Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hand made pendant for my mother in law

It is now known in the family that I have a new skill in jewelry making. One day, when I was in my in laws' house,  my father in law showed me a box. I didn't know what it was, but he said I could have anything I like from that box. When I opened it, I found little boxes, big boxes filled with cabochon... There is no specific information as what the cabochon is. Knowing how the family works, I could bet these are handed from generations.

I felt like a kid in a playground. I was so excited choosing from the shape, size, color, texture.
I found this purple color cab, which I think it's very interesting. I decided to make it as a pendant. It is going to be a gift for my mother in law for her 50th anniversary.

Details is what differentiate my design to others. I decided to I cut out a star on the back. In addition to that, I put dots around the perimeter and do a satin finish. I really like how it turned out.
Wouldn't you agree?

To learn more about my pieces, please visit

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Diamond and gold handmade ring

Diamond engagement ring... the newest addition from Bigib. The ring is made of 14K gold adorned with total of .9 carat diamond. I love the details on the ring that is also continued to the band.Picture shown is in mirror finish. Satin finish also available. It's great for engagement ring, anniversary ring, birthday ring or just simply to appreciate the special person in your life ring.
Wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sapphire ring as thanksiving gift

What a beauty... Lab brown sapphire on sterling made specially for my mother in law. They are going to celebrate their 50th anniversary next year. I decided to make a handmade gift.

She loves to wear something bold. I thought this ring would be bold enough...
 Thanks mom for raising such a wonderful son.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

And the winner is...

After thinking and doodling and dreaming... I decided to go with a landscape type necklace for my newest scenery necklace. (Please see my past posting "Help me decide".)

Bigib jewelry are "Out of ordinary" jewelry. The stone itself is beautiful and it's screaming a scenery scene... I decided to continue that story and make it something wearable.
The piece a double sided necklace. The picture shown on the top is actually the back side of the necklace.

This one is the front part. I like each details that is put on the piece. Have a closer look...

One a kind piece that surely makes everyone's head turn. Wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Whimsical architecture inspired jewelry

Usually, when I think of architecture inspired jewelry, I'd think of geometric shape piece. I decided to be "different" this time. I think about the people living in the architecture space. So I doodled buildings, transportation, people and scenery. These are a couple that I decided to make a necklace.

This one is a car... it reminded me of a buggy, a vw beetle, a yellow beetle that our dear friend usually drive.

This one is a little house, een klein huis my mom would say.
 I like a simple design with little chimney.  It's about the right size for a simple dainty necklace. Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Help me decide...

I have this beautiful petrified wood that reminds me of a landscape with black tree and cloud. I want to make a pendant... I came up with 2 different designs and I like them both. Can you help me decide which one do you think I should to with. The "portrait" style on the left or the "landscape" style on the right?
You can leave comments on Facebook, blog or twitter...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Batik ring

Inspiration... sometimes you just don't know when you'll get an inspiration from. I got this inspiration from Indonesian batik... The pattern looks so intricate and yet it's using the basic lines and dots (and time...)

I decided to borrow the idea to design this ring... It's made of sterling silver wire and ball. I then oxidize the ring to enhance the design. I really love it. It's available on my Etsy store.
Wouldn't you agree?

PS: In case you want to read more about batik, you can clikc here...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Amethyst on sterling silver ring

A sterling silver rings with amethyst... ? You got it... A new idea fro Bigib. It's a cast form and flush set amethyst in satin finish. It's simple yet elegant rings. Great for moms, yourself or anyone special. Wouldn't you agree? 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Guess what picture game at Bigib...

Join a fun guessing game at Bigib's Art Jewelry and Creative Paper Facebook page for a chance to win a surprise prize... 
This quarter, we have this fun green picture. You can guess as many times you want. We will reveal the answer at the end of the week. The winner (which will be announce on my Facebook page) will need to email me their information so I can mail the prize.
Can you guess what is this? Stay tune for the answer ....

Friday, September 7, 2012

Store sample sale after Labor day

Store sample sale this weekend. Pod sterling silver pendant regularly $42 each, now is $25 each. It's a casting piece. How did I made it... well... I took a real "pod" from a tree and carefully cut it to the piece I like. Then I covered it with wax and put in an investment, ready for casting. Hot sterling silver the poured in to the investment cavity and voila... It comes with adjustable black cord.

Seed bracelet is made from natural dried seed and strung on a stretch band. Coconut shell bracelet is made from Indonesia coconut shell, strung on leather cord. Regularly $20, now is $10 each.

Sterling circle pendant with 3 pearls. It reminded me of a bird nest. Regularly $45, now $28 each. 

First come first serve. 

Please email me conny(at)bigib(dot)com

Friday, August 31, 2012

Downtown Aquarium Denver

What we did to celebrate the last week of Summer?
We went to see sharks...!

We spend the last day of summer at Downtown Aquarium.
I felt I just found a gem in the middle of the town. I can't help noticing the very attractive brick work outside the building. Inside, it's filled with fish and more fish and tigers. Yes, tigers from Indonesia lives there.
I only saw 1 tiger, but they said they have 4.

In addition to those, we saw "real mermaid", swimming, singing and even a photo opportunity. Wow, what a great place to end the summer holiday.

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Team building game idea

Looking for a team building game? How about Egg drop? Here's how it works.

You'll need at least 2 teams.. It could be a random team or men vs women, or adults vs kids or anything...
Materials needed paper, plastic bags, tape, egg and scissors. You could add some items such as string, rubber band or any material you think could help with the game. You can limit the quantity such as 6 papers, 2 plastic bags... etc ( in a real life, we have to live with budget) or you can give unlimited material and choose the most creative one... or anything depending on your objective. .

Location needed: at least one floor high. The assignment is to design a "vehicle" that would help protect the egg from cracking. Time allowed to design and build the vehicle would range between 15-20 minutes. Before the vehicle is "launched" the team needs to explain their design concept. Then, the egg ( = the passenger) will get in the "vehicle", then the vehicle is dropped from at least a one floor high. If no egg cracks, the more creative team would be the winner.

Last week, I decided to do this game between a group of men, women and kids. It is very interesting to see how different each team come up with.
The men, came up with "air bags" idea to reduce the impact on the egg. The women, came up with "stuffed bag" idea, which is similar with the kids but with different design. All uses "parachute" idea.

No eggs cracked on the first drop. Then, we decided to take the "parachute" away... Still no eggs cracked during the test. However, the men's egg cracked due to mishandling and not so much due to the impact. And the last egg standing was the kids design.

It's amazing how creative each group solve the problem. What do you think?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Installing Sommer garage door opener

Did I tell you I've been naughty? Yes... instead of making jewelry, I've been doing something else... like installing a garage door opener by ourselves?

Well... as you probably can guess, after moving, there are a lot of things that needs tweaking to make the house, our home. After living in the house for 2 months, we really think we need a garage door opener. 

I did some research in the internet and found this item that I've never heard before. It says it's made in Germany and many comments said it's easy to install. After careful consideration, e.g price, noise, installation, I chose Sommer garage door direct drive. We ordered from Home Depot, thinking that if all things fails, I could ask them to install it. 

 Hubby is so not handy. After looking at their installation video, I'm pretty sure we can do it. After we open the package, we inventory everything. There was a couple washers missing. 
The manual is pretty clear. With online video and manual, we were able to put the garage opener in less than an hour. But, the harder part is finding the studs, centering, testing and connecting the cables.

There are 2 perforated strips that come with the opener. We use that for "hanging" the opener from the ceiling. We need to buy extra angle steel to connects to the studs... Well.. on second thought, may be not necessary... but we did it anyway.

It's amazing quiet (compare to chain drive) and easy to install. I must admit that I'm pretty impressed with my hubby (even though he's not handy, he could do it).
May be, the "weird" thing is the remote control. It does have a clip for our visor but I think it's designed for a "key chain".

Other than that, I have no complaint. It's quiet, the price is competitive with others... perhaps the best one is we save some money by installing it ourselves...
Besides, it's a good project to impress your inl aws or may be future wive? :)
What do you think?

Monday, July 16, 2012

DaVinci Machine Exhibits

DaVinci Machine is on exhibits in Denver Pavillion. Yes.. I just have to see it.

He invented machines using the basic physics like using pulleys, gear, wedge, lever... etc. I think one that caught my attention is the Da Vinci self supporting bridge. 

At first, it looks very complicated. It's looks somewhat similar to weaving a basket using pieces of woods. And it's amazingly strong enough to carry weight. I love the guided tour. Who would have thought that he has invented a bicycle a long time ago...

