The 30th anniversary Sapporo Handcraft Festival featured Masako's quilts

The 30th anniversary Sapporo Handcraft Festival took place on the 10th and 11th of October. (website)

Masako was invited to exhibit more than ten of her quilts, which was the main feature of the event. 

We brought some furniture from Tokyo which we set up and decorated as a living room and bedroom in the exhibit area.

As many of you know, October is the pink ribbon month when people organize events to raise awareness of breast cancer.
A main feature of these events is to point out the importance of doing a regular breast exam.

Masako has known the gynecologist, Dr. Yuko Inoue, for many years and gave a talk with her. 

The one who can help protect you from breast cancer is not a doctor, your family or your friends, but only you.



Gustav Porslinsfabrik

This story is going to be the last one about our September journey to the Scandinavian countries.

On the final day in Stockholm we took a bus to go to the Gustavsberg Porcelain Museum town.

The town has some shops which sell familiar items designed by the famous artist, Stig Lindberg, who belonged to Gustavsberg.
There are also Ittala (Finnish products), cafes, and a museum in the town. 

Masako bought some vintage plates at a local antique shop.

In the back side of the shop there was a small factory with a kiln which was firing porcelain products.

Some of you might have seen those pretty lions. They are designed by Lisa Larson who was also a designer of Gustavsberg.

We wanted to take one of them home with us.

Cafe Tornhuset, located in this area, is a perfect place to relax over lunch.

Masako and I ordered lunch plates.
Mine, on the right, was a big potato with salad and hers, on the left, was a mixed fresh salad.

One particular thing which impressed us the most was that people in Sweden and Norway are so friendly and hospitable.
At cafes, restaurants, department stores, and even on the street, they were always willing to help us when they realized we were bewildered or lost.

Tusen Takk!




On the 18th of September we flew from Bergen to Stockholm, in Sweden.
Our tour only allowed us to stay there for two days so it is not hard to imagine our shopping list was too long for such a short time.

First, we visited a fabric shop called TYGVERKET.

The second shop was selling knitting supplies.

It looked as if the shop was privately reserved for us.

We asked so many questions but they answered every one with a smile!

The third one had traditional Scandinavian handcrafts.

SVENSK HEMSLOJD was also a handcraft shop.
Before opening the door, we saw many people standing and having cocktails. We got a bad feeling because it looked like they were having a party.
But a lady who noticed us looking so uneasy welcomed us without hesitation!
According to her, they had a ceremony to award students embroidery certificates. 

Many of us bought this embroidery kit. So beautiful! 

We saw this tree with a knitted sleeve around it.

Ostermalm Saluhall is a market which offers a lot of foods.

Have you ever watched a very popular Japanese animation movie, Majo no Takkyubin (Kiki's Delivery Service)?
It is absolutely one of my favorite movies.
They say the main location in the movie was modeled a real town called Gamla stan in Stockholm.

It looks so romantic in the evening!




Bergen became one of my favorite cities because it offered so many places to visit!

There is an area called "Bryggen" (Norwegian for the quay) which has been the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1979. Now it functions as a shopping district where you can get not only Norwegian traditional things, but fashionable Scandinavian design items as well.

The city of Bergen was founded before 1070 and has withstood many fires over the years.
Since buildings were wooden, many were lost this way although Bryggen has several buildings which are over 300 years old.

A shop selling hardanger embroidery creations.

He (She) is a guard of this old district.

Even McDonald's somehow looks nicer in the town.

We watched a TV program which featured Bergen. Sostrene Hagelin looked perfect for a quick bite so we had fish soup and some fish cakes at lunch! Needless to say, it tasted good.



Floibanen Train

The train to Mount Fløyen is the main tourist attraction in Bergen.

A short journey of just a few minutes takes you to the top.
The cars are spacious making it easy for mothers to travel with children and strollers.

What lovely weather!