Friday, September 28

Something old and something new...

I love scouring antique shops in France, especially in the area where I grew up. Flea markets in Paris are so famous worldwide that prices sky-rocket. However, in the country side, you can find little treasures for a few euros only. Such as this very old plate that was used as a wall display...

The flower brooch in the photo above is one of the latest addition. I have used bigger and flat sequins, which reflect the sunlight. A lovely accessory for fall to my opinion...

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 27

Sweet Gift Thursday... // Petit Cadeau du Jeudi...

Now here is an elegant iPhone case that I would happily welcome in my handbag... Made of leather {durable}, colorful and fun = ADOPTED*!

iPhone 5 leather case by tovicorrie on Etsy - US$40 only

* that's when I realize I don't own an iPhone 5!

Wednesday, September 26

Shibaura House {Tokyo} and MT tapes

I have just tweeted today that I believe Japanese people are so creative in their daily life that you have to be SUPER creative to impress them... Coming to my mind to illustrate this is the animation below realized by dokugyunyu for MT tapes at the Shibaura House in Tokyo. It's amazing and fun and I thought I would like to share it with you all today.

found via Omiyage's post {here}

For behind the scene photos of the installation, please check Hello Sandwich blog post {here}*. 

* You might have seen this before as it's not very recent. I still wanted to share it with you!

Poppytalk Handmade Market_September 2012

If you haven't already, you should check out the latest Poppytalk Handmade Market! I have subscribed to their newsletter which is the easiest way for me to keep up to date when a new market launches. I might join it in the coming months, on time to prepare for Christmas - I can't believe it's already this time of the year again...

Check out the entire market {here} as there are many other sellers and loads of gorgeous designs to enjoy! If you are interested in joining a future edition, check all details {here}.

Tuesday, September 25

NEW :: Blue Flower Brooch

Let me quickly introduce you to the latest of my sparkly brooches

I am not the best at describing my own creations - which makes me think I should perhaps seek for some help for my Etsy listing descriptions {hello!}. The flower has been entirely hand-embroidered with royal blue and cyan colored sequins and lovely silver, gold and brown beads for the leaves. The brooch comes in a peach organza pouch and is ready to be shipped!

What a lovely duo! Available here and here.

I am updating my Etsy shop several times per week, keep checking out for new goodies! You can also sign up for our newsletter, which is sent no more than once a month:

Have a splendid week!

Monday, September 24

Masking tapes, Masking tapes... {Exhibition & Craft}

I have overlooked sharing with you all an exciting event that will take place in Singapore in November. The Little Happy Shop, MT tapes and The National Library present: the first ever MT tapes Exhibition and Craft event held in Singapore. From November 24 till December 2 you will be able to enjoy various craft sessions with ]experts Ann Thomas and Vanessa Kong {don't forget to sign up first!}, learn the history behind the MT masking tapes, enroll your kids in MT tapes craft competitions and more!

I am also very proud to be part of the panel of artists and designers invited to showcase their own unique creations using MT tapes. Will you guess what I am working on right now?
I only hope to be able to travel to Singapore to attend this event, don't forget to save the date and enroll to the craft sessions...

:: And while we are talking about masking tapes...

Save the date for the upcoming Shinzi Katoh Masking Tape Party, also organized by The Little Happy Shop, that will take place at The Daily Scoop in Chip Bee Gardens on October 20, 2012 from 10:00 till 11:30am. 

Come enjoy two crafts led by Ann Thomas of Beautiful Revelry & Vanessa Wong and mingle with other like-minded people for a morning of fun. Goodies await registered participants! 
Get all the information regarding cost and timing and sign up here.

Are masking tapes part of your daily life? 

Sunday, September 23

Introducing the Etsy Japan team...

Hello everyone,

I had no time left to blog last week, and believe me subjects for blogposts are certainly not missing! I have recently joined the Etsy Japan Team and I thought it would really nice to introduce you to some of my already favorite sellers. The team counts 658 members - at time of writing, and everyone living in Japan or with an interest in Japan can join {I know many of you who will be pleased to consider this option}.

So here below are my picks for this week:

A studio based in Tokyo founded by creative collaborators Stephen from CA and Yu Ito from Yokohama. All of their creations are unique, one-of-a-kind pieces made of either wood, paper or ceramics. The duo has already been published on numerous blogs such as Design Sponge, Mocoloco or Grass Roots Modern.

©Photos via Tokyo Craft Studios

Check out their iPhone stand as well, I love its very sleek design and its packaging. I have got to get a pair soon!

