Monday, July 18, 2011

Settling in a new place in Tokyo


fabric stash

Oh Boy. I feel like it's been forever since I last posted
anything to my blog! I had never intended to take this long
vacation from blogging, but moving outside the country really
took over my life. I feel so behind on blog land now..it will take
some time to get back to the swing of things, but I am very much
excited about continuing to blog from Japan now. It's funny how
I have missed all of you although I haven't met most of you in person!
If you've felt the same way about me, I am giving you a big
virtual hug! I'm back! And I will always be here!

I apologize for all of you who have sent me emails in the last
several weeks, as it took me literally a few weeks to get back
to each of you. We had several days of no cellphones, no fridge,
no microwave, no washier, no Internet, and of course almost
no knowledge about this area we moved in, but now we have everything
mentioned above now, so things are getting back to normal.

Our new place and the neighborhood are pretty good.
The apartment is so much smaller than our previous
apartment in California. Not just an apartment itself,
but everything has shrunken. We used to buy 2 gallons
of milk at a time, as opposed to now where we barely
have enough space for 2 quarter gallon of milk in the fridge.
To help you visualize the downsizing we experienced,

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here is our old kitchen, and..


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this is our current kitchen. (FYI I am not missing
out any part of this kitchen. Everything you see is
everything I have in my kitchen.) In my old kitchen,
I needed a stool to look at and wipe the top surface of
the fridge, but now, everything on the microwave
which is on top of the fridge is right in front of my
face when I stand there, lol. I spend a lot of time
in the kitchen, so it has taken me some time to
get used to my new tiny kitchen, but I enjoy
the challenge. Trying to be creative on how to make
use of each space I am given here is a good brain exercise.
It helps on saving money on unnecessary stuff too
as we simply don't have space to store it.


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Here is our new living room. As moving cost a ton
of money, we'll slowly get our apartment up to speed.
Hopefully I'll furnish this room with a small couch,
a bigger table, and maybe a handmade rug. (I'm contemplating
making Camille's Swoon quilt pattern into a rug for this room!)


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Probably this is the room you want to see the most, hehe.
Just a snapshot for now, because I want you to see it
when it's complete and pretty (hopefully!). I have shipped
almost all sewing supplies and fabrics from the US and am
still waiting for them to arrive. Once I have them, I will
start decorating my room with mini quilts made by my
friends, etc. Can't wait to start doing that!


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The neighborhood we moved in is at the edge of Tokyo,
so it's quite a bit country side. It's probably far from
the image of the super metropolitan city in Tokyo
you might have. We've learned that everyone in this town
bike to everywhere, so we both bought bikes which
we have been using to explore this neighborhood every weekend.
A lot of fun! The picture above was taken last Sunday
at a festival held at Hikarigaoka park we stopped by.


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This is from yesterday where we biked to Shakujii Park.

There has been lots of positive aspects of us moving here,
but I am so relieved that Joe's loving our new life here
to pieces. I still can't believe that we actually moved to
Japan together. This is something we were hoping would happen
at some point in life, but it happened a lot sooner than expected.
Sure there are worries. We experience earthquake pretty often
and the economy here is doing pretty bad. It's so hot and humid
every day and I am so sticky at any given time and itchy
from bug bites, but I am so happy to be back home.

Oh many folks have asked me if I would sell fabric from Japan.
I am not sure if I will be able to list a lot of fabrics, but
if I find cute and unusual fabric here, I'll try to list them
in my shop. I have to go fabric shopping first! (Can you believe
I haven't gone fabric shopping in Japan yet?!)

Thank you so much for taking the time to read such a long
post! I'll come back with pictures of a few things I made
before moving sometime soon.

Hope your week started off nicely!


P.S. Japan's got a "small" option at Starbucks!


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102 comments:

  1. I really enjoyed this post. Hope to see a lot more updates. Good luck!

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  2. Wow! the "small" option is really tiny... and please do sell fabric from Japan!! the fabrics in Singapore here are really limited..お願いします!~~

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  3. I have heard of apt in Japan only being 200 sq ft, our bedroom now is 289 and that doesn't include the closets or bathroom. I have a travel trailer that is about 240 sq ft, and sometimes we feel cramped in there if everything is not in its place. Glad to hear you guys made it safely to Japan, and are enjoying getting settled.

