Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday, my friends! I’ve been quiet here, there, everywhere. Thinking a lot, reading a ton.

Speaking of reading, I created the poster above for Sasquatch Books for an upcoming event. Obviously, I had fall on my mind. I also made a spring version:

Which do you like better? I believe it’s getting printed right now, though I don’t know which version they decided to go with. I’m betting autumn.

I haven’t felt engaged online for a long time. Not because there isn’t great content out there or because I’m trying to avoid the media mayhem that’s going on politically and economically. I used to read hundreds of blogs and would eagerly scroll through my Instagram feed. Not anymore.

I’ve just been…quiet. Like I just want to settle into a comfortable settee with a blanket on my lap and a piping hot cup of tea beside me. I want to read books printed on paper for hours on end and occasionally stare out the window to reflect. Just call me granny Sanae. I still send out my monthly Furoku (yes, it’s still mysterious and it’s still hard for me to describe), which I love and there’s a little bit of virtual interaction that goes on there that I enjoy very much.

I guess I’m becoming more protective of my time because it’s all going so fast and I don’t want to miss the precious parts. K started middle school last week and I’m watching her transform before my very eyes. She does so much more on her own now, her face and body are changing and I sense that there are hidden compartments within her that I’m not allowed to access, that I may never be allowed to access. She’s also way more hilarious – she keeps me in stitches when she describes her days of locker drama and weird homeroom protocols and assorted teachers and embarrassing moments. Those keen eyes of hers miss nothing.

Anyway, just thought I’d say hello since it’s been a while. Life is good. Very peaceful and oh-so-quiet right now. But I’ve got an inkling that might be changing soon. The quiet part, I mean.

Have a lovely weekend, all! I hope to be back soon!

P.S. I’m doing an event at Kinokuniya on Sunday, September 17th at 2pm for Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet. If you’re in town and would like a custom watercolor of your favorite creature, come on by!

Happy Friday + Stylish Wraps Giveaway! [CLOSED]

Happy Friday, friends! Ahhhhhhh, we are soaking up the last days of summer before K starts middle school (!!). As I type this, there is a gaggle of girls in our backyard unleashing bloodcurdling screams as they hurl water balloons with frightening accuracy at each other. K has had a most excellent vacation. And I’ve been plugging away at various projects in between summer-y activities involving camping and cookouts and general loafing around.

I may make summers all about giveaways on this blog. I mean, it’s what I’ve done these past few months, and it’s sort of nice, isn’t it? Low-key blogging on my end, and perhaps a little burst of anticipation and fun on your end. What do you think?

Today, I have one more book from my Tuttle offerings. What distinguishes this Stylish Wraps book by Yoshiko Tsukiori (well, “distinguishes” might be a somewhat inflated word), is that the translation was done by yours truly. If you squint on the last page, you might see my name in teeny tiny print.

It was a delightful book to translate, and I would love to make a few of these “wraps”. Sigh. Sewing has been so on the back burner. But my favorite season of the year is approaching, and I always feel more energized and motivated to sew in the Fall. With that in mind, it seems appropriate to do this giveaway of autumn-friendly patterns.

Same old, same old: to enter the giveaway, please leave any comment (and maybe you’d want to share your favorite season or when you feel most motivated?). I’ll leave it open until next Friday, September 1st and international entries are always welcome!

Good luck!

 

LAUNCH DAY! Chibi Samurai Wants A Pet Giveaway!! [CLOSED]

Hooray, hooray!! What a big day! Today, August 8th, 2017, is the day Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet is officially released into the world!!! The excitement of publishing a book never wanes, though I STILL feel sheepish about promoting them. I wonder if that will ever go away?

I did something new and made a stop motion video/book trailer with my trusty friend Rachel and also received an extra heaping of help from the lovely Haley and always awesome K. Keep in mind that this is my very first attempt at stop motion video-making so it’s not totally smooth, but hey, I think that’s part of the charm. It was SO MUCH FUN. I printed out a bunch of images from the book and created some video specific images as well, and it felt like we were at camp in the best possible way. Rachel wielded her magic to make things fly and grow and look cohesive. I used Photoshop to edit the images and Smoovie to create the video. I was nervous about the negative reviews I read for Smoovie, and I tried a number of free software that confused the heck out of me at first. Then I downloaded the trial version of Smoovie just to see, and it was such a breeze I decided to get the full version. It’s totally idiot proof and very intuitive, though it doesn’t come with anything fancy like onion-skinning or fading or zooming. Suits me just fine. Now I want to make all sorts of stop motion videos!

