Though I rarely cover non-wearable DIY’s on this blog, I’ve been struggling with what to showcase for V-day for awhile. In the past I’ve found that making non-edibles for my guy has not gone over well. In Hub’s case, he has always thanked me sincerely, and then proceeded to never wear or use whatever I have funneled hours into making. The sweater I hand-knitted him sat in the closet for 9 years until he finally admitted he wasn’t really a “sweater-person” and I finally gave it to Goodwill. The notebook I made, with the cover fashioned from one of his favorite shirts that he threw out, and then hand-bound…gathering dust in the bottom of his desk drawer. Yet everything edible I’ve ever made him he’s devoured within 24 hours, and loved. (Do you know any guys like that? I think maybe it’s a guy-thing.) So I was going back and forth between making something for my husband to wear (that he won’t) and showcasing it on this blog…since this is a wearables DIY blog…or making him something to eat and mentioning it.
So after many nights in thought I decided to forget the wearables idea (since I hate creating useless things more than anything)…and made Hub his favorite dessert: cheesecake, with chocolate swirls.
But…I made something else, too…for Lil Tot. Erasers…in the shape of chocolates! I made them using a make-your-own-erasers kit bought in Japan (but it’s also available on Etsy here, shipped straight from Japan to you.)
Sometimes I enjoy fiddly, time-consuming crafts like clay crafting and deko-sweets, and because these kits come with plastic molds in them, making tiny chocolates, donuts, cakes, and ice cream is super-simple! Then you dump the finished piece into the included box, add water, and zap in the microwave for about 3 minutes to let the binding agents evaporate.* Allow to cool and you have a fully usable eraser!
This eraser clay is soooo fun, and already I’m thinking of new tiny edibles to create with the remaining colors. And think of the trading potential at your little ones’ schools! (I hear those food-shaped eraser packs are the new tradeables among the Elementary set lately…)
I made a swirl chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream, a heart-shaped chocolate, and a chocolate square with icing lines and an almond on top.
I also made a pink chocolate truffle, a chocolate square with a pink heart, and two chocolate pieces that look like they were snapped off of a chocolate bar.
They’re so adorable it seems like almost a shame to use them!
If you’d rather not order kits like this from Japan, Sculpey also manufactures Eraser Clay that cures by being baked in the oven – so you can create your own erasers in a variety of different shapes and colors. However, if you want to create chocolates, you’d have to buy either the 8-bar Set or the Shape and Bake Kit since the 6-packs don’t contain brown. (And you can’t make delicious-looking chocolate without brown!!;-) I haven’t used this stuff before so can’t recommend it one way or the other…has anyone else played around with the Sculpey brand of eraser clay?
Tomorrow I’ll be taking the in-laws to the slopes of Mt. Hood…and Lil Tot will have his first-ever skiing adventure! I’ll be stiff and sore from attempting to ski for the first time in…oh, 9 years or so…and looking extremely unfashionable as all my ski-wear is circa 1992 and I just haven’t seen the need to update it since. (Likely photos from tomorrow I’ll be keeping under lock and key lest word get out I have a neon…multicolored….ski…poncho. Yikes!!!) And since I posted about the V-day erasers today, tomorrow I’ll also be sharing my DIY Links of the Week from the past week…and there’s some great ones, so stay tuned!
Hope everyone had a lovely day – whether you celebrated the holiday or not! * x */ (That’s a kiss – kinda;-)
*since U.S. microwaves tend to be 1000+ KiloWatts and Japanese microwaves are either 500KW or 600KW, I adjust the microwave times by subtracting about 10 – 30 seconds off the times recommended in the kits.
Japan is also fabulous for (among other things) innovative beauty and health products. [I know you’re probably all sick of the whole “Japan is so great yada yada yada” routine, but honestly, if you got me started on the “Things I hate about Japan” that list would probably be longer.;-) So to keep things positive, I’m just focusing on the cool stuff – mainly consumerism and product innovation at its best.] Here are some neat products I’ve found:
Use instead of earring post nuts to keep your studs secure. Me, when I sleep on my side at night the studs I’m wearing in my ears always stab me in the side of the head when my ear is flattened. The nuts get caught on clothing and hair, get gunky with soap/shampoo/dead skin in them and have to be cleaned frequently – and I never thought about how much of a pain they are. These solve that, plus provide relief to people suffering from metal allergies (there are alot in Japan) since they are non-metallic. An added bonus: you can wear the pearls in the front and the stud in the back…very multifunctional! The store also had different versions like gemstone rounds or acrylic pastel colored balls for sale as well.
