Silkie

July 15th, 2012 — 9:41pm

Visiting The Collingwood Children’s Farm was Gen’s recommendation when Chris and I first visited Melbourne, and, it’d been on top of my list of the places I wanted to revisit since moving here. Recently, I found out that we live not too far from the farm so we walked up there last week.

 

When Chris and I got to the farm, half of the animals were having lunch and the other half were having after lunch naps in the shade. I couldn’t help myself from smiling when I saw a duck dozing off just like people do. I also saw two eggs in a chiken shed, a piggy making a big mess (eating fresh broccoli and cabbage) as another piggy was dozing, a little girl running through muddy puddles, and a sweet cat hanging out with a group of chickens. It’s a healthy, peaceful and beautiful place! I was also happy to see my favorite kind of chicken, the Silkie. I guess I’m a sucker for fluffy things that move.

 

A sweet welcome.

In the grey

June 21st, 2012 — 11:48am

It’s been cold and wet in Melbourne, but I like listening to the rain drops and looking at the city disappear and reappear in the fog, just like magic.

 

My favorite view from my favorite bridge.

My parent’s new neighbours

June 7th, 2012 — 8:49pm

There is a potted benjamin tree that my mum keeps inside our house during the winter. Every spring she moves the tree outside as it gets warmer in Japan. One week ago, my parents found a nest in the tree with one little bird inside, warming five eggs! The bird is a White-Eye. A tiny, matcha green tea coloured bird with white circles around its black eyes. These birds are often seen during the spring time and I would always enjoy looking at them as they hopped around our magnolia tree.

 

My parents had been quietly observing the nest from behind the lace curtain of the living room window for past ten days and today, all the eggs finally hatched! Apparently, it will be only another ten to twelve days until the bird family moves out their nest – but what a joy to have such unexpected guests around!

 

I'm surprised to see how delicately their nest is built.

Lost

May 31st, 2012 — 10:13pm

If anyone in Melbourne has found a navy Moleskine notebook full of girl drawings, that could be mine. Email me, please! I’ve lost my sketch book and I have absolutely no idea of where or when! I know it’s gone but I can’t stop thinking about it.

 

School shoe alert! And the granny also has sweet glittery sandals.

Niji no jamu

May 16th, 2012 — 8:26pm

Today, I found a jam called Rainbow Raspberry Jam, how cute! It made me happy like seeing a rainbow in the sky and tasting it was even more dreamy.

 

Red raspberry, yellow raspberry and purple raspberry!

my navy turtle neck jumper

May 10th, 2012 — 9:43pm

One, two, three… eight, nine. I found nine holes in my navy turtle neck jumper! I’d noticed that there were some holes that I was going to mend, but nine holes! My sweater must taste so good to the wool bugs. It was just a very basic piece of clothing that I had never taken good care of but now, as I repair each hole, I’m feeling closer to my navy turtle neck jumper.

 

I've just found three holes on another sweater today... it's a horror.

Sweet yam scent

May 4th, 2012 — 8:22pm

Last month I noticed that quince started to appear on the shelves at some local markets and shops. I’d never tasted quince before but I’d still been wanting to make the quince toffee. I decided to buy my first three quinces to give it a try. I guess I didn’t add enough sugar to the recipe as my (meant-to-be) quince toffee turned out more like quince jam, but it was still incredibly yummy and somehow tasted nostalgic. The quince also had an indescribably sweet scent that I could smell from my shopping basket every time the tram shook during my trip home. It made my journey really happy.

 

Today I went back for more, this time also wanting to try a Buddha’s hand, (a type of citrus fruit that also has very gentle, sweet, flower like scent). I’m thinking of making my dream cordial with star anice.

 

A nearby florist had some giant Buddha's hands in their window display.

small town coffee talk

April 13th, 2012 — 2:26am

Melbourne has been very autumnly. Clear skies, cold dry air and colorful leaves that have fallen onto the pavement to make walking fun.

 

Chris and I went for our usual local walk yesterday and it lead us to one of our favorite coffee shops here. They serve filtered coffee, something we’ve became really fond of from living in Japan and so far we only know of two places who do it in Melbourne. When we were looking to buy coffee beans, a guy approached us saying that he recognized us. It turned out that he used to work at one of the cafes we would occasionally go to in Chris’s home town and he’d also recently moved to Melbourne and just started working at the coffee shop! I just couldn’t believe our luck in bumping into someone like this and it warmed my heart.

 

I don’t know much about coffee, I just like it when it tastes good and gentle. So far it had been a real gamble buying coffee in Australia but the coffee beans we brought back from the shop made the best coffee we ever had here! I guess I won’t have to ask my mom to send coffee from Japan any more.

 

Different shapes of plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Diabolo Menthe

April 2nd, 2012 — 10:03pm

Last month, Chris and I finally moved our belongings from Chris’s parent’s house to our new home. I was terrified by how many heavy boxes we had full of books. I thought the movers might refuse to move them but they ended up doing it so effortlessly. In fact, one of the guys carried our really heavy glass table top all by himself, when it had taken three of us just to lift it up. I was really impressed by how the moving guys made everything look so easy.

 

When unpacking I found a few old issues of French ELLE magazines that we had with us from Japan. I always liked the look of one of the cover girls and when I flicked through the magazine I found an article about her, Eléonore Klarwein. In fact, the article was about a movie, Diabolo Menthe, where Eléonore starred as a young French school girl in Paris. I found the movie, and it was just as sweet as I’d expected! Other than the girls, the 60s scenery, uniforms, and school building looked so beautiful! I would have studied a little harder if I went to a school like that.

 

Being a teacher must be hard...

Outside the window

March 26th, 2012 — 11:30pm

Every night I see a never ending group of fruit bats flying from the right to left of my window. They start to appear at around sunset and I’m always tempted to count how many there are.

 

This morning I got woken up by Chris to see the hot air balloons that were floating above Melbourne city, through the same window. It just looked so beautiful in the golden sun rise. While observing the hot air balloons drifting by, a group of Lorikeets flew past too. I also glimpsed a sweet school girl on a skate board smoothly passing by the street below us.

 

A smooth skater.

Purple Autumn

March 9th, 2012 — 9:33pm

My last illustration was purple. The hyacinth and the roses that I bought this week happened to be purple. I’ve been eating so many grapes these days, I feel like my face could turn purple.

 

Hug.

Dance.

Um…

March 7th, 2012 — 6:54pm

I don’t usually like to talk about work but I’ve just finished an illustration for Bloomberg View and it was fun!

 

It's in purple (but more about this later...).

Haikara-san

February 28th, 2012 — 1:31pm

The first time I met my brother-in-law (Steve)’s grandmother was at her house and beautifully maintained Japanese garden as we’d been invited over for plum picking. At the beginning of every summer my mum would buy a basket of green plums to make umeboshi (dried plum) and plum juice/wine, so it was a treat for us to be able to pick the plums ourself. It was at lunch time when Steve’s grandmother asked my parents and I where we live. We said “We live in Yokohama” and she said “That is very haikara”. ‘Haikara’ is an old word that was often used in the 1900’s to describe something or someone who is westernized, or modern and fashionable. It came about when Japan started international trading after 200 years of seclution during the Edo period and in doing so became foreign influenced. Yokohama was one of the first ports open to international trade, so for her to say that living in Yokohama is ‘haikara’ made real sense. It just felt so magical to hear that word for the first time from someone who actually lived the moment! I became an immediate fan of Steve’s grandmother. And to be honest, for her to live in a traditional wooden Japanese house just outside of Shibuya is so much cooler than anyone in Yokohama.

 

Last year, at the beginning of February, Steve’s grandmother passed away. She was about to turn into 101 years old in the coming month. Everybody who gathered seemed at peace knowing that she lived a long loving life. No monks, no prayers, but a room full of flowers. (I loved Steve’s mother’s free thinking of not being tied to the expectation of what things should be like). And Steve’s grandmother’s hard-to-believe 100 year old spotless porcelain doll-like face just looked so beautiful surrounded by flowers. It made me think of Ophelia.

 

A little hanging mirror at Steve's grandmother's house.

New home

February 24th, 2012 — 12:16am

Finally, Chris and I have found a place to live! It all happened on the fourteenth so we kind of had a sweet Valentine’s day (although we were apart for some of it). Our apartment turned out to be quite the opposite of what and where we were originally looking. Now we’re here waiting for our furniture it feels like we’re camping. A postcard view of Melbourne fills our drawing room window and there is one sweet organic grocery shop just nearby, so it was meant to be.

 

…and on the day we moved in Miss Cheri made our day even happier!

 

Slowly getting there...

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