Summer in Japan

nihon no natsu

There’s something special about Summer in Japan. This will be my 9th summer in Japan and I love it more each year. The sound of cicadas and the scent of burning incense will always bring back sweet memories. Summer is filled with lots of fun activities and a sense of excitement. Maybe it’s the Hanabi(Fireworks) festivals that I love so much. Or hanging out with friends at beer gardens. There is just so much to love about summer!

If you are in Tokyo this summer, you might want to check out one of these firework festivals:

Sumida River Fireworks
Viewing Spots: Along the Sumida River near Asakusa Station
Date: July 27, 2013

Tokyo Bay Fireworks
Viewing spots: Harumi, Toyosu and Odaiba
Date: August 10, 2013

And have an ice cold beer at one of Tokyo’s top beer gardens.

I ♥ NY


My last work trip to New York was jam packed with meetings both during work hours and after. It was a very different experience from my first trip as I got to enjoy the company of some awesome friends in the city. Looking through my pictures, I realized that they were mostly taken in Brooklyn. I was constantly attracted to the beautiful colors and textures on the streets.












One of the best part of the trip was catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I was so happy I got to spend time with lovely Jannese from Crafty Love, Debra and Sewon! They were extremely kind to bring me to some awesome places : Egg restaurant, The Meatball Shop, Spitzer’s, The Living Room and the Brooklyn Art library where their sketch books were kept!


Brooklyn Art library




Jannese’s sketchbook – a record of her experience a few hours before the 3/11 earthquake.


Debra’s sketchbook – Instant sketches of people on the train.

Jannese also gave me a copy of her new Brooklyn photo zine which I really love. She will be at the Brooklyn Zine Fest with Debra and Sewon on 21 April 2013, at Public Assembly in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Do drop by if you are in New York!! (I wish I was there!)


Sham Shui Po Report

Shum shui po

I have talked about Sham Shui Po several times on my blog now but I just can’t resist sharing these pictures from my last visit. For those new to Sham Shui Po, it is an area in Hong Kong well-know for being a wholesale textile and craft supplies center. To get to the craft shops, simply take a train to Sham Shui Po Station and get out from A2 exit. You will be greeted with a massive chaos of people going in all directions and a stretch of bustling street stalls selling electronics, but do not be overwhelmed. Stay focused and walk straight until you hit the next adjacent street. Look out for ‘Yu Chau Sreet’ and ‘Ki Lung Street’. You will know once you are on the right street as it will feel somewhat like you’ve entered ‘craft supplies heaven’.

Shum shui po

Shum shui po

Shum shui po

Shum shui po

Shum shui po

Shum shui po

Once you start seeing fabric swatches displayed everywhere, you know that you have entered the wholesale textile center. These swatches are usually free to take for those who are planning to order in bulk. I still think that this is such a clever way of working! All you have to do is select the swatches that you want and call them up, tell them the serial number and they can deliver the fabric to wherever you want. Most of the people get it sent to the factory where they will have their products made. It is a really convenient system. Make sure you have your business card with you if you are planning to collect some swatches as some shopkeepers may ask.

Shum shui po

Shum shui po

Shum shui po

Shum shui po

Polkaros in La Belle Époque Hong Kong


We are happy to announce that our products are now available in La Belle Époque, a handmade zakka shop in Hong Kong. Special thanks to the very kind and supportive owner, Billie Ng for her interest in our products! It was so nice to finally meet her in person last week in Hong Kong. She gave us tour around the neighborhood and showed us their workshop space where they conduct classes such as silkscreening and felting.


You might recognize this shop from my post a few months back. La Belle Époque is one of the few handmade zakka shops in Hong Kong. I was really happy to hear that they had some visitors from Singapore who found out about their shop through my blog post! Yay! The shop is located in a very nice neighborhood in Tai Hang Causeway bay area with some great eateries, cafes and boutiques. Definitely a place you’d want to visit if you are in Hong Kong.

They were having a pop-up store by QTPI workshop when I visited last week and the shop was stocked with wallets, bags and collars in pretty fabrics all handmade by crafter Yen Yen Law. You can see more of her products on her etsy shop. I got myself a clutch bag made in circus print! Here are some pictures of the pop-up store:








A Look Back at Summer: Four Days in Paris


As summer was winding down I had the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most beautiful cities — Paris. Paris delights it’s visitors with scenic views, cavernous art galleries and some of the finest cuisine that you will ever taste. I’ve been to Paris on business in the past, but this time was different. On this last trip to Paris I was able to really enjoy myself and take in everything that the city of lights has to offer.

I started my first morning in Paris with a breakfast buffet near Montmartre. Normally I do my best to avoid high calorie foods but it would have been a total waste to not gorge myself on the delicious buttery croissants, cheeses and hot chocolates served that morning. After eating my fill I climbed my way up the winding hills of Montmartre. This is the lovely neighborhood that Amélie was filmed, and it is just as beautiful in real life. As I strolled I came across numerous little shops offering interior items, paper products and knick knacks. Monmartre is also the home of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

Over the next several days I got a chance to wander along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, view the city from the Eiffel Tower and take in the beauty of Norte Dame. These historic sites are amazing, but what is truly wonderful about Paris is its distinctive neighborhoods and districts that each offer their own unique take on the city.

One of my favorites is Le Marais. Le Marais and the surrounding area is packed with art galleries, cafes, vintage clothing and zakka shops galore. I could spend days here rummaging through the shops and wasting away my afternoons sipping espresso.

Nearby you will find the Centre Pompidou, which is home to the Musée National d’Art Moderne. With its postmodern architecture the Centre Pompidou stands out against the backdrop of Paris. I spent hours in the museum but it still wasn’t enough. Even if you don’t enter the centre there is a lot to see in the surrounding area. The open space outside if full of sculptures, murals and variety of street performers.

Here are some pictures and shop recommendations gathered from my trip:















Shop recommendations:
Merci concept store

Bonton super cute kid’s concept store

WOWO kid’s boutique

La Boule Rouge wholesale gift wrapping supply shop

Fleux interior shop

La Chaise Longue lifestyle shop

Home Autour Du Monde clothes and decorative objects store

Hello Sandwich Festival – The Party


Last week I attended the Hello Sandwich book launch party held at Kusakanmuri in Ebisu, Tokyo. The event space was beautifully decorated with Hello Sandwich’s cute and colorful crafts. What a lovely treat! Craft items from the book were showcased in an exhibition space on the second floor. I arrived after 5pm for the party and was greeted with a lovely welcome cocktail!





Hello Sandwich cookies made by Thumb and Cakes. Too cute!


There was a free craft station with lots of cute Hello Sandwich paper and mt tapes that you can use to decorate envelopes.




I took the opportunity to personalize my gift for Ebony!



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