New Printable Sashiko Pattern – Geek Style!

Mashing one of my favorite hobbies and Android fan geek-ness together for this new printable sashiko design was an absolute blast!

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Here I stitched the sampler to show that you don’t just have to use a single color.  This one was meant for you to let your hair down and get a little crazy with. :)

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Now to ponder what other crazy designs should be put into sashiko patterns.  Any suggestions?

Thoughts on Dealing with Boredom During Exercise

True Confession: I’m not a big fan of just exercising for the heck of it.  I’d much rather be a couch potato.

But I see the weight I gain year after year and know the complications coming (i.e. more knee surgeries  – ICK!) I don’t mind walking though.  So I started walking the kidlets back and forth to school in good weather.  It ended up being about 3 miles a day for me.  I really looked forward to this – it gave me time to talk with the kiddos since there was nothing to distract us from talking and I could listen to a book or a language lesson after dropping them off and walking back by myself.

What about the times I can’t walk them to school?  Well this has been a real struggle.  Finally hubby and I found an inexpensive manual treadmill,  Wow it’s a work out because I’m always walking “uphill”.  Lately, I’ve been working on my shop while I walk.  (I plopped a board across the handles of the treadmill and put my keyboard and mouse there.  Then I tilt my monitor back a bit and increase the font in the windows I’m working on.)  Working on the computer while I walk really takes my mind off being tired and lets me get in 100 calories of exercise pretty quickly.

Just make sure you keep your hands on something so you don’t trip and go headfirst into your keyboard.  If both my hands are on the keyboard on the board across the handle bars of my treadmill, I’m pretty steady.  But if I use the mouse, my other hand goes to the handle under the board.

Next Confession: I wrote this post while walking!

I hope this may be of help to others also struggling to find ways to exercise. 😉

Work in Progress – Sashiko Sampler with 3 Traditional Designs

Striving for perfection.  It’s a blessing some times.  Working through beautiful crafts and knowing your hands did the work for the final product is so rewarding.  Sashiko is a pretty simple craft, but perfecting it takes time and practice.  I’m putting in my dues so I can feel more confident teaching, so I’ll be ready for the next course when it’s available, and so I can help keep this craft alive.

Currently I’m working through a new sampler that I finished designing this week.  Started it Saturday and I’m one third of the way though.  Considering the lack of time I’ve had to work on crafts – it’s good progress.  (Archery, science fairs, game days, etc – can’t escape them and that time with family and friends is why I’m a stay at home mom. 😉

I’m working through quite a few samplers of late and wondering what should be the final project to use them and combine them.  Currently I’m thinking a lap blanket.  (I have WAY too many bags – so those are out!)  Adding them into an apron design could be fun too.  Any other ideas?

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The PDF version of this Sashiko Sampler with 3 Traditional Designs is available in my shop.  Stitching order instructions are included.

What projects are you working on lately?

A Just for Fun Sale!

Every once in a while at completely random times I like to have a sale as a little party for my customers.  Today starts the “Just for Fun Sale” at Ojamiya.  10% off with the coupon code OJAMIYA10PERCENT.  Enjoy!On the personal front, I finished stitching the traditional design sashiko sampler I designed while listening to Owner’s Share by Nathan Lowell.  The story, as with all by Mr. Lowell, was enjoyable.  Though I was left with a sadness that I’d not felt from any other book.  So go enjoy the story – but grab your kleenex box!  If you haven’t read or listened to his other books – the first is Quarter Share and by far my favorite.

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Another note on the personal front, I’m looking into trying my hand at substituting in the school district here.  (Teaching and clerical work.)  As much as I like being a stay at home mom and running my little shop, I think I need to get out more!!!  Cross your fingers for me that I don’t get scared off the first day!

My Heart Goes Out to Japan

In the wake of the March 11th devastating 9.0 earthquake, resulting monstrous tsunami, continual after shocks, nuclear plant troubles, power blackouts and tremendous difficulties getting supplies to areas that need them most – my heart is absolutely broken for Japan.I know Japan will come out of this stronger than before.  The Japanese people are amazing in their strength and resilience.

In the mean time, I want to do all I can to help – even though I’m thousands of miles away.

If you haven’t donated to help our neighbors in Japan, please consider doing so.  Here are a few links for you – to make it nice and easy.

Maki (author of Just Bento and Just Hungry blogs) has put together a terrific list of legitimate agencies and groups that are providing help.

Google created an information page with donation info, missing person info, transportation and power updates, etc.

I know the big fund raiser is usually the Red Cross. But one of my favorites, the Salvation Army is also working in Japan.  Japan is used to being on the giving end and not the receiving end of work from the Salvation Army.  But now the Salvation Army has disaster teams active in Japan and easy ways to donate to the help efforts.

The Girl Scouts (and I am a brand new Daisy Troop leader) is also doing what they can.  Donations can be made to help out and paper cranes as an expression of support and friendship can be made and sent – here’s the news clip.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected in Japan.  Japan – know that you are thought of with love every single day.  I wish I could do more for you.

被災された方々に、心よりお見舞い申し上げます。
I would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to all Japanese people suffering from this disaster.

Shop Closure

After much deliberation, I finally closed my shop.  It will remain closed at least until summer.  This wasn’t an easy decision as I love running my shop because of the awesome people and customers that I come in contact with and the fun challenge of entrepreneurship.There are so many changes in my family’s life right now and I’m heading back to work this month, I needed to simplify.  I’ll still post here on the blog and will of course post if I’m able to re-open my shop.

Quilts for Japan

Quilts. Such amazing examples of delicately pieced works of art. (I never imagined myself making a quilt. Far too precise for me.)

I’d been scouring the internet for something tangible I could do to help the people in the devastated areas of Japan. When I came across the Call for Quilts for Japan from Quilters Newsletter – it was then I knew I’d be diving into this new craft. My local fabric store was awesome and so helpful! I wasn’t sure where to begin or even what pattern might be a good first project, but they helped me find a simple pattern, the batting and backing, and the nifty even feed foot that helped sew through the many layers. There wasn’t time to have a long arm quilter quilt it. So I ventured out and tried that too. (Two days of wrangling the many layers to quilt it!)

The process really gave me respect for those who choose this art form as their expression. Wow, it’s a lot of work!

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Today the little quilt will be shipped out with a note to it’s recipient.  I’m so excited to have it done and ready to start the first part of it’s journey.

Maki, bless her heart, helped me translate the note into Japanese.  Here’s the message in English.

Even though we’ve never met and we’re half a world apart, with every stitch of this quilt you’ve been thought of and prayed for.  It’s my first quilt.  I chose the 8 pointed star for luck and red as the background color for happiness.  My hope is that this quilt will bring you comfort and warmth.