Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hello Sandwich Crafternoon!

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Four hours craft workshop where you can meet new friends, make craft, listen to cute music and enjoy a lovely afternoon!

We will be decorating a little memory box using clay, stencils and Martha Stewart Crafts punches, and then some watercolour envelopes!

Saturday 13th September.

12:00 – 16:00 (With a little lunch break)
East Side Tokyo (An amazing craft shop!)

Hope you can come along Sandwiches!


日時 9月13日(土) 12:00~16:00(ランチ休憩あり)
■参加費 1000円
■定員 10名
■持ち物 特になし
■講師 ハローサンドウィッチ 先生
■会場 east side tokyo クラフト館
方法 [ご来店の場合]
east side tokyo クラフト館
TEL 03-5809-2165 /

Love Love
Hello Sandwich

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


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The above photo shows the water level line from the 2011 tsunami.

It was my first time ever to visit Tohoku for my mt workshop, and the sweetest Aya-san drove me up to Ishinomaki on my last day. It was incredibly surreal to imagine just how horrific the tsunami must have been. Aya-san lives in Shiogama which was also hit badly in the tsunami and as we drove to Ishinomaki she told me stories about evacuating on the day it happened.

Here are a few photos of Ishinomaki as it currently is. I adored it's little retro shops, cute street names, back streets and seaside location. As Hiro says 'You know it's about to rain when you can smell fish'.

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I'm not sure if you can see in this small picture, but the division on the door is black and white diagonal stripes! So many great colours and shapes. I wish I could make this Hello Sandwich studio! Imagine crafternoons here, and little pop-up shop openings with people spilling out onto the street gathering and laughing together!

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One of the main streets in Ishinomaki city. You might have seen this street on the tsunami footage :*(

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Love this yasai shop. And those boxes with love hearts!

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Cutie Aya-san and I picked up some nashi pears for Hiro.

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Get this sign into my house!

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Retro coffee sign.

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Aya-san and I found some retro tins in this little supermarket. One of the tins was filled with 50 eggs. I really just wanted it for the tin as a prop for my new book but the store owner really wanted to confirm that we knew that there were 50 eggs inside this tin and made us ensure that we were comfortable with using them up in time. She even gave us some tips on how to put the eggs into some tupperware after opening and every few days add some water to the tupperware container.

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THIS was the shop interior. Super adorable.

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So, so great.

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On a little walk around we found a few amazing new initiatives helping rebuild the community.

This is MakiBiz who have been working together with Architecture For Humanity. 

The MakiBiz mission statement:

MakiBiz seeks to create a community gathering space to bring together all generations of the affected area to collaborate on a new model of post-tsunami recovery that can be used throughout Tohoku region. MakiBiz provides expert advice on design, construction, and business development services to affected communities in support of their efforts at building back better.

You can read more about the incredible project here.

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I have signed up to volunteer and I hope they will allow me to go and host craft workshops in Ishinomaki.

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On my trip to Ishinomaki, Aya-san introduced me to her incredibly talented friend Hiro. There is practically nothing that Hiro can't do. He built this home / studio by himself in eight months, he is a brilliant cook, he is a gardener, artist, designer, zine maker, community worker, music maker...

And of course he is incredibly kind, even offering to drive me back to Sendai for my shinkansen so I could stay longer in Ishinomaki.

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Hiro-san really made me rethink my current practice and life in general. One of those special life changing moments. He did a three month artists residency in Ishinomaki after the disaster and while on his residency he became friends with the owner of this building (pictured above). He asked the owner if he could build a house on the ground floor of this building and live there. All went well and he moved from Yokohama to Ishinomaki to document the changes in the community.

At first sight, Hiro's home looks like a cute Tokyo cafe, or a cute book shop, with it's outside bench seat, large studio table and shop-style glass window doors. It wasn't until I went to the bathroom and saw a washing machine that I asked Hiro-san "Do you live here?" and he replied "Yes! There's a small bedroom out the back". His house is EXACTLY how I would design my dream home if I could. A tiny bedroom and a giant room with a giant table and a giant computer screen and loads of books and design materials.

