All posts by Yuko

About Yuko

Hi! I'm Yuko! I'm the illustrator/artist at Honeyberry Studios. I live and work out of my home studio in Seattle, Washington. I like to create art that is joyful, happy, and accessible. I get my inspiration from everyday small things, nature, animals, and food.

NEW Archival Canvas Prints in Shop!

It’s full-on summer mode here in Seattle.

That means blue skies, sunshine, and beautiful flowers everywhere.

Ok, this photo was not exactly taken in Seattle – we went to Orcas Island last weekend for a short visit.

We stayed at Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead, where Dave used to live for 7 years when we were first dating.

Such a magical place Orcas is… If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend you make a trip up there! It’s not that far from Seattle (about 2.5 hrs one way, including the ferry ride) but feels so far away from everything.

Plants and nature have been a big part of my creative inspiration.

Especially flowers, I can’t get enough of them!

I’m often daydreaming of converting our veggie gardens into flower gardens (don’t tell Dave!!)

So it is no wonder why I created 2018 calendars full of flowers and uplifting messages.

Though the calendars are long sold out, I turned 6 of my illustrations into 8″x8″ archival canvas prints for an art show I’m having at Tin Umbrella Coffee in South Seattle right now!

First of all, if you live in/hear Seattle, go visit this cute coffee shop this month and enjoy the artwork in person!

Plus, their coffee is amazing.

These canvas prints turned out SO nice.

The colors are so crisp and vibrant. And the canvas texture is oh so yummy.


It’s scratch and smudge resistant, so you don’t have to be super precious around it, which may be a plus if you have little ones around 😉

It’s got a metal piece on the back for easy hanging, too.

Since many of you live far away, I wanted to invite you to the show virtually and make them available for purchase online, too!

You can now enjoy the gallery and shop your favorite canvas art here

(** Please note that since I only have one of each prints, the artwork you purchase won’t be available to ship until the show is over at the end of July.)

Oh, and if you live in the US, shipping is FREE! Isn’t it exciting?

I hope you get to check out my work in person if you’re in the area, or online if you don’t live nearby 😊

Enjoy!

xo

p.s. in case you missed the link, you can shop my new canvas prints here.

 

Magic of summer time craft fairs 🌞

Earlier this year, I set my goal to do more in-person fairs and markets.

Be careful what you wish for…because it could totally come true!

By the time this post goes out, I’ll have done 15 shows so far this year.

It may not be a big number for someone else, but around the same time last year, I’d only done 4 shows. FOUR. Whoa.

I’m super grateful that Seattle area offers so many opportunities for independent makers to sell their wares in the community.

I used to dread the craft fairs because it’s SO MUCH work.

I’d have to pack everything up, carry heavy boxes down to the car, fit everything in our tiny Honda Civic, drive, set up (often by myself), take down, carry them back up to the car etc. etc.

Well, it’s still work but as I do more of these events, I’m able to streamline the process a bit more, so it doesn’t take as much time and effort.

And as I do more fairs, I get better at it.

My booth looks a lot better now, and I’m more comfortable selling in person.

(Hint: as soon as I realized the most important thing you do at fairs was to connect with the customers, selling became easier.)

It may be weird to hear an introvert say this, but I come home more energized after a market✨

Sure, I don’t think I can do it every day, and I do need introvert recharge time afterwards.

BUT! Since my love language is words of affirmation, hearing my customers say nice things about my work all day long has such positive effects on my mental health!

And because I’m an introvert and a home body, I tend to stay home a lot if I don’t have a (compelling) reason to go out.

Summer outdoor events get me out more, be more physically active, and that’s giving me more energy, too.

(The other day, my hair stylist commented I’d gotten tanner. Tanner than when I went to Hawaii 😂)

And don’t forget the cute dogs at these events… I love it when people bring their adorable pups to the fairs 🐶💕

😍

So now I crave doing craft fairs and markets. It’s kind of addictive.

