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Wooden Automatons

Check out these amazing handmade automatons by by Japanese artist, Kazu Harada. Besides the fact that each one looks beautifully on its own, the mechanism & the action makes them even more wonderfully magical. I can play with these all day and never get tired it. Especially this Duck one!!
Also I love the sound of this Matryoshka.
How does this work?? It's KIIIIILING me!!
Hope you have a happy & unproductive weekend watching all of Kazu's videos!



Dream Closet

MUST check out this inspiring closet visit of Momoko Suzuki's space, wardrobe, and her stylish sensibility.
I first saw some pieces from her brand Black Crane at Mohawk General Store (my new fav shop in LA) and wished I had splurged on one of her beautiful Japanese dyed shirts. (below)...but mostly, I wish I can just have all her clothes..and everything she owns....



Drumroll....Announcing the Winners

So Thanks to everyone's contributions and efforts in participating in our little event to raise fund for Japan, we raised a total of $931. Yay! It's something! Thanks everyone for taking part of this!!

We drew 1 winner for every $500 raised. Since its pretty close to $1000, we figured we should draw 2 piggies!!
We did it the Japanese way (like getting a fortune at temples & shrines) and put everyone's tickets in the piggies, and shook it until the first names that came out...
...and the winners are Christen Coomer & Jennifer Fisher!! Congratulations!!

We didn't quite raise enough to do the drawing as planned, so we'll be giving other piggies to other relief events around. They'll be going to a good place no matter what. :)

One coming up: Seattleites Help Japan-Relief Event Part2
This Thursday April 14th 6-9pm
There's a suggested donation of $25 with 15 types of sake tasting, appetizers & desserts.
Japanese Koto Performance and silent auction. All money will be give to Peace Winds.
Please go to above link for event details.





....Pleeeeease help us help Japan and reach our goal!  READ DEATILS BELOW:WHAT WE'RE DOING: L&G would like to help raise some funds by giving away up to 5 special tribute to Japan Chalk Piggy Banks. FOR EVERY $500 RAISED, ONE PIGGY BANK WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN (AT RANDOM). Our goal is to raise at least $2500!!

WHAT YOU COULD WIN: Limited edition special tribute to Japan Chalk Piggy Banks with a red cork nose. Will also include white chalk & felt wipe cloth as well as shipping.

HOW IT WORKS: ONE drawing ticket will be given with EVERY $7 donation you give to the Japanese Red Cross. (i.e. $10=1 ticket, $21=3 tickets, $70=10 tickets....MORE tickets means HIGHER chance of winning!)

Step 1: Go to Paypal's link to Japanese Red Cross  and donate $$$.

Step 2: Email us your receipt from JRC with the amount you've donated to: .  

Step 3: We'll reply with a confirmation email, the number drawing ticket(s) we'll put your name in the drawing, and an acknowledgment to your awesomeness, generosity, and in making a difference with a virtual big thumbs up!!

Step 4: Check back on April 11th, to see who the winners are on our website blog.

DATE OF ANNOUNCEMENT:  Monday, April 11, 9pm (PST)

Winner(s) will receive separate emails from us asking for your shipping info. So please make sure our emails don't end up in your junk email because that would just be a real bummer...

Thank you to Seattle Met & Blue Ant Studio for sharing this on their site!!
We would be more than thrilled if anyone else can share this with your friends or your site, blog, facebook, twitter, etc.
Big big thank you all for your support & help!
xoxo Jean & Dylan


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Our raffle plan failed when we saw an email from Paypal today saying that it's against Paypal's policies !! :( Total raffle FAIL!!! booo.... ...BUT no fret!! We've reformatted!

Basically, go to the Japanese Red Cross site and donate directly to them (between now and April 11th).

Email us ( a copy of your receipt and for every $7 you donate, we'll put your name in a drawing for one of the five special edition banks.  Therefore the MORE you donate, the HIGHER chance of you winning a pig! For every $500 we raise, we'll draw a pig winner at random.

If you've already donated to us, no worries, we'll still donate it directly to the red cross and you'll still be in the drawing. Just don't tell paypal it's a raffle...because it's NOT!

We apologize for the inconvenience but GREATLY appreciate your willingness to work with our set up and our goal to help the people in Japan!! We can't do this without all your help!! Please comment or email us with any questions!

xoxo Jean & Dylan

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Help us help Japan Raffle! Win a special Piggy Bank!

We feel so incredibly lucky to have been safe at Depot when the earthquake hit Japan. As we felt the room shake and shake and shake beneath us that afternoon, we had no idea the toll the quake(s) were taking on other parts of the country. We were shocked, dismayed, and overcome with an eerie feeling as we watched the news later that night to find out about the incomprehensible damage just slightly north of us.

This unease persisted as we continued our trip. As we headed south to Kyoto to attempt to reconvene our travels, we couldn't help but feel like we were traveling in the wrong direction - that we should be going to North to help somehow. Unfortunately, the fears of the nuclear risks kept us away as we managed to enjoy ourselves in the south all the while feeling a bit guilty.


We vowed to do what we could to help once we returned home, so here's a start: We're producing 5 special piggy banks for our own charity raffle. These cute fellers have a vibrant red dipped nose and are individually numbered 1-5. We're hoping to raise $2000 or more for donation directly to the Japanese Red Cross for the earthquake relief.

Tickets are only $7, so we hope you and your friends, and your friend's friends will join in for a chance (or five) to win one of our special piggies. Buy now through 4/11.

Thank you for your support and

in making a difference.

xoxo Jean & Dylan




More than Shocking...

Saw this link of EVERY SINGLE earthquake & aftershocks that started on March 11th and up to now. It's broken down by date, the exact time, the level and the range of each of them....

It's more than chilling to watch since there are 850+ earthquake & aftershocks up to date.

We were feeling many of those small-mid aftershocks when we were there, and it's insane to see it broken down like this and see how there were so many more than what I even remember feeling during those earlier days!! Scary!! (>.<)

I really hope things will get better soon!! We're praying for all our friends, families, and everyone there!!



Japan Sight / Taste / Find: 3/11

Day: 6 A day at Mami & Seiya's bike & lifestyle shop, Depot in 市川 Ichikawa.

Charming handmade ceramic pieces of all sorts at the shop by their friend, Koichi-san & Waka-san.

World's most AMAZING ramen we've ever had...handmade noodles, softboiled eggs, and light soy sauce broth at 菜ラーメン Sai Ramen....droool....

The mess that we saw at our friend's home just couple hours after the most devastating earthquake of all times in Japan. A 7.5+ level that shook for 2-3 minutes long. Luckily no major damage where we were...but not so much the case in Northern Japan...



Japan blips

We're filling up our camera and memory banks of incredible experiences here in Japan! So much to blog, such limited internet access!

Just to assuage any readers' fears...we're safe and sound after experiencing the biggest earthquake in modern Japanese history. We were so lucky to be in Ichikawa at the Minatos' shop Depot/Lovelife. Just before the quake, we had just finished eating the most amazing Ramen ever and were in a ceramic workshop at Depot (more pics on that later). We felt the quake and our first instincts were to save all the poor beautiful shaking ceramics on the shelves, so we were frantically bracing everything. Maybe not the smartest tactical decision for our personal safety, but we can proudly say we're still alive along with all but one of the ceramic pieces in their shop! We've been saddened and shocked by all the devastation that took place just north of us and continue to hope for a quick, nuclear-meltdown-free recovery. We feel so lucky to be in a safe spot.

So, here are some visual "teasers" of some Japan posts to come! We are continuing our trip and will be heading south to Kyoto and Okayama tomorrow for the week. Hope to fill you all in soon.

Beautiful mossy wall in Tokyo

Stacked chairs at Aika and Yume Minato's school. We got to visit and had a wonderful Q&A sesh with 2nd and 4th graders.

A basket of wooden lids at a used restaurant supply store (SO COOL!)

Every wonder why you can't find Red Wings or other cool vintage brands in US thrift stores? They send them all here to this giant vintage reseller...aisles and aisles of classic American and Japanese brands for lower than new, but still high prices.

Sakura Mochi and tea...the first thing we had right after we landed...

"Stations are city gateways. Never an ashtray." and other subway warnings.

In case you were wondering where to stand at the's right here.


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Japan Sight / Taste / Find: 3/10

Day 5: A little nostalgic


This photo wouldn't be as awesome if the women sleeping wasn't sitting on the 70's upholstery on the train...

Freshly made rice crackers in the historic neighborhood of Tokyo in 浅草 Asakusa.

One of my favorite item...Japanese 手ぬぐい Tenugui. They're simple cotton  hand towels with a  versatile purpose and can be used for wrapping, cleaning, or simply for decorating.

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Japan Sight / Taste / Find: 3/9

Day 4: Full day of visual stimulation

SIGHT: Seiya & Mami's took us to visit their kids, Aika & Yume's, elementary school to talk about the difference of school & lifestyle between the States & Japan.

