Category Archives: Watercolor

Happy Friday + Randomness


Castle of Sleep – watercolor and gouache 12″ x 16″

Happy Friday! Whew, this week was a bust: my total creative output was one pair of mittens. That painting above is from eons ago – I just shamelessly dig through my old stuff whenever I don’t have anything fresh. Oh well, there have been a few pleasantly surprising turn of events because of my flu/bronchitis/whatever-this-is.

- I’ve been using this contraption with menthol inserts, and the price of indignity rewarded me with amazing skin. It’s like getting a steam facial every day, so I’m practically incandescent. Combined with the insane amounts of water I’m consuming, I’m getting ready to throw out all of my blemish creams. This thingamabob is also the only thing that’s made me feel significantly better.

- Since I wasn’t able to do much, I got to cozy up with some good books (while using the above contraption), and let me tell you, it’s been glorious. I used to be such a bookworm, but with the arrival of my ipad, my bibliophile indulgences have been few and far between this last year. As a result, I have more Pinterest followers than I ever expected, but I am definitely dumber. And my attention span? Nil.

- K and M have been very appreciative of me. They even did the dishes together. This, my friends, is epic.

- I’ve had a lot of time to think. For someone who already thinks too much, I discovered that this may not necessarily be a good thing, but it did raise some interesting questions about what I want to do for next year. More on that later.


Some of you have asked me about the measurements of the infinity scarf I made here. It’s approximately 1.5 yards (about 1.37 meters) long with a 28-inch (about 72cm) circumference opening. It’s the length that gives it such fullness, and I really love this scarf. The key, I think, is to use a thinner knit jersey.


On the first night that I was terribly sick, I was shaking with chills and fever, and pretty much writhing in bed like I was possessed. K sat perched on the edge, patting my foot. And from very, very far away I could hear her little voice:

“Mama? Are you okay? Sweet Mama? I want you to know, you are SO important to me. So important…I hope you feel better (sob).”

It nearly broke my heart, she must have been so scared. And I must look a lot healthier now, because yesterday she stopped listening to me.


Signing off for the weekend, wishing you a spectacular one!

Nothing like the flu
To make you appreciate
all the simple things

Dancing Sparrows


This watercolor painting I did was inspired by a Japanese folktale. The story is about an old man married to a less-than-nice woman, and how she maliciously hurts his pet sparrow one day (cuts out its tongue!), causing the sparrow to fly away. When the old man goes in search for the bird, he discovers that the sparrow — despite its tonguelessness — can talk, and has a family in the woods that entertain the old man with food, drink and dancing. There is a moral about greed and cruelty, and the bitter wife gets punished in the end, but what I loved about the story as a little girl was the visual of dancing sparrows wearing kimonos.

I had lunch with a new friend yesterday and we were talking about how so many classic fairy/folk tales are filled with graphicly frightening stories. Modern day stories for kids are so often devoid of conflict with nary a scary or even truly sad element, which is all well and good, but sometimes I wonder if it’s necessary to make them all so Hollywood happy ending-ish? I don’t remember being horrified by the tongue-cutting of the sparrow story (though maybe I should gave been?), but do remember thinking how lovely it would be to discover that your pet could dance and communicate.

I spend a lot of time thinking of the balance between providing protection and awareness for my child. How do I help her cope with disappointment, loss, fear, hurt, danger, etc. etc. without traumatizing or coddling her? I believe stories help a lot.

This reminds me of an exchange I had with K the other day:

K: C’mon Mommy, we’ve gotta go to [friend's] house ASAP!

Me: Okay, okay, hold your horses…

K: Hey Mama? Did you know that ASAP comes from Aesop’s tales?


Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday! Wow, the comments from the giveaway are giving me a serious case of wanderlust – so many beautiful, tantalizing descriptions and locales! They are also bringing back visceral memories of all the places I’ve traveled — I was quite the adventuress in my youth.

I inherited the traveling bug from my parents and they’ve carted me and my brothers around the globe several times over; and my mom’s been traveling to Seattle to visit multiple times a year for the last seven years. I painted the above in my illustrated journal when K was about one-and-a-half. Whenever she’s with my mom, she nestles close, watching the amazing creations magically appear out of my mom’s hands. It always makes me a bit weepy in a good way.


K is really into sharks these days….

K: Mommy, I want you to make me shark pajamas.

Me: Sure!

K: OK, so here’s what I want – the bottom will be shorts with lots of sharks wearing jammies. The shirt will have a BIG shark sleeping on the front. And there’s a hood that I can flip on with teeth and presto, SHARK.*

*I think we should mass produce these pajamas – doesn’t it sound awesome?



