Monthly Archives: January 2012

Group baby blanket.

If you’ve ever hand knit a baby blanket, you know just how long it takes! So our stich n’b*tch group here in HK decided to go in on a blanket for our friend Mitra. Each gal took a stripe in a shade of Spud & Chloe blue. The great thing was it turned into a very big blanket that hopefully little Asher will enjoy for years to come!

The little buttons on the blanket are from Paloma’s Nest and say “Made with [heart] love by your HK girls.” Check out my account of Asher’s birth at the hotel Matilda here. And the books-themed baby shower we threw for his lovely mother Mitra here.

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ALTitude Design Summit & Sundance 2012.

Hi everyone, Happy Chinese New Year!! The Year of the Dragon–a very lucky year indeed. Last year we stayed in Asia for the celebrations… read more about that here. I also did a fun post CNY on gifts and celebrations. But this year, between the awesome ALTitude Design Summit and Sundance 2012 I will be out of blogging commission for a few days. Looking forward to catching up with you next week and have a great weekend! xxx

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Tokyo: Fancy food court.

The Japanese are super into fake food displays outside restaurants so you know exactly what the food you’re ordering will look like.

Some of it is so well done that it looks real–it really is an art form.

It’s also super helpful for gaijin (foreigners) because it makes ordering so much easier!

Japanese food is so beautiful in general… I love those little mochi balls that look like children’s toys.

All these photos were taken in the basement of Takashimaya, one of Japan’s many over-the-top department stores. I’ve blogged about their awesome stationery and knitting supplies before. The entire floor was truly magical!! Have you ever seen such pretty sardines in your life?

I highly recommend coming here starving and sampling a little something from every counter.

The Japanese are famous for the purity of their food and it’s high quality… although that has been called into a little bit of question with the radiation scare. But generally, the Chinese back in Hong Kong go NUTS for anything from Japan, especially Hokkaido, a region thought to be especially pure. How yummy do these meat skewers look?! I’ll take one of each please.

Here’s a stall that sells nothing other than different types of sushi.
And this friendly lady is cobbling shaved fish. Not surprisingly my grandfather had a nice chat with her!
Besides all the Japanese wares, there is also a ton of French chocolates, pastries, and delicacies. This tea stand caught my eye… so many varieties offered and you can sample any one. The Mr. tells me Takashimaya is having financial trouble… I told him, maybe it’s because they let you sample, literally, everything in the store!! And they have unbelievably helpful service and the nicest packaging ever. He said it has more to do with them responding to tough times by expanding square feet rather than contracting… but that sort of fits with the Japanese way of not doing anything, unless they do it to absolute perfection!
Although this is the only photo not from Takashimaya, I couldn’t help but end with it. You know that expression: ‘it’s as easy as shooting fish in a barrel??’ Well, maybe this is where that came from!

ALSO: For my HK readers, did you hear that Forever 21 just opened in Causeway Bay?

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Custom pink table settings.

Maybe you remember those pink pjs I made for my friend Tori?

I had Karly Depew of Oscar & Emma design a custom fabric for my friend getting married with all of her favorite things on it… and even after making 15 sets of PJ pants, there was still a LOT of extra fabric…

So I took it to Shenzen and had it made into placemats and napkins for Tori’s birthday. She debuted them at a girls dinner recently. Isn’t her tabletop lovely?

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Tokyo: Craft shops.

So much knitting stuff is in Japanese that I just knew they were really into knitting.

After all, Clover Japan seems even bigger than Clover US. I do love Clover (either one) for all of their knitting gadgets (needles, markers, etc.)

The Japanese did not disappoint!! The yarn shop I went to (which was actually just a floor within a much larger crafting department store called Okadaya) did not disappoint. It was a knitter’s paradise.

I got the yarn and pattern for this little lovely and I’m hoping I’ll be able to figure it out even though it’s in Japanese… wish me luck. I loved all of the samples they had out–so inspiring.

On another floor of Okadaya, there was an endless supply of wigs. You know how into dressing up the Japanese are!

I tried to convince my grandfather that he might consider one for his bare head!

We also came across some nuns who were shopping for new cord to belt their habits. My grandfather talks to everyone!!

The nuns were actually from Mexico… and one of them had been living in Tokyo for a few years and the others were visiting her. We had previously bought some festive Japanese printed fabric for my Catholic mother-in-law… and being a good Protestant my grandfather thought it would be nice if we got the nuns to bless her gifts… and then promptly asked for a photo of us all together. So here we are! Another blessing of travel certainly is meeting new people from interesting places. And certainly if you’re as chatty as my grandfather you meet a lot more of them!

I’m sorry there aren’t more pictures of the craft and fabric stores I dragged the poor man to… most of them didn’t allow photography and the pictures above I “snuck.”  I relied heavily on the ‘Travel Kniter’s Guide to Tokyo.” LOVE her site!

If you only have time for one shop, Okadaya, which has a multi-story craft store across from a multi-story fabric store is your best bet. I really loved every square foot of that giant place! It’s very centrally located just a few steps from the East exit of Shinjuku station.

We also made our way out to the famous Nippori Town and Tomato. It was fabric overload quite frankly!! There were so many shops and Tomato was even bigger than Okadaya. I would recommend the trip really only if you’re an experienced sewer or if you have a specific project in mind. I stocked up on Liberty prints and some fun Japanese prints, too… that I will have to share in another post–once I have a plan for what to do with them that is!

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