Kitchen mats for my sis

I had been really busy over this past week and I haven't really had a chance to do anything creative : ( 

All I could manage was to sew two of these kitchen mats for my younger sis #1 who lives in Japan.  (I have two younger sis and two younger bros, all living in Japan, and this sis#1 recently got married and moved into a new house).

I simply patchworked several matching cottons in blue/navy tone, and sandwiched two layers of fleece batting to add a little softness to the feet...

I don't even know if the blue color matches her new kitchen or not, but even if they don't, I guess I'll just make another mats for her... So just let me know if you want them in different colors, sis :P

 The back side of the mats are a simple navy/white floral prints.  I thought a print like these would hide all the messiness that can result from cooking and eating.

Speaking about the kitchen, we just began to remodel our old and worn out kitchen from this week.

Here's a sneak peek of how our kitchen looks like right now...  Yes, it's literally empty.   Our contractor took out all of our cabinets, tiles, refrigerator, dishwasher, and everything else in our kitchen!

Living without our kitchen is tougher than I had imagined.  Before the construction began, I had been cooking in my kitchen almost everyday for my family, so it's so inconvenient to live without a kitchen.

Anyways, when our kitchen work is done, I plan to make new kitchen mats for myself, too.  And I can't wait for that day to come...!!!

Flower shaped pincushions

Lately, I've been hooked in making these flower shaped pincushions.


I've listed a couple of these in my online shop, and I've also given a few of them to my crafty friends as gifts.

The pincushion comes in a compact size.  It can sit on my palm like this.   Fabric covered buttons are placed in the center of the pincushion, in both the front and back sides.

 The pincushion is filled with a mixture of poly fill (fluffy image in the above right), along with the 100% wool felt roving (image to the above left), to prevent needles from rusting...

 Pincushion featuring the Swedish *dala horse*  
This fabric is a Japanese imported cotton :)

Country apples pincushion with brown and white polka dots fabric covered buttons.

Each pincushion will be packaged like this when ordered from my shop.

What kind of pincushions do you use when you sew?

Personalized pillow cover

My nine year old girl is invited to her friend's birthday party this weekend, so I quickly whipped up this personalized pillow cover for the birthday girl, with her name appliqued on to the front side.

Here is the close up of the applique... My daughter and I selected the fabrics together.

I downloaded the alphabet template from here, and basically enlarged each letters to 200% using our home copier.  Then I used the paper backed iron on interfacing (or Heat'n Bond) to make my own fabric alphabet applique. 

There are many online resources out there such as this one with simple instructions, for making your own applique if you are interested.

I used blanket stitch function of my sewing machine to sew these alphabets on to the face of the pillow cover.

 Although this pillow will be given away as a gift, I think it matches pretty well with our living room sofa... don't you think?

BTW the crocheted granny square throw that is used as a sofa cover in the below image is handmade by my mom in Japan, a.k.a. the "crocheting machine"!
What amazes me the most is that my mom completes these large projects of granny square blankets/throws in about a week or two, and she often makes several of them in one winter for her friends and family.  Now you know why I call her the "crocheting  machine", because she's indeed a super human crocheting "machine"! (lol)

Well anyways, now that the pillow gift is completed, my daughter needs to create a handmade birthday card for her friend.   Hope the birthday girl likes her new pillow, and I hope that you all continue to enjoy your weekend.

  See you again soon :)

Thank you! I reached my Japan Relief fundraising goal of $1000!!!

A huge THANK YOU to you all for your support and encouragement toward my Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief fundraising efforts!!

I am delighted to announce that earlier this week, I was able to reach my fundraising goal of $1,000 through sales proceeds of my handmade creations, and I just sent my second donation check of $500 to the Japanese Red Cross Society, through Consulate General of Japan Los Angeles.    The first $500 donation was sent in early May.

