Now, admittedly St Patrick's weekend isn't traditionally associated with healthy drinks but when Lucky arrived at Momiji HQ, she brought with her a recipe for Shamrock Smoothies. This weekend seems like a good time to try them out. They're packed with nutritious stuff so if you're heading out for St Patrick's festivities and parades they'd make a good breakfast or brunch...even if the rest of your day doesn't stay quite so saintly!
Whatever you're up to this weekend we hope you have a good one and if you try your hand at Shamrock Smoothies, remember to send us a photo.
You will need:
4 bigg-ish strawberries (you can keep adding them to taste depending on how sweet you want it to be.)
2 large handfuls of spinach or kale
A heaped teaspoon of almond butter (cashew butter or peanut butter are also excellent choices.)
300 ml of almond milk (you can use regular milk too)
1 frozen banana
Whizz it all up, baby.
Happy St Patricks day from all of us at Momiji and Lucky
Woah! Loads of entries! Thank you to everyone who entered Friday's contest. Well done to all of you who answered correctly that Bubi has breakfast at 8am.
Our winner is Neve Akram! Congratulations, Neve! Check your email later today for info on your prize.
Thanks to @catwalkbunny for this fab photo - check her out on Instagram :)
Oh, how we love the internet. We love blogs and we love all the friends we've made around the world through Momiji.
This is the first in our series of interviews with our favourite bloggers. We're kicking off with an enchanted trip to France to meet Cecile of Poulette Magique. We love her dreamy photos, fabulous home and her Momiji inspired baking tutorials!
When did you start blogging?
I started blogging in November 2009, I wanted to share my passion for art toys, antiques, toys, decor and doing DIY. My boyfriend's nickname is Poulet Magique (Magic Chicken), I took the female version and so "Poulette Magique" was born!
What do you feel makes your blog special?
In fact my blog is truly magical! It is full of unicorns and rainbows!
No seriously, I think what most differentiates my blog are the photos, they all have a pinkish hue that gives something special.
I like to take time to process my photos, I like to have a packed design, I like to collect objects and make them live together. People often tell me that they like my blog as 'madelein Proust' (a French expression to say that something causes us to savour memories of our childhood) I love that it is not at all serious.
How much of your day do you devote to your blog?
I often spend my evenings on the blog with one eye on the TV, one eye on my screen. I responded to the comments and I see to my emails during my lunch break at work (I am a web designer) and voila! It's really a passion so in the end I do not count my hours.
For photos I take them all at the weekend and while my daughter and takes a nap I take the opportunity to make DIY projects.
Tell us about your home - it looks so much fun!
We are collectors. Toys and art toys for me and vintage video games for my boyfriend. Suddenly our house is a jumble that gives a living income, colourful design with vintage furniture. A mixture of everything we like! I call it neo-kitsch or how to bring kitsch objects up to date :) There is also a lot of food decoration, such as the Woouf Pouf, posters of my illustrators everywhere and lots of Polaroids because I also love analog photography and polaroids. In short this is a very minimalist house hahaha!
What's your favourite place to shop?
I love Bird on the Wire shop, it's simple I can buy EVERYTHING! Everything is beautiful and so cute! Online I am a big fan of Urban Outfitters I particularly like their design category and products completely crazy. I regularly collaborate with them on my blog DIY posts.
In the kitchen what's your speciality dish?
I am very greedy so I do a lot of my favorite dessert and inratable brownie recipe is that of the heart based (OMG I'm hungry now ^^).
You can download the recipe on the blog here.
How did you first discover Momiji and which is your favourite character?
The first time I saw Momiji was on the Tamtokki website and then after I saw the ice cream model on Pinterest and there I literally fell in love with its design. Definitely too kawaii ^^
What music are you listening to at the moment?
I like listening to sweet music like Katy Perry, it motivates me to work and puts me in a good mood! I am a big fan of Coeur de Pirate I am looking forward to the new album. Also
Julien Doré is just awesome. <3
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
Never to take things too seriously and enjoy the moment and those around us and that we love. It's very cliché but so true!
If you could live in another city in the world, where would you choose?
In my wildest dreams I have a loft in New York, one in Tokyo and then I go on holiday in New Caledonia, on the Isle of Pines (we can dream;))
In reality I live not far from Barcelona and I love this city and I love living on the Costa Brava for tapas and Spanish pastries!
Thanks so much Cecile! We're certainly feeling the Magique!
Check out Cecile's Valentina inspired sweet recipes here.
