tokyo workshops

Do you have a special place that you like to go to when your creative batteries need a re-charge? My go to place is always Tokyo. I was lucky enough to plan a few workshops with the help of Yumiko from Fog Linen by way of my friend, ceramic artist Rae Dunn. We were just discussing it over yaki-tori and beer at our favorite Ippuku in Berkeley one evening, and before I knew it, there I was teaching calligraphy workshops. I am really grateful to Yumiko for being such a visionary and believing that something like this could work in one of my favorite cities in the world. If you take a look at the  lovely store that she has built in the Shimokitazawa neighborhood, you will see why I gravitate towards this kind of beauty.  To my surprise, my workshops were all sold out, with a waiting list for next time! If I wasn’t heading to Singapore for a few workshops after Tokyo I could have easily added a few more classes!

Oh Tokyo. If you follow me on instagram, you know that I was guilty of a little bit of  “over-gramming” my travels. I spent half a day just looking at packaging in every department store there was humanly possible. I spent a good two hours in the calligraphy section at Sekai-do which is an art supply store in Shinjuku. I could have done a lot more damage if it were not for the more than two carry on bags that I brought with me to Singapore.

The black and white photo that you see here were taken by my friend EnriqueBalducci who is living my fantasy with his young family as a designer in Tokyo. He shot these images on film with a Yashica camera given to him by his father, as captured in a behind the scenes photo here: I spent a beautiful afternoon with another friend Curtis Christophersen, who is also a designer  living in Tokyo. I like to experience my favorite city through a designer’s eye and thanks to Curtis, I am  I am currently obsessed with: Arts and Science and Higayshiya.

If you want to see a  few more beautiful photos from the point of view of one of my students at my workshop,  please visit Etsuko’s blog, Chiffonerie. She is a photographer, and also the mother of twins and lives in Kamakura, Japan and her instagram feed is just the cutest!

Sidenote: While I was traveling in Japan, I was interviewed and featured for an entire week on one of my favorite blogs!  Can you imagine what I was feeling on top of being in my favorite city? I am so honored and touched… In case you missed  the interview you can read it here on Besotted. Tristan is simply amazing at everything that she does, including her new baby! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, T!




Hello there!  I want to tell you about the best ever (and my first) giveaway on my Instagram feed. I am posting it tomorrow morning, but for you lucky ones, who are reading this on Sunday instead of Monday, aren’t you glad that you stopped by a day early?  My friend Jill Lauck happens to have the best taste in the whole wide world. Just have a look at her Pinterest board, and you will agree. We talked about this idea when she was in the Bay Area visiting last December, and decided that we should do a souvenir giveaway!!! In March, we will be traveling to opposite sides of the globe. I will be in Tokyo and Singapore to teach a few calligraphy workshops and she is heading to Paris. You would think we would plan better so that we could travel together. Our beautiful souvenir giveaway, is really just a fun project for us, and for you, we hope!  Of course, you can’t see a photo of the prize just yet! But we do  promise that  they will be a well-curated assortment of our favorite keepsakes.  No refrigerator magnets, not that there is anything wrong with that.  The items will be sent in a beautiful wooden box, complete with calligraphy on your mailing label by yours truly! Here’s how you can  enter: this image (above) with the hashtag #mbelleandjillsouvenir 2.Follow and tag us in the post @maybelleimasa @jilllauck 3. Three random winners { one per city} will be announced on  March 15  and parcels sent first week in April! It’s going to be fun selecting these items! You can share this on any social media platform if you like. We will post previews on our feed. Good luck everyone!


workshop updates

photo credit: galina dixon

photo credit: galina dixon styling by megan morton

Hello lovely readers. This is just a quick note to pop in and say hello.  When I finally finished my website design  last year, I was so happy that I could easily post on my blog. Easier said than done. As you know, I am a busy mom of 4.5 year old twins, and they are about to start kindergarten in the fall. In December, we must have toured a dozen schools and I found only ONE school here in Oakland that still incorporates cursive handwriting in their curriculum. This is a subject for another post, but it makes me so sad that in our lifetime we may see this vanish from our schools all together. Based on the amount of students attending my workshops, it gives me hope that there are still many people interested in it, and they will teach their kids so on and so forth. I wanted to give you a brief update about my workshops since I last posted.

First, I am excited that the workshop that I collaborated with Elizabeth Messina  Mindy Rice, Elizabeth Colling, Mindy Weiss, Wiley Valentine, and Found Rentals last September will be published in Hearth Magazine  issue No. 3. You can order a copy of this beautiful magazine here.

In October I taught a few (eight) workshops in Sydney and Melbourne and I will be in Australia again this May 2014, including Brisbane at The School. A lovely gal by the name of Galina in Sydney attended my class and posted about it on her blog, Galina Loves. You can read and see her gorgeous photos on her blog post here. On my only day off in Sydney, I spent the most wonderful day with Jessie James of Supply Paper Co.  She took me to all of her favorite places, including Sibella Court’s  The Society Inc.  By pure coincidence,  I  ran into Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day and her husband Paul while they were in Australia!!! Maybe you remember, last January I taught a workshop at Oh Happy Day, sponsored by Bing. You can read Jordan’s post about her dream trip to Australia and New Zealand here.

In November, I was invited to teach a workshop in Portland at Schoolhouse Electric in collaboration with Egg Press along with Ana Mara Flowers at their wonderful warehouse. One of the attendees Lindsey Boccia took some great photos and shared it on her blog. It was an amazing day in a beautiful city and I cannot wait to return to Portland. In December, I taught a workshop at Makeshift Society with all proceeds to benefit the Red Cross Philippines Typhooon Haiyan. It was a workshop followed by silent auction and we raised over $3,000.

I took a break over the holidays with a trip to NYC and Boston with my family. January rolled around and I made a list of dream places that I would like to hold workshops. First stop on my list Los Angeles to one of my favorite places for workshops at  Poketo. I’ll be back in July 2014 along with an advanced workshop!

February was our first every “Petals and Penmanship” in collaboration with my friend Kiana Underwood of Tulipina . The workshop was held at Angie Cao’s photography studio in San Francisco. I shall share more about thatlater, for now here is a recap from Dressed in Orange. Kiana and I are planning  another workshop soon, more details later.

March (next week!) I am off to Tokyo to teach four workshops at Fog Linen and then Singapore with one of my favorite blogs ever Bloesem and her new venture:  Bloesem Class.  I promise I will be try to update this blog more often than I have been, but I need to know: Does anyone read this blog? What would you like to know more about?  In the meantime, you can see what I am doing every day on my mini-blog:  (my instagram feed)  and you will get to see snippets of  my journey to Asia.