Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hello, hello! My goodness, has it really been so long since I last updated here?

I just wanted to pop in to say “Happy Thanksgiving!!” I wish I could send you all flowers, but these watercolor blooms will have to do. I hope my mother-in-law isn’t reading this because this is a card I painted for her that I just posted in the mail.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year full of HUGE events. So whirlwind, in fact, that I can’t even wrap my head around all that’s happened. The Japan trip changed my life, for one thing. I haven’t even shared any of it with you here.

So much. SO much. And Thanksgiving is an excellent time to reflect upon it all. I have something fun to share with you next week, but my postings will continue to be sporadic for a while longer as I finish up the next book (I turned in most of my art, but there are still a few things left to do). I miss keeping up with the good ole blog, but I know my limits. I almost made it through an entire year without getting sick, but alas, the deadline crunch got to me and I succumbed to a cold for a couple of days this week. I’m on the mend, however, and all is well.

Anyway! I am sending you all big, big love from rainy, chilly, cozy Seattle. I’m so grateful to have this space, even when I’m not here as often as I used to be. I have a good feeling that 2018 may see a resurgence of blog posts. We shall see…

I hope that you are celebrating all that is wonderful in life in some form, no matter where you are in the world! xo

Happy Friday + OCS

Happy Friday! What’s this? My fourth Ginger Skinny Jeans on my cutting table? The crazy thing is that I just finished Gingers #3 last week:

I’ve got a serious case of OCS, my friends. That would be Obsessive Compulsive Sewing. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you probably saw a level of prolific output that hasn’t happened in years in terms of sewing. I completed that indigo chambray Grainline Archer shirt last week as well. And the white linen Archer shirt below flew out of my sewing machine just a few days before the indigo one. The sleeves are a tad long for me, but since I roll up all my long-sleeved button down shirts anyway, I’m not too concerned. Like this:

Oh, it’s been an incredible joyride now that I’m sewing again. Of course, part of me is well aware that this is just another one of my “productive” procrastination tactics since I’m in hardcore deadline mode and need to have the next book done by the end of the month.

Sorry for the photo quality — the light’s been dimming as autumn settles in and I’m trying to find spots in my house that I can use for blog photos now that a humongous credenza occupies the white wall that was formerly my default background. The search hasn’t been too promising yet, but I’m ever hopeful!

Details, details, details:

I made the white Archer shirt in linen (so luscious) and the indigo version is made of the same lightweight chambray that became the Charlie Caftan, another excellent Closet Case Pattern. I cut the size 10 and didn’t make any alterations. What a fun, fun pattern to sew!

But even more fun is stitching up jeans. In fact, my OCS might just turn into OCJ (Obsessive Compulsive Jeans-making). I shared my first successful pair of non-muslin Ginger jeans here. The muslin version I’d made before that one was definitely wearable, but the zipper busted on me and the denim wasn’t quite as stretchy so they weren’t as comfy as the black pair. I ended up cutting a size 6 and made a bunch of alterations to make the black pair fit the way I like.

Taking the altered patterns sheets (see all the notes I have scrawled on there?), I sewed up my third pair and this newest addition to my Ginger collection is pretty much perfect in terms of fit. So much so, that I immediately cut out another pair. I’m not sure what the denim content is, but it has a good amount of stretch. Probably 2-3% lycra?

Look at my oh-so-Pacific-Northwest pocket linings! The fabric happened to be within arm’s reach, and the plaid cotton is a nice nod to my rugged, outdoorsy region.

Regardless of having sewn the jeans multiple times, I always consult the Sewing Your Own Jeans E-book that Heather put together. It’s so comprehensive and helpful! I know she has video courses now as well, which is pure genius. That Heather, she’s going places. I love her and I’m sort of in awe of her. She’s brilliant and warm and hilarious and truly loves to help people create beautiful clothes that feel wonderful to wear. She’s exactly the kind of person I want guiding me to make body-hugging jeans which can be such an emotional thing, you know?

Anyway enough sewing talk! More watercolors! Books! Yes, that’s my focus right now! Wait, our staircase is looking really dingy. A quick lick of white paint would do wonders…right after I finish Gingers #4, naturally.

Have a delightful weekend, all!

Happy Friday + Upcoming Events

Happy Friday! I shared the beginning of my sea life doodles on Instagram a few days ago, and this is how I ended up filling up the sheet. Every so often, I pause and revel in the fact that this is my job – watercoloring is so fun!! These illos will get incorporated somehow into the next book, the final art of which is due in a month. I’m making slow but steady progress…

So this means that I might be absent from here for long stretches again, especially since I’ll be going on book tour for Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet (!!) and taking part in a number of Pacific Northwest events:

Seattle Japanese Garden // October 7th // 1pm
Green Bean Books // October 19th //4:30pm
Powell’s Books // October 21st // 11am

A few other events are in development so it seems like it’ll be an action-packed month for this introvert. Okay, I better go mentally prepare myself…

Have a fun weekend, all!

P.S. Furoku members, I’m still on schedule to deliver the next edition this weekend!

 

Happy Friday + Style Arc

Happy Friday, my friends! Good news: I’ve been sewing. Not-so-good-news: I’ve lost my white background wall where I used to take all my photos due to furniture re-arranging, and the outdoor light is perhaps not so complexion-enhancing. K says I always look tired and these photos support her claims. Ah well, let’s move on.

Through the grapevine, I’d heard that Style Arc patterns are quite flattering, so I browsed through their impressively large collection. The Daphne Duo Tunic seemed like a breeze and right up my alley stylistically, so in it went into my online cart. I used a pretty pale blue linen and stitched up the size 12 as per printed measurements.  The pleats added a twist to an otherwise plain over-sized tee silhouette.

You know what? I don’t love it. The pleats detail is sort of interesting, but my v-neck is decidedly a u-neck that refuses to lay flat and I think the linen is a little too weighty for this pattern. Something a little more drapey and floaty would have been more suitable. I also think (and I seem to write this over and over), I could have gone down a size and lengthened the whole thing.

Though I might not be smitten with it, it’s not bad. Maybe I’ll warm up to it. Time will tell.

I also sewed two versions of the Sunny Knit Top, also in a size 12. K said, “You look like you’re wearing Daddy’s t-shirt.” Oh, it’s so comfy! But I see her point. This tissue weight navy knit is super soft and I wish I could recall where I got it from because I’d like to get my hands on some more.

Version #2 is made out of a crinkly, quasi-sheer stretch black material that my mom gave me eons ago, which I posted on Instagram here. I felt like there was a sufficient number of photos of me in loose, shapeless tops for this post so I didn’t take the two extra minutes to snap pix of me in the black version.

The Sunny Knit Top is lightning fast to sew up and though I’m not sure I’d call it flattering, it sure is an easy top to wear.

In other non-Style Arc news, I’m working on an Archer shirt right now and I’m having a grand time. Lovely, lovely fall…how I’ve missed  this energizing season!

Well, have a wonderful weekend friends!

 

 

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!