If you live in the Seattle area, do come by and say hi at one of these events this summer 👋

South Lake Union Saturday Market | Saturdays, 7/21 & 8/25

Fremont Sunday Market | Sundays, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/19 & 8/26

(*Please note that dates for above two markets are somewhat tentative (for me) – I’ll be there unless it rains or I’m too pooped 💩 Check my Instagram for updates the day of.)

Tin Umbrella Coffee | My art will be on display and available for purchase during the month of July!

9th Annual Redmond Arts Festival | Fri. 7/13, Sat. 7/14 & Sun. 7/15

17th Annual Ballard P-Patch Art in the Garden | Sat. 7/28

Kirkland Summerfest | Fri. 8/1, Sat. 8/11 & Sun. 8/12

You can always check my events page to see the most updated calendar.

Come get a healthy dose of vitamin D, get inspired by the beautiful creations, soak up the good vibes, and just generally have a good time 😊

Hope to see you this summer, friend!

xo

Kitty ornaments are here! 🐱

A few months ago, I made ceramic pet ornaments for my friends who’d recently lost their pets.

I loved them so much that I decided to make a handful to share with you!

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have seen the makings of these ceramic cat ornaments.

It’s taken me longer than expected to finish these… Making ceramic anything is a long process!

But good news, the wait is finally over.

They’re here and looking for a new furever home 😀

They come in 3 colors: Tuxedo (SOLD OUT!), Black, and Dark Grey Tabby. (* note Grey Tabby is very dark and appears almost black at a first glance.)

You can select the color upon checkout.

They’re hand crafted and painted/glazed individually by me.

Each one is slightly different and makes it a one-of-a-kind artwork.

They’re about 1.5″ round (35 mm) and attached to a waxed cord for easy hanging. The cord is about 4″ long (95mm).

You can hang them on your wall, from the rearview mirror in your car, your houseplants, or on your Christmas tree during the holiday season.

You can also switch the cord to a longer string/chain and wear it as a necklace! It’s lightweight but pretty sturdy.

These cuties will make a perfect gift for someone who’s lost their cats or for any cat lovers who just want to be surrounded by anything that has cats on them 🐱

I only made a handful of each and am not sure if I’ll make more in the future.

I may, but it all depends on the time/energy I have… I’m not promising anything… 🙊

If you want them, go get them NOW!

Enjoy 😘

xo

p.s. If you missed the link above, you can shop these adorable kitty ornaments here.

p.p.s. Are you a Seattle local? I won’t be selling these at fairs and markets, but I’d be happy to bring them to you if you want to pick up in person! Just write a note indicating which event you’d like to pick up your purchase at, and I’ll refund your shipping. You can check out my event calendar here.

Working & Resting Sabbatical

I was on my mini sabbatical the week of June 11th.

It was a part work sabbatical because Etsy Wholesale is closing and I need to move my online wholesale shop elsewhere 😱

Sabbatical is a good time to work on a project like this because I can just focus on it and not the mundane little tasks or other deadlines I would normally juggle.

I chose Shopify as a new platform to have my wholesale shop at as I’ve heard good feedback from other makers, and some of my favorite online shops use Shopify.

I’ve been thinking of having my own online shop for a while, so Etsy Wholesale’s announcement to close the platform has kicked me into action!

I didn’t make as much of a headway as I would’ve liked to, though.

I guess when you’re on sabbatical, your brain just doesn’t want to do much work after all 🤷🏻‍♀️

Well, at least I started the process. It’s a work in progress and needs to be done in the next week and a half so I can share it with my retailers!!!

Wish me luck 🤞

(I need it 😅)

On another note, Dave and I have been searching for a property to do a land-based project in western Washington. 

We went to look at a couple of potential lands during my week-off.

There are so many complicating factors surrounding this project, so it’s taken a long time to find the “one.”

I can’t share much more than that publicly right now but will be sure to tell you more in the future 😊

I did take some extra time to read, too.

I read “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual” by Luvvie Ajayi.

It’s funny, insightful, and heartfelt. I laughed out loud at several moments in the book😂

Highly recommend it if you’re looking for honest truth about life, internet, relationships, and oppression.

After having a relaxing, slow week, I participated in the Fremont Fair during the weekend of June 16 & 17.

photo by Rocket Buddah

There were so many people and cute dogs!

We had an amazing weather, too. Blue skies. No clouds.

I did get a little overheated in my booth but had a great time.

I just enjoy connecting and re-connecting with wonderful vendors and customers so much 😊 It makes my heart happy.

I have a really busy summer coming up with more fairs and markets – I’m glad I had a moment to breathe before jumping in!!

How’s your summer shaping up? I hope you get to take some time off and enjoy yourself!

xo

Lots of fun in the pottery class

Hey friend,

I’m taking my mini sabbatical week off this week, so I thought I’d share what I’ve been working on in my pottery class.

I’ve been taking a continuing education pottery class at South Seattle College every Tuesday morning since the beginning of 2017.

{These are the pieces I made in my first class. I still use these cups almost every day. I use the pinch pots for displaying my stickers at craft shows, and I get people asking if they’re for sale, too. (The answer is “no” 😀)}

I love my class and the nice creative community there.

Making something with my two hands, away from my computer, feels so nice and meditative!

I mainly hand build my pieces. I tried to throw a couple of times, too, but it’s hard 😅 and I was more stressed than having fun, so I’m sticking to hand building for now.

I’m making a small batch of kitty ornaments.

They’re glazed and being fired as we speak, and hopefully they’ll come out ok 🤞

When they do, they’ll be available for purchase.

If you wanna hear about it first, be sure to sign up for my newsletter.

And THIS. This Kitty Garden vase is the largest piece I’ve made so far.

And I LOVE it!

​The body was supposed to be more cylindrical, but I call it good as long as there is no hole and it stands up straight 😀

It makes me super happy to see this in our home!

I have to have pretty flowers every day now. 

Good thing our farmer’s market just opened up 💐

I just started working on small bowls. My goal is to replace our chipped cereal bowls with my handmade bowls!

I’m continuing to take the class this summer and am looking forward to learning and trying different pinch pot techniques.

(​If you’re interested in pinch pottery, I love this book and refer to it all the time.)

Having a creative outlet outside of my biz has been really awesome. 

It allows me to just play and experiment without worrying about it being “successful.”

Do you have a “thing” you do just for fun? Just for yourself?

Or if you’re in a maker/art biz yourself, how do you balance making things to sell vs. just for fun?

Tell me in the comments 😘 I wanna know!

xo

Mixed media flower drawing tutorial on YouTube

Hey friend,

My new mixed media drawing tutorial was published on Sakura of America YouTube channel recently.

This is a really fun and easy project using Koi brush pens and Cray-Pas oil pastel sticks.

I don’t use oil pastel very much in my work usually, so it was fun to play with this medium!

The texture is really beautiful and I felt like a kid again getting my hands dirty 😀

I hope you enjoy it and please don’t forget to tag me @honeyberrystudios if you share your work on Instagram!

Have a creative fun day 😘

xo

 

Fall & winter collection sneak preview 👀

I’ve been working very hard on my fall & winter collection, which debuts at Urban Craft Uprising Summer Wholesale Event on July 2.

(The event is open only to the retail shop owners and buyers, FYI).

And I thought you may enjoy a sneak preview today!

My customers and fans have told me over and over they love my sense of color 🎨

Well, that’s a good thing because bright colors make me happy, and I love playing with colors!

So in my new collection, I’ve incorporated a bunch of fun color palettes for you to enjoy.

Here are some bits and pieces of my new work!

