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,

Spring & Summer Collection is here! 💐

I turned 40 on Wednesday!! 🎈🎉🎊

I finished the Seattle Gift Show on Tuesday (which is a 4-day long gift trade show, very slow, long 4 days), so instead of having a big birthday bash, I had dinner with some of my friends at my favorite Japanese restaurant, Nishino. A perfectly delicious and low-key celebration.

I enjoy getting older – I’ve grown to care less and less about what people think (or learn that people aren’t actually thinking about you 😀) as I get older. So freeing ✨

As if you need another reason to celebrate, my spring & summer 2018 collection is now available in my shop!

{Clockwise from top left: Bunny Mug Easter | Father’s Day Empathy | Cupcake Father’s Day | Welcome to the World Baby Shower | Vintage Flower Vases Mother’s Day | Mother’s Day Empathy | Self-Care is not Selfish | Sail On, Graduation | Thinking of You Pink Bouquet | Sloth Happy Birthday}

{1. Self-Care is not Selfish Print, 8″x10″ | 2. Welcome to the World, Little One Print 11″x14″ | 3. Sail On, 8″x10″ | 4. Moonlit Mountains, 8″x10″ }

I’ve also added new notepad and wrapping papers to the shop, which are not photographed here 👆

Please note that I’ll be in Hawaii with my mom this coming week (!), so any orders that come in after January 27th will be shipped during the week of February 5th.

Here is to a new decade with lots more to celebrate!

xo

p.s. In case you missed the link to my new spring & summer collection, click here.

p.p.s. I’m taking a much needed vacation this coming week – no new post from me next Sunday 😉

Love is in the air ❤️

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

I don’t do anything extravagant but write Dave a little note to tell him how much I appreciate and love him ❤️

I’m in a more celebratory mood around this time of the year anyway because there is New Year’s holiday, and then Dave and my first date anniversary (11 years!), and my birthday (I’m turning 40 next week!!), and then Valentine’s Day tops it all off.

I know it’s a bit early for Valentine’s Day, but I’m so excited to share my new Valentine’s Day card and notepad with you!

Aren’t they so ADORABLE? 😍

You can order your Secret Garden Bird Notepad here and the Secret Garden Bird Valentine’s Day Card here.

And, don’t forget these classic love designs 😉

{ 1. Secret Bird Garden Card / 2. Sea Otters Holding Hands Card / 3. Croc & Birdie We Belong Together Card / 4. Cat Violin Card / 5. Pink Alpaca Heart Card / 6. Red Flowers Love Card / 7. Iguana Flowers For You Card / 8. I Love You More Than Card }

FYI – I’m going to Oahu with my mom during the last week of January, so orders that come in after January 27th won’t go out until February 6th.

Have a love-filled day​ ❤️​

xo

p.s. In case you missed the link, you can order any of my love cards and gifts here.

p.p.s. My new collection will be released next week! Keep your eyes peeled for my next post 👀

Spring & summer collection preview!

As soon as I finished the last holiday craft show in December, I started working really hard to prepare for the Seattle Gift Show, which is a semi-annual gift trade show.

The show is this coming weekend (EEEEK! 😱), and my goal is to release my spring and summer collection there.

Here are some of the new designs I’ve been creating that are going to be part of the new line!

I’m working on a few more designs as we speak – birthday, congratulations, and Easter, for example.

And, new notepads and wrapping papers are in the works, too! Woo hoo!

I’ll keep you posted on the progress and let you know when they’re available in my shop 😘

Stay tuned!

xo

p.s. Are you a retail shop buyer? You can register for the Seattle Gift Show here. See you at booth #3648

New Year’s wishes for you!

2018 is the Year of the Dog. I had a great fun drawing these cute doggies in sweaters 🐶

New Year’s is the biggest holiday in Japan, and everything shuts down between January 1st and the 3rd. Though I’ve lived in the states for almost 22 years now, I still observe it and take a break in the beginning of the year.

On New Year’s Day, Dave and I usually take a long walk if the weather is nice, eat mochi (rice cake) soup to warm up, and be lazy and enjoy relaxing together.

On last New Year’s Day, we went for a walk in the University of Washington Arboretum.

Everything feels sacred to me in the beginning of the year. It gives me a pause to think about what I want this year to be. I take the time to appreciate everything I have in my life.

One of the many things I appreciate in my life is, of course, YOU! I could not do this without your support, so thank you for being interested in what I do and supporting my work❤️

Do you have a ritual or tradition for New Year’s holiday? Tell me in comments 😊

Here is to a whole new year filled with love, joy, and creativity!

xo

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Personal seasons greetings

I can’t believe it’s the last day of the year… Can you??

