April Round-Up

Hi, hi, hi! How are you, my friends?

April has been a packed month, and the countdown to the photoshoot for my next book has begun. I have 3 weeks to get all the prep work done, which involves a lot of sewing and figuring out props and coordinating schedules. I’m getting more and more excited!

As you can imagine, my days are full and will continue to be extra full for at least another two months as I wrap up all the details of book #8 (yes, #8!!!! I’ve published 3 kids’ books, 2 sewing books, and have 2 more kids’ books that are whirring through the printing press as I type this). So I’m keeping this blog post short, and let’s dive in!

I dipped my toes into sewing a little bit out of my comfort zone for the month of April:

Clockwise from top left:

Butterick 6024 in off-white handkerchief linen – Pintucks still intimidate me, but I’m getting better at ’em!

Tank top from Pattern Magic in pink batiste – I botched this one, but tried my best to salvage it

Lodo Dress by True Bias in a double-knit from JoAnn – Such a comfortable dress! I’ve worn it a few times already.

New Look 6556 in a bamboo/Spandex knit from Drygoods Design – A simple tee with a twist: asymmetrical hem and draped side. It reminds me of something that I’d seen at Anthropologie many moons ago.

Wattlebird Jumpsuit by Common Stitch Studio in a light weight reddish/brown twill – I’m not much a jumpsuit gal, but something about this design really appealed to me. It’s not teenager-approved (K thought it looked weird and hazmat-suit-esque), but I like it!

As always, you can see more details on my Instagram feed.

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Since the pandemic started, I’ve firmly established a daily art journaling habit and I’m noticing that I’m getting faster and faster at painting. Paradoxically, when I notice how rapidly I’m slapping watercolors onto paper, I try to deliberately slow down. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m turning 50 this year, and I just don’t have any desire to speed through life. I want to savor everything, you know?

Anyway, I had fun painting these:

 

I was lucky enough to contribute to DAWN, the newest edition of Making Magazine. I made cute little house shoes and here’s a quick snap of one of the many samples that I shipped to the good folks at Making:

These are so easy and quick to make, and the DAWN issue of MAKING is absolutely lovely.

Alright my friend, that’s a wrap for April and I hope to have some updates about the photoshoot or at the very least more sewing and watercolors to share next time! Have a wonderful month!!

 

 

Happy Holidays + Freebie Printables

2016-holidayprintables1

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

unicorn-paper1

 

 

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 Friday + Randomness

magnolias

Happy Friday! The flowers. They’re just everywhere, eye candy galore. The winds and general elements are starting to pluck away at the magnolia and the cherry blossom petals, but tulips are overtaking the landscape. Seattle is at its height of floral beauty around this time of year. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

A quick watercolor sketch today (hmmmm, as I’m looking at it, they blooms resemble campfire, do they not?), as I have some preparations ahead of me. My mom is coming next Tuesday, a new baby is joining our little townhouse complex (my neighbor is at the hospital delivering her baby as I type this) and I just feel the urge to freshen everything up.

It’s amazing what a few consecutive days of sunshine will do to boost the mood. I’m wishing you a beauteous weekend, my friends.

No April Fool’s here
Didn’t get the prankster gene
The other two did*

*M and K are both tricksters, so I better be on the lookout today!

P.S. Furoku members, #13 is heading your way tomorrow!!

Backyard Art Camp – Wayne Thiebaud

Today, I’m jazzed to talk about art with kids! A while back, I was contacted by Jane of Buzzmills, and she invited me to participate in the awesome Backyard Art Camp series she is co-hosting with Melissa of A Happy Stitch. The idea is simple and brilliant: choose an artist, learn about said artist and work, then create a fun project inspired by the artist in some way with your kid(s). I was immediately in. And knew instantly who I wanted to feature: Wayne Thiebaud.

