Thursday, December 31, 2009


A couple of weeks ago I got out a selection of coloured paper I brought over with me from Japan with which I optimistically believed I would handmake all my Christmas cards. Gone are those days. With two little ones to occupy my time and an awful cold thrown into the picture I realistically only ended up making one card which I sent to my mother and father-in-law in Japan. But I did manage to make some Christmas gift tags for my family and after Christmas a wedding card for my cousin who married recently and was coming back to Adelaide to celebrate with family and friends.

I love choosing the colours and I love the delicious possibilities when I see the paper. I feel enthusiastic for the new year. 2010 is full of wonderful potential and possibility. I have not had so much time to create this year but I feel very hopeful of achieving much more in the year ahead.

Happy New Year. I hope anything is possible for you in 2010.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a good day.
I baked. I sang. I laughed with my 2 year old.
My husband had a job to go to.
I ate dinner surrounded by these beautiful yellow flowers.
I visited a new friend.
I went to the supermarket with my 2 year old. He had a good time.
I sang Jingle Bells at bath time.
I sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to my 7 month old.
I hugged and was hugged.
I saw rain and I saw sunshine.
I talked and laughed some more.
Yes, today was a good day.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Designing in my Dreams

It usually takes me a lot of time to design something I'm really happy with. It will start with an idea and a sketch that I may draw and re-draw numerous times to make changes until I am satisfied with the final result. And then the making process itself may determine that more things need to be altered or adjusted slightly. So it comes as a great surprise to me when I have these dreams where I see whole jewellery collections or exhibitions. As far as I can remember they are not pieces or designs that I have ever seen before but there they are as clear as anything in my dream as perfectly finished pieces of jewellery. Sometimes in the dream they are my pieces or sometimes they are pieces belonging to other people or friends - but strangely I must conjure up all the shapes myself.
The other night I had another of these kinds of dreams. This time it was not jewellery as such but an evening dress. Of course when I wake up I lose the details of the design but what I remember was a beautiful white evening gown with a strapless bodice and pleated and folded fabric. Around the waist was an obi like band with a big black bow. The bodice was then joined to a wide belt-like collar with coloured strips of fabric. Now as I'm typing this it sound really bad.
I have little interest in designing fashion but I love the way my brain dreamed this one up!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Back to Work!

Well, my littlest poppet is 6 months already. How time just passes so quickly! And while I blog in my head all the time its been 2 months since I have put letters to keyboard so to speak. If only there was a direct download cable available from my head to the computer. I guess there will be one day.

So the question amongst fellow playground and playgroup Mums is not, "Will you return to work?" but "WHEN will you return to work?" We are the mums who as children believed we could grow up to be and do anything and everything and now we are trying to prove it. Somehow it seems we not only have to be good little homemakers but have the other "real" job -ie the one that pays money! Someone asked me recently if I was working or JUST a stay-at-home mum. I know they didn't really mean it that way but there is sometimes this feeling that it is not enough to be doing the best job you can to raise your children to be the best that they can be.

My little ones are growing so quickly and I am trying to enjoy every moment with them. So I am choosing to work only in their nap time or at the end of the day when they are fast asleep. The last few weeks I have tried to make a bigger effort to spend some time on my Etsy shop in the evenings. It's not easy! When you have been up since 5.30am sometimes and are not likely to get any uninterrupted sleep anytime soon I am often tempted to go to sleep at the same time as my 2 year old.

But I love working on my Etsy shop and I will keep on trying to capture all the minutes I can in a day to keep doing that! I'm definitely moving at snail's pace but I am back at work!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Great Great Nanna's Blanket

My friend Tia has been crocheting a beautiful blanket for her little boy. It reminded me that when I was a baby my Great Nanna (my Mum's Dad's Mum!) had crocheted a blanket for me. Now I have been using it to cover my own baby girl at night and the first time I used it I was overwhelmed by a sense of its history and the love that had gone into making it. It felt as though I was blanketing my little baby in generations of love. My Great Nanna was very artistic and made lots of things that we still have in our family. Although I have photos of her holding me, I was too young to remember her. Now I have her blanket out again I wonder what she would be like if she were living in this generation - the things she would make and the conversations we would have...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Best Things in Life are Free