I’m preparing for the launch party this weekend, and if you’re in town and especially if you have little kids, I hope you’ll stop on by! Where: Queen Anne Book Company. When: Sunday, August 13th at noon to 2pm-ish.

And what would a blog post from me be without a giveaway, right? I would love to offer up a signed copy of Chibi (as we affectionately call this book and Chibi Samurai) to 2 winners. Any comment will do, but I often get asked what my favorite books were when I was little, so feel free to share if you’d like! The giveaway will be open until next Friday, August 18th! I feel like I don’t need to include this anymore, but international entries are always welcome. Good luck!

Okay, now back to planning a party and working on book #4!

Happy Friday + Closet Case Charlie Caftan

Helloooooooo! I’m in a tizzy, my friends. After two wonderful trips, I’d been floating in the timeless, comfortingly clueless zone known as jet lag. Then suddenly, a monster to-do list attacked me and I woke up. My next book is launching NEXT WEEK. I’ve gotta get my party hat on and get promotin’. For any of you locals, Queen Anne Book Co. will be hosting a launch party on Sunday, August 13th at noon — would love to see you there! We have super fun activities planned for the kiddos (and kiddos at heart). And yes, there will be Japanese snacks. How can you not come when Japanese snacks are involved?

My book, of course, has nothing to do with the awesome Charlie Caftan I’m sporting up there. I love this new pattern from Heather’s collection inspired by the one and only Ms. Wensley. As soon as I saw it, I knew I needed it in a lightweight indigo chambray.

It comes together quickly and the only fiddly part for me was the panel insertion at the waist. I love everything about it, except…

I sort of wish I’d chosen a darker fabric for the pocket lining. The polka dots are cute, and I always like to use cute fabric for my pocket linings, but I didn’t think about how the lining peeks out quite often and the white is a bit jarring for me. I used polka dot fabric for my Endless Summer Tunic as well, but the grey blends in perfectly (I wear this tunic all the time, by the way).

But that’s a minor detail that I can easily rectify when I have a few extra moments. Chances are good that those few extra moments might happen in 2020. Fingers crossed. If you look closely, you can see a rainbow on the bottom right corner of the image above. K snapped these pix and she did a good job, no?

So some other details: I cut a size 8 in view A. According to the measurement guidelines (particularly my bust size), size 12 seemed a wiser choice, but having sewn up the Ginger jeans and Morgan jeans, I’ve figured a few things out and sized down. So glad I did! I’m looking peaked in these photos because they were taken the day before we left on the Japan trip…I was a wee bit stressed.

It’s a winner, my friends. I promised Heather that I would take a photo of Charlie in Tokyo, and I am nothing if not a promise keeper. Here I am, rockin’ it at Meiji Jingu, sweaty as all get out.

I wore the dress twice while in Japan (the second time was in Himeji when K and I went to visit relatives), and it was a fantastic addition to my travel wardrobe! Love love love. Heather, you’ve done it again — brava!

P.S. Furoku members, the August edition has gone out and it’s so full of images, I had trouble sending it. Please let me know if you haven’t received it, and I apologize if some of the images look distorted! Gah, technical issues…

P.P.S. I will be drawing the name for and contacting the giveaway winner this evening!

 

Happy Friday + Yet Another Giveaway: Sew Sweet Book [CLOSED]

Happy Friday! I might as well just call this a giveaway blog at this point, no? I’m still playing catch up since returning from Japan and when I looked at the calendar, I shook my head in pure disbelief that over a week had already passed and that we are yet again traveling (this time domestically, to visit M’s family in Indiana).

But lucky you, I have a backlog of Tuttle Books I’m happy to give away and this one is a particularly good one. I would keep it, except K can no longer fit into the largest size. Besides, the patterns in this book are precisely the kind that I drool over but hold very little interest for her. I mean, look at those dresses and skirts!!

Anyhow, if you’d like to win a copy of Sew Sweet: Handmade Clothes for Girls, please leave a comment. As always, any comment is great, but perhaps you’d like to share a favorite summer dish? I love making pesto pasta because it’s easy and quick and refrigerates well. Who wants to slave over the stove in this heat, right?

OK! I will have to skip yet another couple of weeks due to travel, but will be back again on August 4th. Happy end of July, everyone!

So many flurries
of summer activities
Barely keeping up

[Update: The winner is Coralee, congrats!]

P.S. Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet is launching SO soon on August 8th, and I have some fun stuff I’ve been working on to share soon!!