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! đŸ˜±), 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 đŸ¶

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

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

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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

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

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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

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gelly Roll White Folk House Drawing Tutorial

Hey friend,

My most recent drawing tutorial, “Gelly Roll Folk Houses,” is on Sakura of America’s YouTube channel! I had fun with their new Gelly Roll White pens in this one.

You can watch it here:

Enjoy!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

p.s. If you share your work on Instagram, be sure to tag me @honeyberrystudios so I can see what you come up with 🙂

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2017 Holiday Fabric Collection & Notepads in Shop!

Hi Friend!

My new winter holiday fabric/wrapping paper collection is now available in my Spoonflower shop!

Check out all the designs and colors ❀

{Triangle Forest: black | black/white | smoky blue | red | light blue/white | light blue | honey yellow | red/white | green/blue/yellow | blue/red/yellow }

{Cross Stitch: smoky blue | black/white | honey yellow | red |light blue }

{Cozy Pups in Sweaters : white }

​I love these simple coordinating designs ❀ They’re so clean and versatile but have the warm handmade feeling to it.

I’m thinking about making myself a tote bag with the red Triangle Forest fabric on the outside and black/white Cross Stitch fabric on the inside. You can purchase them in fat quarters, too, which are perfect for making tea towels!

Oh, and I just recently found out they have a sweet Fill-a-Yard deal where you can buy multiple designs that fit a yard of fabric so you can buy just what you need for the project you’re working on! It’s BRILLIANT.

{I played with their 1-yard cheater quilt template. I’ve never quilted before, but this cheater design may just work!}

And don’t forget, all of my designs are also available as gift wrapping paper and wall paper.

Your creative possibilities are endless
 🙂

(*Be sure to check out Spoonflower’s holiday shipping deadlines – their standard turnaround time could take 2 weeks or more, and I’d hate for you to have to pay extra for rush order!)

I hope you can handle more cuteness today because my new notepads are in my Etsy shop now!

{ Eat a Rainbow Market List / Succulent To-Do List / Cozy Pups in Sweaters To-Do List }

How adorable are these? I couldn’t be happier with how these turned out.

I’ve been “test driving” them at home, and it makes me smile every time I use it 🙂

These will make perfect stocking stuffer gifts and/or a little pre-holiday gift for yourself so you’ll feel more organized during the holidays!

And they pair so well with some of the other goodies in my shop, don’t you think?

(Pssst, I’m working on putting together some fun holiday gift bundles, so keep that in mind as you plan your holiday shopping! More to come next week.)

Oh, and don’t forget – you’ll get FREE U.S shipping on orders of $35 or more in my Etsy shop. Just use the coupon code “HAPPY35” upon checkout!

Thank you always for supporting my work 🙂 You rock!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

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Nurturing connections, belonging, and making time for what’s imporant

When I visited Japan in October, I got to see my friends from high school.

{dinner with my high school buddies 🙂}

Even though we are 40 now, and some of us hadn’t seen each other for almost 20 years, we clicked instantly.

We have different lives now – many of them are married with kids (a couple of them have kids in high school even!!), handle lots of responsibilities at work and home, and some have lost their spouse or a parent.

But we laughed and talked for hours and bonded over funny/awful stories from our teenage years.

The whole time we were hanging out, I was overcome with gratitude.

First of all, I was so grateful that they wanted to see me! It makes me sound like I have a low self-esteem, but I just honestly didn’t know they wanted to see me because I hadn’t kept in touch with them in any meaningful way.

Sure, some of us are on Facebook and occaionally “like” each other’s posts, but it doesn’t make me feel super connected. It’s like reading the news I won’t remember two weeks later (or even 2 hours later!)

But seeing them in-person and eating and laughing together created an instant connection.

Even though it’d been a long time and we’re all in different places in life, I still felt like I belonged.

It’s hard to have a split life between the two worlds. It’s my choice to live so far away from home, and I appreciate it 95% of the time. I have a fulfilling life and a loving community in Seattle, and I have a great time when I’m in Japan, too. Of course, neither places are “perfect” and we all know what kinds of problems exist in both countries.

But I still wish there was a magical portal that connects the two places so I could go back and forth whenever I want. I wish I could just drop by my parents’ house for dinner or see my friends’ kids grow up close by.

It was sad to say goodbye, but my heart was full. 

​Yes, it sucks to be away from your loved ones. But it makes me realize just how special our relationship is. I’m grateful I have family and friends who are truly happy to see me and make me feel accepted for who I am today. 

It’s kind of like when Dave and I were in a long distance relationship for 5 years – I was a wreck whenever we had to say goodbye to each other, but it made our time together so much more precious. We were much more intentional about our communication and didn’t take each other for granted. The distance between us made our hearts grow stronger.

And it really doesn’t matter how close or far away you’re from your loved ones.

Full disclosure: I’ve only seen one of my closest friends in Seattle, who lives one train station away, 5 times this year. That’s like seeing each other every 8 weeks. I was actually shocked to learn that just now! I gotta take a deep breath to calm down…

Yea, we traveled a lot this year, and I was frequently out of town. It seems my friend’s been working on demanding projects at work all the time. We’re both introverts, so we really need alone time to unwind on weekends etc. We text each other sometimes to check in, but still…

There is an artwork on my wall that says, “You always have time for the things that are important to you.”

There it is. It can’t get any truer than that. If I value connection with my friends and family, then I will make time to nurture that connection. I can always choose to be the person I want to be!

So I decided this year I’m gonna take the time to send out Christmas cards to my friends and family. 

I may not be able to send them to everyone I care about. I may not be able to do it every year. But this year, I’m going to do it because I can and I want to.

I know I’m lucky to have them in my life, and the holiday season gives me an opportunity to do something extra. (Plus, I already asked for a bunch of my friends’ addresses, so they’re expecting to receive something from me 😀 Accountability!)

How about you? What helps you feel connected to people you love? How do you make time for things that are important to you? 

xo

 

p.s. If you’re inspired to join me in sending cards to our loved ones this holiday season, you can browse all of my holiday notecards in my shop here.

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