Wednesday, February 21, 2018


I've now moved my blog over to my main website:

Hope to see you over there!


Follow me on Facebook here

Follow on Instagram here 

Get News here

Join the Bikudesigns VIP Club Here

Saturday, November 25, 2017


RYDEN REI handmade baby clothing and accessories

Designer and creator Laura, living in Tokyo and loving Japanese design

First of all, thank you so much to Victoria for featuring me and my brand RYDEN REI,  I really appreciate it!

I often get asked what RYDEN REI means, the short answer is it is the name of my little boy. I created the brand for him, so hopefully he will appreciate the work and love I have put into it. Maybe he will pass on some of my creations to his kids. Hopefully he won’t look back at his modelling days for me and cringe! But seriously he is just too cute for that.

Baby Ryden in the new, super cozy,  fleece-lined winter onesie

I am Scottish and studied Textile Design and Performance Costume in Edinburgh. I was always influenced by Japan in my designs and somehow knew I was going to move here even before I met my Japanese/English husband Phil. I notice that tradition in Japan is somehow still prevalent in daily life and I am often inspired by this. I hope to bring a fresh approach to traditional design and give it a modern edge.

In the past I studied a few Japanese textile dying and print techniques such as Shibori and Katazome. I feel there is an added value to slow fashion produced by hand, each piece is special and unique. At the moment I am concentrating on the stencil-dying technique Katazome, although my process is not exactly the same. I make plastic stencils instead of thick washi and use water-based t-shirt printing ink instead of rice paste dyes.

Hand printed sushi design baby blanket

First, I draw out my design a few times, being careful to think about how I will cut it if it is too complex. Then I trace the design onto acetate and use a blade to cut out the parts I want to be printed. I use a combination of a roller and stipple brush to distribute the ink depending on the size of the design. It really is a labor of love, but I feel the imperfection in the final product is more beautiful than that of mass produced digital or latex printing.

Drawing out my designs before printing

I work in my spare room, well sometimes it spreads elsewhere but it takes a lot of space to cut out fabrics, create patterns, set up photoshoots, sew and overlock …

Recently I have been asked to do some custom orders so I have been working on those. The way I work allows you to customize pretty much anything. It is really nice to be able to make something with your customers' personality infused in the final design. Previously I worked in the bespoke fashion industry in Beijing, Hong Kong and London. I created products together with my clients and always loved the personal process. The feeling you get when your customer loves what you have made for them is priceless.

Design and sewing work station next to kimono collection and sumo poster

My webpage is up and ready to shop and I have also created an Etsy page because I really enjoy the international, handmade-loving community that comes along with it. I also post my inspirations and updates on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest so you can find me on any or all of those. It is a lot to manage for one person, but I hope to inspire people to explore their inner creativity and put something out there for others to enjoy!







Monday, October 9, 2017

OCTOBER BLOG FEATURE: Corin Kanazawa Stylist

Hello everyone! I’m Corin of Corin Kanazawa Stylist, based in Tokyo. I’ve lived in Japan on and off for 17 years – 10 years in the beautiful countryside of Akita City in North Eastern Japan, and 7 years in Tokyo, where I currently live with my husband and 3 cheeky monkeys (two girls 9 and 7 and a little 3 year old boy). 

A year ago I embarked on my dream of starting my own business offering personal styling, closet detoxing (de-cluttering and coordinating) as well as personal shopping experiences. I love being a mum but also love having a creative outlet and working with wonderful women to achieve their best looks and boost confidence. 

My passion for fashion began at an early age. As a young child, I adored playing dress-up with grandmother’s sumptuous silk scarf collection, plodding around her bedroom in her glamorous high-heeled shoes and wrapping myself in her beautiful woolen coats. 

I’ve always loved clothes and shopping and helping friends and family to style their best looks. I worked in fashion for a number of years in my home town of Melbourne, Australia, working with local and international brands including Louis Vuitton where I discovered the significant impact that the right fabric, fit and style has on enhancing body shape and personal style. 


