Happy Friday + Hallelujah!

Happy Friday, my friends! I did it! I did it! I completed my rough art for the next book that’s coming out in 2018. Normally, I create digital rough art using only Photoshop brushes like these and these, but I wanted to try a little something different.

For this next book’s rough art, I used only black watercolor and I enjoyed it so much! It’s a different kind of challenge to paint with a single color to create various shades. Surprisingly, it took less time to hand paint than it does to do everything digitally. How could this be? I’m still scratching my head. That’s a bit of a sneak peek of the next book up there. It’s a continuation of the Little Kunoichi series and the ninja world is going to keep expanding.

Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet will be out on August 8th, which feels just around the corner. I’ll be doing a mini PNW book tour, so Portlanders: if you have recommendations for awesome places to stay and eat, I’d love to hear ’em!

What’s nice is that with each book, I’m learning from previous mistakes and developing a system that minimizes stress, so I don’t feel quite as drained after each phase. Hooray!

Now I have a slight respite until final art is due mid-September, so I’m going to go full hog in preparing for my upcoming Japan trip. We fly out June 24th! Because we’re traveling with K’s school, there’s so much paperwork involved…better get to it.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Painting bonanza
and loving each progression
book-making is FUN

P.S. Furoku members! The next edition has been delivered!

Happy Friday + Randomness



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


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.



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


Stay Curious


A little behind the scenes of one of the projects I worked on over the weekend. A dear friend of mine commissioned me for an illustration to give to her colleague, and I loved trying out different lettering styles. The colleague’s catchphrase is “stay curious,” which is a brilliant one.

I have two more illustrations, another quick translation assignment (this time I’m learning all about the art of sushi plating and presentation — so, so cool), and a craft tutorial all due pronto so I am trying my best to stay focused.

It’s funny how the moment I had a stretch of free time, a slew of requests came in. They all sounded so up my alley and so enjoyable that I had to say yes.

I may or may not be back this week. Focus. That’s my catchphrase for the interim. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Happy Friday + Randomness


Happy Friday! We’re into the third week without a car, and I have to admit that my legs are pretty sore. Still, I’m loving all the exercise we’re getting and although everything takes longer and requires more planning without a car, it also forces us to slow down and live moment by moment. I’m stopping to smell the roses and flowers, if you will.

That’s a quick watercolor sketch I made a while back. I really really like it. You might be able to see a small water splotch on one of the leaves, and I even like that. Last week I taught a watercolor class at a K-8 school, and the best part was when I made a mistake. Instead of scrapping the drawing, I asked the students to help me come up with ideas to make the splotch into something else. The mistake turned into a basket with blueberries and ninja stars (I was painting Little Kunoichi) and the enthusiasm level was sky high. When the students created their own watercolor paintings, they were encouraged to do the same when they thought they’d made a mistake. A good lesson and reminder for myself.

I think I have to go soak my legs in epsom salt or something. I’ll see you back here next week, and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

How long can we go?
We’re carless in Seattle
Want to make a bet?*

*M and I decided to see how long we can go without a car. So far so good!