flower-mats

What I love in teaching Crochet…

I’ve been teaching crochet at home and at a craft store for quite a while now.

What I love in teaching crochet is that my students can be anyone and I get to know so many different people! My youngest students are 7 years-old, and the oldest is 84 years-old!! I have both male and female students, and they came from varieties places on the earth!! It’s so fun to get to know new people🙂

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She’s started trying a new hobby in her mid-80’s. So energetic!

Many of them, who come to my place are those who never crocheted before but always wanted to give it a try. So, I teach from the very basic, starting from how to hold tools, make basic stitches, read patterns and symbols (sometimes both in English and Japanese)…

 

The very first stitch we’ll have to master is “chain stitch” and kids really have fun making a long chain!!

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Girls in 3rd-4th grades can make their own hair accessories with this crafting. We’ve made scrunchy and hair bows. I love it🙂

 

One new grand-mom has recently finished making her first crochet work for her new-born grand-son!! I was so happy to spend pleasant time with her🙂

 

The most popular projects so far is this flower mat.

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Now, 3 of my students are working one the same flower mat project, (and there are so many who want to try later) and I can’t wait to see the finished work!😀

 

Maybe it’s your turn to try crocheting? If you want to join us, please let me know🙂

Summer is almost over and the yarn season is coming…!!😀

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Collaborating with art gallery

I met an art gallery owner and he suggested me to collaborate and hold a craft & art meet-up there. As our first attempt, I held a wrap bracelet making workshop there.

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This is how it looks like in the studio and our work space🙂

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This is how we worked🙂

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Then, This is what we get in the end🙂

Beige brown cord x blue beads. She had blue necklace and it matched well🙂

 

Brack cord x pink and white beads. Her theme was “elegant”🙂

 

Dark brown cord x wood and pearl beads. The choice of the button was also good🙂

 

We had fun, getting together and sharing the passion for the craft🙂

Thank you for those who participated the event! I’ll be looking forward to having another crafting event with you ♡

tips 4 photo

TIPS 4 health & beauty evnet

With my other skilled friends who shares the same interest in health & beauty, we opened a 1 day only petit boutique at a rental event space. We named the event as “TIPS 4 – health & Beauty”.

I sold handmade jewelry, another sold handmade cream and the other sold vegan sweets. For the event, I prepared some new designs🙂 The theme is “Spring”! They will be also coming to my web shop soon🙂

Spring designs (NatsuDesign)

Here is the photo of vegan sweets.

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Here are the handmade creams without anything chemical, but only with natural ingredients.

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Here is my jewelry section. I need to learn how to display the items nicely…

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I also used a model photo streaming. I hope this helped people to get an idea how it will look on them🙂

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We also had some free sessions that everyone can enjoy! Yoga.

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Craft workshop, a bracelet making.

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It was our first attempt, but we had so much fun and I hope the visitors also had lots of fun🙂 I’m already looking forward to our next boutique day. Thank you so much for those who supported the event and those who visited us🙂

skirt - done

Another tulle skirt making adventure

After I made my very first tulle skirt, I was reading a Japanese blog written by a fabric store owner. It’s so fun to see how a very beginner master the sewing techniques!! He said something like “repetition is the closest way to the success”, so I decided to continue this skirt making adventure a little bit more. This time, I wanted to make the length a little shorter and had to get fabrics by myself.

So, I went to a fabric store to get several fabrics. There were plenty types of fabrics. Even just for tulles, there were probably a hundred to chose from.

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It was quite difficult to get the right fabric. Some are too thin, some are too rough, some are too thick… Also, the colors… aww.fabric store -cotton

I was trying my best to chose the right one.

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Then, finally I got them. For the tulle skirt, I decided to go with light gray. Also, I bought a knit fabric for later to make a long skirt. Overall they costed about $25. ($9.99/yard for the cotton fabric, $5.59/yard for the tulle, $9.99/yard for the knit)

fabric

First, I had to soak the fabric and do the ironing, but I was lazy to do the soaking part. So I skipped that part, and instead, I sprayed a water on it and did the ironing.

gray fabric with oji-san

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I learned how important the cutting part is, and I used some new methods with that, so I think my cutting skill has improved!🙂

skirt- cutting fabrics with scissors

The point is “not to move the fabrics, but let myself move”.