The amazing range of colour, fabric and design in this incredibly fashion-forward city re-fueled my love of fashion and styling. In October 2016 I decided to offer personal styling and personal shopping for the English-speaking Tokyo community. 

Before shopping for new items, its important to be familiar with existing items in your closet and be confident coordinating any new pieces into the mix. This is why a closet detox, styling & personal shopping session can actually help save money in the long run, preventing regrettable purchases. 

 After a closet detox

I visit client’s homes and together, we carefully scan closets deciding which pieces to keep, letting go of items that no longer suit needs, body shape and/or lifestyle. We follow up with an exciting day of personal shopping where we try on pieces that I have pre-selected and items we find on the day, choosing the best items to coordinate with your newly detoxed closet! 

I offer two styling packages: 
The Full Seasonal Styling Package, which includes an initial consultation, followed by a home closet detox and styling session, and finally a day of personal shopping. 

Some clients prefer booking a Closet Detox & Styling package initially, which includes an initial consultation followed by a home closet detox and styling session - where I show clients how to coordinate their items based on their lifestyle and body shape. Most clients generally follow up with a personal shopping experience to fill in the gaps (which are usually significant after a thorough detox!) 

This month I’m very excited to be celebrating one year of styling in Tokyo and for the first time, in Kansai! 

I love helping boost confidence through refreshing my clients’ wardrobes and looks. Having an accessible closet filled with pieces that are easy to coordinate without fuss or confusion, truly saves time and money in our very busy and sometimes stressful lives. 

If you open your closet to get dressed or head out shopping and feel at all anxious, stressed or confused about what to wear or buy, consider contacting me to chat about how I can help you achieve your best look through a fun yet efficient closet detox & personal shopping experience. 

You can contact me here:

I can’t wait to hear from you to help you embark on your style journey!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SEPTEMBER BLOG FEATURE: Vicky Kobayashi from Ice Flower Crochet

I’m originally from Derby in England, and came to Japan twenty six years ago on a one year contract!  (How did that happen? ) I live in Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, with my Japanese husband and the younger of our two sons, who is a high schooler. The elder is at university in Tokyo. 

I came to Japan originally to teach English, and twenty six years later that has morphed into my own small English school where I teach all ages, from toddlers to retirees. I love it, and I love the connections it gives me to our community.

I learned to knit and crochet from a friend while at university, and have never stopped making things since! So many people said “You could sell that,” that two years ago I took my courage in two hands and started Ice Flower Crochet, my small bespoke crochet business. My true love is making blankets, but I also make hats, scarves, garlands, wreaths, seasonal decorations, washcloths - almost anything that anyone asks me to make or that I’m inspired to make. I love to play with colours. The more colours the better, in my opinion! I love that I can make the same blanket with the same stitch but change the colours and get an entirely different result each time. I take pride in the quality of my work and my attention to detail. I also use high quality easy care yarns for most of my work, so that it can be used, worn and loved for years.

It is my pleasure to listen to what clients would like, to consult with them over colours and materials and to produce something that they will love and use. Some people have a very clear image of what they want, for others anything goes, and for still others, “They’ll know it when they see it.” Any of these approaches is fine by me! I love to get to know my customers and see glimpses of their home that they share with me for colour and style inspiration. I like to think that we become friends during the process.

My other love that rivals crochet for me is my garden. We moved into our house fifteen years ago and it has a big garden compared to most houses in Japan. It was already established, with trees and rocks placed by the previous owners, but we have changed a lot, and each year add more plants and move things about a bit. My aim is to have colour throughout the very short growing season, (we have snow for five or six months of the year here) and to have a space full of textures, colours and height. The summer here is short and intense and I want to wring every drop of colour out of it before being plunged back into white and grey. I take inspiration for my crochet from the colours and textures of the flowers we grow there. I’ve learned that in nature, colours never clash, and so I try to find new and interesting ways to combine colours that are pleasing to the eye and exciting to work with. 

