February 16, 2012

✿Shio Koji 2

I wrote about Shio-koji in last July and I have been getting lots of access especially in last one month in my English blog page.  Shio-Koji has been more popular in Japan since last year and I guess non-Japanese people are also into Shio-koji these days...
I wrote recipe here.

My friend attend a lecture of fermentation food specialist in Tokyo and she told me many great health benefits of Koji.  
When you have Shio-Koji, it's great to add into salad dressing instead of soy sauce, salt or vinegar.
Sometime soon, I will write about amazake (sweet non-alcoholic sake) I have been making with Koji.

Please, enjoy the benefits of Koji !!

February 15, 2012

✿Valentine Cake

I made this raw cacao nuts cake for valentine's day.
On Valentine's day, we had lunch at a restaurant and in the afternoon we had this cake at home !

A friend just had surgery and being home for last few weeks so I brought this cake for her and her family as well.

(I made this dish plate.)

February 12, 2012

✿Calligraphy Class 2

I went to calligraphy class again.  The teacher, Lauren's writing is so beautiful.

When we have class, Lauren's friend, Catherine cooks sweets and light lunch for us every time.  She put all her recipes together so nicely and gave to all of us.  Her food is really good and looking forward to make something from her recipe.

After the calligraphy, we made a paper lantern.  She was displaying the lantern with the mannequin.

This is my piece.
 Lauren is expert in making paper flowers and taught us how to make them.  I really enjoy going to Lauren's place to learn calligraphy.

Tail of the Yak 2

February 08, 2012

✿Wood Carver

I visited Japanese wood carver, Mr. Zoshi, Takayuki who lives in Sebastopol which is about an hour away from Berkeley.
Mystical wood carved pieces at his atelier/gallery. 

Mr. Zoshi came to the United States when he was 30 years old to join a Peace Walk for an antinuclear weapon and walked 6000 miles from Los Angeles to New York.  His journey took 8 months and he told me that he didn't think America was this big...   A few years after this journey, he decided to live in the United States.

As he walked across the United States, he started to carving a piece of wood using a wood carving tool he brought with him from Japan and he made a Buddha which is in the center of the photo.  It was his very first wood carving piece he ever made but at the same time,  it looks like it was done by someone professional.   Every detail from the little balls on the Buddha's head and face were so real and from every angles, it was nothing but a high-quality finished piece.

After the journey, carving woods became a big part of him and he makes living by it now. He creates his own works and takes custom orders such as museum etc...

My favorite is a goddess who wears a crescent moon head accessory on her Challah bread shaped hat and floating on the cloud.  It's hard to see it on this photo but the color is very fairy tale like. It's very dreamy, so peaceful and precious. 

 His wood carving tools.
 (he has more tools but not in the photo)

He told me some woods are good for carving and some are not... 

He uses Japanese rock pigments to color them.   

He teaches wood carving at his atelier and he has the carving process samples. 

All the things you see on these photos are done by Mr. Zoshi.  Not only the wood carving pieces but also the table, shelves, and the atelier and gallery building itself was done by him as well.  I was very much impressed to see his work and also the atelier and gallery space was built by himself.  I felt that I met the real artist who dedicates all to his life.   Thank you, Zoshi-san.

He has video... 

February 02, 2012

✿Madame Lauren

This is my calligraphy teacher, Lauren's house.  Lauren did both art work on the wall and the paper flower ornament.  You can see some of her paper decoration at her shop, Tail of the Yak in Berkeley, California as well.

The antique mannequine in the living room.  I love the color of this room, lime green curtain and lemon and melon color cusion in gray tone sofas... all natural tone color are so pretty together.

These are also her art works.  They are really big (maybe like 8 feet) and so dynamic yet so feminine. 
Going down the stairs, there is a Lauren's large art studio space.

A wall in her studio.

Pretty antique tea pots and her real wedding cake.  She said, top part of the cake is only form and icing so that it last for a long time which I never knew...   It's so pretty. 

Just like at her shop, she has birds in her house.  There were at least 4 cages and they are all so beautiful and look vintage.  Some birds laugh so so funny that makes me laugh every time I hear them.  

 I find beautiful things... all over  in this house like tea cups, tea pots, plates art works from many artists and many more...  ah.... I love this place.  
( I have Lauren's permission to write this article and photos)
Thank you, Lauren.

Ms. Lauren  McIntosh

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✿Calligraphy Class 1

I'm learning calligraphy with pen from Lauren, the co-owner of Tail of the yak at her beautiful house.

In Japan, we learn calligraphy with brush in elementarly school but writing with pen is something new for me and I enjoy it very much.  I've been wanting to learn calligraphy with pen for a long time and I finally have the opportunity to learn it and it's so amazing that Lauren is my teacher.   She is the one who does the Tail of the Yak calendar every year and she is such an amazing artist.  

During the little break time, she offer light lunch and sweets for students.  It's very sweet of her!

I love this tea pot.  Believe me, she has very beautiful things all over the house like the interior you see on the magazine...   

Ms. Lauren  McIntosh
Tail of the Yak 1
Tail of the Yak 2