Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Hello - this is a quick post to say that I will soon be leaving for hospital and coming back home in a week with a tiny little baby girl.
Sorry to those who are waiting for an e-mail reply from me but haven't got one yet.
Thanks for all the support!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


pointed hat
I finally got to make something. It's a pointed hat for the baby.
I hadn't knit for so long that I almost forgot how to...
The pattern is loosely based on the Gnomey Hat form helloyarn. I never really get to follow knitting patterns, because I always substitute the yarn with locally made stuff in a different gauge (in this case Munsell Merino 150 King, a bulky, 100% soft merino Yuzawaya brand yarn).
I got a bag of the yarn (10 skeins of 40g each), and planning to knit a cardigan with that. The plan is to combine the grey with the striping reddish yarn I used for the hat flower, but we'll see what comes of that!

Saturday, January 20, 2007


My life has been far from calm lately, with so many things to do before the big deadline. There’s only one more month and a bit until the baby is born and we still need to remodel and move to a new place (last minute find after months of searching), my mother is coming soon, and baby shopping lists still need to be filled and ticked.
While I have been slowly doing things on the crafty front, there’s not much I can show yet so I’ll just go on and list up a few strange things about me as prompted by the ongoing (is it still ongoing?) meme:

1. I am 30. Yes that is strange. I recently turned 30 despite the fact I had thought I was still 26 for quite a few years (“so what if that would make my younger brother older than me?”). But what with the big fuss, I don’t feel anything in particular about turning 30.

2. I live in Japan. That is another strange thing. I mean, figure-wise, I have spent one third of my life here. Not that I had planned it. It feels a bit funny – am I going to live here for the rest of my life?

3. My mother cannot sew on the machine, but we did have a good sewing machine at home. It was my father’s. He even made me a flowery night-gown when I was a kid, and a beautiful wool jumper skirt for my mother (I got to wear that too later), and a few other things. They were all straight line sewing – he never actually learned tailoring or sewing, but he was an architect and I guess that made up for it. Otherwise, my father was an untalkative, enigmatic and even frightening man (in my eyes), so the sewing part really is quite strange.

4. I had a real bad crush when I was in highschool (who didn’t?), so bad I sometimes wonder if I am over it yet. My highschool crush happened to be a genius in geometry but careless about other subjects he didn’t like, and at the same time the class bully. When I met him again a while ago for our 10 year reunion, he told me he had set up a succesful software firm with a friend. He said he was really happy to be doing what he really liked, using a lot of geometry. They make clothing pattern CAD software for industrial use.

5. Talking about highschool, I used to dance like crazy at birthday parties. I loved it. My classmates were sometimes shocked because I would usually be a very serious looking girl, some people may have thought I was a bookworm or something (the truth – too lazy to be a bookworm). My favourite dance music at the time: MC Hammer, Snap, Salt-N-Pepa, yes really.

6. I used to hate baking cakes. The process all looked too gooey, so I didn’t feel like trying. I love baking now. The cleaning up not so much :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


So today was the last Christmas Day, or at least that's how we consider it back home.
I hope you all enjoyed the Holidays! Heading for New Year's Eve!

Monday, November 13, 2006


Mariko and Kelly were here!
It was great meeting them, they are so bright and fun, and getting along with them was just so easy!
I guess they must be back home by now, taking a deep breath after the Japanese trip whirl, and will soon be telling the whole story on their blogs. Here's just a shot to prove they were here and that we even had a small crafty people gathering in Tokyo.
Superbuzzy in Tokyo
That is, from left to right, back row:
Kat, Kelly, Ms. Minato - the Ebisu Rowan-Jaeger store manager; front row: Chiko - Mariko's friend and talented illustrator, me, Mariko and Jun.
We also had a couple of male supporters but they are behind the camera(s) here.

I accompanied Mariko and Kelly in their Nippori Textile Town adventure, as well as to the Yokohama International Quilt Festival.

The Nippori shopping campaign felt sooo good - just watching the girls buy several whole rolls of fabric made me feel like I am buying the store for myself. I'll be watching out for the new cute stuff at Superbuzzy!

In Yokohama, the quilt show was a bit overwhelming, and quite hard to cruise through the crowds of Japanese middle-aged ladies that had gathered for the first day of the show. Business-wise, it was a very fruitful day, and the girls were thrilled to make lots of useful contacts with fabric and craft-supplies firms. I was impressed with how prepared and efficient Kelly and Mariko were, hardly ever giving in to temptations and keeping focused on the important things.
I have a lot to learn from them!
As for the quilts at the show - I wish I could show some samples, but basically the ones I really liked could not be photographed. I did take a few pics but they turned out too blurry.
Here are a couple of cute patchwork bags:
Yokohama international quilt show 2006
This being said, I'll get back to some crafting tonight, while listening to
Right Said Fred just because (I must be the only person on Earth who still listens to this silly stuff, but I so need it sometimes!).

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Progress in the crafty area has been almost inexistent, but I have managed to get back to some cooking and baking lately. I was getting sick of bentos and eatouts - so much lacking the warmth and simplicity of home-made food. That was what we had during the first months of pregnancy, when the kitchen was not the place for me to be...

So, I recently tried pumpkin bread (after a recipe from Mollycoddle, with mashed steamed pumpkin - we don't have pumpkin cans around here - and with a handful of walnuts added):
It was a success! Moist and spicy. I have made it twice already.

Then, here is a morning shake recipe I recommend.
Knowing I had this in the morning helps me stress less about "having to eat healthy" and getting a variety of vitamins, minerals and such:
(Pictured here with homemade Danish bread from the bread machine).
The recipe is simple, it's not my original - I just saw it on TV once.
The shake contains banana, plain yoghurt, milk, raw brown sugar, kinako (roasted soy bean powder), ground black sesame and wheatgrass powder. I don't like the kinako and the wheatgrass powder in their original form, but this combination tastes great!
My wheatgrass powder is not the vivid green it was at first, and I use brown sugar instead of the honey the original recipe asked for, so the final colour is not so attractive - but if you see this in a fresher green, it really looks like a kiwi shake, with all those tiny black specks.
You should give it a try!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


It's been a while again.
During the summer I spent some time away from the net, but by now I am back again to the addictive blog reading.
I promised myself I would post here as soon as I have any crafting news, so here you go, my first bag, done last Sunday:

It is based on a pattern for a shopping bag in this book; the original is a quilted bag though. I borrowed the book from the library but I got so charmed I might have to buy it..!
The front of the bag is a canvas-like cotton print, and the lining (with pocket) is a thinner cotton fabric. Both fabrics are from the 100 yen section in the Tomato shop in Nippori, so there was no worry or fussing about wasting fabric on this bag experiment.

Tomato is probably the biggest (and often cheapest) fabric store on Nippori Fabric Street, and I always end up spending quite some time there...
Last week I headed there with specific purposes; they were partially fulfilled, partially changed, prey to the moment's whim (or should we call it inspiration?).
I came home with two sets of fabrics.

The first is a double layer gauze selection, and the second is a set of cotton prints and solids for what will hopefully be my first quilt.
All this stuff is destined for a new someone due to arrive next spring.
I am actually pregnant (first time) and starting to feel better after the first hard months.
Hope to get a few things made before the baby is born.

The quilt colour combination was something I decided on the spot with surprising ease - it almost makes me think it wasn't me who took the decision!
I am imagining something simple, in stripes of various widths, something like
Mollychicken's "quick baby quilt" here.

I intend to keep record of any progress here, so.. wish me luck!