tree with moss | colour inspiration

I have some exciting news!!...
Moyou is now being stocked by Moose: Art for Living.
You can find a range of Moyou hand–drawn earrings and pendants, as well as many other fabulous designer finds, on this fantastic Australian online boutique.


etsy treasury & a lovely blog

Thanks to posts written over the weekend by two lovely girls—Bianca of Hollabee and Danielle of Of Paper & Thread—my attention was drawn to a fantastic etsy treasury curated by Martine of Greenolive. A wonderful collection of textile design finds. Thank you Martine for including my Alphabet-o-Graphic screenprinted tea towel in this gorgeous treasury!

And what better time to introduce you to Martine, her blog and her work than now!? Greenolive incorporates Martine's textile and stationery design and includes products ranging from scarves (which Martine loves!) to brooches, necklaces and designer stationery. The Greenolive blog is updated regularly and Martine is currently working on some amazing 'Silk Selvedge Scarves' made of vintage kimono silk. Exquisite! You will also find that she has a lovely etsy store and a beautiful collection of photos on flickr. I am especially taken by the stunning photos in her Kimono Silks set...definitely worth a visit! :)


etsy treasury

This will just be a quick post today as time keeps slipping away and I feel like I have more and more to do. Thank you for the lovely feedback on my new tea towels—I really appreciate the positive reinforcement!

This morning I spent quite a lot of time on the phone (organising various business bits and pieces), and getting my head around some freelance designing I'm currently working on (hopefully I can tell you some more about that as the project progresses)...but that is keeping me well and truly out of mischief.

Following my morning of organising, I went to go on a short business mission in my car...only to find that it had been broken into overnight so more of my day was consumed with tidying it up and reporting the break–in to the police. Thankfully nothing much was stolen (only about $0.50 in coins, would you believe!?) and they didn't manage to steal my car, even though they obviously tried. I just feel so very lucky to still have it!

On a happier note (or two):
>> The very lovely Danielle from Of Paper & Thread curated a beautiful etsy treasury listing yesterday (her first one!). Congratulations Danielle...and thanks so much for including my Alphabet-o-Graphic Screenprinted Linen Tea Towel.

>> The fabulous Julie (aka Market Girl)—wonderful organiser of Canberra's Handmade Market—wrote a lovely post about my new range on the Handmade Market blog. Please feel free to pop over and have a look :)


screenprinted linen tea towels | a new range

Yippee!! I couldn't wait until Friday (tomorrow) to post about my new range because I'm really excited. It is so nice to be printing again! I've really missed it. So without any further ado, may I introduce you to my new screenprinted linen tea towel range...

I have printed 2 different patterns in black (with environmentally friendly, water–based ink) on 100% linen in a gorgeous natural colour. Both of these designs have been added to my etsy store.

I would love to read your feedback about this new range and these patterns, so please feel free to leave a comment here on my blog. And keep your eye on this space because I'm sure there will be more tea towels (with new patterns and new coloured prints) coming soon.


Heian Jingu sencha service | Kodai–ji night time tea ceremony | Kitano Tenmangu market | Japan post day

Heian Jingu sencha service
Sunday September 28, 2008

Heian Jingu (Heian Shrine) is a Shinto shrine located slightly North–East of Kyoto city centre and is renowned for one of the largest torii in all of Japan. On Sunday September 28, masters of Japan’s six Sencha (Japanese green tea) tea ceremony schools will hold a solemn ceremony in Heian Jingu. The ceremony will not be open to the public, but once the ceremony has finished (from 10:00am–3:00pm) the masters will offer tea to visitors for a cost of 2,000 yen.

1. Heian Jingû 09.JPG, 2. Heian Jingû 11.JPG, 3. Heian Jingu Tori

You can get to Heian Jingu by taking bus #5, #32, #46 or #100 to Kyoto Kaikan Bijutsukan–mae and walking a short distance up the road (less than 5mins).

1. heian_jingu_95, 2. heian_jingu_94, 3. Ornate bridge in Heian-jingu gardens

Kodai–ji night time tea ceremony
Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday & holiday between September 9, 2008 and September 28, 2008
Starts at approximately 4:00pm

On these evenings throughout September you could take a trip to Kodai–ji (one of the many amazing temples in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district) and enjoy a traditional tea ceremony and a light kaiseki meal in the stunning ancient garden setting of the temple. The garden will be specially illuminated for the event. After tea, visitors will be taken to the temple's Sho Museum and allowed to view the incredible collection of Momoyama–period (1568-1600) art. Coffee will be served after the museum visit.

