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  1. Kawashima textile factory visit

    A few weeks back I shared a peek into my time at Kawashima Textile School. The school was set up by Kawashima, one of the most respected textile companies in Japan. For decades Kawashima has been entrusted with creating some of the country’s most precious fabrics, including the interior of the Emperor’s train carriage. As a student of the school I was lucky to be given a peek behind the doors of the factory, including the secret room where they make drapes for some of country’s most important shrines.

  2. What are you waiting for?

    Really. What ARE you waiting for?

  3. One particularly delicious cake…

    (image and cake courtesy of Kao Sosa)

    Some of my lovely old work colleagues in Tokyo had this cake made for me – thoughtful AND delicious!

  4. Kyoto cafes part 2 – Infinity Cafe

    I just had to introduce you to this little gem… Infinity Café is tucked away down a leafy lane off a residential street not too far from Sanjo Market.

    Just a few minutes from a very busy road, it is like you step into some kind of bubble as you enter through the wooden sliding doors into what is essentially someone’s house.

  5. London 2012 – the real legacy


    I took this picture on a UNICEF field visit to Trinidad & Tobago back in 2008, when we were in the early stages of planning the London 2012 legacy programme.  Next to the court a young boy was knelt down sharpening a massive knife.

    Today sees the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in London. This was an important date in my calendar for many years, so it is with mixed emotions that I find myself watching it from a distance on the other side of the world.

    The Olympics have been a major feature in my life and a source of many adventures. It is an event like no other – there’s a reason they call it the Greatest Show on Earth.

  6. Brave

    A few days ago, my man and I decided to go to the cinema to watch a lovely new cartoon from Disney Pixar. In Japanese it is called “Merida to osoroshi no mori”. We picked it because we generally love everything Pixar does. We had a couple of spare hours before the film began, so we went to a cafe and ended up having a long and very thought provoking conversation about bravery and courage, topics I have been thinking a lot about lately and which feature heavily in Do What You Love courses.

  7. Fog Linen

    Tucked away down a quiet street in the trendy Tokyo district of Shimokitazawa is a shop that might just take your breath away. Its rough concrete walls and wire shelves sit alongside old wooden furniture and quirky lampshades, all playing host to the beautiful products offered by fog linen. Carefully curated to offer delight at every turn, the natural colours of the linen – shaped into clothing, bags, children’s shoes, napkins and all sorts of other goods, are calming and enticing.

  8. Tokyo International Stationery Show

    Trade Shows come in all shapes and sizes, and cover every industry you can imagine. What is your dream show? I always thought mine would be a stationery trade show, where you can see what is on the horizon, meet suppliers directly, get ideas and inspiration and generally spend hours walking around a massive hall of gorgeous stationery. And I was not disappointed when I visite ISOT 2012 as research for The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design. It was huge, exciting and eye-opening.

  9. Early bird discount for Bloom True ends tomorrow!

    ‘Transform’ acrylic on canvas by Flora Bowley

    If you want to join a course like no other, joining others from all around the world in a shared journey of painting and discovery, then don’t miss out on the next Bloom True class, featuring Flora Bowley.  Flora is an extraordinary teacher and the course is an opportunity for both artistic  and personal growth. The early bird discount ends tomorrow (midnight GMT Thursday 16 July) – find out more and register here!

    Here is how some of the class alumni have described their experience…

  10. A little trip to the big smoke

    The other day I packed myself onto the super-fast shinkansen (bullet train) and whizzed up to Tokyo for the International Stationery & Office Products Show (more on that later).