Friday, March 15, 2019

story teller

The windows are open since this morning. It feels so so so fresh and nice just to have the windows open. The apartment just smells so spring today! Although the air feels damp and I need to bring the dehumidifier to the studio and give it a few hours run. It always helps to bring down the extra humidity the fabrics actually need. I have been working on these A sidewalk pouches last few days. It is such a perfect pouch to work with during the oddly schedule week. I was able to pick up and leave stitches as I go.  I love added extra leather pull on them this time! It makes them triple sweet! :)

It is always nice around this time of the year that things are less busy and we are so ready for spring to come. Perhaps this long winter has just been too long for us; living in a small space and trying to stretch out, sometimes it does feel intense.  I've gone through storage room twice and put together few bags for donations and next would be the kitchen. Less is more! Perhaps living in a small space isn't too bad after all. We really have been paying more attentions to what we bring home and how we live with limited storage and space now. Sometimes, I think of the garage that I used to have where boxes lived and roller skates stay.

It's been a long week for me! Maybe it is the daylight saving that effects my sleeping hour. But I am loving that extra one hour daylight before the dark arrives. That extra hour daylight just enough to finish last row of hand quilting before the night kicks in.  Getting back to studio and being productive feels so great! Picking up the routine is probably the most challenge these days. There are interruptions, there are downtimes, and there are endless life events, but these are good to have around, so it makes life run!

This week, I met with my friend in Central Park for a good walk and talk. I shared with her how I have felt that I might have rush through my last 10 years. I have never though about it until I talked about it.  I looked back the last 10 years. It felt so quick and so long at the same time. I was feeling so sick in my mid-30's right after graduate school; it was a sense of lost direction. That soon brought me into depression where life was really hard to face and things were moving slowly. It took some time to gain that energy and optimistic back. I am thankful to the family supports and friendships that I received and brought me back on track again.

I think it is alright to say that I wasn't all that happy and felt accomplished in my 30's. It was a try and fail time for me.  I feel I was running against with the air and trying to catch up the next freshest air if I could! I know that sound so oddly I said that, but I think I was afraid that I miss something! and I was a younger mother, had more energy. I've always prepared and ready to get going! I know, so tiring! 

Look back the graduate school time, there were so little sleep time! I've always curious and adventure about life and always felt lonely because I didn't really know where to ask for advises and take a break.  It was stubborn and challenge!  Friends would  look at me and said that I was so brave and so strong, but I think I was pretending that I was able for all! I had more edges than I though I might! It takes time to let that edges smooth out some and gain some wise strings. Now, I don't really remember how in the world that I made it through the grad school and watched my solo exhibition went up and took down! Packed everything and moved again! 

When I really learn to slow down with myself was probably the end of 2017 where everything was falling into the place and the contentment of settling down in east coast finally arrived. I spend my commute time reading news and books,even listening to some musics that I like. I never really have the time to pick up these readings for myself last 10 years. It feels fulfilling that I am actually knowing the news around and reading books; sometimes, I tear for the stories. how silly is that?

Now I feel comfortable telling myself that it is alright to be in bed at 9 because my body really needs to just be there! It is alright to tell everyone that I am tired, so they can do the dishes and pick up the laundry when it's done. It is right I don't need to be the last one in bed anymore because I am always the first one now. Yes, how nice!  I can't really follow up with my teen these days because she has her little something that she likes to be alone. 

I really love where I am now! I learn more about myself and knowing how to be with myself. I know that I am still not really satisfy with my career, but I know it will take the right placement and time to come. I'll still need to push myself more on that.  I need to balance the rush and slow me all together, so I am not outweigh any of two. The life pattern that I am follow these days is generous and gentle. It allows me to be slow down and really take a step a time.