1. Kodai-ji, 2. Moon viewing pavillion at Kodai-ji, 3. IMG_4916

The tour costs 5,800 yen and will last for about 3 hours (approximately 4:00pm–7:00pm). If you are interested in this tour, reservations are required the day before at Kodai–ji.

1. Paper Lanterns, 2. Bamboo Forest, 3. Zen garden at Kodai-ji

Kodai–ji is located in Higashiyama between Yasaka–jinja and Kiyomizudera. You can get there by taking bus #12, #46, #100, #201, #202, #203, #206 or #207 to Gion and walking a short distance past Yasaka–jinja.

Kitano Tenmangu market
Thursday September 25, 2008

Kitano Tenmangu, also known as Tenjin–san, is a Shinto shrine in Kamigyou–ku, Kyoto. This popular shrine hosts a large sprawling flea market in and around the shrine on the 25th of each month. This market, like To–ji, attracts large crowds and sells just about everything—from antiques to furniture, from food to plants to household items and secondhand kimonos and obi.

1. 北野天満宮・Kitano Tenmangu, 2. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto, Japan, 3. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

You can get to Kitano Tenmangu by taking bus #10, #50, #101, #102 or #203 to the Kitanotenmangu–mae bus stop.

1. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto, Japan, 2. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto, Japan, 3. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto, Japan, 4. Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto, Japan, 5. Flea Market

(*Please Note: These images by Olivier Lejade, apc33, dimitridf, manarh, stendec, unertlkm, KimonBerlin, Tavallai, bmiller1710, EYLC, txipiflick and MShades have been used under the Creative Commons license)



Kyoko Hashimoto—amazing jewellery!

It's Monday...only for another hour—but still Monday. Enough time to get a quick post in before bed and another busy day tomorrow! Whew.

If you have never found this gorgeous blog before, you're in for a real treat. I just LOVE the work of Kyo (Kyoko) Hashimoto—her jewellery is so unusual and is absolutely stunning. Her blog incorporates so many lovely pictures showcasing her gorgeous work (I've included a screen shot of one of Kyo's beautiful posts to demonstrate this perfectly)—you can't help but fall in love!

You can find her work at a number of boutiques around the world and right here in Australia at Moose and Modamuse (fantastic online boutiques).
I hope you will enjoy these wonderful sites as much as I do.


making | posting parcels | placing orders

Whew! Another busy week has come and gone and lots has happened—so much that I'm not sure if I can remember it all! The earlier portion of my week was full of teaching and preparation for teaching, and the latter part of my week whipped by in a flurry of making, creating, emailing, organising, updating, filling orders, placing orders and posting parcels. The usual sort of busy–ness.

Sad News |
The sad part about this week was the death of my LCD flat screen computer monitor this morning. Rest in peace dear friend. She served me well for the last 6 years—faithful little monitor—but finally shuddered and went completely black at about 10am today, and no amount of pleading, cursing or coaxing could revive her. Thankfully my flatmate has 2 monitors so I have one on loan at the moment—thank you, thank you! Suffice to say I'm off to a computer fair tomorrow in search of a new monitor companion.

Good News |
Coming soon...
I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of a couple of orders, most notably a new batch of earrings/pendants laser cut and etched in wood (as an alternative to acrylic)—I can't wait until they arrive! I'm also waiting for a new batch of business cards and an order of 100% linen tea towels, which I hope to print on before the end of the month. *yippee*. That's a small sneak peek into a few new Moyou ranges that will be coming shortly—keep watching this space! :)


Handmade [Up]Market – Canberra: Saturday November 22, 2008

Get ready—an exciting new market is coming to Canberra!!

Handmade Market, Canberra’s Upmarket, is a wonderful new event coming to our nation’s capital. It aims to draw together talented artists, designers, stylists, craftspeople and gourmets all at one exciting destination—and just in time for Christmas!

