Category Archives: self-care

SOLD OUT πŸ™ŒπŸΌ

That’s right, friend!

First run of my is officially SOLD OUT βœ¨πŸ™πŸΌ

Thank you for your support!!!

When I created the calendar, I knew I’d made something awesome, but I didn’t quite expect this much demand πŸ˜… Oops.

And, if you’ve purchased it and LOVE it, please keep your reviews coming! They warm my heart so much…😭

(Go to and scroll down to “Write a review” section and tell me how much you love it!)

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to print more calendars πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I thought, it would be a nice clean end. I made calendars. They’re all gone. The end.

Now I can move on and focus on promoting other holiday things. I wouldn’t have to deal with pesky inventory issues. What if I have a bunch of leftovers after the holiday season?

While it would’ve been an easier option for me to say “no more”, I also knew I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t restock them.

I mean, listen to this.

Really. Seriously. YOU are the BEST.

So, good news, I’ve ordered more calendars and they’re back-order now!

I’ll bring them to while supplies last, and your back-ordered calendars will ship on November 15th.

Enjoy πŸ₯°

xo

ps. Hot tip: 15% off promo code is good through today, Sunday, November 3rd. Subscribe to my VIP email list and grab your code now! It’s in your welcome email.

Help me out?

I’m back from my mini sabbatical week.

Sadly, I caught a tiny cold last weekend 🀧 so I’ve been taking it easy this week.

Even though getting sick is a bummer, I have something that’s keeping me pretty happy…

That’s your positive comments and reviews on my 2020 Self-Care is not Selfish Calendar!

Here is a happy message I got on Facebook:

This one on Instagram:

Β Β Β 

(Just a little context πŸ‘†πŸΌ- she shared an image of the calendar on her Insta Story, and I accidentally responded with a sad face emoji πŸ˜’πŸ˜†)

And these thoughtful reviews on my website, of course…

😭

My Love Language is words of affirmation, so I soak up all the love from your kind words. THANK YOU πŸ™πŸΌ You made my day.

If you’ve gotten your calendars and love them, will you take a minute to leave a positive review?

Your review not only makes me extremely happy 😜 it lets other customers know that my products are legit.

All you need to do is go to the product page on my website, scroll down to find the “Write a review” πŸ‘‡πŸΌ button and tell me why you love your calendar/what you’re going to do with it.

It doesn’t need to be an epic novel, either – just imagine you’re texting me to say you love the calendar. That’ll doπŸ˜‰

(Of course if you were not happy with anything you purchased from me – write me first and let me take care of you, ok?)

Are you a procrastinator?? Well, let me get you in on a behind the scenes realness.

I have 30 calendars left right now.

That’s not very many… πŸ™„

If you haven’t treated yourself lately, make it “treat-yo-self” day today!

You’re allowed ❀️

xo

ps. Subscribe to my email and get an exclusive promo code! Offer is good through Sun. 11/3.

Back from the printer πŸ₯°

Just a reminder, my 2020 Self-Care is not Selfish calendar is available for preorder now, and I’m overwhelmed by the support I’ve gotten so far πŸ₯°

If you already placed your preorder, THANK YOU!

Your ship date is October 15th, and I can’t wait for you to see it in person.

I’ve got all the calendar pages from the printer now, and they look absolutely stunning. Better than I’d imagined if that’s even possible 😻

And the gold wire binder clip looks perfect, too!

Swoon…❀️

I’m currently running a 20% off promo (yup 20!) for my email subscribers.

If you haven’t already, sign up for my email and get the code in your welcome message!

Have an awesome day, my friendΒ πŸ’

xo

2020 Self-Care is not Selfish calendar is available for PREORDER now!

Hey friend,

My 2020 “Self-care is not selfish” monthly wall calendar is in production and available for PREORDER now!

Ship date is Tue. 10/15 or shortly thereafter.

Here are the deets:

– includes 12 full-color nature-inspired illustrations with hand-lettered messages that encourage self-care and self-acceptance

– measures apprx. 5.5″ (14cm) w x 8.5″ (20.60 cm) h x 1/5″ (5mm) d

– printed on heavy card stock

– gold wire binder clip keeps all the calendar pages together at the top and serves for easy hanging

– perfect for small space : your office, studio, bedroom

– great holiday gift for co-workers, teachers, clients, friends, family, and social workers/therapists (or anyone in helping profession)

– packaged in 100% compostable clear bag 🌿

– after each month, you can cut the dates off and enjoy the art on your wall or send as post card

I’m very excited for the calendar and can’t wait to hang it in my new studio!

