It's A Party !

It is no surprise that I LOVE perusing web sites that are all about craft and food.  Ohhh, but as of late another world has opened to me...PARTY websites.  Hold on to your party hats and check out this heart thumping VINTAGE SEWING party featured on the PURE JOY EVENTS party blog.

all party images are property of PURE JOY EVENTS
INVITATIONS wrapped around a wooden spool !
A sewing basket cake and cookies decorated to fit a sewing theme !
A sewing craft ~ the girls created their own initialed wall hanging !
There is so much more cuteness shared by Christine, a mom with a love for crafting and parties!  I don't have any little ones but hey, I like cute and who knows maybe one day I'll be blessed with a grand kid.  If not, as my hubby tells me..I may just have to settle for Toaster, my son's cat.  Cat Party anyone? meow.

Now for the craft note...on my previous post I showed a pic of a pouch that was in the beginning stages. Well, it's all done. This time I decided to attempt a 'zipper tag' that I spotted in this book  ~
I love this book
see the zipper tags?
here's my pouch
a close up of the zipper tag
The sad thing is that I didn't write down the instructions as I went along. I interpreted the pictures in the book but had to tweak here and there to make it work. So this project is going on my to do list to create a tutorial to share.  But before then ... I need to get me some longer zippers!

Happy Day (*^-^*)

A BIG MAHALO : Thank You

Wow..I have 101 followers..that is amazing. I thank you all so very much for visiting with me. I am ecstatic you are here; happy that I'm not talking to myself as I did with my first blog of many years ago; delighted to share my love for Japanese style crafting.

I remember my very first follower and first ETSY customer, Lindy, a friend in Singapore I've yet to meet in person.  Lindy, who fell in love with my Kokeshi doll crochet case design, inspired me to create other Kokeshi lovelies  such as this coin purse and ipod cozy. THANK YOU Lindy for being there always ~

Before I sign off,  I am dying to share a couple of new fabulous Japanese crochet books that I know you'll LOVE too.

The first one is all about HEARTS  
I'm loving these garlands!

And this second one is filled with crochet items for girls

  take a look at the darling designs on the back cover of this book
Oh yes, I am going to have a lot of fun with these books!

For now, I'm busy making things for my etsy shop...
more deer wristlets to finish
and another to start....
happy day (*^-^*)

A Little Bit of Baking : A Little Bit of Sewing

First the baking ... I cannot tell a lie. I looove homemade cherry pies filled with canned fruit filling; until I watched Agent Cooper devour fresh cherry pies at Norma's RR Diner in Twin Peaks.  That did it; I just had to have a fresh cherry pie.  I waited patiently for the prices for cherries to drop down from $4.99 to $2.99 a pound.  I scoured the internet for recipes.  Finally baking day came when the awaited fresh cherry pie was born in my oven ... ahhh...make that 'born in my kitchen oven' !

Oh, doesn't that look YUMMY?
I want to say that the first bite was glorious; with plump fresh sweet cherries popping in my mouth; mingled with the slight saltiness of the tender, yet flaky pie crust; a taste of heaven. Yeah, maybe for Norma's pie but not for mine's.  My son likened the pie to an olive pie. The filling didn't have much flavor and the cherries were too big and firm.  Yuk.  Oh but I'm not giving up on fresh cherry pies yet; with another recipe in hand; just waiting for the tasting experience of this first pie to wane before a second try.  And if you have a winner recipe then I'm all ears!  (*^_^*)

Now for the sewing...I've been working on a boxy box tutorial for you.  I did a short blurb on my first boxy box attempt in this blog post.  It looks like a mighty fine boxy box from the outside but I gave up on the lining.  The tutorial I followed had over 16 was that intense; being a fully lined pouch with no raw seams showing.  There are different versions of  boxy box tutorials ranging from fully lined to partially lined to no lining. 

It took me about 5 tries to get this pattern just right.  Part of the problem, I think, is deciphering the Japanese how to pictures; without knowing how to read the language. 
  •  First attempt : the box was so tiny and not square shaped 
  • Second attempt : I enlarged the pattern using a complicated math formula; using ratios and such (I confess; I'm a geek). The result :  a very silly looking box
  • Third attempt :  I revised the dimensions again, this time adding 1" to the width and length. So much simpler and so much better.
  • Fourth attempt : I tried to hand sew the lining as in the book but switched to a machine sewing method instead
  • In between attempts : Replaced the fusible fleece with mid weight interfacing for easier sewing but the shape wouldn't hold. Played around with the placement of the valley folds (more on this in the tutorial). Whew !
After all of that nonsense; I will say that this is a simple pouch! (*^_^*) The method for this pattern creates a boxy pouch WITHOUT sewing BOXED CORNERS! ...and that's a good thing.