The first Handmade market will be held on Saturday 22nd November 2008 at Canberra’s Albert Hall. This beautiful building is Canberra’s original ‘Assembly Hall’ and is located adjacent to The Hyatt Hotel & picturesque Lake Burley Griffin.

The sister market to this wonderful new venture, Perth Upmarket, launched recently and was very well received. My application for Canberra's Handmade [Up]Market is in and I'll be there with bells on :)

The organiser of this fantastic new quarterly event, Julie Nichols, is now calling for stall holder applications from all interested designers, artists, crafters and makers. Indoor and outdoor places are still available but filling fast…don’t miss out!

For more information please visit the Handmade Market website.


Toyokuni Jinja annual festival | Noh Plays at Shiramine Shrine | To–ji Temple special opening & markets | Japan post day

Toyokuni Jinja Annual Festival
From September 18, 2008 until September 19, 2008

Toyokuni Jinja (Toyokuni Shrine) is a Shinto shrine situated in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto. It was built in honour of the powerful samurai lord, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who helped to end the Warring States period (mid 15th to early 17th century) and to unify Japan. September 18th is the memorial day to commemorate Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s spirit—following his death on this day in 1598.

September 18th | Traditional dancing and music will be performed from around 11:30am
September 19th | A tea ceremony will be offered by a Yabuuchi School master from 11:00am

You can get to Toyokuni Jinja by taking bus #100, #206 or #208 and walking for approximately 5mins from the Hakubutsukan Sanjusangendo-mae bus stop.

1. Toyokuni Jinja, Kyoto, Japan, 2. Toyokuni shrine, 3. Toyokuni Shinto shrine

Noh Plays at Shiramine Jingu
Friday September 19, 2008

Annually in mid–September two Noh performances are held at Shiramine Jingu (Shiramine Shrine), Kamigyo–ku, Kyoto in celebration of the Emperor Sutoku. This year the performances will be held on Friday September 19: first act at 4:00pm, second act at 5:40pm. Admission cost is approximately 2,000 yen (1,500 yen in advance).

Shiramine Jingu is a short walk (approx. 5mins) after taking bus #9, #12, #59, #101, #102, #201 or #203 to Horikawa Imadegawa or by taking the Karasuma subway line to K06 Imadegawa.

1. stage of takigi-no, 2. takigino, 3. kamigyo takigino

To–ji Temple Special Opening
From September 20, 2008 until November 25, 2008-09-16

To–ji (Eastern Temple) is a Buddhist temple close to the city centre in Kyoto. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 and is famous for its five–storey pagoda—the highest wooden tower in Japan. There is a special opening from September 20—November 25, 2008 which unveils To–ji’s collection of national treasures and important cultural properties. This collection is comprised of over 8,000 pieces in total and can be viewed from 9:00am–4:30pm for an admission fee of 500 yen.

You can get to To–ji by taking bus # 207 to Toji Higashimonmae or bus #202 or #208 to Toji Minamimonmae.

1. Toji Temple, 2. Toji pagoda, 3. Toji Temple, Kyoto

To–ji Markets
Sunday September 21, 2008-09-16

To–ji Temple, also known as Kobo–san, hosts a popular monthly flea market to rival all others. This month it will be held on Sunday September 21 and has everything from pottery and food, to tools and recycled kimono—well worth a visit!

To get to To–ji please see the instructions above.

1. toji antique market, 2. toji market, 3. vegetables in ko-bo-san, 4. gloves in ko-bo-san, 5. old kimono in ko-bo-san

(*Please Note: These images by Artistique, JeffKole, Sawa, Hyougushi, MShades, Tizianoj and Quoi have been used under the Creative Commons license)



dozi | a beautiful, crisp blog

Monday has rolled around again (very quickly!) and today I'd like to introduce you to another gorgeous blog on my blogroll (for those who have never encountered it before) - dozi.

Dozi is written by the lovely Wendy based in San Jose, California.
Her blog title - dozi - is Chinese for bean and she says that this symbolises her love for the small and simple. This beautiful rationale seems to apply to every aspect of her blog as her posts are accompanied by absolutely stunning photographs and everything is so wonderfully simple and crisp and graphic. You can also find a gorgeous array of Wendy's notebooks, cards and prints in her dozi design etsy store. I just love stopping by (both of Wendy's sites) and I hope that you will too.


catching up | slowing down

Thursday and Friday gave me a chance to catch up with myself and get stuck into some designing, creating & tidying but all of that ended yesterday afternoon when I came down with the start of an icky cold. Now I'm in slow down mode to try and recover quickly without getting too sick. I feel pretty lucky that I managed to make it through all of winter without getting a cold - but it finally caught up with me!

