The Shopfront That Has No Name: Daily Art Practice


Couch Talk


I am amazed that we are already into June and school has been out for a full week. During the last week of school, my son played hooky because they had no classes. We spent the day together watching a movie and eating lunch at one of our favorite cafe’s. I got a Caesar Salad and my son ate a panini with his favorite drink, a frozen lemonade. We had a great day and I loved having 1:1 time with my 15 year old. I realize how precious our time together is, as he will be off to college in a few years.

Growing up, one of my favorite memories was going on a spontaneous lunch date with my dad to a pizza place. He asked me about school and my friends, and I remember feeling special that I got to spend time with my dad by myself. I want my children to have special memories like that, so I am working on being more intentional about spending time with them individually. After all, they are not little forever.


Daily Art Practice


My shopfront today is in Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan . You can find the reference photo HERE. I couldn’t find any information about this shopfront as my reference photo didn’t give a name. I was drawn to this building because of the lanterns, circular-shaped doorway and various colorful advertisements. This shopfront took me a long time to finish. For some reason, I grew bored and I struggled to get over the “ugly phase.” I can’t say I am 100% happy with it but I am thrilled that it is done and I can move on. I now have 19 shopfronts left to paint in order to complete my shopfront sketchbook. The race is on to complete the goal before the end of the year.



I used my usual ink and watercolor wash and added in some colored pencil. My friend gifted me these Caran d’Ache Colored Pencils and I am loving them. I need a lot more practice since I haven’t worked with pencils a lot, but these worked well for adding texture to the wood panels on my shopfront.



Colored pencils aren’t great on watercolor paper as it is textured. I am planning on try them out on drawing paper without tooth.




Tea Day



I am joining the Tea Day Ladies, hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard. My Tea today is Numi Organic Tea Gunpowder Green. So far, this is my favorite non-flavored green tea. I love that it doesn’t taste like dirt. Some green and black teas I have tried taste like dirt or grass, so you can imagine I was pleased when I found one that was not only palatable but delicious.

Happy Tea Day,


11 thoughts on “The Shopfront That Has No Name: Daily Art Practice”

  • Ooh Kate, what a lovely gift. These luminance pencils are very expensive here, and top quality. I only have a couple but I would love to play with more of them, hope you enjoy using them which I’m sure you will. I love your shopfront this week, I love the moon gate and the lanterns especially. I wonder what it’s called. Love your gunpowder tea. Happy tea day! Elle/EOTC xx

  • Japanese design is fascinating — they pay attention to so many details that are just ignored by people here. That’s a really neat shop front!
    best… mae at

  • That’s wonderful you and your son had some one on one time together. You are right. It seems my daughter was just 15 and now she is 31. I am also loving your latest Japanese shop front. You find some really interesting ones. Have a great T day and week ahead Kate. hugs-Erika

  • Gunpowder tea? hmm…. Your artwork is beautiful. It looks like you are doing wonderful with the pencils. 1 on 1 time is a great memory for both of you. It will go quickly now. Enjoy every minute you can with your kids. I could almost cry how much I miss those precious times. Happy t Day.

  • That is a very nice idea with the 1:1-time. I cannot remember that with either of my parents but only one time my Mum visited me here in Braunschweig..
    Love your shop front, so detailed and tiny!
    Have a happy T-Day!

  • Glad you had some quality time with your oldest, they grow up so quickly. Your salad looks wondeful! Love the shopfront, too, have fun with your new coloured pencils! Happy T Day, hugs, Valerie

  • How wonderful to be able to spend that quality time with your son. I’m sure it meant much to him, too., I know it triggered a very happy memory for you.

    I think your shop front is amazing. I love the opening of the shop, even if I hadn’t seen the reference photo. I think you will love those pencils.

    So glad you like that tea. I’ve also had tea that tasted like grass, so this sounds like wonderful tea. Thanks for sharing your art and tea with us for T this Tuesday, Kate.

  • Kate I love your shopfront art, beautiful, great to spend time with your son, I still like spending some time with my sons on our own, doesn’t happen often but I started walking with our youngest son every evening, lovely to chat .
    Happy T Day. Jan S

  • Spending time one on one with the kids is priceless. My dad took me out for a sundae. It’s a very happy memory for me. Your shop front is awesome. I think you’re too critical of yourself – CJ

  • How lovely to spend time with your son. You are so right about how important it is. I cherish every minute I get with my daughters now that they are grown and too busy – wish I would have spent even more time with them when they were younger. That salad looks wonderful by the way.

    Wonderful shop painting. Can’t imagine it ever had an ugly phase to it! Amazing!!!

    Great sounding tea too.

    Happy Tday and hugz

  • When my daughter was younger and still living at home (she’s 25 now) or when she came home from college, I loved to spend time with her. You are right, those moments are important and your children will remember them – and so will you. It is way too soon that they leave home and are off to college, and after that it is never the same it used to be. However, it can change in a really good way and you can remain close with your children.

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