How about you? πŸ‘€

Place your preorder here!

Have a self-care-fillled week πŸ’

xo

ps. are you on my VIP email list yet? sign up because you get an exclusive promo code for your preorder! watch out for your welcome email 😽

2020 Self-care calendar sneak preview!

I meant to design a monthly calendar last year, but I had too high of an expectation for myself, ran out of time, so it didn’t happen πŸ˜‘ sad.

However, I’m happy to tell you that it’s coming back for 2020!

My 2020 calendar will be all about self-care, self-acceptance, and confidence.

It’s a strange timing though that I’m working on this calendar now because things have been a bit chaotic in my life lately.

Don’t worry, no divorce or illness, thank goodness 😬 But, I’ve got a new studio space that I’m setting up (unexpected but exciting. more on that later), and a couple of other non-biz-related things have kept me feeling a bit ungrounded and scattered.

(As I write this email, I realized the core issue is my routine has been disturbed by these unexpected events. As much as I’d like to go with the flow and be spontaneous, I needΒ routine for my well-being. Check.)

Needless to say, it’s taken longer to finish the calendar…πŸ˜€ but I still aim to get them out to you sometime in October ✨

Here is the sneak preview!

So pretty, no?? 😻

I don’t know if you knew this, but I craft these encouraging messages for myself, first and foremost.

And they resonate with me so much more when I’m in a more uncertain space.

As I put together these designs, I remind myself to breathe, acknowledge that I’m in that space, and be present as much as possible.

Nothing lasts forever, and I’ve come out ok through 100% of the past difficult situations (and don’t remember most of them πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ), so this, I shall survive also.

I’m trying to be gentle with myself and give myself permission to be “meh” in a meantime.

If you’re also feeling “meh,” it’s OK. Take care of yourself, my friend ❀️

xo

Say YES to yourself πŸ’

At the time this post goes out, I’ll just have gotten back from my trip to Yellowstone National Park with my mom πŸ‘―β€β™€οΈ

(I’m on sabbatical next week, but I’ll probably share some pics with you πŸ˜‰)

Rather than skipping my post for a week, I wanted to send you a quick reminder…

Yes, that’s right. Say YES to yourself!

Give yourself what you need to feel good and whole. It’s not selfish. Your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being is very important. As important as your family and friends’, if not more.

And according to my therapist, whom I trust very much, needs are not negotiable.

So here you go, my friend. You have my unconditional permission to say yes to yourself. Today and always.

xo

Back from mini sabbatical β­οΈ

I was on my mini sabbatical week off last week.

What the heck is a “mini sabbatical”?

I take every 7th week off to rest and recharge. 6 weeks on, 1 week off, then repeat. (I still take the weekends off in the meantime, or the weekend equivalent 😬)

It’s on my Google calendar perpetually, so I don’t even have to think about it.

Brilliant, right? The idea is not mine. It’s seanwes.

(BTW, he’s writing a book about it. Totally check it out if you want to learn the hows/whats!)

I’ve been practicing it since October 2015, and I’m pretty certain I would’ve been burnt out in my biz a long time ago if I hadn’t been taking the regular time off.

During my mini sabbaticals, I still engage in my biz to keep it going, like replying to my customer emails and fullfilling orders.

But other than that, I try to keep my calendar open and do what I feel like doing.

Last week, I had a few obligations that took me out of sabbatical mode, but I still got to do things just for fun.

Here are some highlights πŸ‘‡πŸΌ

I’ve been baking more lately. I wanted to eat chocolate-y cookies, so I made these Chocolate Crescent Cookies. They were delicious πŸŒ™
These porcelain cuties came out of the kiln. I turned them into little pins ❀️ They’re not for sale, but I’ve got a few more kitties and birdies and plan on putting them in my shop when I have the time. Sign up for my newsletter if you wanna hear about it first!
Dave’s working on Orcas Island for a couple of weeks, and we share one car, so I took him there last Wed. I miss his big smile πŸ’—
On my way back from Orcas, my ferry was late for over an hour πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ so I doodled this. I’d had a difficult confrontation with someone the day before and had been processing it. Making art about my emotions and situations always helps.
And then I was back to work at Redmond Arts Festival last Friday – Sunday. It was a great show and I was so happy many of you came out!

