Sunday, 12 December 2010

Kinoko Dangles

I like mushrooms. I also like capsule dispensers. A capsule machine selling mushroom based phone dangles you say? Where's my wallet?

Hang on a second..... Where is the cute little mushroom I imagined dangling from my phone? That things massive! Another 200 yen gone on a plastic novelty item. Oh well, I guess it looks authentic.....
No, my phone isn't really tiny.

The whole range of mushies.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Tory's Highball

I am rather fond of the Japanese Illustrator Ryohei Yanagihara so when seeing his character design on Suntory's Highball I just had to indulge!

I had never heard of a Highball before but must say I have become quite addicted to the whiskey based drink!

For more of Ryohei Yanagihara's work, check out this site

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Miffy MP3 Player

I've been desperately trying to save money recently but its proving rather difficult, especially when I keep finding things like this:

I mean, who could honestly resist buying a Miffy MP3 player and Speaker / USB dock set? Not me for one! Just look at the thing!

Luckily, my birthday is coming up so I didn't end up having to pay for it myself and after pleading on bended knee I was allowed to open it early. The figure itself is the MP3 player and detaches from the base and can be connected to a PC or Mac by itself. The base part is the dock and speakers, the sound quality is surprisingly good and the centre lights up when switched on. The whole thing is about 9.5 cm tall.

The controls round the back, the on switch is the left arm.
Miffy boxed.
The base boxed.
Incidentally, if you are thinking of buying one, look online and you will save a lot of money. We first saw this in Kiddyland but when checking online we found it for less than a third of the price!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

New Work - Winter Maiden

I'm sure everyone over in the UK is sick and tired of wintery scenes at the moment but I'm actually feeling rather nostalgic for the snow laden British countryside of my youth. Which leads me to the subject of my latest and final illustration in a series of work entitled 'seasonal maidens':

Winter Maiden

However, if you are in need of something a little warmer, see the rest of the work on my previous post here

Or, to see more of my work, my website is

Friday, 3 December 2010


I have been eager to head out of town recently to see the wonderful colours of a Japanese autumn and so decided to head North to Ikeda and Satsukiyama Park. One other attraction in Ikeda is Satsukiama Zoo which is where we headed to first. The zoo is known for its family of wombats and approaching the place from the station you're not given a chance to forget about it as everywhere you look are caricatures and statues of the creatures, they have even adopted it as the town's mascot!

Wombats, wombats everywhere!

The zoo includes other animals such as wallabies, llamas and a few rather sorry looking monkeys but the wombats were by far the cutest. Unfortunately I didn't get close enough to the wombats to get any good photos so you will have to make do with one of the wallabies instead. Sorry!

Wallabies, not wombats.

After seeing the zoo we crossed the road to Satsukiyama Park. What I hadn't anticipated was that the park is actually part of Satsuki Mountain and involved climbing many steps to the summit, I was just glad it wasn't in the middle of summer!. The colour of the leaves was amazing and well worth the trip to see, covering an impressive range of Autumnal hues from deep reds through to light green, even on a single tree the colours varied considerably.

Autumnal Hues

 After an exhausting climb to the summit of Satsuki mountain we only had a moment to catch our breath before it was snatched way again by the stunning views, stretching away into the distance to the mountains on the horizon, made all the more impressive by the wonderful colours.

They look just like ant houses, if ants built houses.
Now, the long climb down.

One other thing that Ikeda is famous for is for being the birthplace of instant noodles and the Cup Noodle, the spiritual grandfather of the humble Pot Noodle. In recognition of this, a museum dedicated to the history of noodles in a cup was built in the town and of course we just had to pay our respects!

Instant noodles were first invented by Momofuku Ando in 1958 who's statue greets visitors to the museum. Ando then went on to invent the Cup noodle in 1971. The museum is a lot of fun and very well set out including an area where you can design and make your own variety of Cup Noodle! Unfortunately we arrived too late to make our own but maybe next time, at least that gives me plenty of time to think of the ultimate flavour! Any suggestions?

The great man himself, Momofuku Ando!

The tunnel of noodles love.

Were going to need a bigger kettle!

Who'd have thought they use child labor to make noodles?

The shed where it all began.