Wednesday, December 22, 2010

rain or shine

Make rainy days feel not as bad......!

The new collection from ileava, Ao, was made so that those rainy days won't make you feel so gloomy anymore.

Wear cloud pieces for cloudy days or rain drops for rainy days to make you feel differently about those rainy days.

There's always the sun above the clouds~

Available at Accents Jewelry on Main St. Santa Monica.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas is just around the corner~

ileava's new star and heart rings are sold at Yolk.
and few other selections as well~

it's a little hard to see in this photo.
The little heart and star could be worn together inside of the large open heart or star~
if you are in the area, Yolk is a great store that you can find gifts for others and gifts you want to give yourself!

I used to drive on this street almost everyday, one summer when I was interning for an architect studio.  I really liked how a busy street filled with stores, (Beverly) turns into a curvy street (Silver Lake) The best part is when you get to the lake and everything is a bit more open.

That summer is filled with great memories. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

little shrimp

The other day I went on a little road trip.

This time it was to Shizuoka. There is a department store I am doing an event at, and I needed to go there to set up.

Since it is almost December and getting cold, we are able to see a snow covered mount Fuji.  People say it is the best way to see mount Fuji.  The white mountain against the blue sky really did make the mountain stand out.

There were low clouds that day, and when we got to our usual spot to take a good look, it was covering the top part of the mountain.

It takes about roughly 4 hours by car to get to Shizuoka.

The city is located close to the sea, and it is famous for tuna.
For dinner we had a variety of fresh raw fish.  How fresh the fish is, key when you want to eat it raw, so this was a great place to try different menus. My favorite was the tiny shrimp. Usually you see these dried. To eat them raw was really good and I didn't expect them to be so flavorful! They are very small, about 3/4"inch.

Another reason why going to different parts of Japan is exciting. Every place has their specialties~

The department store set up turned out like this!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hearts and Stars

tiny starts and tiny hearts.

I love the weight these little guys have when it's all in my hands.

These got brushed and washed, and made into necklaces.

It's going to be sold at a trunk show in a department store in Shizuoka, soon~!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Its December now...

So many of the leaves turn color in this time of year in Tokyo.

This past whole week I was at Isetan Department store in Fuchu for a week long trunkshow.
It was a great week and I had a chance to meet a lot of great customers !

Everyday, I would pass through a shrine. There are so many large trees there, you really get to enjoy the season.

Because this shrine is so old there are 2 really old cherry trees in front.
It is not that tall for how big the tree trunks are but I can imagine how large and wide the branches will be in the spring time with blossoms.

It was weird for me.  I almost forgot that cherry leaves turn color.
I always remember places where there are cherry trees because in the spring they are so pretty, and every tree is different depending on the size of the trees.

This is a different cherry tree more close to home where I usually come to see cherry blossoms.

I feel like I can remember this view now.
Sunny and warm, but the temperature is not that high. The sky is blue, leaves are orange and the light is crisp. 
This is what end of November, beginning of December feels like.

Next week I can hopefully get a good look of Mt Fuji in December.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Here are my little guys that I drew. They are my hug bear and my bunny that was the start of the hug rings that I make in silver.

Now, I have them on my phone!

Well, on my phone maple wooden case to be exact.

The company who makes this case is Hacoa.  They produce and designs wooden stationary goods, house-wear,  and kitchen-wear. 
Their new product is the iphone case. It comes in walnut, maple and rosewood. 
This is what it looks like in rosewood. 

I like the idea that the things you use everyday is made out of wood, because it will start to age over time, and would have a certain sheen and have deeper color.

I am anctious to to also see jewelry age as well. 
Hacoa and ileava are doing a collaboration, combining wood and sterling silver.

This is the bangle that is my favorite.

Like the wood, silver jewelry also looks better when people start to wear it everyday and gets used a little bit.

We are taking orders if you are interested in the bangles and I will share places where they are available, soon.
As for the phone cases, please go to this site for orders.
They can print names and logos for additional costs.
( sorry,it is in Japanese text only)
I might cheat and wax my phone case today~
and see how that turns out.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

working late

Winter seems to be just around the corner.
Temperature is dropping day by day and the sun is setting earlier.

Right around when the sun starts to set, my new companion starts to wake up.

