Category Archives: New Products

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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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

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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 🙂

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Handmade Gifts to Delight Mom! (Order by May 5th)

Mother’s Day is May 14th!

I’ve got a variety of gift ideas for your creative mom in my shop

And if you’re a mom yourself, feel free to share this post with your family so they get the “hint” 😉

OK, here goes!

1. Mother’s Day Cards

First and foremost, sending your mom a Mother’s Day card is the easiest way to make her smile 🙂

Blue Lilac Mother’s Day card is perfect if you want something different than the usual pink and purple cards.

Hen & Chicks Mother’s Day card is so adorable! Is your mom a gardener? Or a chicken aficionado? It has the message “Happy Mother’s Day!” inside.

Pink Bouquet Mother’s Day card – there is nothing wrong with loving flowers! This warm watercolor flowers will make her feel loved ❤

2. Blank Kraft Journals

These small (5″x7″) kraft notebooks are great for recording your thoughts and feelings, keeping your garden logs, or jotting down ideas for an exciting project!

They’re available as singles or a set of 3 – you know, in case you want to keep one for yourself 🙂


Blue Succulent Notebook is available here.

You can order your Green Leaf Notebook here.

Watercolor Circle Flowers Notebook is available here.

3. Hand Printed Canvas Totes

Does your mom frequent the local farmer’s market? Or always lugging lots of books and knitting projects wherever she goes?

My hand printed canvas totes are sturdy and you can fit a lot in there!

I designed and carved this artichoke design and hand printed them myself! It’s color fast and machine washable (though there will be some shrinkage.)

I have a very limited supply of these and not sure if I’ll be making any more, so order NOW if you want it! You can also see totes with lemon design here.

4. Art Prints

I’ve handpicked a few art prints your mom might enjoy 🙂

Rooster Friends art print is such a crowd pleaser! In fact, one of my customers ended up buying 2 of these because her mom saw it and really loved it, too 🙂

Be Gentle with Yourself ❤ Frankly, I think all of us can use this reminder sometimes. But I know moms especially could use a gentle push to take care of themselves 🙂

Does your mom encourage you (and her grandkids) to eat more vegetables? This Eat a Rainbow art print will make her kitchen brighter and gives everyone a fun reminder to eat more veggies 🙂

What do you think?

If your mom loves colorful handmade art, she’ll be delighted to receive your gifts from Honeyberry Studios

And, if you live in the U.S., be sure to place your order before Friday, May 5th to ensure timely delivery before Mother’s Day.

Have a lovely day, friend!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

p.s. Missed the link to my shop? You can go here 🙂

Flowers & Snails!

Most of my work is born out of simply playing around.

I wrote about how creative play time is importatnt to artists in this post a while back.

I’ve just released a new line of greeting cards, and most of my designs have come from my 30-minute daily paintings!

Let me show you some examples.

Blue Bouquet Sympathy Card

You may know I’ve been really into painting in blues lately.

Blue is one of my favorite colors, and using just one color challenges me creatively. I really like the feel of my blue paintings, so I’m continuing with that until I get too tired of it. (I learned this technique from Lisa Congdon’s Creative Boot Camp on Creativebug.)

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Sympathy cards are so nice – even if you don’t know what to say or the “right” thing to say, you can still let your friend know you’re thinking about them.

That’s really the best thing anyone can do anyway – to let them know you’re there for them when they’re having a hard time.

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I felt this blue bouquet painting would be perfect for sympathy card because it’s calming and peaceful. I added my simple hand-lettered message, “I’m so sorry.”

Blue Handlettered Thank You Card

A couple of weeks ago, I did a survey with my newsletter subscribers asking them why they like my art.

Their responses were so nice and kind, and I was reminded again how lucky I am to have people who support and encourage me to do what I love!

So I dedicated one of my paintings to people like you –  who like and support my art!

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Of course, as soon as I made this painting, I knew I had to turn it into a thank you card. I try to express my gratitude as often as I can, and sending someone a handwritten thank you card feels extra special ❤

01_blue-thank-you-card-product-photo_1000pxParty Snail Birthday Card

This snail painting was from one of August Wren’t 30-Day Painting Challenge on Creativebug. I’d never thought of painting snails before! I guess I just see them eating our plants in our garden so never really had positive feelings towards them 😀

But when I painted them, I thought they were so cute and really loved them. They just seem so happy!

