Sunday, May 31, 2015


It was a perfect day for the beach today.


Everything seems to be colorful at this time of the year, even these succulents on the sand.
I couldn't recognize what this pink is at first. Looked like some kind of pink berry but turned out to be ice plant.  The pink color is such a brilliant and unusual looking that can draw more attention than its actual daisy-like flowers, which are almost all gone by now. This Southern African mesembryanthemum is also called "fig marigold" or "sea fig", which I can see why.

I remember when my mom made tempura with ice plant a few years ago in Japan, which was so tasty by the way, I got a little confused. Ice plant I knew was the one with dark pink flowers  that carpet the whole coastline in Monterey Peninsula, which leaves are very hard and pointy, far from the one I tasted as tempura. And this one I saw today in Corona Del Mar reminded exactly of the one I enjoyed. They might be just different kinds.

Ice plant has became popular as a healthy food in Japan very recently. The juicy texture with a little saltiness makes such a perfect tempura ingredient. I wonder if we will start seeing it in the grocery stores over here soon in the US too.




Found another pretty flower tree on the way home.
Once again, I am having hard time finding out the name of this beauty.


Another weekend joy: painting nail and checking out the trend.


Decided to add some tassels to the green aventurine (&coral) knotted leather necklace.
Tassels are attached to clasps, which can be on or off, also can hook anywhere on the loop.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Organizing Jewelry Collection

I did some organizing today, went through all the collection, turning around and
figuring out the inventory.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Irvine's Mason Regional Park

Took a little walk at Mason Regional Park in Irvine the other day.
A flock of ducks and geese were busy walking, swimming, while quacking and cackling, all around the water. Also far up from the ground, small yellow birds were chirping loudly and flying quickly from the branch to the branch. I tried so hard capturing them in the picture but failed. They were just too quick and paranoid!

Nothing can be more refreshing than deeply inhaling the oxygen created by the greens.
My Saturday afternoon passed by quietly and peacefully.



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Flowers and Colors of the Day - NOMAD's 10 Color Palette

I do a little town exploring once every week and the prettiest things I saw today were these dahlias in front of the shop. Purplish blue toned bluemink or flossflower underneath really created a nice contrast against the dahlia's rich vivid colors.

In the book "NOMAD", Sibella Court advises on "The 10 color pallete". That you pick 10 color combinations to decorate the space. That the colors you end up using could be just a few out of 10 but it's good to gather these colors to visualize at first.

I think that is a great excise not only for creating something but also for having good time playing with colors in a daily basis. I stopped by the local hardware store to pick up some color samples but came to realize that it's quite difficult to choose a good combination. Standing in front of hundreds of colors definitely is overwhelming and causes indecisiveness, unless you already have a precise image stuck in your head.

"NOMAD" features five different countries she traveled for this book, in which she displays 10 color palette for each country. The set could be different when seen by a different set of eyes. These five counties include Japan, Italy, India, Syria and Mexico. Nonetheless to say, they are so distinct from each other: not only the styles but also the colors she saw in each country. Especially Japan, what she found unique and interesting were not new to me, of course, yet the way she adopts them into her version gave me a new perspective. Nothing new yet very interesting to see from her point of view. These things I grew up taking for granted look so modern chic. For example, the rainchain, which I didn't even know how to call, I've never considered it as something decorative. Well, I can go on and on but will post some more images next time. Anyhow, tne way to keep a fresh mind and set of eyes will be traveling, I'm sure. I would love to more in near future.





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Jewelry, Work on Progress & Completed.

Preparing for earrings.

Free size, open style.

Simple, great for everyday wear!

Earrings are waiting for some new gemstones to arrive for completion.
Meanwhile, the ring is finished. It was originally a different design with different stone but didn't look right so here's the new outcome. I enjoy this kind of unpredictable turnout.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Kurrajong aka Bottle Tree in Irvine, Southern California

Last month, I posted about the mysterious tree that is in front of my patio, providing me a nice shade, refreshing breeze and a bird watching joy. It's about 30 foot tall with a bell-shaped white flowers and 2-3 inches hard black woodsy seedpods.
I typed all the description to search around on google but had been no luck.
I found something similar called "Aubutus", which flower looks alike, yet no berries seem to be existent throughout the tree. 


So, I was driving through the neighborhood yesterday and all of a sudden, my eyes started catching something familiar. These trees along the street had rarely caught my attention before but I started finding these black seedpods everywhere. Just like the one at my place but the flowers look bright red with skinny pointy red stems. What about the leaves? No, leaves are also completely different: a larger maple-shape. They must be still the same family since these seedpods are too unique to look exactly the same for the different species. These facts got me confused.

I headed home, parked the car, grabbed my camera to take a little walk around the neighborhood. 



Before reaching the red flower tree, what jumped into my sight is this pink flower tree. Look how pretty it is! Such a nice pink color yet not so showy at all from the distance that I had never noticed that they are blooming in the whole neighborhood; the dropped pink flowers make a beautiful carpet on the ground. Each tree also has seedpods again, only a little lighter yellowish in color and longer in size. 


Finally, the one I saw from the car is this red one with the familiar looking black seedpods, but the leaves are similar to the pink one, maple-like.


Taking enough pictures and collecting samples, my curiosity has piqued.
I'm so ready to restart my search online so I went home.



The keywords "red flower tree, maple leaf, Southern California" brought me an answer quite easily.
All the trees shown above turned out to be the same family despite a little differences here and there. Here comes the detail.

Brachychiton as known as Kurrajong or Bottletree.
- Native to Australia (tropical, subtropical northern & eastern regions)
- 31 species (30 is Australian native)
- Part or all leafless in bloom (not much in this neighborhood due to the climate?)
- Bloom erratically in cultivation
- Introduced to hot dry regions: the Mediterranean, South Africa and the western US
- The opening of the boat shaped seedpods expose rows of seeds. (look like a beehive when seeds are gone.) 


~培養は暑くて乾燥した地域: 地中海、南アフリカ、アメリカ西部


No more mystery-
Feels much better!
However, I also encountered a few unknown trees around Kurrajong trees, which will be my next assignments.


Having the Kurrajong tree waving outside the window seems to have changed my vision and mind set: I feel calmer, got more curious about trees as you can see here.

To be continued..




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