Saturday, December 31, 2011


For the last post of 2011, I made photo mosaics of my creations from the past year.  It seems I made lots of things, but on the other hand, I feel I could have done much more.



Jewelries and Accessories

Other things

I am so glad I can welcome the new year with my family in peace. 2011 was very difficult time for us, Japanese people. There are still many signs of the damage caused by the earthquake and so many people are still suffering from loss and refuge. I hope they will have a better year, and also wish 2012 will be a hopeful year for all the people in the world. From the bottom of my heart.

I hope myself to improve my work and this blog in the new year. My goal is to post more tutorials and patterns here. And make much more things both for my job and myself (and my family). I want to improve my house more, and live healthier and happier. Too greed? Maybe. But I like to be ambitious at the start of the year. Because this coming year is like a big blank canvas yet! You could draw any picture on it. I might prefer to embroider on that :D

Thank you for your support for 2011


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Made before Christmas

I made lots of things for consignment this month for Christmas gift shoppers. There are some pictures of things I made.
A ring with many different kinds of beads in aqua tone which shine like crystals.

Another color variation.

A brooch pin. Those jewelries and more are able to be purchased at Junk Evolution in Downtown South Bend until the First Friday, January 6th.

Those two necklaces were the Christmas gifts for my sister in law and my niece. Nina helped to make the paper bows folding recycling papers.

This one is made for Nina's teacher Mrs.R. It is a tree ornament which is just like these we made in May. But this time, I tried to print Nina's drawing out on the fabric. I prefer the last year's result, though this looks so cute and very special for Mrs.R.

And this one is for Mr.Bus driver. I hope he liked it.

I made a ribbon with a string of fabric. There is a message printed on it. I think this is a good idea to make a simple gift more interesting and very special. I used Freezer paper method to print on fabric.

I hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying your quiet night. Good night.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I wish ...

Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog this year. Your comments encouraged me a lot and you are my inspirations. I wish you all have happy Holidays with people you love.

Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday crafts just in time? Oh! No Christmas tree yet!!!

We usually go to Christmas tree hunting to a farm in Michigan right after Thanksgiving. But not this year. We just cannot find time on weekends. Well, we had one weekend we could have gone to a farm.  But the weather was awful. It was cold and raining all day long. Christmas tree hunting has to be fun. We could probably have felt miserable if we've gone on that day. Anyways, we didn't go. It is kind of embarrassing that we don't have a tree yet by now..... just a bit. So I tried to catch up this week and there is a little progress on decorating for Holidays.

Nina's Ginger bread house.

I made a new Christmas wreath for the front door.

She made a fence around her house with lots of gumdrops and toothpicks.

This year I picked gold for my door wreath. I wish I could make this with real fresh leaves of fir or spruce. I usually make wreaths and other decorations with cut branches from our Christmas tree. I hope we will go get tree this Sunday. (That is going to be the last chance for us, don't you think?)
I still have to work on preparing gifts pretty much too. I think trip to Chicago for shopping for Japanese new year celebration would be after Christmas. Ahhhhh, I always feel I'm so behind this time of the year.

I hope you have a fun week preparing Holidays! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Last Weekend

I had a very busy week last week. I was invited as the artist of the month by Junk Evolution on Friday and had a Furoshiki (Japanese Wrapping cloth) demonstration on Saturday. So I worked on making new items to sell for Holiday gift shoppers and preparing for demonstration. Plus, Nina had the first two performances of the Nutcracker 2011 as a little snowflake on Saturday afternoon in Michigan.

At Junk Evolution, they made a whole shelf filled with my work. My items are very nicely displayed by Char and Linda in their admirable shop. I was so happy to see that.

They change the theme of their display every month. This month, it is "Dancing into December". I always am looking forward to seeing their new look of the shop every month. And this is how it looks like now. (I am sure they already have sold many of these beautiful things since I was there.) It is spectacular!

Their First Friday events are always filled with fun ideas. This time, they had dancers on the front show windows!

And this is me in front of my shelf. I stayed there through the event and talked with many customers. People who adore this shop are all very nice and very interesting. I had a good time to communicate with people.

Right after I finished my Furoshiki demo, I ran to Michigan to see Nina's ballet performance. I needed to drive for an hour and it was worth it.

They are going to have more shows in Downtown South Bend next weekend. They have dress rehearsals every night from today. Actually, right now when I am writing this, they are at the theater. I have to pick her up at 7:00 pm, then run to the school to attend "the night with Santa" event! The Mommy job seems never ends! And that is my dream job so I'm gonna make it!

This is my little snowflake in her costume. (They couldn't find tiaras for all the snowflakes that day. So girls missed having their precious tiaras! ) I thought the lip stick was too red for little ones, though, they looked so pretty!

And here is my favorite Nutcracker in Junk Evolution. They painted him in turquoise!

I hope you all have a great busy week! Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Products for First Friday Sneak Peek

I am honored to be invited to First Friday as the guest artist of this month by Junk Evolution. This afternoon, I brought in my works to Junk Evolution for tomorrow. I am going to sell my bags and accessories. Store hour tomorrow is 5:00-9:00. I will stay there from about 5:30 to 9:00. So I would talk with customers about my work and so on. If you are in Michiana, please come to see me. I am looking forward to seeing you and all.

I made some new products for this event. Here I show you some pictures of them. I can't wait to hear from folks what they think about my work. My main theme of this event is "Recycle". I used antique Kimono silk, vintage clothes and things from thrift stores as materials.

The Hound's tooth tote bag is made of old skirt. I added wool embroidery on the front. And the bottom one is a crocheted belt pouch. The belt is from recycling store. I picked out belts in very good condition and washed them carefully so it is so clean! The crocheted pattern is star stitch. This technique is now very popular among Japanese crocheters in Japan. The pouch comes with hand stitched felt brooch.

I made some elegant bags with these precious antique Kimono silks which have been waiting to be used in my stash for long time. I am sure they will be special gifts for Holidays.

There will be many more items showing up. Beaded jewelries, Flower brooches and more. I have been so busy to getting ready. Lots of small jobs like making price tags etc....

I am going to show how to use Furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) on Saturday 11:00-1:00 at Junk Evolution as well. Furoshiki is perfect tool for gift giving. It is free, so please come to learn!

Stay warm and have a great weekend! Happy December!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First Friday and Furoshiki Demo

I will be the guest artist of December at Junk Evolution for First Friday. There will be my handmade bags and accessories which are able to be purchased. Those items would be perfect holiday gifts. I made new adorable purses and some other pretty things. Please take a closer look on them in your hands. I will be there from 5-9 so please come to say hi to me. I am looking forward to seeing you!

And next day, Dec 3rd, I will also demonstrate Furoshiki (Japanese traditional wrapping cloth) again. I will show how to wrap things with fancy fabrics. Wrap your gift with Furoshiki. It will make your gift very special and unforgettable.The demonstration time is 11:00-1:00.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beaded bouquet brooch / Furoshiki workshop

This pretty beaded brooch looks like a flower bouquet is for a order from my mother in law. This is going to be a Christmas gift for someone (again, it has to be surprise so I cannot tell for whom). It is going to be given on the Thanksgiving day when we visit our relatives in Southern Indiana. So I finished it a bit early.

I used various shapes and kinds of beads. And colors as well. This project was improvisation like many of my pieces are. I am glad it eventually turned to look like a bouquet of delightful flowers. The brilliant details are suitable for a holiday gift.

 The base of the brooch is made in Japan. I brought these back from Japan years ago. The part has many holes on the top so you could embellish it with any beads and charms using beading threads or wires.

 I covered the lid of a little gift box with Japanese Origami paper. And the brooch is ready to go.

By the way, I had a Furoshiki (Japanese traditional wrapping cloth) workshop yesterday. It was a sudden offer so I couldn't prepare so many samples. But I got many good reactions. Many people were interested in wrapping gifts and making bags with Furoshiki. I am going to have another workshop on December 3rd.   There are some customers already predicted coming back to learn more.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Restoring an old day bed

One day we found an old day bed which has beautiful woodwork at my favorite local vintage shop Junk Evolution. The wood part was shabby and faded, and the seat was covered with soiled black canvas. The design looked pretty much arts and crafts style which is we really like. And the best thing for us was it was a bargain! I don't remember exact price but it was around $32-35. We grabbed it right away of course. Then Tim refinished wood part and the frame regained the beautiful color and shine. Then, it had to be sitting in the basement waiting for me to re-upholster the seat for months......

After several abandoned months, eventually I finished it. Unfortunately I cannot find the pictures of original figure of this item. I am afraid that I lost some pics when I transported my data to new PC from old one.

Anyways, I re-covered the spring with this mid-century themed upholstery fabric. I didn't have enough fabric for making additional cushions (the bed didn't have top form parts so I needed to make those) so it stayed in the basement for a while again until I get an appropriate fabric for finishing this project.

Eventually, I got this cool dark gray upholstery fabric in 50% off price (!) and made two blocks of form parts for the top.

We had a big old form in a pretty good shape. I know it looks dirty. But in fact, it is just old not really dirty. I cut it  into two blocks with the utility knife and it was amazingly easier than I thought. Then I sewed the covers.

Before starting this project, I decided to change the color theme in the living room. Yellow and Gray. Yellow has not been my comfortable color to live with. But I don't know what is happening in myself, I am getting to like this color. Red and Orange are also getting my heart too. I needed to embellish this reborn day bed. So I made some new pillow covers in Yellow.

This fantastic Yellow x Gray fabric was on the clearance wagon in the fabric store. It was only $3/yard! How lucky I was! I guess you already noticed that the pillow color is perfectly matching with my messy front yard in the color of fall maple leaves!  I just love this view from my picture windows in my living room in this season.

I had some more this fabric left. So I made a coordinated fabric panel for the wall. (Just covered a art canvas.)

The day bed is now very popular place to snuggle around. It is soft and comfortable. And also looks so cool especially from the front yard in the picture windows.

We already had the first snow here in South Bend. It didn't stick on the ground at all. But I feel the Winter is just around the corner. Winter time, it is very important to keep home very warm and comfortable. We are planning some home improvement projects for our home this Winter.

Thank you for reading, I hope you have a good weekend and stay nice and warm.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Felt Brooch and Sashiko Pouch

I made a embroidered felt brooch for my shop.

This brooch is available on my Etsy Shop now.

This Sashiko pouch was my older project. I just couldn't get a chance to blog about this. It was an order from my Mother in law. It is going to be her Christmas gift for somebody. I don't think I should talk much about this now. Surprising gift would be more fun for the recipient.