June 30, 2009


The first time I heard about "Francfranc" was 5 years ago when I worked at Art Directors Club as an intern/translator for the 83rd Art Directors Club Annual Awards. I saw this video by Nagi Noda(野田凪) along with her other videos, I really liked them and decided I would visit this store when I had a chance.

Once I visited "Francfranc", I felt in love with it. It's a fabulous store, a lot of fun and unique stuff. The concept of "Francfranc" is "Casual Stylish". "Francfranc" proposes furniture and sundries that accentuate spaces through coordinating various items. One can easily lose track of time and find it difficult to hold the purse strings while in the store.

"Francfranc" now has stores in major cities all over Japan, as well as Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and UK.

Among all the stuff we got from "Francfranc", I like these cushions the best. They are sitting quietly in our living room and reminding me to go visit "Francfranc" again soon.

June 26, 2009

Alphabet Drawers (アルファベット引き出し)

{image from Kent and London}

I recently came across these Alphabet drawers and just can't stop thinking about them! Look at these printing-block-like-drawers, how beautiful they are! The finishing looks beautifully done. Wish there was a place around where I can go see, touch and feel these drawers....

{image from Kent and London}

This Alphabet Drawers chest is from Kent and London in UK. This is a piece of furniture I really wish I could have, it will fit in our apartment perfectly. Just by looking at these drawers will make me smile everyday.

How much does it cost to ship it from London to New York?

June 23, 2009

Weekend in Paris. (パリでの週末)

J's birthday, our Anniversary, my birthday all happen within a week; 2 days after J's birthday is our anniversary and 5 days later is my birthday. So we usually try to plan a trip to celebrate all of them together. In the past 2 years we went to Miami. We loved it and were thinking about doing the same this year. But in February, we started IVF and I needed to go to the hospital at least twice a week, which usually were Tuesdays and Saturdays. This meant we couldn't really plan anything ahead nor go anywhere for the weekend. Since we really want to have a baby, we decided to stay home this year.

Fortunately or unfortunately, it depends on how you see it, anyway, the Doctor said that the IVF wasn't going to happen this cycle. Suddenly, we had time to go somewhere! We found out it's not much more to go to Paris than Miami. And, of course, we picked Paris.

We arrived on Friday morning and left on Monday morning, so we had three full days and only three days. For sure 72 hours were not enough, but it's better than nothing! Especially to someone like me who'd never been to Paris before. Of course I wish we had more time so we could take our leisure and soak things in. But the truth is that if you plan well, in 72 hours one can see a lot! Since it was my first time to Paris, we couldn't help but hit the most popular spots. We walked everywhere! We literally walked from morning to midnight until we couldn't move our legs anymore (we only took train to Versailles). So we did get a chance to see this romantic city, enjoy its famous cafes and the most popular activity - people watching!

Now I just can't stop thinking, "when can we go back to Paris again?"

June 20, 2009

"Rompibollo" (カロリーで区分けされたチョコレート「Rompibollo」)

{image from AD&F}

Good news for people who love chocolate but worry about gaining weight! This chocolate bar "Rimpibollo" is a food design project from AD&F Agenzia per il Disegno e la Funzione. The bar is characterized by several perforations, each piece has it's calories shown, so you can easily calculate and control how many calories you want.

{image from AD&F}

Some might say that if you are so worried about gaining weight, why don't you just stop eating chocolate? Chocolate lovers know it's not that easy! With the amount of calories on each piece of chocolate right in your face, it might be easier to make you exercise self-control. If it works, we should apply this idea to all kinds of high calorie food, such as pizza, hamburger, ice cream, cookies...you name it!

The only problem I have with this chocolate is that from these pictures, it doesn't look very inviting, not because of the numbers but the chocolate itself. I probably won't eat it until I run out of my chocolate stock again.

June 19, 2009

Love Chocolate! チョコレート大好き!

I love chocolate! I pretty much eat chocolate everyday, more or less. My husband said I am a "Chocoholic". Japan's big chocolate maker Meiji Group has a new phrase:"元気の一粒,チョコ習慣". I don't know how to translate it properly; basically it means "Make it a habit to eat a piece of chocolate a day to refresh your brain and make you energized". I eat "at least" a piece a day and sometimes I can finish the whole box a day...

These are my favorite ones: Little Bamboo shoots and Mushrooms.
Chocolate + Cookie = The Best Combination!

This is the chocolate I gave my husband on Valentine's Day. There were so pretty that we felt bad to eat them. We kept them in the fridge for a month. Then one day, I ran out of my chocolate stock and I wanted one badly. Although I felt bad, but after 10 minutes of struggling, I ate one. Well, this one, I can tell you that they looked better than they tasted.

Now we only have this box left.

June 11, 2009

Brooklyn Flea Market-Fort Green(ブルックリンフリアマーケット, フォートグリン編)

I've been checking this Brooklyn poster designed by Jim Datz online for a while. Then I read from "Three Potato Four"'s Blog that they were going to be at Brooklyn Flea Market, I decided to go find them there, to see and to touch (I like to touch paper goods...don't know why, just like the feeling on my fingertips and can't help it) the poster myself. I did found them, saw and touched both Manhattan and Brooklyn Posters. I love them both!

Also found this interesting stuff, wanted to bring them all home, but knew better that I shouldn't.

The other thing we liked in the market is this" Art on Post-It". Very Neat!

Huge Abacus!

Old books are always so attractive.

We are going to check out the new Brooklyn Flea Market under Brooklyn Bridge next Sunday!

June 9, 2009

Shinzi Katoh's Store (加藤真治の専門ショップ)

Finally, I got the chance to visit Shinzi Katoh's store this year when I went back to Japan. This is Shinzi Katoh's first flagship store which is located on the first floor at the Sunshine City Shopping Center in Ikebukuro (豊島区東池袋3-1-2 アルパ1F, Tel:03-3986-2884). I've been a fan of his works for quite a while. Every time I see his works I just can' help but go into the stores and look at them, and often times I ended up buying something, so now I have many of his glasses and stationery. I don't really use them very much; by only looking at them makes me happy and smile, they remind me a happy childhood. Standing in Shinzi Katoh's store is a very happy experience which you should try to experience for yourself.

I am really happy to see that Sinzi Katoh's creations are not only popular in Japan but also gaining popularity overseas and have been shown at exhibitions such as Maison & Objet in Paris and NYIGF in New York. His products are currently available at MoMA in San Francisco, Le Bon Marche in Paris and many zakka shops all over the world. One day I would like to have a little store to carry Shinzi Katoh's goodies here in NYC, so that more people can walk in, see and touch his works and experience the happy moment.

June 4, 2009

Happiness is...

I go back to Japan to visit my family once a year for about a month. When I came home, I found my husband left me cute "welcome home" messages everywhere in our apartment. It's just so cute and made me smile.

My First Blog!

Welcome come to my first blog! I've been surfing design and artsy blogs for a while now,
hope in the coming weeks I will have my blog up and running, and looking cute too.... just like so many blogs I found that I like to read.