Red Maple

My view lately:
View from Window

This maple tree turns a glorious red every Autumn. When the sun is out, the light reflecting off of the leaves fills the living room with a warm red glow.

Red Light


Souvenirs From Tokyo #2

Over two trips to Japan, I now have a small collection of books purchased in Tokyo. I feel both inspired and nostalgic when I look through them now.

Hamburger magazine (filled with places to eat the best hamburgers in Tokyo),  and two cookbooks by Harumi Kurihara that I found in a small bookstore near our hotel.
Books from Japan

I was really excited when I picked up the cookbooks because they're bilingual! Every page is in both English and Japanese.
Books from Japan

Camera Biyori (Life with Camera magazine), Flat House Life (filled with cozy, stylish bungalows), Michikusa (illustrated walks around Tokyo) and Chibi Maruko-chan (comic book).
Books from Japan

Photo book the eyes, the ears by Rinko Kawauchi (we saw her photo exhibit at Foil Gallery), and two books documenting interesting apartments.
Books from Japan

Arne magazines. I wish I had more of these. Basically a woman made a very good zine about things she liked.
Books from Japan

The photography is modest and lo-fi. This issue is all about food. Every step is detailed.
Books from Japan

Travelsands and Dandelion. Travels books by Aoi Yu (actress) and Yoko Takahashi (photographer). One is in California, the other Siberia. Siberia looks stunning in the photos but must be absolutely freezing. Aoi Yu always has the best clothes! Some of the outfits in here are amazing!
Books from Japan

Books for knitting and sewing. It was hard to limit myself in the crafts section of the Kinokuniya bookstore. Very, very hard.
Books from Japan

Maybe it seems strange to buy books you can't really read, but I think it reminds me all the more of the feeling of being in Japan, where most of the time I didn't understand the language around me. Not understanding everything, but being fascinated and interested was part of everyday life when I was there, and I got to bring a bit of that back with me.



At the Nara Cafe in Tokyo, they have a delicious lunch set that usually comes with a small side dish of simmered ganmodoki (tofu fritters). I tried to make some the other day. One of the ingredients I used was hijiki seaweed. Out of the package came these long strings:

They colour the water while soaking. Eventually they really swelled up a lot!

The recipe was combined from a book and some online recipes but some of the ingredients are hard to find here, so these don't have quite the same texture as the ones I had in Japan. But I think fried tofu tastes delicious even when plain, so these with all the other veggies in them taste really great.

They make a nice snack!


Fall Mums

My mother-in-law gave my a big bucket of red and pinks mums from her garden.
Fall Mums

Enough for small, medium and large bouquets!
Fall Mums

New Hat

It's full on Autumn now so it's time to think about hats, scarves and all that nice stuff. It gets pretty cold here in my part of Canada! This is a hat pattern from the Purl Bee called Simple Pleasures. An easy knit but I made some changes to the pattern (details on Ravelry).

I used one skein of Malabrigo lace I had lying around. I usually don't buy random skeins of wool because it's hard to find projects that use just one and I feel guilty if my yarn stash gets too big but I couldn't resist the colour.

The other yarn used is Rowan Kid Silk Haze. I really like the marled affect of the two yarns together.

Simple Pleasures Hat


Souvenirs From Tokyo #1

The best holidays I've ever had were in Tokyo. I have been there twice and I can't describe in words how amazing it was...

One of the things we brought back from our most recent trip was tea from a fancy tea shop down the road from where we were staying. This is a blend of green tea, matcha and roasted brown rice. I love it because the flavour changes over time. The first cup from the teapot tastes bright and green from the matcha. As it steeps in the pot, the taste changes and later cups are mellower and nuttier from the brown rice.

The little teacup is from a small shop in Shimokitazawa. The wood tray is from Muji.


Blue Gingham Shirt

Summer clothes sewing recap #2.  Made with a linen cotton blend from Tokyo which was great for the crazy summer heat we had this year.  Somehow both light and breezy, but not sheer or flimsy feeling. Pattern from Stylish Dress Book 3.  After making this shirt I had enough fabric left to make a little tank top too and wore both a lot this summer.


Ceramics Class

I'm taking pottery classes again. I really look forward to each class, but always leave feeling a bit frustrated. As a beginner, you have to have different expectations of what is possible, but I haven't made one piece yet that I feel content about. The shape, size, evenness, colour and behaviour of the glaze all have to come together. There are many steps to completing a single piece and many things can go wrong (a messily run studio makes things even more difficult!) Anyway, here are a few pieces I brought home with me:

Rice bowl. Should be more red, but came out rather dark.

I like the shape and character of this one, but it's a bit heavy
and the glaze has pinholes and came out too brown.
Cute and chunky rice bowl. A bit small. A bit crooked.

Actually...they all look nicer in the photos than in real life! Believe me, they are very amateur, but that's to be expected. Maybe one day...