Wednesday, 30 December 2015

New item: swallow and hydrangea

My most favourite flower is hydrangea. When I was little, it wasn’t my favourite because it’s a flower of the rainy season in Japan. I didn’t like my rain boots sticking around my thighs and making red marks. I also didn’t like wet socks and I didn’t like my brand new notebook getting wet in my bag. But when I did an emergency teacher job in Ballarat, one of the teachers gave me a hydrangea from her garden for a farewell – I was there for a month, and it was really beautiful. Ever since then, it became my favourite. One Aussie lady taught me the beauty of this flower.

See the product

Monday, 28 December 2015

Oosouji (大掃除 – Big Clean)‏

we took these to OP shop
In Japan, we have tradition to do a "big clean" before the New Year comes. We clean all the windows and little spots we don’t usually do. I love that tradition because beginning the New Year with things all clean is so nice! A couple of weeks ago I showed you our messy home in my blog, a bit shamefully. Any change after that? Well just little by little. Our guest room was full of extra stuff, but we took them to OP shop. I sorted all Nico’s old clothes in boxes. It’s so amazing how much clothes he grew out of this year.  We’ll keep them next couple of years just in case we have the second, but we never know. 

We're almost ready to welcome our guest (my mum) in January. She will stay with us for two weeks, so we’re excited about that. 

I haven’t done much with my messy home office, so hopefully it’s all cleaned before New Year. Do I have time to do window cleaning? Well…let’s see. 

Do you like this idea of “oosouji”? You still have some time before New Year, so just try! I’m sure you’ll love it and this will become your new tradition ;-) 


With love,


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Mulgrave Twilight Market

We had a lovely time at Mulgrave Twilight Market last night. Thanks to all the people who stopped by nuno and stitch. We kind of had the sunniest spot at the market and because of the sunlight from the west, we didn't get any shade from our own marquee! It was quite tiring standing in the heat but we really enjoyed meeting all the people there.

Now I can have a rest from making things for a while. I put so much time into my shop the last couple of weeks, so now it's time to work for my boys  ;) I am planning to make Tiramisu for Christmas.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas!

With love,


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas Carols and Market

So as we announced previously, we had a market stall at the Christmas Carols at Sts Peter and Paul in South Melbourne on Sunday. It was their first attempt at having stalls at the Carols and we were told not to expect too much (we know the people there very well), but it was really wonderful night!

Paul’s parents also had a stall there for their charity so we decided to take Nico with us. Setting up stall with a 1 year old boy running around wasn’t easy. Paul and his parents looked after Nico in turn. It lasted until 8.30pm but Nico was being such a great boy, enjoying all the music and clapping his hands.

my lovely helpers -Nico in Japanese jinbei

Except for nuno and stitch, all the other stalls were charity based, so I felt a bit bad, but the people gathered there were so nice and told me how much they liked my products. Thanks Sts Peter and Paul for having us there and for the wonderful night. The singing was really lovely!

And tomorrow, we’ll have another stall (it will be the last stall of this year) at Mulgrave Twilight Market. It’s a "handmade products only" market...the “nuno and stitch production line” is still in progress. There will be lots of food, lovely stalls and Santa Claus will be there, so come and have some fun!

With love,


Monday, 21 December 2015

My favorite things - Ghibli


Have you ever watched studio Ghibli’s animations? If you haven’t you’re missing something! "Animations" sounds like they might only be for kids, but they're really great for adults too.

I grew up with Ghibli and don’t remember how many times I watched "Totoro". I love the Japanese countryside scenery in Totoro. I never lived there, but it made me feel nostalgic somehow. In Totoro, Miyazaki (Director) probably describes the times my parents grew up. Satsuki and Mei (two of the characters) pick cucumbers and tomatoes from a farm and cool them in a cold stream to eat as a snack. No fridge, no lollies. Kids these days might find it funny, but I think it’s so nice. (You can also see they're using TENUGUI in many different ways in Totoro!) This story about two sisters also always reminds me of my childhood with my big sister. My big sister was a bit bossy, but caring like Satsuki and I was just a carefree little kid like Mei. We sometimes had fights a lot but also lots of fun together.

Miyazaki doesn’t say much about the inspiration of some of the places in his films but many Ghibli fans think some of them slightly based on places in Australia because Australia is Miyazaki’s favourite country.

For example

Bakery (Kiki)  - Tasmania

Tower Clock (Kiki) –Flinders Street Station, Melbourne

Forest and Rocks (Princess Mononoke) – Grampians

The Valley of  Wind (Nausicaa) – Mount Olga, Alice Springs

Porco’s secret base (Porco Rosso) – Great Ocean Road


It’s very difficult to choose one favourite from Ghibli but “Whisper of the heart” is definitely one of my special movies, because the town it depicts is my hometown ‘Tama’.


I also found a very nice blog showing all the different places. This person actually visited my hometown:  


In “Whisper of the heart”, there are also two sisters (again just like my sister and me.) Their father works at a library and their little apartment is  filled with books. My otousan (dad) is not a librarian – he was an university professor - but our home was (and still is) full of books just like their home. I used to like writing stories just like the main character Shizuku. All the small conversations reminds me of my childhood. The only difference is that I didn’t have a boyfriend making violins!

The newer Ghibli movies are nice too, but Nausicca, Laputa, Totoro and KIki are four classics. If you’re wondering where to start, I recommend Laputa, because it’s full of adventure, a bit like Indiana Jones.

My auntie bought a super cute Totoro backpack for Nico when we went to Japan in June. At that time, Nico was too young for a backpack so we kept it and we’re planning to give it to him for Christmas. Just to make sure he knew Totoro before he received it, we started showing him Totoro about a month ago, and now he loves watching Totoro!! I guess he likes the music too because that was his lullaby when he was a tiny little baby. Paul and I sang it again and again until he went to sleep.


What is your favourite Ghibli movie? Why do you like it? It’ll be interesting to know what other people like!


With love,


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

getting ready for another market..

Hello everyone. I haven’t done any proper blog posts lately… I’ve been busy with the “nuno and stitch production line” :P We had market stalls at Glen Waverley South Primary School and Belgrave South Community Market so far, and some of the fellow stall holders recommended to me to go to the Mulgrave Makers Market. Luckily my application for the market was accepted, but there’s one thing I need to prepare a lot for - I’m allowed to sell only handmade (by myself) products there!


I already had handmade goods like lampshades and CHAIR Zabuton, but they’re not enough. So I’m making makeup bags I sold at Belgrave South Market and some cushions using our favourite sashiko Furoshiki. 

When I started nuno and stitch, I wanted to have my handmade range but it was almost impossible. Firstly, I didn’t have enough time. I was busy enough with updating my blog, Facebook, the website, sending emails to wholesale shops, and of course looking after my boy(s) and our house.

Secondly, I thought I couldn’t use my sewing machine while Nico’s sleeping. Most of my work is done while his sleep. Nico was pretty sensitive with sounds.  

But now I’m kind of "forced" to make more stuff to sell. Now I use the sewing machine even if my boy is sleeping. Sometimes I’m doing it until 1am and have to get up for feeding at 3am. It’s not easy, but I’m actually enjoying it. I’m a very clumsy person but I love making things!  


With sewing and other stuff, my home office became a kind of chaos. It’s not really comfortable to work in a space like this.. Hopefully I can clean this room before Christmas comes..



If you’re interested buying my handmade products, please visit us at Mulgrave Twilight Market. We use beautiful Furoshiki and TENUGUI fabrics for our handmade line. 


Mulgrave Twilight Market

Cnr of Jackson & Wellington Rd

Dec 23 rd 5-8pm


Hope to see you there!