We took our little ones down to the beach a few weeks back. It was a sunny Winter day and crowded with lots of people thinking that Summer had arrived already. What I saw that day reminded me of something important. What I saw that day was the happiest little face and the biggest smile on my little boy. It was the first time he had seen such a large congregation of sea gulls. He had such a good time playing amongst them and didn't want to leave. It reminded me that indeed often the best things in life are free

Saturday, June 27, 2009

its a girl!

here i sit, looking down at our sweet little girl. unbelievably she is already almost 7 weeks old. time goes so quickly in the first weeks and i am trying desperately to appreciate every minute of it - to hold on tightly to these precious moments. i feel incredibly lucky and priveleged to be a mother to two children now and know i am incredibly blessed.
for now i know there will be little time to blog and little time to create but my job for now is to be the best mother i can be. i keep storing ideas and images in my head for a time when my little ones no longer need me quite so much. i know it will happen all too quickly. how wonderful life can be.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Leaving Japan and Coming Home

The last few weeks have been a blur. Packing up the apartment was exhausting and I was certainly glad for once that we only had a tiny apartment to clean out and not a huge house. I thought I would feel more sentimental about leaving Villa Bianca which had been our home for the last 6 years but in the end, when it was empty, it was no longer my home; it was just an empty space. I have taken with me some of the happiest memories of my life from my time spent there and will build a new home with my little family when we find a new empty space to inhabit.

Coming back to Adelaide always brings mixed feelings now. It is incredibly warm and comfortable and familiar but there is also much to miss about Japan. I guess I will always have two home countries now.

Recently one of my favourite Etsy artists, Cathy Nichols, published one of her paintings on her blog that struck a chord with me. It is titled, "Coming Home".

Monday, February 23, 2009

7 More Nights on a Futon!

I must have been young when I first came to Japan. The idea of sleeping on a futon seemed novel and somewhat exciting at the time. I saw the space saving benefits of being able to fold up the futon in the morning and use the whole room during the day. Apart from maybe the first night I seem to recall it being quite a comfortable sleep option which lasted about four years.

Now our lovely mattress has been packed and shipped off to Oz I find myself back on a futon once again for a few weeks. I used to look forward to bed time but now I find myself counting down the number of sleeps left before I will be back on a bed again! I guess being 6 and a half months pregnant is not helping the issue but my back is killing me and I wake up constantly to roll over and relieve the pain of my bones on the hard floor!

I realise how spoiled I am and I guess the experience will make me appreciate our lovely mattress even more when we eventually get to see it again. I'm sure the next week will be a blurr anyway and a night on an airplane will probably have me wishing for the futon again!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Finally we have packed all our things to be shipped and they were collected this week. I'm enjoying the extra space in the apartment but when I look around I know there is still a lot of things we need to clear out. Now my time in Japan is coming to an end I'm really starting to think about all the things I will miss here. Since Spring is just around the corner I guess the first thing I am going to miss will be cherry blossom season. It truly is beautiful and something to celebrate and I'm sure this year will be great for many 'hanami' parties (cherry blossom viewing parties under the cherry trees) since the weather has been quite mild. I have been very fortunate to live a street away from a big park that is a famous cherry blossom spot here in Nagoya. This is a photo from last year that I took in the next street.

There is a circle of trees that surrounds an old burial mound and I love walking through here every year. It is so beautiful when the wind blows the petals from the trees and we get a shower of pink confetti that covers the ground.

I guess the blossoms are so special because they are so short lived - another reminder in life to get out there and enjoy it while it lasts.

I was so happy to find a little bonsai blossom tree out the front of a house around the corner from our apartment when I was walking to the post office the other morning. I took a quick snap on my phone camera. I won't be here for the the major blooms this year but I am content that I have been given this early gift of spring.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My Life in a Box

Packing has begun! The boxes arrived from the shipping company last week so now it's time to get serious. Fortunately we are paying by total volume and not weight as well so I am doing my best to squeeze as much as I can into every tiny crevice - I'm not paying to ship air all the way to Australia!

But now also comes the time to be ruthless - there is no room for sentiment. But how do you fit eight years of your life into a few cardboard boxes? I really try hard not to be attached to things as afterall they are just objects and the important things in my life will be on the plane beside me not in the boxes. Luckily I have lived in tiny apartments over the last eight years so I haven't really had the chance to accumulate too much stuff. But as I sift through my cupboards I find my self holding on to little pieces of paper, cards and letters remembering all the things that have happened in my life. Parting with these little treasures would be like parting with my memories and so I find myself making space for one more shoe box full of my life here.

