Category Archives: Shop

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dads Who Are a Little “Different”

Hi friend,

Father’s Day is only two weeks away! Do you need help finding a unique gift?

For some reason, I have a harder time picking a gift for my dad (or men in general) than buying something for my mom… 😀 It somehow requires more imagination to think of something he’d appreciate, so I end up getting him the same old sweets every year. Sweets are a sure bet for my dad !

In case you need fresh Father’s Day gift ideas, I pulled together a gift guide for dads who are a little “different” – maybe he’s not that into sports, maybe he likes to nerd out on board games. Maybe he’s obsessed with eating healthful foods (but likes to indulge every now and then).

Unique Father's Day gift ideas

1. “Authors Are My Rock Stars” T-shirt – Perfect for a book loving dad! Comes in variety of colors.

2. Pandemic Board Game – Does your dad enjoy playing board games (that are a little more involved than Uno or Yahtzee) with his friends? This cooporative, strategy game was recommended to me by my nerdy husband, and his friends also approve!

3. Healthy Creations’ Vegan, Allergy-Friendly Donuts – If your dad wants to eat healthy and has a sweet tooth to satisfy (or you want him to eat better :)), Chef Ariel has got you covered! Her super yummy gourmet vegan, gluten-free, nuts & refined sugar free donuts are made fresh and shipped nationwide from Seattle. Subscribe to her Donut of the Month Club, and get her delicious treats delivered to your dad (or you) every month!

4. “Thank You for Being An Awesome Dad to My Cats” Father’s Day Card – Does your dad have a sweet spot for his adorable feline family members? Refer your cat as his “grandkitty?” Then you gotta get him this card.

5. Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown – Is your dad into Star Wars? Always had a special bond with his daughter? This adorable illustrated book features Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, and his rebellious daughter, Leia, sharing funny and sweet father-daughter moments. They’ve also got Darth Vader and Son.

6. Espresso Coffee Scented Soap from Emily’s Handmade Soaps – If your dad is like me, and doesn’t drink coffee but loves the smell of it – Emily’s all-natural handmade coffee scented soap is perfect for him! It’s got real coffee ground in it for exfoliation and would make a great gift for a gardener dad, too!

Hope you found something your dad will love 🙂

cat lovers father's day card

p.s. My Cat Dad Father’s Day card was a big hit with my husband last year, and lots of my customers have gotten a kick out of it, too 🙂 You can shop them in my Etsy shop. I also have a Dog Dad Father’s Day Card here.

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

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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

New Original Paintings for Sale Every Day on Instagram!

Hi there, friend!

Are you on Instagram?

I’ve been posting photos of my 30-minute paintings every day since November and recently decided to make all of my original paintings available for sale!

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They’re small (5.5″ x 7″) watercolor and gouache (an opaque watercolor) paintings on heavy mixed media paper. I paint a wide variety of subjects from florals to my recent obsession, dogs in sweaters 🙂

Also, there is this series of still life paintings in blue ❤

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These small original paintings are available for only $69 each, including FREE US shipping (+ $10 international shipping).

You can follow these simple steps to view and purchase my paintings:

1. Search for the hashtag #yukosdailypainting on Instagram.

2. Send me a direct message on Instagram and let me know which piece(s) you’re interested in, and I’ll give you the details. First person to claim the painting gets it!

I’m adding new artwork for you to enjoy and purchase every day on my feedFollow along and don’t miss this opportunity to get your favorite Yuko Miki originals 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions! Have an awesome day ❤

xo Yuko

p.s. I’m sharing my behind the scenes creative process next week. Don’t miss it!

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

Behind the Scenes: Creating One-of-a-Kind Valentine’s Gifts

Hey guys!

In my effort to offer even more creative inspirations for your life  (read more about that in my blog here), I’m starting to share more of my art products and creative processes on my blog now! My goal is to publish at least 3 posts per week as compared to one weekly post previously, and I hope you’re enjoying it so far 🙂

Yesterday, I shared a story behind my new untraditional Valentine’s paper products. (If you missed it, you can scroll down to yesterday’s post or check them out here. They’re adorable!)

Today, I wanted to share behind the scenes of my new block printed XOXO Tea Towels and Project Bags!

Some of you know I’ve been block printing on fabric since winter of 2015. I took Jen Hewett’s Design, Carve, Print e-course and immediately fell in love/got addicted with the block printing!

Here are some of my block printing works from last year:

2015 holiday tea towels

Colorful tea towels from fall/winter 2015

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Totes and drawstring bags from summer 2015

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A typical block printing set-up. This artichoke printed market tote is one of the most popular items on my shop so far.


