I stumbled upon artist Simon Evans's work in a jet-lagged haze this morning, courtesy of Joana's Pinterest. His 2008 piece, "Everything I Have," makes the impassioned organizer in me very happy (though my collections of Polaroids, books, and back issues of now-defunct magazines would make a project of this magnitude more than a little daunting)!

See more of the artist's work, here. Image via the James Cohan Gallery.

PS: Are you on Pinterest? I'm always looking for new boards to follow. You can find mine, here.

Tea & Tabbies.

After many, many hours spent in transit, I'm finally back in Brooklyn . (Thank you all, by the way, for your wonderful long-distance travel suggestions - they were lifesavers!) I'll be back to my usual, non-travel-related posting tomorrow, but first, I just had to share photos of the cat cafes that Max, Margaux, and I visited the last couple of days we were in Tokyo. (I realize cats have been a recurring topic on the blog this week - I swear I'm not a crazy cat lady!)

With that said, here are Margaux and Max at Cat Cafe Calico, in Kichijoji. 

A cat cafe is exactly what it sounds like: a place where customers can order tea or coffee, and spend time with some friendly felines.

Patrons can even pay a little extra to feed the cats.

And here we are at the second - much smaller - cafe, CatRoom Korune:

A few fuzzy faces:

For more information, visit the CatRoom Korune website, here, and read more about Cat Cafe Calico, here.

Nailed It.

No trip to Tokyo would be complete without a stop in Harajuku. On Wednesday, Margaux and I decided to forgo the "doctor fish" pedicure that I mentioned earlier this week in favor of trinket-adorned, Harajuku-style manicures (we were thinking something along the lines of this). In the end, we went for something a little (read: a lot) safer; nonetheless, we were thrilled with the result.

Here we are, having just arrived nearly a half hour late to our appointment at Ange Tokyo - we got lost on the way over, and spent the better portion of an hour circling Harajuku, looking for the salon.

Once we settled in, our manicurists helped us choose polish, glitter, and colorful stones - with the assistance of our trusty translator, a.k.a. my mom. 

An hour later...

It's hard to see the details, but Margaux's sunny circles are made up of dozens of tiny gold beads.

My manicure included a mixture of large stones (again, hard to see here), pink and silver glitter, and one tiny, hand-painted black cat.

They may not have been the outlandish creations we'd originally envisioned, but they were still quite a departure for two girls who normally opt for plain old, un-bedazzled red. 

Below, our sweet manicurists, Yoko and Yuriko, with their very happy customers.

Got a trip to Japan in your future? Visit Ange Tokyo's website, here, or call 03-6413-1590 to make an appointment.

Thank You.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I'm giving thanks for the best family and friends a girl could possibly hope for, my wonderful home, and the opportunity to live and work in a city I love. I'm also so incredibly thankful for you - my supportive, interesting, creative, and very encouraging readers. The fact that you take time out of your day to visit my blog means the world to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

More from Japan tomorrow!

Japan 1.

A few things that made me smile today: "fish" for breakfast (this is actually a sweet treat filled with chestnut and red bean),

washi tape galore,

an unusual canine carrier,

and, last but not least, my parents. (Can you spot my mom?)

PS: I'm on Oh Joy! today - check out my "Closet & Casa" feature, here! Thanks so much for having me, Joy and Bri!

Hello from Japan.

Door to door, it was an eighteen-hour journey, but here I am - finally! - blogging from my grandparents' kitchen table in Tokyo. (We didn't have internet until this morning, so I apologize for missing a day yesterday.) I don't have pictures to share yet, but it's bound to be a busy week - in between visits with family, I'm hoping to eat as much as possible, indulge in some sort of out-there, only-in-Japan beauty treatment (like a "doctor fish" pedicure),

and, lastly, visit a cat cafe with Margaux, my sister-in-law. What's a cat cafe, you ask? It's where cat lovers confined to living in tiny Japanese apartments can indulge their cravings for feline attention. We're hoping to run into this guy while we're there (if you haven't heard of Maru, this is an absolute must-see):

Readers who've been to Japan: if you have any recommendations for things to see or do, let me know! Hope you're all having a lovely week.

Photo by Eric Rechsteiner/Panos via Marie Claire.

Bon Voyage.

Next time you hear from me - which should be Monday, as usual - I'll be in Japan! I plan to blog on my usual schedule, but if the timing seems a little off, you'll know why. (And again, thank you so much to everyone who offered tips on yesterday's post - I feel so much better about my flight now!)

Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.

14 Hours.

Though I'm a fairly experienced traveler, I'm getting more and more nervous about my upcoming 14-hour flight to Japan this Sunday. (I'll be in Tokyo for Thanksgiving this year.) It's been a while since I've taken such a long flight, and, to add insult to injury, I just found out there will be no wifi on the plane. What exactly does one do in this situation? 
So far, I've got "The Marriage Plot," Korres lip balm, and - most importantly - a travel-sized Nutella in my carry-on. Clothing-wise, in order to maximize comfort, I've decided I'm going to dress as though I'm going to bed: soft leggings, a big sweater, punchy socks in case it's cold. 

For the rest of it, though, I need your help - what else would you recommend packing for a long flight? Any tips on how to get through it comfortably? Any and all suggestions would be so greatly appreciated!

