Heartfelt Thanks


Well, that was exciting! And nerve wracking. And outrageously inspiring. I’m talking, of course, about my Furoku Membership post. You, my wonderful, wonderful friends, have given me so much to think about, hope for and strive toward. I pored over every comment, teared up anew with every considerate and helpful email, gasped and shook my head in wonder every time someone signed up (!!). Even if I harangued you with thank yous every minute for the next decade, it wouldn’t be enough…


I spent a good chunk of time setting up and creating furoku #1 last week, which will go out tomorrow. Given that I leapt blindly and headfirst to get this going without a lot of forethought, this first one is going to end up on the lo-tech side of things and I’m researching ways to build the membership site (I’m getting excited about offering video tutorials). Still, I’m pleased with what I was able to cull together in the short time, and I’m determined to make next month’s even better.

I’ll keep the subscribe button active till the end of the day today and will open up membership again some time in the middle of next month when I post the monthly income report. I may change this and have an option to join any time, but my technical know-how is still in its infancy and I have a few things to figure out about tracking and such. How many joined, you may be wondering? For now, I’ll just say: a small yet mighty number. I’ll share exact numbers and other tidbits with the report!


“Enjoy the little things” — that charming note up at the top is from my Secret Valentine partner, Mirta of Modern Botanics. Her gift embodies everything I adore: neutral colors, graphic elements, linen, a bit of wabi-sabi flair. I am smitten with her hand-stamped linen tea towels and the soothing lavender sachets:

mirta-teatowels mirta-sachet

Thank you for the loveliest of gifts, Mirta! Your message is so on point – it really is about enjoying the little things.



SVE was one of the inspirations for the membership idea, and it holds a special place in my heart because it was borne out of collaboration. Ute and I accidentally stumbled upon a community of generous women willing to make and ship gifts around the world, to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a non-traditional way. We ended up with 100 participants (I’ve listed them all down below, though I think there may have been some additional folks who joined in later that maybe didn’t get captured in our list?) in 20+ countries. Wow. It was, more than anything, a celebration of creativity and thoughtfulness. Perhaps it’s just my own impression, but a quick glance at what’s popularized on the internet leads me to believe that thoughtfulness is an under-appreciated and precious quality.

Here is the list of SVE participants in total. I’ve included blog URLs and linked the names to instagram accounts where applicable (check out #2015sve for a roundup of in-progress and completed projects). There’s also much to admire on Flickr. What a talented and magnanimous bunch! I know some gifts took longer than others to arrive and Ute and I greatly appreciate everyone’s patience — we really had no idea so many people would participate from across the globe! Let me know if I missed anything, and we hope you all had as much fun as we did! Mark it in your calendar: #2016sve!!

Ailsa C
Alexandra L
Alexandra R moonstitches.typepad.com
Alison B
Amanda S
Amy L izamonky.blogspot.com
Angela S sewsnippet.wordpress.com
Ann B fretnotyourself.blogspot.com
Anna K
Anne M amaskellantics.com
Anneke C annekecaramin.com
Annette H
Annie B
Annika F naeh-connection.blogspot.de
Anu S crazyestonian.com/blog
Asmita H elephantinthestudy.wordpress.com
Becca F beccaeff.com
Beccy T
Betsy C
Brienne M briennemoody.typepad.com
Bronwyn T
Carrie S
Catrin K stoffbuero.wordpress.com
Charlotte C
Christiane M
Claudette G
Courtney C chinneus.blogspot.com
Dagny S finallyfinishedcrafts.blogspot.com
Dena W
Denise G dottiedoodle.wordpress.com
Diana R mamma190.blogspot.it
Dolores W achtungkinder.blogspot.co.at
Elle H
Fiona L fionamakes.wordpress.com
Georgina H hausofharridan.wordpress.com
Grace G
Helen P
Holly S
Idoia L
Isabelle R ocnietcompagnie.wordpress.com
Jana S effortlessattention.net
Jana V janavalachovicova.com
Janice H socalsewingmom.blogspot.com
Janine T
Jeannie P jeanniepham.blogspot.com
Jillian L sewunravelled.com
Jing D jingandtonic.blogspot.com
Johanna R
Jule R
Julie Ma
Julie M
Karina R cameoofkarina.blogspot.ca
Kate S thepolkadotroom.wordpress.com
Kathryn S mrsaprilsstorytime.blogspot.ca/
Kathy S
Kc S
Kelley T
Kimberly D coffinwax.tumblr.com
Kristi M sweetkmblogs.blogspot.com
Kylie B
Lara E 1000stoff.de
Leeane B facebook.com/smallshapespottery
Lena G
Lightning McStitch bartacksandsingletrack.blogspot.com
Lisa K paprikapatterns.com
Lucinda P
Maria A Mariakalex.blogspot.de
Maria dMH mycozyco.com
Marisa M thirtynineblog.blogspot.com
Marta S doguincho.blogdpot.com
Maximiliana H
Meagan K howikopp.blogspot.com
Mia M
Miriam W madebymiri.de
Mirta A modernbotanics.com
Molly G lifewithzeke.blogspot.com
Monika M schneidernmeistern.de
Natalie M
Nicole T
Nina A fliegfederfrei.com
Patrícia B pequenomundoa3.blogspot.pt/
Pips S thegirlinateacup.com
Renee W
Rhoda K
Rita V conversasdehermanas.com
Samantha M
Sanae I
Sara S made-by-sara.blogspot.com
Sarah D diyinterrupted.blogspot.com
Sarah Keith V dearlittlewater.blogspot.com
Sarah R Notchesandnotions.blogspot.com
Silvia p fraugoldmanufaktur.blogspot.de
Siobhan L
Steffi G feinverzwirnt.blogspot.de
Tammy G
Teresa B adventuresofagirlfromthenaki.blogspot.co.nz/
Tracey P
Ute S
Valerie S lifeamidstthechaos.wordpress.com
Veronika W tagfuerideen.blogspot.com

21 thoughts on “Heartfelt Thanks

  1. Your gifts from Mirata are wonderful. I’m excited that you are getting underway so quickly with your new plan!!

  2. thank you for sharing my gifts to you Sanae, I loved making them for you! the SVE is a beautiful project, I’m thankful I found it.

    1. Mirta! Your gifts are so absolutely beautiful and although I have the tea towels hanging in my kitchen at the moment, the members of my family have been instructed not to sully them! :-). I have the sachets beside me and they really are soothing. Thank you, thank you!! So happy that you joined SVE.

  3. Dear Sanae! After I left my comment on your last post about the new membership idea, I vacillated back and forth about joining. On one hand the money thing, but on the other I really wanted to support you. I am glad you posted today and I still have a chance to join, which I did. I wasn’t sure about how long the trial was going to be, not until I read the comments and your replies to them just now, etc. So I am in and am so excited for you and for me! I really like the idea of being part of a smaller community.

    I like and support the idea of buying fabric of your own design. There were many great ideas in the comments.

    Good luck and have fun!

    1. I’m thrilled that you’ve joined and thank you also for your email – it brightened my day! It’s already very, very fun and I’m looking forward to learning and improving!

  4. Thanks for sharing the links! I clicked on a few of them and was delighted to see such creativity. This is what I was talking about…being the central point that I check daily not only to read but also to fan out to other sites that may share similar sentiments. Looking forward to my first furoku!

    1. Amazing, right? I’m constantly in awe of the profound effect of handmade. There’s something about a hand-stitched, hand-knit, handmade-anything that infuses a sense of kinship or a soul into the objects, don’t you think? Thank you, Kay and I’m working away on the furoku!

    1. Yes! I’m very excited to explore the fabric design option. I know that in some cases the financial returns are similar to book publishing, but I also know a couple of designers that are making it a full-time career and I’ve already made plans to talk to them to find out more! Thank you, Kristi!

  5. I am so happy to hear of so much support for your idea! I think you are onto something very good!
    And thank you for the SVE round up! Quite an impressive list 🙂 Makes me happy too! Yes, let´s celebrate thoughtfulness, creativity and community again next year…with 200 people?! xoxo

    1. At least 200, I’m sure! Thanks for taking this on with me, Ute. I couldn’t have done it without you, and you made it so so fun. Team SVE!

  6. So awesome to hear about the response! And good to see a list of everyone who participated! I do have to say that my link has changed from annettetirette.com to annekecaramin.com… Just a heads up!

    1. Thanks for letting me know Anneke! I’ve just changed it. 🙂 I’m so delighted that you joined in 2015 SVE. Hope to see you take part again next year!

  7. this post makes me happy:) Happy to hear that a “small but mighty” number of people have signed up. Happy to hear that SVE 2015 was such a success. Happy to see the lovely gifts you received from Mirta. That card at the top is so beautiful, and really says it all, doesn’t it? I’m also glad to hear that you’re considering video tutorials; really any tutorials at all would be awesome as part of the membership – you are such a clear instructor. And “yes” to Sanae designed fabric (printed on linen, of course:)!

    1. Yes, lots of happiness abound, Lucinda! Thank you for participating in SVE again, and I hope you’ll be back for more next year! Mirta is a huge talent and she has a great business with her hand-stamped / handmade goods, which is a huge inspiration!

  8. I didn’t get to comment on your last post, Sanae, but your furoku idea sounds beautiful. It reminded me of Leonie Dawson’s million dollar idea when she realised she could “give it all away” to her subscribers…everything she made each year in terms of content…what an abundant idea! And it has led to her huge success. http://leoniedawson.com/how-to-have-a-one-million-dollar-idea/
    I wonder if someone like her might be a help to you, as she and her academy specialise in helping creatives make successful businesses 🙂 there is certainly a leap from making art to selling for a living!…I’m yet to try it for myself, but one day….
    I agree with the tip about deciding how your free blog content and subscriber content differ, it seems important to have both being vital and lovely, to attract people and also to make the subscribing seem worthwhile. I’m sure you have lots of ideas about that too!
    The best of luck to you 🙂

    1. My brain is on overdrive, Jasha! I do have to focus on getting the book done first, but once I’ve got that in good shape, I plan on focusing like a laser on the membership site to make it as valuable as possible. Thank you for your kind words!

  9. Dear Sanae, I received my first furoku and am totally delighted! Frankly, I did not expect much — I really joined to help you out in your big adventure but your furoku is worth every bit of my investment. Love reading your story, love the mini cards and yes, I did print them up on cream colored cardstock and they turned out beautifully! This was my first time doing something like that and it was easy with your clear instructions. Your artwork is gorgeous and I am oddly quite proud to be the owner of these original cards and can’t wait to use them. Not sure I like cutting out the envelopes but they are charming and really, the cards do need made to order matching envelopes. I was also touched by your donation of part of the proceeds to a worthy cause. And thank you also for the discount for fabric! This furoku was a big hit with me and I can’t wait until next month!

    1. p.s. Cutting out the envelopes took very little time and they are so well shaped that folding is intuitive as well as professional looking. Also viewed the video and enjoyed it immensely!

      1. Oh Kay, your comment made me so happy! I put a lot of effort into the furoku, and I had a lot of technical figuring out to do with the newsletter format, etc. which was extremely fun and put my brain to work. 🙂 Thank you for such uplifting feedback – I appreciate it tons!

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