My next book! Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet

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Hello, my friends! I know that updates here have been sporadic and unpredictable these days, but I have a pretty good reason. I’ve been deeply involved in book-making fun and my hours are spent dreaming up stories and images for the printed page. When I startle back into “real life”, I’m amazed to realize that days and weeks have passed.

I’m SUPER excited to share the next book in what is now the Little Kunoichi series!!!!!!! Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet is already available for preorder but will be officially released on August 8, 2017. I’m totally, utterly and unabashedly head-over-heels in love with this book. The message I tried to include is one of my core guiding tenets and I had a spectacular time painting the illustrations.

Danielle of the lovely blog This Picture Book Life did a sweet cover reveal post about the book, and I hope you’ll hop on over to read more about it. I share a bit about my illustration process and the thought sequence that led to the cover.

You know, sometimes I can’t believe this is my life. I’m currently working on the next book in the series, and it’s magical. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It all started with this little blog, and I give this space a virtual hug of appreciation every day even if I don’t update it as regularly as I used to. For now, I’m heading back into dreamland, but I will be back with an SVE wrap-up later this week! xo

 

Happy Holidays + Freebie Printables

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Happy Friday! I’ve been on a mini-wrapping-paper-making bender, my friends. Just in case you are a champion procrastinator like I am, I wanted to offer up these designs for any last minute packaging needs. You can print them up on regular 8.5 x 11″ paper on your home printer, and voila! Instant wrapping paper for those tiny stocking stuffers.

Feel free to download them below (click on image, and right-click to “save as” to your desktop before printing for best results):

Kitties

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Hedgehogs

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Unicorns

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I also made some accompanying tags (click on image, and right-click to “save as” to your desktop before printing for best results):

2016-holidayprintables5I think they’re pretty cute, and I hope you like them! Printing the tags on card stock will make them even more legit. I can’t tell you how many times these little printables have saved the day for me.

Well, I’m off to go celebrate with my family. My mom is in town, the tree has been trimmed, gifts wrapped and/or distributed, and I’m ready to sip some eggnog and enjoy the remaining days of 2016.

I’ll be taking next week off and will see you back here in 2017!!! Happy holidays, everyone — wishing you all a spectacular end of the year!

What a year it’s been
Hello, twenty-seventeen
What’s in store for us?

P.S. Furoku members! Please keep your eyes peeled for #22 arriving on January 3rd or before.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Hello! I’m wrapping up the week with this quick little post. I have much to be thankful for and as 2016 is coming to a close, I also have much to reflect upon. This has been what M and I are calling a “life-changing” year and I’ve had to relearn a lot of lessons…we’re dealing with unexpected health issues in our family that I won’t go into and it’s been topsy turvy all around. Right now, at this very moment, however, we are all well.

Thank YOU for continuing to visit my little space, as sporadic as my postings have been. Sometimes I was so dizzy and overwhelmed by the sheer force of life, I considered giving up the blog, the Furoku, everything. I’m so grateful that I didn’t. As a general rule, I don’t post or talk about gifts I’ve received over the years since I started this blog, mainly because they feel sacred and private and I know that I’ll end up sounding braggy. The gifts have been from extraordinarily generous souls I’ve somehow connected through this virtual notebook of mine — many whom I’ve not yet met but feel, without a doubt, a kinship. And every comment, every glance at a post I’ve written are gifts as well. In the midst of so much tumult on a macro level, my own problems feel small and insignificant, but being part of this online community has been a balm, a source of joy.

K is sitting next to me, organizing her UNO cards in preparation for a fierce game we’ll engage in a little later. I have grocery shopping for turkey day dinner on my mind (this year, instead of our usual slacker T-Day at a Chinese restaurant, we’re celebrating with our neighbors). M is puttering about downstairs. The sun is out, the air is a touch icy, I am wearing sweats and feel at ease in our cozy home.

K just expressed some worry about a future event as she shuffled the cards. I listened, thought about her concern and said, “Honey, let’s focus on doing small things with mucho mucho love.” As always, she rolled her eyes. Or maybe it’s supposed to be muy muy love? My Spanish is rusty.

At any rate, that is what I hope for you this holiday season and beyond: mucho mucho love.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

Happy Friday + Randomness

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M used to have this phrase he would toss out whenever he wanted me to do something that he could easily do himself but was feeling less than motivated to execute. “Would you be a peach?” he’d say. Usually it was followed by a request to get him a glass of water, or roll up the sleeves of his shirt, or you know, something mildly inconvenient for me. But he’d say it in this jokey cute way, and of course I would do it.

Lately I feel like my days are an endless litany of these kinds of mildly inconvenient requests from myself to myself, except I’m not very jokey or cute about it. Would you be a peach and stop droning on about how little time you have? Would you be a peach and update your blog already? You get the picture.

Blog updating is actually still very enjoyable for me, but it’s amazing how quickly I can get out of the habit when I let a few weeks go without regular posts. Ugh. I’m still not done with my deadlines (a few new ones suddenly cropped up) and I’ve been feeling behind in everything. I have to keep reminding myself that I belong to Team Tortoise and not Team Hare. I plod along, one ponderous step at a time, craning my neck in curiosity and befuddlement as I sloooooooooooooooowly make progress.

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What helps is that I’m hugely enjoying this tea that my neighbor brought back for me from Guatemala. It’s Mayan cacao tea with all sorts of purported health benefits. Better blood circulation and improved heart health and all that good stuff. You just soak cacao husks and nibs in hot water for about 10 minutes and the traditional way is to drink it with a little honey, my neighbor told me.

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I add unsweetened almond milk and a touch of raw honey and mmmmmmmmmmmm. It’s not fully chocolate-y, but it hits the spot for me and it’s become a daily ritual. I’m almost running out, so I better get more! I can’t seem to find this brand online, but maybe this one or this one will do the trick…

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Be back soon. With giveaways, I hope. Or maybe even a sewing project of some sort. Gotta get started on that unicorn costume.

I’m wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Would you be a peach?
And forget that I complained?
Thank you very much

 

Happy Friday + Randomness

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Happy Friday! Keeping it super duper short today since we’re attempting to get out of town this weekend. Above is one of the projects I worked on recently for the Seattle Japanese Garden that I believe is already printed by now. I had a wonderful time painting this, and it will be part of their self walking tour brochure. Fun! I hope to work on more maps in the future. I recently saw this book and this book in a store, and deliberated long and hard about purchasing them, but in the end, I left them on the shelf. I heart maps.

What are you up to,
this fine August end o’ week?
Hope it’s full of joy!

P.S. The winner of the embroidery book giveaway is Janice, congrats!