Saturday, March 31, 2012

Camera Block

Camera Block for Amy ~ Ringo Pie Bee ~
This is my terribly awfully late take on Amy's theme "All things related to cameras" for
the Ringo Pie bee. It's my very last block for the first round of the Ringo Pie bee,
 the first quilting bee I've ever joined! No need to be sad about though, 
because we kicked off the second round this month! I just really love the concept
 of this bee and the very friendly, encouraging and inspiring bunch of friends
 in the bee. Making one block takes a lot of time and energy, but I like the
 way this challenge stimulates my creative mind and helps me go beyond my comfort zone.

Camera Block for Amy ~ Ringo Pie Bee ~
For some reasons I was really intimidated to make this block. 
My ideas for my block for her kept changing, but I ended up with this camera block 
which is modeled after Diana F+ clone camera. Its retro look reminded me of Amy's style a lot ;)
Obviously, the tape is not sewn. I just found the ribbon in my stash and had to
take a picture with it because it looks like a camera strap!

This humongous flash light could have used more contrasting fabrics maybe. 
My instinct was calling for yellow fabrics for it, but there is a reason I had to resist. 
When Amy and I hung out in Tokyo, (Yes! I've met her in person! How cool is that?), 
she told me she really liked these posters she saw at JR train stations.

JR東日本の「行くぜ東北」ポスターの秋田版の秋田犬がカッコいいなぁ。 #akita
Photo Credit: n_waka
These are the ads to encourage people to take a trip to the northeastern part of Japan, 
the area that was affected by the tragedy last year. Amy and I both
 thought the colors on these posters are "so Amy". If you know me well, 
you know it was the moment I knew my block for her will be in this colorway, hehe.

Camera Block for Amy ~ Ringo Pie Bee ~

The reason for 12 04? It's the date I hung out with her, December fourth last year.

My fingers are crossed Amy will like it.

Have a great weekend ;)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Zakka Style Sew-Along

Zakka Style Sew Along

I bet you've heard about this Sew-Along in the blogsphere by now! Yup, it is hosted by the fabulous Lindsey of LR Stitched and Amy of Skie, and it will start Monday April 2nd with the first project in the book, Zakka Style by Rashida Coleman-Hale, and will continue through Monday September 10th with a new project  introduced each Monday. Each blogger will sew a different project and will be sharing their finished project and inspiration with you.

I love this book! It is one of those books that make me feel I want to make everything in it! When Lindsey asked me to pick five favorite projects in it, I had a hard time choosing as there are a lot more than five that I would love to make! I'm really excited about making a zakka pincushion designed by Sonia of Cozy Home Making because you know, I am a pin cushion addict!

I am super lucky to not only be part of this sew-along but also to have contributed a project to the book! I can blog about it now that I have a perfect picture of Joe's niece Sarah for it.


It is a patchwork photo frame titled "Sweet Memories Photo Frame." I made this a year and a half ago, but I like it just as much as I did when I made it. I think it is great for a little girl or boy's picture, but obviously you can make it more grown-ups picture friendly by choosing different kinds of fabrics. I knew I would put Sarah's picture in it as soon as I get this back. This is my favorite picture of her. Doesn't she look so adorable?


This is the picture I took right after it was finished. (I miss the nice weather in the bay area!)

Sweet Memories Photo Frame

Several folks have asked me if this girl in the frame in the book is me. Oh how I wish I had been this lovely! I don't know who she is, but I am really glad that the publisher picked her picture for it. I think this particular frame was meant to be for a cute girl like her or Sarah ;)

Thank you for taking the time stop by! I'll be back very soon with a paper-pieced camera block ;)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Charise in a Basket

Charise in a basket ~318 bee~
 Thank you for your lovely words about the juice and sprout blocks!
Both Penny's sprout block tutorial and my juice glass block tutorial have
been posted at Sew, Mama, Sew!

Here is a block I made last night for Charise for her theme, 'baskets' 
in Patchwork 318: The Bee. There is this really cute mermaid pattern
in the book that I've always thought looks like Charise and
I knew I'd somehow want to include the mermaid in the block for her.
So when she asked for baskets, I immediately had this picture of the
mermaid (= Charise) in a basket lol! I wasn't sure if that kind of 
crazy stuff was right up her alley, but my stubborn mind was 
insisting on the original idea.

It took me a while to find the right solid for the skin.
This one I used for the block was found in the section of
"UV coated solids" at the store, so it basically means the mermaid
Charise doesn't need any sun screen! That's cool!!

I don't know if she is dancing or just stretching or 
possibly trying to stay away from the fish,
but she looks pretty happy in the basket ;)

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sprout and Juice Blocks

Juice Blocks
Remember how I slightly hinted at a little project I was working on with
my lovely friend Penny of sew take a hike? Well, here is a reveal! The kind folks
at Sew, Mama, Sew contacted us a few weeks ago to ask if we'd be
up for an interview about our Ringo Pie bee and for sharing paper-piecing
tutorials on their blog! The interview is posted there today and our tutorials
will be up on their blog tomorrow and Tuesday!

Sprout Blocks
It was so fun working with Penny (as always!) We had this idea of
coming up with one pattern each and we both make a mini flimsy using 
both our patterns. Penny made this adorable sprout pattern and I made the juice pattern.
We both decided to go with making several pairs
of sprout and juice blocks and use stamps to label them, but we wouldn't
share each other's work until Sunday evening when our flimsy is complete.
This way, we were able to put our own spins on the blocks.
As usual, I was way too slow making progress. Penny was done with hers
way before I even started mine and look what she ended up with!
SOOOOO AMAZING!!!!  I so wish I was one-tenth as talented as that lady.
I'm a bit embaraased to show mine after seeing Penny's, but
I still want to share with you how far I got anyway.


Nine pairs with Kona snow sashing.
I really don't know what I should do with this now. Anyone has any ideas?


Oh before I head to bed, I want to give this pair a little attention.
It's funny how I don't care for purple, but I quite often like stuff I make
using purple fabrics. I went back and forth about whether or not to
include a purple pair, but I'm really glad I did include it because it turned
out to be one of my faves among the nine. Is this only me that thinks
the sprout looks like a pair of sweet eyes and those eyes could use the 
sunglasses in the juice? Maybe I am crazy.

Off to bed now. Thank you for stopping by!
Hope your week started off nicely!

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 ;)