed the bit where i went to japan! after a week of catching up on work i’m finally ready to show you some photos from my fab two weeks in tokyo – and kyoto.

visiting tokyo was #4 on my thirty before 30 list, so in february i decided to make. it. happen! i invited my friend cintia to come with me and this is the condensed version of our adventures:

shibuya fireman

cute fire hydrant cover in shibuya

we had nine days in tokyo and five days in kyoto. in tokyo we spent the first few days shopping, hitting up the fabulous department stores in the shibuya area where we stayed, and then venturing out further afield to kitchijoji, nippori, daikanyama and uh tokyo disneyland. we explored so many adorable, fascinating stores, and the amazing ghibli museum – but none allowed photography, which is fair enough, but as such i don’t have so many photos from the first few days!

petit in kichijoji

‘petit’ in kichijoji

kichijoji was one of my favorite areas. cute streets full of cute shops – and this shop, petit, was my favorite. from the outside it looks kinda like a junky $1 store, but….

petit, but stuffed with treasure!

inside of ‘petit’

and i suppose inside it also kinda looks like a junky $1 store, but bear with me.. you see the photo is out of focus because we were in a FRENZY of picking through all kinds of vintage pop cultural treasures.. it was like stepping into a time machine and finding all the fun japanese junk you had as a kid – or maybe just walking into a physical version of ebay: there was a shelf of smurf figures, vintage happy meal toys, sweet sanrio stationary from the 80s, blythe dolls, new-in-box barbies from the 80s. and the ceiling? why it was covered with bowed star wars figures, of course.

giant icecream

pilgrim vs. the giant ice cream 

we spent a day relaxing in yoyogi park. giant ice creams were the least fun thing we saw. not pictured: half assed capoeira guys, unrhythmic bongo players, unenthusiastic swing dancers, a blissed our cat in a tree and a very enthusiastic guy in a rubber horse mask. it was my favorite park ever.

harajuku kids

harajuku kids…

…doing what harajuku kids do best: posing on a bridge before being moved on by the cops.

harajuku kiddo

rawr! lion straw hat

even the really little kids in harajuku looked rad!! please all go and DIY one for your own kiddos.

shinkansen time!waiting for the shinkansen bullet train

next: bullet train to kyoto!

hello kyoto!df

in kyoto we stayed in a ryokan, slept on futons on the floor, ate traditional style breakfasts, and generally soaked in a more ‘authentic’ experience. also: soaked in a japanese bath! aaaaahhh heaven.

toji temple

toji temple

kyoto was really interesting. we went to a flea market at a temple, and we went to a temple, and then another temple. did i mention temples?

big buddah ryozen kannon

ryozen kannon

this big buddha was the bigger of the two big buddha we saw. we also saw the daibutsu at todai-ji which was much more impressive than any of australia’s big things.

beware of the deers!

beware the deer. no, seriously, BEWARE the deer.

a day trip to nara introduced us to a rare breed of dangerous (wo)man eating deer. they start with your stomach and seem to only want to injure old ladies and little girls.

maiko walking maiko, apprentice geiko/geisha

it was amazing to see actual maiko and geiko (the kyoto term for geisha) walking through gion district in kyoto. i’m not sure how i feel about the tradition, but their commitment to their art form is impressive.

maiko hairclips

maiko hair accessories on display in a store

the golden pavillion

the golden pavillion, kinkakuji

kinkakuji was my favorite temple. it was perfect, surrounded by lush mossy gardens and all that greenery was a refreshing break from the heat.

shaved ice: melon flavor

melon sno-cone

did i mention it was hot? it was two sno-cones-a-day hot. the fan and the sweat cloth are two of the greatest inventions ever.

shopfitting dog in opening ceremony

a hairy store fitting at opening ceremony

back to tokyo. back to shopping and taking naughty secret photos in shops!! shh, don’t tell – but how would anyone believe me when i said i saw a hairy dog in a fashion store?!

back home with bulging suitcases!


then it was back home, with bulging suitcases and blistered feet. stay tuned in the coming day for some more detailed tales of excitement and adventure!

seventies living room

welcome to decorate! pilgrim post. in these posts i put together polyvore rooms inspired by a draw! pilgrim print. this time its the letter Z from my alphabet series.

no one does burnt orange and brown like those folks in the 70s, so above, i took their lead and put together a sophisticate retro space. product information here.

happy camper bedroom


i love challenging myself to come up with fun kid’s spaces, and this room takes some inspiration from camping. thick blankets, a picnic table for drawing and that fun log fire lamp give it some outdoorsy cheek. and mess is always allowed in rustic rooms, of course! keep that tower of books coming! product information here.


autumnal dining room


this autumnal room mixes up the colors and textures of food, and leather with a big pop of color from the wall hanging, and the mixed glass ornaments. settle in here on a crisp autumn evening for a fondue supper! product information here.

anne laddon is a fellow color junkie! she’s worked for over 30 years as a graphic designer, poster designer, and painter, but my favorites are her limited edition serigraphs. i believe these date from the mid 70s, during her time at the torpedo factory art center in alexandria, virginia. check out all of her work here, but for starters dig these fabulous pop style works below!