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  4. Welcome back! Glad to hear that you move has gone smoothly - hope your fabric arrives soon:)

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  5. Congratulations on your new home! I wish you lots of happiness in this new stage in your life. I will be looking forward to your posts!

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  6. How wonderful to see you and to see photos of your new home!!! I promise never to complain about my small kitchen again...because yours is WAY smaller! Goodness, where do you prepare food?

    How wonderful that you are living in a cycling community. I love that. Have fun settling in and getting re-acquainted with Japan, Ayumi.

    I recently received some good news that you are partly responsible for, my friend. Can you guess?

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  7. Oh wow that kitchen is tiny...but I'm glad you got space for your creative space :) Japan is beauty.

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  8. Welcome back! Love to see your apartement. It looks tiny but really nice! Hope you can adjust to the wether and the bugs ;-)

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  9. Great to see you again Ayumi and gald you are both settling in and happy in your new and old country. We've all been wondering how you're doing and now we know you're settling well, we can stop wondering. XXX

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  10. Hi Ayumi..so great to see your new home and read about your plans and I am looking forward to hearing more about your adventures and seeing more of your neighbourhood and country! I can't believe you haven't bought any fabric yet either.

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  11. So nice to see that you have settled well in your new home - I really enjoyed your post!
    Wish you the best!

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  12. Thank you so much for your news. It's the start of a new adventure for you both. Your creative side will be even more creative in your kitchen. Once you get all your stuff shipped over it will make it feel more at home for you. Best of luck. Linda in Ireland.

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  13. It's good to see you again Ayumi! I'm glad you're settling in already :-)

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  14. So glad you've got moved safely and with your sanity in tact. Wishing you health and happiness in your new pad. Jxo

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  15. I always read your blog, and it's so lovely! I hope you settle in well and we can see your new projects and ideas soon. I love Japan, although I've never been there. My sister lived there for a while and she's in love with it. Some day...

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  16. Congrats on your move! Your post was great, letting us experience your new place and new neighborhood. Glad to see you back 'on line'! Blessings friend!

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  17. Great to hear from you. I really enjoyed this post and I'm looking forward to seeing more similar ones. From what I see, you guys settled in nicely (and fast) and as stress free as possible for such an incredible transition.
    On the subject of small apartments: it's only small if you choose to see it that way. Where I come from this is pretty much the norm for a one bedroom or studio apartment. My current kitchen is only a wee bit bigger and I have all the space I need. And the huge bonus part: I can clean it all up in 20 minutes.

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  18. Love the pictures of your new space and glad to hear the move has gone well. I really enjoy seeing the pictures of Japan and look forward to more.

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  19. I'm so glad you are safe and happy!! It will be so fun to see all of your adventures!! :)

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  20. Congrats on making the move and getting settled so far, that was a huge change in your lives. I hope all continues to work well as you adjust to all things new. Best wishes :)

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  21. Glad to see you have arrived and are settling in. A move can be scarey, but knowing you have family and friends waiting makes it so much easier. Looking forward to see all you new projects. The apartment looks cute.

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  22. You're there already????? My gosh. It seems like you just told us about the move.

    That little minimalist apt will be so nice when you finish with it. Take your time. There's no space to make any mistakes. :)

    So good to hear from you again and sounding so happy.

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  23. Sounds like you're having fun! Your new place is so cute.

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  24. Hurray! I'm so glad you are back ;-) And everything looks clean and nice, even if it is small.

    I did not send an email because I thought you would be too busy/unable to answer, but now you have internet.... you need to send me your address! Saturday!!

    Probly too late now, but it can be on it's way.

    How is post in Japan, do you get letters and parcels easily?

    Cheers,
    AJ

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  25. Hello! Ayumi, I missed you! I love the tour of your new home and neighborhood. Limited space is something wonderful and something frustrating (at times). It's all about adjustment and acceptance. I bet you will figure out all kinds of clever ways to utilize every inch of space. Hope your sewing materials arrive shortly. I can't wait to see how you customize your sewing room. Cheers!

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  26. It's nice to see that you have found a lovely little apartment in Tokyo. Your new neighbourhood looks really great. Hopefully, I'll visit Japan again next year. I miss it.