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So I painted the party hats separately and created a design for a new birthday card! Aren’t they adorable??

01_snail-party-birthday-card_1000pxGouache Bouquet Birthday Card

I painted colorful bouquets with gouache (an opaque watercolor) for several days for my daily painting back in December. Flowers are one of my favorite things to draw/paint – I just can’t get enough of them!

So I designed a birthday card with my flower paintings. Flowers never go out of style, don’t you think?

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My 30-minute daily painting practice forces me to be loose and quick. I’m learning to express my voice without thinking too much or trying to be perfect.

It’s helping me to clarify what I want to say through my creations : art is fun and should make you happy!

How do you get ideas for your work? Do you get a lot of inspirations from your creative play time, too?

xo Yuko

p.s. You can follow my daily paintings on Instagram (@honeyberrystudios) with a hashtag #yukosdailypainting

p.p.s. I’m gonna be on a sabbatical this coming week, so there won’t be a blog post next Sunday! I’ll see you in a couple of weeks 🙂

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

Will you be my Valentine?

Happy February! Hope you’re having a great start of the new year so far 🙂

This year, I’m continuing to focus on making products (greeting cards, art prints, and calendars), and I look forward to sharing  more behind the scenes look and new releases with you 🙂

Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I wanted to show you some of the love cards I’ve got in my shop today!

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Ta da! Cute, yes??

I’m particularly happy with this I Love You More Thanbrush lettering card I created recently!

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This design was born out of a doodle I made in my sketchbook one day. I was simply asking my fans on Instagram what they would say to their significant other if they were to tell them “I love you more than ____.”

I got a great response on that post and actually really liked the doodle lettering for it, so I turned it into a new greeting card design 🙂

(BTW, I gave it to my husband on our 10-year meeting anniversary a couple of weeks ago, and I said “I love you more than sweet potato fries!” :D)

When I design my greeting cards, I ask myself these two important questions:

1. Is this me? 

I want to make sure my art reflects my style and voice – simple, whimsical, and has the childlike charm. Sometimes I draw something photorealistic (most likely by accident!) and it feels so unfitting to everything else I do, so I typically don’t share them even if they look good!

2. Does this have a happy vibe?

I want to make you happy with my art. Period. So I keep my imagery light and joyful. I might make dark and sad art as a personal exploration, but they don’t typically become my products.

Do you like my sweet love greeting cards? Explore your options in my shop today!

p.s. I ship pretty quickly (usually within 1-2 days), so you still got time before the Valentine’s Day 🙂

Talk soon,

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

Mindfulness Art Gallery!

Hey there, friend!

Hope your December is going well!

It’s crazy this year is almost over… When this post comes out, I’m gonna be teaching my last block printing workshop of the year! Then heading out to Wisconsin in a couple of days to see my in-laws! It’s definitely feeling like the holidays now.

You may remember I created 12 new artwork for the fall/winter stationery collection, and I thought it would be fun to showcase them today 🙂

I’m calling it the Mindfulness Art series because I created it to remind myself to have peace and calm in my life.

I started creating this art series after going to my second 10-day silent meditation retreat earlier this year (you can learn more about my experience here.) I came home super chill and centered and wanted to nurture those blissful feelings by creating these artwork.

 

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You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
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May all beings be happy, peaceful, and liberated.
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Appreciate what you have every day.
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Be gentle with yourself.
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I’d rather be here and now.
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Every day is a new beginning.
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Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made.
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It’s OK if the only thing you did today was breathe.
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There is enough for everyone.
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You can always start again.
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Live like you have everything you need.
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You are enough.

I hope my art and the messages will help you find a little peace and positivity in your life, too! That’s what it’s all about anyway 🙂

And if you’re a Seattle local, I’m showing them at Tin Umbrella Coffee in south Seattle throughout the month of December, so go check them out 🙂

Meet lovely people and enjoy locally roasted coffee!
Meet lovely people and enjoy locally roasted coffee at Tin Umbrella!

p.s. These art prints will also be available on my Etsy shop as well, so check back and/or sign up for my newsletter to be notified when they become available 🙂 Bonus if you tell me which ones you’d like to see as a print!

