Holiday Sewing Happiness Book Giveaway! [CLOSED]

And the giveaway goodness continues! Sasquatch Books and I are teaming up again this week to offer up two copies of Sewing Happiness as an end-of-the-year hurrah!

It’s hard to believe that over a year has passed since its publication. I’ve met SO many amazing people through the book and it was a labor of true, true love in collaboration with magical folks.

I’m keeping this post short and sweet since we’ve all got holiday festivities and preparations to attend to, yes? On top of a signed copy of the book, we’re adding a mini Sashiko sewing kit that includes 2 Sashiko needles, a spool of Sashiko thread and indigo cotton/linen fabric (I think? It might be cotton only, but it has a linen texture as well). The fabric is pre-cut and pre-quilted so you can make a Sashiko-embroidered coaster, similar to the trivet in the book.  I’m also throwing in a mostly-made heart-shaped  sachet that can be filled with lavender (or whatever you please) and closed up with just a few stitches. The fabric is one of my favorite Nani IRO designs.

(The embroidered pin cushion is just a prop and is not part of the kit — it was too cute not to include in the photo!)

It’s the usual to enter the giveaway: any comment will do! If you’re keen to share something specific, I’d love to know about a fun activity you’d like to do in 2018. A friend just told me she started taking Bollywood dancing lessons and that sounds awesome to me! Might give that a whirl…I’m also looking forward to going hiking more in the new year. Gotta take advantage of all this gorgeous and accessible nature in the Pacific Northwest!

The giveaway is open until Thursday, December 21st, and I’ll contact the two winners by the end of the day on Friday, December 22nd. I’ll also post this on IG (@sanaeishida) too if you’d like to enter there to increase your chances. Good luck!!

Please note: US residents only and the parcel will arrive after January 2nd.

Happy Monday + BIG Holiday Giveaway!! [CLOSED]

Happy Monday, my friends! I’m so excited — Sasquatch Books/Little Bigfoot contacted me last week to see if I would be interested in hosting a holiday giveaway, and I jumped at the chance.

‘Tis the season for giving! Sasquatch Books has generously offered 20 copies to give away in celebration of the festive season: 10 winners will receive a signed copy of Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl and 5 winners will get the GRAND PRIZE: a signed copy of both Little Kunoichi and Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet.

And that’s not all! I’m including some watercolor holiday tags that I painted, which I think are quite charming, if I may be bold enough to say so myself. They’re based loosely on the 12 Days of Christmas song, and there are a few other holiday motifs as well (it’ll be a surprise!).

We’ll try to get the parcels shipped in time for Christmas, though they may land on doorsteps a few days after. These would make great gifts any time of the year if you’ve already got a copy of either or both books!

To enter, please leave any comment below, though if you’d like some ideas, I would love to know what your favorite holiday tradition is. I started making K an advent calendar six years ago and hands-down, it’s the loveliest part of the holidays for the entire family. I challenge myself to come up with something different every year, K has something to look forward to almost every day of December, I include activities for family bonding, and it does double-duty as holiday decor. This year, I asked her to write down something she’s grateful for every day, and her growing gratitude list is so sweet! Here’s a little shot of this year’s advent calendar.

You can see past calendars here and here and here and here and here.

I’ll also post this giveaway later today on Instagram and if you’d like to comment there as well, it might up your chances of winning! The giveaway will be open until Thursday, December 14th and the randomly selected 15 winners will be contacted by the end of day Friday, December 15th. Good luck!

Important note: this giveaway is limited to US residents.


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 + 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 + Little K Turns TWO

By Sasha

Happy Friday, my friends! It’s Thursday afternoon as I type this and it’s hailing. Massive amounts of raindrops are thrashing against our window panes that don’t seem up to the task and thunder and lightning and sunshine are adding to the confusing yet exciting mix. By the time you read this (if it’s Friday), I will be headed out of town with M and K for a little weekend getaway in Roslyn. Let’s hope the weather gets better.

Left: By Dylan // Right: Ines

So! May 5th is not only Children’s Day but Little Kunoichi’s 2nd birthday!! How amazing. I am currently up to my eyeballs with sketches and illustrations for my next book that will be published in 2018, and yesterday, an advance copy of Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet arrived on my doorstep. I still have a hard time believing that this is all happening.

Left: S.C. (this is debatable) // Right: Poppy

I did not get my act together enough for a fun giveaway or celebratory post, but I wanted to acknowledge this special day somehow. I remembered that last January I had taught a watercolor class to a group of elementary school kids and about a month later, I received a big envelope stuffed with wonderful thank you cards from the kids. I became very emotional – they’re brilliant, just brilliant! What better way to commemorate my very first book than by sharing these special cards inspired by Little K?

By Beth

There were so many cards and because the names weren’t all entirely legible, I chose a few that I could decipher and that I felt captured the energy of the kids.

Left: Valentine // Right: Max

I love how fearless children are about making art. How do we allow them and encourage them to keep that fearlessness?

It’s been a dream-like adventure since Little K flew out into the world. I don’t think my self from five years ago would recognize my current self that is whistling away and drawing cute ninjas and samurais. I feel like I’ve somehow regained a tiny little bit of fearlessness. I like it.

Left: Leo // Right: Coral

Anyway, I’ll be celebrating away this weekend (and sketching/illustrating like crazy) and I hope you all have a terrific one too!

Two years go by quick
There’s much to appreciate
And that includes you*

* I don’t think it’s possible to thank you enough. Although my postings are far less frequent, I’m so grateful that you stop by and preserve that sense of community that I love so much. Thank you, thank you!