Monthly Archives: July 2007

The Elves and the Shoemaker

Do you know the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker? For those who don’t know the story- once upon a time, there was an honest, hardworking but very poor couple who made shoes. When they went to bed, two elves finished making the shoes. The couple was so thankful they made tiny elf shoes and jackets. Since then, the couple always had luck in their lives. The end.

I sometimes wish really hard that my stuffed animals will finish my work at night. So when I wake up in the morning, I’ll have finished work instead of figuring out how I’ll ever finish anything.

Max and I have been workin really hard these days on several projects, including two pitches and a welcome board for my friend’s wedding that’s coming up. We’re also working on another pitch which is still in progress. (will be up on the web soon!)

The welcome board took a bit longer than I thought, but Max and I made with all our love. My friend, Kaori and I have a very long friendship. We met in kindergarten and re-met in high school. Although I attended Japanese kindergarten for 3 months and Japanese high school for 10 months. (Both times I ended up moving to the U.S) We bonded really well. The only reason I remember Kaori in kindergarten is that she gave me a yellow lemon shaped super ball, which I kept until middle school. She also stuck a small smelly beads in her nose and had to go to an emergency room to remove it. Good old memories. Funny thing is that she is a kindergarten teacher now. I wish her the best of happiness with her husband !!!

Maternal Line

My grandma Kiyo turned 88 in February this year. In Japanese, when you write eighty eight in Kanji (Chinese symbols) and combined them vertically, it looks similar to the symbol of “rice.” So we call it “celebration of rice year” (Bei-jyu).
Since it’s a special age, I made her a stuffed doll of my grandma holding a rice sack. Though while she was carrying the doll around to decide where to place, she lost the rice sack. So now the doll is holding a candy.

When I left her home, she made the stuffed kiyo doll bow and said “thank you. come again.”

Love of stuffed animals run in the maternal line. We all have our own collection of stuffed animals and we all make clothes for them, talk to them, talk to other people about them, wash them as if they’re taking a bath and so on. I wish they were real sometimes.

Speaking of maternal line, my film “Daikon Ashi” that I made in 2004 won a prize in Luna Film Festival which is a fund raising festival for breast cancer. It’s a festival for women, made by women. My film finished circulating in the major film festival scene but somehow, it still gets picked up by women festivals. It’s fun. I also got some cash award. Thanks to my grandma and mom. (The film is about how all the females in my family have thick white legs like Daikon, a large white radish.)

Back to being a kid

As many of you knew, last night was the release of the final Harry Potter. As Max and I are both in love with the series, we simply could not wait! Especially last week, that is all we kept talking about.

We went to a book store in our neighborhood that was “adults only.” I never felt so cool to be an adult. As we were biking our rides to the book store, I couldn’t stop grinning. Imagining the moment of holding the last book. I had already bought tissues and had a mini towel stuffed in my bag. Since the book 4, I could not stop crying. Of course more tears will run down my face for the last one!

The book store organized the event in a very Harry Potter -ish fun way. As we walked in, the sorting hat assigned us to different houses. I was in Gryffindor, Max in Ravenclaw, Erin in Slytherin. There were signs that lead down stores that said “Hogsmead” and at the end, there was “Leaky Cauldron.” We got to drink from a huge cauldron!

All the houses competed in Harry Potter quiz tournament. Some people really remembered. Gryffindor was out first, then Slytherin. A heated battle between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw!

At the end, it was Ravenclaw who won, which is Max’s team. He got Gryffindor wallet which he seemed REALLY excited. Also, the bookstore gave us numbers when we entered the book store. They started calling out numbers who won prizes. Guess what. Max won AGAIN. He got a gift certificate from a coffee shot near by. I have never seen Max so happy, his mouth was grinning so wide and his back was so straight he seemed a head taller than everybody.

After all the exciting adult games, each got a copy and headed home. I wish I can just read all weekend but we must finish some work by Monday. Boo. Harry won’t leave so I’ll take my time to step into the magical world. I read about 30 pages last night but every time I turned a page, more tears came out. It seems like I’ll be on an emotional roller coaster for awhile.

one man’s trash is another man’s treasure

We had to get different fabrics to make some characters for Monday morning. I remembered how my old roommate who studied fashion in college always got “free” patches of fabric. Cheap Ru and Max decided to go to a very large fabric store in the fashion district at 8am. We got TONS of free fabric! We walked out with more than handful of different materials and didn’t even pay a penny. They are not big enough to make anything but patched up stuffed animals.

But that’s exactly what we needed!

There were 3 large bins of fabrics after fabrics! It was great. The girl who works there asked us if we were students. Well, we aren’t students but we just love free useful things.

We’ll be making some cute characters this weekend. It’s exciting.

A Night at the Museum!?

A sleepover program at the museum of natural history!? I just came back from American Museum of Natural History to do some research and to check out mythic creatures exhibition. The museum was packed with summer camp kids, and families. Of course the tickets were ALL SOLD OUT except the one late at night. But it was okay, there’s always next time.
Then I found this strange program. I knew that the movie did really well but I never thought that Museum of Natural History would do such thing. I am simply jealous! It says “children ages 8 to 12 and their parents or guardians are invited to experience NYC’s most enchanting sleepover program.”
You get to look at dinosaurs at night with a flashlight!
You get to sleep in the Hall of Ocean Life in front of whales and bears! (or maybe a giant squid?)

Does anybody know any children ages 8 to 12? I will be more than happy to be the guardian.

Komaneko & Monsieur Greenpeas

At Japan Society (47th St bt 1st Av & 2nd Av) we finally got to see “komaneko,” a japanese puppet animation about a cat who loves to craft and makes stop motion animation. We had already bought stuffed komachan & radio boy and ordered deluxe DVD but had never seen the movie! The animation was great. I can’t wait to own the DVD.

We were also lucky to see another Japanese claymation, “Monsieur Greenpeas.” He made this 48min claymation all by himself which took him almost 5 years. How crazy. After the screening was a workshop by the director, Mr. Kurita. He demonstrated a simple movement with the stop motion device, “lunchbox” and talked about his stressful days of crafting sets and animating all by himself.

Great day.

“grassy, grass, grass” is done.

grassy grass grass

Just uploaded the low res quicktime on the web.

Check out the new animation by tiny inventions. view movie.

This is the first time I worked with HD and everything is so HUGE. It takes forever to save a photoshop file, and it takes days to render quicktime. Although it’s bit of a stress, I must admit I like the high quality.

We’ll be cutting up tiny invenitons reel this weekend. There’ll be a new animation to watch by next week.