The exhibits in Denver will end on September 2012.
I think it is a great experience to be able to see the genius work.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to put downspout underground

I have been naughty... I have been doing some landscaping instead of making jewelry... I thought it worth blogging... According to our design, the two downspout at the back of our yard will be in on top of a walkway... so, that's a no-no
My task... to put the down spout underground.  I learned with Colorado rains, 3" pipe is good. Hubby already dug with a trencher. The trencher size... 3". It's a bit too snug for the pipe so I have dug it wider.

I use the black flexible downspout pipe I got at Home Depot ( or Lowe's). I need a connector from 2x3 downspout to a 3" pipe, a strainer (to prevent unwanted critter from coming in). Not tape or glue required.
There is groove in the pipe that you can attach the pipe and the connector easily. 
Perhaps, the hardest part is digging the trench and making sure it's sloped away. I use level to make sure that the pipe is sloping out. 
Here's the picture of the almost final result. It took me a day to work on 2 downspouts and a day to dig the trench. What do you think?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Need a quick fundraising? How about wrapped name bracelet?

Inspired by Unite4Peyton program, Bigib is offering a fundraising option for organization.

The wrap bracelet is made from sterling silver and leather cord. You can customize it with your organization name or person name. Minimum order required for fundraising bracelets.

To learn more about this, you can visit

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bigib reached a milestone...

Bigib reached 130th sales today....  Thank you for those our customers... Look forward to reaching another milestone...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Teachers' gift idea

School is almost over... We love our teachers and we are looking for the best teacher's gift. I really like the idea of handmade items. My daughter, who is 5, thinks she can make a bracelet for her teacher. I let her do it which ended up messing up my bead box.

I decided that it's time for me to take charge. Inspired Unite 4Peyton bracelet,  by I decided to make a name wrap bracelet. It's made of sterling silver and leather cord with a teacher's name on it. It's very light, comfortable and chic.

Wouldn't you agree?

To learn more about this bracelet, please visit

Friday, May 4, 2012

Transferring mothers skills set to a resume

Recently, my friend asked me if I could help review her resume. She's a stay at home mom who is thinking about going back to work. We were brainstorming what kind of skills she can transfer to her resume while she's a stay at home mom? Which made me think that I probably should do the same. As I go through things I've done as a mom, I'm amazed to see there are many skills involved as a mom.

I understand that most the skills I mentioned here are my own specific experience. Not every mom has the same experience, but here are what I think my experiences are:

1. Being persuasive. What would you do if you ask someone to do something and that person says "No". From my experience, I get that answer a lot especially when the baby turns the magic number 3. I figured, there are two things I can do. I can be very authoritative " I command you to do this... or forever will hold your peace..." and get ready to twist her or his arm, or I can do in a more persuasive way... What usually works at home is " Only kids who do this, will get one kiss..." (Kisses and hugs are our "currency").
When it gets old, I'd say" I know kids your age can do this... I know you can surprise me with what you can do...." That usually works like a charm for my kids, but may not with others.
It really shows that moms are trained to learn every person personality and use her persuasiveness to encourage the person.

2. Persistent. Sometimes, the persuasiveness doesn't work. Mom has to keep trying again and again with many different options that needs some creativity.

3. Delegate. Giving choices and consequences. I took a class about 'love and logic'. It talks about giving empathy and let the kids learn from the choices and consequences. I think it works both ways. I felt that I'm not feeling guilty with the choice she made and at the same time, she learns the consequences from her choice.

4. Creative. I can't emphasis enough to be creative. You don't have to be an artsy person to call yourself creative. I do believe every mom has some creativeness. E.g TV time... How many times do I have to battle with how much is too much TV time ( read my flower power blog). With this creative and fun method, we both are happy.

5. Planner. I noticed in general, moms are a planner. If you prepare snacks for a long trip or even plan to stop by an eating place during a day trip, you must plan be a planner. May be I should say I'm a natural project manager. I don't believe in multi-tasking or some people would call it continuous partial attention = CPA.

I plan for snacks and drinks for a long trip. I've always have a bag filled with the book(s) that I'm reading, pencil, a sketch book which is useful when I'm waiting for my daughter's piano class. In addition to that, I have one bar, small water bottle, first aid kit in my purse. When I pick my daughter from school, I'd bring some snacks so she can eat on the way home and ready for homework when she arrived home. I'd have my washer and dryer running while I'm blogging or doing some computer activities.

6 Good communication/ writer. Blogging, Facebook, Twitter... no, it's not a waste of time is you choose to use them as a learning tool. It forces me to think like a writer and online marketer. I have to think about an interesting topic to blog, interesting opening and ending. I'm constantly improving written English.

