December 30, 2011

✿Tea Party

I've been taking Japanese Tea Ceremony Lesson in Oakland from a Japanese Master. I'm surprised to know how much things to remember in order to have a tea ceremony in the right way.   

Anyway, away from my Japanese Tea Ceremony Lesson, I hosted an afternoon tea party and invited my tea master and tea lesson mates to my house about a week ago.

We had lemon verbena leaves that I dried for herb tea and my favorite French tea company Mariage Frères tea with my Maccha Maron Banana Cake after we had Japanese food for lunch.  Maccha (matcha) is green tea powder and maron is chesnut in French.

I love making sweets more than savory food.  This cake tasted really delicious and it came out pretty as well.  From the bottom part, 1st layer is the green tea flavored sponge cake. 2nd is the maron (chesnut) cream, 3rd is the whipped cream and banana.

I had such a great afternoon tea time with my tea master and mates in such a different environment in western way of enjoying tea.

December 25, 2011

✿Merry Christmas

These are my Christmas decoration at my place. 
My French friend gave me the French painter and Eiffel Tower ornaments when he came to visit me in November.  Merci Gal.

Too many Eiffel towers at my house ? I have 4 Eiffel Towers but I never bought one.  My friends are just keep giving me as souvenir from France.  hahaha...

The branch I picked the other day... here is the link about it.

 I made the pink knitted ornament when I was really small.

I love acorn and cedar cone.

There is a eucalyptus tree just outside of my house and a branch fall down when it was a strong wind.  I'm using it for my decoration and made Christmas Swags a little while ago.

These little girls are lavender sachets I made.  Back side is hemp fabric and using jute rope to hang it.  

I'm going to have dinner at my friends house later on and I made chestnut pudding to bring.
I wish you a Happy Christmas !

December 24, 2011

✿Christmas Inspiration Box

Last year, we made wreath and swag and this year, we made Christmas Inspiration Box at the flower class.  I arranged the little girl paper, cinnamon sticks, red bees wax candles,  acorn, little wreath, moss, Christmas greens and other pretty plants.

Took a photo in front of the tree with other student's works. Some people takes a little time and other take much longer time to make.  It's so interesting to see every one's work at the end.
My flower teacher, Mari-san's house decoration.

 She loves decorating her house and she always does it so beautiful.

We always have afternoon tea together after the class.   
Mari-san made this raw cacao cake.

One lady brought ginger cookies.

I brought raw coconut chips that my friend made which he sent from Hawaii.

She also made these little felt tarts.  I have one and I love it so much.   I always enjoy visiting her house.
Joyeux Noël...

December 23, 2011

✿In The Woods

In the end of November, my husband and I went to the woods to find a tree branch.  

Every year around this time, city workers cut tree branches and leave them on the ground.  So, every year we pick up a branch to have a christmas decoration for the house.

Voila, this is our Christmas Tree. I love my sustainable Christmas Branch.

December 21, 2011


Sweets I made in November.
This is one of my siginature desert, banana maron tart. It has thin layer of chocolate, maron cream, banana and cream on whole wheat flour tart.  

These are macrobiotic cookies.  Made with whole wheat flour, unbleeched pastly flour, kuzuko (this can be corn starch), almond flour, maple syrup.  It was really good !

December 20, 2011

✿Mini Christmas Wreaths

I had a christmas sale event at a friend house last weekend.  I didn't bring my hats to sell but I brought mini christmas wreaths and christmas swags I made during this holiday.  I also sold my ceramic pieces as well.

These two are my favorite.  All the pine nuts, cedar cone rose, and pink tree flowers are something I found around my house when I was strolling.

I love finding acorn and "love in a mist" dry flowers are from my garden.  I discover "love in a mist"  about 8 years ago, and since then it's one of my favorite flower.  It's has different looks when it's bloom and dry.  (the lightest color of dry flower on the left on this photo)

I made more swags the other day and here is the link of other swags.

December 19, 2011


It's in Japanese, if you understand Japanese, please hear this message...

December 15, 2011

✿Maple & The Deer

It was just the other day when I went to glossary stores just several block away from my house...    As I was walking and stepping on maple leaves with a sound of dried falling leaves...

2 deers which I think they were a parent and a child and I unexpectedly met on the street.  We didn't see each other because a tall car was parked on the side street in between us.   When we met, we were only within 10 yards away from each other.  While I was standing still, deers run to the other side of the street quickly.

From the other side, he/she was checking me out...  I said, "I'm so happy to see you guys, thank you" loud enough that they can hear.
In this photo, it seems like the maple tree branch was falling but got stuck.  It looks like the deer is carrying the branch on the shoulder? but it's not !

December 14, 2011

✿The Gardener

I go to The Gardener shop on 4th Street sometime. They have many beautiful house hold items. I love these steal dish cover. It will be perfect for cake stand !

I love how they display.

These animal paper calendar was cute.

December 11, 2011

✿Floral Window Display

H Julien Designs,  floral design studio/shop always has the most beautiful window display.  

I love it because it makes me feel like I can just jumped into a different world by just looking at their display. 

They changes their display several time a year to let us enjoy their world.  Bravo !

H Julien Designs 
1798 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709

December 09, 2011


I joined a fundraising event for a local high school in September.  This fundraising event was unique that we hiked Wildcat Gorge Trail at Tilden Park to learn about wild plants.  
The purpose was to learn to identify and use common wild plants with used for food, first aid, medicine or poison etc...  

Mugwort is used for dream pillows to help increase our dream memory.

Yerba Buena makes delicious tea. it's a mint family.

As we hike, the guide told us which ones are poison and which are edible. There were a lot of plants to remember so I made memo and took lots of photos...  Unfortunately, it's hard to remember everything so I want to hike the same trail again to see how much I can recognise.

December 06, 2011

✿Christmas Swag

It was very windy day and one big branch (taller than me) of eucalyptus fall in front of my house so brought it into the house to decorate it.  It smells so nice to have eucalyptus in the house.  

All the small branches and leaves were so heavy that it didn't stand so I pruned them.  I made swags using these branches and leaves.
These are very small swags and learn how to make these last year at my Flower Class.

All the pine corns I used as decoration were something I found on the street or forest over the years. 

December 01, 2011

✿Castle in The Sky

Christmas display at Castle in The Sky.  This shop is one of my favorite in Berkeley and it locates on 4th street.  They have ornaments, gifts, art papers, stationary, fountain pens and papers, tools and materials for crafts and many more.  They also have crafts classes upstairs.

All these ornaments are for sale.
I would love to visit this shop again before Christmas...