And maybe without last rush through 10 years, I wouldn't be where I am now! I am thankful to be here! Yes, last fall I turned 40 and really, it feels a sense of calm and mature. I plan to take steady steps for the next 10 years. I might not be here 10 years later, but surely I am here now!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

patchwork stitches

What comes in mind for sewing after a long break? It would be the small and tiny patchwork stitches. I can't think of a better way to get my hands back to the needles and threads.  My dear friend Carol has been sending me her scraps each time when she forwards the mail to me. It always is a treat and a surprise to find little scraps pieces that she tucked inside the envelope. I found myself so tickled by  these scraps. It feels so good to turn these scraps into something cute and sweet.

A few weeks back, in an early morning, I found out that the ceiling above the studio was leaking! and the water was overall the sewing table, cutting mats, and floor. It was something that I didn't see would be coming (screaming). ! I had to called the landlord to come fix and that went a bit drama for two weeks. Thank goodness, they finally decided to take down the partial of the ceiling and patch with a clean board. Before they arrived, I jumped right in the studio, move all fabrics, sewing supplies, books, handmade gifts and boxes out to the living room. I loss a floor lamp and a floor mat from the leaking issue and a design board that I had placed on the table.

While waiting for repair ( two weeks), we stayed in the living room and that felt quiet content for some reason, We joked that we would just need a studio for the future place, since everything fits, but it was cold to stay in the living room and the noise coming from near by highway was difficult at night time to fell asleep. Soon after the ceiling paint was dry and I cleaned every corner till dust free (yay). Then I take the time to move everything back in. I had refold all the fabrics ( got to love this job) and trying to fit them back to where they were before. I have realized that there are so many fabrics that I have forgot about.  It was a real good visit with fabrics! They tell me, come sew with us more! :)  and Yes, I was totally wiped out by the end of the day!

Has it been a long winter for you and me? I don't mind the winter, but it has been feeling a gray winter for this year. I've spend the night time knitting and finished one side of the leg warmer and still need to finish the other side, but I've ran out of the yarn! I am feeling stuck, what should I do? I though of going to the yarn store and match the yarn out or take the knitting stitches apart. I still can't make the call. Maybe I should wait till the spring arrives and hop on the bus to the yarn store.

While I am writing, the sunlight from the studio window is getting dimmer. I particularly love this time of the day where I can see the apartments near by me have lights turn on. People are home from their hard working day, I am sure they are making conversations and preparing their dinners. Just what I am going for next, preparing dinner and getting the apartment light up!

The daylight saving is coming this weekend! I'll miss that extra hour sleep, but for sure, I can't wait for more daylight during the day!


Sunday, March 3, 2019


After my last trip, I am ready to settle in a little bit longer and catching up "things". I guess just a lot of sewing and promises that I made, but never be able to fulfill. and no more time changes and jet lag . So here I go...

Between now and then...

My S graduated from middle school and is a busy freshman in high school now. She is busy because she said so! Moving to N.Y. was a big culture shock for her and much more. It was a handful 3 years and she is coming her way around this place and everything nicely! She is almost as tall as I am and talks real fast if she wants to and just like every typical teens these days!  She continues out seeking her own path as we talk over the table and there is no need rush for any firm plan, and just take one step a day.

It would be so ideal that time can pause or slow down a little. I am not so ready for my girl to take her big step in a few years. It will be oddly without the chatterbox around for sure. S and I have took a trip back to Iowa last summer. It was a much needed trip that we both so look forward to. We drove around the city and to small towns; went to our favorite bakery. We met our friends for coffee and soaking up as much as possible. Yes, to the sweet corns and pork chop and the homemade meals that we were spoiled to. Nothing like blue sky, corn fileds, donut holes and friendship all at once!

As I prepared for my last oversea trip, there were a lot in my mind that felt brain jam! I don't even know if brain jam makes sense to you! It was alike a pile of list to check off, but have no idea where to start. And yes! I was able to pull everything together the very last minutes. I was baking in the morning before the flight took off at 10p.m.  Nothing like some special handmade gifts! All the gifts were much loved and well received!  I was able to double up the cookie recipe and put them in the jars for S. I told her, before these cookies are gone, I should be able to come home to fill them up again.