Curious as to why Hiro-san's space featured large window doors and a mini shop shelf (as seen below) when it was in fact a residential space, Hiro-san explained that it was to invite the community members in so that he could chat with them and become friends with them. He tells heartwarming stories about local residents who pass and see his light on and ask "What are you cooking for dinner tonight?"..."Curry!" replies Hiro-san. And within a few hours the neighbour returns with meat and beer and they enjoy a meal together.

When I heard this story I almost cried. This is what life is all about.

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A truly wonderful and eyeopening trip to Ishinomaki. Thank you Aya-san and Hiro-san!

I can't wait to return to Tohoku!

Love Love
Hello Sandwich

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Babachan's House Take Two!

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I bumped into Babachan yesterday and she invited me over for temaki dinner tonight! I can.not.believe the kindness of this family! She said she looks up at my light on at 12:30am and worries that I'm still up working! So sweet! Also - dinner at 6pm on a Saturday night! Soooo cute!

Babachan sent me home with an Ozeki bag full of kome!

I asked them about why they invited me over and how they knew I wasn't a crazy foreigner stranger, and they replied 'because you're always smiling'!

I've found my Japanese family!

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I have really, really missed Japanese home cooked meals lately. Also the setting with the fabric place mat and tissue box on the table! Ah, Japanese house dining!

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Dramatic Taste for 21 Century.

Nihonshu time!

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After dinner it's time for Nashi (pear) and Momo (peach).

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And, after everyone has enjoyed some Nihonshu and a bottle of Australian wine it's time to be silly with the little flag.

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Satomi-chan with the flag and the little Australian apron from Mama-sando's studio.

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Goodness, I can't believe I am so lucky to have been able to made friends with these incredibly kind people! Life has a funny way of working.

Love you, Japan! And love you my lovely new neighbour friends!


Friday, September 5, 2014

Book progress

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Hello Sandwiches!

Here is a little progress shot from my new book. I basically sit under a Manfrotto tripod and a FujiFilm X20 all day!

I can't wait to show you the rest of the projects.

Love Love

Hello Sandwich

Monday, September 1, 2014


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It's not everyday you have a team of eight people from Japan's largest advertising agency, Dentsu, in your teeny Shimokita apartment! Seriously, the last time I had eight people in this tiny apartment was at a Christmas party in 2010! The poor Dentsu people had to sit on my bed. We shot a campaign for POSCA which will be released in October. As usual I hid all of my belongings in my bathroom. I can't wait to show you the link when it's live.

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After the shoot I headed to the Sophie et Chocolat exhibition opening at Gallery SPEAK FOR in Daikanyama. Those clever bunnies.

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Love this girl to bits! She is a fortune teller!

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I want this hair so bad!

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A nijikai at the tiniest live bar in Daikanyama.

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Missed-the-last-train ramen in Shibuya.

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The other day I said 'Konnichiwa' to my cute obaachan neighbour at the fumikiri and we exchanged phone numbers. And on Sunday she called and invited me over for tempura lunch! I feel soooo lucky to have these incredible experiences in Japan even though I'm a gaijin. LUCKY! I left with a bag of eel paste, rice and a pretty tin of tea! Amazing people!

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This is Babachan's sewing room! She sits on a tiny low stool to sew. So Japanese. Swoon!

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Babachan's house.

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Live by Satomi-chan. Was feeling super untalented by this point.

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View from Babachan's rooftop! Over lunch we convinced her to have a BBQ on this incredible rooftop.

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And on Sunday afternoon, I indulged in a few of my favourite things. Eating at my computer, miso with too much wakame and rice topped with gomashio.

Did you have a nice weekend? Tell me what you got up to.

Love Love
Hello Sandwich