My top 5 blog posts!

I can’t believe this post is my 526th!

I started blogging back in January 2014. I’ve posted pretty regularly ever since – at least weekly (except for sabbatical weeks), but from April 2014 to April 2015 daily for my 365 day happiness is project.

I like sharing my thoughts in writing.

I’m not a super verbal person, and writing allows me to examine and express myself more intentionally.

Writing has become a part of my everyday routine. In fact it’s the first thing I do in the morning after my short meditation practice.

When I don’t do it, I feel a little disoriented 😀

Anyway, I’ve never paid close attention to my blog stats before – but I got curious, so I checked which posts were most popular.

Here are the all time 5 posts that got the most views this year:

1. My Favorite Tools: Sakura Koi Coloring Brush Pens

2. Quitting my day job cold turkey wasn’t my plan A

3. Draw Yourself Back to Nature Fall Leaf Doodle Tutorial

4. My Favorite Tool: Moo Carve

5. My Vipassana 10-Day Silent Meditation Retreat Reflections

I see that you enjoy my tutorials and tool reviews a lot! That makes me happy because I enjoy teaching and sharing what I know 🙂

I used to do a lot of “self reflection-y” posts, too, and I’m glad you found some of those helpful.

I forgot how much work I used to put into my blog posts! There were lots of long-form articles and custom images.

It used to take me hours (like at least 4 hours) to complete a blog post. I’ve since been re-focusing my priorities and goals for my business, so you may have noticed my articles have  become more short and sweet in the recent year.

I sometimes wonder if anybody’s reading my blog 😀 so it was nice to see that people in fact read them! He he.

Thanks for following along my journey! I’m always grateful for your support and encouragement.

Have a great week!

xo

 

 

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New retail shops near you!

Wholesale side of my business has been growing steadily this year (yay!), and several new retail shops carry my goodies now!

Here are some of the new retail shops that have partnered with me this year:

ALASKA

Cordova

The Net Loft

IDAHO

Coeur d’Alene

Mountain Madness Soap Co.

KANSAS

Lawrence

Wonder Fair

NEW YORK

Buffalo

Fern & Arrow

OREGON

Bend

Pomegranate Home & Garden

Portland

carter & rose

PENNSYLVANIA

Philadelphia

Snap Dragon Flowers

WASHINGTON

Bainbridge Island

Whimsy

Bothell

Scout 829

Lopez Island

Paper Scissors on the Rock

Seattle

Seattle Art Museum, SAM Shop

The Wing Luke Museum

Spokane

Atticus Coffee & Gifts

Spokane Valley

The Trellis Marketplace

Tacoma

The Pacific Northwest Shop

CANADA

Calgary

Paper Root Studios

Victoria

Oscar & Libby’s

Also, Dave helped me make this handy map to locate all of my retail points of sale! I feel so fancy 😀

I believe in supporting my local small business, and I bet you do, too!

Go ahead and visit these fine businesses near you. You’ll probably find something new made by other awesome talented makers as well 💕

Thanks for your support, my friend!

xo

p.s. Don’t see a retail shop near you? Got a suggestion? I’m all ears! Tell me who else should be carrying my products in the comment 😊

Let’s celebrate spring birthdays🐣🌸

Are you a spring baby?

Or know someone who is?

I love using happy colors in my art, and these spring-y birthday cards are perfect for making someone smile on their special day!

[1. Sloth Birthday Card 2. Folk Flower Birthday Card 3. Spring Flowers Birthday Card 4. Happy Birthday Brush Lettering Card (Green, Blue, Grey) 5. Happy Birthday Brush Lettering Card (Pink, Green, Yellow) 6. Poppy Field Birthday Card 7. Party Snail Birthday Card]

It’s always nice to have a back stock of birthday cards so when a birthday sneaks up on ya, you don’t have to make an emergency trip to a drug store.

(And end up with generic, not so pretty/thoughtful cards. Nobody wants that 🙈)

Let’s face it, getting a physical notecard on your birthday is MUCH, much more special than getting a text or email.

You can hold them, smell them, see their unique handwriting, display them, and if you’re a packrat like me, store them in a shoebox for many, many years and feel all warm and fuzzy in the midst of your decluttering session 😆

So, pull up your birthday calendar and take an inventory of your greeting card drawer stat!

If you’re running low, now is a good time to stock up on them 😉

xo

p.s. In case you missed the link, you can shop my greeting cards here.

p.p.s. Don’t forget, you get free U.S. shipping for orders of $35 or more. Use coupon code “HAPPY35” at checkout!

My #1 self-care strategy!

You know what I’m afraid of more than anything? More than ghost or accidentally eating spicy food?

I’m afraid of burn-out.

As a solopreneur, I’ve fallen into the habit of working a lot and not really taking a break, especially in the beginning.

When I noticed I was getting burnt out only a couple of months after I started working on Honeyberry Studios full-time, I started taking mini sabbaticals every 7 weeks. (The brilliant concept was created by Seanwes.)

Basically, I block off every 7th week on my calendar and don’t schedule any work.

That’s a time to purposefully relax and pursue things I enjoy but don’t have time to do normally. I might see friends for coffee or make something just for fun.

Full disclosure – I’ve been neglecting my mini sabbaticals for a few months – the last couple sabbaticals happened during a super busy holiday season and right before a big trade show – so I kind of tried to take it easy but not really 😑 and I’ve been feeling run down for a while.