Home sweet home! I have finally really throughly understand what it real means!  It was nearly midnight, but when I exit out the airport lobby gate, I saw my girl waving hard at me and that is my home! When I got back to the apartment and saw the cookie jars had few cookies left  and I started the Christmas baking right away. mom, you are  the best! 

That took a good 6 weeks for turning around the jet lag this time. Partly being sick in the cold winter days and partly I was just exhausted. Home is the same; laundry, making meals, tidy up space, dress in cozy flannel pjs for days, a bit hand sewing and listening to my chatter box at 3:25p.m. when the door knob turns. Hey, mom did you know..... (and tea is ready,snacks on the table and I get to visit with the teen before she calls it off).  And all quiet again till the dinner time, I've pick up a few knitting stitches here and there...

Thank you for all the heart warming welcome come back messages! I can't believe that you all are staying around and checking in. It is amazing how this space have reach out so many of you and have been so supportive in this journey.

With all that... I am really miss the little space of mine here!


Monday, February 25, 2019

Return Journey

It has been a long journey to return! and the first sentence is the hardest to type out. I know it has been over a year and longer, but...


There was never a time in this past year that I could have sit down and get few hours to myself to write. Life has taken me into different directions and I have tried to find my way slowly back to where I feel comfort and content.

The year went quick yet slow in someway. I've travelled oversea a few times and long stay for each visit. I was exhausted each time after I came back to my little space and trying to decompress all in a short time. I looked at the studio space and wish that I could sit and sew for a day or maybe a few hours, but the time was so limited. I unpacked the luggages and put away winter clothes then I packed again for the summer clothes then packed for winter gears again.  It was a year that I grew few string of gray hair, learn to put on a wiser hat, put myself beneath the ground, so I can really absorb all the positive energy and look at myself closely.

{Lucky, the pup}
Grieving added on to the long calendar year. We loss our dearest Lucky boy. It was hard and shocking! He was a family to us and carried such sweet characters in him. Eight years ago, S took him home and we didn't think that this tiny chihuahua mixed breed pup would stole all our hearts. Lucky loved to get on the scooter ride with us. He got his own little spot in front of the foot stand where his four little legs could hold on on his ride. He always tipped his head out the scooter board and get that wind blow over his head.   When he saw the other pups, he barked like no one would, we think he was just trying to say Hello!

There still no words really to explain the feeling of pain and the grieve that we have contained in, especially for my sister, it still is an uneasy process for her to walk through. It will need some time to heal and we hope to make that memories into a good healing medicines. We love our Lucky boy!

I took the the lovely cushion I made for my sister to cuddle on my recent trip oversea. I knew it was a small gesture that I can do for my sister on her grieving journey. It means a lot for her and me, too! I knew Lucky would have lay on top of this cushion if he is there. Much love, my sis!

{Patchwork Updates}
I didn't have a productive patchwork year. I needed the time to embrace what was going on in life, work and all! I have gotten myself into a lot in my own plate and felt really stretch out and yes, I did burn down at some point. Then, I had to pull myself out and go on a slower process and taking solid movement and moving thoughtful decisions when I can. It was a much need time after all.

There are patchwork pieces that I made before taking the time off and really would love to showcase them soon. Lots tiny patchwork and hand quilting added on! I am feeling energized about the new year that just arrived and have layout a few things to finish.  I would love you to stay turn for the updates!

{More writing}
It would be my goal that I do more writing now! Words are important and it might have connect to some of you in someway! So let me keep on writing... It might require some time to get myself on the routine, but I am working on it.

Thank you for all the supportive words that you have sent to my inbox! It might be nothing to you, but it does mean a lot to me and thank you for thinking of me and my family!


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Townsquare Pillow Sewing Pattern

Hello! Welcome to my newest PDF sewing pattern, {Townsquare Pillow Sewing Pattern}. This pattern is done before the summer arrived, but with all the traveling that I planned to do with papa it had to get postpone with photo shooting and editing as well. I also want to be able to write about this pattern's idea and inspirations before it releases to the world.

