Saturday, 20 September 2014

JAPAN~ HIROSHIMA & MIYAJIMA!!!

KONNICHIWA!!!! So last week I arrived back in Seoul from a little trip over the water to Japan!! (yes, AGAIN!) That weekend saw the celebration of Chuseok in Korea so I decided to zip away from the crazy National holiday mayhem and take the opportunity to see a bit more of Japan!
So from one extreme to another~ last month in Sapporo was as far north as I've ever been in Japan and this month, the furthest south of Japan I've ever been!!! I've wanted to visit Hiroshima for many years so it was amazing to eventually go and learn more about the place~as you can imagine it's a pretty sombre place but, at the same time it's a beautiful city.
When I arrived into Hiroshima I had scored a room with the most incredible view right across the Peace Park and set on the banks of the river was the A-Bomb Dome building surrounded by endless green mountains. It felt a bit strange to be able to see such a prominent and symbolic sight from my actual bed...but, it felt more powerful opposed to depressing.
When I was over there I split my time between Hiroshima and Miyajima- an island around an hour away. Hiroshima was massively interesting and really intense....I checked out the Peace Memorial Museum and Park, Genbaku Dome as well as Hiroshima Castle... the Museum was incredible...I learned so much that I didn't know about the city, not only about it's destruction but, also it's story about how it was rebuilt to how it is today. The Peace Park is equally as moving with it's Children's Memorial Monument and endless strings of colourful, paper, peace cranes dotted around.  
During my time there I also did some shopping and lots of sampling of awesome veggie food around downtown Hodori!!!! 
My first quest upon arrival was to pick up a box of daigaku imo~ This is one of my all time favorite Japanese snacks... Back when I was living with the Takahashi family in Mino during my artist residency in Japan a few years ago, I would live in hope when I opened my dinner bento that there would be a couple of 'College Potatoes' as they are also known...!!! They are basically fried sweet potatoes coated in sticky, sweet, sugary~honey and black sesame seeds....they are the ultimate snack of dreams!!! 

I also wanted to do some serious craft shopping whilst I was there as the stuff you can pick up in Japan is phenomenal and I had a few necessities I wanted to get for some new pieces that I'm currently working on! Luckily I took a virtually empty case so I could haul back an abundance of pastel pom poms, rainbow yarn galore and various delightful treasures and trimmings...also picked up some Japanese bamboo knitting needles which I'm super excited to use!!! Of course I also made sure I left adequate space to bring half of Daiso back with me as well as an outrageous amount of cute cosmetics, whopper supply of Matcha, couple of juicy new outfits....ooooppps and a few more little ceramic cups which I definitely do not need!
So then it was on to Magical Mijajima~ a National Park set on an island about an hour away from Hiroshima city! I opted to take one of the cute, little green trams that you see trundling around opposed to the train which was really fun!!
The journey was awesome as the trams wind through endless little, old school neighborhoods and villages full of traditional charm before rolling past some hills and the shoreline so it was a really lovely ride to get to the port!
OoooOOO AHOY THERE~ Next mode of transport was a ferry which takes you across the Seto Inland Sea over to Itsukushima AKA Miyajima~ the name basically means 'Shrine Island' and the place is dotted with shrines, pagodas and temples galore!
The scenery was BEYOND breathtaking....one of the most beautiful places I've even been in my entire life and I was lucky that the blue skies were out if full force making it all look even more glorious!!!
Once I got over there I checked out the famous torii gate which sits on the sand meaning that when the tide is in it appears to be floating on the water!!! Then it was onto a bit of temple hopping in the sunshine!!!!
Also there are loads of tame deer roaming around...they are quite brazen and cheeky...my tropical print skirt went down a storm and was chewed to max!! I also had a delicious sweet potato ice cream whisked from my grasp and as I was writing a postcard it was snatched from my hands!!! Super cute though....Bambi central!!!
Right...well I could easily talk all day about this adventure but, this post seems to be turning into an essay when all I was planning on doing what giving a quick speile followed by a bunch of holiday snaps!!! So I'll pipe down and leave you with some photos!!!
Happpyyy Weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love Emma xxxxxxxxxxx






Tuesday, 2 September 2014

EMMA BELL X LAH'LAH'LAND!

oOOOooo HIYA!!
So just a quick one as a late night study session in preparation for my early morning Korean class is calling...word on the street is we have a test  tomorrow...EEEKKKERS!!!!

Anyway.... Thought I would share a few snaps with you of my display that is currently installed at LAH'LAH'LAND's LLL+ store in Sungei Plaza, Kuala Lumpur!!!! I've already told you the speile about this...but in short, I currently have some stuff including some exclusive one off pieces available at this awesome boutique and creative space!!
I LOVE how they have presented my work in the store~ I love their creative vision so it's great to be involved with these guys!!!

