Do you have a morning ritual? If so, what does it consist of?
I try to read a bit when I first wake up and then carry on with the morning duties. I’ve always liked that alone time at the start of the day to complete routine morning tasks— a review of the day ahead, the expectations. A few moments to myself before the family life interactions and the follow through for the day.
Do you have any self care or beauty habits that you consistently practice?
I’m not a focused practitioner of self care but when the window opens I find it really helpful to exercise as a way to work through unfinished thoughts, the open-ended stuff. A moment devoted to sitting amongst my books and fabric tethers to activate ideas whether indulgent or purpose-driven.
Home and self care kind of meld for me, so having things around that signify a shared moment, a memory, a practice, give me joy. I like to have flowers we pick from walks nestled on window sills or in my son Issei’s room. It’s something that both my grandmothers did that feels comforting. I also rotate little creations Issei and I have made to acknowledge that time together, especially right now.
My specific beauty habits are unfussy—eye cream and sunscreen. I take a slew of vitamins and a shot of apple cider vinegar with oregano oil and zinc droplets for immunity on the daily.
Describe your home in five words:
hued, textured, personal, affectionate, contemplative
Do you have personal practices for living or well-being that create a reduced environmental impact or are zero waste? (share a recipe, practice or how to)
For me, being close to nature inspires kind decisions and an obvious awareness that also extends in to how I work, how I produce that work, the pace and what thoughtful changes can be made to divert from the easy and prescribed options. Continuing education on material innovations and applications is important to me and also a close examination of the world we’re living in presently and how to remove practices and thoughts that don’t serve a positive present and future tense.
Try as we might, humans will inevitably negatively affect the environment in some ways, both on a local and global scale. With this in mind what are some specific intentions and convictions that you hold close?
For my son’s pandemic home school writing projects we talked about the earth and how he sees it— from a basic perspective of conservation, scarcity and abundance, how community is defined and how we can better support all communities. By being present and compassionate and teaching him to listen to the world, I hope these initial introductions to awareness help him make a strong connection within the world and he learns how we can serve it, not annihilate it. Seeing all of these big world moments through the eyes of a child is very motivating.
What is a project for home or living that you have recently started or finished? (share a how to, recipe etc)
Some entry-level gardening and trying to keep it all alive with crushed eggshells and coffee and fermented tea leaves. Making window dressings from fabrics, scrap wood and jewelry supplies. A pendant lamp from fencing wire and fabric? Issei and I just made some celluclay flowers.
What distracts you? How do you remain centered?
Organizing, then finding old sketchbooks, article remnants, photos and going down all of those rabbit holes. I decided to give myself 30 minutes to be frivolous as a warm up then I move on to the work. When I’m sewing or doing something monotonous, I like listening to various podcasts. It also makes me feel like there is another presence in the room holding me accountable to finishing something.
How has your relationship with your immediate surroundings and the environment at large adapted or changed through the years?
There’s more contemplation in my idea process and the edits to get to the most honest design. A few years ago I shifted from clothing to furniture related accessories and objects, pieces that relate to a home and to that idea of home for me. My scale of making pieces is intimate, so an on-demand approach is efficient and material conscious. I think about my work waste in a more resourceful way, trying to use all my scraps for a next project or store it in a “future” box. I also think more about how to influence that dialogue of desires, the need and the want and how much of both is measured.
Describe a practice in living well that you admire from someone in your community.
I am greatly inspired by my friend Sasha Duerr. She is both an artist and educator and just wrote a second book about natural dye and the potentials that practice can bring on a personal application but also as a viable alternative for parts of the fashion system. She connects you to the stories of plants and the unbelievable palette nature offers with actual recipes to enable real life application. I appreciate how her books generously share her experience and research and often with the historical usage, folkloric references and healing elements of particular plants. It has allowed me to think about change in our consumer dialogue and how extending the life of our garments and fabrics can be a very motivating step to connecting to the sources and materials of our things.
Share a well-loved family recipe:
I actually don’t like to go by recipes and usually have to call my mom for specifics on dishes that are specific for a dinner, holiday, etc. I like to cook intuitively with what we have, but this is a recipe Shin has honed and is a straightforward one for easy dining.
Diakon (peeled and sliced in 3/8” pieces)
Shiitake mushroom (sliced)
Ground chicken (or medium firm tofu for vegetarian version)
Garlic, roughly chopped
Shiso, finely chopped
Brown the meat and season with mirin and set aside.
Layer the daikon, the shiitake, shiso, ginger, garlic & steam until tender
Add the meat and serve over brown rice.