Dinner at the Minatos and hand 手巻き寿司 Temakizushi with super delicious & fresh fish of all sorts.

A used restaurant supply store filled with fun things of all sorts that made us want to open a restaurant just for the fun of it.


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Japan Sight / Taste / Find: 3/8

Day 3: Roaming around

Playground with a globe marry go round.

Mami made us a well-rounded breakfast with the best tasting egg.

Got stuck looking at tiny microscopic miniature people of all sorts in the model making department of 東急ハンズ  Tokyu Hands....a department store of 7 floors filled with materials, supplies, and everyday items of anything you'll ever need and everything you CAN'T think to need but feel compelled to get....Pretty much, it's like heaven and hell at the same time.

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Japan Sight / Taste / Find: 3/7

Day 2: Woke up and saw this...

SIGHT: Snow in March?!

Lunch & a lovely dessert set at a close by Japanese-Italian restaurant in 市川 Ichikawa where they made their own desserts.


Got couple of vintage  暮らしの手帖 Kurashi No Techo lifestyle magazine at Seiya & Mami's friends vintage book shop, Smoke Books. They had a whole shelf of them from the 70's & 80's filled with the best photos of everyday delights!



Japan Sight / Taste / Find: 3/6

This is start of the our trip with the series of 3 photos highlighting our daily discoveries where each photo represents an interesting sighting, some yummy food we tasted, and things we found.

DAY 1: right after we arrived...

At 林檎の木 Ringo No Ki Gallery  in 千葉 Chiba checking out our friend Atsushi who makes Gunung bike & lifestyle accessories.

Got to taste these beautiful seasonal 桜もちSakura Mochi wrapped in shiso leaves as the first thing we ate after landing.


Handmade steel tape dispensers by a local artisan in 市川 Ichikawa.



L&G Goods In Japan and Soon...US!

So we got some DOUBLE exciting news for L&G and for us!

We currently have some L&G goodies & hand selected vintage items at our friends' shop in Japan called Depot Cycle & Recycle. It's a charming family run bike & lifestyle shop in Ichikawa owned by THE MOST adorable, loving, & happy people we know!!
For the past month, We've been sending some fun things from L&G, R&L goods, and Piano Nobile goodies for their house & lifestyle area of the shop. They just sent me the photo of what it looks like and I'm already in love with all the things, the colors, and just the charming aesthetic of their shop!! I Especially love all these beautifully made ceramic ware.
Here is a photo of the lovely Minato Family. Seiya & Mami & their 3 adorable kids, Aika, Yume and Yuni!! ( I'd like to adopt all of them....yes please...) This is pretty much what they look like ALL the time....always happy and joke.
The Minato family visited us in Seattle last summer at our duplex and between Dylan, Chika, Jared and I, we had such a blast with them hanging out around Seattle, Ballard and Guemes Island to show them the great NW.
It was especially fun experiencing everything through their eyes since pretty much wherever they go...birds would sing, people would smile, flowers would bloom, babies would laugh, and even total strangers would go up and talked to them and be compelled to be their BFFs...
It sounds like I'm making it up...but I am not exaggerating.

So in about a week, Dylan & I are actually going to Japan to visit them!!
We'll actually get to really see and experience what its really like to live like one of the happy Minatos!

We're especially excited to see Seiya & Mami shop in person and see L & G piggy banks, servers, and doily rugs!
I made couple of Mini-Mega Doilies (One 2.5 ft diameter and the other is 2ft diameter) for them since their space is limited, but I also think they might actually do well at that size in Japan since it can also be used seating pads for the floor or on a chair....I hope they do well!
At that size... it's actually pretty cute if I may say so myself! :)

I also made a little sewn look book for them of our work.
There's something so satisfying about the combination of thread & paper...

Here's what the inside looks like...I can't explain how excited to see them & also visit Japan!! I'm getting butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it!
It's been a LONG time (7 years!) for me since I was last in Japan studying abroad there, and Dylan on the other hand has never been!
We've been talking about it for couple of years now, and it's also been a long time since the two of us have taken a long personal vacation that's not family or work related!
So it's about time! on with planning the trip......Oh boy!! Where do we even begin or stop!?!



Drooling Over These Wood Bowls by Mute

Drooling over this whole line of wooden bowls & containers by Mute from Japan....
God! I wish people in Japan would start making some ugly lame stuff one of these days... If only god would grant me a wish...that's totally what I'd wish for....
For once I like to see things aren't as beautiful and lovely as these...
I just love the simple form and how they celebrate the wood material so well and with a little playful touch with the bold red color makes it that much more special!via Roger Allen