Inspirational Applique & Embroidery Tutorials

I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Beth Colletti and share our lovely collaboration projects with you today!

Beth creates beautiful embroidery art and patterns, and she created these awesome hoop art using new fabrics from my Spoonflower shop

Because she’s such a generous person, she’s sharing her patterns and helpful step-by-step tutorials on her blog for free!

AMAZING.

You can see her “How to Create Appliquéd Inspirational Succulent Hoop Art” post here.

And her veggie garden lettering embroidery patterns here.

Thank you, Beth, for creating such beautiful art and tutorials with my fabrics! You’re a gift to us all ❤

Be sure to follow her on Instragram (@bethcolletti) and check out her shop for more inspirations 🙂

Take care!

xo

p.s. I’m going to be on my mini sabbatical this coming week, and there won’t be any new post next Sunday. See you in a couple of weeks!

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

4 Ways to Enjoy Your Blank Note Cards

I don’t know about you, but when I travel or go to craft shows, I always end up buying blank note cards.

Here are some of my greeting card collection.

It’s not that I “need” them… And I make greeting cards for a living, so you know I’ve got plenty! It’s just when I see pretty cards, I can’t help myself 😀

I’ve got several blank note cards in my shop and wanted to share how you can enjoy them!

1. You’re ready for any special occasions that sneak up on you.

Because they’re not meant for any specific occasions, you can use them for pretty much everything: birthdays, wedding, sympathy, congratulations, thinking of you, I love you, I’m sorry, baby shower, going away… You name it, it’s gonna do the job.

For example, maybe you’re gonna see a friend for lunch and remember her birthday is in 3 days. You can grab a blank card like this Eat a Rainbow card from your stash and turn it into a birthday card. Perfect for a summer birthday! (And bonus points if she’s a veggie gardener.)

 

2. You’ve got a small (and inexpensive) artwork to enjoy.

I live in a small apartment and don’t have much wall space. So when I buy blank cards what I often end up doing is hanging them up as an artwork.

Because they’re small and less expensive than buying an actual art print, I can buy and hang up more pieces, and it’s easier to switch them up as I get more cards!

(Currently, I have 10 cards posted at my desk, and they all give me the visual inspirations when I do my work. )

A customer told me she’d framed my Rooster Friends card and enjoy them as a small art, too 🙂

3. You have a beautiful gift item that’s easy to ship.

Since they’re not meant for any particular uses, it makes a great gift. And your friend can use them as a greeting card or an art to display.

Giving an art work to someone as a gift is often tricky because it’s so personal, but small artful greeting card is less commitment, and it’s easier to ship if your friend lives far away.

My Block Print Figs card comes in 4 color ways, and you can purchase and gift them as a set.

4. You give your loved ones a warm blanket for their heart ❤

When was the last time you sent someone a handwritten note? We’re so used to emailing and texting nowadays. And I’m so guilty of that!

I used to write letters a lot to my friends in Japan when I first moved to the states 20 years ago, but now we connect mostly on Facebook. There are lots of great things about internet and social media, but handwritten notes are so much more special.

Unlike email or texts, you can actually hold the card in your hand, see their handwriting (which is my favorite part), and physically display and store them to enjoy later.

I have a shoebox full of letters and cards I got from my husband, Dave, while we were dating – we were in a long distance relationship for almost 5 years and only saw each other a couple of times a month.

Of course, we’d talk on the phone or email (neither of us had a smartphone then, so not much texting), but we also wrote and send each other cards and letters just to say hi and give each other updates about our life.

I’d get his notes in a mail at random times, and his handwriting and little smiley faces (the original emoji!) made me feel loved and warm. I felt like I could hear his voice and feel his presence more closely.

I could picture him sitting down at the small folding table in the corner of his little cabin on the farm after a long day of work still steaming from the nice hot solar shower. I could picture him writing with his black ball point pen he always carries around in his pocket and thinking of me as he wrote me a letter. He’d take the time to find cute kitty stickers to put on the envelopes because he knew I loved cats!

Anyone who’s been in a long distance relationship knows it sucks.

It was always bitter sweet when we did see each other in person because I knew the visit would end and we’d be separated again. I remember being overcome by sadness every time we said good bye, and it’d take me a few days to feel normal again.

When I was feeling sad, I’d take my “box of Dave” out of the closet and look through the cards and letters he’d sent me. Sometimes it made me cry because it was so tender and I missed him even more.

But they also gave me the strength and kept my heart warm.

It still lights me up to read those old love notes from him. It reminds me to not take our time together for granted and helps soften my heart when something he does annoys me 😀

My Cat Violinist card is a perfect vehicle for sending a loving message to your favorite person ❤

Bluebird of Happiness greeting card

I hope this post has given you some ideas of what you can do with your blank note cards!

