Blast Off

A couple of weeks ago we spent a great day touring the town of Hakone with The Cuties.  After a jam-packed day, and a good night’s sleep, we awoke to such a rain and wind storm that I actually checked the weather report for a typhoon warning!

So that put a bit of a wrinkle into our plans to spend the day at the fantastic Hakone Open Air Museum.  So we quickly re-grouped and decided to head to The Craft House instead.  Like anyone needed to twist arms in The Felt So Cute household to go a place with a name like “Craft House,” right?

After a comically awful trip to get there that involved a treacherous bus ride up a windy mountain road, walking more than fifteen minutes in the torrential rain with only two umbrellas and no rain boots for anyone {totally my fault, by the way}, we finally arrived at The Craft House and managed to snag the last 4 seats in the joint.  At that point, Cute Husband pretty much earned himself sainthood when he looked at me and The Cuties and proclaimed with a grand gesture, “Do anything you want ~ we’re not leaving until it’s time to catch the train!”

See why I married the guy? 🙂

So The Cuties set to work on etched glasses they could make with special stickers they chose from a big book.

After placing the stickers on their glasses, they carefully taped up the sides to ensure a secure fit before the glasses were placed inside a container and sand-blasted to etch the designs on the stickers.  The sand-blasting was done by Craft House employees, so while The Cuties were waiting patiently, it was time for a Pocky break!

 After being sand-blasted, the etched glasses came out like this, and The Cuties rubbed off the stickers.

Meanwhile, I opted for a different sand-blasting process, and in a fit of complete and total over-reaching for a first experience, I chose this design~

Yeah, I know.  What the heck was I thinking!?!

First I had to trace the design onto vellum.  I knew I was in trouble with this design when I wasn’t very pleased with my pencil tracings yet realized there were complicated cuttings yet to come still with an x-acto knife.  That’s probably the point at which a sane person might have stopped, regrouped and simply chosen a simpler design.  But we all know I’m not that person, right?  So I next transferred the design onto the cup that had been covered in a special vinyl.

Then through a series of elaborate pantomimes, gestures and nods, the Japanese-only speaking instructor conveyed to me that I needed to now carefully cut out everything on the original drawing that was black.

Oh, crap.

At this point I’m beginning to wonder just how crushed I’ll be if I can’t quite finish before we have to leave for the train station and start moving as quickly as possible.

I finally finished and here’s my little cup all queued up for sand-blasting.  Doesn’t it look like she’s mixing Uranium or something super sci-fi?

And then just like The Cuties, I had to peel off all my sticker to reveal the sand-blasted design.

And here are all three of our finished cups!

Know what’s even more amazing than the fact that all of you kind readers are going to pretend to overlook the missing piece making me crazy right in front of my cup?

That all three cups made it home from Hakone in one piece! 🙂

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6 Responses to Blast Off

  1. Valerie says:

    That is so neat. I love that you each made something you can use every day.

  2. audrey says:

    That is pretty cool! *I was telling my grandma all about your toilet adventures in Japan. She was very intrigued. I think she was a bit confused about the whole “my blog friend” thing, but still intrigued about the toilets. 🙂

  3. shelli says:

    I’d like a set of 12 mugs and 12 glasses, since you are all profesional at this. Everything looked fantastic!



  4. dafarmer says:

    What a neat thing to do! I know when we went to Tokyo Disney we got glasses like that done, but we didn’t get to do it ourselves..

  5. I wouldn’t have noticed that you had something missing if you hadn’t pointed it out, but I know how you feel when it yells out at you. Just remember it barely whispers to the rest of us. lol

    I just did this post about designing a Hanukkah image on I remembered that you celebrate Hanukkah and wanted to share the post with you.

    Happy Early Hanukkah Katharine

  6. Laura says:

    Such great experiences and memories you are making in Japan. So cool that you make the time to share it!
    Synergistic Acres – Kansas City Natural Farm

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