Thursday, August 28, 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The lovely team over at Kate Spade did a little Hello Sandwich interview on their website and asked me for some Tokyo tips!
Then I got to have fun pinning cute Tokyo images on the Kate Spade pinterest account!
AND they let me pick my favourite bag from their website! Goodness they are sweet!
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
I'm just back from a trip to Shiogama in Tohoku for the Hello Sandwich mt school workshops (more photos on that to come). After I finished my workshops it started raining heavily in this little Miyagi city. These are a collection of photos taken from under an umbrella on a little walk around Shiogama.
Shiogama was hit by the tsunami so the town is now dotted with higher land signs.
Reminds me of my last trip to Kyoto.
THIS vest shop installation! I adore.
Beautifully aged retro hair salon poster.
It's a beautiful and cool evening here in Tokyo tonight. 23 degrees. For the first time in months I haven't had to turn the air conditioner on and there is a lovely breeze flowing through my mini-me Shimokita apartment. I'm listening to Miyauchi Yuri mixed with the sound of cicadas and wind chimes coming from outside.
The trip to Tohoku was refreshing and inspiring in ways I couldn't have imagined. There are so many photos to sort through, lots of which are from a road trip to Ishinomaki. I was incredibly lucky to have met the most wonderful people, including an artist who moved to Ishinomaki after the tsunami hit and built his own creative studio in Ishinomaki city. He is currently working on a project documenting the changes in the community since the disaster. Meeting him made me rethink my current practice and want to move to Ishinomaki. I teared up a little as my shinkansen left Sendai. For the moment though, it has to be business as usual. Things are crazy busy working on my new book.
I can't wait to show you the pictures from the mt school! And photos from my road trip.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
How are you? Are you surviving this Tokyo Summer hunidity? Every year I wish I could move to Hokkaido from July to October. That's the dream. Until then, I'm keeping TEPCO happy with my electricity bill from constant air conditioning and living in lock down in Hello Sandwich HQ.
I will, however, be leaving air conditioning lock down on August 27th to host a workshop at my company office. We will be making clear cover notebooks using Martha Stewart Craft punches. It's only ¥2000 and tea and cake are included! There are only two more spots left so please book soon if you'd like to come along. English is okay and if you struggle with the website just send me an email (address on the right hand side column of my blog) and I will book your spot for you.
The details are over here.
By the way, this is the gorgeous view from my office! LOVE!
In other news, I've been soooo busy making my new book!
A little sneak peek for you!
I ended up hiring an amazing intern / assistant! We spotted this sweater in the 80s section of a second hand clothing shop in Harajuku the other day while we were shopping for props. How could I say no? Common winter! I want to wear this!
And, the only thing keeping me sane at the moment are little escape nights like this one above. Burgers with Luke followed by Family Mart roadies as we walked from Omotesando to Shibuya.
I hope you're enjoying a much more relaxing August compared to me!
Please watch this movie and read this book for me.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OMG. I'm having another one of those 'How Did I Get Here?' moments! I really can't believe that I'm so lucky as to be paid to travel to Tohoku and host a workshop for mt.
It's my absolute dream job! I've hosted a few workshops for them now. There was the Kagawa one. This amazing Shikoku one (see the video here).
The Yokohama one. And then there was that time they gave me a private tour of the mt factory.
And the very first workshop I hosted with mt, at amu space in Tokyo. You can watch a video of that workshop here:
I very clearly remember making the decision to travel back to Tokyo for that first workshop. It was just after the big earthquake. (Gosh, you can read about it here) - (not you though Kat, I don't want to scare you!) Mama-sando made sure I was on one of the flights out of Tokyo after the quake (Mr Y was in London at the time and most of my friends fled to other countries or cities and it wasn't much fun being scared in Tokyo alone). Once I'd landed in downtown Sydney my cheeky Mum later told me it was a one way flight, not a return ticket! CHEEEEEEKYYYYYY! Haaa. Anyhooo, while I was in Sydney mt emailed me to ask if I would host a workshop in Tokyo with them. Hello Dream Job! The Australian government travel website had a 'Do Not Travel' warning for Tokyo and my Mum was mortified that I would travel back to Tokyo knowing about this warning. But it was mt!!! I had to do it! So, I packed up and collected enough Frequent Flyer points to make it back to Tokyo. The QF21 which is usually a direct flight from Sydney to Tokyo was stopping in Hong Kong where all of the Australian Qantas staff got off and the flight staff was replaced with Hong Kong local staff. That was scary, I must admit.
I swear I have never seen that QF21 be so empty! NO ONE was traveling to Tokyo! Kinda scary but my motto was 'I'm doing this for the love of mt!' ha ha. 'I'M GOING IN!!!'. During transit I got chatting to a Japanese guy thinking to myself, he's Japanese, he'll make me feel more comfortable about going back to Tokyo and ease my worries about radiation...The poor man didn't help AT ALL! Quite the opposite, in fact. He told me that he was in Sydney trying to get work so he could evacuate his family to Sydney and he seemed shocked that if I had an Australian passport WHY ON EARTH was I going back to Tokyo. Okay...so...bad idea chatting to him. Moving on.
Back on the emptiest flight now from HK to Tokyo and I was still thinking 'I'M GOING IN FOR THE LOVE OF MT'. Touch down in Narita. So many emotions. Standing at the platform of the Narita Express I checked the Australian Government travel warning website and saw that the 'Do Not Travel' warning for Tokyo had been lifted! Nice timing, Sandwich!
In any case...that was another one of the best decisions I've made in my life! I'm so thrilled to be able to work with mt regularly! It's a dream come true!
I leave on Friday via shinkansen to Sendai and then a local train out to Hon-Shiogama. The mt team are so gorgeous and even offered to collect me from Sendai station via car! On Monday, the will drive me to Ishinomaki where the tsunami hit hardest because it's impossible to get to via trains as the train lines were all destroyed in the tsunami. I'm so thrilled I can host a workshop in Shiogama and enjoying making craft with some residents who have been through the toughest time over the last few years.
Here are some pics of the set-up so far. The pics are courtesy of the mt team. I'll be charging up my camera to take lots of snaps while I'm there too!
Come along if you can Sandwiches! The details of my workshop are on the mt website here. The mt workshops are always unforgettable and incredibly fun!
mt school 東北 宮城教室
マリンゲート塩釜 / stock books & coffee / PICNICA
book cafe火星の庭 / MerryMerryChristmasland＊Lab
mt school 東北