Whilst in Shanghai, I spent a day with Sheena and a day with Grace. If you read my blog post about it, you’ll know that with Grace I spent the day at 田子坊, a place with a bunch of boutique shops, and within this enclave we found a shop where we could make our own customised music boxes. I’m kicking myself for not remembering the name of the shop so that you could check it out for yourself if you wanted to make your own music box, as it probably won’t be very easy to find, even if you are already within 田子坊; the storefront looked like any of the other shops, and you don’t know until you go inside that there’s a small loft, upon which there is a sort of studio where you can make your own music box.
Normally, I don’t do this sort of thing. I don’t really do arts and crafts anymore. And I don’t do things where you pay per piece, i.e. dim sum, hot pot, customised music boxes, unless I’m with family because they can pay for all the little pieces that will ultimately add up to a big sum hehe. But I was with Grace in Shanghai for only a day, so why not be a little adventurous? Also, I eyed some Studio Ghibli themed pieces that were seriously tempting me.
(For the record, our music box ended up costing 300RMB (or ~45USD), and we split that between the two of us. As for the music box itself, it’ll be easy for Grace and I to share because we live in the same apartment building. I took the music box home from Shanghai because I was the guest in Shanghai, and I am keeping the music box for the summer; Grace is keeping it for fall semester, and when she graduates early at the end of the semester, I’ll keep it for the spring semester until I graduate and I guess for the rest of my life too?? So really, it was a gift from Grace to me :’))
First, we chose the music box. We settled on the main theme from the Laputa: Castle in the Sky soundtrack. You can also search up the music box version on Youtube!
Second, we chose the size of our base. We settled on medium.
Third, we chose the pieces to place atop our base. The majority of the pieces Grace and I chose were Studio Ghibli themed, but the shop also had several other non-Studio-Ghibli themed pieces (they also had non-Studio-Ghibli options for the music boxes) (but why choose non-Studio-Ghibli when you can choose Studio Ghibli??).
Fourth, we arranged our pieces atop our base before hot gluing them in place. You can see Grace holding the pieces together in the photos above, pre-hot-glue.
Finally, we chose the type of grass we wanted and hot glued that in place. We had the dude at the shop do the gluing for this part for us (that’s him pictured above).
Main piece 1: No Face (Grace’s choice). I love this little corner with No Face knitting by a streetlamp with soot sprites at his side. I think the pops of red from the scarf he’s knitting and from the mushroom on the ground work well against the green that dominates the music box.
Main piece 2: Totoro (my choice). I didn’t want to go for something as obvious as Totoro, but the shop didn’t have any Princess Mononoke themed pieces, which is my favourite Studio Ghibli film. San is a badass and could have made an awesome main piece I think. And the kodama tree spirits would have been perfect to place around the music box. But Totoro is still good.
Main piece 3: random antique shop. I could say that it’s the antique shop from Whisper of the Heart even though it isn’t. Nevertheless, I think the shop works well to create a scene and bring all the little pieces together.
Gag pieces: smiling frog, Starbucks green tea frappuccino. I can’t decide whether the frog is cute or ugly. Whatever the case, we couldn’t pass it up; we had to honour our friend Ami with this frog, her favourite animal, and the green fit well with our music box anyway. As for the Starbucks green tea frappuccino… omg this makes me laugh so hard. Grace and I are both obsessed with Starbucks’ green tea latte and green tea frappuccino; I order a green tea latte 75% of the time. We saw the frapp piece in the shop and thought it was totally ridiculous and we had to include it. I think it’s really funny how we put it on the log, as if on a pedestal. The placement of the frapp in relation to the rest of the pieces works well too; it’s on the edge of the music box, so as not to distract, but rather to serve as a side of comedic relief, and also it’s placed as if it were No Face’s beverage LOL, ya know, for when knitting gets too tiring and he needs a little refreshment.
So what do you think?? ヾ(･ω･｡)ゝ*･.｡ I love it so much :’) You sure won’t find another music box like this, that’s for certain!
What’s your favourite Studio Ghibli film?