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a weaving rainbow.

My friend Vilasinee of the Loome came out with a few new maker tools, including a rainbow loom! Ka-yoot. I was very excited to try it out.

For this craft you will need:

  • Rainbow Loome tool
  • Non stretchy cord
  • Assorted yarn
  • Felt
  • Fabric or hot glue
  • Fabric scissors
  • Crafting needle

The complete details can be found in V’s super helpful how-to video using the larger of the two rainbow looms, but in general:

Use the non stretchy cord to set up your loom (this is called the warp). Weave a rainbow using a basic/tabby stitch (this is the weft). V recommends starting your weave at the top of the rainbow; I agree. This helps with achieving a more defined arch shape.

Once you fill in the open arch shape, remove the rainbow from the loom. Untie the knots made in the warp, then remove the warp from the notches, one at a time. Alternate pulling the loose warp cord to secure the weft. I started from the middle and worked outward.

Sew loose weft and warp strings into the back of the rainbow and trim. Cut out and glue on a piece of felt to the back of your rainbow to hold the arch in place. I used stiff felt for my projects.

I like that you can use the tool multiple times or you can use it as a frame for a more permanent art piece. I created a basic rainbow, turned one into a necklace by using the excess warp to create a strap, made a wall hanging by using individual longer yarn pieces to weave my piece, and a hair clip by weaving just a part of the rainbow loom. These would be fun to use as gift toppers.

What would you do with your woven rainbows? Share below!

lemon roll.

Lemon roll: a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, food for your soul, what the Hubs and I look forward to on San Diego trips.

My first time at Tokyo Sushi Loha was back in 2006. It was the closest sushi place to my grad school apartment and they passed the spicy tuna roll test (When trying a new sushi restaurant, I always try my go-to roll: the spicy tuna roll. If I like it, I can eat there again.). I found myself frequenting the restaurant, often bringing guests and getting take out for evenings in. In the process I was able to try a number of their rolls. Then along came the Lemon Roll. Nobody makes it quite like Tokyo Sushi Loha. Nobody. The closest you can get to it in the Bay Area is a 49er roll, but it’s not the same. Trust.


  • California roll base
  • Fresh salmon and yellowtail
  • Thinly sliced lemon, rind on
  • Green onions
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Sesame seeds
  • Special sauce (crack sauce)

The rind is kept on the lemon, but it’s not bitter! It’s actually kind of sweet. I’ve tried for years to get their secret. Do they boil the lemons in sugar? Do they use a special type of lemon? Supposedly they simply cut the lemon really thin, but I’m still convinced they do magic to them. Here are a few lemon rolls through the years – Always consistent. Always tasty.





What’s your favorite sushi roll? Share below! 

giant pompom.

I had so much yarn (there’s still a lot!) so I made a giant pompom!


  • All the yarn – scraps work great for this project
  • 2 cake circles – go big! (You can also start with a big piece of cardboard and cut out your circle size of choice.)
  • Rope, 3 feet in length
  • Pencil
  • Scissors (for cutting cardboard and for cutting yarn)

Draw and cut a slit and a ~5 inch circle in both cake circles. You can use the hole from the first cake circle as a stencil for the second.

Line up the two cake circles and begin wrapping with yarn.

Continue to wrap until you can no longer pass yarn through the center. This took me 4+ hours.

Cut open the yarn wraps along the cake circle circumference to expose the cake circles.

Place the rope in between the two cake circle layers. Tie a tight double knot.

Carefully remove the cake circles one at a time. It’s ok if you bend or even rip apart the circles to remove.

Trim as needed to shape the pompom. It will be fairly shaggy. Give it a shake to remove loose yarn pieces. Tie an overhand knot at the end of the rope and trim as needed. Ready for hanging!

This giant pompom looks very muppet-like. This would be so fun to hang in a craft room or kid’s room. How would you decorate with a giant pom pom? Share below.

meet the maker.

For the last East Bay Yelp Elite event of 2019, we visited Melissa Joy Manning‘s jewelry shop and studio in Berkeley. In true Yelp Elite style there were of course treats (both to enjoy at the event and to take home!) and merriment! I invited my friend Connie to be my +1. It was her first Yelp Elite event!