Ok, friend, I hope you have a wonderful day and a peaceful holiday season!

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

“Year of the Rooster” Holiday Card Behind the Scenes Creative Process

I’ve been designing a special New Year’s greeting card for the past couple of years in addition to more traditional Christmas-y holiday greeting cards.

And I’ve always created a design around the Chinese Zodiac animals.

2015 was the Year of the Sheep
2015 was the Year of the Sheep
2016 was the Year of the Monkey!
2016 was the Year of the Monkey!

New Year’s Day is the biggest holiday in Japan and I have a fond memory of celebrating it with my family from January 1st through the 3rd. There would be lots of traditional New Year’s food my mom and grandma had prepared, and we’d go to the shrines to pray for a healthful year.

This is not exactly what they made... but you get the point!
This is not exactly what they made… but you get the point!

We’d send New Year’s greeting cards to our family and friends in December, and as long as you send it out before Christmas, they’d deliver them right in the morning of January 1st. I always looked forward to sorting through a big stack of them to see my friends’ cards and enjoyed reading their messages.

Designing a Chinese zodiac animal New Year’s card has become sort of a tradition for me. And it seems to be popular with customers who want something a little different for the holidays as well.

OK, so 2017 is the Year of the Rooster!

And these are the roosters who took the main stage of my New Year’s greeting card 🙂

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Fun and colorful roosters!
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This guy may be my favorite 🙂
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Roosters have such fancy hairdo!
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and pretty outfit.

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The most fun thing about these roosters is they all seem to have such personality! They make me chuckle 🙂

First step of my creative process was I did a Google image search of roosters and browsed a gallery of pretty and exciting looking roosters. They’re so much more interesting than hens to look at 😀

My style is not a photorealistic one, so after I study my reference materials, I typically draw from imagination and memory. I also don’t sketch with pencils first for most of my designs because I like the un-planned wonky look better.

I wanted it to be bright and fun and also wanted to work in a color palette I hadn’t chosen for my other stationery products for the season. Yellow, teal, and orange seemed like a fun color combo!

I used Sakura Koi Watercolor Field Sketch set with various gouache and watercolor paints I had.
I used Sakura Koi Watercolor Field Sketch set with various gouache and watercolor paints I had.

I started with drawing different parts of the roosters with one color, and switched to a different color and kept adding on to them rather than completing one rooster at a time. Less cleaning of the brush that way :D, and it’s easier to see the overall balance.

What’s cool about painting with gouache (it’s basically an opaque watercolor) is once they dry, you can add lines and patterns with another color and have it really stand out!

Once I felt the watercolor/gouache drawing was done, I let them dry completely and added some lines with my favorite Pigma Micron pen. I like how the black line pulls everything together at the end.

Micron pen, you're the one for me <3
Micron pen, you’re the one for me ❤

And then I scan my drawings and the hand-written “Happy New Year 2017” message in to Photoshop to clean up and design the layout.

Voilà! Here is your 2017 Year of the Rooster greeting card 🙂

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I love how they turned out! Aren’t they fun??

(I use StationeryHQ for printing my greeting cards. Their products are high quality and services are great. I recently switched to 100% recycled paper as well.)

If you’re looking for a holiday greeting card that’s a little different (or something to delight a chicken aficionado in your life), try these Year of the Rooster cards 🙂 You can order yours here!

Hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes peek today. I’ll see you soon!

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

My 2016 Winter Holiday Collection is HERE!

I’m SO excited to tell you my 2016 winter holiday stationery collection is now available on my shop!!

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Let me give you a quick refresher on what’s in the collection! You ready?

1. 2017 Mindfulness Wall Calendar is beautifully illustrated with watercolor, gouache, and pen, and every month you will get my handwritten positive message to inspire mindfulness and gratitude.

2017 Mindfulness Watercolor Calendar

It’s 5″x8″ and fits perfectly above your desk where you will get the gentle reminder to pause and breathe every day.

Here is the preview of the pages:

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2. Who wouldn’t love getting a handwritten note? Send these Peaceful Homes Holiday Greeting Cards to share your holiday wishes.

