I looked everywhere for these little guys sometime in July without any success whatsoever, and I finally stumbled across them last month while cleaning out an old jewelry box. They're not really quite seasonal anymore (it not being the time of year where I live to drink cold bottled green tea - in fact, it was -7F with a wind chill of -27 when I took the Short One to his Mom's Morning Away class today, hoo-boy), but I thought, "What the heck." They're still cute, right?
These are little promotional trinkets - there's a specific word for this kind of giveaway, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is - found on, as I mentioned, bottled green tea. I believe the brand is Japanese, but I'm not completely sure, and I don't have a bottle handy to check - you can see a dog and cat holding little replica bottles in the photo.
My husband used to have to go to China periodically on business, and it happened that one of the factories with which he worked also made these cute little guys. H., who knows me all too well, brought back a handful as a gift. I think they were originally supposed to be little cell phone charms (they each came on their own short plastic strap), but I took one look at them and thought "ooooh, charm bracelet", of course. I think these have a lot of cachet for your friendly neighborhood otaku, since, in addition to plates of Western food, the dogs and cats are also holding steamed buns, mochi (red or white bean-filled pastry) and, of course, green tea bottles.
At any rate, I offer them up as a nice twist on the usual Cracker-Jack-toy-turned-found-object-charm. H. gave these to me a few years ago and, obviously, this particular promotion is no longer running. However, you never know when you might find a new one, so if you shop at a local Asian market anyway, you might want to check around for similar giveaways. Asian markets and even your local Japanese restaurant may also have vending machines that dispense these types of trinkets, or Hello Kitty or anime-branded trinkets, for a couple quarters (if you are lucky enough to live near a Mitsuwa market, for example, chances are one of the stores within has plenty of cute components for your jewelry making).
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.