Brownie Hawkeye

brownie hawkeye


Sure Shot & Exposed

Sure Shot & Exposed

My Cycle & Red Writer


La Comida Mexicana

La Comida Mexicana

thirty before 30

yay! first item on my ‘thirty before 30’ list is checked off! if you’d like to read more about why i’m doing this, i wrote about starting my list a few months back.


the 7 dolls supper club

getting to know friends

i started my own supper club! why? because i like secret clubs. i like a bit of glamor. i like meeting new people. i like a fun excuse to get out of the house. i definitely like eating.


my mum and her friends would meet quarterly for their ‘ladies’ lunch’ and growing up i thought that it was all the height of grown up lady fun. and when alex shared her supper club adventures, i decided i wanted that thing too! my plan is a (almost) monthly meeting of myself and 3 fab friends, plus 3 of their fab friends! we doll up, we dine out and everyone has a bit of an adventure.


the afghan gallery

the downstairs dining room at the afghan gallery

for our first outing i chose the afghan gallery restaurant on brunswick street. i’d heard it had good interesting food, and upstairs was low floor dining amongst cushions and rugs. ooh! exotic!

afghan mood lighting

upstairs dining amongst the cushions

upstairs was cozy and the perfect comfy place for a languorous afghan feast


our feast was a really cheap but delicious banquet menu, but it involved delicious sizzly meat, bread, rice, and curries etc.

it was really fun, i didn’t need the ice breaker cards – we all hit it off and chatted happily into the night. i can’t wait to organize the next outing for the 7 dolls supper club!

do you have a monthly dinner with friends? or a supper club of you own?

friday street fantasy!

i received some very happy surprise mail yesterday: the gorgeous alex fulton gifted me this spectacularly groovy board book & 45 record! ‘friday street fantasy’ was published by paul hamlyn,sydney, 1969. aside from the party-in-an-ornamental-photo-lettering-catalog cover up there, its full of fab illustrations. and mysterious music…

a little book of songs + record

…unfortunately a small person i know jammed up our record player and so i haven’t heard the record yet. but for now, the illustrations:

friday street fantasy!
this is the town of Friday Street (yes. a town called street. ask bruce woodley). it was full of sad children until one day…


friday street fantasy!
…the friday man came to town with a rainbow in his hand!

friday street fantasy!

and now everyone in town sings and plays and has fun! aaahh pink and orange town!! i want to live there!

little one

the next song ‘little one’ is a lullaby (i assume from the lyrics …ahem, naughty record player breaking child). i like the dancing doll marionette!

captain grumblepeg
and this is captain grumblepeg, and his lady mary morningstar.


little miss sorrow

this is little miss sorrow.  her balloons are just beautiful, so i hope she’s not sad for long.


bruce woodley

in the back cover we meet bruce, singer and songwriter and member of the seekers (a famous australia folk group from the 60s). apparently he was 26 when he made this album!

paul corley, graphic designer and jeannette spencer, illustrator
and the creators of the colorful illustrations are paul corley and jeannette spencer. wherever they are now, i hope they’re still making bright and fun artwork for children!

thank you again alex, i will treasure this book!

MONA: the museum of neon art

june first?! JUNE FIRST?! what?!

ahem. has anyone seen the first half of my 2011? apparently its gone. that means i’ve been meaning to share these photos with you for six months. and so, quickly, before i embark on my adventure to japan i thought i’d tell you about my new favorite fascinating place in LA. MONA: the museum of neon art.

mona: museum of neon art, LA

MONA was born in 1981, to neon artists richard jenkins and lili lakich, and the current collection is an amazing mix of contemporary neon art and vintage neon signage.

MONA: museum of neon art, LA


i read about the museum at some point prior to traveling, and it aroused my curiosity (as such KrazyKrap tends to do.. i’m not so good at visiting the tourist traps) but i wasn’t entirely sure what to expect – aside from neon. what i found was a completely fascinating space filled with completely fascinating works! and the most fabulous part: the kiddo loved it because he was ALLOWED TO TOUCH! in a gallery! can you imagine?


MONA: museum of neon art, LA


the various artworks and vintage pieces are arranged around the spacious old setting (i’m both excited and sad they’re moving to glendale – the current location in the falsely-enticing ‘toy district’ is crumbly and cool!) giving it a gallery-meets-junk-yard vibe that really encourages you to get close and appreciate it all.

MONA: museum of neon art, LA


from the vintage goodness…

MONA: museum of neon art, LA

… to the contemporary fun.

and did i mention the thrilling sound of the humming neon and zapping artworks? it creates a really exciting atmosphere! so if you’re in LA, and you like some kooky tourism, duck in to the humming dimness of MONA and tell me what you think of it. next visit i’m hoping to catch one of their night tours of classic neon signs still in action.