It's a flower that opens up only at night.
My grandfather brought it to the studio one night when I was coming back late.

It is amazing how strong the scent is! These tiny little flowers can really fill the whole room.

It's starting to be a competition who can stay up longer.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

the feather pin

The feather pin is one of the well liked pieces from ileava.  For both men and women.

This time I made it into a brooch!

The original feather has one point to pin down.  It's good as a lapel pin, or even on your hat.

But a customer wanted a type that will hold her scarves at the front so, the brooch type was better. 
I hope she can get a lot of use of it! It is getting colder everyday now.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

all of a sudden

it's October~!!

September just flew by it seems!

Most of the time I was making pieces for a jewelry event which was at a department store in Tokyo, Shibuya. The event was for two weeks.  These events are always an exciting time for me, I am there everyday and I could see what designs people are more drawn to and what their concerns are when picking   jewelry pieces for themselves. I get a lot of feed back, and it's always great when customers find pieces they really like.

Being in Shibuya was great. There are so many people in that part of the city. I saw the latest trends just watching the people as they pass through the department store. There are constantly something new going on. 

This is a building that is being built that will house the metro station, shopping area, restaurants, a theatre, parking garage and on top of it all will be office buildings.
It was fun to see the progress everyday.

Now, I am starting to plan the next jewelry event that will be taking place towards the end of the month in Kobe.

Friday, October 1, 2010


I was just drawing one. 
and it led to another and another one....

I really only had just one drink.

can you tell which one I started drawing first?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Ornament

" fu-rin"

This was a gift to me from someone who I am now friends with. At the time, I was living in LA and missed all the little subtle things about Japan. So, the friends who were visiting from Japan brought me back this wind chime.  It is something that you put out, in the summertime. People enjoy the sound of the breeze in the humid summer days.

This handmade "fu-rin" has a sound that is not too loud and cheerful. I later learned that the unique sound is made from the jagged edge of the rim.

I really like the watermelon design, too. 
Very summery, and a very common motif for summer here.
Very green, black lines, and a perfect sphere.

Other summer things to look forward to are firework festivals, summer festivals in any city, people wearing yukata, shaved ice is something I want to eat now! .....

Yes, summer is really here!

Monday, July 26, 2010

from my mother

Recently I had a tradshow, in Tokyo, and was busy putting jewelry together and also, making up some new displays.

I decided that this time, I needed to take what is in my head and put it on paper so people can see.
There is a little world where I see my hug bear live, and that is the world where my jewelry comes from.

So, for this I used the traditional japanese calligraphy brushes and ink, and watercolor.
This is a set that I have had since I was about 5.  They used to have a face of a cat on each color. I remember it was a challenge when I was small to use enough water for them, but not to have the colors spill over to the next block.

Also, for larger surfaces I used another set of watercolors that used to belong to my mother. It must have been in elementary school when she started using them, because on the cloth bag that my grandmother sewed for her, my mothers name is stitched. 

Using my mother pallet with already mixed color was like a time capsule. I always thought that someone forgot to clean the pallet,  but the colors now could be used just by adding water. If you think about it, because I've never used this before, the last person who used it may be my mother.  I tried to use some of the remaining paint, some blues where used in the background and there was a good green I used in the forest.
Who knows when she used it last?

It was funny to know that things like color could be preserved.

Oh almost forgot. This is how it turned out. There is a total of 6 boxes that I made!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

so... I got a little carried away~

My next tradeshow is coming up!  Which means that I am making new pieces and will be sharing them with you soon~!!

I am also making little things to present my jewelry. One of the things is drawings to accompany my jewelry.

When I get into it,  it's really fun and really lets me express what I couldn't have in jewelry. 

two brushes and the container to put the ink

This time,  I have been trying a new tool. I've been drawing with the traditional brush on rice paper with ink. The brush and ink have been a really great and easy way for me to get back into drawing, and I feel like I was able to explore and flush out ideas.  So, these past few days, I have been drawing and drawing and drawing!

I was really amazed with the different brush strokes one brush can make 
.... and started to test it on my hand........

I am not the type who writes notes on my hands, but it was really hard to stop!!  I have always liked the henna tattoos for the detailed designs and motifs. 

