Clip Markers

Clip Markers

As a person whose travel guides bristle with mini post-its marking the really interesting pages, I was thrilled to spot this very efficient clip.

Ready loaded with slim sticky strips just the right size for the job, it attaches firmly to the cover of your book or magazine, so you need never put said book down to hunt around for your markers again.

I found it in Tokyu Hands, in a variety of colours, for less than $8, and promptly snapped it up. Best of all, it comes with a refill set I am sure to be needing soon.

DIY Food Art Transfers

Artistic cooks will probably already own a set of edible ink pens. Looking just like normal felt pens but containing food colouring rather than the usual ink, these are fun to use, especially when decorating cookies and so on for Christmas or birthday parties.

But it’s hard to get too creative, because the end result depends very much on the surface of your cake or cookie – a rough texture leaves you with wobbly lines, and anything porous means the colour can soak in or spread.

This is a fun and fascinating way round those problems, wafer thin film discs made of corn starch on which you can draw your own designs before applying them to the surface of your food. As the discs are completely see-through, you can even use them to trace a picture which you may not have the talent to draw freehand.

In practice, this is a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. The discs are so thin that they curl up with a life of their own, and you need a deft hand to hold them down and complete your artwork successfully. They also dissolve instantly on contact with water, so you have to work smartly to get the picture on the cake rather than on your hands or the table.

I had varying degrees of success whilst experimenting with different surfaces. It was hard to get the bread or the ginger cookie wet enough to hold the picture without it actually dissolving away, and the disc left a slightly slimy layer on top. The yoghurt held the colours beautifully, though, which leads me to suspect that this might work very well indeed if applied to wet frosting.

This was a seasonal special at Tokyu Hands, and for less than S$5 for a container of 50 discs, I think it is a great bargain. I just know it will be a lot of fun to play with when daughters #1 and #2 arrive to celebrate Christmas later this week.

Wrinkle Smoother

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This is ridiculous, but was on sale at Tokyu Hands for such an attractive discount that I decided I would try it out.

As an aside, it also amused me that this Japanese product was illustrated with a Western blonde…

Basically, this is a short stick with a shaped silicone head which you use from the inside of your mouth to smooth out wrinkles. One side of the head has little bumps, which you apparently use to massage your gums and stimulate production of saliva. The other side is curved into a half ball shape, with a ridge along the centre.

According to the instructions, you shape your mouth into an O then massage gently up and down along the line that forms from your nose down to your mouth. You are supposed to do this morning and evening, 10 times on each side. (Then carefully wash and dry the tool for the next time, obviously.)

After giving it a go, I have to say I am not sure how this is supposed to help your wrinkles. Although I was very gentle, it felt like I was stretching the skin of my cheeks, which did not strike me as the best move. Also, the aftermath was very reminiscent of the discomfort you get after a visit to the dentist, when having all that paraphernalia in your mouth has left you feeling bruised and sore.

This is not going to be part of my daily routine.



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More delightful stationery items from Japan, with another variation on the humble ‘post-it’ tab which we all use to mark-up pages we need to refer back to.

These particular offerings, from the sun-star stationery company, are designed with detachable ends to show that the person you have passed them on to has read and noted your point.

Called Piri-it!, they come in several styles and colours. My favourites are the ? which turns into a ! when you pull off the end, and the LOOK which becomes an OK – both really neat ways of showing that the recipient has paid attention.

I found these in Tokyu Hands, probably my favourite department store ever, for ¥380 a packet of 75, confirming yet again my opinion that Tokyo is the stationery capital of the world.