Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday! I picked up these fetching ranunculus blooms at Trader Joe’s yesterday, and it really is about the small things that brighten our days, isn’t it? Pink flowers in general uplift me, but these delicately layered petals are mood-boosters on steroids. It was fun to play around with my camera and photo editing…I haven’t been doing much of that.

Instead, I’ve been spring cleaning like a fiend now that I’ve completed a couple of deadlines — the dining room table’s been looking like a crime scene. And that’s currently the least offensive part of the house. My next big book deadline is at the end of May, so I’m taking advantage of these few glorious carefree hours this week to restore order to my workspace and home before I trash it all again. It’s the never ending and oddly comfortable and predictable cycle.

Gah, these flowers are so gorgeous. If reincarnation is actually a thing, I’d like to come back as blush-pink ranunculus. I wonder how it feels to be that beautiful? And who knew that $4.99 could bring so much joy? Anyway, I hope these photos brighten your day too! I’ll be back next week with more substantial content (maybe. maybe not. now that I think about it, I’m not sure that I’ve ever created substantial content).

Have a refreshing and lovely weekend, all!

What brightens your day?
It really doesn’t take much
Wouldn’t you agree?

Happy Friday + Sewing Happiness Anniversary

Happy Friday! Somehow I totally missed that this Wednesday was the one year anniversary of Sewing Happiness. A whole year! Yesterday, I attended a marketing meeting for Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet coming out in August and I’m currently working on the illustrations for the book that is slated to be released in 2018, so I’ve been a bit preoccupied…

It’s interesting because I think Sewing Happiness is doing just as well as Little Kunoichi in terms of sales, which I hadn’t expected. I was gently warned that because the book topic is so niche, it was a gamble. A crapshoot, if you will. Then again, every book is a gamble and nothing is ever guaranteed. All I know is that I love making books. Absolutely love it. I want to keep creating books and I want to keep improving my skills. I feel incredibly lucky that I get to do this, especially with Sasquatch Books/Little Bigfoot.

I received many wonderful responses for Little K, but maybe it’s because the content was so personal — the emails and feedback I’ve received from people who read Sewing Happiness have been so heartfelt and candid in astonishing and humbling ways. I’ve always been prone to tears, but it’s been a year of consistently wiping at tear-stained cheeks. Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out!

I often get asked, “What’s your favorite project from the book?” I have origami pillows and fabric buckets scattered all over my little abode, and the eco bags and knit dresses often come in handy, but the most used and loved item I sewed is the cross-back apron. Hands down. I made about ten of them for the book, and I wear one every day (I have them hanging on a hook in the kitchen and will grab one that strikes my fancy — I can even wear some of the kid’s versions because I made the straps adjustable).

A little behind the scenes: this image was cropped in for the final, and the bamboo stick was tied to a nail above the kitchen doorway on one end and a curtain rod on the other end…

I listen to a lot of audio books and podcasts, and the pocket that’s part of my many aprons is perfect for my phone. I wear it when I cook, do dishes, paint and sew. There’s something comforting about donning a long apron and puttering about the house. If you have the book, have you tried any of the projects?

See how the fabric was taped to the wall? This image didn’t make the cut, but I liked it.
I actually preferred my hair down, but the powers-that-be thought my messy bun was better so that’s the version that ended up in the book. K is holding extra sprinkles in her scooped left hand there.

I need to dive back into illustrating now, but I plan to do a round-up of projects I’ve seen from Sewing Happiness around the web and on Instagram. They’re so awesome!!

Have a delightful weekend, all!

A year goes by fast
Book babies are so lovely
J’adore my lit kids

P.S. The images are outtakes from the photoshoots. Styled by the incomparable Rachel and shot by the always fun George.

Happy Friday + Happy Easter

2017-easter

Happy Friday! I always start off with an ambitious list of things I’m determined to complete while my mom is here in Seattle. Since my mom is the world’s greatest babysitter (Homemade Japanese feasts and treats! Art lessons! Never-ending willingness to play board games and charades!), I feel a certain amount of pressure to get as much work done as possible.

