Sunday, March 11, 2012

Handmade Gifts from Friends (Warning: The longest blogpost ever!)

Lawson and Lotti

I'm guest blogging at Charlotte's lovely blog at Lawson and Lotti today
as a part of Sundays Sewing Space she has been hosting. 
It's been really nice to peak through my virtual friends' sewing space every Sunday
on her blog and am so honored that Charlotte has kindly asked me to share
my space on her blog.  My space isn't anything like you see on Pinterest, but
I like my space because it is filled with lovely handmade gifts from friends. 
On Charlotte's blog I talked about my sewing space mainly (and you'll
hear Joe's perspective on the way how we share one room.) 


Here I'd like to introduce handmade gifts as well as other pretty things 
in my sewing space that I have been meaning to share with you forever! 


I bet you have seen this on Kerry's blog already. Yup, it was 
made by her for my birthday/house-warming gift! You don't even have to
hear me to know how much I love it, do you? It's SO ME!
I found this super cute vintage bathroom cleanser on Flickr last year and had to
share it with Kerry because she and I often find the same things cute.
I just love the combination of deep pink and green so much!
Can you believe she made this pillow using the same color palette???
You can read more about this pillow on her blog here, but all these
nine blocks are categorized as friendship blocks. Lots of fabrics she used 
for it are fabrics we have talked about, bought together, or fabrics I sent her.
This is the first and only handmade pillow I have ever received in my life
and I care about it too much to use it as a pillow. Here it is rested on my chair
just for a picture purpose, but usually it is in our bedroom for decoration.
I look at it every morning and think how lucky I am to own it.
When you are over Kerry's, don't forget to check out her friendship pillow tutorial!


This is the pinnie I am so happy to have on my work station now.
When I first saw this crabby pinnie whipped up by Heidi of craft:nosis,
I instantly fell in love so bad. The next second I found myself begging her to 
make one for me. Call me selfish, I even asked her to make mine pink!
Although I wanted to have this in my sewing space in the US, it attracted this
boy I used to babysit at my place a little too much I had to store it where
he can't reach to prevent him from needle-related injury. Now my space doesn't
have to be kids-friendly, so it is on this cutting mat feeling quite safe and proud.
So adorable, right?! Heidi has written a tute on this pinnie here!


I've gushed about things made by my super talented friend Mary quite a few
times on this blog. I don't know anybody who can sew and stitch so perfectly like Mary!
I have so much to learn from this lady. She is not only so talented, but is
also such a kind, generous person! She has given me so many lovely
things in the past few years and I treasure each and every single thing she made for me.

This completely adorable pink penguin object was made by Mary's
neighbor girl who "lives to craft." So so so cute it's almost edible!


Yes, my friends know how much I love animals! 
I've already shared this lovely Oto quilt made by Sonja of
Artisania who makes the most unique and adorable paper-piecing
patterns! Since I talked about this, many people have sent me
email asking when Sonja would have this for sale. Well, guess what?
She has it available in her shop now! She even included a pattern 
with Oto's ears being pointy (like normal cats) so if you like cats
ears that way, you have no problem with this pattern!

Let me show you some funny pictures of Oto that I took when
we were at our parents' house for the New Year.


 Joe: "Hey, Oto, look behind you!" 
Oto: "No thank you I've got stuff to take care."


- Oto leaving -


Shiro: "Oh wait, Oto! You got to see this! I see some edamame!"


 Oto: "What? Edamame!? What??? Me also???"


Oto "What did I see just now......?"
Joe "That was you pieced by Sonja, Oto!"


This super cute framed purse, (which is called gamaguchi here) was a 
part of a surprise gift Tara of Tinkerfrog sent me along with gifts
from Penny of sew take a hike. I just love these ladies! They were so
nice to plan this surprise gift since October last year. I got a big
package from them just about several weeks ago when I needed
real encouragement. You have no idea how gooooooood I felt about 
the package and how awesome it smelled! Tara makes handmade soap,
facial lotion, and chap sticks which she was so generous to include!


