Category Archives: Animals

Have you met Lucy, the Yoga Chicken?

In my recent daily paintings, I did a mini series featuring Lucy, the Yoga Chicken.

What got me started was this illustration of the chicken sitting and meditating. It was particularly a busy day, and I was feeling like a chicken with its head cut off – but wanted to feel calmer.

Meditation chicken

A friend saw it on Instagram and suggested I do a series of chickens in yoga poses, so I thought, “Why not? That sounds like fun!”

So, for 10 days, I illustrated a chicken in various yoga poses!

Triangle pose
Eagle pose
Standing Bow Pulling pose

I used to be an avid Bikram Yoga (a.k.a. Hot Yoga) practitioner and many of the poses in the series are may favorite from the practice then.

Pigeon pose
Tree pose
Child pose

Along the way, I started calling her “Lucy.” It just came to me out of nowhere and I thought it would make a cute name for a chicken 😀

Camel pose
Rabbit pose
Savasana, the corpse pose

She’s such a good yogini!! 🙂 It relaxes me just to see her in these poses!

Do you practice yoga? What poses are your favorite??

I hope Have a centering day 🙂

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

How are you going to celebrate your (cat-loving) dad this year?

I’ve always loved cats since I was little.

Since my parents wouldn’t let me have cats for a long time, I fantasized about having one pretty much 24/7.

My husband, Dave, always loved animals and was more of a dog person when we met. He was even allergic to cats growing up. But magically, he grew out of his cat allergy as he got older – it’s like he was destined to meet me, a hopeless cat-lover!

I had my two cats, Lulu and Sheppie, from my previous relationship, when we met.

Lulu (left) and Sheppie (right)
Lulu (left) and Sheppie (right)

They were pretty much my babies. It was important to me that whoever I’d bring in to our life would understand how important they were to me and at least tolerate them, if not love them.

To my delight, my kitties won him over pretty quickly with their cuteness, loving personality (in their cat-like ways), and their comical antics.

Dave is so sweet and loving with any and all cats he meets. I sometimes wonder if he’s become a bigger cat person than I am now!

We’ve been through some scary and tough situations with our cats, too – especially, losing Lulu last year was extremely heartbreaking. He’s been my rock through thick and thin, and I’m really grateful to have him in my life.

Our sweet girl.
Our sweet girl.

On Father’s Day, I like to thank him for being an awesome dad to my cats.

I’ve been making a cat Father’s Day card just for him in previous years because let’s face it, my cats are not very crafty 😀

And, I thought there might be other people who want to celebrate their cat dad, too!

So I decided to share this special Father’s Day card with you.

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“Thank you for being an awesome dad to my cats.” Father’s Day card, 4.25″x5.5″ folded, blank inside.
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“Thank you for being an awesome dad to my cats.” Father’s Day card, 4.25″x5.5″ folded, blank inside.

Make your special (cat-obsessed) man smile this Father’s Day 🙂 You can order yours here.

p.s. I’m going to be closing my shop between June 1 – 12, 2016 so please place your order before May 30th in order for your card to be shipped by May 31st!

Thanks friend! Hope you enjoy it 🙂

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

I love you!

Hello!

Today, I wanted to introduce you to a new line of products I made just in time for Valentine’s Day! ❤

When I create art for products, I imagine who’s going to use them. I imagine that it’s going to be loved by someone who is creative and wants to live her life full of joy and happiness. Someone who values simple things that are made with love and care. I imagine someone who likes to make things themselves, perhaps a gardener, who believes in taking care of themselves, people around them, and the earth. And I imagine that the person smiles a lot 🙂 I imagine their cozy home with lots of light, art, and books.

I wonder, “What would make them smile? How can my art products inspire even more creativity and happiness in their life?”

And, those are the essences that make all of my products so sweet and joyful. And these new Valentine’s Day goodies are no exceptions!

OK, but before I tell you the story behind the new gift collection, let me back up a little to the winter holiday season last year. You may remember I created this 2016 wall calendar with my sumi drawings.

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This calendar became the best seller during the holiday season. Anyway, the Style & Design editor of Seattle Magazine saw them at one of the pop-up holiday shops and emailed me to ask if I had a Valentine’s Card  they could feature in their publication!

They wanted something unique – something that’s done in my sumi drawing style and different from the traditional red & pink design.

At that time, I didn’t have any – BUT when a magazine wants to feature your product, you make it work (of course channeling Mr. Tim Gunn here!)

The turnaround time was pretty short, and I knew I didn’t have time to create something from scratch. So, I took a couple of images from the calendar and added some floral/heart motifs and created two brand-new Valentine’s/Love cards!

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This sweet sumi drawing Tea for Two Love Card is a perfect alternative to a traditional red & pink Valentine’s Card. You can invite someone for a lovely afternoon tea date ❤

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I also created this design using one of the images from the calendar. I imagined this kitty sending a music of love to his love ❤ This sumi drawing Cat Violinist Love Card will be sure to make any cat lover in your life smile 🙂

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I also turned them into art prints! Gift of art will remind your special person how much you care throughout the year 🙂 The 8×10 giclee print of Tea for Two sumi drawing would look very nice framed.

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The simplicity of these sumi drawings is timeless. Give a gift that fits right into your loved one’s everyday life. Cat Violinist sumi drawing is also available as 8×10 giclee print!

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“Sea Otters hold hands while sleeping so they don’t drift away from each other.” Now, this is ADORABLE. This pen and ink drawing of sea otters holding hands was a happy accident I created for a fun personal project in January. But when I posted it on Instagram, people loved it and asked if I would sell prints. So I did! I didn’t create this specifically for Valentine’s Day, but this Sea Otter art print (8×10) will also make a lovely gift that will add extra sweetness to any home.


OK, I think that’s enough adorableness for today! (or can you ever get enough???) I’ll be back tomorrow with more inspirations for your Valentine’s Day gift ideas! Be ready for another dose of cuteness 🙂

Have a wonderful day!

xoxo Yuko

yuko_flowers

 

Happiness Project Reflection 1: Finding Happiness on the Saddest Days of Your Life

pink-poppies_baner_loresWelcome (back) to my weekly blog about creativity, motivation, and growth!!  I’m so happy you found my blog and/or returned to read more!  Thank you 🙂

OK, I have to be honest with you.  This was a tough post to write.  But I wanted to be open and vulnerable with you.  Here is a peek into a not-so-happy side of my daily happiness project.

When I set out to start my 365 day Happiness is project, I didn’t think too much about how it was going to go.  I just wanted to start and see what happened, which is totally outside of my comfort zone.  Generally, I’m a planner and a  prefer-not-to-take-a-risk-er.

I didn’t know what I would do if I had days when I was overcome by sadness and grief.  Could I find something to feel happy about then?

That day came unexpectedly in January when our dear kitty Lulu had complications from her diabetes and got really sick.  She was suffering and we decided to put her to sleep a couple of days later.  She was really loving and brave till the last moment, and it still makes me cry when I think about that day.

I had her for about 12 years since she was a tiny itty bitty kitten.  I loved and adored cats ever since I was little, but my parents wouldn’t let me  have cats.  I daydreamed of having cats pretty much 24/7.  So I was ecstatic when I got my own kitties as an adult.  Lulu and her brother Shepherd, a.k.a. Sheppie, had been like my babies.

Lulu (left) and Sheppie (right)
Lulu (left) and Sheppie (right)

The connections you build with your animal friends are so special.  It’s based on love and trust you develop through actions.  There is no explaining your bad mood or tears.  They don’t take it personally.  They just want to love you and be loved.  They had been there for me through many life changes, just purring away, beaming love rays at me.

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It was the saddest day of my life.  It hurt so bad.  Worse than bad break-ups or losing some of my human family members (I’m just being real here). It felt like I had a giant kitty-shaped hole in my heart, and I didn’t know if it was going to heal.  I could no longer feel the warmth of her fur or hear her soft purr as she slept.

lapwarmer_scan_loresWhat do you do with your daily creative commitment when you have such a loss in your life?  When all I could think of was how empty it felt to not have her in this world any more?

Of course, I could’ve taken a break.  That would’ve been totally OK.  I thought about it and yet found myself drawing in my sketchbook that night, and the next day, and the day after that.  I had never used art as a tool for healing before, at least knowingly.  But I can tell you that my pain would’ve been much worse if I hadn’t followed my creative practice during my time of grief.  It took my focus off of the sadness even for a little bit while I was drawing about happiness.  It created a tiny buffer between me and my grief.

While I was overcome by sadness, I searched for anything I felt grateful for.  In my search for happiness, I found tremendous amount of love and support that surrounded us.  There was no judgement of “oh, it was just a cat.”  Friends brought flowers, cards, and treats.  There were many hugs and tears.

My husband, Dave, stayed very strong for me even though he was also very sad. He really saved both me and Lulu.
My husband, Dave, stayed very strong for me throughout it all even though he was also very sad. He totally saved me.

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Treats from friends.
Treats from friends.

hugs_webEvery day that passed by, my heart got a little lighter.  I began to remember fun memories of Lulu and not just her last days.

Our sweet girl.
Our sweet girl.

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birdwatch_scan_loresMy daily happiness practice helped me appreciate what I have in the face of loss and grief.  It also helped me celebrate what I had that was no longer here.  Life is never 100% wonderful or terrible.  Some days bring more happiness than others.  Choosing happiness every day doesn’t make your problems go away but can create a small buffer in your mind so you can face them a bit more calmly.

In case you’re wondering, her brother Sheppie is doing just fine as an only cat of the house.  He’ll most likely remain as the only kitty of the house for the remainder of his time.

Happiness is black cats. My little boy brings me happiness, not bad luck :)

On a side note, my therapist recommended a book called Cat Heaven to me when I was talking to her about my loss, and boy, this is a wonderful book.  It’s meant to be a kids’ book but is good for adults too.  They have one for dogs, too, called Dog Heaven. I haven’t read it yet but am sure it’s also good.  The illustrations are so sweet and comforting.  I guarantee this book will make you cry like a baby, so choose a good time and place to read it!  I recommend it to anyone who is mourning a loss of a dog or cat friend.

cat heaven
© Cynthia Rylant

Ok friends, I will see you next Sunday! I’m going to continue with my Happiness Project Reflection series.  Next post is about finding your motivation when you’re not inspired to create.

Take care! xoxo  Yuko