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They come in 3 colorways: traditional green & red, cool teal & yellow, and pink & blue if you’re looking for something a little non-traditional and fun.

The simple illustrated designs of these holiday cards will bring peace and calmness during the busiest time of the year!

3. And my new kraft notebooks also come in 3 designs: Green LeafCircle Flowers, and Succulent Plants.

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I like to write down my accomplishments (both big and small) every day in my notebooks. I’d love to hear how you want to use yours! 🙂

4. Last but not least… In case you just WANT THEM ALL (I know, it’s so hard to choose!), I’ve created a holiday gift bundle for you!

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It includes the 2017 calendar, a box card set (assorted colors), and a set of 3 notebooks. It’s a sampler of the new holiday collection, if you will.

And by ordering the bundle, you save $10! You’ll definitely get the most value out of my new collection when you order the bundle. Oh là là!

You can gift the stationery set to a very lucky friend, turn them into multiple small gifts, or of course, keep them all to yourself 🙂

Heck, you’ve been working so hard this year, you deserve a little treat, don’t you think?

Well, friend, I’ve been working my butt off for this collection and can’t wait for you to have these goodies! I feel so lucky I get to make people smile with my creations every day. Let me help you be the one to bring smiles to your loved ones’s faces today ❤

In case you missed the link, you can view more photos and shop the new collection here.

Have a wonderful day! xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

Creative Process: Mindfulness Calendar Illustrations

I showed you a sneak preview of my 2017 Mindfulness & Gratitude wall calendar a couple of weeks ago in this post.

Let me take you on a behind-the-scenes tour and show you my creative process today.

I started creating illustrations about mindfulness and gratitude after I came back from the 10-day silent meditation retreat earlier this summer. It was deeply healing and I wanted to make art about it as a reminder of that experience. (You can read about my reflections here.)

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May all beings be happy, peaceful, and liberated.
live like you have everything you need meditation watercolor drawing
Live like you have everything you need.

Once I started to make a few of these drawings, I thought, why not create more and make a calendar that encourages people to live mindfully every day? 

What does “living mindfully” mean to me? It means that I can hit a pause button in my mind when I’m in a stressful situation and think “oh, this situation is stressful.” I remind myself that whatever is going on is only temporary, and I bring my focus back on my breathing. It helps me stay calm and respond to a situation more thoughtfully rather than reacting.

Of course, I’m a regular human being and not a Tibetan monk :D, so I still react to situations.

I get mad when someone cuts me off in the traffic (without the turning signal on even!!). I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night worrying about how my business isn’t where it should be and can’t get back to sleep. I get so jealous when my husband devours slices of super cheesy, gluten-and-carb-filled pizza or a big piece of custardy Bosc pear tart with a scoop (or two) vanilla ice cream and does not gain an ounce.

Believe me, I’m not above it all!

But I try. Every day is a new beginning and you can only try, right?

For the calendar, I created 12 new drawings with watercolor, gouache, and pen on paper.

Many of the drawings are inspired by nature and seasons. I also incorporated some everyday objects like these tea cups and pots:

 

I also hand-wrote positive messages for each calendar page to encourage mindful living.

I gathered these simple quotes and sayings from the instructions of the meditation practice or advices my wise friends gave me in the past. I also included some of the things I tell myself when I’m feeling off-centered.

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It’s OK if the only thing you did today was breathe.
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There is enough for everyone. I worked on this illustration on my parents’ dining table while I was in Hokkaido, Japan.
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You can always start again.
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Close-up.

Then I scan my hand drawn art in to Photoshop to edit and design the layout for the calendar pages.

Working away on a tiny table at an airbnb we stayed at :D
Working away on a tiny dining table at an airbnb we stayed at 😀

Here is a couple more sample pages for you 🙂

It's OK if the only thing you did today was breathe.
It’s OK if the only thing you did today was breathe.
You can always start again.
You can always start again.
Be gentle with yourself.
Be gentle with yourself.

Do you know someone who can use a little positivity boost? This calendar makes a great gift for the holidays, and it will be available on my Etsy shop early November!

Be happy,

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot