Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Wabi-sabi Saturday" and "Up-cycling Challenge #1"

My friends Char and Linda from Junk Evolution and I are planing to have an event named "Wabi-Sabi Saturday" on April 9th. Doesn't it sounds interesting? This event is mainly for Mother's day. For customers who are looking for something very special for a Mother's day gift. On that day, I will be at their shop Junk Evolution (in Down Town South Bend) all day long and take orders for custom bags and purses. The fun part of this event is that customer will bring in some materials for making purses like old clothes, tablecloth,  scarves and so on. Something like a special piece of clothing from someone who passed. 

Wabi-sabi  represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience.  The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent and incomplete"......(excerpt from Wikipedia)

Wabi-sabi is a very profound idea but we simply interpreted it "finding beauty in old or imperfect things and loving them for what they are." That is why we picked the word "Wabi-sabi" for the title of our special event. There is a poster Char made for this event below.

I made four bags out of old clothes from thrifty stores as samples for showing to customers. I found those lovely materials in pretty good condition. Some skirts and a baby girl dress.

And Char got these old wool jackets for me. They are old but very well-made using high quality wool. I made one large shoulder bag out of one of them by now. And I am going to make another soon.

Today, I show you this little purse made of the adorable baby dress in the picture above. I call this project "Up-cycling Challenge #1".

I loved the details and colors of this little dress. So I didn't converted it so much. I am glad it turned very well. This little purse looks so cute and lovely. I hope people will come to this event and give me a chance to face to this "Up-cycling Challenge" some more. I will post about "Challenge #2,3,4" soon.
Lastly, I would like to say thank you again to Junk Evolution and Circa Arts Gallery for having the donation jar for Japan Earthquake Relief. And also to their customers who donated for Japan.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Report of the result of the fundraiser in NYC for Japan

On the last two Saturdays the fundraiser held by my Etsy friend Aki, other Japanese Moms and some kids in NYC. Some other artists from Etsy and I donated handmade goods to the sale. There you can see pictures of what we donated at Aki's blog. They are so beautiful! It was really cold days in NYC, and it was outside event. So people helped this event must have been frozen. I appreciate their effort at raising money for Japan Earthquake / Tsunami Relief. According to the report from Aki, they raised $3,429.49 total. It is going to be donated to the American Red Cross for Japan relief. Great! I am so grateful to everyone helped and donated for Japan. I am still donating 1/2 proceeds in my Etsy shop. Please stop by and help if you can. (There are many artists donating from their proceeds on Etsy too. )

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a beautiful Sunday!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


As I wrote in the last post, one of my online crafty friend Aki from Oktak organized fund raising sales in NYC. She and some other Japanese Moms held a booth at the green market in NYC today and sold some baked goods and handmade stuff. I am so impressed of Aki's quick action and leadership. They will have another sale next Saturday as well, so I made some accessories and sent them out to NY yesterday.  I didn't have much time to prepare many goods for the sale but I made six crochet necklaces and eight felt brooches. I am glad that I could do something with them. Actually it is not only for helping the victims in Japan but it is for myself to calm down. I needed to move rather than just worrying. And it really worked to me.

The brooches are made of felt. It was a No-Sew project. I needed to make as many as possible so I picked out this method. It is very easy to make but the finished brooch look so cute. I would love to write a tutorial of this sometime soon.

I used Japanese lace yarn in my stash which has some bright accent colors in white. I simply crochet it with single crochet stitches and many picots. I added little flower motifs on both ends of the necklace.

It can be used as a long necklace or a neckband. And also could be a unique bracelet.

I liked this necklace a lot. So after I sent out the package which contains these items I made, I made another one for myself. I still have some yarn left. I probably will make some more for my Etsy shop.

Aki and Moms sold many many stuff and they made more than $1300 today! Awesome! And a lot of people donated money for Japan! Thank you so much New Yorkers! And you ladies did a super good job today. They will have another sale next Saturday and there will be my stuff and beautiful items from other talented artists. If you are in NYC please don't miss it! There is more info about the sale in Aki's blog. She is also donating 1/2 of the proceeds of her Etsy shop for Japan relief. Her purses are beautiful and stylish. And I am still donating 1/2 of sales of my Etsy shop too. Please stop by and help if you can.

Did you see the moon tonight? It is so bright and beautiful. Thank you for reading and have a super-Moon good night.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

If you are in NYC

There are some Japanese artists and crafters live in outside of Japan who I got to know through internet Twitter and Etsy. Many of them are doing some kind of charity for saving Japan right now. (And many other not-Japanese Etsy sellers in the world too.) One of my Japanese crafty friend Aki from Oktak is organizing a fund raising event in NYC. It is going to be a sale at the green market for baking goods and handmade stuff. I am going to send out some stuff I am making to NY. Here is information about the event. If you are in NY and interested in, there will be my stuff there.

There you will find more info at Oktak's Facebook page.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Something I can do for Japan earthquake relief.

The situation of Japan devastated area is breaking my heart. It is so frustrating that there is nothing I can do for it. I don't know if it would help anything, but I listed some items in my Etsy shop for donating 50% of sales to American Red Cross for Japan earthquake relief. There is a link to those items and I will add some more items today. It might not do any work but I just cannot be sitting back with doing nothing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pray for Japan

As you know, my home country Japan is facing to the unprecedented disaster. I was so scared when I could not reach my family. But fortunately I found they are safe soon. I just wanted to tell you that and I would like to say I am grateful that many people are concerned and praying for Japan. It is frustrating that I cannot do anything far away from my country. But I am going to keep thinking what I can do for them. I wish people in the devastated area keep having hope and Japan will get over this enormous tragedy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Princess Castle Mini Boston Bag

I think I have totally forgotten to tell you guys that I finished another Mini Boston Bag for a couple weeks! Where was I ??? Weird. Anyway! Here is a Princess Castle Mini Boston Bag!

I used a Japanese Kawaii type of cotton print for lining. The handles are colored leather on both side.

I added some sequins on the applique.

There are all three of my Mini Bags! They look much cuter when they are all together!

These bags are listed in my Etsy shop and more pictures in my Flickr pool.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

On the Girls' Festival Day

Today, March 3rd is the Girls' Festival Day in Japan. We celebrate and wish girls' wellness and happiness. People display the special dolls in their house only once a year on this day. The dolls are commonly given to a girl when she has the first Girls' Festival day by her parents or grand parents. They are called "O-Hina-Sama". Those dolls are a aristocratic couple. These ones in the picture below are mine so they are forty-something years old. I brought them over seas about three years ago from Japan. Since then I display them every year for my daughter just like my Mom did for me and my sister (My sister also has very similar one). For avoiding misleading, I should tell you that we have the Boys' Festival Day in May. It is May 5th.

This beautiful doll below is shipped from Japan for my daughter by my Dad in Japan. This one is not a doll for this event. But I display this with my dolls and tell my daughter there is our family always thinking of us from far far away in Japan.

Well, since I wrote about a very Japanese event, I would like to show you the Japanese traditional embroidery which I am working on now. It is Sashiko. I finished a very light weight scarf with vintage cotton. It was a pillowcase in very good condition. I was waiting for making something with this beautiful material.

I used multicolored Sashiko thread for embroidery. It is just a simple straight stitches.

Then in another project, I am stitching some traditional patterns on solid cotton fabric. This is going to be a center piece or wall hanging. It will be a time consuming project. I will report the progress of this project on this blog so please stay tuned.

Thank you for reading. Happy Girls' Day for all the crafty girls!