With love,


Thursday, 10 December 2015

New colours and patterns for CHAIR Zabuton

We have new colours and patterns for our CHAIR Zabuton. It's great, colourful and comfy Christmas gift for the home, work, the kids, friends and family. Great for everyone!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Mihoko Seki Small Envelopes

In Japan, people use small envelopes called pochi-bukuro (literally, "tip bags") when they give money to someone. Our small envelops are "tip bags", but they can be used for heaps of things. One of our customers told us that she'd use these to give someone plant seeds as a present. Wow! We never thought about it. We love people get different inspiration from our products ;)

nuno and stitch stationery

Friday, 4 December 2015

Sweet home project 5 -private sales and crazy auctions‏

Stories before this

Sweet home project 1 buying an apartment in St Kilda East

Sweet home project 2 choosing an agent to sell the St Kilda East apartment

Sweet home project3   selling an apartment

Sweet home project 4 – endless inspections

When we were looking for a house around Heathmont, we noticed that “Private Sales” were more popular than "Auctions" in this area. We thought that an "Auction" was like a competition with other buyers and a "Private Sale" was just a negotiation with the vendor, so the latter seemed more peaceful and we thought we might be able to get a good price. But after a couple of trials, we realized that Private Sales are often much trickier than Auctions and that greedy agents (just kidding...kinda) can still use their tactics to get high prices - although when we were selling our apartment, we would have loved a high price!

We came to realise that Private Sales aren't so much a negotiation with the vendor, but a competition of secret (or are they sometimes even imaginative?) competitors. One place we saw was advertised as ‘500K plus’. We knew that the vendor, as a general rule, wanted at least 10% on top of the 500K (which means 550k) so we tried to put in an offer of 560k. When we called up the agent, we didn’t have to say the price on the spot. Instead she asked us to come to the office and put in our "official" offer. Paul finished his work early and we went to the agent together on Monday evening.

The agent told us some people came in to put in offer already and she was expecting a couple more after us. She explained how it works and told us we needed to put deposit of $1000 for the offer. We didn’t bring our check, so she said we could transfer the money that night and if we weren't successful she’d refund our money.

‘So…how much?’ she got into the point. Then we told her our offer was 560k.

Suddenly she changed her attitude a little bit and said “Well if you like, I can wait until tomorrow for you to put the deposit in. You will find out the result tonight.” I could tell that our offer was not good enough for her to bother taking our deposit and refunding it.

In the end, we found out that this house sold for 620K. Since it was a private sale, we couldn’t know what all the other people’s offers were, so the second highest offer could have been 570K and this successful buyer might have paid 50k extra. We'll never know. At an auction, at least you know for sure the second highest bid.

I know at auctions, people can get carried away and pay more than what they can afford, but still there’s the possibility that you can get a good price if there’s no other strong competitors. But for private sales, there’s no second chance, so you have to guess what the other people’s offers are going to be and make up your mind. Not too low but not too high, if you really want to get that place, you have to just put in the maximum offer you can afford.

We went to a funny auction too. This 3BR house in Ringwood was advertised as “430k plus”. By that time, we knew that the theory of 10% plus wasn't really working anymore and that the price would be 15%-20% plus, which we thought meant 495k-516k. When we got there, there were literally hundreds of people. A TV crew were even there, as well as a South American music band – it was almost like a street festival. Although their third bedroom was a bit weird (it looked like they changed the dining space in the kitchen into a bed room) and there were couple of cracks on outside wall bricks, we thought that house was okay if we could get it at a good price, because it had a big backyard. But the bidding price went up quickly over our budget. When it reached 600K, we started to think it’s funny because we thought it wasn't worth anywhere near that much with all those negative parts. In the end, they sold that place at 880K!!! Oh well…we just thought it was crazy.

This was the time we started to think that we wouldn’t be able to afford 3BR house in Ringwood/Heathmont area. We saw so many houses around there and saw same agents many times. After we put in some offers for private sales, agents started to know our "real" budget and somehow we felt like they were thinking we’re losers…

Next time, I will write how we finally found "our place".

With love,