Let me know your favorite use for them 🙂

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Fun & Easy Sewing Project Ideas

Hi friend!

I’m really excited that my brand-new fabric shop just opened on Spoonflower!

To give you some inspirations, I wanted to share some of the fun projects I’ve worked on with my new fabric collection.

If you’re not that into sewing or you’re a beginner like me, you’d be glad to know there are still lots of things you can make!

For example, check out these hoop art with my Eat a Rainbow fabric. There is no sewing involved (winner!) and yet so cute. Wouldn’t they be perfect in your kitchen or in your kids’ room?

I also made a few zippered pouches – which, I confess, was harder than I thought, but with more practice I know it would be a fun thing to make more of!

(There are many tutorials on the interweb, but I followed this one and this one.)

I carry my favorite drawing markers in my pencil pouch when I’m on the go. I used a bright-colored fabric for the liner inside to make it extra cheerful and easy for me to see what’s inside.

I made a small coin purse as well with my I heart Seattle Mug fabric. How adorable is this??

It’s a perfect size for my business cards and I keep them organized in my bag.

I shared this bag on my blog a few weeks ago, but these Azuma bags are pretty simple to make. It’s constructed with just one rectangular Succulent Plants fabric and sewing straight lines.

(You can follow the instructions here.)

I can carry my wallet, phone, and keys in this bag to go grocery shopping, or throw in my favorite snacks to go when I go to my pottery class.

And these coasters are a great way to use up your scraps! Easy, peasy.

(Basically, sew around two squares right sides together with 1.5″ hole, turn inside out, press and top stitch all the way around.)

Now, if I were a more skilled sewist, which you may be, I’d be making cute summer dresses, more zippered pouches, aprons, bags, table linens etc. etc. Can you imagine making anything kid-sized with these?? SO ADORABLE ❤

You can shop these fabrics in 24 different materials in my fabric shop now!

Make fun things and share your photos with me 🙂 Tag your pics on social media with #honeyberryfabric so I can see them.

Have fun!

xo

 

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

My new fabric collection on Spoonflower!

I’m super excited to tell you my very first fabric collection just came out on Spoonflower!

I have four new designs in fun cheerful colors. They’re perfect for sewing garments, home decor, bags, and other creative projects.

Eat a Rainbow fabric comes with two background colors: light grey and light blue green.

Rooster Friends fabric is just SO MUCH FUN.

When I shared this design with my followers on Instagram, a lot of people said it would be perfect for a little kid-sized apron. Anyone want to make one and show me?? I think it would be ADORABLE.

Succulent Plants fabric comes with three background colors: light yellow, charcoal grey, and pink.

Last but not least, I love the rainbow colors in this I ❤ Seattle Rainbow Mugs fabric!

What’s cool about shopping your favorite fabrics on Spoonflower is you can choose from so many different fabric types (24 to be precise!) from basic cotton to flowy chiffon to snuggly fleece. The possibilities are truly endless!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

xo

p.s. Be sure to use the hashtag #honeyberryfabric if you post your sewing project with my fabric on social media! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Summer 2017 Greeting Card Collection Design Process

Hey there, friend!

My Summer 2017 Greeting Card Collection launched a few weeks ago, and I wanted to share with you some of the design processes.

I created this Croc & Bird We Belong Together design originally in my pottery class.

I made a mug that turned out really lopsided, so I painted an image that wrapped around the whole mug with underglazes.

Once I painted the croc and bird image on the mug, I loved it so much that I made a small watercolor painting on paper and added the sweet message “We belong together.” with the brush.

For the greeting card (and also art print!) I decided to go with the much simpler handwriting so the text won’t compete with the clean and simple image of the croc and the bird.

It’s a perfect card for a wedding, anniversary, or to send to a good friend you haven’t seen for a while.

You can get the Croc & Bird greeting card here, and the 8×10 art print here.

I painted these cats high-fiving each other on a whim for my daily paining. The image just came in to my head, and I had to put it on the paper 😀

These cats are so excited for your accomplishment and ready to celebrate!

You can send this card to your friend who just got a new job, or anyone who has worked really hard for their goals.

You can order your Cats High Five card here.

I saw these lovely reddish orange flowers on the sidewalk during one of my afternoon walks around the neighborhood.

They were so brilliant and perfect – I had to stop and snap a picture so I could paint them when I got home.

The bright red color screams love and passion to me, so I turned it into a simple love greeting card.

It’ll make a gorgeous companion to your wedding gift, or you can surprise your sweetheart with a love note 🙂

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

My Creative Sabbatical

I took my mini sabbatical during the July 4th week, and it was so refreshing and relaxing.

(In case you are not familiar, I’ve been taking every 7th week off to relax and recharge since 2015. This brilliant concept was inspired by Seanwes.)

Mini sabbaticals are like staycations with intentions, and I try to do things that refuel my creative and spiritual reservoir.