Oooh in other news at the weekend they were hosting a pop- up store at the 'JAPAN EXPO THAILAND 2014' in Bangkok so some of my rainbow wares were hauled in the mix for the occasion....and thanks to Maddy Houghton who was lurking around Bangkok at the time and managed to get in there and nab a couple of snaps for me....YAYYY thanks!!!!!!!!! Happy to see my stuff branching off to new places and getting a new audience!!
Ooohhh and while I am here, here are a couple more snaps of my stuff from the awesome runway show that the LAH'LAH'LAND crew presented as part of the official launch of LLL+ last month....photographs courtesy of: TOBY TOH.
Ok....so off to my textbooks and a last bit of midnight embroidery....Bullion stitch galore for me tonight ... my new favourite technique!!!!
Love and Sparklezzzz!
Emma xxx






Wednesday, 20 August 2014

JAPAN~TOKYO X SAPPORO X FURANO!!!

Helloooo!!! Today marks my 4th month here in awesome Korea~ week 20 in the Land of the Morning Calm (said in that guy's voice from Big Brother)!!! Time is flying by!!! 
So earlier this month I returned from a dreamy Summer holiday in beautiful Japan!!! I'd been counting down the days as I had a jam packed mini adventure planned!!!I flew into Tokyo, which will ALWAYS AND FOREVER be one of my all time favourite cities in the world!! WAHHHH was so excited to arrive!! I stayed in the same teeny, tiny, traditional ryokan in Asakusa that I've stayed in a few times over the years...and strangely ended up in the same room yet again! I'd missed the smell of tatami as you go to sleep, it reminded me instantly of my little bedroom during my time living with the Takahashi Family in beautiful Mino!!!
It was evening when I arrived so I was greeted by the awesome sight of Sensoji Temple all lit up and twinkling~ Asakusa is my favourite neighbourhood in Tokyo....totally magical...so much old school charm and character!!!
I was only spending a couple of days in Tokyo before jetting far up north which gave me enough time to do some HARDCORE shopping, catch up with a couple of old friends, do spot of temple hopping, drink buckets of matcha, go on a 
mega yukata mission and pick up some glorious craft supplies and fabrics!!!!
It was a mega whistlestop-neighbourhood hop but, managed to take in a bit of Akihabara and Shibiya and of course a major Harajuku session followed by an after-shopping unwind in pretty Yoyogi Park!!! Had time also for a rain soaked evening out in twinkling Shinjuku as well as a mince around Ueno and plenty of midnight hours wandering the streets and temples of Asakusa!!
My time in Tokyo whizzed by and before I knew it I was hotfooting it back to Narita airport, filling up my bags with a mega stash of these AMAZING Matcha- Sakura KitKats!!! Eeeep what a JUICY find!!! And it was onto phase 2 of my Japanese Jaunt!! It's been my dream to visit Hokkaido since I was about 15...when my Japan obsession first kicked in by way of endless books and I have been desperate ever since to check out Japan's north island FOREVER...eekers and the time was finally here!!!! Wooo!
I flew up to Sapporo which I would be using as my base whilst exploring a bit more of Hokkaido island! Sapporo felt totally different to anywhere else I've been in Japan...in fact it felt more like Europe with it's wide avenues and general architecture...it kind of reminded me of Budapest but, with signs in Japanese and the occasional bit of neon... strange! My main reason for heading so far north was to go and visit the towns of Furano and Biei which lies a couple of hours drive away from Sapporo......
So this was my reason for wanting to go to beautiful Furano and Biei .... to see the phantasmagorical, striped flower fields of Farm Tomita and Shikisai No Oka...OMGGG it was amazing...and so worth the million year wait to get to see it in real life!! Neverending rainbow coloured flowers, rows and rows of fields full of the most glorious smelling lavender EVER!!
One of the highlights of 'Farm Tomita' was their gourmet Lavender ice cream whipped up with crops fresh from their rainbow fields!!! I also had a cheeky slice of lavender cheese cake washed down with lavender lemonade...total lavender fest!! My Grandma would have loved it if she was still around as she was always obsessed with Yardley's Lavender!!! AMAZINGGGGG!!!!!
Shikisai No Oka was particularly magical as the colours of the fields were super vivid and the stripes went on for miles over the hill so it was a really impressive sight!!! They also had some glorious sunflower fields and cute characters made from bales of hay!!!
Really fun~ so glad I made the haul so far up north as was beyond worth it to see these magical little towns!!!!!
The rest of the time I spent checking out Sapporo and also popped to the Hokkaido Shrine...did a spot more shopping (of course!!!) and before I knew it, time was up and it was time to head back to Sunny Seoul....!!!!
Such a fun trip, a one I will never forget...got to see so many lovely things, take a break from work...collect some new ideas....and with all that travelling and sitting on various modes of transport I had time to catch up on some reading and write some Tolstoy length journal entries....!!! It was so good that the ridiculous amount of miles I racked up ended up killing my shoes and I had to leave the hologram beauties shimmering in a collapsed pile by the trash en route to Chitose Airport!!! The amount of souvenirs and lavender flavoured candy also caused my bag to break?!?!
Anyway, I shall leave you with a few more snaps from the trip of dreamzzzz!!! For now it's back into the swing of things with life here in lovely Seoul...so I shall be updating on other happenings soon!!!!
Ok... so a few more photos for you whilst I crack on with my homework for my Korean class in the morning!!!!
Sayonara Japan~ Until next time!!!!!
Love Emma xxxxx


Friday, 11 July 2014

LLL+ Official Launch!

