As you may have noticed (or not) from my last Wordless Wednesday, I was in Singapore recently. I was there together with my brother and parents for my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary.
I don’t have a travel journal for Singapore and probably won’t be making one (at least not for this trip). Singapore is nice. REALLY nice. But that’s all it was to me– nice. Singapore is a destination a lot of Filipinos have been to due to its proximity to our country (3 1/2 hours by air), the abundance of cheap airfare from Manila, and the lack of need for a tourist visa. A lot of people, tourists and Singapore locals like, say there’s not a lot to see and do there except eat. And walk. And ride the MRT. I found that to be very true. I skipped the touristy stuff (wasn’t interested in botanical gardens, theme parks, and museums) and checked out a few stationery and arts and crafts-related stores instead.
The first one I came across was kikki.K, and quite unexpectedly. My family and I were meeting some of my brother’s friends in ION Orchard mall for dinner and we got off the Orchard Road MRT. kikki.K was right there at the turnstile exit and I think I may have taken off and made a beeline for the store as soon as I saw it.
kikki.K is a Swedish home and office lifestyle store selling stationery and gifts. I believe it started in Australia, and I remember my Australian-based friend giving me the link to their website a few years ago. I was looking forward to checking out their Singapore branch. It didn’t disappoint! Everything was so chic, pretty, well-designed, and minimalist… and also pretty pricey, as the rest of Singapore is. I didn’t take pictures in the store as coming from Manila where photography in retail stores isn’t allowed (why, nobody knows– not even the store attendants), I wasn’t sure if I could.
I had my eye on a blank, hardbound 365 journal, which I saw on their website prior to flying to Singapore.
I ended up buying two! What appealed to me are the numbered pages, one page for every day of the year. Perfect for daily drawings/journals/photos/recipes/whatever. I’m still thinking of what to do with these.
Shop 44-46, 2 Orchard Turn
A week before the trip, I went over to Lorra’s blog and dug through her archives for her post on Singapore’s fun, crafty places. It was through her blog that I learned about The Little Happyshop in Holland Village. And so it was where I found myself a week later, browsing through a little happy shop of colorful merchandise, journals too pretty to write on, and stationery made just for hoarding. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures (this time, I forgot).
I bought a few rolls of MT washi tape (my favorite washi tape brand!).
I also bought some Japanese rubber carving blocks for rubber stamp carving as my carving block supply is down to a small square and I also wanted to try other kinds.
I was asked to do a review on Instagram and here’s what I can say, in a nutshell: these rubber blocks carve LIKE BUTTER. Literally like butter that’s been stored in the fridge and has been sitting out at room temperature for ten minutes. I noticed the difference as soon as I sank in my X-acto knife to carve my outlines. They carved so smoothly– too smoothly, in fact, that you have to be extra careful so that your knife doesn’t slip and you don’t over-carve your lines by accident.
I carved out a crafty set of scissors and dashed lines to try out the blocks. I also turned some of the leftover triangle ends into stamps as I didn’t want them to go to waste.
In the end, though, I think I still prefer using my cheap, Faber-Castell erasers to carve my smaller-sized stamps as they’re more readily available and the carving quality is firmer and just as good.
The Little Happyshop
Holland V Shopping Mall
My directions: Get off at the Holland Village MRT station on the Circle line (orange). Take exit C, turn left and walk straight until you reach a little street (Lor Liput) then turn right. Keep your eye out for the Holland V Shopping Mall on the left side of the street. Enter the mall (it’s more of a small shopping complex with little stores and not really a proper mall), go up the escalator. The Little Happyshop will be at the end of the left corridor.
I wasn’t able to go around Singapore as much as I would’ve liked as I was traveling with my family, but on one afternoon, I did get to venture out on my own and it was then that I discovered the Asian equivalent of Michael’s (the arts and crafts store) in the US. But that’s another blog entry, for another day. Stay tuned :)
EDIT: Click here to read part 2 of this blog post.