As anyone who has been away from a loved one can attest, the more you buy the more you are thinking about them, am I right? At least that’s what we told ourselves every time we bought something for Elodie. Actually in the end it seemed like we bought more than we actually did. So that’s good, at least for our wallet.
A book about a cat (we surmise). A wooden car that plays music when you move it.
This happened. Mother / daughter hats. Couldn’t help myself.
Last year we went to see the cherry blossoms in High Park. It was about a week after Elodie was born and she was asleep in her car seat. This time proved more difficult with a toddler. It’s just so amazing how much they change in the first year. From tiny blob to fully mobile and four times the size. Elodie became more preoccupied with pushing her stroller around than looking at the blossoms.
A few weeks ago we headed to Japan for a whirlwind trip to gather content for volume 3 of our book and to visit with friends. First stop was a day in Kyoto. It’s kind of embarrassing but we’ve been to Kyoto twice and still haven’t visited a temple or garden. I demanded that next trip we make it a priority. But this time we had another agenda – glass artist Kazumi Tsuji traveled in to say hello and to introduce us to another artist. We have an exhibition with Kazumi on May 30th.
A cute sweets shop, and playing ball at sunset in a back street.
As many East coasters can relate, we were desperate for a hit of spring.
John was obsessed with the potted trees. We wandered through Gion over to Pontocho to find some dinner. We ended up at a Japanese bbq joint where we grilled some amazing marbled beef. I am sparing the vegan/vegetarians from the obligatory gross raw meat photo. You all know what it looks like!
After a wonderful stop in Tajimi to visit Masanobu Ando, we headed over to Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. We were treated to an incredible cold soba lunch, to which we realize we have never truly had soba before. Unfortunately I don’t know the name of the place but it’s renown and the outside looks like ^^
The space is so simple and calm, just three tables. The owner, pictured, does it all.
Love the plant.
The pottery has been used for 20+ years and has a beautiful patina. It’s the kind of thing that needs special care, like hand washing, but creates such an integral experience.
The owner made the indigo textile rug draped over the Tsuitate in the front entrance. She does it as a hobby! Next door there is a nice antique shop with plenty of indigo pieces but we didn’t have time or cash (we always forget how Japan is still quite the cash society).
We stopped in for a coffee and cheese toast at the famous Cafe Marumo. The cafe is designed by the founder of the Satsuma-Mingei-Furniture movement, and it was the local hang out for philosopher Soetsu Yanagi, and other famous Japanese writers. The cafe opened in 1956 and is a part of a Ryokan (Japanese style Hotel), but you can just visit the cafe on its own.
3-3-10 Chuo, Matsumoto-city
8.00 – 18.00 (open 7 days a week)
End of the cherry blossoms, but still photo worthy I guess!
A beautiful vintage book shop.
We stayed in Asama Onsen at a ryokan. Usually we stay in the super mod ones, but this was our first classic ryokan experience. It actually took awhile to relax, though we desperately needed it. After a bath and dinner served in our room, we passed out at 8pm! The other plus was all of our meals were included, and since we usually stay at modern ryokans we got really used to the gastronomy Kaiseki experience which we weren’t enthusiastic about. Here the kaiseki was more approachable, still delicate and beautiful but everything just tasted delicious.
By the time we returned to Tokyo I was over carrying my camera around! We met up with Masanori Oji and Taku for izakaya.
A platter of sashimi and sea urchin. So delicious!
We’re looking forward to sharing some more photos with you this week!
This past week we welcomed Norihiko Terayama to the shop, to exhibit his new g,a,r,d,e,n ruler. Norihiko set up a beautiful window display of foraged flora from the neighbourhood as well as from the multitude of Coriander Girl bouquets we had floating around. It took two days of laborious cultivating and placement.
Window decal by Sali Tabacchi.
Elodie helping set up the exhibition.
Mouth blown glass, soap water solution
The Awaglass (awa meaning bubble) is inspired by the experiential aspect of an hourglass. The captivating visual of time slipping away.
The vessel contains a clear liquid that looks like water. It seems ordinary at first but after one turns the vessel over bubbles begin to form creating an unexpected moment.
The Awaglass does not have a pre-determined time, and allows the user to create their own schedule.
during cherry blossom season, I visited a park which has a small round pond. The next day I went to same park and I saw fallen petals floating on the water. This inspired me to make a vase for fallen petals, rather than just the flower itself.
two unique cups that appear to be broken and mended together using each other’s parts. One is a matte white cup, and the other a blue and white patterned cup with a glaze. Together they are mended using gold, which is a traditional technique in Japan to mend broken pottery.
In this instance, two ordinary looking cups can look more beautiful after they are broken and re-mended.
$150 / set of 2
Everyone who attended the opening observed that it was a very calming show.
Acrylic, various plant specimens
garden is a ruler containing a collection of wild plants placed in increments of 1cm. I forage these plants near my home, I find many different types of plants and am at the mercy of chance and seasonality. To me, this is a miniature garden, a little piece of my own garden. Whether this ruler is placed on a shelf or a desk, I hope you will find a little garden in your own home.