I used to schedule a bunch of lunches and coffee dates with friends during my sabbaticals because I never saw them otherwise. But then I realized it was not very relaxing 😀 (introverts, you feel me.)

Lately, I try to keep my sabbatical weeks open and unscheduled as much as possible and decide what to do when I’m actually on my sabbatical.

It’s also a time for me to pursue things I normally don’t get to do – like spending hours exploring and organizing recipes online (which I’ve done during this sabbatical) and read books on my couch in the middle of the day.

Here are some of the highlights from my most recent mini sabbatical!

1. Marimekko, With Love exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum.

I’d been meaning to check out the exhibit for some time, and I’m so glad I went before it ended!

The show was absolutely STUNNING. I loved all the beautiful designs, colors, and art… Sigh.

And, what I appreciated the most about the exhibit was that you know they’re not trying to be like someone else or please everyone – they have a very recognizable style and that’s what makes them so iconic.

I sometimes feel self-couscious about my style, feeling it’s too simplistic. But, after visiting the exhibit, I felt inspired to keep doing “my thing” and be myself creatively!

2. Sewing with my new fabrics

I’m a fabric lover and love spending time at fabric stores ❤ I love examining beautiful fabrics and dreaming of all the things they can turn into.

However, I’m not very good at sewing (yet!) so I have stacks of fabrics I’ve collected over the years in a bin on my craft shelf 😀

I’ve recently created my own fabric designs on Spoonflower and ordered them to see what they look like in person.

I’m very happy with how they turned out, and it’s a special feeling to see your art come to life on fabric 🙂

I’d originally attempted to make zippered pouches with the new fabrics but realized it was a bit beyond my current skill level.

So rather than stressing about it, I sewed a few things that were easy for beginners.

This bag was really easy to sew! I could carry snacks or use it to organize things in my big bags.

Simple coasters with the grey and pink succulent fabrics! ❤

And even made these hoops – no sewing involved 😀

Pssst… If you want to know when my Spoonflower shop opens, be sure to sign up for my newsletter!

3. Block printing

After the Marimekko exhibit, I was inspired to create block print repeat patterns.

I came up with this original design when I was making my daily painting a few weeks ago.

An image of simple blue birds in flight came in to my head and I thought it would make a cute pattern!

I’d love to print this on a simple linen to make a scarf sometime. Or a T-shirt?

And I created this mushroom design – just because.

Wouldn’t it be a cute tea towel or tote bag design for fall?

Most of my sabbaticals go by really fast, but this one felt like it went by slowly. 

It was a good combination of staying home to work on my creative projects and going out to see friends and family.

Since I’ve got a pretty busy summer coming up preparing for my very first trade show in August (!!), I really enjoyed this break.

Hope you get to have some creative fun this summer, too!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

p.s. Wanna see what else I do during my sabbaticals? You can check out the archive here.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

UPPERCASE Magazine Feature & Design Process

 

Hello hello!

I’ve been on my mini sabbatical this week but wanted to share that my “Vintage Chicken Garden Seattle Greeting Card” design was featured in the latest issue of UPPERCASE magazine! Hooray!

UPPERCASE is an internationally distributed publication for art, design, and creativity, and I was so excited when Janine contacted me to say my work was picked!

When I was working on this artwork for the open call, I was thinking of all the things I love about Seattle.

There are so many great things about the city: nature, food, people, and gorgeous weather in summer (although I don’t really mind the rain, either ;))

When I close my eyes and go to my happy place, this is where I go – beautiful gardens with lots of flowers, vegetables, and chickens!

It’s not about the touristy places for me but the people’s backyard gardens and community gardens, where we can get our hands dirty and nurture plants that nurture us in return.

My initial concept sketch

Since the assignment was to create an art for vintage-inspired souvenir postcard, I created a Pinterest board for Japanese vintage postcards for inspiration.

I’m not conscious of it most of the time, but my art is often influenced by Japanese designs (duh!)

 

They’re so simple and beautiful ❤

I sometimes get insecure that my art is much too simple, but rather than fighting it to make it look like someone else’s art, I decided that’s my strength and embrace it! 

After looking at pretty designs I pinned (many of them block printed art), I was inspired to create my piece by block printing.

But I quickly realized I was running out of time 😀 so I went with a very simple line drawing, which I then colored digitally for a flat, crisp look reminiscent of block printed art.

My Vintage Chicken Garden Seattle artwork is now available on Etsy! You can get your greeting card here and the 8×10 giclee art print here.

I also suggest you subscribe to UPPERCASE magazine here or find it at your local book store if you haven’t gotten one already.

I love to support small independent businesses, and the magazine is always full of inspiring art and stories ❤

Enjoy!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Affordable Wedding Gift Ideas for Joyful Summer Wedding

Summer is officially here!

It’s time for hiking, BBQ-ing, camping, and of course, outdoor weddings.

Dave and I got married in the summer of 2013 (wow, it’s almost 4 years ago! Time sure flies…) and have lots of fond memories 🙂

This is one of my favorite shots from our wedding party ❤

Even though wedding is all about the people and celebration of love, it wouldn’t hurt to get a beautiful gift for the happy couple 😉

I’ve gathered up inspirations for summer wedding gift ideas for you!

1. Love Embroidery Hoop  / 2.  Matching Mug Cups / 3. Handmade Love Photo Album / 4. Pink Poppies Wedding Congrats Card / 5. Gold Heart Ring Dish / 6. “I Don’t Know How to Wrap a Gift” Bag / 7. Sea Otters Holding Hands Art Print

I love gifts that are simple and beautiful ❤

You can get the Pink Poppies Wedding Card and Sea Otter Art Print in my Etsy shop (or click on the image below for a direct link.)

Hope your summer is filled with fun and delightful moments ❤

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Why I quit posting my daily paintings on social media

I began my 30-minute daily painting challenge in November of last year.

I realized I’d been putting my art making on a back burner and thought daily challenge would reinvigorate my practice.

(You can read more about my challenge in this blog post and this one.)

My new challenge did help me tremendously to develop  a habit to sit and paint every day. Once it became a habit, I’d feel uneasy if I hadn’t painted by mid-afternoon.

But, I was also getting really stressed out.

It wasn’t the act of painting that was stressful – for the most part, I looked forward to my painting time, and it was calming and relaxing – but, I began to pressure myself to create something my followers would “like” on social media.

I knew intellectually the daily creative practice was ultimately for me but would feel bad when I got fewer “likes.”

Rather than creating something I felt like creating, I began painting something I thought my followers would respond to better.

Rather than being playful and curious, I was carefully crafting works that were attractive and well put together.

And to do so in 30 minutes became so exhausting! It’s like creating a concept, writing your first draft, editing, and publishing an article all in 30 minutes. I was making so many micro-decisions while I painted, and that was not enjoyable at all.

Plus posting my artwork every day became a chore – not only did I spend 30+ minutes for prepping, painting, and clean up, but it took extra 30 minutes to take a decent photo, edit the image, write the captions and hashtags for Instagram, and schedule the post every day.

It was taking the time and energy away (not to mention my social media real estate) from the work I should’ve been focusing on, which is making products and promoting them to generate more income for my business.

So I decided to quit posting my paintings on social media after day 183.

This is the last painting I posted officially.

I still sit down to make something every day. But rather than focusing on finishing a presentable piece in 30 minutes, I might just make a quick 10-15 minute painting or take longer if I feel like it. Or I’d collage. Or draw with pen and markers.

It just depends on what I feel like making that day, and since I don’t have the pressure to share and get more “likes”, I’m more relaxed and free.

The practice was actually enjoyable again!

These are some of the art I made after I quit posting.

(I still do share the peek of it on my Instagram Stories every day. But since the images go away after 24 hours, and you don’t have the “like” counts, it’s a lot less pressure.)

I realized it was more important for me to exercise my creative muscle every day than to create something that looks good every day.

I did lose some followers as a result, and I hate backing out of my word – but, I allowed myself to quit  because it was no longer helping me to achieve my goal.

So far, not posting my work hasn’t stopped me from making art every day (I’m on day 213 as of the time of writing this article), and I call that a success!

Who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind again in the future, and that’s OK, too.

When you set a goal, it’s important that you pay attention to the little voice inside of you and course correct when something doesn’t feel good to you any more.

There is absolutely no need for you to keep doing something that doesn’t bring you joy or bring you closer to your goal! Your work will suffer in a long run, and you’ll eventually get burned out.

And, burnout, my friend, is the worst enemy of an artist.

We all suffer from the “like” addiction, and recognizing how it hinders you from expressing your authentic creative voice is the first step in overcoming that addiction. 

Now, go do your thing 🙂 The world needs you to keep creating the things only you can!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

New Drawing Tutorial on YouTube

Hello, hello!

My “Let’s draw a poppy!” drawing tutorial is on Sakura of America’s YouTube channel now!

You can watch it here:

It’s super quick and easy, all you need is colored markers (I use Sakura Koi Brush Pens), a black pen (I use my Micron), and a sketchbook.

I love drawing these cheerful poppies 🙂 They make me excited for the summer months ahead!

You can play with different color combos, too.

Purple & magenta poppies with green Gellyroll outline for the leaves and stems.
Yellow & orange poppies. They look like tiny sun 🙂
Blue and purple poppies with white Gellyroll lines.

These poppies are joy to draw ❤ Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag me (@honeyberrystudios) if you share your poppy drawings 🙂

Happy creating!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave