| Thoughts | When Was The Last Time..

Let's switch things up! How about you do the talking first and we will respond later....

So, tell us....

When Was The Last Time That You Did Something For The First Time? What did you do?

P.S. We are unable to blog for a few days but will be back very soon when we will publish all comments in one go. 
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| Photo Diary | Lanche in Marques

Lanche is a Portuguese snack made with soft slightly sweet bread (similar to Japanese bread) stuffed with cheese, ham and in this case green peppers. It looks like a sandwich but it's not quite and you must try one when you are in Portugal.

We bought a couple from a bakery that kept catching our eye and headed to the Marques park. We found a bench and sat quietly muting our delicious lunch and watched a group of old men setting up for an afternoon of cards.

It was so nice to watch the old fellows bickering with their friends. It started to get quite lively at one point and some of them were very lively, others seemed happier to take a nap. 

Marques park has a real local vibe and is a great place to watch real Porto life for a while. It is easy to get to via the Metro - just get off at Marques station. 

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| Thoughts | The Girl Who Was Always Seeking Adventure

For as long as I can remember, I have been seeking ADVENTURE.

My childhood home in Kenya was filled to the rafters with people.
People coming;
and going;
and resting just for a while.

We didn't have a big home. It was in fact, a poorly built structure that stood in a generous expanse of land but was crumbling at its edges and disintegrating from within.

Mum had a big heart and a habit of taking in anyone that called on her for help. We made room for a few Ugandan refugees that made it over the border,  a few Soweto Freedom Fighters escaping incarceration. We even made room for dubious "long-lost family members" who somehow convinced my mother that we were related in some round about the moon and back sort of way while they devoutly sponged off her generosity. There we all cramped inside our home. And these were the "additions" to the main household that was at one point about 10 strong.

Space inside the home at least, was a very precious and sought after thing. Thus, I spent most of my time outside. Escaping the imprisoning words of adults. Seeking silence. Hoping always, for adventure. And I always found it. In the trees, in the fields of maize, in the forgotten tumbledown places that we could not afford to maintain.

I would sometimes watch Disney films(when the power supply would allow)and dream of having a bedroom to myself filled with toys and fine white cotton bed linen. But that was a distant dream. In reality, I had to share my bed with my sister, and "my bedroom" with 3 others. I never had the nerve, will or the heart to complain.

At school, I would find ways to be alone but this was misread by my single minded teachers as evidence of me being "troubled". Perhaps I was. I didn't think so at the time, not at least until some adult put the idea into my  head.

Perhaps this is why I find myself guarding my own space and time so vehemently and I am quite certain that this is where my hunger for adventure (all big and small, near and far) begun.

Location: Morogoro, Tanzania.

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| Design | Good Design Shop

Once upon a 2012 in Omotesando, Tokyo, our friend took us to a shop that he was sure that we would like. The shop was the flagship of D&Department Project in collaboration with COMME des GARCONS and we got there just as the the staff were drawing down the shutters. However, they were very kind(especially when we mentioned that we cam "all the way from London") and let us in for a quick snoop around.

D&Department Project sell a varied and carefully curated selection of goods that have provenance in manufacturing timeless, well-made, durable and all round good design. 

Did we buy anything? Of course! It was impossible for us to leave without something! But we will have to show you that another day. 

Today, we just want to give you a heads-up on some news we spotted on the D&Department Project website and that is that they will be opening a branch in Dover Street Market in London on the 1st September 2014 (possibly as part of their 10th birthday celebrations). We are really pleased about this. Pleased, and curious as to what will be on offer and what price tags all that lovely stuff will be sporting.

If you are keen on details, care about quality, longevity, processes and the story behind the things you buy, then you should add this to your radar now. If however, you consider all this sort of thinking about daily everyday items as a bit pretentious then probably not. Anyway, take a look at their website, there is all sorts of lovely stuff to gaze at and learn about - it is in Japanese but you know what they say about pictures.

LINKS | D&Department Project Webiste (Japanese) Dover Street Market 

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| What I Wore | Chataigne Shorts

The encouraging words from readers, friends and family have really given me the impetus to persevere with my sewing ambitions. I know that my will shouldn't really rely on others but I cannot help that my tummy still becomes a fluttery of jitteriness when I wear something that I've made. 

My latest project was another from Deer and Doe. The Chataigne Shorts.

Shorts are handmade with Deer and Doe Pattern Short Chataigne
Breton Sailor Shirt from Le Minor.

Purple gabadine + Liberty of London Kitty Grace B cotton lawn.

Having now completed my second Deer and Doe pattern I can honestly say that their instructions are easy to follow and their sizings and fit are spot on for me. I could probably have gone a size smaller but you know me! I prefer a relaxed fit these days.

There is room for creativity with this pattern but I kept it simple and opted for a low waisted version with simple tidy cuffs. I used a purple gabardine (made in UK) that cost me £6.00 in my local fabric shop and used up a remnant of Liberty fabric for the facings and pocket linings. 

I have already made up my mind to make another pair in the future. I'm thinking of a cosy wool/flannel for winter.

P.S. I've signed up to Kollabora and you can find me HERE! If you haven't already heard of Kollabora it's great. It's a place where makers of all levels can share inspiration, projects, ideas and patterns. Well worth a look I say.

LINKS | Deer and Doe Patterns Liberty Print Fabric | Take a look at my 1st Deer and Doe Pattern |

Location: Porto, Portugal.

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| Life | Closing Windows

The weather has turned quite miserable in London. The rain is relentless, the temperatures have fallen and the leaves seem to be turning already though it is still August. I am feeling quite hard done by as I was rather enjoying the warmth of summer. 

My summers are usually refreshed by copious amounts of ice-cold mugicha (Japanese roasted barley tea) but this summer I went crazy over Oksusu cha (Korean corn tea). Oksusu cha is an infusion of roasted corn kernels it is naturally sweet, light and so refreshing when drunk either hot or cold. I've heard that corn is packed full of Vitamin E goodness that promotes good health and skin. Both thumbs up for this!

Summer walks always feel more carefree. The lack of restrictive heavy clothing makes our saunters along the streets of London all the more fun. Of course we shall still continue our wanderings in cooler months but may need more tea stops to keep us warm along the way.

Grilling fish in our tiny shared outdoor space is another thing best done in summer. Nothing beats fresh fish grilled over charcoal and enjoyed with a splash of shoyu. 

Most of all, I shall miss having our windows wide open. 

Waking up and flinging open windows to let in the rising summer air always makes me happy.  I shall miss leaving the windows open all day long while I am working at home. I enjoyed burning sticks of incense on warm evenings by our window pane. It works wonders to keep the bugs at bay and allows me to keep dreaming of our adventures in Japan.

This summer brought us some dramatic sky displays of cascading sunsets and swirling clouds. Sadly it seems that our windows won't be remaining agape for much longer. This rain and chilly air is not welcome indoors!

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