Part 2: Magical Autumn Leaves

4:08 PM artcher 0 Comments

I love trees and now I love the Japanese red maple tree especially!

Osaka's Minoo Park, Nara's Todaiji Temple and Kyoto's Tofukujii Temple's garden have shown me how beautiful autumn can be decorated by all those red maple leaves.

Why did the leaves turn from green to red or orange during Autumn season? My internet research told me that it is because the leaves are reacting to the shortening of daylight hours as winter is approaching. The green chlorophyll in the leaves are breaking down, leaving behind the other color tissues from the leave before it finally fall from the trees…ahh…so that is actually the color of the leaves dying… Sad but still beautiful isn't it.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” 
― Albert Camus

And that quote explain how I felt about the leaf…

My travel to Japan was specially chosen on the 3rd week of November which is believe to be the best time to visit autumn in Japan if you want to see the peak of the vibrant autumn leaf. The chilling atmosphere and vibrant foliage makes the trip all worthwhile. However, the occasional rain did spoilt 2 of our original plan to see more garden and park. But it is part of nature, so we shouldn't complain :)

Notice the wet maple leaves in the pictures, it's because it was drizzling when we visited the location. I've actually picked a few leaves from the floor to decorate my photo album and they've all turned brown but still looking attractive because of their unique star pointed shape.

I think for every effort, time and money spent on traveling, there should always be a focus or a memorable experience that you can keep in your memory bank for as long as possible… and I'm trying my best to collect them...


Part 1: Preparing for Autumn trip to Japan

1:45 PM artcher 0 Comments

 I just came back from my 11 days trip to experience autumn in Japan, mainly Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. It was a long awaited holiday for me to get away from my usual routine in life. It wasn't easy for me to decide and actually go for any tour due to many many nonsense-but-reality-reason in life, which is too bothersome to explain to anyone.

Planning and researching for any self-guided tour is tedious and time consuming. My objective for this trip was to see the autumn leaf and I'm so glad that i did, and I don't mind the crowd of people that had the same idea as me. It's too beautiful not to share the view and my experience with everyone.

Preparation before the trip

  1. Do a digital travel planner, list out all the itinerary (I use the iPad App - Number) and sort them by the day of my 11 days trip. Preferable only 1 to 2 places per day, because traveling in Japan by yourself involve changing multiple subway lines and walking a lot (most of the old subway station only have stairs or if you want to spend extra time looking for elevator and walking extra steps)
  2. I bought my SIA plane tickets about 4.5 months before my traveling date at a promotion deal for 2 at S$1,552 inc travel insurance (SIA provide the shortest traveling time from Singapore to Osaka and return from Tokyo to Singapore in Airbus 330 / 380 when I compare with all other available airline at the time of date.
  3. I booked my 3 hotel stay for 3 different city from which is easy to search and compare hotels for best price, location and good review. (the best prices and option for some hotel get fully booked as early a 5 or 4 month in advance, no joke! Best is to get hotel that provide breakfast also, save money and time!)
  4. Go back to your travel planner and file in all estimated expenses to get a auto calculation for total budget. Expenses will include transport fee (get estimation from Google map that give you the fare between 2 locations), meals, tickets to temple, amusement park, shopping etc. I brought along JPY$218,000.
  5. Prepare good walking shoes, down jacket with hood to protect from rain in Nov. It's cold and occasionally rain. Good lip bum, moisturizer, muscle cream (we had to buy all these from the local pharmacy when we were there..LOL)
  6. Bring minimal luggage, because if you are travelling on budget like us, you will tend to do a lot of walking carrying your luggage up and down stairs between stations when you are traveling to different city, or just bring a strong man with you..LOL)
  7. This is important!!! We booked online in advance our Icoca and Haruka packages consists of a ticket that can be used to travel from Kansai Airport to Osaka and a Icoca prepaid card valued 2000 yen which allow us to use and top up the value on all subway and train in the 3 city except for Shinkansen. The package can only be collected at Osaka airport station with printed copy of your airline e-ticket when you arrive on date. More info here.

Phew~ So much to prepare ya? But if you are reading and considering taking the same route as me, you've already saved quite a bit of time on research already :)

to be continued… time to do some work.


Paper Stencil Printing

12:27 PM artcher 0 Comments

I was doing some paper stencil printing today and feeling pretty good with the result after trying and experimenting with different techniques a few times. Achieving design with more intricate strokes and details now without ink leak to the sharp edges of the graphic was a improvement for me. One might say that such fabric print can be easily mass produce with silk screen printing or even digital printing with more colors and almost limitless design possibilities, so why bother spending precious time doing a one time only printing? And that 'one time' printing is precisely the answer! To me, it is a direct communication from the crafter/artist effort to who ever is going to possess it in the end. The value is not merely the price tag but something more as in all handmade craft. :) 


Why PippiRabbit?

7:32 PM artcher 0 Comments

Sometimes people ask me why I name my product PippiRabbit and why not PippiBear or PippiGiraffe etc. The reason is quite straight forward for me, it was simply derived from 2 unforgettable fictional character from my childhood, Pippi Longstocking and Miffy Rabbit... Ahhhhhh... Now you see :) I admire Pippi Longstocking's crazy and playful character that is out of this world for a little red haired girl of her age and I was simply attracted to Miffy Rabbit's simple form and a kind of 'silent' when look at her eyes and cross mouth (Yes, to me that is her mouth). 

Then why the sudden mention of them? Because I'm so excited  and yet jealous that my Mr & Mrs Brush PippiRabbit are going to the homeland of Miffy Rabbit - Netherlands very soon! Owwwwww....  I wish I could hand deliver them there myself....urgggggg :( why am I jealous of my bags and plush now...