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  27. Ayumi,
    Glad that you are back ~ I've missed your posts and you. Like the looks of your new apt., lots of potential there for a really comfy home.
    Enjoy!

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  28. Our microwave is on the fridge too- its a space so it gets used! Being somewhere so green must be good too, nice to get out and explore!

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  29. Hi there, I am new to your blog and just wanted to say congratulations on your new home:) Your blog is beautiful!

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  30. Oh Sweetie, I am so happy for you! Life is wonderful!

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  31. Ayumi, glad to hear that you are setting in, hope things go all right with you.

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  32. Congratulations on your new home,hope things go very well.

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  33. I enjoyed reading your update, and look forward to hearing more.

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  34. Looks like the trade-off of "space" in CA and living a full life in Japan has paid off for you! Congratulations on following your heart and realizing what's really important. I wish we had small on the GTFraps! It's my fave too and spending $5.00 for one is a splurge now.

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  35. Hi Ayumi! I'm so glad your move went well! Your apartment is adorable! I love it!! I'm making a rug for under my hubby's office chair! I think you should make one too! It will look so cute and that pattern is great!! Your new neighborhood looks beautiful! I love that everyone is riding bikes. How fun =D Hugs back at you!!

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  36. So happy for you and Joe - what a wonderful new chapter in your life together! I love your new apartment. Everything is so light and bright - can't wait to see how you use your creativity in your new space. Glad to have you back online! xoxox

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  37. Glad to see you are settling in your new place. It looks beautiful. All the best to you and Joe.

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  38. your new place is lovely. happy adventuring!

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  39. Great post! Enjoy your new home!

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  40. Welcome back! I, for one, have missed your posts. Am glad you are getting settled in. Loved all the pictures and explanations. Looking forward to seeing what other fun things you see and do and show!

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  41. Congratulations on your move. It's lovely to hear from you again.

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  42. Hi Ayumi! Congratulations on your recent move back to Tokyo! I wish you all the best in your new chapter in your lives! So exciting! Will you be working? I had a friend move back to Japan with her kids and husband too (from Seattle) and we miss them sooo much! I'd like to visit her some day.....

    PS: did u bring the kimono coaster with you? :)

    Bernie (Bellevue, WA)

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  43. Wow - it sounds like you and Joe are settling in wonderfully! It always takes awhile to get your home in order but when you get your fabrics you will be feeling more at home!! While you were away - it was always pleasant to click on your blog and see the frappucino quilt block!

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  44. How cool! Congratulations on your new apartment! I love it. Very minimalistic. Sometimes that's better.

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  45. I love reading yours news from Japan! Thanks for sharing with the blogosphere!

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  46. Awww...I'm so happy to hear that you arrived safely in Japan.
    Take your time to get everything done in the new apartment.
    I will wait patiently to see you new projects <3

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  47. Congrats! I'm excited to hear about the new adventure. Good luck with the kitchen, it's so tiny!!!

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  48. Glad you are settled - thank you for sharing pics of your new home, it's nice to be able to imagine you working in your new space.

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  49. Haha Ayumi, when I saw that you had updated your blog, I was so excited because the first image I saw was of beautiful fabrics! I didn't actually know you had moved (maybe I didn't read your recent posts very closely?), but now that you have, I'm very excited for you guys. And you're right, it's a huge relief that Joe is enjoying the move so far.

    I'm glad you're back and will always be here!:)

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  50. I loved this post and hope you keep sharing your life in Japan with us as well as your creativity.

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  51. So glad to have you back! I'm just about to go on break to have my baby, but I will enjoy reading up on your new home and new adventures!

    katrina_hertzer2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  52. Ayumi, so glad you are getting settled. Loved this post and seeing pics of your new home. Thinking of you and Joe as you get settled and glad you are having fun exploring your new neighborhood!
    New home, new adventures, new/old country- sounds good!

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  53. Welcome back dear clever girl. Lovely to hear the move went so well for you both, and you are making the most of your new move and adventure together. Thank you for sharing these pieces of your life. Regards, Alison

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  54. Thank you for the glimpse into your new adventure! I know it will work out very well for you both. All the best to you as you get settled in. xo

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  55. I enjoyed reading about your new home. I am happy for you and your husband.