Eclipse blanket

Ice Flower Crochet is very much my love but it’s not my main work, and I have to be careful to balance crochet with my regular career, which is pretty busy to be honest. I don’t think I can do *more* crochet, so I think I’d like to do *more inspired* crochet, but I’m not sure exactly what that will be until the inspiration grabs me. When I do get inspired, food and housework go out of the window for a few days, but the family have learned to see the signs, sigh, and get out the kitchen knives for themselves! 

My husband laughs at the places he sees me wielding my hook:  In the car, of course; in any sort of waiting room, here and there throughout the day as I have little gaps of time, and this past summer at a jazz concert and in a beer garden!  I always have three or more projects or commissions on the go at any one time; a little one that fits into a cotton bag that slips into my handbag, a giant blanket project on the sofa next to me, and on my desk is usually a difficult fiddly thing that needs bright light and a flat surface.

If you are interested in commissioning a piece, please contact me via Facebook or Instagram and I’ll be thrilled to discuss what you’d like with you. And if you’d enjoy lots of colourful photos of current pieces in progress, and occasional shots of my garden too, then please “like” me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram for regular updates.

Contact and follow me here: 



I currently only sell within Japan, and everything I have available for immediate sale is in the “Available Now” photo album on my Facebook page. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

AUGUST BLOG FEATURE: Edwina Rivers from Designer Rascal

Hi there and hello from my dining table, aka my office! 

My name is Edwina and I am the crazy, manic and exhausted face behind my business, Designer Rascal and my Instagram page Life of a Pilot Wife. 

As you might have guessed, I'm married to a pilot who is here to gain his command on a private jet. Sounds like a great gig but having him on call 24/7 and away weeks at a time, means this crazy lady is left with the joyful and thoroughly rewarding job of full time solo parenting to Ollie and Annabel. So, as a result of permanent brain frazzle, Designer Rascal was born. 

Designer Rascal is what I like to call my sanity project. It was launched earlier this year so still very early and exciting days for my business. I am currently in the process of setting up my personal blog and doing my best to truly establish my business presence here in Tokyo and throughout Japan. 


So back to the topic on hand. I sew kids clothes (mainly girls) for ages ranging from newborn through to 10 year olds. I got to the point where I was making a dress a day just for me so I thought it was time to start focusing my efforts on a project that will hopefully bring joy to others and myself along the way. Residing in Tokyo means I have access to some amazing fabric options that are produced or at least printed in Japan (Liberty of London for example). 

One of my main focuses this year has been on ethical trade. We so easily get carried away on how cheap something is and forget about the chain supply chain behind the garment. While handmade might be perceived as hobbyist or unnecessarily expensive, I hope that it will in the end provide a greater reward for all involved. 

I have had the pleasure of meeting some fabulous Rascals in Tokyo and Osaka who have so kindly helped with my photo shoots. I hope to kick off my Autumn/Winter line with a photo shoot in September. Please feel free to contact me if you have a budding fashionista wanting to do some modelling. 

I'm very keen to collaborate with other small businesses or work with schools and larger businesses to assist fundraising efforts so please give me a shout. 

You will find my daily ramblings here:

Designer Rascal 

I look forward to meeting some of you in the near future. Thanks for stopping by. 

Edwina x

P.S those of you in Shimokitizawa, please don't judge me for being the neighbourhood crazy lady!

E x

Saturday, July 8, 2017

JULY BLOG FEATURE: Joanne Tomooka from Kiora Cottage

I originally came to Japan from New Zealand on the JET Scheme (Japan Exchange Teaching Programme) in 1996 with the intention of making some money to pay off my student loans before heading back to New Zealand. After three years of assistant “teaching” at primary and junior high schools I decided I really liked the country life here in Oita prefecture, married a local Japanese man and decided to stay for good. I have two children – my daughter is 16 and is now studying at high school in New Zealand and my son is 14 and at junior high school here in Japan. Over the years I have taught English at private language schools, kindergartens and community centers as well as doing work in the outdoor education industry. 

