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I have been a sticker collecting hobbyist ever since I was in primary school, around kindergarten age. My best friend at the time had just moved to California from Japan & brought a whole crap ton of super cute Sanrio branded goodies to share with me. Not only that, but I got a couple of unique hand-me-down Sanrio items from my sister who got them for free when her father used to have a toy manufacturing contract in the 70s with Sanrio. I fell in love with stationery goods & stickers at a pretty young age, & have been collecting them ever since.

Stickers have been my particular vice out of the entire stationery category. I don’t think I really need to explain why I love stickers so much. They’re cute, & that’s all I will say about that. I have brushed it off in the past, my sticker hoarding obsession, saying that I don’t have a problem with hoarding stickers. However, I think I have to come to terms now with the fact that I actually do have a problem.

I finally gave in & admitted I have a sticker hoarding problem, when I started looking for places to tuck away my piles of sticker sheets. I have a dedicated arts & crafts caboodle-style box for my main collection of stickers, & it’s pretty substantial in size. I mean, it takes up one entire shelf in my closet all by itself. I also have little stashes here & there all around Jian’s home office. I could get a larger storage bins for all of my stickers, but that would just give me an easy excuse to fill it up even more. Most of my sticker hoarding problem stems from my deep rooted sentimentality. I very easily become sentimental & use that, or running out, as excuses to not use certain stickers which end up being more of my collection problem.

Even though I just admitted that I am having a problem with my ever-growing uncontrollable sticker collection, I still made a sticker haul from my last visit to Los Angeles. I somehow had convinced Jian to let me pop in to one of the many Daiso stores around town, thinking to myself, “I am only going to see if there’s anything I could get for my little bean, like a toy or plastic kids’ utensils.” However, I only ended up getting things for myself, & those things were stickers. Let’s explore.

I saw the sticker shelf at Daiso, & I kind of went nuts. Usually, when buying stickers, I am a bit more picky in my selections. Sticker sheets from Japan these days are getting more expensive than ever, but at Daiso where most items are under $10 bucks, I was able to splurge a little more. I was super excited when I saw these styles from San-X. They are a total throwback to my post-high school, early college days when San-X was still an up-&-coming rival brand to the already established Sanrio. Back then, I was working at the Sanrio Surprises store at my local shopping mall, & I was an absolute ‘weeb‘.

Nowadays everybody knows about Rilakkuma (the brown relax bear). From the popular Netflix show & the massive amounts of products (including bootleg), Rilakkuma is probably the most recognizable character. However, the characters I’d been drawn to the most were AfroKen (the Afro-haired shapeshifting dog) & Nyan Nyan Nyanko (the cats who like to disguise themselves as food). Those were the characters I grew up loving & hadn’t seen in many years. Sumikkogurashi & Corocoro Coronya are both relatively new sets of characters, but they are still cute nonetheless. Those were the sticker sheets I chose along with a few miscellany that I often use to punch up the notes I hand write on my wall calendar.

In the last year, I have really conditioned myself to think less about sentimentality when it comes to my arts & crafts supplies. If I run out of a particular style of sticker, then I will just have to accept it. With more reasons this year to use up my crafting supplies, I have actively been trying to use the things I have before I buy more. If I really want to declutter my life & my home, I can’t keep stashing & storing arts & crafts supplies with the intention of using it sometime in the whatever future. I have to use these items & not let them go to waste. So off I go, to make another celebration card, & until the next time…cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

sticker addiction blog banner

Illustration credit: Salgoolulu via Pinterest

I am just going to come right out & say it. Hi, my name is melsenpai, & I have a sticker addiction. It’s been three weeks since my last sticker purchase. Every time I see a cute sticker, I feel compelled to buy it, even if I have no use for it. I have a better grasp on the art of restraint these days, but there are some days when I feel an overwhelming urge to splurge on the very first love of my life…stickers.

I have been collecting stickers since I was around 5-years old or so, & it has been my passion-hobby ever since. Everyone in my immediate household knows of my addiction, which I sugar-coatingly refer to as my hobby collection, & they neither support it nor are against it. I, for one, am totally, unequivocally for it. Yes, I am here for it bee-yotch! So, that is why I recently went on a mini shopping spree for stickers.

There is one brand I have been following since way back in 2007, called B-Side Label, from Japan. I first saw their decals during one of my first trips to Tokyo with Jian, at my all-time favorite home goods shop Tokyu Hands.  I didn’t pay much attention to the brand itself at that time. However, I remember choosing three designs: a llama, a chicken, & a blue fin tuna fish decal. I didn’t even have a clue as to what the Japanese phrases on the decals even meant. I just liked the designs, & wanted to stick them on my very first laptop that my parents got me for my birthday.

 

It wasn’t until much later, when I became more heavily involved in social media was when I rediscovered this brand once again. I found their Instagram page, & I’ve been “window shopping” ever since. Once B-Side Label announced that they would start shipping internationally to select countries, I immediately went on the hunt for my first purchase. (Finally I won’t have to trek all the way across the Pacific Ocean to get my hands on these sweet little decals.) For my first purchase I got three  small stickers to decorate my tablet, but my recent purchase was my biggest decal haul to date.

Here’s the unveiling of my haul. It took me a couple of days, yes d-a-y-s, to carefully select which ones I was ultimately going to get. There were so many designs I loved, but I forced myself to only choose the ones that would fit me best.

b-side collage1b-side collage2b-side collage3listA

I won’t go into all the blah-blah-blah boring details as to why I chose each & every one of these designs. Instead, I’d like to explain why I got these decals. One thing that really stands out in my mind about this brand is their attention to detail & quality. B -Side Label stands behind their products, & I can personally attest that these decals are extremely durable.

The main things I love the absolute most about these decals are that they are both waterproof & UV resistant, which means they won’t fade due to prolonged exposure to the sun AND they won’t peel or warp if they get wet. So, you can slap these bad boys on your bicycle, you car window, your laptop, or whatever you want, & the color will still look vibrant & they’ll still stay put. For an example, let me introduce you to my best friend, Richard, also known as my tablet.

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I have had this tablet, Richard, for a little over 5+ years or so, & it’s still chugging along. My tablet has been littered with so many stickers & decals over its lifetime, & so far none of the stickers/decals look used or abused. I’ve even slapped on a couple of the B-Side Label decals on him, & was able to peel off & re-apply them a few times while trying to figure out the best fitting places for each one. That’s another great thing about my B-Side Label decals, you know, the fact that you can peel them off & re-apply them & they still retain their stickiness & still look like new.

So there you have it. This was my latest haul post. It was kind of lame for me to make one whole topic about basic stickers, but I’d say that there’s nothing really basic about the ones I bought. I have no doubt that whatever I slap these babies on to, they’re going to last for a very, very long time. Until my next post, 君に乾杯!

Today’s song of the day:

I remember there once was a time in my life when I was heavily interested in (& invested in) reading comic books, specifically Japanese comic books. I would patiently wait month-to-month for each volume to be painstakingly translated, published, shipped to America, & put on the shelves of my local book store’s meager Manga section (if you could even call a tiny bookshelf a “section”). Nowadays, kids read photocopy scans via the Internet with nearly instantaneously. This past weekend, I was cleaning out a large storage closet in my house, & I stumbled upon my old collection of comic books…more accurately called Manga. I haven’t touched these books in years, which prompted me to browse through them once again. This got me thinking back on my time as a devoted comic book reader.

When I was a young child in Elementary school, I actually read a few Marvel comic books. While all of my siblings & cousins were reading MAD magazine & Archie (along with Betty, Veronica & Jughead), I was reading about Spider-Man, Silver Surfer & the like. No, I wasn’t exactly a comic book nerd like how they’re being portrayed on the TV show The Big Bang Theory, or at Comic Con. I was a casual reader at best, picking up whatever cover interested me. I completely stopped reading comic books once I became a full-fledged teenager, swapping Spider-Man for Hot Rod & muscle car magazines, as well as various trading cards. I don’t know why I chose this time in my life to try to act like a tomboy. Now, looking back on those times, I was heavily influenced by a girl who I thought was my best friend at the time, only to later find out she was either trying to sabotage my life or get inside my pants.

It wasn’t until after high school when I truly discovered & fell head-over-heels in love with Japanese Pop culture. I immersed myself into every aspect I could get my grubby little hands on, spending most of my weekends in the Japantown area of the big box city. Since my dad was originally from Japan, I felt a special closeness to that culture. That’s when I really got into watching Japanese TV shows, movies, watching anime, & reading comic books (a.k.a. manga). At that time, a majority of my friends were Asian & had the same interests in Japanese Pop culture as I did, so we were able to share our favorites & talk all about comic books.

Just like in my teenage years, I also went through a tomboy phase while reading manga. I liked to read comic books geared mostly towards the male audience, with titles such as: One Piece, Full Metal Alchemist, Gundam Seed, Megatokyo, Rurouni Kenshin, etc. I liked reading about intergalactic mechanized robot wars & epic sword fights. Along the way, I also dabbled in other genres like: comedy (Ranma ½, Love Hina, Azumanga Daioh), historical (Fushigi-Yugi), fantasy-magic (Card Captor Sakura, Alice 19th, Wedding Peach, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, & XXX Holic), & a few others here & there. Most of the manga I read had a similar theme of romance. You know the formula: girl & boy are fated to love each other & be together in the end, but not without a roller coaster ride of major ups & downs like: alternate dimensions, space &/or time portals, epic wars, magical curses, demon hunting, multi-dimensional memory loss, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah.

So, I’ve been sorting through my old collection of comic books & have begun reading them all over again. Most of my comic books are lacking a complete series, & I am thinking about getting back into reading manga again so I can finish the complete series of all the manga titles I’ve collected over the years. I stopped reading manga for many years simply because I have no space in my house to store all of these books, & I am also trying to tighten my budget. So that means, less shopping, more saving…especially if I want to be able to afford going to my cousin’s destination wedding. I guess we will see what happens. Until then, cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

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