So here goes ~

A Zakka Inspired Mini Boxy Box Tutorial 
with No Boxed Corners to Sew; Completely Lined with No Open Seams

Approximate Finished Size : 2 3/4 (h) x 2 3/4" (w) x 2 1/2" (depth)

Preparing Materials
  • Cut outer fabric : One Piece : 10.5" (h) x 7" (w)
  • Cut interfacing of your choice :  One Piece : 10.5" (h) x 7" (w) {I used Pellon 973F Fusible Fleece; 987F seems to be the preferred choice for fusible fleece based on internet searches}. Iron to the outer fabric following manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Note : Instead of using fusible fleece which is quite bulky for this project, you may also try adding a mid weight interfacing to the lining as well as the outer fabric for more support; as seen in other tutorials.
  • Cut lining fabric : Two Pieces : 5 3/4" (h) x 7" (w)
  • Cut strap : Ribbon/Twill/Or Sew Your Own : 12" for a hand strap (in my final attempt, I used a little loop instead of a strap. Either a loop or strap will make it easier to pull the zipper open/close)
  • 8" or longer zipper (you will be cutting off excess)

Step 1 
  • Measure 1/2" from the tip of the metal piece on the zipper.  
  • Place the zipper down on the outer fabric; lining up the 1/2" mark along the edge of the outer fabric. 
  • Pin the zipper along the top edge; sew zipper in place.
  • Do the same for the other side of the fabric and zipper.
  • Place aside to prepare lining.
 Step 2

  • Place lining pieces; right sides together and sew along one short edge; leave a 2.5 to 3" gap in the middle for turning the pouch right side out in a later step

Pin lining to zipper:  Move outer fabric over to one side of the zipper. Attach lining to the underside of the zipper as shown in the picture above.

  • Sew lining to zipper; sewing over the sewing line for outer fabric.  (this is how I attach zippers but use your own favorite method for sewing zippers on pouches)
  • Repeat for other side of zipper and fabric
Step 3 
  • Move zipper to center; matching up the outer fabric and lining.
this is a simple view of this step
 Step 4
  • Fold your strap in half and place on the end of the zipper (I found it easier attaching the strap to this end versus the end with the zipper pull). Baste strap in place.
 Step 5
  • In this step, you are doing what I call a valley fold - push the sides in towards the center so that it looks like this : 
  • It is very important that the folds meet in the center. 
  • Repeat this for the other side of the outer fabric and for the lining. 
  • This fold is what creates the boxy look shown here :

 Step 6
  • Sew the outer fabric and lining together on one end using a 5/8" seam. (I drew a seam line on the fleece to use as a sewing guide)
  • Note: Sewing through all the layers is quite a challenge but doable on my machine with a little tugging.
  • Caution: This is the step where your sewing needle could hit the metal on the zipper ends and break; please be careful. You may want to sew very slowly nearing the zipper.
BEFORE SEWING the opposite end; please be sure the zipper is partially open for turning the pouch out. 
  • Trim the ends 
Step 7
  • Pull the pouch through the gap in the lining then through the zipper
  • Shape
  • Sew gap in lining close
  • Done
 A final note ~~ I found through one of my many attempts that you can change the shape of the pouch by the valley folds.  If you place the valley folds a bit away from the center, the pouch will be flatter. The flatter shape makes a nice pouch too. 

If you give this pouch a try; please let me know if you found it to be 'simple' too.

happy 'cheery' day 

Hello There

Hello.  I've been missing for awhile; disheartened that no one has cried a word of concern; not even a single email to check if I'm all right; after all it's very dangerous living on a tiny island.  I could have fallen in the ocean, or into a fierce volcano, or swallowed by the illegal boa constrictor found recently abandoned by its owner, or trampled by the feral donkeys on the loose on the Big Island.   LOL.

Looking at recent photos in my camera; I was busy outside of my sewing 'corner'; distracted by the days of summer ! ...

I took my nephew fishing

 and shared in his delight on his victory; however tiny !

Paddlers passing by

Then off to an o-bon festival; an annual Japanese Buddhist tradition that honors the spirit of ancestors passed. In Hawaii, the festivals serve as both a ceremony of spiritual remembrance and a celebration of cultural heritage and community; where everyone is welcomed to dance and EAT.

Sadly, instead of a kimono, I donned on an apron and slaved over a hot wok making ANDAGI; Okinawan donuts; an Island Favorite !

a dear friend


 We finished off the month of July with a trip to an EAT THE STREET event; a gathering of local food trucks; serving up ono kine grindz (Hawaii's way of saying "delicious eats"). This is a new truck featuring yummy fried chicken and FRIED spam musubi (rice ball). Did I tell you how much Hawaii folks LOVE canned meats??

Hope to be back soon with a tut ~ till then

Happy Day (*^_^*)