Happy Monday + BIG Holiday Giveaway!!

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.

 

Happy Friday + Making LINES

Photo by Carrie Hoge

Happy Friday! Have you seen the latest Making issue, LINES? What a beaut! Carrie and team continue to slam dunk with gorgeous content, and I’m so honored that I was a contributor! Many things have changed in my life these last five years, and one of the most glorious changes is that I now get to collaborate and work with the loveliest, most amazing people all the time. I’m sad to say that wasn’t usually the case for the 25+ jobs I’ve had in the past, though of course there were always a gem or two.

Today I thought I’d do a sort of behind-the-scenes of my projects in LINES, since that’s always fun for me.

Photo by Carrie Hoge

Project one was the nesting fabric buckets. I realize I’m not scoring any points for originality here, though I did add flourish on the canvas fabric with fabric paint, which turned out to not only be enjoyable, but I was also very happy with the results. Quick and easy, that’s how I roll.

Here’s another pretty outtake of the buckets that Carrie shot:

Photo by Carrie Hoge

I can’t remember exactly whether I offered or if Carrie asked me if I wanted to contribute to the kids’ section as well. At any rate, I was planning on creating an animal nesting version and made these samples:

Then I found out that there was a distinct and totally coincidental cat theme going on in the kids’ section so Carrie wondered if I would be able to make a cat version. But of course!

Photo by Carrie Hoge

So cute, right?? As I’m prone to doing, I squealed with delight when I finished the kitty basket.

Plus, it worked out well because the bear and owl buckets ended up as gifts for friends and K fell in love with the bunny.

What you may or may not have noticed if you’ve browsed through the issue is that I did a number of illustrations, which was a dream assignment. I’ve always wanted to have my illustrations in a beautiful print magazine, and I can now check that off my bucket list. Thank you, Carrie!

The middle illustration was based on the supremely adorable cat made by Erika Barratt (her instagram AND Making‘s feed are must-sees — so much inspiration!).

The entire issue is a visual feast full of thoughtful projects and stories. I hope you check it out!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

I’m out of practice
Haven’t created haikus
in a long, long while

P.S. Furoku members! The next edition is scheduled to go out tonight…I think. I hope. Probably!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Hello, hello! My goodness, has it really been so long since I last updated here?

I just wanted to pop in to say “Happy Thanksgiving!!” I wish I could send you all flowers, but these watercolor blooms will have to do. I hope my mother-in-law isn’t reading this because this is a card I painted for her that I just posted in the mail.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year full of HUGE events. So whirlwind, in fact, that I can’t even wrap my head around all that’s happened. The Japan trip changed my life, for one thing. I haven’t even shared any of it with you here.

So much. SO much. And Thanksgiving is an excellent time to reflect upon it all. I have something fun to share with you next week, but my postings will continue to be sporadic for a while longer as I finish up the next book (I turned in most of my art, but there are still a few things left to do). I miss keeping up with the good ole blog, but I know my limits. I almost made it through an entire year without getting sick, but alas, the deadline crunch got to me and I succumbed to a cold for a couple of days this week. I’m on the mend, however, and all is well.

Anyway! I am sending you all big, big love from rainy, chilly, cozy Seattle. I’m so grateful to have this space, even when I’m not here as often as I used to be. I have a good feeling that 2018 may see a resurgence of blog posts. We shall see…

I hope that you are celebrating all that is wonderful in life in some form, no matter where you are in the world! xo

Happy Friday + OCS

Happy Friday! What’s this? My fourth Ginger Skinny Jeans on my cutting table? The crazy thing is that I just finished Gingers #3 last week:

I’ve got a serious case of OCS, my friends. That would be Obsessive Compulsive Sewing. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you probably saw a level of prolific output that hasn’t happened in years in terms of sewing. I completed that indigo chambray Grainline Archer shirt last week as well. And the white linen Archer shirt below flew out of my sewing machine just a few days before the indigo one. The sleeves are a tad long for me, but since I roll up all my long-sleeved button down shirts anyway, I’m not too concerned. Like this:

Oh, it’s been an incredible joyride now that I’m sewing again. Of course, part of me is well aware that this is just another one of my “productive” procrastination tactics since I’m in hardcore deadline mode and need to have the next book done by the end of the month.

Sorry for the photo quality — the light’s been dimming as autumn settles in and I’m trying to find spots in my house that I can use for blog photos now that a humongous credenza occupies the white wall that was formerly my default background. The search hasn’t been too promising yet, but I’m ever hopeful!

Details, details, details:

I made the white Archer shirt in linen (so luscious) and the indigo version is made of the same lightweight chambray that became the Charlie Caftan, another excellent Closet Case Pattern. I cut the size 10 and didn’t make any alterations. What a fun, fun pattern to sew!

But even more fun is stitching up jeans. In fact, my OCS might just turn into OCJ (Obsessive Compulsive Jeans-making). I shared my first successful pair of non-muslin Ginger jeans here. The muslin version I’d made before that one was definitely wearable, but the zipper busted on me and the denim wasn’t quite as stretchy so they weren’t as comfy as the black pair. I ended up cutting a size 6 and made a bunch of alterations to make the black pair fit the way I like.

Taking the altered patterns sheets (see all the notes I have scrawled on there?), I sewed up my third pair and this newest addition to my Ginger collection is pretty much perfect in terms of fit. So much so, that I immediately cut out another pair. I’m not sure what the denim content is, but it has a good amount of stretch. Probably 2-3% lycra?

Look at my oh-so-Pacific-Northwest pocket linings! The fabric happened to be within arm’s reach, and the plaid cotton is a nice nod to my rugged, outdoorsy region.

Regardless of having sewn the jeans multiple times, I always consult the Sewing Your Own Jeans E-book that Heather put together. It’s so comprehensive and helpful! I know she has video courses now as well, which is pure genius. That Heather, she’s going places. I love her and I’m sort of in awe of her. She’s brilliant and warm and hilarious and truly loves to help people create beautiful clothes that feel wonderful to wear. She’s exactly the kind of person I want guiding me to make body-hugging jeans which can be such an emotional thing, you know?

Anyway enough sewing talk! More watercolors! Books! Yes, that’s my focus right now! Wait, our staircase is looking really dingy. A quick lick of white paint would do wonders…right after I finish Gingers #4, naturally.

Have a delightful weekend, all!

Happy Friday + Upcoming Events

Happy Friday! I shared the beginning of my sea life doodles on Instagram a few days ago, and this is how I ended up filling up the sheet. Every so often, I pause and revel in the fact that this is my job – watercoloring is so fun!! These illos will get incorporated somehow into the next book, the final art of which is due in a month. I’m making slow but steady progress…

So this means that I might be absent from here for long stretches again, especially since I’ll be going on book tour for Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet (!!) and taking part in a number of Pacific Northwest events:

Seattle Japanese Garden // October 7th // 1pm
Green Bean Books // October 19th //4:30pm
Powell’s Books // October 21st // 11am

A few other events are in development so it seems like it’ll be an action-packed month for this introvert. Okay, I better go mentally prepare myself…

Have a fun weekend, all!

P.S. Furoku members, I’m still on schedule to deliver the next edition this weekend!