Wayne Thiebaud is an American artist who became famous for his dessert paintings during the Pop Art era, which I’m sure you’ve seen at some point. I checked out this book from the library months ago and was reminded of how much I love his art:

It’s a simplified version of his life, of course, meant for children, but I enjoyed it immensely. I especially love the accessibility, the humor, and beautiful use of textures and colors of his work. I saw his oil paintings for the first time at the SFMOMA over fifteen years ago, and spent the most time in front of his pieces. I love that he was tenacious and painted his whimsical art despite having a hard time getting taken seriously. There is a quote from him in the beginning of the book: “I had a great life, so about the only thing I can do is to paint happy pictures.” And I agree. His paintings are cheerful and buoyant.

So. The book was not available for this project, unfortunately, but K and I viewed this video together and looked at a few of his paintings online. Then we dug into the best part: creating the project!

I decided to make it a two-in-one project including cooking and painting. Part 1 was the making of “fruit pizzas” and Part 2 was the painting of the delectable creations. Following are the easy steps. This is a great project for kids aged 4 to 8 – the kids I did this with are 7 and 8, and they loved it.

PART 1: FRUIT PIZZAS

Supplies
Butter cookies
Cream cheese (plain and strawberry)
Fruit (any fruit that strikes your fancy, but we used pineapples, strawberries, mandarin oranges and blueberries)

1. Make the cookies. We used this recipe and the cookies were fantastic! Store-bought would also be more than OK, especially for younger kids. Each cookie was about three to four inches in diameter.

2. Spread cream cheese on cookies and decorate with fruit. K and her buddy S got very creative with these!

 

PART 2: FRUIT PIZZA PAINTINGS

Supplies
Canvas (I had 8×8 inch canvases lying around, but you could get similar ones at your local art store. Plain paper works just fine too, but the girls got a thrill from using real canvas)
Acrylic paint
Plastic dishes or paint palettes
Paintbrushes
Water
Papertowels/napkins for wiping off paint

1. Let the kids arrange the fruit pizzas on a platter or cake stand, unless the kids are very young. Spillage will result in very unhappy painters.

2. Place small dollops of paint in different colors on a plastic dish or palette. Let the kids go to town. I did do a brief art lesson explaining how Thiebaud applied paint thickly to get the texture and how to mix colors, rinse the brushes, etc.

3. Admire their work and take pictures! Bonus: dig into the fruit pizzas after the paintings are done!

 

Make sure to check Buzzmills and A Happy Stitch for fabulous projects, and there are oodles of other art-inspired projects from the other Backyard Art Camp participants too:

Happy Friday + Art Show Wrap-Up

Happy Friday, everyone! What a good week it’s been. I taught ceramics to kindergartners yesterday, and they are the best. I love how there’s no inhibition to ask for help, how they are all naturally brilliant artists. I say, “make an animal” or “create a story with just symbols and images” and there is no shortage of inspiration and they dive in with gusto. Not an iota of hesitation. So great. I have much to learn from these five-year-olds.

My art show is wrapping up next week! I made thank you cards for the folks who purchased my work; I cheated and they are machine-stitched onto cardstock, but I think they’re still in keeping with the general sashiko theme. The fabric got a little wriggly when I sewed onto the paper, but whenever I don’t uphold Martha Stewart-esque standards, I just shrug and tell myself, “it’s charming.”

There are five that didn’t sell, but I have grand (secret) plans for these so they are spoken for at this time. I’ve already shown you a few others and the one above called wabi-sabi, which I am claiming for myself, but I don’t think I’ve shared the other four yet:

Iro Iro (Color Color), 12″ x 12″, Acrylic with embroidery on linen canvas

Shiro (White), 10″ x 10″, Embroidered linen patchwork embroidered onto canvas

Hachinosu (Beehive), 8″ x 8″, Acrylic with embroidery on linen canvas

Uchi (House), 8″ x 8″, Acrylic with embroidery on linen canvas

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And a haiku:

Some tutorials
I  did not get to finish
Next week, I promise

Almost done with the photos, but need to write it all up. I have renewed respect for all you amazing ladies who post tutorials on a regular basis; I feel like I’m creating a stop motion video! Have a lovely, lovely weekend friends – it’s March, which means spring will be upon us so very soon!