Bewitching Baubles.

When it comes to accessories, I tend to go for conversation starters

Case in point: one of my all-time favorites pieces of jewelry is a giant, pearl-white, beaded explosion of a ring that I purchased years ago at an art museum - its ridiculous size once had a child guessing whether or not I had a small sea creature sleeping on my knuckle. I'm always on the look-out for additions to my quirky collection, and as soon as I spotted these magical creations by Shannnam, I knew they'd be the perfect fit.

Read more at Refinery29. 


My jaw hit the ground when I saw these photos at the Design with the Other 90%: CITIES exhibit at the U.N. headquarters this weekend. The exhibit is comprised of "sixty projects, proposals, and solutions that address the complex issues arising from the unprecedented rise of informal settlements in emerging and developing countries." This particular project, by artist JR, is part of a series he calls Women Are Heroes.

According to the Design with the Other 90%: CITIES website, "JR captures extreme close-ups of women’s faces and covers informal settlements with large-scale reproductions of the images. The women actively participate by telling their stories and taking part in the artistic process...Such intimate portraits pasted in these urban landscapes allow passersby to encounter these women as large, central figures in their communities."

Brilliant! New Yorkers, click here for information on how to view the Design with the Other 90%: CITIES exhibit yourselves. (It's open til January 9th - and it's free!)


Words of wisdom from Wonderland:

My weekend was busier than usual - almost but not quite mad. I had a Korean BBQ dinner; watched my very first boxing match (on TV) - in a crowded Brooklyn barbershop, no less; took a trip to the flea market for doughnuts and pierogis, and visited the U.N. I'm dragging my feet a bit this morning, but I'm already excited for next weekend, when I'll be boarding a plane for Japan - this year, my family will be spending Thanksgiving in Tokyo. Can't wait to share my adventures there with you! That said, what did you do on the weekend? And what are your plans for the holidays?

Have a very happy Monday!

Image via Wit + Delight.


Happy Friday! And many, many thanks to those of you who commented on yesterday's post with suggestions for winter classes - I appreciate your input so much. Now, after hearing all of these ideas - printmaking, metalsmithing, photography, typography - I'm tempted to take more than one!

Have a  lovely weekend, everyone! 

Photo by my favorite photographer, (though I admit I'm a bit biased), Max Wanger.

Cold Weather Classes.

Last winter, because I was feeling restless and missed being in a classroom, I decided to sign myself up for ten weeks of introductory French lessons. While the course itself was ultimately not for me, (I went to five meetings, where I learned to say, "My name is Shoko. I live in Brooklyn. I have a brown rabbit"), it felt good to be getting out of the apartment and learning something new.

This winter, I'm thinking of enrolling in another course. There's certainly no shortage of choices here in New York City - options I'm considering include perfume blending, a letterpress class, memoir writing, and Cheese 101. So many to choose from, and so little time. Any suggestions? Please share!

Image via kasmi-nuko. (If anyone knows who the photographer is, I'd love to give proper credit!)

Going Mobile.

These "mobile homes," by artist Kim Baise, made my morning. So clever.

This ice cream mobile is pretty irresistible, too. See more at the artist's Etsy shop, here.


365 Lucky Days is a project by artist Lucky Jackson, who has resolved to produce - "with love" - a daily work of art for 365 days straight. "I hope that you all are inspired to create something every day," she writes.

View the 365 gallery, here, and Lucky's blog, here. Found via Eat Drink Chic.

Saveur Secrets.

When it comes to food, I've been spoiled all my life by my mother, who's a genius in the kitchen. Growing up, I assumed that cooking was as easy as she made it look, and I took all of her beautifully prepared meals for granted. It wasn't until I left for college that I realized how wrong I'd been. Since then, learning to cook for myself has been an ongoing process - some days, I'm thrilled with what I make; other days, I'm convinced I'll starve. But I'm still learning, and loving the adventure. 

Yesterday, as I was browsing some of my favorite food sites, I came across a series of how-to videos on I'll take any tips I can get, and I loved this one:

Cool, right? Now take what you've learned, and make this

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds from on Vimeo.

Weekend Wishes.

May your weekend be full of love, laughter, long walks, and buttoned-up bear hugs.
See you Monday.

Photos of Audrey Hepbern and Mel Ferrer by Michael Ochs. Found via reverie. Bliss.

My love affair with has been long-standing. We go way back (that's me in the middle there), which is why I couldn't be more excited about their brand-new holiday collection.

Highlights include a very festive sequin scarf, 

and my personal, all-occasions favorite, the pop flower.

Nothing like a little sparkle - and a hit of hot pink - to brighten your day. Shop more on the website, here

Photos by Max Wanger.

Oh Shoko!

Despite its proximity to the weekend, Wednesday often feels to me like the most chaotic day of the week. Today, I'm starting my morning by listening to my favorite pick-me-up song, John Lennon's "Oh Yoko!" (Slightly embarrassing fact: I sometimes change the words to "Oh Shoko!" when singing along. Just being honest.)

Video via theasz.


I've included artwork from Society6 on my blog before, (a winking bear print, here, and a Steve Zissou iPhone case, here), but it would require dozens of posts to cover everything I love from the site, which hosts work by a slew of artists worldwide.

Three prints I happened upon while browsing yesterday:

More at Society6.


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