All posts by Yuko

About Yuko

Hi! I'm Yuko! I'm the illustrator/print maker/blogger 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! I'm also passionate about helping people reach their goals and fulfill their dreams. I've recently combined my two passions: art and helping people and have been coaching other artists to accomplish their goals! My Creative Coaching practice opens officially in February 2016. Be sure to check out the "Coaching" page on my blog!

New drawing tutorial video on YouTube

My new oil pastel dog portrait video is up on Sakura of America’s YouTube channel now!

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to create adorable portraits of sweet dogs by layering fun colors of Sakura Cray-Pas oil pastel sticks.

Watch the video here and let me know what you think! Tag me (@honeyberrystudios) on Instagram so I can see what you come up with 🙂

Enjoy!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

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2018 Happy Beautiful Day Calendar is here!

I designed a new wall calendar for 2018, and it’s available in my Etsy shop now!

I love creating calendars because it makes it so easy to bring in beautiful art in your everyday life.

It’s got 12 full-color watercolor illustrations of whimsical floral bouquets accompanied by brush-lettered positive messages.

I wanted to make a calendar with lots of bright colors. I’m confident I achieved that goal 😀

Some of the paintings were from my daily painting practice earlier this year. (You can see my creative process in this post.)

It’s 5″x8″, which is a perfect size for your office or studio and handy for shipping to your loved ones, too.

I chose to incorporate a phrase into each month that’s encouraging and uplifting. I was thinking “what do I want to hear? what cheers me up?”

I worked with a local printshop, and the calendars turned out so beautiful ❤

I sold out of last year’s calendars in early December, so I ordered a bunch more for this year. Lots of them have already been going out to various shops and customers, so don’t wait too long to get yours if you’ve been wanting one!

I’m going to have these at several craft shows this fall/winter, and if you don’t live in the Seattle area, you can purchase them in my Etsy shop here. I ship internationally, too!

Have a happy beautiful day!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

p.s. I’m going to be traveling to Japan in October. I won’t be able to ship your order between 10/3 and 20. Please place your orders by 10/1 for a timely shipping!

 

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3 Free Resources to Empower and Motivate You!

Do you subscribe to any e-newsletters? I bet you do!

I’m on several lists myself – a lot of them for business. Tips on writing, some related to social media, and a bunch of emails from artists I like and admire.

And there are a few I get for motivation and encouragement. I love getting emails from these lovely humans because they help me feel grounded and gives me the courage to live life that I want.

Here are my 3 favorite e-newsletters (They’re all free!):

1. Monday Morning Motivation by Personal Pep Talk

Photo by Andrew Ochoa ©Personal Pep Talk

Stacy and I met in the Master Gardener’s volunteer training several years ago. She’s got such a positive energy, and her smile always puts me in a better mood. Her compassion for  other people and the whole world runs deep, and it shows through everything she does – a true hero in my book!

She’s a teacher by trade  and has started her business, Personal Pep Talk, with her husband Eric this August. I absolutely LOVE their Personal Pepe Talk card decks – I use mine every day to practice gratitude and give myself a little TLC ❤ And her art is so charming and sweet 🙂

In her weekly newsletter, Monday Morning Motivation, Stacy shares tips on how to live mindfully and her intention for the week. What a wonderful way to start your week, right?

You can get a weekly dose of positivity and mindfulness from Stacy here.

2. 100 Uplifting Days by Jessica Swift

© Jessica Swift

I admire Jessica Swift‘s work as a surface designer so much! Her work is so colorful and cheerful, I can’t help but smile when I see her creations 🙂

So when I discovered her email series, 100 Uplifting Days, I wasted no time. I immediately signed up and enjoyed every single email that came for the next 100 days!

Every day, I’d get an email from Jessica with her colorful art and encouraging messages in my inbox (see photos above). Oftentimes, her message was SO spot on for what I was feeling that day, it really lifted up my spirits.

I was sad when the 100 days were over (FYI, you could unsubscribe and re-subscribe to start a cycle  again :D), but Jessica’s been sending out extras occasionally, so I still get her beautiful reminders here and there.

The visual of her email is so yummy. It’s a treat for your eyes and your soul! You can sign up for her email here.

3. Marie Forleo‘s MF Insider E-newsletter

© Marie Forleo

For those of you who don’t know, Marie Forleo is a life coach and entrepreneur, and I’ve been a fan of Marie TV for a couple of years.

Her motivational messages and practical tips for following your passion have been instrumental in my own journey, and I appreciate her sense of humor (and entertaining visuals on the show) when I need a little laugh 🙂

Since I don’t have time or energy to keep track of all the shows and podcasts I love (which there are many!), I signed up for her email so whenever a new content is posted, I’ll be notified.

Even if I don’t have time to watch or read her content right away, I always skim the email to get the gist of it. To me, Marie is a super successful celebrity, but she’s not afraid to share her human side generously with her viewers. When she’s answering questions from her viewers, I often feel like she’s directly talking to me because she makes it so relatable.