Aren’t they fun?? 😍

Also, lots of animals in my new collection! (and animals on wheels nonetheless 🚲)

I didn’t plan it that way at first, but hey, who wouldn’t like adorable animals??

I’m just so grateful that I get to make art I love and help you connect with your loved ones through my art ❤

I’ll be sharing more sneak previews with you in the next few months, so stay tuned.

(Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you haven’t already, as I’ve been sharing my works in progress there, as well 😉)

My new collection will be available to purchase in my shop in the beginning of September.

And if you are not on my VIP list already, sign up to get an exclusive early-bird price when the new collection launches!

Have a colorful, happy day, my friend😘

xo

Congratulate your grads with style and heart 🎓❤️

Hi there friend,

Is it just me or does the time go by waaaaay faster as you get older??

With a wholesale event coming up in July, I’ve been working hard on my fall/winter collection.

Having a deadline really helps me focus and be more productive.

And, prioritizing art making has been good for my soul, too

Sigh.

I’ll share some sneak previews in the coming weeks! I think you’re gonna like what’s coming for ya 😉

But let’s get back to what’s important right this minute…

May is almost over, and that means graduation season is upon us.

Do you have special people in your life who are graduating this year? Do you need cards and gifts to celebrate their accomplishments?

I’ve hand picked some graduation gift options for you that will make your grads feel proud and be ready to tackle their next adventures 💪

First up, don’t forget to send them a congratulations card!

{ 1. Sail On, Happy Graduation card | 2. Cats High Five card | 3. Pink Poppies Congrats card }

These art prints will send an encouraging message to your special grad, too (not to mention an awesome wall decor!)

{ 1. Sail On giclee art print (8″x10″) | 2. You Are Exactly Where You Are Supposed to Be giclee art print (8″x10″) }

Life changes are exciting but can be scary, too.

Let them know they’re good enough even if they may be feeling anxious or unsure about their next steps.

{ You Are Enough vinyl sticker }

And, who wouldn’t love a good list??

Help them get organized as they adjust to a new phase in their life.


{ 1.Eat a Rainbow Market List | 2. Succulents To-Do List | 3. Rooster Friends Notepad }

Last but not least, if your grads are moving away from either Seattle, Spokane, or Tacoma, gift them the city art print so they can take a piece of their home wherever they go.

{ 1.I ❤ Seattle giclee art print | 2. Vintage Seattle Chicken Garden giclee art print | 3. Hello Spokane giclee art print | 4. Tacoma giclee art print }

I hope you’ll find the perfect gift for your special graduates!

xo

p.s. You just wanna browse my shop? Go here!

p.p.s. And don’t forget my Honeyberry Studios 2 pop up shop if you’re looking for deals. Supplies are limited.

Sweet giveaway is happening at Geeky Girls Knit!

Hi friend!

Let me introduce you to C.C . and Dami, the sweetest mother-daughter co-hosts of the knitting podcast, Geeky Girls Knit!

I met C.C. a couple of months ago when Tara Swiger (she does an awesome podcast for small business owners) was visiting Seattle.

We met for coffee and donuts (oh that raspberry donut from Mighty-O Donuts, tho! 🤤) and chatted about our businesses and self-care.

C.C. has this warm, super friendly energy to her and was very generous with sharing her own experiences with business.

I liked her immediately (it’s pretty instantaneous when I like someone 😀), and we’ve been friends online since then.

(BTW, I’m also obsessed with their new kitty, Pink Purl (I know), who makes a regular appearance on their Instagram feed.)

I’ve never met her daughter, Dami, in person yet, but she also is a generous, kind person from what I can tell 💕

So I was thrilled when C.C. asked me if they could do a product review for me and host a giveaway on their show!

You can watch/listen to the episode here.

The product review happens towards the end and don’t miss the information about the sweet giveaway there!

(The giveaway closes at the end of Tuesday, May 22nd, and the winner is announced on their show on the 24th.)