For your Uggs, high-top sneaker, or other boots. Place inside the shoe in the heel area and it gives you a small height boost, so you don’t look short and with stocky legs, and don’t have the boot visually cutting you off at a weird place. They have ones that give you a 2 cm lift or a 3 cm lift. They’re made of silicone and so provide added cushioning to your heel – a big help for the tons of walking you have to do here.
Cost: $12.50 for the 3cm lift ones
Japanese people are also obsessed with ear canal cleanliness. Seriously. The colored Q-tips show the gunk you get out better, and the spiral shape really gets it all out. Or so I’m told.
Cost: $2.80 (from JBox.com; will ship to the U.S.)
Fake Eyelash Mascara
(sorry I can’t find a photo or a listing online, but basically, it looks like your average mascara)
Last year eyelash extensions were all the rage (I got some too) – they were cheap (about $80 for a full top set), lasted about 4-6 weeks if you were careful, indistinguishable from your natural eyelashes, you looked gorgeous round the clock with or without extra makeup….but they had problems, such as people being allergic to the glue, your natural eyelashes growing out and the extensions twisting and matting at strange angles and then poking you in the eye (yeah, that stage kind of sucked), and then your natural eyelashes growing in shorter or sparser because of the added weight and damage that the extensions had incurred. So now everyone’s just applying falsies for day and removing them at night with their makeup (even my 57-year-old MIL). But the problem is, no matter how realistic the false eyelashes look, they’re still kind of floating on top of your real ones. What to do? Enter this mascara, specially formulated to coat both natural and false eyelashes so that the two become indistinguishable. (Regular mascara can damage some types of falsies, but with this you can reuse your pair until they fall apart.)
You know how, even after you shave your pits, you get this sort of bumpy terrain going on under there? I don’t necessarily mean ingrown hairs (which this product also helps alleviate), but just the sort of pit-appearance. It doesn’t look as nice as say, the skin on your forearm, does it? (Whether or not you use Dove Ultimate Visibly Smooth deodorant – which is specifically a growth retardent, not a skin-smoother per se.) Plus under there you also got deodorant buildup…well, it’s just an icky area of the body. Enter WakiLaLa Clear Wash, a product guaranteed to make your underamrs pikapika (smooth and shiny) by scrubbing away dead skin and deodorant buildup, and leave everything smelling fresh.
Why didn’t they think of this sooner??? A pen with a tint made of self-tanner, you draw in your eyebrows with this (carefully, mind you) and even after you wash your makeup off what you drew lasts for 3-7 days. Brilliant – especially for those who’ve overplucked or have eyebrows so blond they disappear every time you wash your face (that’s me! Though not a problem most Japanese women have LOL)
Cost: $13 (the linked page above isn’t loading the product photo, so I’ve included the photo from this site here…the pens are henna-based, but still the same concept, tho they only last 3 days, and the Peach John version lasts up to 7)
I know you probably hadn’t thought about it before (I know I hadn’t), but those pierced ear holes get kind of…smelly and gunky after awhile, no? Clean them with ear hole floss! Like dental floss, but stiffer and shorter. Like a toothpick, but thinner and more pliable. Genius! I found both mint- and rosewater- scented versions.
You can’t be female and survive Tokyo’s August without these. This work like blotting paper, except when you blot, the sheets impart a layer of soft, lightweight powder. Some sheets have separate functions for each side: one side wipes the sweat, the other re-seals your foundation once you’re done. Your makeup stays put no matter what! (And they have scented versions, and Men’s Sheets….)
Most of these products you can only buy in Japan; the links on the titles will take you to pages where you can buy them but you have to have a shipping address in Japan. Some Asian supermarkets will sell them (I’ve seen the WakiLala Armpit Clear Wash at the local Uwajimaya in Oregon, for example). Some you may be able to buy on JBox.com (for example, the cotton swabs above), which is a treasure trove of all things Japanese!
xoxox from Tokyo