It's the weekend. You're winding down. You're not strong enough for anything too complicated, right? We're hearing you. If you'd like to win a Momiji then all you have to do is find the answer to our question about Treeson designer, Bubi Au Yeung from our interview with her below (our blog post from 27th February).
Question: What time to does Bubi usually have breakfast?
How to enter:
1. EMAIL your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Make the SUBJECT of your email BUBI'S BREAKFAST.
3. In the BODY of your email tell us your answer to the question and your name.
Closing time for entries is midnight (UK Time) on Sunday 8th March.
The contest is open to EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE. So get involved.
The prize: Is a Momiji doll of your choice (as long as it's in stock. Sorry Emmeline isn't included in this one.)
The winner will be selected at random.
There is no cash alternative.
Our decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
The winner will be notified by email and announced on social media. By entering, you agree that you are happy for us to announce your name.
The competition is not open to employees of Momiji or their friends and family.
Helena and I have been huge fans of Bubi Au Yeung for years now so when we started chatting about a possible collaboration we were wide-eyed with excitement. We finally got to meet Bubi at Pictoplasma in 2014 and listen to her sweet, inspiring talk at the conference. We also go to see an exhibition of her work as part of the festival's Character Walk which was magical and we had to restrain ourselves from running away with everything because we're so in love with her work.
The new Limited Edition release combines Treeson, a creature of the forest with a Momiji girl who represents a human soul. Treeson is known for the branch that sticks out from his heart.
“I used to have nothing in my chest. Then one day, a tree branch was stabbed into my heart. Don't worry, it doesn't hurt. I'm used to it now. Don't we all have something in our heart as we get older? I like my friends. I smile a lot. And I'm seldom bored. I am Treeson, the son of trees.”
Only 500 pieces of TREESON MOMIJI have been produced, each one is numbered on the base by hand.
We had a chat with Bubi. Here's what she had to say...
How did you begin exploring your ideas for your Momiji doll?
Treeson is a creature in the forest so I have the idea to create a Momiji doll which show the connection between a girl (Human) and Treeson, and I hope this special version of Momiji doll would help spreading the love of nature and friendship.
What’s your usual way of working; do you sketch first or immediately create digital files?
I had lot of sketchbooks and I really enjoy sketching on them, so most of the time I would sketch my ideas with my favourite brush pen on the sketchbook then create the digital graphic base on those ideas.
Can you tell a little about the Treeson character and what he stands for?
This is the character I created in 2005, he is a creature raised by trees in the forest, that's why I named him Treeson, meaning he is the son of tree. I hope when people see Treeson, he would remind them to care about our nature.
What was your favourite part of the design process?
That would be doodling on sketchbook.
Tell us about your workspace. Do you design in a specific place or do you find it easy to work anywhere?
I find it easy and comfortable to work at my room though it is very small and so as my desk too, and I usually sketch or draw on my bed first then create digital graphic on my iMac.
Tell us about a typical work day.
I have a full time job so I have a regular schedule from Monday to Friday:
7:30am wake up and take shower
9:00am arrive office and working
2:00-6:30 or 7pm working
7:00-9:00pm leave office and go to gym
9:00pm -10:00pm shower
10:00-11:00pm check email and work on my own stuff
Before 12am sleep
What would you say are the most important characteristics for anyone wanting to work in design?
To stay open-minded is really important, if you are always inspired by surrounding and open to accept different culture, trends, ideas, even a judgement then you will always be inspired which can benefit for your creation.
In the movie of your life which song would be the title track on the soundtrack?
The first song come to my mind is "The Beatitudes" from the La Grande Bellezza , whenever I listen to this song, I feel like I am on my way to the very peaceful place which is something I really want - the peace of mind...
In the kitchen, what’s your speciality dish?
What's your favourite thing about living in Hong Kong?
If you could live in any other city in the world where would you choose and why?
I would choose Paris because I could enjoy delicious food and visit different museums and exhibitions there where I always surrounded by art and beautiful building.
Friday nights or Sunday mornings?
Thanks a lot again!
When we designed and created our Momiji doll, Lucky we spent some time thinking about lucky charms and symbols around the world and what it really means to be lucky. Our Lucky Momiji isn't intended to be a magic charm, instead we wanted her to be a symbol for good wishes and brave thoughts. Whether you're tucking a little hand-written note with words of encouragement to someone who is facing a big challenge or you'd just like her to sit on your bookshelf and to remind you to look to the future with a can-do attitude, we hope that she'll be a positive companion.
