Tuesday, November 30, 2010


kyoto is the fall is one of the top destinations in all of japan. this is because of the brilliant fall foliage of the momiji, or japanese maple. people go 'momiji gari' which basically means 'leaf hunting.' last night i visited Hogon-in Temple, which is a sub-temple of Tenryu-ji in Arashiyama, which was lit up for the occasion. there were also many yummy wintery street snacks that were enjoyed!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


although I am in japan, somehow I managed to have 2 thanksgivings, which was great. full of new experiences, like cooking duck, and trying fried okra, and lemon sponge pie. I still have some leftover cranberry sauce.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


last month i brought some of my friend's sourdough starter back to japan, and since then, i've been obsessed with baking sourdough bread.

i am still learning for sure, and each loaf comes out very different. but this one from yesterday is the most pretty so far.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

japanese cross stitch embroidery kits

i am super excited to let you know about these cross stitch zakka kits from clover that are in the shop!
they are beautiful kits with high quality and perfectly selected materials.
flickr set here


here's some new apple fabrics that I've had my eye on for a while, and are finally in the shop!
I love the cute print of apples and polka dots (and even a few ladybugs and friendly worms!) on a lonely Japanese linen/cotton blend. but I think I may love the large pears and apple cotton print from kokka (trefle line) even more. maybe because the pattern is so big, or the green is my favorite color. but mainly because I'm a sucker for the section view (thank you architecture school).

I'm off to Korea for a class trip for the next few days. I may not have internet, but I'll keep my eyes open for Korean crafty goodness.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

sneak peek: new lego and paper sets from muji

here's just a glimpse of the fabulous new designs added to muji's lego and paper sets this year. this is the ocean set,
the circus set,
and the zoo animals set.

i'll post a complete round up in the next week or so, but here's just a peek, and there's a flickr set here.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

setouchi art festival part II

here are a few of my favorites from the setouchi art festival. the first 2 are from the island of ogijima. this one is about water, and one of several scattered site installations.

i really enjoyed this approach; wondering around the small pathways and coming across separate parts of the same work was a great experience. this is one part of the work 'rainly lane' by kyoko taniyama
this is a photo from the above website; i didn't actually see it when it was 'raining'.
the main part of the work is here, where at certain times, water is released from the pipes above, through the assortment of vessels, and only these tiles that are on the ground.
the tiles have statements of the islands' residents comments about water printed on them (in japanese and english).

the onba factory was my other favorite work from ogijima. 'onba' is a local word for stroller/baby carraige, and the elderly residents of this hilly island use small carts to carry things around. the onba factory is a cooperative activity of 5 regional artists, and includes a workspace (they take turns using it) and a cafe with an amazing veiw of the ocean. i may have forgotten to take a photo of the view since i was enjoying some really superb coffee.
it's a little hard to see in the photo, but these are photos of the local residents--with their onbas remade by the onba factory!
each one is totally unique.
i also loved these new wooden onbas for kids-ladybug (wings lift for copious storage) and fly.
these caterpiller mechanisms work when pushed, so it's like a huge bike chain making an inchworm motion.
check out the buggy logo.
seirensho is a stunning site on inushima. a former copper refinery has become an architectural installion and exhibit space. it joins the other museums on naoshima (and now teshima) islands as part of the benesse art site.

it's a beautiful use and modification of an old industrial space, with very thoughful additions of a new building, which incorporates passive heating and cooling in a completely elegant way. it remains open as a museum even after the end of the festival.

finally 'les archives du coeur' by christian boltanski, the official description is here. this is one project that i definitely wanted not to miss! this also will remain as a long term installation. this building is like a small musuem, with exterial walls of charred cedar, a tradition esthetic in the area.
the project is an archive of heartbeats; the main intallation space is a dark room, with mirrors on the walls, and one bare lightbulb. the sounds of one heartbeat (which changes) is played at a greatly amplified volumn, and the light bulb flickers along with the heartbeat.

it's very cleanly curated, with the idea of this being an archive carried throughout, including the white lab coats of all the staff. including the uniform raincoat of this woman who was in charge of organizing the outdoor waiting line. the archive part of the installation is that there are 2 sound recording studios where you can record the sound of your own heartbeat and purchase it on CD; your heartbeat is thereby added to the archive.

there's also a listening station, where you can hear heartbeats from the archive, in this little room with the window (above).
this is the view from the listing room. it's a lovely site, intentionally remote.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

setouchi art festival part I

here are just a few of the installations from the setouchi art festival.i liked these fish scuptures--they move!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

cute felt wool zakka book

this wonderful new book is full of teeny tiny needle felted adorableness. not only are the projects super cute, they are also unique--for example: jam jars, a watering can, iron, sewing machine and dressmaker's dummy.
these projects are super small and perfect for beginning needlefelters.
full flickr set here, and the book is in the shop!

setouchi preview

last weekend i went to the setouchi art festival, in the seto inland sea of japan. the islands were wonderful.
i have started flickr set, and will be adding more photos of the artwork this week.
the water was beautiful.