Saturday, June 30

A beautiful day...

Where can this be, you might wonder? it's the Lac of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, about an hour and a half from where my parents live. We spent a day there last Wednesday with a gorgeous sun above our heads and this amazing view. I could live here, how about you?

Monday, June 25

Circus, Crochet and Dolls

How is everyone doing? 

Today is a rainy day which is perfect to complete a couple of projects at home and start new ones too. Here below are a few pics of what happened over the weekend. You don't want to know about it all, I have selected the best bites of course!

1. I am currently working on new dolls and new bags. Will I have the time to work as much as I planned? It doesn't look like it...

2. We went to a circus last Friday. I hadn't been for ages although I love it. It was fantastic of course. Have you ever been to a circus? what is your favorite performance?

3. One of my Grand-Ma will soon turn 100 years old. Amazing when you think about it. She's been through so many things, I just hope I can look as good at her age. This is the house where she's  currently living. It's nearby, located in the mountains and on the Swiss border. We paid her a visit last Saturday, she likes to play dominos and talk about the past.

4. I am planning to {finally} learn crochet with my other Grand-Ma {96 year old in August and still going strong}. My mum offered me this book - for beginners with easy yet tastefully curated projects.
More on that later on I hope...

Have a lovely week!

Thursday, June 21

Summer light

If there is something I really miss from Europe, apart from the food of course, it's the long evening in summer. There is something special about having sunlight until 10pm and spend long hours chatting with friends and/ or neighbors. You just don't feel like spending time in front of your laptop anymore...

I captured the pictures below with my iPhone last night at 8pm, the light was stunning. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20

Today's Task

Corners of my Room {France}

I am very pleased today to introduce you some pictures of my "room" at my parents place in France. I don't personally own the furnitures - except for the mannequin which dates from my years at a fashion school. It reflects very well my style though and I am always happy to come back...

Wooden floors, white walls and ceiling

The house was built by an ancestor back in 1825 and used to be a farm. As far as I know it has always been occupied by my family, except perhaps during World War II when there were German soldiers for a short while. I grew up in this tiny village of France and spent my first 18 years here...

Mannequin dressed up in Emilio Pucci (ties, bags, scarfs); 
green hat from Argentina, other hat from Venice (Italy).
The pearl necklace is my own design.

I am sure that you wonder now why I would dress up my mannequin in Emilio Pucci... Well I used to do an internship in Florence (Italy) at their headquarter and I received a lot (!) of samples and other fabric scraps which I haven't touched ever since. What would you do with them?

I love this commode which beautifully refurbished by my mum {as most of the wooden furnitures}
The mirror is also a gorgeous piece, don't you think?

I might not own the furnitures, but I certainly own the content of them all! Think of fabrics, craft supplies, papers, books and magazines... I am currently checking it all out and operating an urgent "cleaning".

Tiny boxes collected from my travels, or offered by my sisters

My bric-a-brac: I have kept quite a lot of little things here over the years as I have moved so often. Most of my nice books are here too: it's all about fashion, jewelry, sewing or crafts. I will show you my favorites later on...

Do you know this lovely pendant light from HABITAT, designed by Dutch designer Tord Boontje? It's a very famous one and I am sure you stumbled upon it somehow on the web - I have included the link so that you can have a look at it, it's lovely.

I made a bedside table of some of my books. 
Not sure yet if I will keep it this way though. Your opinion?

Look a bit at the wardrobe! I am not very sure when it was built, but it's massive and old. Not super practical to hang up clothes, but no one would complain...?
I brought the rug from my solo trip to Morocco in 1999, the yukata {Japanese summer kimono} is obviously from my previous time in Japan.

The white embroidered pillow on the bed was 
the handmade ring pillow at my wedding

I am looking for something to hang over the bed, not sure what just yet. If you think of something that you have seen and could work out here in this room, please let me know! 

This room represents very well what I like: warm hues, floral prints, wooden floors and white walls, light and some kind of ethnic touch. It's not always easy to reproduce this style in the different places that we call have called home in the past few years, but I am trying my best and currently work on our Japan home...

Stay tuned of course!


Monday, June 18

My little paradise

I have arrived in France yesterday afternoon after a rather exhausting trip! We live in the western suburb of Tokyo - at about 70 to 80km from Narita airport where I had to catch my flight. We therefore decided to stay at a hotel nearby the airport the night before. It was the best idea ever as it took us nearly 5hrs to reach our hotel by train, what a journey!

Anyway it doesn't matter now as I am in a very peaceful and quiet place, the village where I grew up in France. And this is the view I enjoyed when I woke up this morning at 7am:

Not everyone's piece of paradise, but definitely mine!

I've got two windows in my bedroom, this is the other view...

I am staying in France for two months - which is quite unusual, and I am planning to continue on blogging and resuming my creative activities as soon as possible. I have brought materials from Tokyo and I will draw a schedule later on for the coming two months to make sure things will actually HAPPEN...

I will share pics of my room tomorrow... stay tuned and have a lovely week!