Oooeeee  안녕하세요 that's HELLO in Korean!!!( Annyeong haseyo!!!)
Now I've started my Korean classes I'm trying to whip out the lingo at every opportunity!!!
So just a quick one...as you know I've been recently involved with Malaysian fashion store LLL+ which is an international creative venture by KL based boutique LAH'LAH'LAND. LLL+ is a guerrilla concept store that brings together brands and design talent from all over the world including the UK, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Ukraine and Hong Kong.
The store inhabits a 2200sq ft space located in Sungai Wang Plaza in Kuala Lumpur's Bukit Bintang district with the focus of introducing independent designers to the Malaysian fashion scene.
It's been awesome working with these guys as they are doing some awesome projects that support and promote indie artists and designers so it's really fun to be involved! I have a collection of garments currently in LLL+ including some exclusive pieces designed especially for the space! At the weekend the LAH'LAH'LAND crew hosted the official launch party with sponsors, Tony & Guy and Heineken, and as part of the launch, presented an opening runway show... So some of my pieces were included in the show and you can see above a photo by Streething featuring my 'Puffycakes' jacket! Love the way it was styled!!!!!!!!! The show looked awesome and I'm really excited to be involved in the LLL+ venture! There's still some juicy pieces available to be snapped up if you are in KL~!!!
As I said, just a quick'un....rice cakes are calling~ 
Love from Tropical Seoul!!!
Emma xx

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Seoul Summer Special Stuff!!!

OOOoooOOO HIYA from TROPICALLLL Seoul!!!
YIKES....time has TOTALLY flown! I can't actually believe that I've been here in magical Korea for 2 months already! Seems only 5 minutes ago that I was seizing the final opportunity to stock up on Cadbury's at the airport and buying a last Boots Meal Deal! At the same time I feel as though things have been so action packed here that it's almost as though I've lived here for an eternity! Everything has continued to be super busy...when I'm not working, I'm taking advantage of every precious second that I have here in glorious Korea and trying to see and experience as much as I physically can! Korea amazes me every single day and I still have to pinch myself to believe that I am actually living here in GLORIOUS Seoul and surrounded by so much phantasmagorically awesome inspiration every day!
So I guess the settling in process is something that takes a while...I'm still grasping the finer details of things like operating my toaster oven in Korean...collecting points cards for supermarkets...buying potting compost instead of accidental bags of horse manure etc...!!!
My apartment is starting to feel like home...especially now that I have a windowsill full of plants (namely basil plants as I made the mistake of planting the whole packet of seeds at once instead of staggering the crops!)...and I also have some pets... 3 teeny, tiny baby fish who I have named; Britney, Liberace and Puffycakes...they have their own little tropical rainbow paradise complete with palm trees! 
In other news I will be starting my super hardcore Korean classes  in a couple of weeks so hopefully it wont be long until I can unleash a bit of lingo which will make life sooo much easier!

 
The past few weeks have been a total whirlwind...it's been awesome to catch  up and hang out with old friends and meet lots of new people and talented souls whilst taking in the abundance of amazing exhibitions and creative events that Seoul has going on as well as visiting a bunch of new places....I'm also doing a load of new research and getting involved in the skillzzzzzz of Korean embroidery and quilting! A lot has been happening recently...many a scenario...so I'll sum it up in a nutshell otherwise we could be here a while.......
found many awesome painted backstreets in Iwha-dong...ate about a zillion tteok (rice cakes!)...sampled many varieties of bingsu (shaved ice with an array of magical toppings, condensed milk, cocopops, fruit cocktail...)...picnicked around the many wonderful parks of Seoul....dodged snakes in Seoul forest....faced my fears and delved into a butterfly house... got sunburnt by the horrendously scorching rays THROUGH my denim dress...!!!
Experienced some beautiful Korean countryside... got over excited by the joys of the underground optical market and bought yet more glasses...went on some out of town adventures to Gangwondo, Chuncheon, Heyri and Suwon...took the trek out to Incheon to visit good old Art Platform....hung out in cat cafe's....drank Hello Kitty Sakura smoothies....tracked down some mega falafel...had my palm read at a weird private view/ studio bash bonanza...saw people in North Korea working in the fields from the Odusan Observatory in Paju, S.Korea...climbed a couple of 'mountains' and by that I mean cruising around Namsan and Naksan in inappropriate footwear...!
So all in all you get the idea....next time I will be more organized and update more often rather than this bombardment of info and snaps!!!!!!
Got a few fashion orientated updates which I will save for my next post...so for now I will leave you with a few photos from recent jaunts and adventures!!!!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma xxx