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Then, finally, the sewing part! Yay!🙂 Using clips was really convenient and it helped me to save time compared to using pins.

skirt - using clips

When I finished sewing the most difficult part, I realized that one of the parts were sewn with the wrong-side up…

skirt - wrong way...

So, I had to undo!! It took me almost an hour to get back here…😦 I wanted to cry…

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Anyway, I finished making it. It looks like this🙂 Seems like the little man is also happy!!

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I now have two new skirts🙂 ♡

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* total time : 6 hours
* cost : $17 for fabrics
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skirt with others

I made a lovely tulle skirt :)

I like skirts though I don’t really wear them… Here in California, I rarely find the type of skirt that I like. So, I decided to make one that I like!!

I wish I could make whatever clothes that I like, but I’m just a beginner with sewing, so things don’t work that way. I bought a kit for the tulle skirt in Japan (almost a year ago…!!), which came with a tulle fabric and one other fabric with a simple instruction paper. This costed about $30, so you may actually find a skirt with the same price…

tulle skirt kit

The sewing part was rather easy. Most of the parts, I just had to sew straight.

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The steps that I found quite difficult was to cut the materials straight. I had to do the ironing quite often…

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The tulle fabrics… oh it was terrible since I couldn’t do the ironings on that fabrics, so I had to cut, and keep trimming… so finally, when it got the straight edge, the length was shorter than what the instruction said :p

So, when I saw everything together, the tulle part was shorter than the other (as shown in the picture below)… Anyway, I didn’t like the length of the skirt since it was a little too long for me, so I adjusted the length.

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Now, I have this skirt!! I’d probably wear like this ?🙂

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I’m so happy to get the skirt that I like🙂 I’d probably try to make more with other kind of fabrics and colors!!

koa's bow tie

1st Birthday!!! Love gifts.

My best friend’s baby boy turned 1 recently, and my friend held a big birthday party for him.

I wanted to give something special, and so I prepared several handmade gifts to him.

1st item is a photo panel. I love this photo!! A while ago, he was so little, even smaller than my dolls. He’s much bigger than them now… so, looking at this photo reminds me how fast he has been growing up!!

koa's gift (photo panel)

2nd item is a name pin. Oops, I don’t have a good picture of the item…

3rd item is a bow tie. I made one for him and another bigger one with pins at the back for his mom.

koa's bow tie

His outfit was matching well with the bow tie! I was so happy to see that🙂

koa with bow tie

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Seeing him growing so fast just next to my friend, it’s a joy for me! Thanks always for making me smile🙂

bow tie set with koa and rina

Then, it’s my friend’s birthday!! Wish you will have a wonderful year ahead and explore a lot of new things and new world with me🙂 ♡

Rina's birthday

 

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Shrink plate workshop

I held a new workshop today!! It’s about shrink plates.
Do you know what shrink plate are like? A shrink plate is just a thin plastic plate and you draw or paint on it and heat it in an oven for about a minute. Then, it will shrink down to almost 1/3 or 1/4 of the original size.

When I was little, it was very popular among kids. Today, shrink plates are so big in the Japanese handmade world. If you browse Japanese online handmade markets, I’m sure you will easily find some.

I have been so into this craft for a few month, and of course, I made this character🙂 I always carry them on my bag.
shrink plate (oji-san)

Here are some photos from the workshop.
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I’ve asked them to bring their kids’ favorite characters or kids’ drawings.
So, she was drawing lots of trains for her son.
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She brought her son’s very first drawing! It’s a fish! How exciting!!
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I forgot to take all of the works, but here are the trains! They are so tiny and cute🙂 I can’t tell which one is which, but I’m sure the great little boy can!😀
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Here are another boy’s very first drawing, a fish, in a fish bowl as a key holder and a pair of earrings!! She’s going to give the key holder as a gift to her husband and send the jewelry to her friend. How sweet ♡
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She made name pins with her name and her kid’s name🙂Akina-chan bag

When I become someone’s mom, I’d love to do the same as what my friends did today!!

plastic plate wokshop 6Hmmm, crafting helps to make our life a little bit happier ♡

hair clip (with repairment tools)

Repairing my hair accessory

When I was working back in Japan, I bought a hair clip. I really liked it because it was shiny and cute, simple but stunning🙂 I always carried it in my purse, and whenever I wanted to tie up my hair, I used it. I like keeping my hair up when I want to get concentrated and work on something.