Friday, June 15

My Tokyo Diary {Week 6 and 7}

Woo, you are in for a long read today as I have decided to resume the past two weeks in one post! Yes, I didn't manage to write {Week 6} post last Friday as promised, and this week just flew by, it's mad {...}

So what have we done is the past two weeks? loads of course, but not always worth mentioning it here and there... so when you don't from hear me, it means I am at home with the kids...

{WEEK 6}
Last week we had my friend Shin over with his lovely wife Ai and their dog Wil. We went to a park located in Ota-Ku called Senzokuike and spent a couple of hours together having FUN. My kids love dogs and cats, too bad we can't have one.

 Shin is busy explaining to the kids what to do at the temple. Note that Wil is also listening ;-)

Last Friday we explored our neighborhood a bit further and went to Tamagawa park from our home. It was a lovely ride and the park was interesting. Too bad that the playground was infested with mosquitos and very average too...

On the way...

At Tamagawa Park

It was pouring rain all day long on Saturday, so we were stuck at home most of the day. When we couldn't take it anymore, we were braved, got our rubber boots and rain coats out and went to Shibuya, to the infamous Tokyu Hands. This shop is heaven on earth for everyone, I have never met someone not liking it. We stumbled upon a masking tape mini-workshop at level 2C and Chloe spent one hour decorating an envelop with Mts for 300¥. See what came out below:

Chloe's envelop decorated with MTs

It was too late to sit down and have coffee, but I can't wait to go back to the cafe on the top floor of Tokyu Hands. It was magical, a completely surreal atmosphere - at dawn. Lovely props all over, crazy stuff my dear! See more photos of the car itself{here}.

Ever since we moved in our new house, I have been in charge of the garbage, which is honestly a big headache at first. Japanese are probably the champion of recycling - and now I feel good about it, but it takes time and practice to master this art :-)

I must have some special relationship with my garbage bin now as it decided to pour its content all over my pair of Birkenstock las Sunday NIGHT. Oh shit!
Or was it just something between the bin and the birkens?

Shit that happens to me on Sunday night...

{Week 7}
I have been busy preparing for our upcoming trip to France/ Switzerland. We are leaving on Sunday morning for two months, and without the Mr. What a shame! I am a little bit anxious thinking I will be on my own with the two children for the 13++ hours journey to Europe. Wish me luck...

On Thursday we went to Omotesando, initially to buy some gifts, but the shop being closed, we wandered in the area: we had lunch at Dar Fatima {read my review here}, visited Omotesando Hills shopping mall and ended up the afternoon at Yoyogi Koen. Great afternoon with my kids*!

One entrance of Yoyogi Koen leading to the temple Meiji Jingu

My kids posing. They look cute, but not always... They are probably the noisiest kids in the neighbourhood!

There was an bonsai exhibition by the side of the Meiji Jingu temple. I am not posting all my pics*, but believe me it was beautiful!

We are flying on Sunday morning and I haven't finished packing and cleaning the house {big house = huge house cleaning task}, so I will end this post here and wish you all a wonderful weekend.
I can't believe I will be blogging from France in just two days!

* please follow my Instagram: @etincellestudio if you want to see all my pictures. I might not post much in the coming two months since I will be in France, but who knows, I might as well be able to keep up :-)

NB: This post has been written while drinking an awesome French wine dated 1995, so pardon my language ...

Thursday, June 14

Review :: Dar Fatima in Omotesando {Cafe}

Dar Fatima cafe, Tokyo

I have spent a wonderful day today in one of my favorite area in Tokyo... I used to hang out a lot {I really mean A LOT!} in my old days here in a small cafe-creperie called La Fee Delice in Cat street - a narrow lane off Omotesando. That's where I brought my children and we found out a sweet little cafe-shop with a very Moroccan vibe called Dar Fatima. Since lunch was around the corner, my {5-year-old} daughter suggested we should stop here for a short break...

What an excellent idea she had! the menu is very short and simple but completely suitable for my rather fussy kids. They have a drink menu, paninis for main and a few desserts {nothing very Moroccan actually}. I wouldn't say that the food was incredible, but the place was peaceful and there was plenty of space for the kids to play. I had their kefta panini and the kids shared a ham-cheese panini. They were served with chips, but I think a salad would have been more suitable. I ended my meal with an espresso, while Chloe and Mathias shared a cheese cake. Hmm, not the healthiest meal we agree...

The shop has plenty to offer however, including a huge selection of babouches {you know the traditional leather shoes}. And I really love their bags, rugs and key rings! As everyone would expect it, most items are sporting vibrant colors that will enhance any outfit/ home.

In short, Dar Fatima is a lovely place to stop by in the afternoon for a snack, a mint tea and some shopping!

DAR FATIMA :: Shop :: Facebook :: Twitter

Cat street, off Omotesando 
{in the corner of Chanel, and where is now Kiddy Land shop}

Friday, June 8

Party & Bake {Papermash}

The last party I planned was the Mermaid Party {as a party kit} in April, just before moving to Japan. I am not very sure when I will have another opportunity to plan a birthday party but I have recently found an online shop that is a little heaven on earth with a unique range of party goods and other delightful goodies. Did you know Papermash?