If you want practical and entertaining tips for your life and business, you can subscribe to Marie Forleo’s newsletter here.

These women give and share what they know so freely. Their wisdom adds so much to my life, and I hope you’ll find them helpful, too!

(I’ve been inspired to create something similar for my email subscribers, too… Stay tuned for any updates!)

Now, tell me what your favorite e-newsletters are. Please share in the comment and tell me why 🙂

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

My Recent Pottery Haul

I’ve been enjoying taking a pottery class this year, and here are some of the pieces that came out of the kiln this summer.

Small & medium bowls made with slip casting technique
Homegrown blueberries & gooseberries!
I LOVE stone fruits ❤
Dahlia dessert plates. I use these pretty often!
My recent favorite – I made this plate to ripen avocados on, but of course it works for other things, too.
I’ve tried wheel throwing – it’s hard… I definitely prefer hand buildling, but I’ll continue to practice next quarter.

Our cupboards are getting pretty crowded with things I’ve brought home from the class 😀 Even though they’re not perfect, it makes me happy when I use my handmade wares.

I’ve also been experimenting with clay pendants – if they turn out OK, I’ll be offering them at holiday fairs!

I can’t wait to share what I make with you this fall!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

My Mini Sabbatical: Yayoi Kusama Exhibit at SAM

I was on my mini sabbatical a few weeks ago. I had just finished my very first trade show that Monday (woo hoo!) so I was READY to relax and unwind big time!

I’d been meaning to see Yayoi Kusama‘s Infinity Mirrors exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum for sometime, and I finally did!

It was a VERY popular exhibit, so I had to wait in line for 2.5 hours to get my ticket (all the advance tickets had been sold out), and then come back a few hours later to actually get in to my time slot 😀 It was definitely an all-day affair!

But the exhibit was purely magical, and here are some of the highlights:

When you enter the exhibit, you were greeted by Kusama’s large bright paintings! Such intense colors and shapes – it makes me want to paint big paintings, too.

And her soft sculpture pieces. It reminds me of some kind of viruses under a microscope!

 

Phalli’s Field

Then you wait in line (again!) to enter each of the infinity rooms. Only a few people are allowed to get in at a time for 20-30 seconds each.

Love Forever

I felt like I snuck in to a world of Alice in Wonderland or Charlie And the Chocolate Factory! So playful and full of wonder.

Entrance to the Dots Obsession – Love Transformed into Dots
Inside of Dots Obsession
Mini dots obsession you peep into.
The Obliteration Room a.k.a. sticker room. Each visitor is given a sheet of stickers to add to the room! So cool.
Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity. This room is filled with golden flickering lanterns. Truly magical.

I watched a brief video of Kusama’s interview as well. It was inspiring and touching to see her talk about her hopes and intention for her work, which is to create love and peace in the world. (here is a snippet you can watch.) She’s been making art every day for 70 years. Yes, seventy! If that’s not inspiring, I don’ t know what is!

It was an awesome exhibit. Made me realize again how powerful art is. I was transported into another world and experienced pure joy and wonder. So glad I got to do that! 🙂 If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend it!

Keep playing, and have a magical day, friend 🙂

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

2018 Happy Beautiful Day Calendar Creative Process

I’ve created a new calendar for 2018, and I’m excited to share with you my creative process!

Ta Da! Here is my 2018 Happy Beautiful Day calendar!

Last year, I created a calendar with positive and uplifting messages and it was very popular.

And to understand better what my fans would want, I’d also sent out a survey and asked  what they liked about my work earlier this year. The overwhelming response was that they liked my sense of colors, handwriting, and positive messages.

I had many (many!) directions to take my calendar but eventually decided to go with floral motifs.

A part of me was afraid I would be seen as a one trick pony because I draw and paint flowers all. the. time.

But then realized it’s OK to make something purely because I love it. I don’t need to “one up” myself or push myself to be different all the time. After all, my joy needs to be behind everything I create, and I’m pretty sure other people enjoy pretty flowers as much as I do 🙂

I’d already created several flower paintings in my daily painting practice earlier this year, so I created several more new images to make it 12.

These paintings are done in watercolor and gouache (an opaque watercolor) which are my favorite medium. I tend to work small, and this one is no exception. But since my calendar is pretty small (about 5″x8″) it works out just fine.

Brush lettering with my Pigma brush pen.

For the texts, I first did a couple of rounds of brainstorming and jotted down phrases that made me happy and grounded.

I then picked 12 phrases that fit with each other that were short enough so it wouldn’t take up too much space on the page.

After deciding on which image works best for which month, I designed the calendar pages in Photoshop.

After many tweaks and edits, it went to print and turned out so beautiful ❤

 

My 2018 Happy Beautiful Day calendar is going to be available to my newsletter subscribers on Thursday, September 7th at a special early bird price.

(If you’re not on the list yet, you can sign up here.)

For everyone else, the calendar will be available at full price in my Etsy shop on Wednesday, September 20th.

Well, friend, I hope you enjoyed the sneak preview!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

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

 

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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

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