This is the thing after several years. I don’t think this looks appealing to any of you though…

hair clip before

The embellishment chains and the pink glitter were  falling off. I knew it didn’t look good, so I wasn’t using it for a long time, but I just couldn’t throw it away.

I probably didn’t know what to do if it was two year’s ago… but now, I know exactly what to do.

First, I glued the chains. I should have done it long time ago but I was also lazy…

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It’s already looking much better than before… isn’t it?

Then, I used my favorite items… resin and glitter!! For the glitter, I thought of changing color from pink, and chose gold🙂

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Let me show you how it looks after I repaired🙂

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It looks much better now!! I will probably be able to use it for another several years now🙂

hair clip (Before-After)

I think “fast fashion” involves with lots of “waste”, which is really bad when we think of the world’s environment. Through repairing experience, I thought I’d like to make things that would be cherished by customers for a longer time with love.

You can check my handmade jewelry and hair accessories on my Etsy store. I hope they will be your favorite for a longer time🙂

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NatsuDesignShop on Etsy

Please let me know if there are something that I can help you with repairing your favorite jewelry or accessories🙂

 

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Holiday Boutique 2015 in Los Altos

I helped to run “Holiday Boutique 2015” as one of the organizers this year. We did that to raise awareness of what CASA, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, was doing and also for fund-raising. I’ve heard that there are more than 1,600 foster children in Santa Clara county only and they definitely need more volunteers to help those children.

We started planning the event from June and had several meetings for 5 months. It was a lot more work than I’ve expected but now when it’s finished, I’m so relieved and I feel so happy that I’ve done this. I’m happy that I have spent quite a bit of my time for a good cause!!

Also, I’ve found out that there are so many kind and generous people out there!! Some people have helped to advertise our events, some people spent extra money on donation and so on.

With nearly 15 other local artists, I’ve also displayed many types of jewelry there. It was so interesting to see what types of things were popular.

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Now, I have to rearrange my Etsy shop according to my survey!! I need to add things that were popular on the event day!

What really interesting to me was to connect with other local artists!! It’s always nice to be connected to nice people😀

I haven’t hold any workshops for several months now, but one big event is over. So, I’m happy to do something for my craft passionate friends🙂

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I’m now very motivated for our next year’s event. I hope we will make this boutique more exciting places!!

If any of you are interested to run the event with us as a volunteer, please contact me🙂

wedding entrance

Welcome bear at the wedding reception in Japan

I was back in Japan from middle of September for a little less than a month till early October.

The main purpose of this trip was to attend my friends’ wedding party. Of course, I’ve enjoyed the stay there and I went to visit lots of beautiful places and fancy craft shops, as well as great restaurants. So, I hope I will get other chances to show you how it was like🙂

Anyway, my friend, the bride, had asked me to make a welcome bear for her wedding reception. (In Japan, it’s common to put stuffed animals or dolls at the entrance of the wedding reception to welcome guests in stead of the bride and gloom.)

I was so happy to have received this request from her!!

I asked her what kind of dolls she would like and she sent me some images that she took somewhere online. This is one of the images she sent me.

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I rushed into a fabric shop, and bought a white fabric. And then, I played with the fabric… voila!!

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It looks ugly before putting the stuffing… right? hihihi😀 Here are steps to show you how I’ve made it.

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Then, I cut off the area that I didn’t need.

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Then, I flipped it inside out and put in the stuffing. Voila!!

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Actually, I wasn’t satisfied with the quality of my outcomes, so I’ve made quite some of them.

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By the way, I still have some of them at home…🙂
Anyway, from them, I’ve picked up two of my favorite cuties. And I’ve made them dressed up😀

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Since the first gift my friend has got from her husband was a necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels, I’ve made the same necklace for the doll🙂 I hope they’ve noticed it!! (By the way, I was really surprised to see how expensive the real one was!!)

I was happy to have seen them at the their entrance hall of their wedding reception ♡

wedding entrance

I do hope their love will last forever!!
Happy wedding again, for my dear friend ♡

pumpkin earrings

Ready for “Trick or Treat”? Here is the last minute easy Halloween project!

Are you ready for this year’s Halloween??

If you have kids and haven’t gotten the idea yet, you must be thinking what to do for them. Even if you don’t have kids, you might be thinking what to prepare at your house for the kids!!

It’s going to be my first Halloween to stay at home in California. Last year, I was back in Japan at that time of the year.
So, I’m excited to see how kids are dressed when they come to my house🙂 I should get ready for the day, getting hundreds of candies!!

 

Today, I want to share my “within 1 hour Halloween project”. They are little cute pumpkin earrings.

pumpkin earrings

If you wear them on Halloween, people will look at you and definitely notice that you’re in the mood and ready for the event!!
If you make them for your kids, your pumpkins will look brilliant with the pumpkins!!

You can also use this pumpkin as an applique. It’s only an idea but decorating a simple T-shirt with lots of these pumpkins will be really cute!! Using this pumpkin as a zipper charm is also a good idea🙂

As usual, I’ve put many step-by-step photos in the pattern, so I hope lots of you will enjoy making them🙂

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Happy crocheting ♡

elephantbackpack-cover-withoutletters (with natsulog)

Something blue. Blue brings happiness!

On the wedding day, people say it’s good to have something blue. So, how do you think about asking ring bearers to have this blue backpack?

elephantbackpack-cover-withoutletters (with natsulog)

It’s my fourth animal backpack series, an elephant!

This is originally made upon a request of my friend. I hope she will like it!!

It’s a perfect size to carry 4 diapers and baby wipes, so I think it’ll be a perfect DIY/handmade baby shower gift🙂
It can also carry toys or snacks, so it’ll also be a great DIY/handmade birthday gift🙂

Size-elephantbackpack

If you feel like making one for your cuties, please visit my shops below🙂

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Happy crocheting ♥♥♥

M2

New trial :)

I’ve been making something new😀

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I’ve came up with an idea of making rosette with a cute alphabet embroidery on a linen. This first one was for my friend’s baby shower gift.

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I’ve made another one for my friend.

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Then, her daughter requested me to make one with her favorite colors, so I’ve tried. They were something that I usually wouldn’t chose, but here it came.

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Don’t you think it’s nice? I actually really like it!!

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Then, here is another one for my other friend’s baby shower gift.

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It’s a lot of work to make one… but I really like them all🙂

I’ll probably try to make some more with other colors! Hope I’ll have a chance to share them here on my blog!!

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Eco-friendly bag for summer??

I was on holiday in Hawaii in early June and after that, I’ve been lazy…!! And now, June is almost over… !!!

I made a new pattern a while ago but forgot to introduce it here, so I’m uploading some photos of my new pattern!! It’s a bag pattern, simple but cute, made with jute strings.

NaturalJuteBAG-pattern

You can carry your wallet, books, phone, towels and some other things in this bag. The handles are long enough to carry comfortably on your shoulder.

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When I went out to Jo-Ann with this bag, the person from the shop was really interested in my bag and was asking about the pattern! I was so flattered!!

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If you feel like making one for yourself, please visit my shops below🙂

button_craftsy button_etsy

We haven’t had rain in California for quite a while now. I wonder how it is like in the other areas in the US. I’ve heard that we will have a lot of rain in winter though. I prefer sunny days, but if we have too much rain this winter, I guess I need to stay at home and think about more and more new patterns!!

Happy crocheting ♡

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More, more and more!

I feel like I’ve been writing about this workshop… but, some of the attendees really liked making wrapped bracelets so that they came here again🙂 I’m super glad to hear that they’ve enjoyed making one!!!