Enjoy 😊 Hope you win!

xo

p.s. In case you missed it, you can watch their podcast episode here.

What I did during my last mini sabbatical week

Hey friend,

I took my mini sabbatical week off a couple of weeks ago.

In case you’re wondering what that’s all about, I’ve been taking every 7th week off to rest and recharge since October 2015.

(The concept of mini sabbaticals isn’t mine: I’ve been listening to Seanwes podcast for creative businesses, and that’s a brilliant idea I learned from him.)

Every sabbatical is different – sometimes I work on projects I don’t normally have time to do. Other times I just relax and veg out.

Most of all, I just try not to have any deadlines or other people’s priorities drive my decisions if I can help it.

So here are some highlights from my most recent mini sabbatical.

We purged.

To be more precise, we went through my clothes and books and got rid of about 80% of them.

I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo a few weeks ago and was totally inspired.

I grew up in a somewhat of a pack rat-ish household, so the clutter’s never bothered me very much before.

But it bothers Dave, and as my business grows, our small apartment has been bursting at the seams with all of the boxes of products and shipping supplies, I knew I needed to make more room.

To follow the KonMari method described in the book, you must go through your belongings throughly and discard what doesn’t spark joy in you.

Thank goodness Dave was here to help because it was so tiring and overwhelming!! 😅

After a day of sorting, we took BIG piles of my clothes to Goodwill and some of the items went to our neighborhood consignment shop.

It’s AMAZING to walk into my closet now!

Much more spacious and every piece of clothing and accessory I actually want to wear 😆

It’s true what Marie talks about in her book – it’s not just the physical space you’re reclaiming in your home – it’s really more about the mental weight you’re shedding by discarding what doesn’t bring you joy any more.

I’d held onto SO MUCH for so long… sigh.

I did the same process for books and other papers (documents, receipts, etc.) on that Sunday by myself because Dave was working, and got rid of most of my books/papers.

We sold some books and DVDs and rest was donated and all papers were shredded.

Now I only have the books that I truly enjoy, which turned out to be comics and arts & crafts books!

This method helps you strengthen your intuition and gives you a permission to let go of what’s not serving you any more.

It’s no wonder her students don’t rebound and start collecting things again. I love the space I tidied up so much that I’ll be so selective about what to add in the future.

I also feel more content and peaceful.

It’s funny how your “wanting mind” quiets down as you get rid of so much stuff.

It reminds you that you actually DO have everything you need at this moment. What a wonderful feeling!

(We’ve continued to purge over the last week and can’t wait to finish going through rest of our stuff! I’m definitely addicted 😀)

OK, so here are some other fun things I did during my sabbatical!

I’ve been working on these kitty ornaments in my pottery class.

I made a few pet ornaments for friends who’ve lost their pets lately.

They were so cute that I decided to make more for my shop!

I still have some work left on these new kitty ornaments, but they’ll be available for purchase in the next month or so!

(Note: if you want the first dibs on these cuties 🐱, be sure to sign up for my newsletter!)

Speaking of adorable, I visited my friend’s new puppy during my sabbatical.

Meet Nelly.

When I met her, she’d just turned 8 weeks old.

A tiny, sweet, sleepy puppy.

Puppies can turn any day into a happy day, can’t they??

Oh, and I finished my new Tacoma art during my week off.

It’s work but it’s fun work 😁

To tell you the truth, for a small business owner like myself, sadly the art making time is actually pretty limited. So when I get to spend hours just making art, it’s pure joy.

I’m really happy with how it turned out and am glad a bunch of Tacoma friends have approved it so far 👍

I’ve become quite charmed by Tacoma as I spend more time down there this year – it’s got art, history, and plenty of quirkiness.

Do you love it? Know someone who would? It’s available as art prints and notecards in my shop 😘

It was a really nice sabbatical. Productive but felt so restful at the same time.

Can’t wait to do it again in June!

xo