Happy Friday + Randomness


Happy Friday! This week I’ve been diving in full force and working on my book, and I’ve just made a happy discovery. I love painting with gouache, but with the kinds of illustrations I want to create I need a lot of control and the flexibility to change things on the fly. The beauty of traditional painting is the lovely unintentional effects that can happen. The not so beautiful part is the permanence of a painted line when mistakes are made — no undo button! Enter digital watercolor painting. Can you tell which one was done digitally above? Okay, you can probably tell (it’s the one on the right), but pretty darn close, no? It’s my first attempt at digital watercolor painting, so things can only improve going forward.

As I was sketching, I realized that watercolor brushes are available in Photoshop and after watching hours and hours of youtube videos (what did we do before youtube?), I’m starting to get the hang of it. It’s so much fun!!! And the best part: no mess, no accidental water spillage, no washing of brushes, and — this one happens way too often — no dipping brushes in my tea. Definitely my kind of painting. There are tons of free brushes available for download, and I’ll try to assemble a list of brushes and tutorials after I’ve tried several out, more as a reference for myself.


How about this one? Can you tell which one is digital? I’ll let you guess…


Secret Valentine Exchangers! Gifts should be shipped by today, if at all possible. I’m getting so excited to see all the teaser photos in the Flickr Pool. The always astute (and hilarious) Lightning McStitch requested a list of all participants, and I’m working on it. Not everyone has a blog, but I hope all participants will be able to post photos of received gifts on Valentine’s Day and I will feature the photos here on the blog (for some international shipping, the gifts may a take a bit longer to arrive). Fun!


K on my cooking:

Mama, I love everything you cook! Except for this thing today. Blegh. What IS it*??

* It was a miso-ginger noodle soup I made up. And that first sentence is a lie — she dislikes almost everything I cook unless it involves copious amounts of cheese!



Have a relaxing weekend, all! I’m off to make myself a piping hot cup of tea and practice more digital painting…

Brrrr….such arctic temps
Seattle is not immune
to polar vortex

Holiday Prep


Just popping in to quickly say that Santa’s sweatshop is in full force here, and I am in the throes of toy-making (and last-minute-gift-sewing) at the moment.

This year I’ve finally come to the sobering conclusion that I’m afflicted with a condition called Crafter’s Delusion. Symptoms include a total disregard for realistic time management, an overblown sense of crafting skills and a rather worrisome need to hoard supplies and materials just in case. This condition manifests itself when strolling through retail stores and a deluge of thoughts will invade the mind. Thoughts like,  “Pshaw, I can make that in five minutes for 50 cents” or “That’s pretty cool, but wouldn’t it be cooler with a giant hand-embroidered monogram?” or “So what if I’ve never knit socks before? I’ll just go buy twenty skeins. That looks totally easy.” Never the case.

Anyway, ’tis the season to not panic about the fact that Christmas is NEXT WEEK.

I “accidentally” found K’s letter to Santa a couple of days ago, and her list made me smile. She wants:

a big piano (she just started taking piano lessons and loves it. I wasn’t sure if she’d take to the piano so she currently has a little keyboard)

a Kindle (not happening. Santa will have to do some convincing)

a Spanish-English dictionary (??)

“yer picchter” (this one kills me. First of all, are they not teaching my daughter how to spell at that school of hers? It took me a while to figure out that it’s “your picture”, as in, she wants cold, hard proof of existence – clearly someone is having some trust issues)

And the best part:

P.S. Are you a girl? You write like my mom.



Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday! Poor K has had the sniffles for the last few days, and I’ve been plying her with a mixture of lemon juice and honey in warm water to soothe her throat. Luckily, I’m hale and hearty still, though I might have felt a tickle this morning. It’s a little unsettling to see K with such low energy. This is the girl who usually has the sass to say things like, “Don’t micromanage me, Mommy.”* But I think she’s on the mend and we now have the weekend to fully recuperate.

Just a quick note today as I need to go and prepare for my first ever sewing class this Sunday! Wishing you all a happy, happy weekend!

*This left me speechless, as you can imagine – where could she have possibly learned that?


I’m off to teach class
A little nervous, I am
though it will be fun! 

Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday, my lovely friends! I had hoped to be much more productive this week with K in camp (which has been so fantastic – art! glass museum and ceramics studio visits! 3-D movies!), but I’ve mysteriously frittered away time and now I’ll be doing “Mama camp” at K’s request for the remainder of summer. Postings might get spotty the next couple of weeks, but I will do my best to stick to my regular programming!

Some exciting news: I’m teaching a sewing class! I like to call Keli, the owner of the fabulous Drygoods Design, my “fabric dealer”. I love Keli. Not only is she super cool and fun, she has the most discerning eye when it comes to textile design and her store really is delightful and very dangerous for the likes of me on a fabric diet. As you’ve surmised I’m sure, I will be teaching at Drygoods’ adorable sewing studio make*do*mend. It’s going to be an all-day workshop covering — what else? — how to sew from Japanese patterns! More details forthcoming, but the date is currently set for October 13th, and I’ll keep you posted on updates for those of you local that might want to sign up. Nervous! Thrilled! (up there is an illustration Keli commissioned for their store – they carry tote bags with the design too.)


On blogging:

K: Mommy, you’re famous!

Me: I am?

K: Yeah, SO MANY people check your blog at my school. Like, THREE people! [here, she shook her head in sincere wonder]


About camp:

K: Mama, I love camp!! It’s so fun and my favorite part is going outside rather than the art room.

Me: What is it about outside that you like better?

K: You know, I like to chillax. The art room is too much work.


Have a wonderful weekend full of chillaxing, everyone — see you back here on Monday!

Pitter pattering
unexpected rain* propels
cool weather sewing 

*It’s suddenly chilly and rainy here in Seattle — good for Fall sewing mojo!

Happy Friday + Randomness

Happy Friday! The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of celebrations and there’s still one last hurrah this weekend. After the American Girl bonanza, I’m determined to not go overboard with K’s party this weekend. M and I will be entertaining about 10 kids and I’m shooting for an ultra casual gathering. Of course, I’m already making elaborate DIY plans for a magnetic “Pin the button on the Dress” game, so I might already be shifting over to the dark side of overdoing things…Oh, and I got a pinata that doesn’t require whacking (as illustrated above, you just pull on those ribbons), and I hope the kids don’t find it too anti-climactic.

I wouldn’t have been able to get everything done without my mom aka Ba-chan. There are some things happening behind the scenes that could become incredibly exciting so I’ve been unusually busy, and she’s been steadfast and a dream babysitter/gourmet chef/all-around supporter. And I don’t think I mentioned that I got into an accident earlier this week (all cars and people involved are fine, and thankfully, it wasn’t my fault. A car backed right into me in the middle of the street!) – it’s been a crazy week.


Overheard an exchange between K and M the other day:

K: C’mon Butter Creams, let’s have game time*.

M: Alright Butter Bunions, let’s go.

*”Game time” is special bonding time that K and M regularly have that involves practicing karate kicks or playing video games. I have no idea what these nicknames mean.


Wishing you a thoroughly enjoyable weekend! I’ll be back on Monday with something a little different…

Thanks so much, Ba-chan
On Saturday you will leave
How will we function?