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  56. yay Ayumi! :) love this post and the pics of your new home. I think I would actually prefer a smaller house - less to clean! and that mini starbucks, how cute. :) missed your posts while you were moving so it'll be fun to get reading again.

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  57. Hey, Ayumi! So glad you're back. My cousin is moving to Japan at the end of the month with the JET program. Is it funny that I thought of you when she told me she was leaving? LOL. Looking forward to more posts from you! :)

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  58. Glad to see you two are doing well! The apartment looks crisp and clean, a great new place for a brand new start. Can't wait to see more! Take care...

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  59. Yupeee! Ayumi is back! :o))) I'm so glad to see a new post in your blog!

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  60. Welcome back to blogland and how lovely to see all the pictures of your new apartment. It looks small and perfectly formed like so much in Japan and I'm sure you will be very happy there. I'm looking forward to reading more about your new life and wish you the very best. Mmmm, very tempting to read that there might be Japanese fabric on offer! Count me in!

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  61. Welcome back...glad you're back to blogland. Hope you do sell fabric from Japan!! Fabrics in Malaysia are really limited...

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  62. Very interesting post I have always wanted to visit Japan. It is quiet a difference in size of things but it is everything you need right? I look forward to your post.

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  63. your new apartment looks lovely, although the kitchen is definitely a big contrast to what you are used to :) have fun decorating your new craft room and i'm looking forward to seeing it done :)

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  64. With all the very best of wishes for this new chapter of your life in Japan - enjoy your homecoming! Glad to have you back on the blog!

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  65. hi ayumi! I am glad you all had a safe trip. enjoy this new adventure in life. i am sure it is wonderful to be back home. can't wait to see your new sewing room! p.s. i love the little fridge!!!

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  66. What lovely photographs - your new home looks light and airy (which it sounds like you need with all that humidity). I hope your sewing things arrive very soon and that you are soon totally settled back at home.

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  67. Hi! I just wanted you to know that I enjoyed reading your post about moving to Japan. Enjoy your time there. BTW, congratulations to the Japanese Women's Soccer Team. What spirit!
    -Valerie
    http://valsplay.blogspot.com/

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  68. Fun! I love that you're cycling everywhere!

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  69. So glad to read that all is well! It will be fun to read about your new adventures in Japan:)

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  70. Glad you are bake and safe in your new place!

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  71. The best part of the blogworld is that it is so tiny. You may be 1/2 way around the world but it's like you're sitting at table with me. I am including a link to my blog to a spot about one of your tutorials that I ahve made repeatedly. I get asked about it all the time and have several requests pending from friends for more. If you go to more recent blogs you can see my zip pouches. Your tutorial is one of the ones I used to come up with my version.
    So even though you are having a new adventure and I wish you well, you're still here.

    http://selinaquilts.blogspot.com/2011/07/blank-canvas.html

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  72. How exciting and brave! Best wishes in your new home and life! It will be fun to see what you have to show on life in Japan!

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  73. OMG - that kitchen is so tiny! VERY cute but wow! I can't imagine, although I think it would make for an exciting challenge! (I love to cook & bake)

    Best of luck!

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  74. So glad the move went well! I can't wait to hear about life and your wonderful sewing in Japan!

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  75. hi ayumi! i missed you :) i'm so glad that you are settling in nicely and are happy to be home. i am so excited for you two and your new life together in japan! xo

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  76. Ayumi, so nice to see you blogging again. Thank you for sharing pictures of your new home. Your plans for the space are wonderful! It seems like a very charming and sweet town. Have fun exploring your new neighborhood and also happy decorating :-)

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  77. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo DaVinci

    I tell myself that a lot, because I too have a microkitchen! So nice to see the update, always makes me smile to see my Pink Penguin posts in my inbox!

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  78. Ayumi, so glad you are enjoying yourselves..love the pics..good luck in your new adventure!

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  79. Olá Ayumi, que bom ter você de volta... feliz em te ver tão animada, a cozinha é realmente pequena, mas muito graciosa, com tempo irá se acostumar com o novo espaço, agora o craftroom me parece muito legal, que que lugar para suas adoráveis criações não faltou, rsrsrs Continue se divertindo e logo que puder venha nos brindar com seus trabalhos encantadores, beijinhos.