Thinking about being lucky got us chatting about whether it's possible to make your own luck. I looked to some of the people I most admire in different walks of life and pulled together some of their most inspirational ideas about how to be luckier.
1. WORK HARD AND BE NICE TO PEOPLE
This poster by Anthony Burrill is a good place to start. Is there's something big you're dreaming of? It's time to take the first step and dedicate yourself to making it happen. Putting positive energy out there into the universe can only be a good thing. The harder you work...the luckier you get.
(Photo Credit Anthony Burrill)
2. EMBRACE THINGS THAT TERRIFY YOU
We're great believers in facing our fears. When we created Emmeline, our LIVE BOLDLY Momiji we included a poster for you to write down a list of things you might be scared of and that you'd love to overcome. Somehow writing them down makes them less daunting. It's easy for them to turn into monsters if you just let them live in your head. One of our favourite bloggers, Grace Bonney (pictured above) of Design*Sponge, which receives over a million visits a day, inspired us in her talk at the Weapons of Mass Creation conference. She talks about the challenges she faced in building up such a successful site and how she found the courage to go on when behind the scenes life was pretty tough and she felt like falling apart. Her talk is a really mood-boosting watch and we love her advice about breaking down challenges into manageable steps. She also talks about how facing the fear of rejection face-on made it less scary.
One of my personal inspirations for taking this approach to life and business is Lisa Hassell, Director of Inkygoodness. Lisa has an insatiable passion for design, illustration and generally making cool things happen. She's brilliant at talking to people, starting conversations, trading ideas and then she has an amazing knack of rolling these chats into ground-breaking, collaborative events. It's really motivating to be around her.
3. DON'T BE AFRAID TO LOOK SILLY
I'm reading 'Yes Please' by actress, comedian, director, producer and writer, Amy Poehler at the moment and it's bursting with genius. One of my favourite messages so far is 'don't be afraid to make a fool of yourself.' Amy says "Looking silly can be very powerful. People who are committing and taking risks become the king and queen of my prom."
This is a philosophy we believe in wholeheartedly at Momiji. We built our company on embracing a healthy dose of silliness. We've made lots of mistakes along the way but we try not to let fear of failure stop us from trying new things and being ourselves.
“The best advice I've ever received is, 'No one else knows what they're doing either.” Ricky Gervais
It's easy to make the mistake of thinking that everyone else has a master plan. If you dig a little deeper it's probably the case that most people are just getting by by doing their best and making it up as they go along. The old adage 'Fake it until you make it' can get you a long way and if you start to act like the person you want to be, sooner or later you'll find that that's the person you've become.
Designer and music video director Kate Moross wrote a book called Make Your Own Luck (pictured above - photo from Creative Review) and it's full of advice for taking control of your future and making your creative dreams a reality. She has a DIY philosophy to success; “If you don’t know how to do something, YouTube it.”
We live in a time where it has never been so easy to teach yourself stuff. This is a quality I always massively admire in my Momiji teammate and our design genIus, Helena. She has a really pro-active approach to figuring stuff out. She just googles it and then learns how to do it or make it or implement it.
Don't covet your own ideas. Collaborate. Join up. Join in. Sharing your thoughts with other people might just bring the magic you've been needing to make your dream into a reality.
I love this photo from our time at the Pictoplasma character design conference last year. It's one of the most inspirational and uplifting events I've ever been to and you might just spot some Momiji designer collaborations later this year that all began from talking and exchanging ideas at Pictoplasma.
Wishing you all lots of brave, collaborative, bold, lucky adventures!
Thanks to everyone who shared our Lucky Instagram. Our winner is @polly_paillette and we'll be dropping her a line to arrange her prize later today. Congratulations!
If you'd like to send a little luckiness to someone who needs a boost, you'll find Lucky in the shop.
Over the years we've had loads of fun working with educational establishments around the world, from Chelsea College of Art & Design in London to as far away from home as Malaysia.
Not too far from Momiji HQ is Lode Heath School and it's a pretty inspirational place. Recently I've been hanging out in the design department, spending time with the Year 10 classes there.
We all know the importance of a good teacher and Mrs Thompson is a mighty fine example. She invited me to chat with the students about life at Momiji HQ, how we go about designing and making dolls, some of the creative challenges we face and how we overcome them. We explored what makes a good character and took a look at the work of one of my favourite character designers, Gavin Strange (if you're ever looking for a creative boost then google videos of his talks; his enthusiasm is infectious!)
We set the Lode Heath students the challenge of creating a character that represented themselves and captured the essence of their personality. I was so impressed with the results.