In the hours before I got sick I did manage to create three new patterns to be laser cut into a new batch of earrings - which are now on order. I'll be waiting by my letterbox for the next few weeks until they arrive. I can't wait!

I'll leave you with a couple of pics from my balcony of the beautiful day here today. With a top of 23 degrees we're certainly heading for the warmer weather and longer days. Yay!


sashiko | handcrafted bags by kiyomi reid

This week I'd like to introduce you to an Australian label that I discovered last year amidst my graduation adventures - Sashiko by Kiyomi Reid.

Based in Tasmania, Australia - Kiyomi Reid founded Sashiko Design in 2001 and continues to this day to design and create every Sashiko product. Sashiko incorporates a number of traditional Japanese materials into their gorgeous handcrafted bags including a kimono range, a sashiko range and an indigo range.

They have also launched into a new homeware range titled Hanaper and have a beautifully elegant designer label Kiyomi Australia. I hope you will enjoy looking at these beautiful bags and accessories as much as I do.


Ukai (traditional Cormorant fishing) in Arashiyama

From July 1, 2008 until September 15, 2008
7pm to 9pm

Ukai (known as cormorant fishing in English) is a traditional Japanese fishing method using lantern-lit boats and tamed cormorants for catching fish. Although this fishing method is not used widely any more, it is a unique and beautiful tradition that continues as a popular tourist attraction in Arashiyama, Kyoto each year. Cormorant fishing is believed to have been used in Arashiyama since the Heian Period (794-1185), which means it dates back to the 8th century.

If you travel to Arashiyama during summer, you can watch this amazing spectacle from the shore of the Oigawa (Oi River) or get a little closer for a small fee (from 1,700 yen for adults) in an ukai sightseeing boat. The boats depart at 6:30pm and 7:30pm during September. There are extra events happening this year to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the Tale of Genji – the world’s first novel to be written during the Heian period. An incredible Imperial-style ukai boat has been replicated for the first time in 1,000 years and will be used for ukai fishing during the celebrations by people dressed in elegant Heian period costumes.

1. 嵐山 Arashiyama, 2. 鵜飼 Cormorant Fishing, 3. 鵜飼 Cormorant Fishing

You can get to Arashiyama by taking the Keifuku Railway: Arashiyama Line to Arashiyama Station or the Hankyu Railway: Arashiyama Line to Hankyu Arashiyama Station.

(*Please Note: These images by EYLC have been used under the Creative Commons license)


handmade print book & vase | colour inspiration

This is a colour swatch inspired by a photograph taken of my bookcase display back in 2005.


assemblage | fresh, beautiful, graphic

This week I would like to draw your attention to another lovely blog on my blog roll - assemblage.

This blog is beautifully designed - very simple, very clean and fresh & wonderfully graphic. I love the beautiful crisp photographs that accompany the staccato type posts - always sure to inspire!

One of my favourite posts from last month was about this stunning antique kimono ribbon wrap skirt - I wish this gorgeous piece was a part of my wardrobe!


friday | wip (work in progress) update

Wow. What a busy week it has been...busy and productive! I feel as though everything is progressing, which is really nice. I have a few things in the pipes but it could be a little while before they are confirmed and I can reveal them (sorry!).

I can tell you about a few exciting things that have happened this week...
Firstly, I've made a huge update to Etsy and Art Flock. There is now new stock in button rings and a whole new range of laser cut acrylic earrings!! (more on that in a moment).

Secondly, I found and joined RedBubble. RedBubble is a wonderful Australian service (which isn't exclusive to Australian customers) that is very simple to set up, easy to manage and provides a site where you can share your work with the world. It gives you the opportunity to receive encouragement and feedback on your work, sell your work online, and purchase greeting cards, posters, framed prints, canvas prints, calendars and t-shirts. You simply sign up, upload your images and select which products you wish to apply your images to/sell them on. When someone places an order based on your work RedBubble handles the transaction (through PayPal), prints/produces the product, dispatches the product to the buyer and you get a percentage (that you set yourself). Wonderful!

Thirdly and finally, I received a very exciting package in the mail yesterday (as alluded to earlier in this post)!! *yay yay!* I have trialed having one of my textile designs laser cut and etched into Arctic Ice acrylic (clear acrylic that is frosted on one side). The outcome was so much better than I could ever have anticipated and I'm really excited about this new medium!

I tested the design in a number of ways. I had it laser cut, etched with lines at three different densities (light, medium and heavy) and etched with fill at the same three densities (light, medium and heavy). Each method turned out a little differently but I think all of the results were lovely. Very intricate and quite delicate looking but very durable and sturdy. My mind just boggles with the possibilities!

I'd love to hear what other people think about my new range. I will have a selection with me for the first time at the Old Bus Depot Markets in Kingston this weekend. I hope they will get a positive response :)


thursday | site of interest

As part of my new blogging plan I hope to update each week on Thursday with a site of interest - a beautiful store, a designer site...something that has caught my attention and inspired me in some way.

Today I'd like to introduce you to Oiko.

I first stumbled across Oiko at Rebus in Beechworth (one of Oiko's many stockists). I was drawn to a beautifully simple, gorgeous green hemp bag...and just had to find out more! Oiko has a gorgeously styled website displaying their original, fair trade, environmentally friendly wares that you really should skip over and take a look at.

The designer behind Oiko, Kathy Stefanac, launched Oiko's first range at Life In Style in Melbourne 2005 and Oiko is now stocked in boutiques and art gallery stores throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The textiles used by Oiko are produced using traditional South East Asian handcrafted techniques and woven by Hmong women in Laos and Vietnam. The waxhemp textiles are completely handmade from processing the raw hemp fibre into yarn through to wax resist dyeing (batik).


wednesday | Japan post day

I have done a lot of thinking recently and have decided that Wednesday should be Japan post day on my blog. As my love for Japan and all things Japanese continues to drive and inspire me in my work and life, I thought it would be interesting to write a regular series of posts about Japan and its culture. Some of these posts may relate directly to my time and experiences in Japan while others may be posts with information on cultural events/places to see/things to do…we shall have to wait and see how it evolves!

Today I thought I would start with a traditional event/festival that will be happening in Kyoto on September 7, 2008:

Hassaku-sai | September 7, 2008
Matsuo Taisha Jinja (Matsuo Taisha Shrine), Kyoto

1. Matsuo Taisha torii, 2. Matsuo Taisha main building 01, 3. Matsuo Taisha front gate*
Hassaku-sai is an annual festival held on the first Sunday of September at Matsuo Taisha Shrine, Kyoto to ask the gods for mild weather to ensure a good harvest. In the old lunar calendar the term hassaku (a shortened version of hachigatsu sakuhi) refers to the first day of the eighth lunar month when there is no moon.

The festival involves a procession of portable shrines (mikoshi) carried by children dressed in costume, followed by Buddhist dance and a sumo wrestling tournament. At night, one thousand paper lanterns are lit in the grounds of the shrine and local people perform a folk dance. There are also many street stalls set up on the day of the festival.

You can get to Matsuo Taisha Shrine by taking bus #28 or by walking a short distance (approx. 1min) from Matsuo Station (Hankyu line).

(*Please Note: These images by MShades have been used under the Creative Commons license)


tuesday | colour inspiration day

Inspired by Kris's Color Stripes I have decided that Tuesday should be my colour inspiration day. I hope to trawl through some of my hundreds of photographs and week by week use them to inspire me to create interesting colour palettes.

Here is the first one...


kris's color stripes | the beginning of spring

September 1st - I would never have believed it would come around so quickly! The last week and a half here in Canberra has seen the spring-like weather arrive & every day is a little bit warmer and longer. Lovely!

Today I would like to make mention of a wonderful blog - Kris's Color Stripes - that I turn to for inspiration, visual stimulation & eye candy. It is such a gorgeous site and never fails to encourage & remind me to pause & notice the beauty within the smaller things in daily life - as well as providing fantastic colour palette inspiration! These images are a sample of a few of my favourite recent posts...