I used to make soap like mad before I dipped my toe into sewing,
which I've told you about too many times already maybe. I have not
made soap for years, but that does not mean I have forgotten
about how nice handmade soap feels. I have been feeling guilty
about using a store-bought soap which isn't so friendly to the skin.
I have yet to have the guts to start using Tara's soap, but I already
started using the lotion and the chap stick daily! I love love love them!


Here is what Penny sent me : a cute, cute market bag and a scrubbie!
This is my very first market bag anyone has made for me! I so enjoy thinking about 
coming back from a grocery store with this bag filled with groceries in the basket of my bike.
When I told Penny I would never use it, she kindly said she'd be
happier if I actually used it, so I bring it to the grocery store now, but I 
have yet to have the guts to use it especially when the weather is so 
unpredictable. (Joe and I went on a little hot springs trip this
past few days not knowing it would be rainy and snowy all day!)
The scrubbie has been decorated in my teeny kitchen!
You can purchase the scrubbie pattern in her shop here!
It feels so nicely soft and scrubby - comforting to touch!
Speaking of Penny, we may have something in the works together -
I'll reveal it for you in a week or so ;)


 This adorable purse was waiting for me when I came back
from my parents' in January. It was a surprise Christmas gift from
Kerry!! It is so small it fits perfectly on my palm! The little milk
object is also from Kerry but was sent to me for Christmas in 2010.
I love them decorated together like this!!


This cutie, I associate with so many nice memories with Tamiko.
Tamiko is one of my very few real life carfty friends, although we live far apart now.
We met on Flickr last year and found that she worked in the building right across
where I used to live. Since I had been admiring her works for ages,
I asked her if we could maybe meet up for some fabric shopping one day.
She said yes and we hung out to go to some fabric stores in San Francisco.
We totally hit it off! I just had such a blast hanging out with this super lovely,
funny, and crafty girl! At the end of the day when she was about to drop me off,  
I begged her to come to my place, which by the way isn't like me. 
My apartment was in a huge mess, and I didn't tell Joe that I would bring someone 
I just met (and it didn't help that Joe had suspected Tamiko might be a serial killer),
but I just really wanted to spend more time with her.  We then at my place, flipped through
Kumiko Fujita's ABC book and talked about making this particular 
potholder in the book together. Although we hung out enough times to be able to
finish the potholders, I started slacking off on this, which eventually gave her
this idea to make one for me! Last time we hung out before my move, she gave me
this along with Kona cotton solids card which I still don't know where she found.
(I had been hunting on it with no luck forever!)

If you ever meet anyone virtually who shares the same hobby as you and she happens
to be your neighbor, I strongly suggest you meet up with her especially if most
crafty friends you have are virtual friends. You have no idea how FUN it is
to actually talk about fabric and sewing in person! Joe thought it was strange
I would ever talk about missing someone I had known for only a few months, 
but I consider her as one of my truly awesome friends I made in the bay area.


This is a lovely needle book Nancy has made for me based on
a pattern by Bari J. Nancy is just super nice! She has been so supportive 
of my little etsy shop and one day she sent me this lovely Christmas gift to
thank me for listing fun Japanese fabrics. How generous is she?
Her works are sometimes found in Canadian sewing magazines.
This needle book is so cute I just love looking at it.


Jennifer of Ellison Lane surprised me with this pretty little mug rug 
which she included in a little package along with an add-an-inch ruler
she kindly shared with me! You know how much I love pink and white
and anything with a kitchen-theme! This mug rug is so special because the little
floral print is the same fabric Jennifer's mom made a dress out of for Jennifer's
little girl! I saw the picture of her in the dress and made me 
treasure this mug rug more! I will never place a cup on it.
It looks nice hanging in my craft space!
(The little strawberry peaking at the right top corner 
is a lavender sachet from Charise- so cute!)

Ok, let me now move onto the other side of the room.


I am not done setting up this side of the room, but this is what
I've got so far ;) 


This is one of my most recent handmade gifts from friends.
It is made by Amy of During Quiet Time. I hear you wowing at this!
After emailing back and forth, I succeeded in sweet-talking Amy into
making a mini quilt for me! I told her how I covet this mini
quilt she made as a part of the swap she was in and look what she did!
She made a quilt just like that for me! It's just more pink (yay!)
and has the lovely curtain and the bird (yay yaaay!).