So when I was on my mini sabbatical last week, I was determined to enjoy it!

Here are some highlights from my week off 😉

So, the weekend before the sabbatical, I had worked at Custer’s Spring Arts & Crafts Show in Spokane, Washington.

It was a fun show, and the day we left turned out gorgeous!

Dave and I enjoyed a stroll along the riverfront after the breakfast. Spokane river was impressive!

I worked on my pet ornaments in my pottery class on Tuesday.

These are not for sale but I may make more for my Etsy shop in the future. Aren’t they so adorable?

I love a good homemade moisturizer.

I’ve been making this recipe for a year or so, and it’s VERY moisturizing! I’ve been adding my favorite doTerra essential oils to make it smell nice, too 🌿

I also started working on my Crafter’s Box punch needle project.

I’m still getting a hang of it, but it’s therapeutic and I love the fuzzy texture of the piece 😊

Last but not least, we went to The Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington on Sunday!

It was a spring-y, sunny day, and all the creatures were so adorable 💕 Totally worth a visit if you’re in the area!

This mini sabbatical was just what the doctor ordered.

A perfect reminder to not overlook my #1 self-care strategy again!

Hope you’re doing something nice for yourself this week 💕

xo

Join me on beautiful Vashon Island this spring!

I’ll be teaching my block printing workshop at Camp Thundercraft this spring!

What’s Camp Thundercraft, you ask? In short, it’s a retreat for small creative business owners. 

Throughout the weekend, they offer workshops and classes that are suitable for people at different places in their creative business.

And there will be plenty of opportunities to mingle and connect with other makers, too, of course.

It’s gonna be at Camp Burton on beautiful Vashon Island on the weekend of April 13th through 15th.

Vashon Island is the first place I’d ever visited in the states back in 1995.

I was there for a spring break for a short exchange student program (Vashon high school was our sister school)​ and fell in love with the place and people.

That led me to coming back to study in Seattle after high school in ’96 and the rest is, well, history.

I haven’t been to Vashon for many, many years (probably 20 years by now) and am super stoked to go back there!!

I’m teaching a couple of sessions of my block printing workshops there and will be attending other workshops for myself, too.

You can see the camp schedule, other speakers, and register here.

Let me know if you have any questions. Hope to see you there 👋

xo

p.s. I’m gonna be on my mini sabbatical week, so no new post from me on next Sunday!

New art prints for spring 🌸

Some people argue that Seattle doesn’t have distinct four seasons, but I beg to differ!

Even though it’s still chilly out, the days are growing longer, and I can feel the spring is near! I can almost smell the cherry blossoms in the air 🌸

Just like changing your wardrobe, I like to update my gallery wall for the new season.

That’s why I wanted to remind you of my colorful new art prints that are perfect for welcoming in the spring in your home!

1) Self-care is not Selfish (8″x10″) 2) Welcome to the World, Little One (11″x14″) 3) Sail On (8″x10″) 4) Moonlit Mountains (8″x10″)

I can see these prints in your kids’ room, office, or bedroom. Really, any place you wanna add a little color and cheer would do 😉

They’re archival prints on a very nice fine art paper. Look at the velvety texture. Swoon!!

My customers often ask me if these are my originals. Well, not quite 😀 But I agree they look so good it’s hard to believe they’re not original.

You can browse all of my new prints in my shop here.

Enjoy!

xo

Drawing tutorial video behind the scenes

I worked on a new drawing tutorial video for Sakura of America last week.

It’s a mixed media drawing of colorful flowers in a vase. Perfect for spring, don’t you think?

my humble video shoot set-up

I mostly made my piece with Sakura Koi brush pens and enjoyed trying their Quickie Glue in this video, too.

(Plus glitters… So sparkly🤩)

I’ll keep you posted on when the video comes out on their YouTube channel.

If you want to see my previous videos, you can check out my archive here. I also talk about my video shoot process in this post

Have a creative week!

xo

My Hawaiian vacation pics!

I love Hawaii!

Oh the sunshine and the warm, plumeria-scented breeze… I could feel every cell in my body relax as soon as we landed.

My mom and I met in Oahu, HI (it’s about the same distance from Japan and Seattle) and spent a week hanging out, eating, shopping, and sightseeing during the last week of January.

Enjoy some snapshots from our vacation 🌴🌺🌈

We went on a dolphin watching tour. We’re holding a fake dolphin skull 😂 We did see dolphins and a humpback whale! It was amazing.

Bishop Museum. Stunning exhibits & buildings.

Beauty of the building itself is worth a visit!

Waimea Valley & Falls

In the hibiscus garden

Waimea Fall. No we didn’t go swimming 😉

Beautiful flowers everywhere at the Waimea Valley Botanical Garden

Ladies on the beach in North Shore. There are lots of wild chickens and roosters roaming around once you’re outside of Waikiki.

Kitty chilling in old Haleiwa town

We watched a beautiful sunset in North Shore. My favorite sight in Hawaii ❤

I made a couple of art inspired by the beauty on the island.

I’ve only been back for a few days, but I miss it SO MUCH 😢 I wish I could’ve stayed there a little longer. Sigh.

I hope I’m lucky enough to visit the paradise many more times. If you go (or live there, jealous!!), soak up the sun for me 😉

Aloha,