This time, it was their second time to work on the bracelets, so that they worked much faster than the last time… let me show you their beautiful works😀 ♡

One of them tried to make a longer one! It’ll be wrapped three times around the wrist. The left one is what she’s made in the second workshop.

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It goes well with her peacock nails🙂

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One of them worked really hard for her two daughters living in Japan ♡

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I think I’ll be happy if I get one from my mom!! I think it’ll be the other way around in my family though… I’ve been giving many things to her!! But still, I’m happy when she likes some of my works😀
I’m sure her daughters will be really happy with them!!

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One of them has made an anklet. I had never thought of making anklets with this!! Yes, it will look absolutely good in summer!!

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One of them has made 2 long bracelets for herself and 2 short one for her little daughter and son. She made all of them within 5 hours!! This is her first one for the day. It’s simple but I really like it!

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She was super fast!!

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This is the all she’s got that day. Maybe she can be a professional bracelet maker?!😀

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Thanks to you, I had another good day! I think I love teaching crafting ♡

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Baby shower cake! and a surprise party!

This week, I and my six other friends got together for a potluck lunch party. We secretly planned to hold a “surprise baby shower party” there since one of us was expecting a baby boy within a month!!

I was happy to have a role to prepare a baby shower cake!! It was my first time to bake a cake for that purpose, so I enjoyed thinking about the designs of the cake… This is a rough sketch of what I thought would be cute for a cake. I’m leaving this photo for a next occasion!

babyshowercakeideas

I wanted to bake a base cake the day before, but I was super busy and couldn’t do that beforehand. So, I prepared everything in the morning of the party day.

Since I only had less than 3 hours to prepare, I decided to go for something simple but cute. This is the cake I’ve prepared.

babyshowercake

One of my mottos for a cake decoration is to use artificial things as less as possible. So, I used blueberries for the eyes and nose, strawberries for the cheeks, whipped creams mixed with chai-tea and chopped chocolates for the hair and melted chocolates for the other part!!

Luckily, I wasn’t late for the potluck lunch party. I arrived in time🙂

lunch-potluck

Everyone prepared really good foods!! I enjoyed all of them😀

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This is how I put everything on my plate…🙂 We all ate a lot and talked a lot!!

After the lunch, of course, we had a dessert time! And TADAAAAAA!!!

I and the other friend secretly prepared the cake and the baby shower balloons in the kitchen, and we said “Please clap your hands now!!! Congratulation xxx for the baby boy!!”

We wanted her to be very happy to receive this surprise party, and she started crying… ♡

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It was successful!!

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We’ve stuffed with lots of sweet things and sweet feelings!🙂

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It’s always so good to have happy friends around us ♡ I hope our friendship will last forever!!!

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Crochet Garland Making Workshop

2 weeks before, I held a crochet workshop for my friends.
They worked really well, but they couldn’t finish making a garland/coaster since for some of them it was the first time to crochet something round. There were so many things to learn including how to make a double magic loop, chain stitch, single crochet, half double crochet and slip stitch.

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Then, we got together again in the following week to finish the works.
This time, they were much faster to make knots, so they’d happily finished making their own works!

This is a coaster for my friend and for her son. How sweet! It’ll be a good idea to put them on a bag or things like that🙂

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This will be hanged on a door of my friend’s kids room🙂 Cute😀

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This one will also be hanged on a door of my another friend’s kids room🙂
The color usages between her works and the works introduced in the above picture are almost the same, but this one uses colors for the letters. That gives us a quite different impression! I like them😀

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Then, this is a garland made by another friend of mine. This apparently will be hanged on the front door of her bathroom!! I love it😀

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I really like to decorate my house by handmade things.
Seems like all of them had a good time, focusing on crocheting!! We talked a lot while working on crocheting, but sometimes they needed to focus without chatting…

So, we got together on Mother’s Day night for a dinner!! How fun it was!! I hope we will have more chances to get together and enjoy the time together😀

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Birthday presents for my husband

A few weeks ago, it was my husband’s birthday. I wanted to give something that I’ve made only for him, so I’d been working on making gifts for my husband🙂

As our family rule, there is one night per month when he cooks for us. I have some aprons, but he doesn’t. When I went for shopping, I see lots of cute aprons for women, but not so much for men. So, I thought it would be a good idea to make an apron for him!!

