Year: 2019

yay may.

Apparently, May is all about celebrating creative space anniversaries! This month I celebrated back-to-back weekends with Mischief (they turned 2!) and Craft + Work (they turned 1!). Happy creative space anniversaries to you both! Here’s a recap! Mischief owners Laura and Julien are big on creating a space for their community – they live and work and raise their kid (and puppy!) in the neighborhood. I love being part of this space! At their two-year anniversary celebration there was cake, a free finger puppet craft for the family, a drank bar, and a few Mischief Makers (get it?). For my set-up I brought my felt-lettered decor, flower crown bar, and surprise packs. And I met two fellow Mischief Makers – Tiffany of Paper and Scissor and Chelsey of Facet Handmade. It was a sunny day – perfect for outdoor hangs, and a styled, collaborative photoshoot. 🙂 Craft + Work owners Roberta and Abby opened their doors to creative workshops last year, and they invited some of their workshop instructors (that’s me, too!) to set up …

sakura.

I went to Japan! Kicking off Japan posts today. 🙂 My number one reason to go to Japan in the Springtime: to see the sakura (cherry blossoms)! I followed the 2019 Sakura forecast on the interwebs and picked Nagano as my prefecture of choice for spotting the blooms (it worked out with the dates we were able to travel). I monitored the forecast up until we left for Japan, just in case we had to change any trips. The timing was perfect! We spotted so many different types of sakura. Here’s where we went: Garyu Park, Suzaka, Nagano, Japan The trees weren’t fully bloomed yet, but it was still worth the trip because the park was so peaceful. The reflection on the water made for some postcard-worthy shots. We enjoyed food on sticks from a local vendor and strolled around the pond. Ueda Castle, Ueda, Nagano, Japan Here, the trees were in full bloom. So impressive! We arrived in the afternoon so it was a bit crowded with both tourists and locals, but it was …

what’s good in the ‘hood.

For our third wedding anniversary we made sure we kept our weekend free to celebrate, but then we were so busy with Craftcation (me), tennisings (Hubby), and Japan travels (more on this soon!) that we didn’t actually plan anything until the last minute. Whoops! But lucky for us, we live in the Bay Area where everyday can feel like a vacation and we thought up some last minute plans. On Saturday, our anniversary eve, we picnicked at our wedding park (Live Oak). I prepped some snacks: roasted cauliflower and potatoes, dill cream cheese to go with the cutest heart-shaped lavash crackers, a cucumber dill yogurt salad (we had a lot of dill…), and leftover dumplings from breakfast. Plus beverages. It was beautiful out and there were many people enjoying the warm weather. We admired the trees, Hubby rested in the sunshine, and I painted a little. Afterwards, we went to a favorite Japanese market (Tokyo Fish Market) because it’s fun there and I love markets. On Sunday, our anniversary day, we hung out at one …

avfkw.

OMG, OMG. I finally visited A Verb for Keeping Warm. I stumbled in on a whim while I was on my way to grab some snacks next door. Such a good stumble – look at this place! A wall of yarn, a wall of fabric, and everything in between. They carry in-house dyed yarn – that’s like super local. There’s also yarn and fabric from all over the nation and world. They produce their own line of DIY kits and sewing patterns. I want them all. Plus, there was inspiration everywhere. I liked that they had clothing samples for all their sewing patterns. You can even try the clothes on to see which fit is best before you commit to making it. Ooh, there was dried indigo hanging all around, too. I’ve never seen a real indigo plant before! There is space for workshops, and I had little peeks into one of the dye studios (there are two studios!) and their natural dye garden. Dreamy… My bounty! I bought my first sewing pattern, fabric for …

marbled leather.

My last class (😭) at Craftcation was leather marbled keychains, and it just so happened to be taught by Sadye Harvey of Temerity who teaches at Makers Mess. I attended her marbling night craft happy hour earlier this year and loved it, so I was excited attend another one of her classes.   We used a lot of tools and materials for this project. Vegetable-tanned leather Trays Water Carageenan (a thickener) Acrylic dye (for leather) Paintbrushes Alum (a mordant) Resolene (a dye sealant) Foam brushes Precision knife or scissors Ruler Leather punch Rivet and rivet press anvil Mallet Key rings First, we cut out leather shapes. For shapes with a straight edge, I used a precision knife and ruler. For other shapes, I made a soft outline with a skewer stick and then cut with a precision knife. For anything that would become a keychain, we made sure to include a 2-inch tail at the top of our designs so they could be attached onto the key rings. We punched holes using a leather punch. …

the tissue issue.

I recently refreshed my memory on how to make tissue paper flowers. It’s so easy and the results are so pretty I had to share! These would pair nicely with some piñata crafts, too. Here are a few: burro, piña, hearts. Materials: tissue paper, string or staples, scissors Layer 6-8 pieces of tissue paper. If starting with a large piece of tissue paper, fold into sixths or eighths. Cut all the folds. For larger-in-diameter flowers, use more layers of tissue paper. Accordion fold the stacked tissue paper. Snip two small triangles out from the middle. Secure with cord or staple. Cut the ends with your desired flower petal shape (e.g., curved, pointed). Gently separate the tissue layers and fluff. If you rip the tissue, no worries; just fluff a little more to hide the tears. Attach to a piñata with cord or hot glue, or secure to walls for a fun backdrop. Oh! These would make cute Christmas tree decorations, too. Try it out with different colors or sizes of tissue paper, or attach two …

screen printing.

You thought I was done posting about Craftcation classes? MUHAHAHA, nevarrr! Seriously though, I learned so many things! Screen printing was one of the craft workshops Hubby picked out for me. He thought it would be a useful skill for business gear or for making tennis team shirts! The screen printing workshop was taught by Jenny Kraten. She taught us how to DIY a screen and gave us some insider tips on how to create a more sturdy set up later on. I’m really into it, but I’ll need an expanded craft budget. I would go crazy picking out paint colors alone! We made small screens in class using simple materials: cardboard, precision knife, ruler, pencil, mesh, and spray adhesive. The screen has a 1″ border and the mesh was pulled taut across the frame in all directions, making sure there were no wavy bits. For a stencil, I created a triangle pattern (easy to cut!). We used paper that was waxy on one side and dull on the other, cutting out patterns on the …