So, welcome to {Townsuare Pillow Sewing pattern} and welcome to quarter inch mark townsquare!  The pattern inspirations came to me during last Christmas time as I had pleasure walking around streets and avenues in the new to me neighborhood that I had just moved in.  I discovered how each house, street is alike a little townsquare with its little charm and later on during my traveling time on the bus, on/off different subway stops and streets. Soon, I knew I want design a pattern that brings comfort and remembrance of the townsquare that I have visited and you might have visited or live in one.

I've lived in many little towns, somewhat big cities, and now resident in the big apple city.  I've always noticed each town and city has its own characters. I've slowly discovered these characters are what bringing people together; similar backgrounds, close aged groups, newly started families and some are in close culture background. Because of these characteristics they bring people together and these connections are forming into a little townsquare, where they could support each other, find comfort to resident in the neighborhood, and start growing their roots down.

My time in the city might be short, but I love watch and walk around different streets and districts. Nothing better than just seeing places in my own eyes and telling stories that I encounter dialy. There are so many little townquares around here. In the city, I found most of the townsquares are formed by the different ethnicity groups. Around the Woodside, Queens, you can find large group of Hispanic families, grocery stores, restaurants. I just love walking in that place, it brings me to a different space and the common language to say is not English is a good smile! and lots gracias and hola! 

Right around the end of Northern Boulevard, Queens. There is a huge Korean townsquare, which I just enjoyed so much for the spicy food ingredients and the billboard writings that I'll never know what do they mean. They've always spoken Korean to me whenever I check out my grocery shopping and it is always kamsa-hamnida.

In Williamsburg, Brooklyn is where the young and little chic boutiques and trendy cafes are surrounded. If I am another 10 years younger, I'd be living in that little townsquare where I might be hanging out with all the dreamers who move to city with big dreams and goals to fulfill!  

I really love the characters of each townsquare, no matter where I have lived or been.  I so enjoy seeing the beauty of the core value of the place, not the fancy kind, but the simple and down to earth kind of places.  I so believe the charm of townsquare has that special attractive characters to you and I in a way. I wanted to bring all these ideas and inspirations into one comfort project and share with you all.

and Townsquare Pillow is just the perfect project to design and transform these little factors, charms and stories I shared into one; comfort and unique. Unlike other pattern, this pattern is alike writing a quilt pattern, which is fun and so much diagrams that I drew on Illustrator. I purposely had design how the back seamallows foldingfrom each other to create the patchwork front look. It took a good time to decided on pop up the square or let the square sits inside.

I sincerely hope when you purchase patterns from me, it is clear and comes with good/clear photos to support your sewing journey as some of us are visual learners and other might not. It is important to me to write a good instructions and provided good illustrations as well.

About the Townsquare Pillow Cover- 

I used 40 plus prints for making one Townsquare Pillow cover ( used 60 plus print for scrappy patchwork style). The idea is working with the colors and create homey cohesive balance using varies prints. 

Did you know each little square window could be play in with fabric fussy cuts as well. Can you picture a fussy chef in the townsquare block cooking? a Fussy cut little sleepy girl within the window? or little oven that is working on? so on.  It is your townsquare, so be creative and be happy! There are endless warm and charm that you can bring to your little square. 

For the quilting: 

Feel free of creating your own quilting pattern, I used really simple lines that 0.25" apart from each other and used walking food to create the good effect. The earthy tone townsquare pillow is purely hand quilted! I know that trying both is important, so I could share the difference. 

** With the machine quilting, you'll find your quilting time is shorter and the line effect is just simple and create much modern clean look to the patchwork top. I simple love that straight-line looks and modern, clean cut finish. 

** With the hand quilting, the quilting time is add on, but really it is labor of love! I love hand quilting small stitches on any patchwork project if possible. I love the additional hand touch to the work. It gives extra finish of the work and the charm of vintage finish. 