Sometimes you have to do things you don't normally do. 
I got a little sidetracked but it was really really fun. There is something different about a 3-dimensional canvas.

And I can't forget to thank my grandmother who left me these tools for me to explore~ 

~ and now back to my drawings~

Monday, June 21, 2010

humidity is inevitable.....but...

So there is a rainy season in Japan (most part of Japan) 
It is usually in June, for Tokyo.

It rains most of the days and the humidity increases so it feels more sticky and hot.
There are few things you need to watch out for. The humidity will get some of your shoes, specially leather ones covered in mold, if you are not careful.

oh, and frogs!  If you live in areas with some greenery, like me.

But there are also flowers that blooms in this season too. Which is always nice to see.

I love this flower, "ajisai" in japanese, and in english "hydrangea"

It tells me that the rainy season is here when you spot them in full bloom.

There are so many different colors and they really give a great accent to the scene when it is all cloudy and rainy.

A few years ago, I didn't really considered this flower as a flower. But I changed my mind on that after I took a closer look at it.  
I didn't realize that hydrangea was a cluster of tiny four petal flowers.  The flowers were so cute, I knew one day that I would be making jewelry with it.

I later made my Bouquet Collection, and the flower shapes is inspired from the hydrangea.

It is my favorite piece to wear in this season.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

il faut de la patience

yes,  I have been told before from a jewelry teacher that you need patience for making jewelry.

so this is the reason.

I was a little too anxious, polishing a piece with a chain and got the chain tangled in a hand tool I was using. 

there was so much torque that the chain was twisted into a clump.  I'm glad that it was just the chain, and not my fingers twisted in the machine.......

my 8 inch chain became only about 6 inches........

so, I made a bracelet for myself to remind myself that I do need patience!

Monday, May 31, 2010


This is one of the best time of the year. It's right before the rainy season.  The weather is getting warmer, but never too hot or too cold anymore.

Plants and leaves on trees have been growing, and all of a sudden everywhere is very very green.

This is when one of my favorite flowers can be spotted. They are very small and can be missed, but if you are careful you can spot the tiny white flowers on the side of the streets. They are really just wildflowers that grow along the sidewalk or in the alleyway.  It gives me something to look for when I am walking my dog and also reminds me of what month we are in. 

I guess I am starting to remember seasons by the  flowers and the greenery around me.

These flowers became the model of one of my collections, HANNA.  The three petal flower was just a type of flower that I would imagine on your ear or on a delicate chain.

These are some of the pieces that became jewelry, all in 18k.

Hanna, also means "flower" in Japanese, spelled with just one "n" But I also wanted the name for this collection to be just like a girls name ~

this is Rain enjoying his walk near our house

Sunday, May 23, 2010


This in a photo of a crater lake in Gun-ma prefecture that I visited recently. Shiranesan, is still an active volcano, so there are restricted areas,  but it has been a popular tourist spot in the area for its' emerald green lake.

This day was sunny and clear, but very very cold, because of the high altitude, even in the beginning of May. 

To get to the top or the crater, we have to walk up the trail for a while, and at the very top, you can see the crater a little below you.
The color of the water was milky blue with a hint of green,  one of my favorite colors~

I knew the lake was very popular for the color, but it was very close to the milky aquamarine stone that I had used for a custom necklace.

The silver casing has four petals with an arabesque motif, the chain was made long.  the piece itself is about 2 inches long.

a very fun piece to make!

I have been making few other custom pieces, so I will share them soon~!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Tower

Tokyo Tower is one of the places that is most visited.
There is an observation deck to overlook the city, which on a sunny day you can even see Mt. Fuji.

To me,  the Tower is a symbol of Tokyo and something more.

In between the skyscrapers and the tall narrow buildings, sometimes you get a glimpse of the tower, or it appears right in front of you, out of nowhere.  It reminds me that I am in Tokyo now.

It's become something that I look for when I am out or on the train.

Here is a shot from the street looking up, at night time.  The tower is lit up until midnight, so this was before that.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Home away from home?


It used to be San Jose, where my family lived,

then it became LA

and now I am back to where I was born and raised till 5.

I do remember playing in this triangular park. lost my wool mitten there.... I think.

Cherry blossoms are at full bloom in Tokyo around the end of March to the beginning of April