Mini Review: Mini Moo Cards!

How cute are these? I’ve been wanting business/contact cards for the blog now, and I fell in love with these half-sized cards from Moo.com. I loved the fact that they include printing on both sides of the card, and you can have as many designs as you like, all for no extra cost. Since I change the theme of this blog with the seasons, it seemed perfect to get a selection that matches all four themes. The printing is excellent quality, as is the cardstock itself. I chose the Basic option, as it was the most affordable, and it’s definitely nice and solid and feels good against the fingers. Even the box they come packed in is lovely, and there’s something very satisfying about looking down into the packaging and seeing all the different back designs peeking out.

The pixelated bit is my mobile number, not a printing issue. I just took the precaution of blurring it out to prevent unsolicited phone calls.

If you want to get some custom double-sided cards of your own, please feel free to use my referral code to get a $15 rebate on your first order!

I purchased this item myself and chose to review it.This post contains affiliate link(s). If you choose to purchase, I receive a small rebate or commission which goes to the continued maintenance of this site.

Tea Time – Totem “Earl’s Pipe” blend

Totem Tea & Spice is a lovely little shop in Montreal that specialises in, you guessed it, teas and spices. The first time I went in I was overwhelmed with beautiful smells and sights. Aside from delicious custom tea blends, the store is full of interesting objects and artwork. They have tables where you can sit and enjoy a cup of tea and a snack, or even have a little party. It’s an incredibly welcoming place with friendly, knowledgeable staff.

When you enter, you are greeted with a lovely table filed with samples of many varieties of tea for you to look at and smell. The first tea I was drawn to was Earl’s Pipe. One deep inhale and I was in love. I guessed what was in it without being told, but that’s no surprise as it blends two of my favourite teas. It’s a comforting, smoky blend of Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong. In a way, it makes me think of Sherlock Holmes. It tastes a bit how I imagine 221B Baker Street would have smelled in the evening; a good strong but straightforward black tea, with an undertone of pipe tobacco and a hint gunpowder. If you like strong black tea with a lot of character, it’s excellent served pure. If you’re a little wary of the potent smoky notes of the Lapsang it also tastes lovely toned down with a bit of milk and sugar. However, if you know for a fact you don’t enjoy the smoked character of the Lapsang, you may want to give it a pass. My mother refers to it as “that stinky tea” and even counter-balanced with the lovely bergamote notes of the Earl Grey, she still finds it overpowering.

I picked up several other delicious teas that I will likely be reviewing in the future. I also picked up this pretty little art print from local artist Jackie Bassett.

If you’re in Montreal, I urge you to stop by Totem Tea & Spice on Notre-Dame West. In the meantime, you can follow them on Facebook.

Review: Foof Phone Sleeves

Over the summer, I came across Foof.Shop‘s amazing Japanese fabric phone sleeves, and contacted them about possibly reviewing one. They got back to me a while later, offering me a surprisingly vast selection of products with one special stipulation. More on that at the end of this post ;)

I received these before the vacation I mentioned in my last post, and figured that would be an excellent time to test one out. They’re made primarily for iPhones, and even the largest I received was a bit snug on my Samsung Galaxy 6S, but I made it work. Through security, customs, several long flights, a jaunt to Downtown Disney in Anaheim, amongst other things, and my phone felt secure and protected the entire time. Not only that, but the cover stayed clean and snug far beyond what I would originally have expected of a fabric cover. The fleece inner is soft and tight, providing a great protective fit and having the added benefit of polishing the screen every time I put my phone away. Overall, I am very impressed with the quality and finishing of these sleeves, and their wide selection of actual kimono fabric and kimono-inspired cotton patterns are an amazing bonus. If you’re looking for something to protect your mobile device that has a bit of flair to it and would look at home tucked into any sleeve or obi, I urge to you check them out!

So, what’s a girl to do with all these extra phone cases? Why, give them away, of course! With huge thanks to the generous and wonderful folks at Foof, many of these will be part of the giveaway I am planning when my Facebook page reaches 1000 fans. If you want a chance to win one of these and some other goodies, follow me there and keep an eye out for news. You can also follow Foof on their Facebook page for news about new fabrics and new releases.

I received this item from the manufacturer for review purposes.If you have a topically appropriate craft, product, or service you would like me to review, please contact me.

Review: Kimono-inspired On The Go makeup bag

Today I’m showing off a beautiful kimono-inspired travel makeup bag by Mandy of The Lime Green Sewing Room. Mandy is a good friend as well as an incredibly creative and talented person and I wanted to support her new endeavor.

If there’s one thing I love nearly as much as kimono, it’s makeup. I’d been looking for a travel bag with an attached brush roll and couldn’t find one that was compact enough to throw in a purse but big enough to actually carry anything useful, so I asked Mandy if she’d be interested in helping me out and I’m so thrilled with the results! She combined a few patterns together to create the On The Go makeup bag, and it’s absolutely perfect.

This beautifully mod kiku fabric was the jumping-off point for the entire bag. The colours feel especially kimono-inspired to me, I’d love to see an outfit that incorporates red, grey, and mint green like this! The brush roll section is a great accent, and I love that she went to the effort to find coordinating details like the ribbon tie and even the zipper. The brush roll part is treated so it’s easy to clean, it just needs to be wiped down if the brushes leave a mess on it and the top flap keeps them well-protected in transit. The bag itself is enormous – it holds everything shown in these photos with room to spare, and once it’s tied shut it fits comfortably in my hand and barely takes up any room in my purse. This bag is adorable and with careful organisation and planning, it will be just as practical for an overnight jaunt as it will be for a long vacation.

You can find the Lime Green Sewing Room on EtsyFacebook, and Instagram!

I purchased this item myself and chose to review it.If you have a topically appropriate craft, product, or service you would like me to review, please contact me.

Washitsu Games!

As I’ve mentioned recently I love miniatures, and you guys know how much I love silly dress-up games. Somehow though, I never thought to combine the two until recently. I know there are things like Animal Crossing and Second Life that allow you to customise your own spaces, but those require a fair bit of investment of time and effort. I was looking for more casual alternatives so I went searching for online games to decorate traditional Japanese-style rooms and I was not disappointed!

sakuraSakura House Decoration Game - This is the most immersive of the ones I've found. You can decorate four rooms: living room, kitchen, bedroom, and an exterior courtyard. There's not a huge selection of furniture, but there's enough to make a cute little vignette in each room, or you can choose to do what I've done here and make a studio-style one-room house. There are also a few kimono-clad female figures you can put in the rooms, but their outfits are not particularly accurate and they don't interact with the room in any way. Personally, I think the empty rooms are much cuter.
tatamiJapanese Tatami Room - Pretty much what it says on the tin! There's one room with a fixed structural layout (door, window, cabinet nook, and tokonoma) and you can choose all the finishes and surfaces, and then add in accents of seating, tables, and accessories. Not a huge selection, but still fun and relaxing.
exterior-designer-japanese-gardenExterior Designer - Japanese Garden - This one actually an exterior-only game. You can choose from a set selection of backgrounds, middle-grounds, foregrounds, paths, and bridges to combine into a cohesive and beautiful garden. There's not a ton of options, but it's very relaxing to play with.
Home Sweet HomeHome Sweet Home by Big Blue Bubble - I debated whether or not to include this one, due to the difficulty installing and running it, but it's pretty enough that I decided to go for it. I mentioned popular sandbox/decor games like The Sims and Second Life already, but this game is a bit of a hidden gem. There's no social aspect, no interaction, it really is all about the decorating aspect. There's a thin semblance of plot, essentially you're a designer and have to renovate rooms for clients, meeting their needs and wants. For every success you have, you unlock items and rooms in your own house that you can decorate to your heart's desire. There's a wide selection of far east Asian-inspired items and essentially no rules. Unfortunately, this game is quite old, and can be finicky on newer machines. It's available for purchase in the above link, and can also be torrented. I don't usually condone that sort of thing, but the game is old, finicky to run, and no longer has any support system.

I do apologise for the lack of content lately – it’s just been so infernally hot here in Montreal that I haven’t had the energy to undress and redress the mannequin, or even to scan a few of the books I’ve got lined up for review. Things are finally starting to cool down and I’ve got a bunch of pretty new things to show you guys, so hopefully we’ll be back to normal soon!