Monthly Archives: October 2013

Brass at the Big Red Paperclip

midori brass pencil case and ruler If I had to narrow it down…if Naoto said that we could only go to one stationery store in Japan…(that would never happen) I would choose Itoya.

We went there for the first time in 2011 and spent an entire day exploring the NINE floors and picking out a few things here and there to bring home. This vacation, we made time for Itoya again. We stopped there after a disappointing morning trying to go to a few shops that were randomly closed or were pretty disappointing or not what we had expected. The day was kind of a bust, so Naoto offered up Itoya as a “sure thing”. Even though my feet were killing me, I was hot and I was feeling bummed about the day, I took him up on the offer…because who says no to Itoya? (No one.)

Unfortunately, Itoya is in the middle of a remodel, so they moved out of their nine floor building with the big red paperclip sign (pictured here in my 2011 blog post) and into a temporary location about a block away. I didn’t care. It was still fantastic…though I suspect some of their inventory was not on display. But they still had plenty to choose from…which was evident by the seven Itoya bags I brought home with me. (You pay for your items on each floor, so by the end if you’re anything like me, you end up with a small collection of purchases.) I bought everything from washi tape, letter sets and paper to pretty handkerchiefs and some new Deco Tapesmidori brass pencil case and ruler

The one item on my wish list is pictured above. Ever since I saw it at Itoya in 2011, I’ve been thinking about the Midori Brass Pencil Case. So fancy, right? Over the past two years, I almost bought one online several times, but I just couldn’t swallow the large price tag…so I decided to wait until we went back to Itoya so I could avoid the huge mark-up and import fees. Plus, sometimes I just like to buy things in stores, where I can hold the items and fawn over the packaging a bit before making my purchase. And, some Midori products are made in China…I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t spending a lot of money on something that was Japanese without really being Japanese-made. So, once we confirmed the Made in Japan stamp, I knew it would be my “splurge”. While Naoto and I fawned over the Travelers Notebooks and other brass bits, he talked me into buying the Midori Brass Ruler. It measures in centimeters (which is completely confusing for my US-educated mind!) but I plan to use it more for its straight edge than measurements anyway. I am so pleased with both purchases. They are lovely, useful and the brass will wear beautifully over time. midori brass pen case and rulerThanks for your patience with getting back into Japan month…things are winding down–only a few more posts to go! And, I just got access to the pictures from our Honor Flight last week. I can’t wait to share about our amazing day in DC! 

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It’s An Honor…

World War 2 Memorial Honor Flight ChicagoIt’s going to be a little quiet around here this week.

Today I’m heading to DC with Honor Flight Chicago. I will have the pleasure and the honor of escorting a World War II veteran throughout the day. Even though I’ve been a volunteer since 2009, this is my first time flying with Honor Flight. I am super-excited. I am thrilled to be going and so happy to finally see the looks on the veterans’ faces when they get their “mail call”. It will be amazing to see the whole process come full circle.

It’s going to be an interesting challenge, too. Many of the monuments, memorials and museums on our itinerary are closed due to the government shut down. Yesterday, an Honor Flight from Mississippi had to “break in” to see the memorial. But our Honor Flight Chicago CEO has promised a wonderful trip full of surprises for our veterans…and she’s not one to let them down.

If you live in Chicagoland and would like to attend the Welcome Home and celebrate the homecoming of ninety World War II veterans tonight, the information is here: Welcome Home Celebration for October 2nd, 2013. I promise that you’ll have a fabulous time just being there, clapping and shaking plenty of happy and humble veterans’ hands. 

I promise to report back about my day when I catch up on my sleep and get back into the routine again. Until then, watch for us on the news.

Photo courtesy of Honor Flight Chicago

Are you new here and don’t know about Honor Flight Chicago? Start here and see the rest here

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