When I create new designs for my block printing project, I keep in mind the following:

  1. My block printing design needs to have a cohesive look and feel as my other illustration work on paper.
  2. It needs to have clean line work and a little bit of details/texture to make it very simple but interesting.
  3. It typically needs a good balance of positive/negative space.
  4. A motif around 4.5″ x 4.5″ usually works well with what I do.

For my new Valentine’s XOXO collection, I had an idea of designing a simple lettering of XOXO. I initially thought of just creating a simple “XOXO” shapes, but it looked a little boring/not in line with other products I had created.

As I was making a bunch of sketches to add decorations to my letters, I remembered this sketch I made several weeks ago.

Crochet tools doodle

I like to crochet and was doodling some tools as I watched some Netflix shows with Dave one evening. I was vaguely thinking it would be cute to create a project based on these but didn’t have a real idea yet.

And then I realized the letter X could be two knitting needles crossed together (2 crochet needles would’ve been a little funny because we only use one needle usually!) and the letter O could be a yarn ball!

I know knitters/crocheters like having project bags for the things they’re working on, and I can dedicate my block printing Valentine’s gift products to them ❤

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So I sketched some more ideas using knitting needles and a yarn ball on paper. I like to draw with bold felt-tipped or brush pen to get a better idea of the final image. I don’t like having a really thin line as a positive space in my block printing project because I use a softer carving block and thin details are easier to break or get accidentally cut away in the process.

Once I’m happy with a design, I trace it with a tracing paper and a pencil.

Then I flip the tracing paper over and rub the pencil drawing on to the carving block with a spoon (or a bone folder if you got one.) I use MOO Carve carving blocks because they’re softer and easier on my hand when carving.

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It’s going to look like this after you rub your drawing on to the block. The black lines indicate the part I leave out, and the white part gets carved out.

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Then I carve away the white part! I use a linocut carving tool from Speedball.

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Once the block is carved, I start test printing on my test fabric. For this design, I kept the two motifs together on one block since they’ll always be used side by side, and it’ll save me some time when printing!!

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Seeing the image come alive for the first time on fabric is absolutely my favorite moment!

I use the water-based fabric screen printing ink to block print on fabric. For this, I used Speedball fabric screen printing ink in red.

Speedball ink

When test printing, I look for parts that need to be cleaned up/tweaked. And then I print and clean several times until I’m happy with it.

Once I’m happy with the blocks I carved, I print them on my products. Since I don’t sew, I usually get my blank tea towels and bags from these companies:

Online Fabric Store

All About Blanks

ConventionTOTES

I design the layout that works well with each product and get to printing!! I let them dry overnight and heat set the ink using my iron after they dry completely.


And voila! These Valentine’s XOXO Tea Towels & Project Bags are ready to delight a special knitter/crocheter in your life ❤

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Pink and Red 100% Cotton Tea Towel. It is color fast and will not wash out. I use them at home and they’re very durable!

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Red and White 100% Cotton Tea Towel is also available on my shop! It’s going to be a lot of fun to make some Valentine’s Day treats in the kitchen with these bright and joyful tea towels 🙂

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You can’t go wrong with the simple repeat pattern.

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They’re even cuter together as a set 🙂 Swoon ❤


And the new design comes on 100% Cotton Drawstring bags as well! They are another great gift idea for the creatives in your life. Use them as a project bag or to organize things (especially for your little ones) to carry around in your big bag!

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8×10 100% Cotton XO Drawstring Project Bag 

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And its big sister 10×12 100% Cotton XOXO Drawstring Project Bag

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They’re heat set, so the ink is printed on the bag permanently. You can machine wash cold. Easy-peasy!


I hope you enjoyed learning how my block printing products are created. I love how each product is slightly different and is a unique work of art you can use every day 🙂

If you’re interested in learning how to block print on fabric, check out the workshop I’m teaching in Seattle in April and May! If you’re not in Seattle area, Jen’s e-course I mentioned above is a great place to learn, too.

OK, I hope you’ll have an inspiring day, my friend!

xoxo Yuko

yuko_flowers

 

 

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.

calendar-cover_lores

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!

framed-sea-otters_lores

“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

 

Terrarium Dream

Hi friends!

I received my new prints this week!  This piece is called “Terrarium Dream” – I created it for a competition last summer.  I finally got it printed and couldn’t be happier with the quality of the prints! I really appreciate the work of the folks at Wallblank Printery!

