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Oh Cheese It.JPG

“Oh, Cheese it!” is a new slang phrase that I made up for myself. I use this phrase in negative situations, rather than using my usual dirty longshoreman cuss words because 1. it sounds cute, & 2. because it’s safe to use around children and prudes. Instead of saying “Goddammit!” or “Shit!”, like when you stub your toe really hard, or when you drop something important, I would say “Oh, Cheese it!”. It’s cheesy (pun intended), I know, but I like using this phrase. I think it’s fun.

Now, I’m using this phrase because something negative happened. For the first time in a long while, I finally made a bad stationery purchase. How could this  have happened? I am usually so picky & choosy when it comes to buying stationery. I can browse the store for hours trying to look for the perfect notepad, pen, sticker, or other office supply item. I used to be the type of person who had to buy everything “cute” at the stationery goods store, but that quickly turned me into more hoarder than collector, so I gave away a lot of things I either had no use for or grew disinterested in. That groomed me to become more selective in the types of stationery goods I buy & use.

Well, I fell back into old habits again. I got caught up in the razzle-dazzle of the Japanese discount store Ichiban Kan. I was picking out some things to fill a stationery care package I was making for my younger cousin. (We have been very close ever since she was in diapers.) We both share a love for Japanese stationery & Japanese culture, & I just felt like spoiling her a little bit, since she never asks for anything. I saw so many pretty & cute, yet ridiculous goods at the discount store. I just couldn’t help myself. While I was picking out things for my cousin, I was also picking out extra things for myself. I must have been running on some sort of endorphin high, or perhaps something in the air fried my brain because I just grabbed whatever I thought looked cool without properly giving it my thorough, self-perfectionist examination.

Compared to some of the other times I’ve walked out of stationery stores, I think this purchase was quite modest. For my cousin, I only bought a Mount Fuji sticky notepad & a pad of animal shaped notecards. For myself, I bought a few sets of stickers & washi tape rolls. Let me lay it out straight for you. I.WAS. KIND OF. DISAPPOINTED. This was the first time I’ve ever been disappointed in my stationery goods purchase. Well, hold on a minute. I wasn’t completely disappointed with my purchase. The stickers were okay, but it was the washi tapes that really bummed me out.

This was the first thing I picked out, a roll of dog stickers. First of all, I really like how the roll is perforated, so you can tear off individual stickers, or if you’re like me…to shorten the used end of the roll to make it look neater/tidier. I really like the breeds of dogs used for these stickers. I’m so happy that there’s a Shiba Inu in the mix, as well as a Pomeranian that looks like the famous super pup Boo. Mostly, I couldn’t say no to the oh-so-adorable pug! Sorry for my lack of photography skills; my photos don’t do these items any justice. These stickers look matte in my photo, but they’re actually semi-glossy.

collage2

The next few things I picked were these sets of stickers. The first sheet says “和ものシール” (wamo no shiiru) which means “traditional seal”. The word “seal” is how the Japanese use to describe the word “sticker”. I was initially drawn to these stickers because of the rabbits! How could you deny those cute little bunnies? Plus, I really liked the traditional design & the rice paper texture of the stickers. As you can see, I’ve already used one of the rabbits. The other two sets are “flake seals”, which in Japanese “flake” is used to describe die-cut stickers.  The set on the top has a forrest theme, while the set on the bottom are all kinds of birds. I really like these stickers because they are thin stickers, but I’d say they are pretty durable. I’ve already used one of the flower stickers, & I like how the stickers are slightly transparent. These stickers also have a rice paper texture, but a more smooth feeling. I haven’t tried any of the bird stickers yet. They look a little bit too soft in color for my taste, but I guess we’ll see how it all turns out.

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Here’s where things take a sour turn. I was so excited to see so many different patterns of washi tapes at the Japanese discount store. Washi tape rolls can get very expensive (especially if you get ones with metallic foil accents). I try not to buy washi tape unless they’re on sale or at the discount store. Of course, I wanted to buy all of the tapes, but I forced myself to pick & choose only the select ones I knew I’d purposefully use. I got these three washi tape rolls. The first roll says “Thank You” in various languages. The gold lettering is supposed to have a slightly metallic shine, but my bad photography skills strike yet again, & you can’t really see it here. The second roll says “ありがとう” (Arigatou) which means “Thank You” & “ほんの気持ちです。” (Hon’ no kimochi desu.) which means “A feeling of gratitude”. I really liked the third washi tape roll because it looked quite Scandinavian & will look nice on wrapped gifts. Boy, oh boy. I can’t even with these damn washi tapes! Sure, they look pretty, but their looks are so deceiving! These tapes feel like every other washi tape out on the market, but they are far from the same quality. They don’t even stick to anything you use them on (not even plain white paper). I tried using the flower pattern tape on an envelope I was going to mail to my sister, but the ends kept curling up off the envelope, & no matter how many times I tried to really press down on the tape, it would just peel its ends off of the envelope. I’m pretty bummed right now that I bought these duds. There goes $4.50 USD right down the drain.

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Well, that’s a lesson learned for me. Cheap is cheap, I guess. You better believe that the next time I won’t be so quick to buy everything off the shelves, & I will carefully inspect the items before I buy them. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

Boy, greeting card companies like Hallmark™ must love me!  I am the customer that keeps on giving (my money, that is).  I am such a sucker for any type of greeting card or postcard with a cute design, illustration, graphic or photo on it.  No matter what the occasion is, I have a card for that (except for, say, Sympathy or Get Well).  I don’t quite know what it is about those awesome little bi-folds of card-stock that keeps me coming back for more, but be it 1 or 100, I will not stop collecting them.

It’s not only about collecting, I also use the cards I buy.  I am constantly making/writing cards for friends & family.  For example, one year, a friend of mine was really upset over the passing of her pet, so I sent her a note to convey my thoughts.  It was a serious matter, but all those With Sympathy cards you see at the store just seemed too heavy & sorrowful.  So, I decided to lighten the dark mood by using a Bon Voyage (a.k.a. going away) card…to say one of those “This is not a ‘goodbye’, just a long ‘see you later’ ” type things.  That’s what I do…it’s a small example of how I use all those darn cards I’ve hoarded over the years.

So, after all that’s been said, I recently came back from a trip to Los Angeles.  My companion & I were entertaining some relatives visiting from overseas.  We took them to a new favorite hang-out spot, the Abbott-Kinney district in Venice Beach.  While we were there, I stopped by my new favorite shop Urbanic Paper Boutique.  As you all may know by know, I always find a way to sniff out new stationery shops every time I go on a trip.  So, while I was there, I couldn’t resist getting a few cards & things.  You couldn’t expect me to leave empty-handed, could you?  Nope, I didn’t think so.  Now for the reveal… Dun, dun, da-dun… 

urbanic 1

1. blank card w/ fruits, metallic hearts & striped circles graphic
2. “Wedding Day Wishes” card for an upcoming wedding of my friends in Taiwan
3. blank French-themed card that says “Bonjour” on the cover
4. blank “World’s Best Husband” medal card (that I might give to my husband soon)
5. “Happy Birthday” card w/ a hatchback car & presents illustration
6. black & gold decorative washi-tape w/ a honeycomb/link type pattern
7. color swatch inspired bookmark (it was free)

Here’s a close-up look at the washi-tape pattern:

close-up

close-up view

 

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