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Textured Turquoise

Discovering and meeting creative artists and artisans is one of the tasks I enjoy most.

I came across Khun Alex’ textured turquoise creations when I lived in Bangkok, but I hadn’t met the creator during my time there. It took me quite while and a number of friends on Thai soil to find him and I finally met Khun Alex on my very first sourcing trip to Thailand (see picture above).

His beautiful decorative items have been adorning the Showroom for a while and they are now finally available in my online store.

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Christmas Matsuri in Mejiro

Turquoise Port is back with Tokyo’s French community for a two-day pop-up shopping event in a private residence in Mejiro with a number of great vendors!
Would love to see you there – get in touch for the address.

Friday, 4 December 2020, 11am – 8pm
Saturday, 5 December 2020, 10am – 4pm

Facebook
Instagram

Get in touch for address

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Headbands, fritters & a fake Russian choir 😃

It was fab to see some of my lovely customers last week at my first Showroom Open Day in ages! I was a bit worried about my rusty communication skills after not having seen people in the flesh for quite some time 😉

Lovely Victoria from Bikudesigns dropped off some new stock a few days ago – scroll down for a peek!

Also included in my update today are my favorite links from the last couple of weeks as well as a couple of recipes I enjoyed.

Keep smiling,
Alex x

Some of my favorite links

Can’t travel this summer? Here are some armchair travel ideas
Travel the world with 11 of far-flung TV shows

The Foo Fighters are my fav band ever and I’m loving this all-star version of “Times like these” 
Live Lounge Allstars – Times Like These

Fancy a bit of quick & easy DIY?
4 low-cost ideas to update your home this weekend

The impact of the global pandemic on interior design
How is COVID-19 shaping design trends?

This cracked me up! 😀
How Australia’s ‘fake genuine Russian choir’ Dustyesky went viral during the coronavirus pandemic

A bit of fun! I scored 68%
How perfect is your colour vision?

Bikudesigns restock

Vintage Kimono Headbands
¥3,500

Large Vintage Kimono Pendants
¥4,000

Small Vintage Kimono Pendants
¥3,000

Vintage Kimono Earrings
¥3,000

Vintage Kimono Cufflinks
¥4,000

Eat (and cook) your heart out

Corn fritters

I love fritters. In any shape and form. These ones feature quite frequently on our weekend brunch menu:

1 egg
1 tbsp water
125g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt and pepper
1 can (410g) creamed corn
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil 

  • Lightly beat egg with the water.
  • Sift in flour and baking powder, add salt and pepper and stir to achieve a medium batter (add more water if needed). Make sure the mixture is not too thin.
  • Add the can of cream corn, season and stir.
  • Heat half the oil in a frying pan to a medium heat and add spoonfuls of the batter in the pan.
  • Flip the fritters when they start to bubble on the top (1-2 min), but test they are cooked through before removing them.
  • You may need to add a little more oil after each lot is taken out of the pan.

I like to serve the fritters with cherry tomatoes, avocados, sour cream & Thai sweet chilli sauce. 

**vegetarian**

Soft baked lemon cookies

So simple
So quick
So yum

Recipe 

**vegetarian**

Roasted carrots with coriander yoghurt & nuts

This one elevates the humble carrot to new heights!
I usually replace the peanuts with chopped and roasted hazelnuts or almonds.

Recipe 

**vegetarian**

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This month I’m … June 2020

And June it is – the rainy season upon us followed by Tokyo’s relentlessly hot and humid summer. 
Isn’t it odd how quickly the last few months have gone whilst life in general notably slowed down? Something to ponder about …

Right about now I had planned to launch my 2020 collection. Covid-19 stopped me right in my tracks by cancelling my last sourcing trip as well as orders coming from outside of Japan.

So instead of presenting a half-completed collection I’ll just show the beautiful pieces I found during the next few weeks over on Instagram & Facebook as well as via my mailing list.

Alex x

GETTING EXCITED ABOUT
opening my Showroom again!
I’ve made quite a few changes & can’t wait to show them off!

STARTING TO WORK ON
a series of home styling videos with Cherie Jones of Cherie Jones Design. Stay tuned!

READING
“The Clockmaker’s Daughter”
by Kate Morton
* I’m over 1/2 way through and addicted to the story! Great summer read.

RECEIVING
new Bikudesigns stock including a selection of fabulous vintage kimono fabric headbands!

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Showroom re-opens!

I’m super excited to re-start my regular Showroom Open Days!

Thursday, 11th June … 11am – 5pm⁠
Saturday, 20th June … 1pm – 6pm⁠
Wednesday, 24th June … 11am – 5pm⁠

All doors and windows will be open throughout the day to allow constant airflow, hand sanitizer is placed at the entrance, I’ll be wearing a mask and would like to ask all visitors to please wear a mask as well.⁠

Credit card payments are possible.

Please get in touch for address and further details.⁠

Private appointments are available if you’d rather like to have the place to yourself to browse the collection.

Hope to see you soon! 💙
Alex x

P.S. I will be monitoring the situation closely and cancel scheduled Showroom Open Days if necessary.

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What’s your daily routine these days?

Mr. M and I have been in self-imposed lockdown for over two months now and whilst it was all strange at first, we have a good routine going now. 

I enjoy having a “colleague” (Mr. M working from home) in the “office” for the time being. Working alone can be lonely sometimes, but now I have someone to meet for lunch in the kitchen.  
😀

Thank you so much for your feedback regarding my last blog post! Sounds like you enjoyed my links and recipes – please scroll down to for some more.

Stay healthy & keep the spirits high
Alex x

Some of my favorite links

The world after coronavirus
This storm will pass. But the choices we make now could change our lives for years to come

A possible positive consequence of the lockdown
Are we witnessing the death of the car?

Very interesting podcast by The New York Times
The next year (of two) of the Pandemic

This aerial film of Japan is mesmerizing
Japan in 8K

I am drooling over #1 😅
10 of the Worlds Most Jaw-Dropping Modern Homes

Yep! This!
Can all the lockdown motivators get lost

The question on many minds
When Will Flying Be Safe Again?

If you have been avoiding popping to the supermarket too often, you might find this useful
Methods for Storing Fresh Herbs

Eat (and cook) your heart out

We get a weekly veggie box delivered to our doorstep and I love the surprise factor – you just never know what’s in it! Swiss chard and collard greens have been included in recent deliveries which gave me the opportunity to try this yummy Swiss Chard Fritters recipe from one of my favourite cook books:  “Jerusalem” by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi.

400g Swiss chard leaves, stalks removed (I used a mixture of Swiss chard & collard greens)
30g flat leaf parsley
20g fresh coriander
20g fresh dill
1.5 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp plain flour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 eggs
80g feta, crumbled
60ml olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving

  • Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and simmer the chard leaves for 5 minutes.
  • Drain and squeeze well until completely dry.
  • Whizz in a food processor with the herbs, nutmeg, sugar, flour, garlic, eggs, a third of a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper.
  • Fold in the feta by hand.
  • Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat and spoon in a heaped tablespoon of the mixture for each fritter.
  • Press down gently to shape into 7cm wide, 1cm thick fritters, and cook for 3-4minutes, turning once, until they take on some colour.
  • Transfer to kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining fritter mix and oil.
  • Serve hot with a wedge of lemon.

**vegetarian**

Chicken in red wine

I must have made this dish a thousand times. Serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread to soak up those juices.
Just. so. yummy!

Recipe 

Swedish cinnamon rolls

Best served fresh and warm from the oven. I make these in batches and freeze them.

Recipe 

**vegetarian*

Spiced chickpea, saffron and cranberry pilau rice

There’s something about the combination of saffron, coriander and basmati rice that makes me come back to this recipe over and over.

Recipe 

**vegan if you use oil instead of ghee*

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How are you all doing?

A year ago Mr. M & I used the Japan’s Golden Week break to discover more of beautiful Mother Earth – we travelled through Uzbekistan.

And right now we would be on our adventure through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia soaking up the century-old history and culture of that fascinating part of the world. We would be exploring the local cuisine, ancient monasteries, charming villages as old as the hills and spectacular mountain vistas.

Instead we are hunkered down in Tokyo trying to ride out the wave of strange uncertainty that has washed over each and everyone of us. And that’s ok – we should all be doing our best to make sure the current situation gets resolved as soon as possible. If that is staying at home so be it!

If you follow my Instagram/Facebook stories you might have noticed that I’ve rediscovered my love of cooking – scroll down for some of the recipes I’ve been using recently. 

Instead of travelling I’m spending far more time reading well-written articles some of which I have shared with you below in the hope that you might find them useful.

I sincerely hope you, your family and friends are all ok, wherever you are. 

Stay healthy & safe
Alex x

Some of my favorite links

Crisis management
Why do female leaders seem to be more successful at managing the coronavirus crisis?

You can still watch the recording of Andrea Bocelli’s beautiful Easter live stream
Andrea Bocelli: Music For Hope – Live From Duomo di Milano

I certainly felt exhausted during the first few weeks of self isolation
You’re Not Lazy — Self-Isolation is Utterly Exhausting

Life under lockdown in a number of countries
Fodor’s writers around the world share what life is like under lockdown

And on a lighter note: Travel the world in 10 cocktails
10 Signature Cocktails From Around the World and the History Behind Them

Yes to us Gen Xers!
It Took a Global Pandemic, But Generation X is Finally Getting Love

Cooking (and baking) up a storm

This is a very simple fail-proof recipe for a dense German-style bread which I bake all the time:

500g rye, wholemeal or spelt flour
15g salt
7g dry yeast
5g bread seasoning (I get mine in Germany, but there are lots of recipes online. It can be made in batches as it lasts quite a while.)
70g sesame seeds
70g sunflower seeds
70g pumpkin seeds
15g caraway seeds (whole, not ground)
500ml water

  • Mix all dry ingredients
  • Add water and knead by hand or using a stand mixer until very well mixed
  • Cover dough and let rise for 30min in a warm place
  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius, line rectangular baking tin with non-stick paper & put a pot with water into the oven (bottom shelf)
  • Add dough to baking tin and bake for 75 min on the middle shelf (leave the pot of water inside the oven)

**vegan**

 

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Frittata

Another frequent visitor to our dining table – quick & easy. I just use whatever mushrooms I can get my hands on. Love the variety of shrooms in Japan!

Recipe 

**vegetarian**

Chicken Musakhan

I’m a big fan of Middle Eastern food and cook it quite frequently. Loved this chicken dish I made for the first time a few days ago so much that I ordered the cook book 😅

Recipe 

Warm beetroot, lentil & walnut salad

I used to hate beetroot and now love it! This salad ticks a lot of boxes for me – moorish, easy & nutritious.

Recipe 

**vegan if you replace the honey with something like maple syrup**

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Showroom closed until further notice … COVID-19 🦠

Dear all,

With the global virus crisis still going strong, I’ve decided to close the Showroom for the time being.⁠

I’m still around though (not going anywhere really as I’m social distancing) so if you see anything you like, please get in touch. Shipping is available for most items or else I can keep your purchases for you until things get better out there.⁠

Stay safe, look after yourself and out for each other 💙⁠
Alex x ⁠

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This month I’m … March 2020

Well hello everyone,

Right – what’s going on in the world??
The last couple of weeks have been … interesting … to put it politely.
Event cancellations left, right and center, closed schools & museums, travel restrictions etc.

I hope you are all okay out there. Keep up the spirit! (I’m finding that one a bit difficult, especially on rainy days like today, but hey…)

Despite the current turmoil I’ve decided to keep on going with my Open Days for the time being, but will let you know if things change.

Stay healthy & happy
Alex x

READING
“The Silent Patient”
by Alex Michaelides

EXPLORING
the Izu Peninsula. This is rather last minute and I haven’t done any research. We had booked to go to Bangkok, but a certain virus messed up our plans…
Would love your recommendations!

GETTING EXCITED ABOUT
the amazing ceramics I found on my last sourcing trip – available in the Showroom at the end of March

REPLANNING
a whole bunch of trips. I usually go sourcing in spring, but that’s probably not going to happen at this stage… 🦠

BEAVERING AWAY 
on my online shop. I’m hoping to have the first set of products up & running at the end of the month!

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Introducing: “This month I’m…”

Turquoise Port was founded and is run by me, myself & I.
My personal life and my life as a small business owner are very much intertwined so instead of just talking about my products, events and releases all the time, I thought I’ll share a few more personal things with you on a regular basis.

This is the first instalment of “This month I’m…” 

READING
City of Girls
by Elizabeth Gilbert

GETTING EXCITED ABOUT
new arrivals of Vietnamese pom pom cushion covers – available in the Showroom at the end of February

EXPLORING
Kobe, Japan
Any recommendations?

MAKING 
a bunch of different muesli / granola recipes
Got a good one? Please send it to me!

I’d love to know what you are up to – comment below or send an email to let me know.

Alex x