i'm not sure what kind of designs you are looking to do, otherwise i would offer to buy the book and ship it to you, as i'm in japan for awhile and like to help people buy all the awesome craft goodness that is in japan.
so yeah, let me know if you need more help than that. it's not much, but i figured any reply to a post would be a good thing.
because the station nagivating might be difficult, (i only assume that you don't speak japanese fluently, i apologize if i'm wrong) i like this webpage for helping me to figure out the best way to get places by train/foot/bus/etcetera. http://www.hyperdia.com/cgi-english/
Hope this isn`t too late for you. I am currently in Tokyo for the year and uh... what I know about Nagoya: 1 - it is far from tokyo. holy cow. i just looked it up. 5 hours by normal train and about 2 hours by shinkansen (bullet train) -- roughly $40-100 to get to tokyo one way.
2 - toyota builds cars there. my friend and i are planning a day trip out there because he is a toyota nut and i figured seeing a factory in japan would be a fun day of...robots?
ok the unfortunate news aside, you are still in japan so there are still a few billion possibilities. not knowing much else about the area specifically -- $1 stores (aka hyaku yen stores), department stores in general, lots of food to eat. as long as you can remember the name of the place you are staying at, i would recommend just wandering around and seeing what you can see. after being in tokyo for three months and having a general grasp of where i live i can still wander around and find interesting things - a shop that makes tatami mats that line the floors of traditional japanese homes, a really good ramen shop, and cute clothing stores.
sorry i cant be more specific. if you do want to spend the dough to get into tokyo i can definitely be more of service to you, just drop me an e-mail - togflATgmailDOTcom.
Less of a crafty idea and more a general suggestion: 1) Milk-crate-esque things they sell at target. they're going for about $2 now and I bought three to put in the top shelf of my closet when I went to college. Very useful. I just organize them by use ("bathroom", "craft" and "hats/bags/scarves" were my delineations) and throw things in them. Gets clutter out of the way in a small dorm room quickly
2) 3M Command Products - It all centers around the adhesive strip. Best things ever 'cause they stay up (unlike sticky-tac) and they don't mark walls (yay, no charges at the end of the year!). Most of the 3M command things you'll find in stores come with hooks of some sort - I used the hooks everywhere! One by my door so I'd have a place to stash my keys, a few around the perimeter of the room for my lights, a few by my desk which I strung thread around and used clothespins to make an impromptu bulletin board, and the larger ones were great to hang bags, towels, coats, etc.
3) Target and Ikea and everywhere are selling hanging closet storage - extra shelves in your closet. Some of them have drawers in them now, too! These are great for bulky sweater items, shoes, and more smaller miscellaneous items, especially if you're like me and, no matter how hard I tried, ended up with a lot of my clothes at school.
Anyway, perhaps some of this will help. I do agree with letsread about not putting too much money into things before you show up and find out your dorm won't fit half the stuff mentioned, etc. I'm excited for you, though, and don't blame you for trying to come up with ideas now. My housemate and I went to target the other day and wished we were both freshmen again - there's a lot of creative storage, decoration and just fun stuff there geared toward college kids now. Where was that when I was a freshman!
last summer on the glitter boards there was a discussion about shrinky dinks and making your own shrinky dinks - the #6 plastic thing came up -- the things that are usually #6 plastic were the plastic containers from the grocery store used to store fruit. i.e., strawberries' clear plastic containers are #6 plastic. i think sprouts also come in a similar container.
1) Non-chain fabric store in or around Seattle 2) Ribbon supply (the fabric kind, probably grosgrain. I'm looking to replicate those horrendously expensive belts I've seen at Nordstrom, Urban outfitters, j.crew, and the like)
sitting on my bed trying to read and take notes at the same time (isn't the bed the best place to pretend to study?) i was struck by how i'd like to have a lap desk, instead of precariously balancing book and paper on my knee. i remember seeing these things in catalogs and such when i was little, and a google search does yield some rather, well, boring looking lap desks. pottery barn teen has a lap desk (http://ww1.pbteen.com/cat/pip.cfm?src=schi1%7Cp1%7Cwlap%5Csdesk&pkey=sa1s00desk%2Clap&gids=p371_) however, it seems absurd to pay $29 for it. so my question:
1) does anyone know of a store that sells un-boring lap desks?
2) has anyone ever made a lap desk and wants to share the result/how-to?
if i get the chance, i might try to build a lap desk myself, but for now, i thought i'd ask some clever crafty folk.