Projects · Seen

5 inspiring, creative Instagram accounts 

For the longest time I thought people just posted general photos of people, places and things on Instagram, with “things” being food pictures or interesting products, buildings, and so on. Then several months ago, I began stumbling across accounts with really great artwork–one after another! I thought I would share five creative Instagram accounts that I’ve been following and loving in case you’d like to share in the fun.

1. hellohappystudio – I love this artist’s sweet illustrations. Everything she posts feels so uplifting! She also has a lovely website and a “Happy Mail” newsletter with a free printable each month!

  2. think.make.share.– This account features artists who work for Hallmark. Some creative projects are featured, as well as a lot of hand lettering.


3. oilikki– Like hellohappystudio, oilikki’s instagram has lots of really fun illustrations. She has some simple illustrations, but does more detailed work with really nice color as well. I think I first came across her art through theydrawandtravel.4. miyyahatkertas– I absolutely love this instagram account! Not only does she have amazing paper quilling, but she posts some of her art journaling/planner art and watercolor hand lettering as well.

5. martinalenhardt– This account shows gorgeous nature art–mostly watercolor. I just love how peaceful and pretty each picture is.

Which Instagram accounts have you been inspired by lately? I’d love to discover more to follow!

xx Caitlyn

Seen · Travel

Happy spring!

I’ve been so happy about the warmer, (sometimes) sunnier weather we’ve had recently! It seems like Japan this time of year can be quite gloomy, but no matter how cloudy and rainy the weather gets, the cherry blossoms always cheer me up! This year’s trees are due to start blossoming in Tokyo from today or tomorrow, so I can’t wait to get some cherry blossom viewing in with Chad and Lillian 🙂 In the meantime I’ve really been enjoying spotting fun gardens on our daily walks. (You may have seen some of the pictures I’ve been taking on Instagram.) Tokyo gardens are proof that you don’t need a yard (or much space at all) to create a lovely green space. I especially love the creativity employed in these delightful gardens, with touches of whimsy all around. Take this garden in the two pictures above, for example. See the garlands of small pine cones? And the miniature animal figurines and cute little pots? I’m feeling very inspired for making a little green space when we move back home!
Oh, yes! Speaking of home, I should mention our exciting news: we’re officially moving back to Michigan in May! This isn’t the first time we’ve made this move, so who knows where life will take us next, but I’m very excited for Lillian to meet her family back home. In fact, there is so much that I’m looking forward to that I can hardly stand it!!

Happy spring!
xx Caitlyn

Around Town · Seen · Tried

Tokyo Design Festa

IMG_1722Yesterday we went to Asia’s largest Art Festival, Design Festa! There was a lot of interesting art filling every corner of the venue from paintings, to crafts, to live art and more.
IMG_1725
IMG_1732 IMG_1746Both artists and people attending the event are encouraged to dress up, so there was a lot of cosplay and costuming to be seen.IMG_1745There were also several interactive exhibits. The one above we found especially strange: you could pay 3000 yen to have someone tie you up for about a half an hour. There were a couple booths like this… (To each his own? I guess?)
IMG_1734
The booth above was a coloring booth where you colored pictures that would then be transferred to ceramic plates, cups, etc.
IMG_1738
This was a sort of body painting booth.
IMG_1743
Here is a super creepy caricature drawing we got done for 600 yen. We hung it in our bathroom.
IMG_1728
These are watermelon carvings.
IMG_1733
There was quite a bit of steampunk-themed art.
IMG_1747
IMG_1739I really liked this artist. He draws creatures with beards and mustaches called “Ohige no Pon.”IMG_1744  I bought a couple postcards from him, pictured above with my ticket (which. bought in advance, was just 800 yen). Check out the Ohige no Pon website to see more of these fun illustrations!
IMG_1735
I thought this illustrator’s work was pretty cute too, though on some level I actually found her art slightly disturbing.IMG_1740There were thousands of attendees, and so many artists that we didn’t even end up seeing everything. The event was actually a bit overwhelming, but fortunately we had a beer with our lunch to calm us down *winks*IMG_1727
I left the event feeling sleepy but inspired, and I’m really glad we decided to check it out!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
xxCaitlyn

Seen

Happy Sunday!

Don’t you just love those days off where time actually seems to be going at a reasonable pace and you can really relax? Today has SO been one of those days, and after a crazy week, it’s been much needed! We woke up this morning at a lazy pace, had coffee and peanut butter toast, and then hung out reading all morning.IMG_1351We were going to go on a picnic today for lunch, but since it was raining we decided to go to an Indian restaurant for curry instead!IMG_1339                                              I really liked the Kima Curry (left).IMG_1340

After lunch we decided to wander around, and I found some really fun stuff while window shopping!IMG_1342
I thought this bag was really cool, and I want to do some hand lettering with the quote.IMG_1343How fun is this coffee cup? I sat looking at it with puppy eyes for several minutes, thinking how much I love a good croissant with some quality coffee. The design is so simple, yet cute, with the little croissant inside peeking out like a delightful surprise. (I tried that technique when I made my Odd Side Ales mug last summer). IMG_1344Then I found this sweet kitty cat makeup bag, as well as a sloth-print hand towel.IMG_1345How amazing is this? Ojisan means middle-aged man. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I need to own this pouch! It just makes me smile.IMG_1346Do you know what else makes me smile? We got home and Chad made a French Press while I was cleaning. I was in a different room when he said, “I poured some coffee for you!” I came out to see that he had somehow bought me the cute cup I’d been looking at without me even noticing! What a sweety!!IMG_1352
After doing a bit more cleaning, I made a list on a new notepad I bought today!IMG_1350
Then I wrote some letters, did some art journaling, and relaxed a bit. Talk about a nice day, and it’s not even over yet! Next up: grocery shopping so I can make chicken salad croissants and deviled eggs for a nice spring dinner. I might hit up the 100 yen store and see if anything strikes my fancy, too. Then tonight we’re going to watch Hector and the Search for Happiness. Have you seen it yet? What have you been up to this weekend?

Have a lovely Sunday darlings!
xxCaitlyn

Seen

Setsubun Fun

kodomomame_softToday is a rather fun holiday in Japan called Setsubun, in which you throw beans at ogres and eat large sushi rolls. That’s a pretty basic explanation, but more can be found in a post I did all the way back in 2011 on my former blog. Pretty amazing how different I look now from then!

mamemaki_fumira_softSadly, I haven’t been able to get the videos to work from that post. It’s really a bummer, because I remember them being quite clever (at least in my opinion), and now they may be lost for all time.IMG_0112At the very least, I’ve got an Asahi to drown my sorrows, and I had a pretty delicious dinner. Also, I had fun watching my students at school. We made several fun crafts for the day: Chad made cute ogre hats for the kids to wear, one of our teaching partners helped students make little ogre cups to hold the beans, and our other partner helped the kids make Eho-Maki, the special Setstubun sushi.
IMG_0107                                                                     We had Eho-Maki for dinner

I hope we were able to drive out the oni, or ogres, today with our bean throwing, and that good fortune is on its way! Have a happy day!
xx Caitlyn

P.S. Isn’t the clipart in this post freaking ADORABLE!? It also happens to be free, which is amazing. Find the pictures in this post and more on fumira.jp (it’s in Japanese, but if all else fails, I think the google translate version should be able to help you if necessary)!

Seen · Seen/Heard/Tried

Gold!

It’s been a rather chilly start to summer here in Michigan, and to top it off, Chad and I have both been battered down by an evil, relentless cold. Today when I woke up I decided to look for all of the orange, yellow and gold I could find to help me focus on the bright sunshine instead of our sniffly, mouth-breathing disposition. I took pictures at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market, and at Saugatuck Brewing company where we had a Father’s Day lunch. Unfortunately after lunch we both passed out for several hours at home with exhaustion, and I lost my voice. We even had to cancel our evening plans 😦 Still feeling like crap, but at least I took some fun pictures!

IMG_20140614_084038_678

 

IMG_20140614_084750_843

Someone was selling rubber duckies…!

IMG_20140614_084905_428

IMG_20140614_093431_055

IMG_20140614_090217_383

IMG_20140614_085108_535

We bought some of this awesome honey.

IMG_20140614_092410_161 (2)

IMG_20140614_090637_378

IMG_20140614_091235_363

Totoro Birdhouses made out of gourds!

IMG_20140614_094141_277

A sculpture near the market entrance.

IMG_20140614_094156_709

IMG_20140614_125607_361Lunch! A yummy portobello burger.

IMG_20140614_125551_658Chad got a French dip. I was happy to find my colors in our lunch!

IMG_20140614_124552_717Chad took this cool picture with my brother in the background.

IMG_20140614_125522_083He also took this one, which I think turned out to look kind of like a painting!

IMG_20140614_124514_502          Last, but certainly not least…

Well lovelies, I am off to get some more sleep. I hate being sick *cries*

xx

 

Seen

I like you, I know there’s bad things too, but I like you.

I love ashow with Ze Frank. I was trying to find one of his old videos that talked about how sometimes the things that make us feel the most alone are surprisingly the things that most connect us to each other. I felt like his point was really powerful, and so true. For some reason I couldn’t pull up his website today (it’s under construction, I guess?), but I did stumble across another video that really resonated with me, which you can watch below.

It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Michigan, and I’m thinking about how connected we all are, and how connected we have the potential to be. I’m thinking about courage and about being worthy. I’m thinking that YOU are worthy. And I’m going to get out of the house and go for a walk.

Have a good day. xx