Happy Friday + Sewing Happiness Winter Tour (Giveaways!)


Happy Friday, friends! I’m thrilled to announce a little blog/IG tour of sorts happening over the next couple of weeks. A few of my wonderful international sewing friends have agreed to do a feature of Sewing Happiness, and we’re doing a giveaway that includes a signed book + 45 euro gift certificate from the charming 1000 Stoff shop. I thought it might be a fun way to start off the year!

We’re keeping it loose and casual and I’m in the dark as much as you are in terms of what these amazing ladies will create and/or post. I’m so curious!!

Here’s the awesome line-up:
January 23Ute + Lara

January 24 – An of StraightGrain // Instagram

January 25 – Trine of Groovy Baby and Mama Trine of // Instagram

January 26 – Shelley of Bartacks and Singletrack // Instagram

January 30 – Annika of Näh Connection // Instagram

January 31 – Olu of Needle and Ted // Instagram

February 1 – Emi of Just Add Fabric // Instagram

February 2 – Eva of With Love – by Eva // Instagram

Until next week, have a fabulous weekend everyone!!

Sewing Happiness
brings crafty friends together

Now that’s happiness

Preparing for a Sashiko Demo


I’m no expert at Sashiko stitching, so it’s a little laughable that I’ll be teaching the craft this Saturday, but I’m rolling with it. It’s a FREE event, Seattle friends, if you want to drop on by the Kinokuniya Bookstore at 2pm on June 11th. I’ll be joined by my writer/editor/journalist friend Tamiko. Imagine a cooking demo, but with indigo fabric and Sashiko thread and needles instead of food– that’s the concept we’re working with, anyway. We’ll be making coasters and I think it’ll be sweet and casual and fun. I hope. I suppose it could also be weird and awkward and dull, but we’re all optimists here, right?

Copies of Sewing Happiness will be available and I’ll be doing a signing as well. I’m curious to see how it goes!!

As you can tell from my last few posts, I’ve been flitting about like an industrious bird, pecking away at my massive to-do list. But guess what?? After this Saturday, I am going to be so relaxed. I may not even post anything on this here blog for the next month to experience what it feels like to be completely disconnected from the internet and off the grid (we all know that would never happen; I’m too much a creature of habit). Anyhow, my big deadline has been met, I have virtually nothing on my calendar, and I can actually feel my innards decompressing. It’s glorious. Sewing might actually happen!!

Just a little more prep work to do for the Saturday event — be back Friday.

(Image is from the book. Photo by George Barberis)

A rather big announcement…


It was a jubilant and triumphant weekend. After months and months of preparing, hoping, sketching, querying, refining and negotiating, I received a confirmation: I will be publishing two more books with Sasquatch Books!!!

In fact, behind the scenes, I’ve already been working on book #3 (those pesky deadlines), but until the countersigned contracts and advance check were in my nervous, sweaty palms, it felt like make-believe and not at all truly true. And this past Saturday, I had a very happy mail day indeed. Of course I’d told my most trusted circle of friends and family members a while ago when discussions started, but I seem to have a hard time convincing myself that these things will actually materialize.


This image above is a little segment of the proposal I assembled for the 2-book deal. We’re making Little Kunoichi into a series of sorts, and the next one will be released Fall of 2017. Followed by another book in the Fall of 2018. I’m beyond grateful, especially for my editor who champions the ideas that I toss out willy nilly like errant spaghetti noodles, crossing my fingers that something will stick. And I’m thankful for you! Without this blog space, and without the AMAZING Furoku membership (the most awesome of awesomest groups ever) which gives me the mental and financial buffer that powers me through…well, I shudder to think what I would be doing. Most likely flipping burgers. No shame in that, sure, but oh, the grease stains!

“It’s not luck anymore, is it?” a good friend asked me when I told her the joyous book news. I don’t know — I still think lady luck and timing have significant parts to play, but I do hope that I’ve become a little more assertive and persistent compared to my past self.

I started this blog on July 16, 2012, almost exactly four years ago. As I published that first post, I told myself that I would do everything that felt right and would stay open-minded. Sometimes, the things I did troubled and puzzled the people around me, particularly those closest to me. Sometimes, I felt alone and very lost and a bit coo coo for cocoa puffs. Sometimes, I couldn’t believe I got to live this remarkable life. And that last part…those moments are increasing slowly, slowly, slowly.

Whew. It’s been an eventful year already! I hope you’ll be patient with me as I figure out how to juggle the multiple projects I have going on in the background, and I am yearning for some extended sewing time, but I’m doing little bits when I can. I look forward to sharing some sewing with you eventually.