About the Pattern: 

- Townsquare Pillow Sewing Pattern is a digital downloadable PDF file. It comes with 19 pages PDF file ( included cutting instruction, sewing instruction and colored photos to walk you through each step).  It also comes with detailed illustrated diagrams to aid for sewing steps.

- Townsquare Pillow is an advanced beginner sewing pattern. Sewers have experience in cutting fabrics, knowing operations sewing machine, experience with instal zippers. This is also a great hand stitching project.

-Don't fear the zipper instal, the pattern comes with step by step of how to make the zippered style closure.

-Townsquare Pillow comes with two finished pillow cover 18"x18" and 16"x16".

- Best of all! This pattern is again a perfect pattern to play within your scrap bin and I found that really turn townsquare pillow out perfectly as you have already created a little fabric townsquare within you stash.

Now, you can find Townsquare Pillow PDF sewing pattern through my
{Etsy} and {Crafty} pattern shops now.

-You'll need Adobe Reader to open the PDF file and free download at adobe read.come.

------ Materials need for making----

- assorted 3"x3" fabrics scraps
- 1 yard of unbleached muslin or fabric for patchwork backing
- at least 1 yard of fabric for pillow backing
- 16" or 18" long nylon zipper
- 16"x16 or 18"x18" pillow insert
- 25"x25" cotton batting

I am running my very first Small Business Sale,  the new Townsquare Pillow Sewing Pattern and other PDF sewing patterns are 20% off in both {Etsy} and {Crafty} shops. The discount has been taken, so no coupon code needed! Sales ends Monday (11/27) 9p.m. Eastern time.

Thank you again for coming to read about the new pattern and continuing support my sewing journey. I hope you enjoy the new pattern as much as we do here!


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

above and under

Hello! Hello! I hope you are well! I have been under the weather a few weeks now. It started an itchy feeling from the throat then the next day my throat was dry and hurt and then the next thing I know is I got virus attack! I am still talking funny and coughing from minutes to minutes, yuck! Finally today I am feeling staying above myself since then. 

I have made a quick grocery trip run tonight to our corner grocery store for tomorrow and it is going to be pretty simple since I really can't taste anything now.  Unlike a big bird from the past year , I only got turkey legs and wings, so it would not be hours of waiting and cooking and saving me a little time for sewing, which I have miss dearly.  Meanwhile, we'll have all the easy dishes tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll  make all the dishes by 2pm then find a time rest a little.  and I have finally made our pumpkin cake tonight and it is cooling on the countertop now. Tomorrow morning, the first thing is get the icing ready and you know it is the cream cheese kind (yum). 

I did finished another Honey cowl and guess what it is error free! After careful counting and stitching This cowl turns out pretty lovely! Remember this is the celery green? I just love the soft green.Then bigger cowl was casted on a few weeks ago. It has taken me a little longer time for each round as it comes with 220 stitches per a round. It is a slow in progress cowl for sure and my little goal is finish it before Christmas.  It is not as easy to take with as I used two colors and it is kinda too big to fit in my small backpack. I didn't want people stare at me on the bus (how funny), so it is for sure a home project. 

Oh, the new pattern is all done with photo editing, but I haven't have the time and energy to sit down and write. I want to write from my heart about this pattern and tomorrow would the day that I will be working on the writing. I really love how the photos and pattern turns out and after showing to Fifi she said it is a good one! I hope you'll love you as much as we do! 

The pattern will release this Saturday morning, so maybe you can come early and bring your coffee or tea with. It will be a long post, I knew!  I plan on running a small business Saturday sale along with the new pattern and other patterns, if you are looking for something to make for the gifting. Come take a look! 

I'll be spending good amount of time writing tomorrow and hope to get all the sewing bits that I have planned start! You know, I am a slow writer, I type a bunch words then click delete button a lot kind.  
Sometimes, it probably didn't make any sense to you because I probably was thinking something else. 

Wish you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Family time and sewing/knitting time as well! 

more soon! 

p.sI'll be running between workroom and the kitchen, but not alike a mad lady, probably a mad cook (ha)!