Have you see the French movie Popualire?
It'a love story about a young woman and man that revolves around a typewriter.

In the 1960's working as a secretary was a dream job for young woman and typing was definitely one of skills that they had to excel at.

The story begins with a girl Rose going to a large town in Normandy to apply for a job of an insurance company which was run by a guy called Louis.

She has a unique skill ... She can type fast with just two fingers, that brings her a job as a secretary.

As she is inexperienced and accident-prone, Louis starts training her for speed-typing contests instead of working at his office.

I don't want to give away too much, so please watch it if you like.

Those of you who enjoy vintage fashion will absolutely love Rose's sense of fashion as well as classic cars and the wonderful colors of the period.

When I got home from the theatre, I remembered that I had a vintage typewriter I received from one of my American friends.

It's an olivetti. Unfortunately it was out of ink and I'm not sure if they still sell the ink for it.I didn't know how to use it at all so Masako was kind enough to show me.
I didn't know even how to slide a piece of paper into it.
It was harder than I expected ... It must have been hard to type over 600 letters within a space of five minutes.
But it looks lovely, doesn't it?



The Tama River Fireworks in Ota Ward

Last night I went to an apartment of one of my colleagues' to see fireworks from its terrace.

The firework display which was held on the Tama riverfront started at 7:30 p.m. and lasted 40 minutes.

Reserving good spots is crucial when you enjoy fireworks, especially in cities where tall buildings limit large spaces.
But there were no obstacles in our sight ... it was a perfect view!

Quilt Japan September issue 2013, vol. 154

Some of Masako's new works are in the September issue of Quilt Japan.

Wouldn't you like to carry one of those small needle cases when going out?

Each needle case can carry not only needles but also some buttons and scissors.
How handy! They are made with Masako's new fabric collection "American Country 13".
Get some scraps and make one!

There are illustrated directions in the magazine.


Fun places to visit in Sigapore

Lately it has been boiling hot in Tokyo  ... 
Unfortunately Singapore was no cooler than Japan and but it was really fun!

I'd always wanted to see Merlion.
Because last time we went there, it was in the middle of being renovated. 
But finally I saw you, Merlion!
It was so hot in the afternoon and the sunlight on the water was dazzling. (Don't forget to bring your sunglasses!)

Have you ever heard of Pranakan?
The Pranakan are Chinese immigrants who moved to the south and married local people. (Please click here for further info).
I heard that the Pranakan Museum had beautiful bead work so we visited and enjoyed Pranakan art.

Traditionally, Paranakan girls were expected to learn beading before marrying. It was food for thought. Nowadays many people don't do crafts that take a long time.
The pieces in the exhibition were gorgeous and fine examples of embroidery and beading techniques. You can tell they devoted a lot of time to making them.

Gardens by the Bay was celebrating its one year anniversary!
It is a large garden across Marina Bay Sands hotel and has a lot of attractions! (Click here to visit its website)

These trees are called "Supertree Grove". The twelve unique trees which are sixteen stories high are placed throughout the garden. 
Two of them are connected by a long walkway high in the air.

We had to go up!

Actually it was scarier than I expected but I really enhoyed it. 
Masako is afraid of heights but tried to go up anyway.
She made it up five steps but had to go back down.
The walkway is 22 meters high and 128 meters long.

What a nice view! It was so refreshing and fun!

The two white buildings on the left are new museums.

As we didn't have time to visit both, we went to "Cloud Forest".

It was heavenly. Walking around the gardens had sapped our energy so Cloud Forest was a true oasis with its cool mist and mysterious atmosphere. It was like a hidden world.

As soon as you enter you are greeted by a 35 meter tall mountain and the world's tallest indoor waterfall. 

You go to the top of the mountain on elevators and  then stroll down among the tropical plants and flowers.

Marina Bay Sands Hotel 

In the afternoon

 In the evening

Which one do you prefer?

It's been only 48 years since Singapore became an independent and democratic nation.
We tend to be attracted to those nice commercial buildings, but can enjoy the rich history of this wonderful place. It was truly idyllic. Thank you so much, Zen and WuXi!


Great Singaporean Cuisine

Good food makes all the difference in the world when traveling.

In that regard, Singapore would be the right place to visit!

The first evening, we went to a seafood restaurant called "Long Beach".

Steamed Live Scottish Razor Clam with minced garlic.
It tasted really good.

My favorite was the chicken and rice!

We went to a restaurant we visited last year called "Chatterbox" .
Once again the food left me speechless.
I had the chicken and rice meal, which consisted of drumstick meat and 3 different sauces, rice and vegetable soup. I especially liked the ginger sauce.

Have you ever been to the Swiss restaurant "Marche restaurant" ?
I had never heard of it and was pleasantly surprised by the unique style.

You are given a plastic card at the entrance that you give the chef when you order or choose a dish.

You select whatever you like from the wide variety of dishes like soup, salad, meat, seafood, sandwich wrap, paella,rosti, drinks and desserts.
I was stunned by not only the wonderful selection, but also by how delicious it all was.
Moreover, the chefs prepare your dishes right in front of you on the spot so you know it's fresh.I had a sandwich wrap and Masako had paella.
Why don't we have any restaurants like this in Japan?! We're awaiting your arrival!


Our second workshop in Singapore

Hello, Emi here.
Masako and I went to Singapore on July 24th for 6 days to give some workshops.

The young couple who organized the workshop, Zen and WuXi run a wonderful chain of quilt shops called Sing Mui Heng; (their website)

An event venue was great! They rented a large hall at Singapore Swimming Club that only allows members to enter. So every student was given a pass to get into the building.
We gave one-day-workshop on 26th and 27th, one of each. 

A lovely view of the pool at night

At the beginning of the workshop, we gave a small talk about Masako's quilts and her new design fabric collection "American Country 13". 

We covered a lot of ground. We focused on Piecing paper in the morning and Punchneedle and Crochet in the afternoon!
We tried to maintain a comfortable pace and explained everything step by step.
We really enjoyed and appreciated the wonderful feedback from the students! 

At 12:30pm, we all had lunch together. 

It was a nice Chinese buffet!
From left to right, Staffs, Masako, Wuxi and me 

At the end of the both workshops, we took photos with all of the students.

It was like a big photo shoot! We had twenty cameras going at once so it was hard to know where to look. How happy we all were.