Frumafar on Etsy was set up by Mariko to introduce to everyone her's and her friends original custom fabrics. The three textile designers have all worked in NYC, USA before returning home in Japan and continuing their careers. Their textile designs are delicate, fresh and unique and printed on organic cotton, premium quilting weight cotton or linen canvas fabrics. 

©Photos via Frumafar

Hum With Me is the little creative corner of June, a Law/ Fashion Design/ Economics graduate who currently lives in Berlin with her cat, Onion, and her dog, Milo. She draws her inspiration from the Japanese way of life, childhood's daydreams, pastel colors and simple lines. 

©Photos via Hum With Me

Yuki, a mother of one based in Saitama, Japan, is a craft addict for all things related to yarn. She used to have an Etsy shop named the Barefoot Shepherdess where she was selling hand-dyed fibers, yarns and threads. Now she's focusing on embroidery and creates lovely wall art pieces, pincushions, wristwarmers etc... Here below are my favorite picks in her shop; the wall art piece would make an adorable nursery decor.

©Photos via From My Atelier

And cerise sur le gâteau, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that my good friend Sandy from The Cookie Cutter in Singapore was part of the team! At the same time, look at her items below and tell me: don't they truly look Japanese?

Sandy creates plushes, paper goods and lifestyle products that celebrate childlike innocence and unrestrained imagination. Happily quirky!

©All photos by Sandy of The Cookie Cutter

I hope you enjoyed this post as much I enjoyed writing it on this rainy day. We've had an absolutely wonderful month of September so far, very little rain and tons of sun. It seems though as if the weather is catching up today: it's been raining non-stop since last night and we are stuck at home!

Have a lovely day wherever you are in the world!

Thursday, September 13

Flowers make the perfect gift... {Brooches}

During the first month of my two-month break in France I managed to embroider a couple of flowers to make brooches. As you may know by now, this is an activity I enjoy very much, it brings peace to my mind and heart. I let my mind wander and allow myself to dream. I very rarely work with music or any kind of background noise. I prefer the silence and sitting by a window with a lovely view.

This brooch was created while being in the French country side and I enjoyed every bit of the creative process. The handmade doily was given to me by my Grand-Ma, and although this one wasn't made by herself, I will make sure to always keep it with me.

I hope you are having a lovely day... Mine has been wonderful so far, I am making a lot of new friends here in Japan and some are sharing my creative pursuits which makes me very happy ♡

Tuesday, September 11

A boy nursery {Styling}

I have been talking about the inspiration board for a little boy's nursery for a while, and I can now show it to you. I thought it would be fun to see where we started {board #1 below} and where we ends {board #3}. 

My client proposed the koala wall decal and the koala name print and she wanted blue and grey colors to be dominant. She also found out about the lovely cloud paper mobile {DIY instruction here} which I will make myself.

Board #1

At first I decided to introduce the Kartell Componibili set of drawers {I am a big fan of this multipurpose piece of furniture} in white, then saw the silver one and finally opted for the red one -since our color scheme is very much in the neutral tones it will bring some color to the room. The "Little Prince" banner will be custom made in blue/ grey with red letters.

Board #2

The cloud shelf, absolutely lovely, would not stand out much on white walls, which is the reason why it didn't get selected. I really like the cloud mobile by Baby Jives too, don't you?

Board #3

I must add that the little light by Trousselier is one lovely find of my client. In Singapore you can find a selection of designs at The Better Toy Store

As you know I have designed nursery inspiration boards in the past for fun and for blogging purposes {see them here}, but this was my first "real" job. I won't be the one doing the set up - except if I have a chance to be in Singapore towards the end of the year {why not?} and I wish I could do it. It's probably the most enjoyable part of the job, seeing your vision coming to life...

So which item are you falling for in all of these boards? 

Monday, September 10

On our getaway to Izu peninsula {Japan}...

Hello you,

This blog might become a bit more travel oriented as we continue our discovery of mysterious and beautiful Japan. I want to bring you a bit off the tourist track, and I am sure that's what you expect me to do anyway...

The beach of Iwachi with splendid clear water and nice sand

Well, our trip to Izu peninsula this past weekend didn't disappoint. We were staying in a very small fishermen village called Iwachi, in a "Japanese style" pension called Kaikohen. The owners are a former fisherman and his wife. Their English was very limited but we managed to understand each other, they were so lovely!

Kaikohen pension and its owner Saito-san 

We arrived on Saturday at noon and since check in wasn't before 3pm, we went to the beach first thing! The water was nice, extremely clear {bring your snorkling gear!} and without waves. It was quite like being in a pool and the kids absolutely loved it.

The kids enjoying the water on Sunday morning

The pension is located right in front of the beach and it offers dinner and breakfast {included in the price}. It's very children friendly, you sleep on futon and share toilets and bathroom {the bathroom is big, Japanese style, and includes a bathtub with hot springs which is AMAZING}. There is also an onsen {Japanese term for hot springs} build up the hill behind the house and nested in the forest with a gorgeous view on the beach.

A peak at our stay through this mosaic of pics...

Some details with regards to the photos above: dinner and breakfast are included in the price of your room. There is no menu and you must eat what is served to you... For dinner {served at 6pm} we had sashimi {no photo, sorry!} with a set including vegetable and fish tempura, a fresh shell, rice, miso soup and some more veggies. Kids had something similar, not including the shell though. 
Breakfast is served at 8am and includes sausages and omelette, rice, miso soup, veggies, seaweed and fried fish: delish! You sleep on futons which are quite comfortable, however I had a hard time with the pillows {too small for me!}.

Stunning views of Mont Fuji from the eastern coast of Izu peninsula

We left Iwachi on Sunday morning at around 11am as we wanted to explore the peninsula further. We went done south and by lunch time we had reached a lovely place called Yumigahama beach {Minato city}. We set on a small restaurant opposite the beach {photo below} and it was damn good food! I had a bowl of rice with sliced seafood and some tempura and the Mr had a seafood ramen that tasted great. We also ordered some sashimi, amazing! {Budget about 5,000yen for this meal}

Recommended: a small restaurant in front of Yumigahama beach where to eat great seafood!

As we were getting slightly worried at how much traffic we would get on the way back to Tokyo, we drove back from Shimoda directly to Izu City instead of taking the road that follows the coast... And we  were so right! Izu is only about 200km from Tokyo, but we weren't back home before 8pm due to traffic. Something to keep in mind for our next trip!

I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed my weekend with my family. Izu would be a lovely place to travel to on a long weekend from Tokyo, and if you like diving. I have read that they have lovely diving spots down there!

Friday, September 7

About Colors, Flowers and Ile de Ré

For the first time this summer I had the chance to spend 10 days on the gorgeous and trendy Ile de Ré in western France. Think of white sand beaches, beautiful villages, stunning sunsets and of course the most gorgeous and freshest food. You can conveniently ride your bike all over the island too, which certainly adds to the charm of this Parisian favorite get-away.

How flowers influence my work - here an embroidered flower brooch

I am always looking at the flowers in places where I go and it was no exception this time again. Ile de Ré is home to many rose trémières flowers with delightful shades. They are part of the island's identity, and enhance the otherwise neutral colors of the houses.

View from the Phare des Baleines and a lovely door

One of my sequins & beads box next to a pink rose trémière on a warm yellow wall

I am a little bit sad for not taking more pictures, but maybe the reason is that I was busy riding my bike most days. It's something I had missed in the past four years while living in Singapore - the heat there is unbearable. Luckily in Japan it's a way of life and nearly everyone owns a bike! I have got a brand new one two weeks ago and use it conveniently every day to bring and pick up my son to/ from pre-school.

I am loving my new routine now, how about you? 
Have you ever changed something in your routine that made you a happier person?

** By the way, this weekend we are off to the Izu peninsula for a short and much needed family break. The kids are looking forward to spending some quality time with their father and so do I! 

Sotoura beach in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Photo by Ippei and Janine Naoi - all rights reserved

It looks lovely, doesn't it? I shall be sharing my photos with you all next week, have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 4

Douce France...


I am back in Tokyo and I think it's about time to wrap up my two month break in France and get back to some serious blogging over here... But first, have you missed me much?
I certainly did miss blogging {read your comments} and interact daily on T. or I. but I have to admit that I had a great time in France and that it allowed me to relax and put things into perspective.

The place we call home in Tokyo {more photos in this post}

As great as it is to have moved to Tokyo {I am thrilled!}, it involved some serious changes for me and I felt a bit lost at first. There are some adjustments to be made with my activities as I won't be able to cover it all. But I am starting to like my new routine which involves more sport and more time with my kiddies... Gosh, how tired I get in the night though!!

But I am digressing, I am pretty sure you would like to see some pics of my holidays in France by now! So here we go:

Doesn't it look lovely? France is such a lovely, laid-back place to live in. And the food, oh my... it's the best of all!

I shall now resume my regular {almost} daily postings on the blog. I will of course share as much as possible about life in Tokyo & Japan, projects I am working on and pretty little things to make your life easier and/ or brighter.

Look forward to the inspiration board of a baby boy nursery {project almost completed}, photos of new dolls/ embroidered brooches, an upcoming trip report to the Izu peninsula in Japan and something exciting including masking tapes!

What have you been up to in the past two months? Looking forward to reading your comments!

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