Wednesday 3 January 2018

one more week to go...

It's been a while since my last post and some of you might be wondering if nuno and stitch is around. Yes, we are here!

Unfortunately we couldn't do many market stalls and workshops this year because I've been carrying a new little person in my tummy. We will have our new family member very soon.

We are extremely happy to have a boy at the moment but when we found we're going to have a girl next, Paul and I were both excited. I can't wait to put a beautiful Mihoko Seki bib from nuno and stitch on her.

I am 39 weeks pregnant at the moment and the birthing time is really coming closer. Am I ready? Am I nervous?

I had a good and bad experience for Nico's birthing. We tried Hypnobirth (calm birth) and the birthing itself was really great but after the birth, I had a big blood loss and that memory scares me (and Paul) a bit, but we're still excited about having another birthing experience, which we will talk about the rest of our lives. 

Is Nico ready to be a big brother? He became three in October and he understands lots of things now, but maybe he won't understand this situation until he actually sees his little sister. He is a loving and caring kid, so we know he will love her, but we want to make sure that he doesn't have to feel lonely or left out. 

Our friend suggested that we give Nico a present from his sister at the hospital and we think that's a great idea, but do you have any other suggestions for us to make Nico feel better with our new family member? I 'd like to hear!

With love 

Thursday 30 March 2017

Our wonderful holiday

It’s been a while since I put the last post on this blog!  I have many excuses, but most of them are not worth talking about, so I’ll just talk about something worthwhile instead.

While I’ve been away from this blog, something unexpected in my life happened. Do you want to know what happened?? Well, I went to America!

I know it’s not a big deal for some people, but for someone like me, who thought America was the "worst place in this world", it was unbelievable! Oh wait.. I don’t want to offend anyone so let me say this first, I actually loved it!

So I will share our wonderful memories here today.

In January, everyone from Paul’s family started to talk about his brother Mathew’s wedding in San Francisco. I thought we wouldn’t be able to make it with our little boy and low budget, so I didn’t really join this conversation, but encouraged Paul to go there by himself. If you know these brothers, you know how much it means to Paul to go to Mathew’s wedding and also for Mathew to have Paul at his wedding. They are not just brothers or best friends, they just say they are twins, separated by 4 years!
But Paul couldn’t make a decision. He said he didn’t want to leave his family – what a lovely husband!  I really wanted him to go there, so tried to review our budget and plans for the next couple of years and said to him “Well, let’s go to San Francisco all together! “  He was soooo happy.

Once we decided to go, I thought we’d better make the most of it. So I did a lot of research..on Pinterest!  What caught my eye were lot of lovely photos of pastries.

Mr Holmes Bakehouse was a small shop but photogenic and their breads were really yummy!

From my favourite blog “Cakies”, I found out about a farmer’s market at the Ferry Building. We went there on the wedding day and got some flowers for the bride.

I knew that one of the shops on my bakery list- “Craftsman and Wolves”, had a stall at the Ferry Building too, so we didn’t miss a chance to try their pastries. We loved their simple croissant.


As a Melbournian, you can’t really miss a nice coffee. We tried “Sightglass” and “Blue Bottle”. Sightglass was a really photogenic place and their coffee was really good.


If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you probably already know how much I love trams. San Francisco is a great place for tram nerds.

Not only their famous cable cars, but other cute trams run around San Francisco city. We also went to the Cable Car Museum.


We enjoyed their massive Chinatown, but we also enjoyed their Japantown. I’ve never visited Japan Town in another country, so it was really interesting experience. I saw some TENUGUI and TABI socks which we sell at nuno and stitch there too!


San Francisco is a great place for little kids! Nico enjoyed the merry go round at Pier 39.


This is a concrete slide at Seward St, Eureka Valley.


The playground in Misson Dlores Park was really good too.

The 14 hour flight with a toddler wasn’t easy, but we really enjoyed this trip and loved San Francisco very much.

With love,


Wednesday 1 February 2017

How to throw a sushi party

During the Australia Day holiday, we invited Paul's sister and her family and had a sushi party. It's a great way to celebrate our multi-cultural country :-)

Over the last ten years in my life in Australia, I noticed that many Aussies worry about handling raw fish. Of course you should be careful about it, but you don't have to be scared!

Go to a fish shop on the day you're serving. They sometimes have sashimi pre-cut in a pack. If they don't, just ask them if they have sashimi-grade fish. A fish shop won't want to risk food safety, so they should answer honestly.

When you get home, keep the fish refrigerated until you serve. If you find it hard to cut soft raw fish, put it in the freezer for a couple of hours and it will make it easier to cut.

We got salmon sashimi from a fish shop in Chadstone shopping centre this time. Also they had a whole sashimi grade king fish, so we asked them to cut it for us.

Paul's sister has a teen-age girl and I wasn't sure if she liked raw fish, so I prepared other options - teriyaki chicken and tuna mayo.

Prepare nori and sushi rice. You can get sushi seasoning from a local supermarket usually. You cut nori into four pieces so that your guests can make their own sushi rolls in their hand.

I usually prepare heaps of cucumber for garnish. This time I prepared some lettuce for tuna mayo too.

For the two toddlers, I made teriyaki chicken rice.

Everyone enjoyed my sushi party except for little kids. They were distracted too much ;-) but they had a great time too.

I hope you feel more encouraged to have a sushi party now!

With love,

Thursday 19 January 2017

These are my new favourites!

I have a set of beautiful Gense cutlery which I bought years ago. They look so stylish on my table and always make me happy. But I didn’t have chopsticks that I could love as much as my cutlery. We use chopsticks at our dinner table almost 5 or 6 days a week -except for the times we have steak or pasta!

Whenever I go back to Japan, I looked for chopsticks, but I couldn’t find simple, stylish chopsticks that I could match with my favourite Marimekko/Bison bowls and plates.

When I saw these Japanese traditional colour chopsticks on my favourite Japanese online shop, I was so excited! These are what I've been looking for for a long time.

I found the company that makes these beautiful chopticks and asked if nuno and stitch could be their stockist and they were very happy to have stockist in Australia;-)

This company is based in Obama City, Fukui which is famous for Wakasa lacquered chopsticks. 80% of lacquered chopsticks in Japan are made in this city. Traditionally made lacquered chopsticks are not that easy to handle…you can’t use them in the dishwasher, you can’t leave them in the sink for long , you have to avoid sunlight, heat, moisture… BUT if you look after these chopsticks well, you can use them for a long time. It’s like when you have to look after your silverware carefully.

I wonder if Australian people are interested in beautiful chopsticks...but I hope so! As far as I know, Aussies love cooking Asian food and love entertaining people. They are really good at using chopsticks too! You can get cheap chopsticks from supermarkets, but they don’t look nice at all. Disposable chopsticks are terrible for the environment.

We will have these traditional yet modern Japanese chopsticks in 12 colours at the Japanese Summer Festival at Federation Square on Feb 26th.

They will be sold online after this festival. Come and feel these traditional lacquered chopsticks. I hope you will love them!  

Monday 16 January 2017

2017 started!

As a mother of 2 year old boy, I always had a good excuse not to do my work. After we bought a sand pit for Nico, I have to do vacuuming inside our home at least three times a day. I often need to change his clothes three times a day too, so I have more washing.  I often needed to catch up on my sleeping time while Nico was having an afternoon sleep because he used to wake up a couple of times during the night.

At the end of last year, my friend asked me to go to a business seminar together. A famous Japanese blogger who lives in Hawaii and has a successful business had a seminar in Melbourne. I always had a good excuse not to go to those things too, but when I read her blog, I thought it might be interesting and decided to go…and it was really great!

When I went to a seminar, I even had time to have lunch with my friend..Thanks Paul!

Of course what she talked about was interesting, but I found that she was interesting herself, very energetic and somehow I got power from her ;-)

After her seminar, I’m trying hard to find the time to do my work more. I do more work while Nico's sleeping, I do more work after dinner. It’s quite tiring but I achieved a few things during the last couple of weeks, which I thought I would never have time to do.

During Paul’s Christmas holidays, I finally weaned Nico and he started to sleep through the night, so I don’t have an excuse to have a nap while Nico’s having a sleep now.

Looking after my boy and my shop at the same time is not easy, but I started to enjoy my work more and the energy comes out from my body…then I remembered about my Japanese favourite book written by Hayao Kawai, a psychologist who said that “ people who try to save their energy often look like they're dead. The good example of this is a public servant who doesn’t smile at the counter (note: the customer service of a Japanese public servant is usually pretty bad and unfriendly). The more you use your energy, the more power comes out from your body, like a natural spring.’

In 2017, I will try to find more reasons to do my work and give myself energy!

Tuesday 6 December 2016

My birthday weekend

Unlike during my childhood, the last several years I didn't really enjoy my birthdays that much. It's not that I didn't want to get old, but as an adult, I just felt bad that everyone had to buy presents for me and sing "Happy Birthday". I usually don't like to be the centre of attention.

But this year, I really enjoyed my birthday because my boys enjoyed it very much. My birthday became an excuse to have fun together and celebrate this happy family.

Thanks to Paul, I had a nice sleep in and brekky.

On my birthday, Paul took the day off and we went to Mornington Peninsula. Paul's parents came with us too. Paul found a lovely pie shop called Johnny Ripe in Red Hill. With a 2 year old boy, having lunch at a nice restaurant can sometimes be just torture, so this choice was great and their pies were really lovely.

After that we went to my favourite homeware shop "Red Hill House" in Red Hill South and bought a couple of things there, then we went to a farm called "Rain, Hayne & Shine" in Balnarring. This place was really great!

It was a Friday, so not many people were there. Nico had his first pony ride and he really enjoyed it. There were many baby animals and Nico loved touching and holding them. It sounds like Nico's birthday rather than mine, but when Nico enjoys himselves, we enjoy ourselves most.

The next day, we went to Brighton beach. The last time we went there, Nico was still a tiny little guy in his pram and he was just gazing at the beach. This time he enjoyed digging in the sand and putting his feet in the water. We had a lovely walk along the beach too.

For dinner, we went to a new restaurant called "New Shanghai" in Chadstone shopping centre, with Maria, my sister-in-law and her family. It was my favourite Chinese restaurant in Sydney. The original restaurant was in a dingy looking shopping arcade in Chatswood but now they have shops in Brisbane ,Shanghai and Melbourne too! Their fried pork bum is really yummy!

marimekko placemats I got for my present

My birthday wasn't only about presents (although I got some really lovely presents) but more about spending time with my favourite people. I'm already looking forward to my next birthday!

With love,

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Little Keeper's Market

Now we've finished our (maybe) annual Little keeper's market this year. Phew!

When we organised this market in April, some people asked if we were having it again, and we said "maybe before Christmas". It wasn't a promise or anything, but I was feeling a little bit of pressure that we had to do it. Now I'm so glad that we could do this again. I feel free from the pressure!

Last time, I organised the venue, stalls and my sister-in-law Maria helped me with the preparation. This time Maria got even more involved, and she organised the venue and stalls!

Yet Paul and Maria were still calling this market "Allie's market", so I felt a bit strange. This is becoming more "everyone's market". We could raise some money for wonderful causes (this time we raised funds for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and El Salvador Action Group) with everyone's generous offer of money, time and effort. Our friends helped us with coffee making. Paul's parents, their friend and Paul's uncle did the sausage sizzle. Fr Dave at St Benedict's offered the venue for free and our lovely friend and one of the stall holders, Charmian donated all her workshop money. How generous they are! The people who came along to support this market were great too! Some of them brought their family and friends too. Paul's workmates also came to support us. Some friends helped us with packing up and cleaning the venue after the market too.

The preparation wasn't easy, but I think this became a really great event.

Are we doing it again? Well I don't want to make a promise, but I hope so! We had great fun ourselves in the end :-)