Category Archives: Shop

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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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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Affordable Wedding Gift Ideas for Joyful Summer Wedding

Summer is officially here!

It’s time for hiking, BBQ-ing, camping, and of course, outdoor weddings.

Dave and I got married in the summer of 2013 (wow, it’s almost 4 years ago! Time sure flies…) and have lots of fond memories 🙂

This is one of my favorite shots from our wedding party ❤

Even though wedding is all about the people and celebration of love, it wouldn’t hurt to get a beautiful gift for the happy couple 😉

I’ve gathered up inspirations for summer wedding gift ideas for you!

1. Love Embroidery Hoop  / 2.  Matching Mug Cups / 3. Handmade Love Photo Album / 4. Pink Poppies Wedding Congrats Card / 5. Gold Heart Ring Dish / 6. “I Don’t Know How to Wrap a Gift” Bag / 7. Sea Otters Holding Hands Art Print

I love gifts that are simple and beautiful ❤

You can get the Pink Poppies Wedding Card and Sea Otter Art Print in my Etsy shop (or click on the image below for a direct link.)

Hope your summer is filled with fun and delightful moments ❤

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

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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