It was my second time to make an apron, (first time was for my sister), but it was my first time to make one from scratch. I’ve researched lots of things and I’ve learned a lot about designing something to wear (although it’s a very simple apron)!!

When I went for shopping, looking for a nice fabric for the apron, I fell in love with this dark brown/black linen fabric. So, I bought it. I’ve learned that linen shrinks for 3-5% in average, so I soaked it in a bath tub for half a day to let it shrink on purpose so that we will get a perfect size of apron when I’m done with sewing it.

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After that, let it dry for a while but shouldn’t be completely dried.

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When it is still wet and not completely dried out, do the ironing and smooth out wrinkles of the fabric.

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Then, make a pattern and with a pattern paper, measuring his body, and cut the fabric.

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Then, sewing, sewing and sewing… I think the most difficult part was at the top part around the neck and shoulder.

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After struggling a lot, I’ve got this finally!!! Very simple but nice! I quite like it myself😀

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One side of the pockets has an embroidery.

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As a small gift, I’ve made a linen coffee filter as well🙂 It requires a little bit of extra care after making a coffee every time, but it for sure is more environmental friendly than using a paper filter every time you want to have a cup of coffee!!

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Speaking of a birthday, you can’t forget about a birthday cake!! He’s requested me to make a custard cream tart, so I’ve made him this special tart with a very cute decoration ♡

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I think he was really really happy with my birthday gifts ♡
If you are thinking about a gift for your partner, why don’t you try to make something rather than buying one from somewhere? I believe he/she will be happy with the fact that you’ve spent lots of energy for him/her ♡

Happy crafting and happy cooking ♡♡♡

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Flowers bring smile :)

A while ago, I joined in volunteering at Random Acts of Flowers, and I made beautiful flower bouquets. Those flowers were donated from Whole foods/Costco/ some others places and we arranged them nicely to be delivered to senior’s care homes or hospitals.

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Recycling and repurposing flowers… how good it is!! While I was doing flower arrangement, I was amazed how happy we could be with beautiful flowers.

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Then, I made a new crochet pattern with flowers. It’s a head band/ flower wreath.

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This is how it looks like on my head. You can easily adjust the size🙂

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If you feel like making one for your cuties or for yourself, please visit my shops below🙂

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I hope these flower wreath will brighten up people’s faces and bring lots of happiness🙂

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Hope I will make more of beautiful flower bouquets as well as flower related patterns!

Happy crocheting ♡

curryart

Art in everywhere…!!

The other weekend, I went to Santa Cruz to enjoy a short hike with my friend’s family🙂

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It was a beautiful day. The ocean view was so beautiful that I would like to recommend you to go there and enjoy the beauty of the nature.

To my surprise, we saw several wild dolphins!! I’ve seen them when I went on a whale watching in Monterey Bay, but at that time, I was really feeling bad on the boat and I couldn’t enjoy the view at all. This time, I was feeling super fine and I was really excited to see them when they jumped up from the ocean surface!!

I was trying to take their photos, but it was hard… not really successful. Instead of that, I caught funny seagulls😀 One seagull is on the other’s back, and they kept like that for a few minutes. It was really cute😀

seagulls

For the people who are interested in this coastal trail, I’m leaving notes below.

***
Old Cove Landing Trail – Wilder Ranch State Park
Difficulty : Easy
Length : 2.6miles
Duration : 1-3 hours

Parking lot : $10/car
NOTES : Very family friendly.
***

On that evening, after enjoying the strong sunshine, I was tired and wasn’t really feeling like cooking dinner. Then, suddenly, this came up in my mind!! Curry art!!😀

curry

How cute!! When I decided to do the “art work” instead of cooking, I was happy and not tired anymore!! I was excited to do that and I couldn’t stop smiling !!!

I was really proud of myself when I called my husband for dinner and showed these art works!!😀 (But, I was a little bit sad to eat them up…)

curryart

Little tricks can make my life so much happier and easier ♡♡♡

I hope to explore more and more happy tricks and share them with you😀