Series Shimokitazawa No.2-III / Support Project for Tohoku Region

"Ladybug and Clover for Good Luck !"
Before continuing Ms. Yamane's story,
let me introduce her project which she is working on.

" Fun, Cheering Dustcloth Wanted "
If you have clean towels,which are sometimes piled up in your storage, can you please make these and donate ?

Lefts are examples.
"We Love You"
Deadline:Monday, April 11, 2011
Send to : Ms. Yamane @Dill Fait Beau !
1F, 2-37-16 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku,
Tokyo, Japan 155-0031

Material: Thin Gift towels, Hotel / Ryokan (Inn ) Towels.

Theme: Fun, Encouraging Dust Cloth
Machine Stitch or Hand Stitching with Embroideries.
Size: approximately 22X34 CM ( If you fold face towel twice, it could be about this size. )

Precaution: Has to be easy to use @ sites.  Please avoid unevenness, buttons, patches.  Please also double check if there isn't any needle left, for it might hurt people who are going to use them.

Cheering, heart-warming, dream-inspiring designs, please.
Ms. Yamane will pack all the dust clothes collected and send them to Tohoku Region.

If you are bringing into the shop, 1pm - 5pm except Tuesdays, please.

I will continue Ms. Yamane's interview after this.  Thanks for your interest.


Cherry Blossom Waffle

Cherry Blossom Waffle
I'm vulnerable to this kind of seasonal item, pink sweets, time limited offer !

Delicious cherry blossom waffle with afternoon coffee. 

mmmmm.  Yum♡

Series Shimokitazawa No.2-II / dill fait beau ! broderie maison

Ms. Yamane is making stitches
Ms. Yumi Yamane is making stitches here in the left photo.

How long have you been running this shop ?  How did you come here ?
I asked.  It must require quite a commitment and courage.
She says, " This is our 8th year.  I used to be in financial industry.  After working 2 companies, I started considering of career move again.  Then, I thought--- I'd like to challenge something challenge.  Then, decided to look in the world of 'fabric, textile', which I've always loved. ' I probably have personality to start acting immediately. "   " This new project I have been working.... this was also like that.
I decided , right after that, I started moving.  Let me introduce this project after this.  This project is to support those people who were affected by earthquake disaster.  "

I will show you more photos and our talks tomorrow.  If you have unused towels at home, you could join this !

Hand Embroidered Bag

Series Shimokitazawa No.2 -I dill fait beau ! broderie maison

Entrance of the Shop / dill fait beau !
Welcome to Series Shimokitazawa No.2 !

Let me introduce this petite art museum like embroidery shop.

Ms. Yamane is the owner of this shop and she is also the creator herself who makes beautiful items.


Sorry, I will try tomorrow and Weekend

I was going to write about conversations and topics that I discussed with friends as well as Japan's current situation.

My time is up now.  I have early start tomorrow morning, so please let me try tomorrow and this weekend.

Thank you for reading and please come back !

Series Shimokitazawa No. 2 will be.....

The owner of this shop will be the next.
Please look forward to it.

This is hand made with hand embroidered   flower design.

Pocket tissue case I am using.
Lovely.  Holding this makes me happy.

Exquisite work.

Matsushima / Miyagi

Tears rolled from my eyes.  I received a post card from Hotel Komatsu Kofutei.
This is the hotel I stayed at when I visited Sendai and Matsushima, Miyagi prefecture.
Miyagi is, as you know, the prefecture struck by the earthquake and tsunami.

Matsushima is on the coast line and their neighborhoods were forced to face this painful catastrophe.

I was worried about the people who I met there and the hotel and its people.
Then I read that area had relatively small damages.  There are hundreds of islands in their bay and they protected this beautiful area from disaster.

I kept looking for the information and finally found it.  Then I thought, " Still, there should be people who had lost their families, homes .... "

Of course, I hesitated... I wanted to send message, but they are too busy to recover from the disastrous event and.... my words cannot help them.  I wrote, though anyways.  Just wanted to send message of sympathy and that I'd like to visit them again, if it's possible.

The postcard was from the hotel manager.  He says " It was most encouraging.  We will try and welcome you again in the future. "


Conversation with a Friend

I heard interesting story from a friend of mine.  I'd like to write about it before or during the weekend.

Also, you might be interested in nuke plant situation etc...

I'll try to update you that also.  Please come back.  Thanks for reading.
I'll come back tomorrow.

As for the next interview, interview is done.  I'm polishing the report.

Buckwheat Noodle --- w/ Clam and Scallion

This was experimental combination.
Clam noodle.  It was actually very good.

