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!

 

Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday, my friends! I’ve been quiet here, there, everywhere. Thinking a lot, reading a ton.

Speaking of reading, I created the poster above for Sasquatch Books for an upcoming event. Obviously, I had fall on my mind. I also made a spring version:

Which do you like better? I believe it’s getting printed right now, though I don’t know which version they decided to go with. I’m betting autumn.

I haven’t felt engaged online for a long time. Not because there isn’t great content out there or because I’m trying to avoid the media mayhem that’s going on politically and economically. I used to read hundreds of blogs and would eagerly scroll through my Instagram feed. Not anymore.

I’ve just been…quiet. Like I just want to settle into a comfortable settee with a blanket on my lap and a piping hot cup of tea beside me. I want to read books printed on paper for hours on end and occasionally stare out the window to reflect. Just call me granny Sanae. I still send out my monthly Furoku (yes, it’s still mysterious and it’s still hard for me to describe), which I love and there’s a little bit of virtual interaction that goes on there that I enjoy very much.

I guess I’m becoming more protective of my time because it’s all going so fast and I don’t want to miss the precious parts. K started middle school last week and I’m watching her transform before my very eyes. She does so much more on her own now, her face and body are changing and I sense that there are hidden compartments within her that I’m not allowed to access, that I may never be allowed to access. She’s also way more hilarious – she keeps me in stitches when she describes her days of locker drama and weird homeroom protocols and assorted teachers and embarrassing moments. Those keen eyes of hers miss nothing.

Anyway, just thought I’d say hello since it’s been a while. Life is good. Very peaceful and oh-so-quiet right now. But I’ve got an inkling that might be changing soon. The quiet part, I mean.

Have a lovely weekend, all! I hope to be back soon!

P.S. I’m doing an event at Kinokuniya on Sunday, September 17th at 2pm for Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet. If you’re in town and would like a custom watercolor of your favorite creature, come on by!

Happy Friday + Happy Easter

2017-easter

Happy Friday! I always start off with an ambitious list of things I’m determined to complete while my mom is here in Seattle. Since my mom is the world’s greatest babysitter (Homemade Japanese feasts and treats! Art lessons! Never-ending willingness to play board games and charades!), I feel a certain amount of pressure to get as much work done as possible.

And every time, I don’t even make a dent in my list and throw in the towel mid-week. As far as spring break goes, it’s been mellow and uneventful, and we’ve done a whole lot of nothing. The best kind of vacation.

The one thing I have been doing is staying up way too late reading books. For some reason, I’d taken a hiatus from fiction for many months, but now I’m back at it. I’ve become a little obsessed with Patrick Ness and his YA novels. I just finished The Rest of Us Just Live Here and the first book of the Chaos Walking Trilogy. So good. There’s a generosity of spirit and humor in his writing, even when supernatural beings are wreaking havoc and bloody violence. I also read Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which took me a while to get into, but I ultimately loved it. You really can’t go wrong with Rushdie. As you can see, I’ve got a strong fantasy/sci-fi theme going on. K wants me to write a middle grade/YA novel one day, so I’m calling this recent spate of binge reading research. K recommended this book from her own personal library, and I read it in a day. It left me heaving with sobs and utterly spent emotionally. No wonder I needed to escape to fanciful worlds in which animals talk.

My watercolor bunny up there doesn’t have much to say, however. It’s Easter in a couple of days, and I’ve run out of time to make K an outfit. Ah well, let’s hope that I’ll find my sewing energy once the school routine resumes next week. These are the patterns in my queue at the mo:

Naeh-Connection Undies for K

Aster Top by Colette Patterns (I have the PDF ready to assemble)

Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

Hunting Easter eggs
is not as thrilling for K*
But she’s a good sport

*This year, our neighbor’s tiny tot is joining our annual Easter egg hunt, so the challenge level will skew to the ridiculously easy side. When do kids officially stop wanting to look for candy-filled plastic eggs? It seems like K is pretty over it…

Happy Friday + Randomness

donkey1

Happy Friday! The other day K looked at me and said, “I don’t know why, Mama, but I think your spirit animal is a donkey.” At first, I was thrown off because Eeyore came immediately to mind.

Later, I did a little research and I think I’m in love with donkeys. Did you know that contrary to common perception, donkeys are extremely intelligent? And that they’re not easily startled and are super strong? They have a well-developed sense of self-preservation (which accounts for their stubbornness) and are incredibly curious creatures. After examining quite a few photos and sketching a couple of donkeys, I now know that they’re adorable. Maybe not as glamorous as horses, but quite beautiful in their own way.

 

donkey2

I marveled at K’s wisdom. I’ve spent a lifetime trying to be a horse and battling a nagging (ha) sense of unease about it. All this time, I was actually a donkey, an animal that I had discounted as somehow lesser. Which of course, it’s not. I feel like there’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I’m embarking on making another pair of jeans tonight — I’m so excited!!!!

Alas, I’m a lass
granted a spiritual ass
hee haw hee haw hee

 

My next book! Chibi Samurai Wants a Pet

chibi-cover

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