The purple bouquet at the very top was actually a gift from a friend at the Sewing Happiness launch party, but it made me think of the cover of Little Kunoichi — I was looking at the various meanings ascribed to the purple hue, and the ones that jumped out at me were: creativity, mystery and magic. Yep. It all feels like mysterious creative magic to me.

Launch Party Crafts Recap


When the hacking debacle happened, most of my Sewing Happiness pre-launch blog plans had to be scrapped. I was hoping to build excitement with some behind-the-scenes posts culminating in a grand giveaway and I guess I could still do that, but it feels anticlimactic now that the book’s been out for almost a month.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the pre-launch process was preparing for the party that was held at Drygoods Design on April 19th, the actual day of the book release. I shared a little bit on Instagram, but I wanted to document the various elements, because I was ridiculously excited about the “Make-It-And-Take-It” aspect of the soiree. I sewed and sewed and sewed innumerable little heating pads/sachets (a nod toward one of the projects in the book) that people would be able to fill with various options like rice or lavender and hand stitch closed. Keli and her team at Drygoods made the crafting experience even more effortless by having needles at the ready, threaded and knotted. It was a hit! I also prepped faux leather circles and trimmed Swedish tracing paper so people could make customized fortune cookies (another project from the book).


Additionally, I covered a great many pieces of paper with watercolor paint and created bookmarks that could be painted, stamped and punched with fancy designs. The ones you see above were made by K. So sweet! Oh, and I even printed up temporary tattoos, but forgot to get photos of those.


My piece de resistance was managing to get fabric printed with the endnotes design from the book, and I stitched up quite a few heating pads/sachets with the fabric. I used My Fabric Designs for the custom fabric, and though shipping took a little longer than I’d hoped, the package came just in time. And because I’m out of control, I printed up popcorn holders on my inkjet printer using the same endnotes design.

I love doing stuff like this. It’s funny, I usually avoid making the same things over and over unless it’s for a party. Then I’m all over it. Why is that? As you can imagine, I was one of those moms when K was a toddler, throwing themed birthday parties that left people questioning my sanity.

At any rate, I had a fantastic time at the party and I hope other people did too! Maybe I should think about starting a side business as a kids’ party planner?

Book Events!


One of my new goals is to do more book events. Not only do the events help promote the books to which I dedicated mega effort, they’re great fun, and I’m challenging myself to get better at public speaking. I’m not a shy person, but my college speech class permanently scarred me, and I’ve avoided piping up in front of groups larger than two people whenever possible. I may have mentioned this before, but confronted with an audience, my physiology betrays me: sweaty palms and forehead, shaky voice, two glow-in-the-dark red spots on each cheek (on the face, I should clarify).

My first official “reading” was at Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island last week, and I had a blast (thank you, Victoria!). The women who gathered were sweet and enthusiastic about crafts — a few women even sewed projects from the book prior to the event and brought them to the event. They were all wonderful, but I was blown away by Joan, who created an origami pillow out of a repurposed men’s button down shirt, using the front placket as the pillow closure. I wish I’d gotten a photo, but alas, my phone ran out of juice that evening. Although I wasn’t able to document it, it was the best possible way to start off the mini, very local Sewing Happiness tour! Oh, and here’s that adorable book trailer that Sasquatch Books made:

And guess what? Little Kunoichi turns ONE tomorrow!!!!! A whole year. Can you believe it? I certainly can’t — that was the fastest year in the history of time, as far as I’m concerned. What an amazing, amazing 12 months.

Anyway, in the hopes of conquering the public speaking jitters, I’ve got some events coming up! There are a few more getting finalized, and if I ever figure it out, I’ll add updated info to the sidebar.


Thursday, May 5th 5:30pm-ish // Drygoods Design // Art Walk (technically, this isn’t a book event but I created watercolors that tie in with the book. The show will be up for the rest of the month, but I’ll be at Drygoods tomorrow evening!

Sunday, May 8th 3-5pm // Queen Anne Book Co. // Mother’s Day Event with custom illustrations (by me) + crafts + refreshments!

Saturday, June 25th Noon // Urban Craft Uprising // Book signing



Saturday, May 7th 11am //Seattle Public Central Library// Family Story Time + Origami-making

Monday, May 30th (time tbd) // Seattle Japanese Garden // Reading + Presentation


If you’re in the Seattle area, hope to see you at one (or more) of these events!