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Here’s another instalment in the long-distance notebook collaboration I’ve been working on with my friend Yoko for the past few years. I sent my most recent notebook entry off to Japan in late February, and as it has (long since) safely arrived at its destination it is (long overdue) time to document it here!

In her previous entry Yoko had ingeniously flipped the notebook (a simple 21 x 21 cm square, ringbound, kraft paper notebook from Muji) 90° to create an expansive portrait, rather than landscape, orientation image.

notebook [tokyo] – yoko’s previous entry, double-page spread
(artwork © yoko hayashi)

(You can check out more pictures of Yoko’s previous entry here)

I was really taken with this orientation and somewhat abashed not to have considered it before. I was also very enamoured with the magical universe Yoko had created and wanted to ‘dig deeper’, so to speak… What better way to do this than to travel straight down into the earth below Yoko’s enchanted, snow-laden village.

notebook [tokyo] – seedlings

One of the (many) great joys of this collaboration is the unfettered ‘playground’ the notebook provides: when we began the collab we had two simple tenets: “No Pressure. No Rules.” – so anything goes, and working in it is a welcome opportunity to step away from other projects, to explore ideas for possible future projects, to experiment in a new or different medium etc. I hadn’t done any papercutting for a very long time and was hankering after a bit of scalpel action…

papercutting work-in-progress

multi-layered papercuts in fiery-coloured mulberry/kozo paper
[sunrise and a (grubby!) window make a good lightbox in a pinch]

I also used it as an opportunity to pay homage to our beloved (and very deeply missed) Gira, who we lost to cancer – at the very young age of five-and-a-half – in November last year. Figuring out how to draw a curled-up feline skeleton was both tribute (Gira knew a thing or two about the contented curl-up!) and catharsis…

And applying hundreds of copper and bronze gouache dots to the loamy earth was comfortingly cathartic too…

notebook [tokyo] – gouache stippling as moving meditation

Here are Yoko’s pages and mine combined into a single image, so you too can journey down through this world’s cool, crystalline firmament to its fiery, molten core…

notebook [tokyo] – four page, vertical spread
(artwork top © yoko hayashi)

notebook [tokyo] denotes the notebook that started its life in Tokyo, and notebook [amsterdam] denotes the notebook that started its life in Amsterdam

The preceding Amsterdam/Tokyo project posts can be found here:
(1) | (2) | (3) | (4) | (5) | (6 – part I) | (6 – part II) |
(7 – part I) | (7 – part II)

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

southern border crossing (south africa –> namibia)

I’ve been away, soaking up the winter sunshine, on a ±5,500km roadtrip through Namibia’s vast, arid, ever-changing & starkly beautiful terrain. (In case you’re wondering, as anyone unfamiliar with the lay of Africa’s land might be, Namibia is situated in southwest Africa, straddling the Tropic of Capricorn and alongside the South Atlantic Ocean. It shares its borders with South Africa to the south, Angola & a sliver of Zambia to the north, and Botswana to the east.)

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

the fish river canyon

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

heading north through the southern kalahari

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

balancing basalt rocks, the giant’s playground

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

fellow travellers, etosha pan

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

vingerklip (afrikaans: rock finger), a natural obelisk sculpted by the wind,
and the iconic flat-topped mountains of the ugab valley

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

tiny termites build mighty mounds

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

desolate damaraland scape and split red sandstone slabs at ǀui-ǁais (damara/nama: jumping waterhole) a.k.a. twyfelfontein (afrikaans: uncertain spring)

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

the burnt mountain (black shale shimmers amidst the dominant sandstone) and the organ pipes (angular columns of dolerite formed some 120 million years ago)

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

closing in on the brandberg mountain,
a ravine-split massif of granite (and namibia’s highest mountain at 2573 metres) that dominates the surrounding desert plains

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

into the desert

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

crossing the tropic

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

magical mountain colours, mighty oryx (gemsbok)

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

desert camp, near sesriem canyon

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

over the namib desert and sossusvlei’s…

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

… red star dunes

namibia roadtripping, may 2016

homeward bound

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All images and words on this site are © suzanne norris / sakurasnow unless otherwise specified.


Happy birthday to my Mum! (Pictured here in the very late-1950’s / early-1960’s?) I guess I know where my penchant for furry felines comes from 😍🐈💖... - #happybirthday #mum #cats #smudge (?) #1950s #1960s #mybeautifulmum #family #old_family_photos #blackandwhite #patina #catsofinstagram -
Birthday cake for my favourite skull-lover. Nothing says happy birthday quite like an almond and chocolate encrusted skull! - #skull #mementomori #happybirthday #chocolate #cake #vegan #baking #veganaf #almonds #hazelnuts #nordicware #handpainted #plate -
Late night train from Rotterdam Centraal... - #pattern #colour #circle #stripe -
Thinking about all the good times spent with this handsome guy, who would have been celebrating his 7th birthday today. Happy birthday Gira! (30.03.2012 – 07.11.2017) - #gira #rip #best_fur_buddy #studiomate #grey #cat #greeneyes #russianblue #catsofinstagram #catsofholland #fuckcancer - The artwork featured in the 9th photo is by Charles Burns from his book ‘Permagel’ #charlesburns @fictopicto #permagel #nitnit #doug #inky #giant #paws -
Fist bump! - #fistbump #respect #grayson #grey #cat #ThinGreyDuke #onelungedwonder #MegaLung #paw #blackandwhite #pattern #makotokagoshima #GraysonTheGreat #russianblue #catsofinstagram #catsofholland -
When you thought you'd play some records but discover there's a new sentry on duty... and you're not privy to the password ✋🚫 - #vinyljunkie #grayson #grey #cat #greeneyes #ThinGreyDuke #onelungedwonder #custodian #protector_of_the_phonograph_records #blackandwhite #pattern #GraysonTheGreat #russianblue #catsofinstagram #catsofholland -

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