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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.

tablet collage.png

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:

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When it comes to my stationery shopping or collection gathering, I am no longer going to make any solid promises. I am not going to say (yet again) that this will be the last purchase or anything like that. I just keep proving every time that I can’t stick to any of these ridiculous declarations. I will never stop collecting the things I love. So, now we’ve come to yet another blog post about my stationery/office supply (sort of) hoarding. Instead of making a bunch of little, meaningless posts each time I get something, I am just going to throw everything I’ve gotten so far this year into one medium-sized post… because this is getting a little out of hand, & I am happily spinning out of control.


I might have mentioned a long time ago that I’ve got a quirky collection of nearly 300+ postcards that I’ve been keeping since I was a young teenager. I recently purchased a few more postcards that I’m planning on not keeping for my collection, & will actually be using them to write messages to friends & family. Not all of these postcards are the kind I’d like to keep for myself. Some of them are formal enough for me to be able to turn them into greeting cards for friends.

postcard collage1a.png

 


Jian is not happy about this, but I keep filling my pen case, Leroy, with more writing tools. Yes, I have way too many pens, but I actually use them more often than not. I use all of my writing tools. I don’t collect them for no reason; that would be a terrible, frivolous waste that I would never condone. I use all of my writing tools on a day-to-day basis, making To Do lists, marking appointments on my home calendar, making craft projects, writing everyday sticky note reminders, etc..

Then, when I find a brand of writing tools that I really love, one that writes well & does not ruin your paper, I will truly invest in it…which means I’ll buy the same pen in all of my favorite ink colors. Very rarely will I buy any pens in an ink color that is not useful in an everyday scenario (i.e. white, gray, lime green, powder blue, or anything metallic). I like to choose colors that are vibrant & will be easy to read when writing. The ease of use is also important when selecting a good pen. I like pens that are smooth when writing & don’t skip, bleed, or scratch the paper.

This is why I’ve recently chosen to invest in the Pilot brand’s series of FriXion writing tools. I have a full set of their felt tip colored markers. I keep a pair of their retractable ball knock gel ink pens in my purse, & now I’ve gone on to invest in their series of color pencil-like pens. I haven’t purchased all of the colors in this pen series, & I don’t think I plan to do so either. (I really do not need 4 different shades of orange pens.) However, I did get all of the colors that I think will be useful in my everyday writing.

frixion pencil pens.jpg

My photography skills are horrible. This photo does not properly show the pens’ true colors.


I have a Japanese masking tape hoarding problem. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve gone on to start a second storage box to contain all of my washi tape rolls. I keep on telling myself that I don’t need any more decorative masking tapes, but it’s so hard to stick to my own words when Japanese office product companies continue to make the most cute/adorable/eye-catching products that draw customers in every time.

Of course, I don’t just collect these tape rolls for the hell of it. I do actually use these tapes in my everyday life. I put decorative masking tape on all of my travel luggage, so I can easily identify my suitcases whenever I travel abroad. I also use these tapes to make labels for basic household items like spice jars & miscellaneous kitchen containers. I have also used these masking tapes to decorate my wireless Apple Airpod earphones (so I can identify which is the left ear & the right ear).

I recently got more of these decroative washi tape rolls, but out of the vast selection of tapes they had at my favorite store in my local Japantown, I tried to be very selective in my purchases, choosing styles that I would use often & did not look too kitschy. Of course when I saw the fox themed tape roll, I did a little happy dance in my head. Also, I just could not resist the sexy nurse lingerie themed tape. It’s super duper cheesy, but I have a thing for frilly, lacy, racy lingerie. As for the food themed tapes, well, I really enjoy eating Japanese snack foods & pub/grilled food. Lastly, I am trying to branch out & play more with glittery/metallic craft products. I didn’t like to use them in the past because glitterized crafting supplies tend to be very messy (as in the glitter gets all over everything & is hard to clean up), & metallic items (like masking tapes & stickers) don’t adhere well to one’s crafting projects.

washi collage.jpg

I’m going to continue with this subject, but switching to a sub-topic…masking tape accessories, more specifically, tape cutters. So far, I have been using the old fashioned traditional route & using a pair of generic scissors to cut my decorative tapes. I’ve got a lot of cute washi tape dispensers saved on my Etsy favorites list, but I have never actually pulled the trigger, so to speak, & bought any of them.

I am not much of a fan of traditional tape dispensers. In my opinon, they are bulky, clunky, & they take up too much space if you want to neatly store them away. I don’t like having too much clutter on my work desk, even though my desk is cluttered right now, & I don’t like having too many office tools sitting on top of my desk. So, this is why I have invested in a few rather discreet tape cutters. I bought two types, & they both easily fit in my craft supplies storage box, Trevor. One of them is by the Japanese brand Kanmido, called the Maco tape cutting pen. The other is a Karu-cut tape cutter clip by another Japanese brand called Kokuyo.

tape cutters.jpg

The Kokuyo brand tape cutter clip is the most convenient & easiest to use crafting tool I have ever used. It’s very clear & obvious to see that you clip the cutter on to any roll of decorative masking tape (I’m pretty sure you can use this on other forms of adhesive tapes as well). There are two sizes (& various colors) to choose from, & I chose the larger of the two sizes since I have a few odd sized rolls of decorative tape that are not standard sizes. The larger tape cutter allows me to cut any of my rolls of tape without me having to buy different tools for one type of usage.

The Kanmido tape cutting pen, however, is more complicated to use. I will admit that this was a completely impulsive purchase. I saw it & instantly thought it was so cute. I barely skimmed over the information written on the front of the packaging. I took one look at the name of the product on the front of the package & threw it into my shopping basket straight away. It wasn’t until I got home & thoroughly read the packaging & instructions when I found out there’s more to this product than simply cutting masking tape. There’s some work involved in using this tape cutting pen.

I am calling this product a pen because it has a pen-like shape, & it is a compact product meant for office workers & students to be able to throw into their pen pouches in their breifcases or school book bags. How it works, & this is where the more complicated part comes into play, is that this tape cutter is only meant for you to cut small amounts of tape. It’s designed so you don’t have to carry whole rolls of masking tape in your bag, you can carry a small sample of your favorite masking tapes all in this one pen-like device, & you can also carry multiple sample rolls of different tapes. It’s kind of a hassle to have to make your own sample roll of washi tape to put inside this device, but this will be a lot easier to carry in your bag than a whole roll of tape, & you can easily switch your tape rolls if you buy extra roller guides, so you can have a variety of tape designs at your disposal.


Ok, I am now going to blame Jian just a little bit for what I’m about to say next because he encouraged me to do this. Yes, I said it. Jian encouraged me to buy more pins to add to my fast-growing pin collection. I didn’t go hog wild on pin shopping like I did when I went to Las Vegas for the LV Comic Con, but I did get a few cool pins along with one iron-on patch (to decorate my colorful backpack with). I also purchased a minimalist storage box from my new favorite office goods shop in Downtown Los Angeles called Hightide Store (not to be confused with the L.A. bar & café called High Tide), & of course I had to give this new storage box a name, just like I do with all of my other inanimate objects. I named this little white box Franklin. I think ‘Franklin’ is a fun name.

franklin storage.png

Some of my pins & patches were purchased at my favorite coffee roaster’s shop, Verve Coffe Roasters, when the two of us set out to satisfy our caffeine craving. First of all, Jian & I are coffee addicts. Well, I am a bigger coffee addict than Jian is. He can go without coffee from time-to-time, but if I skip even one day of drinking coffee, I will experience the usual withdrawl symptoms… mild headache, yawning all day long, etc.. We both enjoy a high quality coffee bean roaster, especially if they hail from the Bay Area region of California (our home region), & Verve Coffee is originally from the city of Santa Cruz (not near, yet not far to where we live).

We love visiting one of Verve’s coffee shops whenever we’re down in Los Angeles, since L.A. doesn’t really have any coffee roasting companies of their own. I picked up one of Verve’s Tokyo pins as an homage to both of my familial backgrounds. I have roots both in California & in Japan, & I love the fact that one of my all-time favorite coffee roasting companies has branched out to my dad’s home country.misc pins1.png

campfire pin

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You didn’t expect me to post a stationery haul without my sticker purchase, did you? Well I kind of cheated a little & had bought these stickers over the Christmas holiday time, around the time when I bought my new calendars for 2019 (which I’ve chosen not to include in to this post). If you can zoom-in to the inserted photo below, you can see that I’ve already started using these stickers. I couldn’t resist.

Most of these stickers I bought for the specific purpose of making & decorating birthday cards. I have got a lot of extended family members & friends who have birthdays pretty early on in the year, so I’ve already been making greeting cards & sending them out.

I don’t really have much to say about these stickers. They are pretty generic everyday stickers like candies, hearts, & “Happy Birthday” banners. When I was shopping at my all-time favorite online Japanese retailer, I had a hard time whittling my shopping cart list down to just a few select sticker themes that I knew I would be able to use in a multi-purpose format. I wanted to grab all of the stickers, but after a long, internal debate, ended up choosing the ones you see in this photo below.sticker collage


We have finally reached the end of my haul post & my final purchase, which I believe is a very practical office product. I got myself a folding metal book rest. I’ve been looking for one like the one I just purchased on the internet recently. I have recently been doing more paperwork at my job which requires me to copy a lot of documents & templates onto the computer, & having a book rest to prop up my papers is very handy. I also like the fact that my mom can borrow my book rest (any time she wants) so she can use it to hold her super thicc, large piano book. She’s been looking for a book stand for a very long time that can sit atop her baby grand piano, & also prop up her heavy piano book without the bottom lip of the stand to cover the bottom half of the sheet music. The book rest I got has skinny arms that can easily hold the pages in place without covering up a lot of the book’s pages. It’s also sturdy enough to hold the weight of my mom’s heavy piano book. Ilike this book rest as well because I can also use it to prop up my tablet when I am following a cooking recipe, or if I’m watching a movie while taking a bath. This book rest was a little more expensive than some of the other cute ones I found on Etsy (& definitely better looking aesthetically than the ones you’ll find at the big box office supply chains like Office MadStaples), but it is worth every penny. I am definitely going to be getting a lot of good use out of this product from now on.

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Well, this is officially the end of my blog post. I am running out of things to say. Oh, wait. I have one more thing to say, but I am not going into detail about it until my next blog post, which will be posted very soon. I’ll just give you a teaser of this new annoucement. I got an eary birthday present from Jian over this past weekend. My birthday isn’t until the end of next month, but since we’ll both be extremely busy within the next couple of weeks, Jian decided to gift me my birthday present early. In fact, I am using it right now as I am typing this blog post to you. I will end by saying I am completely in love with this new item, & I am so incredibly grateful to Jian for such a generous gift. It’s very over-the-top, but since I’m already using it, I guess it’s also quite practical. So, until the next post, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

kid activities cover

In my continued quest of documenting “99 Things That Bring Me Joy“, the next stop in my journal brings us to childhood activities I don’t want to outgrow. I don’t believe I am experiencing a “Peter Pan syndrome”, but I do still feel very young-at-heart even though I am rapidly approaching my late thirties & my early thirties have come & gone in a blink of an eye. Actually, I’m not really sure how to exactly describe myself. I can relate, get along with, & easily talk to all sorts of generations. I can chat with older adults about 1960s culture, reminisce with my own generation about our carefree youth in the 1980s & the grungey 90s, & when the kids of the next generation spit out slang lingo I can talk to them without checking the Urban Dictionary every 5 minutes.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have built up a lot of my current collections by adding on to things I’ve kept since my youth. Even though I am learing how to let go of items I once thought were sentimental on the basis of decluttering my home, I still keep some of my treasured childhood objects & collectible items. I use some of those items as a starter/base in building my collections. A few of my other childhood collectibles are still able to be used in my arts & crafts projects. (For example, I have a few rubber stamps from the mid-90s that I’m still using in my craft projects today.)

Aside from collectible objects, there are a few childhood activities that I continue to engage in, even as an adult. They’re not really exciting or unique, but they make me happy, no matter what age I am. Let me give you a few examples.


kid activities1

I wrote in an old post about the London Bus LEGO set that I had completed, & within that post I had provided a full list (as of 2017) of all the LEGO sets I owned. I’ve been playing with LEGO building blocks for as long as I can remember. My experience with LEGO blocks began with a simple tub of miscellaneous blocks that my mom bought for me at the Toys ‘R Us store when I was a little kid. There was a long span of my life (meaning my teenage years) where I stopped playing with LEGOs.

Then as an older adult, I started playing with them again, or should I say building sets again. I guess I jumped back on the LEGO bandwagon at the time when it was trendy for adults to go back to doing childhood things, like coloring & painting, in order to relieve stress. (What did they call the trend…”zen coloring for adults”??? LOL!). Now that LEGOs are back in style, & have become trendy for people of all ages, I’ve really thrown myself into building what LEGO calls “creator sets”.

My collecting of these large LEGO sets have really taken over my house to the point where I could easily turn my house into a small toy store. Thank goodness my collecting hasn’t taken over my life so much to the point where I will buy every new collectible set that’s released. I only buy the sets that interest me, but it’s still becoming an overwhelming collection that I hope to one day pass on to my future child. In the meantime, here is an updated list of the LEGO sets I have so far…

lego completes Feb 2019.png


kid activities2

If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, then you know all about my sticker collecting. I mean, I basically won’t shut up about it & write about my sticker collecting in practically every other post. I have been collecting (& using) stickers since I was around 10-years old. I still even have a few of my old stickers from way back when. I won’t go in to too much detail about my boring sticker collecting, just know that I’ve been collecting stickers nearly my entire life.

Do you remember when I introduced my sticker storage box (named Trevor)? Well, he’s overflowing now.

trevor

This photo of Trevor taken circa July 2012.

This is Trevor now. He is a super hot mess.

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Even my craft washi tape collection got so overwhelming that Pierre spilled out, & we now have his little brother named Jean-Luc.


kid activities3

I’m not an avid coloring book artist these days, but I still color like a kid from time to time using a coloring page app on my tablet. When I was a little kid, I loved coloring in school. I couldn’t freestyle/hand draw to save my life, but I loved coloring. I still can’t draw (barely stick figures & crude symbols), but I still enjoy coloring from time to time.

I remember when I was a teenager & I discovered tracing paper for the first time. I had this beautiful hardcover art book from the artist Mary Engelbreit, who was my favorite artist at the time. I would spend hours in my room, sitting on my bed, painstakingly re-tracing all of my favorite prints from that book. Then I would take my treasured deluxe box of colored pencils & color in all of my traced pages, trying to copy Mary’s artwork. I had so much fun tracing those artworks & getting to color them in at the end.

Today, I don’t exactly color in actual paper coloring books with coloring pencils & crayons, but I do have a coloring app on my tablet called Lake Coloring, & whenever the mood strikes or if I’m feeling a little out of sorts, I’ll whip out my tablet (which I have named Richard), & just color away to clear my headspace, with my only worry being which color to choose. I wouldn’t exactly say that this type of coloring is a stress reliever, but it does actually distract me (in a good way) & helps me to temporarily forget about whatever was on my mind to make me feel moody.


kid activities4

I didn’t read comic books & graphic novels when I was very young. However, I remember one of my older female cousins was really into reading Archie Comics. I had another male cousin who loved to collect MAD magazines. He even had the board game that was a spin-off of the comic magazine.

I didn’t really start learing about comic books myself until I became a young teenager & my parents allowed me to walk to the grocery store without a chaperone. I started by reading the cheap 99¢ cents comics at the grocery store. Then when I was old enough to drive, I would spend my after school time hanging out at my local bookstore near the shopping mall. That was the time when I  was introduced to the magical world of Japanese manga (graphic novels).

Let me tell you one thing, when I immerse myself in a hobby or something I’m passionate about, I will invest a lot of time & effort (& money) into it. For example, when I started reading Japanese manga (I was more into manga rather than watching anime shows), I would read two or three series at a a time. I was always searching for a new series to dive into, which actually worked out for me because it always took at least a month, sometimes longer, to properly translate one Japanese comic book into English. It’s not easy to translate sound effects, & Japanese subtlety. To show you what I mean, let me insert a photo here.

mini manga library

I found these while cleaning out the storage closet, & miraculously they were NOT moisture damaged or warped!

I am not sure if you can clearly read the titles in this photo or not. I will list all of the titles, so you don’t have to zoom-in & sqint. Just a fair warning, I was really into the magical girl romance genre back in those days. I also dabbled in a little of the fantasy/sci-fi genre, & of course…the traditional romance genre as well.

manga library.png

I haven’t quite gotten back in to reading graphic novels. Well, at least not since I graduated college, but I’m slowly dipping my foot back in to that giant pool, testing out the water again to see if I’m still willing to shell out the mucho dinero for one book every other month. I still do read, though. However, I have slowed down my reading of hardcopy books in favor of e-books on my treasured tablet, Richard. You know, it is kind of sad to say this, but… you know when someone asks the trivia question “what three items would you bring with you to a remote island”? Two of the three items I’d probably bring with me is: 1. Richard, my tablet, & 2. a power source so I may keep Richard charged at all times. (Also, item number three would probably be a hunting knife.)


Well, that pretty much sums up some of my childhood that I’ve carried with me into full adulthood. Some of these things I believe I can still carry with me throughout my childhood & not feel like I’ve outgrown them. I also feel like I can pass down some of these activities with my future offspring. At least I hope so… That’s all I’ve got to say on this subject. Until next time, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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