Here's a picture of us last week. I popped back in to take some prizes for the students whose designs had really caught my eye. There are certainly plenty of future design stars in Year 10!
This design by Georgina Lakin really stood out. Georgina's nickname is Cheeky Monkey, she loves drawing and travelling. I really liked the scale and positioning of the giant pencil and her map tummy.
I loved Rachel Soller's character's unusual shape. This would look great in 3D! Dreamy colours too!
Thanks so much to everyone at Lode Heath who made me so welcome.
With February 14th just around the corner you may be wondering how you’re going to tell a certain someone that they’re the reason your knees turn to jelly and your heart beats at double time. Whether you’ve been together for years or you’ve spotted someone that you’d like to be spending a whole lot more time time with, we’ve got some advice for you. Don’t leave it to Cupid. Here’s why you should let a Momiji do the talking this year.
1. MYSTERY...everyone knows that originally Valentine’s Day was about sending mysterious love letters, signed with a question mark. Momiji dolls will keep your secret note hidden inside so that it’s only seen by your Valentine.
2. SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL...Phew! There’s no need to write pages of poetry; Momiji message slips are very cute and fairly tiny...which means there’s just enough room to get straight to the point. Jot down your phone number, or a write a couple of not-very-cryptic-clues so that they can uncover your identity...or maybe you’re ready to write three little words that say exactly how you feel..?
3. TREASURE THEM FOREVER...If you go for chocolates they’ll probably last a few hours. Flowers will be pretty for a week until they begin to look a little forlorn. Momiji dolls live forever! On a desk or bookshelf they’ll stand firm, hiding your secret note forever.
4. START YOUR OWN TRADITION...we hear so many lovely stories of people choosing a special Momiji to mark milestones and precious occasions. For each moment they write a message or a memory. This year could be the start of your own Momiji memory collection. Start building an army of love over the years ahead so that you can remember all the stories that go with each anniversary and Valentine’s day.
5. HEALTH & SAFETY...if you’re thinking of popping the question this year on February 14th then we’d like to take this opportunity to remind you hiding a diamond in chocolate mousse in a posh restaurant carries a very high choking risk. Momiji dolls are a tried and tested way to propose with an impeccable health & safety record ;)
However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year we wish you lots of love and good times with the people that make your life happiest.
Our limited edition Valentines 2015 doll, Valentina is available here while stocks last!
If you'd like to win a Momiji doll then here's a little contest that you can take part in without even having to venture from your desk. Just reach for that block of sticky-notes and get started.
Today's post is inspired a mix of good things: Valentina, romance, origami, sticky-notes and Alice in Wonderland!
Our chief Momiji designer, Helena is in love with limited edition books with beautiful artwork. Once of her most treasured novels is this version of Alice In Wonderland. Since Valentina is rocking a Wonderland-esque outfit and our Momiji logo features a little origami hearts, we're challenging you to create a paper bookmark.
Thanks to our handy instructions, you won't need a black belt in origami to bring make one of these.
To enter the contest, follow @MomijiHQ on Instagram and then...
1. Make an origami heart bookmark (Make as many as you like! They're quite a addictive!)
2. Take a picture of your origami and share it on Instagram
3. Use the hashtags #momijidolls and #momijibookmark
The contest closes at midnight on Sunday 1st February (UK time).
You can enter as many times as you like. We'll be choosing our favourite picture. Your photo doesn't need to feature a Momiji doll (but it can if you like!)
Terms & Conditions
To enter a photo must be uploaded onto Instagram.
Entries can only be judged if they are marked with the hashtag #Momijidolls AND #momijibookmark
We can't accept entries by email or any other social media platforms.
We're sorry but if your Instagram is set to private we won't be able to see your entry so we can't include it.
Our decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.
There is 1 prize. The winner will receive a Momiji doll of their choice.*
The winners will be notified by email and the prizes will be shipped to them.
There is no cash alternative.
Momiji will be free to publish the name of the winner and by entering this competition you give your consent for this to happen.
Entries cannot be acknowledged.
The competition is not open to employees of Momiji or any person directly involved in the running of the competition, or direct members of their families. Momiji reserve the right to cancel this competition at any stage, or change any of the rules or procedures if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside its control.
The rules are governed by the laws of England and Wales. You agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts if any disputes arise out of this competition. The copy on any promotional material relating to this competition forms part of these rules.
*(as long as they're in stock and sorry, but Emmeline isn't included in this one)