31 December 2010

Thoughts on happy memories

This morning I received a surprise post from my friend Taeko in Japan. It was her first photography book that was published last month. I was delighted. Soon my mind zoomed back to mid 90’s. 
Taeko and I were both keen amateur photographers. It was well before the digital era, and I was completely hooked on the magic of manual SLR photography. Taeko was a very wise and informative woman of my mother’s age, in fact I used to call her ‘mum’ for the comfort I felt. We used to spend the weekend often shooting photos or printing in the local studio, otherwise just talking about the beauty of life. After two group exhibitions we did, I departed Japan for a new challenge, finding myself, whilst Taeko continued to shoot great images for the next decade. 
Somewhere down the line from there till now, I have altered direction and chosen the material in somehow more ‘primitive’ way to express myself, but I do believe that I still have that important essence of photography within me that can collaborate with my creativity. It’s the eyes. My eyes, as if they were camera lenses, capture and embrace the beauty in life everywhere. There is also the lovely friendship that we engaged once in the past. Receiving her book on new year’s eve was such a nice reminder. 
Thank you Taeko. I have a great feeling for the new year. Hope that would be shared with you all, too. Have a wonderful 2011! xm  
Her photo collection book ‘Story’ is available from here.  
all images by Taeko Tsuji 

26 December 2010

What did you do on Christmas day?

I hope you all are having a great time. We had a very relaxed Christmas day with easy music and mulled wine, followed by a gentle walk to the riverside for a wee bit of fresh air. So calm and peaceful, just how I like it. Then... guess what we found? A big smile on the river surface. The river was frozen solid that people could walk on to make that mark! My hub told me that he could only remember that last time it was frozen was in 1963. I have never seen the view like this before and certainly never walked on the river! It was awesome! xm 

23 December 2010

Merry Christmas to you

Today was my last working day this year. During the time off from work and the college, I'm planning to finish off my studio building, of course after Christmas that is. Got to enjoy the proper rest first :) Thank you so much for your support. This year has been truly amazing because of you. Will see you again here soon, but for now, wherever you are, whatever you do, I wish you all have a wonderful Christmas and ENJOY! xm

21 December 2010

random spirit lifters

Have got a few more working days this week. Today was my last day off before Christmas. So I have decided to get on with cleaning the house all day but these things keep stopping me from the chore. Oh well, they give me a smile and that’s a good thing, isn’t it? xm 
 pretty shadow of eucalyptus and amaryllis 
 gorgeous handmade decor by Kate. (Thank you Kate!)
 there is no too many nuts and nuts cracker
 tray-full of ceramic candle holders
frosts make the garden looks pretty

18 December 2010

GIVEAWAY result!

Thank you very much for entering to my first giveaway. I was delighted to know many people have joined this from all over the world! Your participation really means a lot to me, so a big thanks to all of you! OK, this is how I did. Numbered everyone first then added continuous numbers for blog and twitter followers, which came up with total of 70 entries. For selection, I used random number generator. The winner is Lillalotta! Please email me your posting address to: makikohastings@gmail.com 
Congratulations, Lillalotta! Thank you everyone! xm 

14 December 2010


Finally I handed in all of my assignments for this semester. It’s been hard but all worth it in the end. Thought I'd show you some pages of my portfolio. Last one is my favourite. xm

12 December 2010

one night wish

Sorry for being a bit quiet here, I had a really tough week. But rather than remembering those nastiness and sadness, I came up with rather rational idea. In the middle of snowy town centre, on the first night of late shopping, here I went with a ladder and my angel work. I decided to present my art work to the community just for one night and do giveaway. Whilst assembling, some friends turned up followed by some general public stopped and asked me what I was doing and why. Explaining I was wishing those bullies would disappear from the world, angel pieces representing wishes flying out from the cage, the place where you don’t want to be trapped. People gathered around the work that covered with lights reflected by snow. I gave my angel pieces to people who came as a thank you gift. They were delighted. Rational action that night turned out a happy warm memory. Hope you all having a good week. 
P.S. Didn’t get the ‘wishing’ angel? Why not join my giveaway? Still open but hurry, will be closing on Friday 17th. xm 

6 December 2010

here come auntie’s posts

It seems that I’d always spent an arm and a leg just for posting Christmas gifts to Japan (never mind the cost inside!) at last minutes, so I planned to send earlier this year using a surface mail, but of course I failed again. It’s already the time of year. All my folks in Japan don’t really celebrate for Christmas like people do over here, but I like giving them something little each year, especially for three little ones. Last year, I made a ceramic angel for my new born nephew. Then I thought I'm going to do this each year until they are adult (in Japan we celebrate at 20 year old) so that they’ll have a good numbers of Christmas decorations to put up when they have a future family. I liked this unusually sweet idea of mine, so the other two little ones have also joined my annual project. This year, I made birdies. Hope they like them and their mums would look after them on behalf of my brothers. x Auntie Maki

My first GIVEAWAY is currently open. Please enter here if you fancy! Closing date is Friday 17th December. xm 

1 December 2010


Welcome, December! As I mentioned before, it’s the time for my giveaway to thank you all. I have chosen to go with this HANETSUBO candle holder. Closing date is Friday 17th December and I’ll annouce a winner on the next day's post. If you are up for it, please leave your comment below. If you are already my follower or become one, you will get two entries. Also the same for my twitter, then three. Hope you join me! xm