Thursday, January 31

All wrapped up!

The Valentine's Day party I was working on these past few weeks {yes, you read well, it takes me several weeks to prepare a styling session} has been styled, shot and my guest post submitted. I am so happy with the end result, it turned out great.

I can't wait to share it with you all on Beautiful Revelry's blog on Monday, February 4 at 12pm (Singapore time). I will make sure to remind it to you!

On another note, due to this styling project, I haven't been able to prepare {Part 2} of my series on The Philippines. I will definitely work on it this weekend and provide you with some pleasant reading...

Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, January 28

Tagaytay & Manila, The Philippines {Part 1}

Hello everyone, 

I am glad to be back home after a three-week break and a wonderful holiday in the birth country of my Mr., The Philippines. It was a first for the kids & I and we had a lot to discover not mentioning many members of the family to meet up with.

We came back two weeks ago and it took me that long to get everyone back in the routine in freezing cold Tokyo. We even got a "warm" welcome by the way of a snow storm the day of our arrival at Narita. Talk about a shock!

I will share my most interesting photos in three successive posts with Part 1 being dedicated to our day trip to Tagaytay, snap shots of the country side and suburban Manila.

My Mr. took me on a surprise day trip to Lake Tagaytay followed by a two-night stay in a gorgeous hotel in Makati Manila - no kids in sight and loads of shopping involved, bliss!

The city of Tagaytay is located in the Cavite province at only 55km of Manila, but it took us a good two hours to reach it on a Friday morning due to the heavy traffic... It's a popular tourist destination as well as it overlooks Lake Taal and iconic Taal Volcano in Batangas province. Truly breathtaking views! 

We didn't get a chance to go down and close to the lake, but I would recommend you to spend at least two days in Tagaytay to explore the area. We had lunch in the lush surrounding of world acclaimed Antonio's restaurant - I will post a review in {Part 2} of this series on The Philippines. It was delicious!

 Stunning view of Taal volcano and lake from a road side food joint...

I loved the abundance of green in the country side. The houses are also colorful with great schemes and color association I wouldn't even dream of. But it all works out so nicely!
Obviously pineapple was in season as they were plenty to buy from simple stalls by the side of the road and in town in the "fruit shops"... they were literally piling up!

Beautiful Tagaytay...

The same day we went to Tagaytay, we were back in the business district of Manila, called Makati. One of my favorite area in this bustling and congested city,  traffic was fluid and everything looked much cleaner than the rest of Manila. Also a probably much safer place for tourists as well...

We attempted a visit of Intramuros, the oldest and historical district of the capital which had been built by the Spaniard back in the16th century then destroyed in 1945 during the battle of Manila. Although efforts to build it back to its former state are being made, I felt it was of very little interest (I was super disappointed). To my surprise, it's also probably the only part of the city with very few places where to eat. To top it all we got caught in a tropical rain shower while wandering in the streets... it totally ruined our excursion!

top left: Barangay Community Hall in Intramuros; 
top right and bottom: Jeepneys, the most popular mode of public transportation 

On New Year we visited an area of Manila where my husband has many memories and where many members of the family are still living in up to now. It was fantastic to finally meet them and our kids - especially our daughter, was in heaven to discover that she had so many cousins! 

I want to wrap up this first post and emphasize about the fantastic faith I have witnessed in The Philippines. Catholicism is the predominant religion and is pretty much part of the everyday life - as it used to be for my grand-mother's generation. You can see a lot of  images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary by the door/ gate of houses, and there are a lot of churches all over the country (even in the middle of shopping mall such as Greenbelt!). 

from left to right: 
a church in Mandaluyong, life in a street of Intramuros, 
a painting of the Virgin Mary in a religious shop.

I had been looking for a Nativity set (old style) for a few years now, and bingo! I found my dream set in a religious shop in Makati. Photos to be featured... next Christmas!

Stay tuned as I will continue posting about our trip to The Philippines this week, I will have two more posts coming up. Have a great week, friends!

Sunday, January 27

Currently working on... {Party Styling}

I had mentioned last year an upcoming collaboration with Ann of Beautiful Revelry, which started with the styling of a Christmas Party {here and here} and will continue every month for the entire year.

It's no surprise to announce that I am currently working on a Valentine's day table styling... hoping to surprise you! Sneak peek...

Paper straws & favor bag available on Beautiful Revelry {here and here};
Paper, succulents & wooden letters from Tokyu Hands; 
Glass jars from Today's special;
Cotton doily handmade by my grand-ma :-)

Are you celebrating Valentine's Day?