This year, I’ve managed to send out holiday greeting cards to our family and friends.

For someone who designs greeting cards for a living, I’m terrible at sending people cards 😅 so I’m glad I finally fixed that!

Inside the card, we included a summary of what we’ve done in 2017. It’s short and sweet, and I thought you might enjoy reading our little updates, too.

I enjoyed reviewing our year – if I’m not intentional about it, I’d never take the time to think about our accomplishments. It all seemed like a blur until I wrote them all down!

How has your year been? What are some of the highlights? If you have any updates, hit reply and tell me 😊

Have a happy and safe New Year! I’m so grateful for your support this year and look forward to sharing my journey with you in 2018!

xo

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New freebie for you!

Hello,

I gave my VIP members the cutest freebies recently.

Cozy Pups in Sweaters!

If you haven’t already, you can sign up here and receive this adorable “Cozy Pups in Sweaters” digital wallpapers for your computer and smartphone instantly.

Hope you enjoy! It makes me smile every time I open my devices 😊

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

Self-Care Strategies for the Holiday Busy-ness

My mini sabbatical was last week. Or I should I say, it was supposed to be.

This is by far the busiest time of the year for me with the holiday fairs and events. I wasn’t sure if I should be taking my sabbatical this time especially because I had a big double header craft shows on the weekend.

I tried to tie all the loose ends the week before so I could still enjoy my time off, but it just wasn’t feasible. I also had two events the weekend before, so essentially preparing for 4 shows in one week was not realistic.

So instead, I let go of the idea of having a complete time off and prepared as best as I could the week before so the week leading up to my biggest craft shows wasn’t as stressful.

Here are some things that helped me:

1. I created and scheduled contents ahead of time.

I used to be a lot better about scheduling my contents (blog, newsletter, social media posts etc.) ahead of time, but it’s been slipping a little bit.

So, the couple of weeks leading up to my sabbatical week, I focused more time and energy on having enough contents scheduled so I didn’t have to worry about it during and after the sabbatical. I knew I’d need a little buffer after I finished the big shows to recover.

2. I didn’t schedule anything other than prepping for the shows.

No deadlines, no producing new work, and no outreach to potential retail shops.

Knowing I could only focus on one thing – to prep and pack up for the shows – gave me the mental space to be more present.

3. I asked for help.

If you’ve done any arts & craft shows before, you know it’s A LOT OF WORK. Naturally, I was freaking out about the volume of work that needed to be prepped for two big shows at once.

I am very fortunate to have a super supportive husband. When Dave sees that I’m stressed out, he’s always there to help out.

He did a chunk of preparation work, like folding notecards, stuffing them in sleeves, packing them in boxes, putting labels on them etc. etc.

I honestly don’t know what I’d done without his help!!

Honeyberry Studios HQ

On the side note, I should’ve kept track of how many hours he spent helping me so I have a better idea if/when I decide to hire someone to help me out in the future.

4. I slept more.

I usually wake up at around 5:15 to meditate and do some writing in the morning.

But during my sabbatical, I set my Sleep Cycle app around 6 or not set the alarm at all so I could catch extra sleep. I’d already scheduled all of my contents beforehand, so I could take a break from my early morning daily writing.

It doesn’t seem like much of “sleeping in” to you, but extra 15-30 minutes of sleep does wonders for you! I definitely felt more rested and relaxed during the week.

Me at the Urban Craft Uprising Winter Show in Seattle.

I’m happy to say my two big shows went really well.

And If you were wondering how I managed to be at two shows on the same weekend – I didn’t 😀

Dave rocking the booth at Phinney Winter Festival

I sent my sweet husband, Dave, to do the other one. He’d never done any shows before, yet he did SO well!!

So well in fact I wish he could do all my shows in the future (He declined. Sad.)

I have a couple more busy weekends ahead of me, so I’m continuing to not schedule anything big during the weekdays. 

After all, I do want to enjoy the magic of the holiday season, too, you know?

A perfectionist part of me was thinking “if I couldn’t take my sabbatical week off the way it was supposed to be (i.e. not working ), I should just work as usual and take a time off when the holiday rush is over.”

But I’m glad I ended up taking a little bit of a breather.

After all, running a business is like a marathon, not a sprint (although it may feel like one sometimes 😬), and the last thing you want is a burnout.

I’m trying to take a deep breath, trying to focus on one thing at a time, listening to what my body needs, and doing my best to stay well mentally and physically for the rest of my busy season.

If you feel overwhelmed with all the holiday crazy-ness and feel you don’t have time for self-care, that’s when you need it the most. 

Pause, breathe, and do something that helps you stay present and grounded today.

You got this!

xo

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