I don't know where to begin. You know this is one of those
things I just love everything about, literally everything! Amy and I share
the love for miniatures and this quilt very much reminds me of the time 
I used to make miniature food. There is something about the miniature world
I just love so much. It was my hobby of a decade ago, but I still love
miniatures and subscribe to several miniature/doll house related blogs only to
look at them and go wow wow wow! Ever since I hung this quilt in my room,
I have been wanting my friends to come over to my place.
I'd love them to notice that the closet's door and open to find this surprise inside!


Lovely things hanging from the linen covered cork board.
Those two crochet flowers were from Amy of Chick Chick Sewing.
(You know how much I love pink and grey!)
Felt owls below were from Kim, my mother-in-law who gave me
this book that has this cute owl pattern. 
(Speaking of her, can you believe how excited Joe and I are
abut his parents coming over to Japan this October?!)
The A keychain is from Tara! There is a penguin on the back ;) So adorable!


Isa of crafting with love seriously makes the most endearing
duckling applique in the world! Hands down!
I found this in the mail on the way to go out about a few weeks before Christmas.
I remember feeling so warm and fuzzy inside to discover this little
stocking she made, which I had been adoring ever since I saw it in her blog!
 I had no idea it was for me until I opened the package! How lucky am I?


She is so good at surprising me! This too was another ducking projects of hers 
which I fell in love at first sight. I don't think I ever hinted at her that I wanted it,
but this came all the way from Germany to the US and then to Japan! 
All my friends go nuts about this when I show them this cutie.


When Penny and I became friends, we decided to do a little swap,
and I asked her to make a mini quilt for me with pink fabrics. (so now you know I have this
bad habit of asking friends to make minis for me when I am so inspired by them!)
I remember the moment I received this quilt and going crazy about it. I couldn't help 
myself but bring it to my friends' for a little show off!
"See? Making friends online is awesome!"


This cat shaped lavender sachet was whipped up by the lovely Katarina!
Lots of nice goodies were sent along with this kitty all the way
from Slovakia. She was so nice to include a guide book of
Slovakia which has made Joe and I seriously talk about taking a trip there ;)

OK, what a loooong blogpost it has become! lol!
I doubt there is anybody who read everything in this post,
but I am happy that I finally got to share these lovelies anyway.

For your patience to deal with my lengthy post, here is 
a 10% off code for my etsy shop (available now through 3/15):


Thank you for stopping by and letting me share my treasures ;)


  1. I loved the tour of your room (especially Joe's perspective ;o) ) And what fabulous gifts you have to decorate with!

  2. Thank you for the show and tell, wonderful photos and gifts!

  3. Oh, I loved reading this post Ayumi! My husband is a computer person and we have similar territory disputes :) He sees eye to eye with Joe, lol. I am so glad that you are enjoying my little quilt. It warms my heart to see it hanging there!

  4. so sweeeeet!! But cat is my love:)

  5. Such wonderful gifts! We were looking at them together with DD; and guess who has to sew a cat for her now... ;-)

  6. A little trip around the world with your sewing gifts, so lovely x

  7. I love you craft area Ayumi!!! LOL @ Joe!! We have our area split up the same way. The computers are on one side and my crafting on the other. I wish mine was as bright and cheery as yours!! Thank you for sharing all of your handmade goodies with us =D They are all so cute!!!

  8. What a fun post. I loved seeing what your friends have made. Such talent!

  9. Very much enjoyed that post! Especially love the cat quilt! It has given me some inspiration for my new sewing room :-)

  10. You deserve all those sweet gifts and more!
    It was lovely seeing round your's and Joe's room at Charlotte's xxx

  11. Your handmade gifts are amazing. Lucky girl!

  12. What a wonderful collection of treasures in a spectacular sewing room. Thank you for letting us take a peek :)


  13. Thanks for sharing your space with us! And such sweet lovelies from around the world. It really is a treasure to find people - near or far - who enjoy and appreciate the same things you do.

  14. Ayumi, thank you so much for sharing your work space and stash at Charlotte's! I was curious to see all of it since quite a long time :) The gifts you got are really beautiful and you deserve every one of them. Joe is very nice to let you take almost all the space :)

  15. Ayumi, this was such a fun post- loved peeking into your sewing room and am so honored you have the mug rug I made for you hanging on your wall. So, so happy you like it.

  16. oh my gosh Ayumi I LOVED this post, it's so interesting hearing about all the lovely stories from your online blog friends and seeing all your gorgeous crafty pressies :) I'm so glad we are online blog friends now too :D I would also love to meet crafty friends if they lived near me!? maybe one day... Your sewing space looks amazing, i love your *pink* cutting mat!! Jessie, xo

  17. wooow!! I've just spyed a mention of ME :D on your guest blog post!! hehe thanks so much for mentioning me, I'm so thrilled. It's made my night! xo

  18. WOW! They are really treasures! And the sewing room is wonderful!

  19. Ayumi your things are all so wonderful, how happy they must make you. It has been wonderful seeing your space and hearing about all your gifts

  20. I love the black and white cat most of all. I have one myself, a stray I feed and pet. Would you think about a tutorial on how to make him?

  21. You are much loved Ayumi and what a blessing that is!

  22. Thank you for sharing your sewing place! Lovely post and you have so many treasures there! I love the cat quilt - Oto looks very much like my Nelli but her ears are up. Oto is so sweet!

  23. Thank you for sharing your beautiful sewing space. All your presents are lovely, and it says a lot about you that you've received so many!

  24. By the look of this sewing space you are a well loved friend with many treasures to remind you of how special you are to every one!

  25. Great post!!! Thank you for sharing! J.

  26. Wow! You are blessed with wonderful, talented blog buddies! What wonderful gifts they have given you :o) I enjoyed seeing them and reading about them.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    Stopping by to say hello, & hope that you are doing well...and to share that our first grandbaby is born! We are so thankful and blessed ...and we are looking forward to when we are flying out to visit them the first week of April...I wish it was sooner!

  27. Wow, so much love from so many talented friends! You're very lucky!

  28. Ayumi! What a cool post. I love "snooping" around other people's sewing spaces. What a lovely collection of handmade presents. I am feeling pretty honoured that my little present to you is there beside your awesome photo frame in the Zakka Style book. Cheers to you!

  29. I love your sewing space. Enjoyed reading your post and seeing all the amazing gifts you've received. I am always excited when I see an email link from "Pink Penguin" in my inbox!

  30. Of course we read the whole post, Ayumi! It was wonderful to see the space where your incredible, creative mind makes its magic, and it was so fun to see all of the treasures friends have sent you. Thanks for sharing!

  31. Such lovely gifts, Ayumi. My favorites are Oto quilt and blue cat doll. And your sewing space is wonderful. I like it ♥

  32. What wonderful gifts and craft space! So inspiring! Thanks for sharing! :) xo Heather

  33. The quilted cat looks EXACTLY like your cat and the mini quilt with the door and window is amazing. You have some very talented friends. thanks for sharing

  34. I love reading your blog and knowing you and Joe are both well!So many new ideas,it's exciting!Keep on keeping on.
    Much Love,(as in Bob Marley's songs)


    Sorry about that!

  36. Thank You!

  37. I will change my profile here,thought that since yahoo already has it I thought it would should as such.So sorry!

  38. Awww... you have the sweetest creating space!! And thank you so much for sharing your lovely treasures!! 私の手編みのお花ゴムも飾ってくれてて感激です(涙)! ありがとうAyumiちゃん♪

  39. Ohh this post it's amazing! I love all, but the cats are the most funny!


  40. Lovely post, Ayumi. You are blessed for having creative skills and more so for having just as talented, amazing and generous friends. It makes you feel happy to be alive, doesn't it.

  41. Thank you so much for sharing these gifts! They are all so beautiful and really made with care taking your taste into account! It is so nice to see that there are so many nice and generous people!

    I had to laugh so much at the little Oto photo story! :-D

    Also, I really enjoyed reading about your sewing space and I think Joe's perspective is really interesting, too. I have a small room for my sewing, and still fabric finds it's way into all rooms of the flat as I am carrying them around when getting inspiration. My husband isn't always happy about that! ;-)

  42. Me encanta tu espacio de trabajo y todo lo q haces en él. Gracias por compartirlo.. Besos desde Bahía Blanca, Argentina.-

  43. lindo,gatito,y muy lindos tus trabajos,besos desde Barcelona,España

  44. Lovely post, thanks for sharing your sewing space and beautiful gifts. How lucky you are!!

  45. So many treasures! Your kitties are adorable. I agree with you that online friends are such a treasure!

  46. So much fun to have friends to share and swap with!! Your space is so pretty!

  47. Your space IS Pinterest worthy and I can assure you it's popping up as I type. Those gifts are really wonderful. You are so generous with your talent, Ayumi, that it can't help but come back to you.

  48. Ayumi: you are a great artist!


  49. your crafting space is just lovely! you are one lucky lady with so many gorgeous gifts! they are all wonderful!!!

  50. This was a wonderful post--and not too long! You are such a generous person, which I know from experience because every time I have ordered something it gets to me super quick, and with a little something extra. Thanks for YOUR creative inspiration.

  51. I love it. You have surrounded yourself with love. What wonderful friends you have.

  52. I read every last letter of this post :-) I started following all of your friends too on their blogs. What great talent :-) Have I said it lately, how much I loooooovvvvvvvvvve your blog? :-) Enjoy your day, Tiffiny :-)

  53. Oh Ayumi!!! I absolutely loved this post! You have such a beautiful sunny space, which is so inspiring and cheerful! I laughed so hard at Oto's unimpressed reaction to his portrait, andI'm just tickled that it hangs in such a great spot on your wall :D you have so many really talented friends, it's so heartwarming to see so many beautiful and meaningful gifts in one place! *hugs*

  54. Your post was so sweet! I read it top to bottom! Your friends are wonderful and I'm sure they're delighted by your appreciation of their work. You are fortunate! :)

  55. You have a beautiful space to work in. I love all your treasures.

  56. Hello Ayumi, I love this post. Your creative space is just so fabulous!! Your cat Oto is the cutest cat I have ever seen!!!

  57. I love Oto. He is too cute! Such a cute craft room :)

  58. Thanks for giving us a peek into your sewing world {and including my little crab in your post} I love being able to feel like I have visited my online friends :)

  59. Thank you so much for sharing all of these lovely (yes I am drooling, and insanely jealous!.) handmade gifts! I am inspired enough to get going right now, and start creating something lovely!

  60. I enjoyed every bit of your blog post!!!!

  61. Oh Gosh, everything is so darn cutesy on your blog, your cat is cute, your cat mini quilt, your crab pin cushion, your pot holder,cute,cute, cute.
    I've just made some little pink and orange quilted owl cell phone covers for my kids. They've got these fancy Motorola EX124G smart phones which cost daddy $79.99 each with free triple minutes for life and we don't want to get the big touch screens scratched or cracked. The girls wear their owl phone covers around their necks like necklaces, they lov'em. You might like your kids to try the Tracfone family value cell phone plan as I'm only paying $5.99/month for 40 minutes for each of them, which is cheap.
    I'm making ipad and nook quilt covers next as they cost a fortune in the shops. I like the iron on velcro to seal the pouches as the sticky velcro makes my needle gummy.

  62. Love this post! All the wonderful things in it, but especially the story about you and Tamiko. It's sad that you meet people you find you really like and have fun with just before you move very far away:( You have such talented friends and I love your sewing space. Glad to see you posting again.

  63. What nice treasures you have!! that includes the treasure of friendships!! Super cool!

  64. Oh, I missed this post! I'm glad my day at work is so slow, so now I can catch up with your blog, Ayumi:) I loved this post -- sometimes I feel so busy with sewing things for people in my real-life that I couldn't think of sewing anything for anyone that, well, sews! But all of those items you featured are adorable, and I laughed a lot at the photos of Oto:)

  65. Lindos trabalhos! Parabéns pelo blog. Um abraço.

  66. Your space looks sooo great! Travis and I still joke about how how him and joe thought we were both murderers. But I guess there are crazies out there ;) xox

  67. Handmade gifts are easy to manage as you have all the stuff on deserved all these gifts.

  68. i have 2 cats just like yours well my black and white is just a regular one i like your stuff


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