Next week, I’ll be going full force with KCW. It was so fun to guest post, and I loved all the other guest bloggers too! Can’t wait – I won’t be able to post images of outifts every day, but I’ll try to post as often as I can. And who knows, maybe I’ll be able to pull off at least one shark-themed garment. Will you be joining?

Have a wonderful weekend, friends! The weekly haiku:

It’s Ba-chan’s last day
Side-splitting laughs and good food
We will miss you so 

Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday! First of all, thank you so much for all the lovely, thoughtful and thought-provoking comments you left on my post about comparison and its thievish-ness. I loved them all and felt like the topic was a seed for future riveting conversations (hence the illustration – I used watercolor and it’s from a while ago).


There have been a million hilarious conversations between my mom and K in just the last twenty-four hours, but since my mom talks to K in Japanese and she responds back in English, somehow it’s tricky to re-create the hilarity in writing. But there’s been a ton of laughing and giggling, and it’s doing us all a world of good.

Here’s my favorite exchange with K this week:

K: Mommy, I need to make hyperscopic goo.

Me: What’s hyperscopic goo, sweetie?

K: It’s this special thing that makes you invisible! Here’s what I need: water, flour, salt and magic.

Me: Hmmm. I can handle the first three, but I might need some time for the last one.

K: OK! Just let me know, I’ll be upstairs making the exploding tonic*.

*The exploding tonic turned out to be blue marker dipped into water, making it a pretty aqua color. Phew.


Have a terrific weekend, friends! And here’s the weekly haiku:

Daily lunch box notes
I’m running out of good jokes
Do you know any? 


Have you heard? It’s officially spring…

…but I’m not sure if Seattle got the memo. Maybe it’s been blown away by the gales of 40mph winds? I would like to wear a kelly green dress and carry a gigantic bouquet of flowers like my watercolor illustration, if weather will permit some day.

Yesterday, I had to run some errands in downtown and a little boy about the age of three or four came up to me and handed me a daffodil. A creamy white one with a lemon yellow center. A celebration of the first day of spring. I’d forgotten about this annual tradition.

When I got back home, I snipped some flowers from our yard and added them to the white daffodil.

It may not feel like spring, but at least it looks like it. And that, I admit, is not so bad.

Happy Friday + Randomness


Happy Friday! Every day, K makes me laugh. I can’t possibly record every single utterance, but these were my faves this week:

K: I’m so into bugs right now.

Me: Oh yeah?

K: Yeah, I love books with pictures of bugs with information and all that stuff. Chapter books are so last season ago.


K: Mommy, I really want an asteroid. A fluffy one shaped like a bunny.


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend! I leave you with a weekly haiku:

Have a lucky one
St. Paddy’s is this weekend
Don’t forget: wear green




This week, I am hunkering down to get the last of my Christmas gifts done and want to make headway on some art projects. I’m getting close.

Above is one of my all-time favorite illustrations I did in watercolor many moons ago. I love that the mer-girl is riding a seahorse, exploring through the depths of the sea. One day I want to wander through the world on a trusty steed too, seeking out adventures.

Alright, back to hunkering down…

Sewing Illo

I haven’t posted a recent illustration in a while…this here’s a wee work in progress. I scanned in a small chalkboard and painted sewing notions with gold watercolor to merge with the scanned image. I’m liking the painted texture against the chalkboard surface. I used Yasutomo Asian watercolors, which are amazing. The pigments are vibrant and a little goes a long way. I have the 6-piece set, but want all the colors!

With the magic of Photoshop and a flick of a button, presto! We have aqua.

I think this would be cute in a sewing studio — what do you think? The triangles are supposed to be tailor’s chalk and that thing on the left that looks like a baby nasal aspirator (I had to look that up; I was calling it the nose-goop-removal-thing) is technically an awl. Like I said, a work in progress…


I have an art show coming up in January, and I’m sketching out some ideas (the image above and the ones below are watercolor paintings from a previous art show). It’s funny – I don’t really consider myself an artist, though I’ve always loved to make things. I happen to come from a family full of artists and from an early age I was expected to be one. Maybe it’s because of that expectation that I kind of rebelled and went corporate for many, many years (ironic, no?). After so many years convincing myself that I’m not an artist, it feels a little strange to be doing what I’m doing. Though it also feels very right.

At any rate, I’m making art. For a little show. Which is happening so soon and I’ll post more details in a couple of weeks. If you’re in the Seattle area, I hope you’ll be able to stop by!

I’m partial to repeating shapes and want to incorporate them into my new work. I might do something with geometric shapes…

Wishing you a good weekend

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