I love planning parties which allow for bright colors, and I love paper garlands. I even have a Pinterest board entirely dedicated to garlands. The ones above are just gorgeous, and I can picture them in a bedroom too. I might just order them to compliment my paper window decorations in our playroom...

The honeycombs tissue balls are a great alternative to the popular tissue flowers, which I have used a number of time {including at my own wedding}. Great as a ceiling decoration above a baby cot or kid's bed as well, such as this one.

I love banners that allow you to create your own words, and this kit might just fit the bill. You can use it as many time as you want too, so make sure you store it well once the party is done.

As anyone else, I use doilies to decorate my packaging or write short notes. I also use them when styling parties, but so far I have only used plain white ones easily found at the bakery store. Papermash has in store the prettiest doilies I have ever seen. They come in three different sizes and patterns, and they are a must for tea parties!

No pirate party for my daughter next year! I want something super girly, with paper straws and these floral cups! She said she would like to have a mermaid party after seeing the one I styled, but I am pretty sure that we can workout something, after all it's in a year or so!

Make sure you visit Papermash website as there is much more to discover, and let me know what is your favorite item! Any upcoming party? Summer is about to kick off in the Northern hemisphere, which means picnics, barbecues and so on...

I will make sure to have one more post for this week {My Tokyo diary column} before signing off, but I am already wishing you a HAPPY WEEKEND!

©All photographs by Papermash, used with permission

Tuesday, June 5

A new home in Tokyo

So here are a couple of pictures of our new home before we actually moved in. These pictures were taken while I visited it the very first time. I liked the volumes of the rooms, the laminated wooden floor, the green outdoor, the balconies, the quiet neighborhood and overall atmosphere. At this time, I am only wondering how warm we will feel in winter... it's been wonderful to live in a house with the children so far!

from top to bottom, left to right: front of the house, dining room, 
living room, outdoor, bedroom 4 {now an office room}, master bedroom, 
utility room {now my craft room}, view from the balcony

The house is much more spacious than our former apartment in Singapore. Which means some rooms such as living/ dining look a bit "empty". Some furniture shopping will be needed :-)
I also need to do something for the curtains, which look horrible... eeek!

You will have to be patient, as I will be away for quite sometime in the summer, there won't be any update on the decoration of the house before fall...

Until the next time :-)

PS: I have created this collage with Picmonkey, which I am not very familiar with yet. Are you using it?

My Tokyo Diary {Week 4 & 5}

It's been a while... A bit more than two weeks I think. And I have been really busy settling the whole family in our new home!! I promised to share pictures of the empty house in my last post, but didn't have time to write a post before actually moving IN. And then, no internet until yesterday... I thought it would be hard not to have access to the web, but in fact I was too busy for even think of blogging!

I will share some pics of the house {yes, a HOUSE!!} in a short while, but first let's go through the past two weeks - what we have done and seen.

Indulging {a bit too often during the first 4 weeks of our stay in Tokyo} in yet another cappuccino or hot cocoa from Starbucks... Luckily they are none where I am currently living!

The kids have been indulging in many Japanese snacks too ever since we arrived, they are so many available everywhere! Notice that my son urgently needs a haircut. I have no idea where to go and how much to spend for a kid's haircut {¥3,500 anyone?}, I will wait until we are in France...

Things you see in the middle of the afternoon in... Shibuya!!! This is one BIG reason why I LOVE Japan. You are free to dress up the way you want. How wonderful - and fun! It's very liberating...

This was the day we moved in our new home - May 25, 2012. Many boxes to unpack, many belongings to go through and sort out. At the time of writing this post it's all done, and I am so glad!

We are lucky to live in a walking distance to the wonderful neighborhood of Jiyugaoka. Shopping and food haven among other things... And there is this little stationery/ craft shop that I yet have to explore. It reminds me of beloved The Little Happy Shop in Singapore {hi Ruth!}.

Our own neighborhood is nice, green and very clean as anyone would expect in Japan. Every {week} day at 3pm, you can see the little girls coming back from schools in their cute uniforms. My daughter is particularly amazed by the fact that they walk/ commute back home all by themselves!

We have found a playground in a mini-park {called Horai park} not too far from home; not many children there at the time of our visit.... The park is lovely though, it's so relaxing to be among trees and nature.

Here is the front of the house. I love that it's very green with trees partly hiding it. No proper garden but enough outdoor space for the kids to unwind outside under minimum supervision. Unfortunately there are a lot of mosquitos around as well...

The facade is a bit bland, isn't it? I am wondering what could bring a lit bit of joy: perhaps flowers on the balcony, or pretty colorful curtains? Houses here always look very quiet and closed, but I like to open my windows and have a "living" home. Not sure if you see what I mean...

Last Sunday we were pleased to assist to the first matsuri {festival} of our neighborhood. People were carrying the mikoshi {behind my kids} around the streets in a very festive atmosphere. It's quite impressive!

I am less than two weeks away from yet another journey... I am bringing my children to Europe {France and Switzerland} to see my family. It will be a very long summer break this year, and I hope to get a lot of thinking and planning done while I am there and can get some help with the kids. I will continue blogging and sewing, so not too worry :-)

Have a lovely week everyone!

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