Self-care is super important, my friend.

And NOT selfish.

Hope you’re doing something to recharge your energy as often as you need!

xo

You are brave πŸ’›

I was much braver when I was younger.

I said goodbye to my friends and family and moved to Seattle from Japan when I was 18.

I wasn’t afraid. I just knew that’s what I wanted to do. I knew we’d stay friends and family even if I was no longer there physically.

I was SO excited for my future in the U.S. None of the “what-ifs” could’ve held me back.

(And I wasn’t asking a lot of what-if questions back then πŸ˜†)

As I got older, it’s become scarier to take risks.

Changes are hard because letting go of what’s safe and known is scary. The older I get, the more I’m attached to what’s “mine.”

I have more to lose.

But I still say yes to things that are scary.

Some things are small, like should I be wearing overalls? Would they make me look like a weird 40-year-old teenager?

with my friend, Katie, at Magpie Mouse Studios

You be the judge. I think I look pretty cute in them. Ok I may have posted this because I doΒ look so cute πŸ˜€ haha!

And really, who cares?? I’m sure you have much more important things to worry about than my outfit choices πŸ˜‚ I know I do!!

(But what’s up with my left hand in this pic? πŸ– It wasn’t a bad Photoshop job, I swear!)

Other decisions have more serious and long-lasting consequences.

Like, quitting my job 4 years ago to work in Honeyberry Studios full-time.

VeryΒ scary.

(πŸ‘†In this case, Dave was the true brave one.)

And, you know I got a major case of imposter syndrome when I took on a Board position at the NW Network recently.

When I hear a little voice in my head say, “Don’t do it! It’s dangerous. You’ll fail and everyone’s gonna know about it!!,” I have to pause.

I remind myself of what I’ve heard on a podcast once that the regret of notΒ doing something is much worse than the regret of doing something.

So when I created a bunch of new work for my 2020 calendar (coming in October!), this message resonated with me the most.

Here is the thing – I tend to deflect when someone tells me I’m brave.

I think, “No, I’m not brave. It’s no big deal. It happened because of _______ (my parents, my partner, my situation, my age, my luck, fill in the blank!)”

Do you do that, too??

(Did you notice I did that earlier when I mentioned it was Dave who was the brave one when I quit my job? πŸ’πŸ»β€β™€οΈ Correction: It took both of us to be equally brave to make that decision.)

I’ve been practicing owning my own bravery – no matter how small it is.

The more I notice myself being brave, the more confident I feel in business and life. And it helps me put myself out there more and share my gifts with others.

See? It’s a win-win.

You’re brave, my friend πŸ’›

xo

ps. My new collection offers this and other encouraging new designs 😘 Go get inspired today.

A gentle reminder for your self-confidence

Do you ever get a funny look when you try to explain to a stranger what you do?

“What do you do for a living?”

“Oh I’m a Cheese Sprayer.”

“A cheese what!?”

Ok, maybe you don’t have an odd-souding job like Chesse Sprayer (look it up, it’s a thing.)

And really, neighter do I.

But there is one thing I tell my customers that gets a funny look, oh maybe 75% of the time.

It’s not the fact I’m obsessed with cats. Or that my bedtime is 8:30 😴

It’s when I tell people my stickers are dishwasher-safe.

I tried to ignore that funny look at first – I thought I was reading their faces wrong. You know, sometimes, people just look funny and it has nothing to do with you.

But then I noticed the sense of relief in them when I followed up with “so you can put the sticker on your water bottle, and it won’t peel off.”

photo by Lauren Krygier

ohhhhh, I see, they thought I was suggesting they wash the stickers in the dishwasher. By themselves.

Which they can. But, that wouldbe weird, wouldn’t it? I’d give them a funny look, too, if they told me that πŸ˜€

Honestly, I don’t know how they make the stickers dishwasher-safe. I know they’re vinyl. The rest, magic, I suppose πŸ¦„

I still get the funny look when I tell people about its dishwasher-safe-ness, but I just smile and explain what that means.