Friday, January 18

Maison & Objet Paris Fair starts today!

A quick reminder that Maison & Objet Paris Fair is starting today until January 22, 2013 and that I am participating for the very first time!

Discover my collection of Mini-Me dolls and my new plush line called "The Sheep" launching today. If you plan to visit the fair, make sure you drop by stall C92 in Hall 1. You will be pleased to discover the collection of Kinses, by my friend Rosy Sambwa who is also representing Etincelle Creative STUDIO

Least to say, I am very excited to hear how it goes, I wish I could be there myself!

PS: I am working on my post about our trip to The Philippines, stay tuned!

Cook 'N Sew Workshop in Tokyo

Hello everyone!

I am happy to be back to my blog, my desk and my many projects for 2013. Time to get working! And we are starting the year with one very exciting workshop, the first one to be held in Tokyo!

I am teaming up with Ruth Tan of The Little Happy Shop in Singapore to bring you an interesting experience this coming February 7: Ruth will teach you to cook a delicious Peranakan dish called babi pongteh and you will sew your very own tote bag using traditional batik fabrics.

The entire workshop will highlight the rich Peranakan culture and its traditions. According to Wikipedia, Peranakan Chinese is a term used "for the descendants of late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to the Indonesian archipelago of Nusantara during the Colonial era."

Singapore is still home to a small Peranakan community and there is a wonderful museum presenting to the public a very comprehensive story of the community and its tradition such as the gorgeous wedding ceremony - if you ever visit Singapore, make sure you check it out {link}.

With this workshop, we wish to share with you a tiny bit of the Peranakan culture in a friendly environment. The workshop will take place in my own home, and we will have lunch together once the workshop is over. We will of course taste the babi pongteh that has been cooking while you are sewing!

Here below are all the necessary details, including the workshop fee. Once your registration has been confirmed I will email you my address and look forward to meet up with you!


About Ruth TAN of The Little Happy Shop:

Before life as the Happyshop-keeper, Ruth was a research analyst, then a high-school teacher. Born, bred and lived all her life in sunny Singapore, Ruth now runs The Little Happyshop, a little retail gift-store situated at Holland Village. In 2011, she started Crafty Workshops in collaboration with skilled crafters, on a quest to teach craft to the everyday man. A mother of two, she inherits the love for cooking, eating and crafting from her half-Peranakan grandma and Hakka mother. 

The Little Happy Shop:


Date: Thursday 07 FEB 2013
Time: 9:30AM - 12:30PM
Venue: Private home / Tamagawa-Denenchofu/ Tokyo
Fee: 3,800yen (lunch included)

Take a peek into the wonderful and rich Peranakan Culture by attending this three-hour sewing & cooking workshop held in the privacy of my own home.

Cook lunch with us: learn the tips to making the special bean paste from basic ingredients for babi pongteh, Peranakan style stewed pork that is moist, tender and delicious, perfect with a hot bowl of rice. Then decorate a plain tote bag in Peranakan bride-inspired batik style. You will learn a mish-mash of fun beginner's craft essentials, including the all-purpose backstitch, creating a bag lining, iron-on hemming.

Designed for beginners, this sewing project is however open to anyone as you will be free to customize your bag according to your sewing skills.

At the end of the workshop, we will all enjoy lunch and taste the babi ponteh dish that will have been slowly cooking... Yum!


Skills learnt:
+ no-sew tricks & techniques (iron-on hemming)
+ all-purpose backstitch 
+ creating a bag lining 

All materials and equipment will be provided for this workshop.


SIGN UP NOW ! Limited slots available!!

If you are interested, please take the following steps:
1. Email your name and phone number to 
2. We will email you back with payments instruction: by cash, bank transfer or Paypal.

- Your booking will only be completed after payment has been confirmed. 
- We will not refund last minute cancellation. Sign-ups are transferrable as long as announced at least three days before the workshop (name, email & hp number of new participant must be communicated to us).

Please make all your workshop enquiries to OR contact Marie at 080.4888.1980 


So are you up to the challenge? will you join us in February?

Friday, January 4

Happy New Year!

Photo taken for our look book for Maison & Objet in Paris in January...

We wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 and hope for exciting projects ahead of us, fruitful collaborations, more travels and loads of fun!

Instead of making a list with our New Year's resolutions, I thought it may be wiser to think about my vision for Etincelle Creative STUDIO and how to bring you more awesome styling, pretty dolls and share with you all everything about Japan. Time flies, so make the most of everyday!

I am currently among all the photos I am taking of our trip in Philippines and hope to share some with you in the coming days... Have a good weekend!


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