Terrarium_Dream_01Terrarium_Dream_02

And guess what?  This is what my Gift of Happiness subscribers are getting this month!  Thinking about becoming a member? You might want to do it before the end of tomorrow (Friday 1/9/15) to claim your thank you gift 🙂 You can read more about it and purchase the subscription here.

Ok, have a wonderful day! xoxo

Yuko

New Service Offering :: Gift of Happiness!

Hello friends!

I hope your 2015 is off to a good start.  I had very nice holidays and am feeling energized for another year full of adventures in creativity!

Many of you know that I’m pursuing my dream of making a living doing what I love, i.e. being an illustrator, while working at my non-profit day job.  This year, my goal is to “do more.”  I tend to be a “planning” person and prefer to know what to expect and the details before I act on something.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can sometimes keep me from “doing” it.  Doing nothing may feel “safe,” but it would not help me achieve my goal.

Last spring, I started my 365 day happiness drawing challenge to practice art and putting myself out there every day. I will continue the practice until I hit the 365 day mark! I also wanted to have a new project which will challenge me to grow in different ways.

As I mentioned in my blog post before the New Year, I’m launching a new subscription service this year!!  I’m calling it a “Gift of Happiness.”  It is available to purchase now on my Etsy store!

gift of happiness

Here is FAQ on this new offering!

Q: What is Gift of Happiness subscription?
A: It is a year-long subscription to receive something from me every month from January through December 2015.

Q: What do I get?
A: All kinds of things! It could be my art prints, a pack of greeting cards, a pretty tea towel, a mug, an original drawing, etc. I would also love to send you a personalized postcard or a note when I’m traveling! I don’t have a specific plan yet because it also depends on what I’m inspired to create throughout the year.

↓Sneak peek for January – you will receive an 8×10 print of “Terrarium Dream”

pictured in 11x14 matted frame. (mat & frame not included in the listing.)
pictured in 11×14 matted frame. (mat & frame not included in the listing.)

Q: What benefits do I get by subscribing to this service?
A: There are many 🙂 For one, you will have something to look forward to every month – you will receive adorable, unique, and high-quality product you can use or give away as a gift (last minute birthday party invite anyone?). By getting an annual subscription, you’re also getting a discount on individual products – this is my way of saying thank you for supporting an independent artist 🙂

Q: Can I sign up after January?
A: Yes, as long as there is a spot open! If you subscribe later, you will receive past months’ items, or equivalent, grouped with your first month’s shipping.

Q: How many spots are available for 2015?
A: Because of the personalized nature of this service, I’m limiting this service to 20 spots this year.

Q: What if I really like what I get and want to order more?
A: Most of the items will be available to purchase individually on my Etsy shop!

Q: How much is the 12-month subscription?
A: $215 for a 12-month subscription including free US shipping! It is also available to ship overseas with additional shipping fee. You will receive a thank you gift if you purchase by Friday January 9, 2015!

*I’m also offering a limited number of bi-monthly subscription (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sept, Nov) for $120. Please see the listing here.

Q. Can I purchase the subscription as a gift?
A: Absolutely! Please add a note when you purchase the subscription and let me know their name and shipping address.

Please feel free to contact me  if you have any questions!

Looking forward to connecting with you more in the coming year!

Yuko

 

 

What Are You Looking Forward to in the New Year?

Hello, hello!

How’re you doing?  By the time this post goes out, I will have eaten lots of Christmas-y meals and cookies and visiting with a bunch of families and friends in snowy (I hope!) Midwest.  I won’t be home for a few more days to resume my daily happiness  posts but wanted to drop you a line to say hi!  Hi 🙂

I also wanted to let you know that I’m launching a new “subscription” service in 2015.  It’s kind of like “Yuko Club” where you receive a product from me, like a print of my art, a pack of greeting cards, a household item (e.g. tea towel, mug, coasters etc!), or a postcard from an exotic (or not so exotic) location with a personal message once a month for 12 months! You will receive an artful surprise every month – to give away as a gift or to keep for yourself 🙂  I can’t tell you how excited I am to be creating new art and products for you!!!

gift-of-happiness

I will have this service available on my Etsy shop in early January.  Because of the nature of the service, it’s going to be limited to 20 spots for 2015.  It will be $215 for a 12-month subscription with free U.S. shipping!  (It will be available to friends in overseas with shipping fee.)  If you’d like to be notified by email when the listing becomes available, please sign up here!

I am really looking forward to connecting with you in new ways in the new year!  Thank you again for your support of my work this year!

See you on January 1 when my daily happiness posts will return 🙂  Have a safe and happy New Year!

xoxo

Yuko