$285 (sold out)
Thank you to everyone who braved the crazy rain we’ve been getting (on a Tuesday evening no less!). The rulers sold out in 30 minutes, and everyone was so engaging with the artist, we are so pleased to have such a supportive design community.
Norihiko chatting with a guest.
The Børge Mogensen bench was a popular hang out all night.
Norihiko (left) and guest.
Everyone always congregates in the kitchen.
We did it! We officially have a toddler. We cannot believe how fast and slow and timeless this last year has been.
[walking photo series by Taylor Shute, captured on March 23rd, 2013]
Last weekend we celebrated Elodie’s first birthday! It was truly a perfect day, spent with friends and family, small and tall.
[banner made by Hollie via a Martha Stewart pattern - thanks Hollie!]
Our friend Celine Kim was so nice to offer to photograph the party, allowing me to give my full attention to the birthday girl and guests. Thank you so much Celine, the photos really capture the day. All photographs are by Celine unless otherwise noted.
Cake by Lindsey.
Where would we be without instagram and iphone? I mean, it’s so distracting but I don’t think I’d have as many great shots to choose from! Am I right? But really, I need to take a break now that Elodie is taking such a vehement interest in these technological doodads.
Flowers by Coriander Girl.
And that’s it for my decorating! I was going to do some more things but who am I kidding, I can barely do my part for the shop and take care of a now one-year-old. Plus I only think I’m crafty, heh.
Elodie and Grandpa Baker taking a stroll. Petit Bateau dress from Grandma Daoust, thank you!
Hey, it’s Eloise!
Oliver (and Adam). You cannot wrestle this baby from John or me. Elodie is such an active baby she’s not much of a cuddler. Oliver simply exudes gooey squishy love.
Time to open presents! What can I say, our friends and family spoiled us. Elodie gave each card and gift her rapt attention, and loves them all. Thank you!
She hugs gifts.
A thoughtful custom wood block set from Taylor and Jen (btw, they started a great blog about home brewing and food)!
Hi Uncle Frank, Taylor, Blaise, Ronnie and Hollie!
Cake time. Yes, that is a gigantic cake. Maybe a little overwhelming for such a young pup but she handled it with the requisite level of awe.
John shows Elodie that cake is for eating.
Isha was so there for the cake.
So was Eloise. Now if only they could share toys.
Time to play with nanna. Hollie spends a lot of time with Elodie and knew these balls would be a hit.
Elodie and neighbourhood pal Elle are up to no good, as usual. Looks like Elodie is becoming a ringleader…great…
Amie, Aria and Blaise.
Elodie became intensely fascinated with Celine’s husband Jin.
I wanted to share four photos that Taylor took too, so indulge me for one (four) more moment!
Happy Birthday sweets! It’s been an amazing year, to say the least.
[Hollie Martha Stewart'd again with the above owl and elephant applique on wood pieces. What a doll.]
It’s another busy week here at the Kitka/Mjolk homestead. We’ve finally gotten to a place where we can start putting our nice things out permanently and hang pictures on the wall. We’ve been working on a little vignette across from our dining table with our baby high chair and Aalto Tea trolley. It all came together after our acquisition of the above tile work by Renaud Sauve (Atelier Des Cent-ans). We commissioned the piece last time we saw him back in the winter, and he dropped off this beautiful work when he came back to Toronto for the spring One of a Kind Show.
He also brought us some new pieces that were not shown at the One of a Kind Show, so if you had the opportunity to see his beautiful booth last week and didn’t get your hands on a piece of his work, don’t fret. We have some amazing unique works for you here at the shop!
The tiles are made of porcelain and feature a hand “tattooed” dyeing technique which originates from Korea. The white oak frame was made by Renaud’s partner Gilbert Garcia.
Very Japanese, but uniquely Renaud.
Some more treasures: Japanese indigo coasters and a birch sake cup by Kota Fukunaga (who we represent at Mjölk). Also, some Swedish matches from our last trip to Stockholm.
Little by little the place is coming together.
After yet another amazing lunch at Santouka–best ramen in Toronto, maybe because our inaugural ramen experience was in Sapporo, Hokkaido–we headed over to the Textile Museum to finally visit Marimekko, With Love (on until May 12, you still have time!).
There is plenty of historical eye candy for fans of the label, and an interesting joining together of artifacts from the local owners of Karelia, the Toronto shop that originally brought Marimekko (and many other Finnish brands) to Toronto back in the 1970s. We particularly enjoyed this portion of the show, since we are doing similar things with Japanese craft.
I just have a small sampling of what is in the show, as it’s best to visit if you can!
Fabric samples, fashion photography…
Vintage slideshows from both Marimekko and Karelia. The Karelia slideshow was of particular interest to us – it was so neat to see their exhibitions and parties. Is this what it will be like for us 30 years from now? All I know is they looked like they are having a good time, and so are we!
Personal letters and internal memos.
My two favourite pieces of clothing in the show (naturally).