You know what else makes me smile?

It’s that my stickers have quickly become one of my best-selling products.

Naturally, new designs are coming out when the next collection launches in a couple of weeks πŸ₯³

If you’re needing a gentle reminder to feel more confident, these are for you❀️

They will be available in my online shop during the week of June 24.

Sign up for my V.I.P email list, and you’ll hear about it first, and I’ll send you a promo code, of course 😘

Can’t wait for you to have them very soon!

xo

ps. You can also pick them up at Fremont Street Fair and Urban Craft Uprising Summer Show on 6/22-23 if you’re in the area.

Imposter Syndrome & saying yes to something that scares you

Happy Pride!🌈

You may have seen my announcement on social media that I’ve recently joined the Board of Directors at the NW Network of Bi, Trans, Lesbian & Gay Survivors of Abuse.

I’d worked for another local DV org for 14 and a half years before making a transition to working in Honeyberry Studios full-time and have always been a big fan of the Network.

So I was honored and surprised when I got an email from my friend, Eli, who is the Board President at the organization a few weeks ago.

In his email, he said he thought I’d be a great candidate for the position and asked if I’d be interested in joining the team.

I was very excited for the prospect of joining the Board but hesitated to say yes at first because I didn’t feel qualified.

When I pictured “Board of Directors,” I imagined a group of people who are white, older (than me), upper-middle class, and have a corporate job or a “real” business.

(You know, not a “handmade” kind of business…)

I didn’t fit the profile at all πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Big imposter syndrome kicked in, and I was swallowed in a whirlpool of “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios.

What if I suck at the job? What if I couldn’t deliver what they expected from me? What if I make a bad decision or give terrible advice? What if it’s more time-consuming and stressful than I think?

I was afraid they’d find me out.

They’d be disappointed and it’d be super awkward. And then they’d wish they’d never asked me to join the team, and now they have to have a meeting to make a plan to gently exit me from the Board and never speak about it ever again.

I know, my imagination runs WILDsometimes – it’s good for my creative work, but not so good for other situations πŸ˜›πŸ˜­

Eli and I had a few back-and-forth about the logistics and my concerns – he patiently reassured me that I had a combination of qualities they were looking for.

While I still felt an imposter-syndrome hangover, I wrote this letter of intent.

That’s when I knew I really, really wanted to do this.

So I was very happy when I got a call from Eli several days later telling me that I was officially IN! πŸ₯³

Interesting, though, that my imposter syndrome got even worse when I shared the news on social media.

A lot of people sent me kind, encouraging messages and congratulated me. It was wonderful and overwhelming at the same time.

Overwhelming because a lof of the comments were about me as a person, like “you’re great” or “you’re wonderful” and I didn’t feel I deserved it.

I was telling Dave how these comments were making me uneasy because I hadn’t actuallyΒ done anything yet.

A little voice inside me was saying, “Yuko, anyone can join the Board. But what are you going to accomplish? You’ve been away from the work for so long. Do you remember half of the things you said on your resume?”

Yeah, right. People should really hold off on congratulating me until I do something awesome.

Maybe I shoud’ve kept it a secret.

And then Dave said, “You know you’re gonna do great work, right?”

Right.

Sometimes when my brain tells me I can’t do something, I listen to the people I trust, who say “yes you can.”

from my next collection πŸ’™

If I trust their judgement, and they say they believe in me, then I should believe in myself, too, you know?

It’s so meta, but I think you get it.

And that’s how I’ve gotten over the most recent bout of self-doubt.

Being uncomfortable with something new and unknown is healthy.

I know I’ll continue to have moments of insecurities throughout my life – after all, I’m a human being with lots of feelings (LOTS) – but I’ll also continue to learn and practice skills and tools to manage them more effectively so I can get back to being my whole self more quickly.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well, because I wanted you to know it’s OK if you feel this way too.

when I say I make art that tells me what I need to hear, I mean it 🌡

You’re not a robotπŸ€–

Sometimes we stumble and get stuck. There is no shame in that, my friend.

I know you can, too.

xo

ps. my friend Sarah at Saltstone Ceramics is having Queer and Dear show throughout this month and July! Go enjoy the work of amazing queer artists in person or online πŸ₯°