7. Counselor/adviser/ "Software programmer" . Noticed that I put quote on the "software programmer". My husband, who is a geek, are sometimes referring our daughters as something that needs both "software" and "hardware". "Hardware" are when we provide the basic needs while the "software" are when we teach about value.

As the children grow older, I learned the needs changes. Other than making sure she fills her tummy with healthy food, I need to fill her heart and give good example, self confidence, good morale and love.

8. Fast learner. What would you do when one day, your daughter said, "I want to be a leopard for Halloween... ". I could spend $30 or more for a costume, or I can search on the web on how to make a costume +  buy the materials with 40% off coupon + some creativity = a decent costume that makes your kids happy, save money and a new skill on how to sew.

9. Easy to adapt. One thing I learn..., kids doesn't know schedule. Yes, probably when they are older, but when they are still a baby, they have their own schedule and you need to adapt. When I have our first daughter, I thought I could do laundry, made the bed, cook, vacuum the floor and play with the baby... Done. In reality, I have to wipe the tables at least 5 times... The minute I'm done with vacuuming, I need to vacuum the floor again as there are more cheese on the floor. At the end of the day, I miss my schedule and awfully tired. Now I learned to be happy with what I can accomplish today. Yes, I write plan, I write goals for the day... If I didn't achieve it, I'll try to do it again tomorrow.

Those experience really shows mothers have a lot of skills. It's not only one specific skills but it's a LOT of skills. So yes, I think I could mention this on my resume:
"A persuasive, creative, planner, fast learner, easy to adapt person with good communication and delegation skills who is ready to rock the world..."

What do you think?

Friday, April 27, 2012

How did we choose a realtor

Depending on your personality, choosing a realtor can be one of the "harder" task. Think about it,... you will be working with someoen to find a house. Sometimes, it may take months. You will be choosing a work partner or a team member.. or probably, you'll be choosing someone who can "live"with for a short period.

Well... my hubby and I had to choose a realtor to help us find a house. We had a "bad" experience with a realtor before, so we decided to really look for the right one that fits our work style.. It may sound like "hiring" an employee, but I think it's worth it and. I thought it worth blogging too...

First, we read articles on the internet and formulate some questions to ask when we meet a potential realtor. Other than technical questions like how long have you been working, licensing, if you are part of a group,... we also ask about how are you going to find us house, how many showings, where do you find listings... and on.

As I was shopping for a mortgage, I ask referrals for realtors. By doing so, I have list of names to start with. I also ask referrals from friends.

Then I called them, make an appointment for an phone interview.  During the phone interview, we could narrow down list of potential realtor that we want to interview personally. We also ask for references and interview them.

We narrowed down to 4 realtors and met them at Starbucks or their office. Still, we have lists of interview questions and we also tell them what is our work style... We then narrowed it down to two and this is one of the hardest part.

Knowing our buying habit, we tend to take time and really look at the features we want. I thought it won't much different with buying a house. One realtor tends to be lay back and may fit with our buying habit. The other is more the opposite. She's more structured and organized. We liked both but we can only choose one.

Hubby and I decided to vote. Since there are only two of us, we decided that if we came up with different names, we are going to discuss to make a decision that we both can agree.  We found Kleenex and pen and we voted.

I felt so relieve to find out that we voted the same person. No discussion or debate needed. We chose Dave Ipsen.

We worked with him since August 2011 for about 8 months. He has lots of knowledge about the area we are interested in looking. He takes time to explain every questions we have. He's very responsive with e-mails. He has information in his hands. He's lay back, very flexible. We never felt pressured to make quick decisions. He always take as much time as we needed to see the houses. We knew we made the right choice.

We wrote down important criteria for choosing a house. We saw 5-6 houses almost every Saturday. Since the house orientation is one of the important part, we would bring a compass when we view houses.  In addition to that, I learned about the city, neighborhood, the house structure and some details about how houses are built differently in CO compares to WI.

Even though it took about 2 months for us to decide a realtor, I think we indeed made a right choice.
Wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Unite 4 Peyton

Bigib is donating a pair of square earrings as an auction item for Par4Peyton, June 1, 2012 at Muskego Lakes country club.

It is a golf outing event runs by Unite4Peyton Foundation, a non profit organization for SMA research. If you are a golfer, it's a good activity while raising fund for good cause.

In addition to that, Bigib is designing a special wrap bracelet made for this event. It's made of hand stamped sterling silver charm, wrap around the wrist and ends with double knot. It needs 2 persons to wrap this bracelet. It's a symbol that it needs more than one person to make this event happen.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Flower power: a creative idea to manage TV time

TV....TV.... TV....!
Between my daughter and I, we always argue how much is too much TV time. She still can't read or understand how long is half an hour. I decided I need to create a system that is better than checking at the clock.

We made flowers from streamers and skewer, glue it and tie it with twist ties. I call it the "flower power...." One flower equal half an hour of TV time. Every time she watches TV for half an hour, I'll take it out from the pot. By doing that, she understands how much TV show she can watch and decide a head of time.

This really reduce the arguing and negotiation. E.g She likes to watch Arthur, Martha speaks, George, World word, Cyber space, Kratt brothers. If she watches all, it will take up 3 hours. Her TV time is 2 hours. So in the morning, she will decide which TV shows she wants to watch.

We made it flower because it's beautiful and skewer and streamers were the available materials. I think you can make it something else according to your children's favorite stuff.

So far, it works for me and I think it worth sharing...
What do you think?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Baked potato ooops...

Oops ... It happened many times.

Just like today, I suppose to make baked potato for dinner. I set the oven to bake to 400F, then I set the timer for the soup... not realizing when the timer went off, I actually cancelling the baking as well... I thought I had a nice warm baked potato... I actually have a cold, uncooked potato. Dinner should be ready in 15 minutes... What should I do?

Hubby googled how to make a baked potato using microwave. It's pretty easy. Cut a deep 'X' on the potato, cover it with wet towel and microwave it according to the size. Not knowing the definition of big or huge potato, I just do a trial and error. I set for 5 minutes for 1 potato and it turned out beautifully. I put all 3 potatoes and set for 5 minutes it turned out OK. I needed more minutes, so I added another 3. The dinner is ready on time. Everyone thinks it's a good baked potato dinner.

It's one of the time when I said to my self that I'm glad I made a mistake as now I know how to make baked potato using microwave.

Wouldn't you agree?

Picture link from

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Make your own toy: A creative, green and economical ideas

Boxes-boxes... we got a lot of boxes. Toys-toys-toys... I do need some toys for kids activities. We decided to collect those boxes and choose one day as a "make your own toy" day.

I challenged my 5 years old to design a toy out of boxes. I threw some ideas, including designing a cell phone, camera, laptop, robot, car...

Then, I gave her a piece of paper. The challenge was she needs to plan her design... mom will help cut.

She decided she wants to make a robot. Here's her plan.

She will need two boxes for head, butt, arms and toilet paper rolls for neck and legs.
Along the process, there are some design changes... including some "improvements" in adding eyes and choosing a lighter material for arms.

I helped her cut the holes using scissors and knifes and helps construct the pieces. We never attach the arm as it keep falling out. Besides, the bot long neck was good for grabbing. She played with the bot for tow days before she started asking when she could make the lap top.

That would be our next project...

And the next one she wanted to design a car... We need to collect a larger box for that...

I like the idea of designing your own toys from. First, it challenges your creativity and imagination. Second, we recycle. It's a two fold activities that is really economical.
Wouldn't you agree?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tween + moving + 10 years old = problem solving

Ten years old... who wasn't too happy to leave her best friends behind... Plus new location, new school, new neighborhood, new friends... makes it even tougher...
In addition to anger, I also get some tears for not liking her new environment.

She started to say... "I don't like school". It has been bugging me since about 1 month ago. I have been listening to her, giving empathy, trying to find out what is it the real cause of that,... she still came home with tears.

I almost gave up. I'm so ready to e-mail her teacher and perhaps look for a professional help. I guess my creative, thinking out of the box gene kicks in.

I decided to ask her what she wants to do to make her "happier". She said... "no school". So I asked her if she meant for a different school or if she meant stay at home. She wants to stay at home with me...
"Sure...", I said. "But you also have to tell me what do you want to do when you stay at home. You can clean up the house, cook and you need to work because we have to make a living...."

Then the conversation starts around her skills, what is it that she can do to make a living. I gave her some options what she can do to find work and I asked her to think about it and tell me what's her decision, tomorrow.

I was worry... I'm not sure what's the outcome. But I think it's a good idea to involve her with problem solving rather than giving solutions...

Tomorrow afternoon I asked her... "So what is your decision..."
And she said "school".... And then I said "What are you going to do with new friends, new school...?" She thinks she could handle that part too...

Starting that day, she changed. No more tears on the way home and she looks happier. I guess I did the right thing... It works for me... so I thought I should share it in my blog...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Med at Boulder... a reasonably priced restaurant to eat

Last Sunday afternoon, we were in Boulder. The kids just done skating at One Boulder Plaza and it was around 4:30. We want to get something to eat and go to church. We found out there is a church on Sacred Heart of Jesus on Mapleton and 13th in Boulder that starts at 6pm.

Where to eat?
We learned there is a restaurant called The Med (Mediterranian ) in Boulder, on Walnut and Broadway that serves tapas. Plus... they have happy hour from 3-6:30 pm every day.
That sounds perfect. So, we decided to drive there. We arrived at almost 5. The hostess said it will take about 15 minutes before we get our seat. 5-10 minutes later, our name was called. We ordered the tapas, get some bread for a start, tapas arrived, we have happy tummies.

We left at around 5 to 6 and we still have enough time to go to church. Everyone have their own favorite. My daughter likes the baked feta, and mozzarella cheese. I like bacon wrapped dates, prosciutto with melon and calamari. There are a lot of good tapas choices. With the happy hour price, their tapas and service are unbeatable.

Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A taste of Indonesia... Food Fund Raising by KKI Colorado

A taste of Indonesia? It may very well be. A group of Indonesia Catholic is doing their once a year fund raising.

They will cook and deliver Indonesia food for those who live in Colorado - Denver area. Orders form available on line and it will be closed on March 20, 2012 or when we reach our target, whichever comes first. They will deliver your order on Saturday March 31, 2012 between 2 – 7 p.m.

To learn more about this Food Fund Raising, please visit

Good luck and happy tummy...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lime juice me... a tip when you ran out of acid for jewelry pickling

I ran out of "pickle", acid that I need to clean sterling silver due to oxidation during soldering process.
Thanks to Jusuf Baba, I borrow his idea on using lime juice.
So, opened up my fridge, cut a slice of lime and squeeze the juices. I added some hot water and put them in the crock pot.

See before and after picture.

One hour later... voila...
It does take a little longer time compare to store bought acid. Besides, I have some lime enough to make my favorite drinks. Margarita anyone....?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Boys Personalized First Communion Gifts

Looking for personalized gifts for boys? How about this hand made sterling silver tie tac? It's mad with hand stamped sterling silver charm on a chain tie tac. It's great for keepsakes. It fits boy's size tie.

To learn more about this, please visit my Etsy store.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

From Narita to Yuzawaya in Shinjuku

On the way to the US, I have 9 hours transit time in Japan. I could choose sit down in the airport or I could try exploring Japan in 9 hours... I decided to choose the later one.

We arrived at 8 am at Narita airport. After custom, look for info and money exchange, we're ready to go out at around 9. From Narita airport, I went downstairs to where the trains are. But before doing that, there is a convenient store that sells some omisubi ( Japanese rice ball). I decided to buy some just in case we got hungry on the way.

We took Keisei Line and head to Nippori station. It took about 1 hour to get to Nippori station. From there, we took Yamanote line to Shinjuku for the next 15 minutes. The cost was about 1190 Yen for adults. Children pays 1/2 price, while children younger than 5 is free. Total trip time was about 1.5 hours ( including the time to buy ticket, time to ask the officer which line to go and time to get familiarized with the situation.

We went to Takashimaya building. On the same building, they have Tokyu Hands and Yuzawaya. We went to Tokyu Hands first but then decided to go to Yuzawaya. It's comparable to "JoAnn" but it stacks up about 5 floors up. I looked for paper... washi paper to be exact.

My jaw dropped to see rows and rows of papers. You could easily mistaken it for fabrics.
I spent about 1.5 hours there, looking for fabrics, paper, rubber stamps... if only I have more time.
Then, I went in line to pay. They have line A and B. Lucky for me, Ami, our friend's daughter helped read the Japanese word. Line A if you need some cuttings while B, you just pay. So, I went to line B.

We had beef bowls for lunch, in a small store kind of across Takashimaya building. It's yummy and cheap. Only about $3 a bowl.

We have to catch 5 pm flight, so we decided to head back at around 2:30 pm. We arrived at 4 pm at Narita and we have enough time to go through the custom, board and sit in the plane.

I think it was the best 9 hours in Japan for me...