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  80. oh, seeing your pictures makes me want to go back to Japan! I lived there when I was growing up. I would love to see how much I remember! I wasn't into Japanese fabric when I was 10 ;) but, I remember going on a field trip to a doll factory! I think I still have them somewhere! I'm glad to hear you're getting settled! I can't wait to see more of your decorating! :)

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  81. oh ayumi, i have missed you. i've been thinking of you and your move often. i often gaze at the gorgeous house block you made for me and wonder what you are up to. your new kitchen is so adorable, but i'd probably get claustrophobic since my husband and toddler always try to "help" when i'm in the kitchen. your sewing space has a ton of potential. i love the floors in your new place. so pretty. sending you a huge quilty hug from blogland :)
    melinda

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  82. Hello Ayumi,

    How are you? Very glad you have settled in Tokyo. Really enjoy reading your blog posts. Hope you will make more wonderful creations for your shop.

    Take care

    Fei

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  83. Hallo Ayumi san, This post & those of your future posts will make me miss Japan even more! It's been 7 months since we moved to Dubai & I still think of Tokyo, earthquakes or no earthquakes!

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  84. glad to hear you are slowly settling in...look forward to more updates.

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  85. If I have learned something from moving to another country (and sometimes generally from travels abroad) is how many things we tend to accumulate, things we do not even need but buy or carry with us. I think that a small kitchen is quite a challenge, but, after all, one don't really need all those cabinets, right? And the positive thing is: less space to clean! ;-)

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  86. Wow, you already moved! Time flies and I'm very behind reading your blog, but I'm glad you two are safe and sound and enjoying your new home together. Love the photos and hearing about Japan. Just love learning about other cultures around the world.

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  87. Hi! I was sorting through some old photos from Japan and had a thought for you. Hope you are settiling in well, and can't wait to see the pics of your new workplace!

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  88. Adoro el Patchwork y me gusta mucho tu blog, lo he conocido hoy gracias al post de http://laboresenred.blogspot.com/. Gracias por compartir tus conocimientos.

    I love Patchwork and I really like your blog, I've known today through the post in http://laboresenred.blogspot.com/.
    thanks for share your knowledge

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  89. Welcome home, Ayumi!!!
    Great that you don't live in 東京! The city is so crowded... if you want to raise a family and have (a lot of) children, it's alays nicer to live in the suburbs;)
    I love this nice and very ecological habit to ride on bycicles! I used to go to school with my bicycle (even though I lived in Tokyo) and I miss it so here in Belgium!!!
    All the best to you in your "chéri":)

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  90. Oh, Ayumi! I just love your new place. thank you for posting pictures of your new life. Can't wait to see the wonders you whip up in that sunny room.

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  91. wow, Ayumi, what an adventure!!! can't wait to see your new craft room when it gets set up... best wishes to you! xo amy

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  92. I love your blog and totally understand the downsizing thing. We have been camping in an apartment for a month since we moved from Washington State to Texas...makes you cherish the stuff that you do have with you. I return to Washington to meet the movers tomorrow then will settle down to some crafting on my return. Thanks for sharing!

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  93. Yea! you are getting settled and having fun too!
    Thinking of you often.

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  94. I have been checking your blog and saw it was silent. Figured you were moving and glad that all has gone well :) I know you are happy to be near our family and hope that Japan continues to be a wonderful adventure for your and your husband. Looking forward to future posts (and that fabulous Japanese fabric!!!)

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  95. Looking at your pictures made me homesick for Japan. I was stationed in Yokosuka back in the 70's and made many trips to Tokyo. Your kitchen reminds me of mine, except I had a view of Mt Fuji from my window. I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog and look forward to reading more.

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  96. Congratulations on your move! We just moved to the Philippines ourselves 2 years back and ... well... let's just hope we do not hope to move again (especially overseas) anytime soon.
    You make me feel like visiting Japan even more with that bit on cycling everywhere!

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  97. Nice post.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!I’m still waiting for some interesting thoughts from your side in your next post thanks

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    Replies
    1. live in Tokio can be pretty stressful, but it haves lots of advantages!

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