My 2nd donation check of $500

When I began this fundraiser in March of this year, I could not have imagined that I was able to reach my goal within less than three months... Without all of your support, I could definitely not have done this... (*in tears of joy*)

After all, considering the scope of the major disaster that struck my home country on March 11, 2011, I know that my donation amount is just too tiny to help those people who are still in need.  But I still wanted to do my part by doing what I like to do the most, which is to make handmade items and by selling them, mainly through my etsy shop.

Thank you again to my etsy shop customers, my friends and family members, and to you all supportive blog readers for encouraging me at all times.   Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

Oh my eyes are getting *watery* again... Arigato!!  ありがとう!!謝謝! Merci! Gracias!  Thank  you!!

2 way tote bag (red flowers)


Today, I wanted to show you something that I made a while ago, but haven't had a chance to post here on my blog.  It's a gift set that consists of a 2 way tote bag, a pouch, and a key fob, all made of matching red flower fabric.

You remember this 2 way elephant tote bag that I whipped up for my younger sis a while ago?  Well, this time, my sis asked me to make the same bag, using a different fabric, for her good friend as a birthday gift.

My sis selected this red flower fabrics (home decor weight) for her friend.  First I thought that this print may be a little too loud and flashy, but after looking at the finished items, I thought it turned out okay. Or I should say, it turned out very pretty!

Below, a green tree cotton tape is attached to the side of the outside bag pocket as a "tag".


In the past, I've made several projects for my family members as gifts to them (for free of charge, of course), but this time, my sis insisted that she was willing to pay me for this gift set.  So, without any hesitation, I gladly accepted money from my sis (which was actually nice :D).  

Well, after all, my sis knows about my Japan Relief fundraising efforts through my handmade creations, and I think she wanted to support me through her payments.  Thanks, sis, for your generous payment toward my fundraising efforts!

Just like many other bags that I create, this bag is also reversible.  This is the reversible side of the 2 way tote bag.  I actually like this reversible side more!

Although it may look like solid navy, I used navy x white polka dots cotton for this side.

 According to my sis, her friend seemed to like the gift set, which made me very happy and relieved, too!

Thank you very much for visiting my blog and I look forward to come back soon ;)  Your visits to my blog and comments, especially, are really encouraging and I am very thankful for every one of you crafty and kind folks out there!!  Arigato always to you all ;)

Zakka Style patchworked flex frame pouches

Hello my fellow crafter/blogger friends!

I just listed these patchworked flex frame pouches in my etsy shop :)  Yes, my Japan Relief fundraising effort is still going on, and 100% proceeds from the sales of these flex frame pouches will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

Let me show you some images of these convenient pouches on this post today...

10 cm (4 inches) flex frames are used at the opening.

Flex frame pouches squeeze open very easily... with just one hand.

These pouches are fully padded with fleece batting, which makes it safe to carry valuables/fragile items inside, such as eye glasses.

It measures approximately 4 inches (10 cm) wide and 7.5 inches (19 cm) tall, from top to bottom.  It's a good size to carry pens and pencils, crochet hooks, sanitary items, craft items and notions, or any other miscellaneous items inside.

On the side of the pouches, I placed a small "tag" to add that little cuteness...  Here, a Japanese ribbon tape with a flower print is attached as a "tag".

 For this "leaves and dots" pouch, I attached a handmade "tag" on to the side.

The handmade "tag" shown in the above image is made from my hand carved eraser stamp.  The hand stamped cotton tape is carefully pressed with high temperature iron, to set the flower print permanently on to the tape.

I love the zakka style look of these flex frame pouches :) 

Well, I've been working on several handmade projects nightly, but I just couldn't find enough time to post about them on my blog here :(   For me, whenever I can find any spare time for myself, I always end up sitting in my crafting area, and not in front of the computer... I wish I had enough time to both craft AND to blog, and not either or...  But after all, I guess I shouldn't be complaining too much, as long as I can find time to craft at least ;)

Thanks for visiting and I'll be back soon! 


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