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 :-)!

 

Happy Friday + Randomness

donkey1

Happy Friday! The other day K looked at me and said, “I don’t know why, Mama, but I think your spirit animal is a donkey.” At first, I was thrown off because Eeyore came immediately to mind.

Later, I did a little research and I think I’m in love with donkeys. Did you know that contrary to common perception, donkeys are extremely intelligent? And that they’re not easily startled and are super strong? They have a well-developed sense of self-preservation (which accounts for their stubbornness) and are incredibly curious creatures. After examining quite a few photos and sketching a couple of donkeys, I now know that they’re adorable. Maybe not as glamorous as horses, but quite beautiful in their own way.

 

donkey2

I marveled at K’s wisdom. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to be a horse and battling a nagging (ha) sense of unease about it. All this time, I was actually a donkey, an animal that I had discounted as somehow lesser. Which of course, it’s not. I feel like there’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I’m embarking on making another pair of jeans tonight — I’m so excited!!!!

Alas, I’m a lass
granted a spiritual ass
hee haw hee haw hee

 

My next book! Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet

chibi-cover

Hello, my friends! I know that updates here have been sporadic and unpredictable these days, but I have a pretty good reason. I’ve been deeply involved in book-making fun and my hours are spent dreaming up stories and images for the printed page. When I startle back into “real life”, I’m amazed to realize that days and weeks have passed.

I’m SUPER excited to share the next book in what is now the Little Kunoichi series!!!!!!! Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet is already available for preorder but will be officially released on August 8, 2017. I’m totally, utterly and unabashedly head-over-heels in love with this book. The message I tried to include is one of my core guiding tenets and I had a spectacular time painting the illustrations.

Danielle of the lovely blog This Picture Book Life did a sweet cover reveal post about the book, and I hope you’ll hop on over to read more about it. I share a bit about my illustration process and the thought sequence that led to the cover.

You know, sometimes I can’t believe this is my life. I’m currently working on the next book in the series, and it’s magical. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It all started with this little blog, and I give this space a virtual hug of appreciation every day even if I don’t update it as regularly as I used to. For now, I’m heading back into dreamland, but I will be back with an SVE wrap-up later this week! xo

 

Happy Holidays + Freebie Printables

2016-holidayprintables1

Happy Friday! I’ve been on a mini-wrapping-paper-making bender, my friends. Just in case you are a champion procrastinator like I am, I wanted to offer up these designs for any last minute packaging needs. You can print them up on regular 8.5 x 11″ paper on your home printer, and voila! Instant wrapping paper for those tiny stocking stuffers.

Feel free to download them below (click on image, and right-click to “save as” to your desktop before printing for best results):

Kitties

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Hedgehogs

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Unicorns

unicorn-paper1

 

 

I also made some accompanying tags (click on image, and right-click to “save as” to your desktop before printing for best results):

2016-holidayprintables5I think they’re pretty cute, and I hope you like them! Printing the tags on card stock will make them even more legit. I can’t tell you how many times these little printables have saved the day for me.

Well, I’m off to go celebrate with my family. My mom is in town, the tree has been trimmed, gifts wrapped and/or distributed, and I’m ready to sip some eggnog and enjoy the remaining days of 2016.

I’ll be taking next week off and will see you back here in 2017!!! Happy holidays, everyone — wishing you all a spectacular end of the year!

What a year it’s been
Hello, twenty-seventeen
What’s in store for us?

P.S. Furoku members! Please keep your eyes peeled for #22 arriving on January 3rd or before.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

2016-thankyou

Hello! I’m wrapping up the week with this quick little post. I have much to be thankful for and as 2016 is coming to a close, I also have much to reflect upon. This has been what M and I are calling a “life-changing” year and I’ve had to relearn a lot of lessons…we’re dealing with unexpected health issues in our family that I won’t go into and it’s been topsy turvy all around. Right now, at this very moment, however, we are all well.

Thank YOU for continuing to visit my little space, as sporadic as my postings have been. Sometimes I was so dizzy and overwhelmed by the sheer force of life, I considered giving up the blog, the Furoku, everything. I’m so grateful that I didn’t. As a general rule, I don’t post or talk about gifts I’ve received over the years since I started this blog, mainly because they feel sacred and private and I know that I’ll end up sounding braggy. The gifts have been from extraordinarily generous souls I’ve somehow connected through this virtual notebook of mine — many whom I’ve not yet met but feel, without a doubt, a kinship. And every comment, every glance at a post I’ve written are gifts as well. In the midst of so much tumult on a macro level, my own problems feel small and insignificant, but being part of this online community has been a balm, a source of joy.

K is sitting next to me, organizing her UNO cards in preparation for a fierce game we’ll engage in a little later. I have grocery shopping for turkey day dinner on my mind (this year, instead of our usual slacker T-Day at a Chinese restaurant, we’re celebrating with our neighbors). M is puttering about downstairs. The sun is out, the air is a touch icy, I am wearing sweats and feel at ease in our cozy home.

K just expressed some worry about a future event as she shuffled the cards. I listened, thought about her concern and said, “Honey, let’s focus on doing small things with mucho mucho love.” As always, she rolled her eyes. Or maybe it’s supposed to be muy muy love? My Spanish is rusty.

At any rate, that is what I hope for you this holiday season and beyond: mucho mucho love.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!