100 grams of dry buckwheat noodle.
chopped green onion.
150 cc of seasoning soy sauce triple strength
approximately 350 cc of water
handful clams

1. Bring water to boil. ( about 1 litter.  this water is not included in the above.)
2. Add noodle and cook for several minutes. ( follow the instruction )
I'm lazy, so I added frozen clams at this point and cooked them together.
While it's being cooked, prepare green onion.   Prepare 350 cc boiled water in a noodle bowl.  Add seasoning soy sauce for noodle. ( called sobatsuyu, which comes in a plastic bottle. )
3. When noodle is cooked, use tong and take out the noodle and wash in running water. ( the water in the pan is " sobayu "= buckwheat water and good for you, so please drink.  At soba noodle shop, they will give you this in a pot. Only when you eat cold noodle.  You are supposed to add that sobayu into your soup and drink it. )
4. Put the noodle into the bowl.  Add green onion as topping.  If you like, use hotpepper also.

3 min. Cooking --- Chicken Ramen

Nissin's Chicken Ramen.
This only requires 3 min.
There is a dimple in the center and you put egg in there. Pour boiled water and cover the lid.  Wait for 3 min.

I added green onion.
When you don't have time, convenient.
Maybe you wouldn't call it " cooking ".

If You Are Interested ....


Almost 3 weeks after the quake, there are things that you could do now.... ( at first, I mentioned donation is almost only thing we can do. )



Small Dinner --- Tuna Toast and Tomato/ Onion Salad

I need to go back to work and let me show you this simple dinner.

Lately, I have small dinner, maybe I'm trying to make it quickly to save energy.
( not realizing it myself though.  It's time saving, too ! )

Tuna Toast:
Chop 1/3 onion ( In Spring, we have new onion, which is sweeter, juicer.  ) and
2/3 or just 1 canned tuna, 3 spoonful mayonnaise.  Simply just stir and mix them well.  Spread on lightly toasted bread.  Put it in oven toaster and cook for 10 min.
Spread some parsley if you like.
Tomato Salad.  Simple.  Some canned tuna ( actually, 1 can was too much for my toast , so you don't have to use tuna for this ), chopped onion and tomato.
Mix them and pour some balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Pepper on the top.
Easy, tasty, healthy.


I cannot become Simone Weil

While my friend is going back and help her local evacuees who are suffering, I 'm eating normally although we have this nuke plant confusion.

Am I feeling guilty ?  To be honest with you, yes a bit, but I am trying to be grateful that we have food here.  Whenever, these disaster happens and I am doing fine, I remember my childhood.

My mother used to say " Eat them all.  Finish your plate.  Think about those people who cannot eat ! "  I didn't talk back to her ( it causes her hysteria ), but in my mind I thought ' Well, If I really think about those people, I cannot eat !  How can you eat when you can imagine them !? '

Yes, at dinner table, if you could think about them, you cannot really eat, don't you think ?  I feel like Simone Weil then.

However, I am weak against hunger and I cannot do ' Hunger Strike '.

Therefore, while I eat, I concentrate on eating and appreciate that the food is given and I am eating.    And the best thing I can do is trying to help in some possible ways.

Yesterday's Breakfast

W/ Maple Syrup.  mmmm. yummy.

Pancake--- Organic Oat Bran / Arrowhead Mills

I wish we had this here in Japan.
This is pancake mix I bought in Honolulu.

Really good.  It lasts also.  I've already eaten more than 10 times...

Whole City is Darker.. I like it...

@ Cafe Bergen.   It looks darker than actual place here.

The reason of " dark " city is saving energy.
We are trying to avoid big blackouts.

I feel we can live with this.... I mean usually we are using too much electricity.

Cafe Bergen / Milk Curry Risotto

The topping is ice plant.  ( I like its texture... I don't think it's from Japan...)

Milk Curry Risotto... It was nice.

Cafe Bergen is probably the closest restaurant from my place.  30 seconds on foot.  :-)

A Friend of Iwate

A friend of mine living in Iwate is currently in Tokyo and she is going back to Iwate.  It seems like she is fine, but when she goes back, she will help the evacuees and they don't have enough foods.  I guess some of the foods have been stopped at their closest center, but they haven't eaten veggies, main meals... they have rice and some others.  I just found the message on Facebook.

In order to avoid confusion, I am waiting her instruction at the moment.  hmmmm. Hope I can be of some help. 


Caring One Another

No big change in my town.  What I can see is that people are trying to show more care for others... talking one another.  Just to ask how you have been and where you were when the quake hit here.

Nice to see these scenes.

I bumped into a woman who lives in the same apartment complex @ Donq, a bakery located in Peacok Store in my town.

We had short talk right after the quake and she said " Where were you?  It was really shaky and I was in my room. "

Then yesterday, I met her again @ the bakery.  " How have you been ?  Isn't is still shaky from aftershock ?  It's really scary. "  I don't know her name yet, but whenever we pass each other, we say hello and since the quake, we started having more conversation.

Spring Green --- Field Mustard

Do you have similar to this in your area ?
This is Nabana....Field Mustard.

Looks bit like broccoli, but these are flower buds and 1/3 of the stalk, the rest of the stalk is similar to spinach.