Archive for the 'kids' Category


I have been rather absent from this site for a while. It’s hard to squeeze these things in, in between looking after two young children and relocating from one city to another, amongst other things. I’m hoping soon things will normalise and I can once again redirect my focus towards other interests!

As our lives get organized, my daughter is attending a very nice art camp this week at LUX, down the road from where we’re staying. I was very happy to discover this rather unique place. She’s doing the printmaking workshop. When I pick her up I get itchy fingers looking at all the lovely pieces they’ve been working on. So much fun!


Some more pictures of the lovely little jinbei my friend Keiko made out of some of my fabric, beautifully modeled by little A!

+81 jinbei

Take a look at +81. Keiko made this really lovely tiny jinbei for her new born daughter using some space-to-think fabric. It makes me so happy to see this fabric being so beautifully used. I can’t wait to see it being worn … more pictures to come!

Homework pattern



Mosaic stickers



Charley Harper




Top: Bear In The Birches. Below: details from Unzipped, Beetle Battle, Diving Pelican, Woodthrush, Pfwhooooo!, Serengheti Spaghetti, & Skimmerscape.

Yesterday I was having the car washed and while trying to keep Aya & I entertained for 20 mins, we browsed the bookshelves of the car-wash shop. There were some Charley Harper children’s books, which I’ve flicked through before and always thought his work looked striking, however these kind of books don’t seem to do his work justice – I realised I had previously been put off those books because of the quality of reproduction and the seemingly slapped together selection (maybe it’s just me, but I’ve found this to be a bit of a trend with publishers of children’s books, who seem to want to make a quick buck by putting an easy kids ‘ABC’ book together). This time I decided to look past what was bugging me and studied Harper’s images more carefully, paying more attention to how he worked with detail and composition. And so I decided to do a little more research into Charley Harper, beyond the world of the 3yr old’s board book!

Not all of his work appeals to me I have to admit, but Harper does have a wonderful sense of geometry and line, and some of the most fascinating parts of his images are in the smaller details – the little shapes that create a leg, the lines that create movement, the layering of information, background merging with foreground, the intense combination of pattern. Some of the images and elements become almost completely abstract, until you look again.

In describing his unique style, Harper said, “When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting; in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe”.

He is making me look around a little differently today.

You can see more of his prints at

Collections of Charles Harpers illustrations in various forms can be found at this flickr pool, including his beautiful mosaic at The John Weld Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati OH.

In-house inspiration





So, today I have to mention my in-house source of inspiration. My daughter.

Always on the move, making, collecting, doing something, anything, with those fiddly little 4 yr old hands. She has such a fresh and easy approach. Not too much thinking, just doing … then thinking afterwards! I have to admit I’ve started giving her things to play with that could feed into my work. Some paper cut outs for her to arrange (her compositions are more organic and un-contrived than mine). Buying a set of rhombus mosaic pieces, that I bought for myself as much as for her (luckily its become apparent that she loves them too!). And then some things seemingly just come out of nowhere, like wrapping rubber bands around a stone, or arranging all my pins from my pin cushion along the ironing board. And tons of drawing and colouring. I love those little surprises that appear after a period of intense, quiet concentration and lots of heavy breathing! So inventive and sweet. I can learn a lot from her.

Music box


Photo from kid-o

I am in love with this musical box! You can make your own music by punching holes in the paper strips.

I remember seeing one of these for the first time a few years ago being played by Toshio Iwai at one of his talks. I was blown away by it’s simplicity. So beautiful. I want one!

You can see how Toshi Iwai’s Tenori-on directly relates to it.

I re-discovered the little music box at a great shop called Kid-O in New York (recommended to me by my flickr buddie, Hikaru). They have a brilliantly selected collection of products for children which I often find myself daydreaming over!


View photos on Flickr and Instagram


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