The evening started with jewelry perusing and shopping. The staff knows everything about everything and they were so happy to be able to share the Melissa Joy Manning process and code of ethics with us. There were many everyday pieces as well as more extravagant pieces, each carefully made in the back studio. I loved the look of the shop, too. There were vintage jewelry cases and inspirational design elements like ceramic hangings and geode wall art throughout the shop.

Then, a behind the scenes look in the studio where their team of jewelry makers create each piece of jewelry sold in shop and online. Our studio guide Lisa shared the brand history, showed us around the studio, and answered all of our questions (I had so many!). This was my favorite part of the evening.

Thank you to the East Bay Yelp crew for always hosting fun events and to our generous new friends at Melissa Joy Manning for sharing their space with us for the evening! Somebody got Yelp Elite 2020 (it was me!) so I’m looking forward to another year of Yelp-y events!

the bow room.

In celebration of Christmas and finally visiting the Bow Room at the Hello Kitty Grand Cafe in Irvine, I got my nails done Hello Kitty Christmas style! (My nail artist Masako is amaze!) Ready for all the holding cute Hello Kitty things photos!

The Bow Room serves tea during the day and fancy adult beverages at night. To get there you first pass through the Grand Cafe area which serves treats like donuts and cakes and sells Hello Kitty merchandise.

If the host isn’t at the entrance, you can knock on the golden bow door knocker to enter. And once inside…

Pink and gold bows er’where. So. Cute.

Tea time! For the afternoon tea, you get strawberries and cocoa cream, a selection of savory and sweet treats, your choice of tea (or other beverage for an extra fee), and jellies to complete the meal. I ordered the lychee peach tea; everyone enjoyed their tea selection!

It’s all in the details. Hello Kitty face plates, tea cups, sugar ‘cubes,’ butter stamp, cocoa face, three-tiered plate stand, tea pot, dish ware, …. I am ded.

The tea starts with a rather large serving of strawberries and cocoa cream. You bet I ate it all! It was tart and sweet, but not too rich.

Then scones, quiche, egg salad in a tiny waffle cone, an open face cucumber sandwich, a pesto tart (this was my fave), smoked salmon croissant, raspberry macaron, apple tart, mini cakes, and jellies. Yum!

My four year old me dreams coming true! I love my family for joining me in this experience! Do you do afternoon tea? Tell me your favorite afternoon tea spots below!


Joone is a craft kit company based in Chicago. I met founders Whitney and Lauren at Craftcation last year. I got my hands on their paper cutting kit – a craft I’ve been wanting to try, but didn’t know where to start. It made for a nice travel craft for my winter break because it came with everything I needed, including a tray to collect my paper scraps, all in a small box.

The paper cutting kit comes with materials to create at least 2 bookmarks, 3 gift tags, and 1 4″x6″ art piece (you can probably use it as a post card, too!). There’s even a practice sheet to get used to cutting with an Xacto knife.

The how-to guide has lots of tips for cutting with an Xacto knife – super helpful! Once you cut out your design you can add a colorful backing with Modge Podge. They include wax paper, too, to line your table / not get mod podge everywhere.

I can’t say this is a craft I want to do always, but I’m happy to know how to create with an Xacto knife now. These tags turned out so cute!

Have you tried paper cutting? If yes, you fancy!

more baskets.

My basket instructor hosted her annual art pop-up in her home studio last month.

The sales from this pop-up were 100% donated to Yes We Can, a program that provides mobile classrooms for migrant kids waiting at the US-Mexico border.

Each year she showcases her basket creations and jewelry, and baskets and felted creations by Guatemalan artisans she has worked with on previous projects. Also at the pop-up were two guest artists: one creates ceramic pieces and the other was painting on-the-spot custom portraits.

I snagged a couple of basket beauties for my collection.

Thank you to Michele for creating and teaching how to make brilliant pieces of basket art and for sharing your talents to help benefit those in need! More caring and sharing all around in 2020!