And amongst all the sorting and packing is my little helper - well he thinks he is helping!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Life is Fragile

About a week before Christmas, I ordered this print for a special someone from an Etsy shop I had marked as a favorite for a while, MundoGominola. I knew it would not arrive before the 25th but I didn't mind waiting and giving it as a belated gift. So sadly, however, i was informed by the artist's friend soon after Christmas that Claudia Moya - the wonderful illustrator of these drawings - had suddenly passed away. It came as quite a shock. Even though I had never met Claudia, shopping on Etsy is always a personalized experience that connects you directly with the maker and it feels like you are buying from your friends.
A couple of weeks ago I was really moved to receive this print in the post. It really felt as though it had been sent from heaven rather than Spain. I'm not sure if Claudia had sent it herself before she passed away or if her friends and family did it for her but I am truly appreciative to have it and will treasure it knowing how special it is. It will be a reminder of how fragile and precious life is and how we should remember to embrace the ones we love. Claudia was a young illustrator in Madrid who died too early but it seems in her short life she was using her talents and sharing them with the world - an inspiration for us all. Claudia's shop is of course closed for sales now but you can still visit to see her past sold works and link to a lovely tribute from her friend.

Thank you Claudia. I am sure you are happily drawing in the sky. Your art will live on and bring happiness to all those who see it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Beginning.

I feel like my life started on a bus. I mean of course it started much, much earlier but it was one bus journey that felt like the beginning of really starting to live life. I was working for a jeweller in a department store in Adelaide and each day i would catch the same bus to work. It was a 40 minute journey so I had lots of time to stare out the window and contemplate my future.
One year earlier, I had cut out a job advertisement from the newspaper for a job in Japan. I kept it in my diary for a whole year. It was just an idea, just a dream. But I didn't know if I could really do it. But one day, the day my life began, I was on that bus and something just hit me on the head. Not literally of course but the realization came to me that I could do it - that i would do it. And from that point on I didn't look back. Life had begun!

It's been almost 8 years now since I first came to Japan. How my life has changed during that time. Like many foreigners who live here I taught English when I first arrived with the intention of staying a year, travelling and happily returning home with some lovely souvenirs. never did I imagine i would meet my husband here and begin my own little business making jewellery. I studied jewellery design at university but would never have believed i would be selling my work in a department store in Tokyo - of course i could never have done it without the help of my husband! We now have a gorgeous little boy together and another little one on the way. The journey has been a wonderful one so far and the next chapter is about to unfold as we make the move from Nagoya to Adelaide and continue to live...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Origami Crane

A while back I saw a segment on tv about this taxi driver somewhere in Japan who gives away a four leaf clover to each of his customers. On his days off he goes in search of the special clover then presses and laminates them and happily gives them away to share the good luck with all who are lucky enough to ride in his taxi. It is such a lovely, simple gesture i think and i imagine it must make his customers smile and for some people turn a bad day into a good one.

It got me thinking - what could I do for my customers? Just something small that I could add to their parcels to bring them happiness. And so i have been making origami cranes to send with each piece of jewellery that i sell. I have had a fascination with origami since i was child and long long before i ever came to Japan and the crane is such a strong symbol in japan. For my wedding i actually carried two origami cranes insted of the traditional floral bouquet.

That taxi driver's story certainly inspired me and i hope my little origami cranes can bring happiness and good fortune in the same way as his clover does.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A beginning and an ending.

Well, it's official. I am not a blogger. But with the New Year always comes hope of change and maybe instead of reading everyone else's blogs I may find the time to write something too. It is already past mid January now which is about the time I start to realize that the year has already begun and is running away without me again. If I hurry now i maybe able to just jump on board.

There are always endless lists of excuses that I can come up with. First it was the birth of baby 1 that sent me away from my blog for over a year and now we are happily expecting baby 2! And amongst all of this my time in Japan is coming to an end as we will move to Australia in March. it has been almost 8 years since I first came to Japan and although we have always planned to live in Australia, there is always a sadness that comes with anything good thing that ends.

So I will try not to focus on the ending but thing of it as a beginning.