A few years ago I was admitted to hospital for a couple of months with an auto-immune disease. It was a turning point for me where I really looked at how much I was hating teaching and decided to give it up completely and focus on my cookie and jam business that I had slowly been building up. 

My business is called 'Kiora Cottage' and although in the past I have offered farm-stay style accommodation, I am now focusing exclusively on making jam, cookies, granola etc. which I sell at local shops. I am also involved in running a market twice a year that attracts over 40 stall holders and an increasing number of customers.

My current business has been slowly growing through word of mouth and I now have a lot of repeat customers. My real focus is on making cookies that people want to buy and eat every day, rather than the beautifully packaged cookies that people only ever buy to give to other people and that don’t actually have much flavor. I take care to use ingredients that are as natural as possible, with an emphasis on butter rather than margarine, and eggs from our own free range chickens. 

The business grew through my desire to feed my children snacks which were full of flavor rather than preservatives. My grandmother was a jam maker, so I use a lot of her recipes and love the fact that I am continuing on in her footsteps. I try hard to fit my business to my own personal needs and the needs of my family, rather than the need to make money. I make enough to supplement my husband’ income, but it doesn’t take over my life. 

So far 2017 has been a really hard year for me, with the death of my father-in-law and my Nanna, but I am working towards my dream of opening my own shop in my cottage in October. The idea behind the shop is to bring international craft and flavor to the countryside of Japan and it will feature my own baked goods as well as handmade craft items made by expats who are living all around Japan. So far I have made some great contacts with people from many countries who are living here in Japan and who are making incredible things. I also have some amazing locals who are working with me to make some unique items for “Kiora Cottage”. I love the idea of being able to support people here in Japan who are trying to make a living doing things other than English teaching. I am also really looking forward to meeting directly with my customers, rather than selling through a third party. 

Most of my free time is spent in the garden, looking after my family, sewing and doing Sudoku puzzles! 

If you know of any expats living in Japan who are making amazing things and who might be interested in putting their items in my shop it would be wonderful if you could contact me. You can also follow the progress of my new shop on my facebook page and hopefully a webpage will be added in the very near future. 




Friday, June 23, 2017

JUNE BLOG FEATURE: JJ from Genki Kids Rainbow Art

Hello. Hello.  Call me JJ ok. I'm a passionate and creative Aussie expat Mum in Osaka. I took advantage of my naturally colourful self to be an arty Mum when my daughter was young, so we could spend the early years together everyday. I've been in Osaka about two decades, but yeh, I'm still a happy bilingual novice.

I hold creativity workshops and parties for children, and I facilitate arty crafty workshops for women (with wine). Prioritizing child led learning and child centred  fun in an academic, educational Japanese world, seems essential for building imaginative skills, and fostering confidence and self identity. Allowing women the opportunity to learn new skills, bond with others, and share time in a meaningful way, is something both expat and Japanese ladies crave in their busy everyday. It's always a fun and enthralling role to have. Oh yes. It deeply is.  

The things I adore are exploring backstreets, discovering local life, and photographing all the beauty I see daily on Instagram. I love vintage fashion, weekday cafes, and chatting to locals. I'm inspired by curiosity in kids, cloud art, kindness, and free fun. In 2017 I want to write more postcards, create more rituals, and make umeshu. How about you? 

I photograph always. On my old 4s. But who cares right? Check out my insta hashtag for original arty kid photo fun at  #genkikidsrainbowartclass , and my Facebook public page of super ideas for creative kid inspiration, "GENKI kids Rainbow ART". Mail me on Instagram or FB if you have ideas, wanna hold a workshop, or just wanna share the best latte art in Osaka together.

Being open, caring and forever open to new ways of building a creative life is essential to a youthful outlook, and a heart that radiates authenticity. Well, that's my way of living anyhow. My #osakalife . Kanpai! 

Get in touch: