Wednesday 17 March 2010



My house has been invaded by Japanese forest trolls!

There are Soot Gremlins everywhere.

I am finding acorns randomly scattered.  

My tiny kidlet insists on being called Mai, and will only address her father as 'The Real Totoro'!
What on earth is going on?

Well here's the story.......A few weeks ago on a rainy day, desperate to entertain two kidlets going stir crazy after months of inclement weather we all settled down to watch a film 'My Neighbour Totoro' by Studio Ghibli.
Little tiny kidlet had such a lovely reaction, she literally squealed with pleasure all the way through the film then and the next 20 times we have watched it since.  Her delight has not diminished!
'My Neighbour Totoro' is one of the gentlest kindest films I have ever seen. It is about two little girls (the littlest one is Mai) who move to the country with their father while their mother is in hospital.  They meet a troll called Totoro who is big and fluffly and funny.
It is a slow film compared to Disney or other western animations, so I was amazed at the kidlets reaction and their ability to sit relatively quietly.
Of course Mr Lemon Drizzle (being a Japanophile) is delighted and immediately went to ebay to find Totoro related merchandise.  Unfortunately as it has to be imported it is very expensive, so not wanting to deny them a childhood pleasure I dusted down my sewing machine.
Now I know I worked in fashion, but I was a textile designer, and although I can easily run up a pair of curtains or a cushion I do not have much patience at a sewing machine.
Here is the real Totoro.
And here is version no.1.  Given the choice tiny kidlet choose a white fabric and pink eyes, probably not the best choice given her affinity to dirt.

And here is version no.1 after a day. You can't see but she has lost a tail.

After a few days.  He (sorry Mai, she) has lost a tail, an arm, most of her whiskers, is covered in chocolate and peanut butter and has been very loved.

So I was instructed to make more and big kidlet wanted in on the act.
Then they needed acorns and bags and 'WE HAVE TO HAVE SOOT GREMLINS TOO!'

I do get frustrated with my sewing but the kidlets are easily pleased. They love their Totoros and are eager to have more, but I think I'm done....for now.
I shall take advantage of the lovely sunshine and pop outside to hang up my washing. Oh it's glorious to finally bask in the sun again.....what's that noise?  Something is moving in the bushes. I'm sure it is just a little bird making it's nest.

 Is it just birds?


  1. These little guys are adorable and fun. I can see how the kids love them so much!

  2. oh I LOVE them and having met them in the flesh I know how well loved they are too :o)

  3. These are so cute and I love your posting! You are such the cool mom!

  4. Love these "kreatures"! What lucky kids.

  5. Thank you for sharing your talent with us, I LOVE your work! I was very inspired by you recently and made my very 1st handpainted cupcakes and cake, I now appreciate how much time and effort went into all your creations.


  6. Adorable! Have you seen any of Miyazaki other films? They are all sooo good. You should check them out. My little girl Amelia (2 years old) loves Ponyo right now. It's Miyazaki's newest film. We also really love Howl's Moving Castle, and Spirited Away is a favorite as well. ALL of Miyazaki's films are amazing though. It is had to pick just one. ;o)

  7. I agree with need to check out all of Miyazaki/Ghibli's films. I have yet to see Ponyo but I will. When my cousin was a toddler, his favorite (and mine) was Spirited Away. Some of the other ones you may want to put off until the kids are older :)

    as for Totoro merch, it's pretty expensive to import because it's already expensive in Japan. The film came out over 20 years ago and is still a cultural icon over there. However, I suggest checking at your local comic book shops...sometimes they have Ghibli merch (and stuffed Totoros) on stock.

  8. Never heard of this film sounds wonderful. Your sewing is great don't knock it and what a great mum for making these little monsters for your "kidlets".


  9. We took our daughter to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo when she was just under 3, and talk about amazing -- there is a life-sized catbus the kids can play in, as well as incredible props from many other Ghibli films. t ws truly the best children's museum I've ever been to. Totoro remains her favourite!

  10. I have a Japanese stuffed Totoro thanks to my friend and I don't think I will ever part with him. Miyazaki films are timeless.

    You do some good work and you have a great imagination. It's a couple of reasons to why I like your blog.