And every time, I don’t even make a dent in my list and throw in the towel mid-week. As far as spring break goes, it’s been mellow and uneventful, and we’ve done a whole lot of nothing. The best kind of vacation.

The one thing I have been doing is staying up way too late reading books. For some reason, I’d taken a hiatus from fiction for many months, but now I’m back at it. I’ve become a little obsessed with Patrick Ness and his YA novels. I just finished The Rest of Us Just Live Here and the first book of the Chaos Walking Trilogy. So good. There’s a generosity of spirit and humor in his writing, even when supernatural beings are wreaking havoc and bloody violence. I also read Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which took me a while to get into, but I ultimately loved it. You really can’t go wrong with Rushdie. As you can see, I’ve got a strong fantasy/sci-fi theme going on. K wants me to write a middle grade/YA novel one day, so I’m calling this recent spate of binge reading research. K recommended this book from her own personal library, and I read it in a day. It left me heaving with sobs and utterly spent emotionally. No wonder I needed to escape to fanciful worlds in which animals talk.

My watercolor bunny up there doesn’t have much to say, however. It’s Easter in a couple of days, and I’ve run out of time to make K an outfit. Ah well, let’s hope that I’ll find my sewing energy once the school routine resumes next week. These are the patterns in my queue at the mo:

Naeh-Connection Undies for K

Aster Top by Colette Patterns (I have the PDF ready to assemble)

Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Hunting Easter eggs
is not as thrilling for K*
But she’s a good sport

*This year, our neighbor’s tiny tot is joining our annual Easter egg hunt, so the challenge level will skew to the ridiculously easy side. When do kids officially stop wanting to look for candy-filled plastic eggs? It seems like K is pretty over it…

Happy Friday + Etsy Shop Update!

FoxToothPillow-main
photo by Carrie Hoge of @maddermade

Happy Friday, friends! I added another item to my etsy shop! For about a year or so, I’ve only had one item, and now I have a grand total of two items. At this rate, I might have three items by next year.

This fun little tooth fairy pillow I made for the FAUNA issue of Making Magazine is now available as a downloadable pattern/tutorial for purchase in my shop here. I think it’s pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself.

Speaking of Making Magazine, I’ll have another project in the next issue coming out soon and here’s a little sneaky peek:

makingpincushion
photo by Carrie Hoge of @maddermade

I really enjoyed stitching this up!

Well, it’s spring break as of this evening and my mom is visiting from Los Angeles and there is much mischief and good times to be had. I’ll be back with some sewing next week!

I don’t have to cook
And K is taken care of
Ba-chan* visits rock

*Although “Ba-chan” technically means grandma, M and I now call her Ba-chan too. She loves to feed us and play with K, so it feels like a real vacation for me as well when she visits!

Happy Friday + Randomness

 

japenesegardencoloring

Happy Friday! A while ago, I created a coloring book for K’s school event and this was one of the pages of the book, inspired by the Seattle Japanese Garden. I’ve got all things Japanese on my mind because we are spending a couple of weeks in the land of the rising sun this summer. Super super super super excited!!

My predominant thought is: I have to make clothes! My wardrobe has been whittled down to nothing these days and the situation is quite alarming. I love planning sewing projects and I’m in research heaven at the moment for travel friendly clothes. Beth of Sew DIY is about to go to Japan (she may actually be headed there as I type this) and did a lovely feature of one of her travel outfits. Her choices are stellar. Because I’ll be braving the extreme heat and humidity of summer in Japan, my to-sew list will have to be a little different. I’m still in the beginning stages of perusing patterns, but any and all suggestions would be so appreciated! My grand hope is to take only a carry-on with me to keep it all light and easy. K will have her own carry-on and yes, I want to sew for her too!

I’m off to go research some more. Have a terrific weekend, all!

I will be sewing:
knits knits knits knits knits knits knits
and even more knits

 

P.S. Furoku members, the next edition will be delivered April 2nd :-)!