Matches for: “embroidery” …

handmade is happiness #1

Naoto likes to joke that my iPad is my favorite gift (Presley gave it to me for my birthday this year. She is very thoughtful & generous.) While I do use the iPad quite often, I would never consider something hard, cold and electronic as my fave…no matter how much I use it.

But he did get me thinking, what are some of my favorite gifts? So, I’ve decided to share some of my best-loved gifts here on the blog…

One of the first gifts that came to mind are these kitchen towels that my mother made for my wedding shower.

Growing up, I knew my mom had embroidery supplies, but only because we pilfered the floss for friendship bracelets. It never occurred to the childhood me that she actually could embroider…so imagine my surprise when I opened such a heartfelt and handmade gift!

When visitors see the towels hanging in my kitchen, they are sometimes surprised that I use the towels. (What else am I supposed to do with them? Keep them folded up in a drawer?) Well, I do use them, a lot, for everything from drying dishes and drying herbs to sopping up messes (everything I do in the kitchen results in a mess lately) and wearing them as aprons. And every time I use them, I think of my mom, the ultimate mother & homemaker. xoxo

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my little red toolbox | kai scissors

It wasn’t hard to choose the first tool to feature from my little red toolbox. My love for my Kai Detail Scissors is unmatched. I cut a lot of tiny things for mail art and other projects and my old kitchen scissors weren’t cutting it (pun intended…couldn’t resist). My hand would get all cramped, my cutting lines were all jagged and quite frankly, I dreaded having to cut anything. Then, I was exposed to Kai Scissors by an old manager at our local paper store. These scissors are absolutely dreamy! They cut really smoothly and easily and they are tiny and pointy, which makes them great for cutting little detailed objects (like forks and flying men from a Trader Joe’s bag and washi tape banners) and they are comfortable to hold (which is completely necessary when you are doing a lot of cutting). Kai Scissors are made in Japan and the blades are hand balanced and hand polished. And, in case Naoto decides to use my precious paper scissors to cut open a potato chip bag (he knows better…now…), the blades can be sharpened if they get dull. I ordered my Kai Scissors at KaiScissors.com. They offer free shipping and a very good price. Mine are the N5135 model, and though they say they are for embroidery, they’ve worked like a dream for me in paper crafts for over a year now. Yay for tiny cutting with ease!

*This and all posts about my little red toolbox are not sponsored posts. I just thought it would be fun to share my favorite tools for paper crafting! Don’t know about my little red toolbox? Go here!

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the elevated envelope

Back in the winter, I signed up for the “Elevated Envelope” exchange. I would be making four envelopes to exchange with four other people. May (the deadline) seemed so far away at the time…and the deadline came and went, and today, I finally sat down to make mine. The original plan was to embroider the Big Dipper on envelopes (using lovely French knots in shimmery thread on dark paper)…but then, I checked the blog one day and saw that someone else had done constellations…BOO! Then, I was super-mad at myself for over-thinking my plan and not just going for it.

Still stuck in the embroidery mindset, and wanting to use my new neon embroidery thread, I decided to embroider arrows on faux bois paper and then make some glittery neon notecards (inspiration found here on For the Love of…) for the letter inside. (Sidenote: Martha Stewart’s neon glitter was totally worth the drive to FOUR Michaels to find it!) I protected the stitches by sliding everything into a cello sleeve, then labeling and putting a stamp on that. I didn’t want to cause a mail machine malfunction. I think they ended up looking simple but pretty…and fun to receive.

I have to admit, I really love the neon trend. I love that it feels like summer and when it’s one or two neons paired with a neutral color…unlike the neon of my childhood, which was an explosion of eye-popping colors. I had this really fabulous white cotton tank patterned with neon orange, yellow, pink, red and green flamingos and it had a pleather green & pink sun & flamingo accent on the shoulder…it was awesome…especially because I probably paired it with some sort of neon short…

And that is exactly why I probably won’t be wearing neon this summer…just crafting with it.

happy mother’s day!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom! We spent Saturday together because Naoto & I both work today. On Friday night, I had a mini craft-a-thon and made my mom’s gift and a gift for my sister’s baby.

My mom is the librarian in my hometown, so I embroidered her a bag with some librarian patterns from Sublime Stitching. I’d never embroidered a bag before…it took me awhile to get the hang of it. I only caught the handle in my stitches once… And I am notoriously bad at keeping the back of my work neat. I tried really hard to keep things tidy so the stitches will stay in tact as books and things are coming in and out of the bag. I folded it all up with a pretty notebook and some lovely bird stickers and wrapped it in this fun “tweets” paper from Snow & Graham.

I made a little tag out of a circle punch of chartreuse paper, a scallop punch of white and a little Amy Tangerine brad. I tied it all up with a sheer pink ribbon. I usually wrap with plain kraft butcher paper, but it was fun to break out the pretty stuff for mom!

Once I finished the bag, I moved right along to a bookbinding project. My sister’s baby, Riley, is only 5 months old and this is his “baby” gift…I had visions of using this perfectly sweet Japanese farm animal paper, but sadly I didn’t have enough and couldn’t find it anymore…so I went with this bright, cheery Japanese koi paper instead.

I used a photo album text block from Paper Source. They are really lovely, and have onion skin between each page to protect the photos…I hope it makes a nice place to put some of the baby pictures of the little guy. As I was working on the project, I was thinking, “Why don’t I make these more often…a little measuring, a little cutting, a little gluing…this is no big deal!” Then, I got to the last step and remembered–gluing the text block into the case (the covered book boards and bookcloth spine) is SOOOO stressful! It’s hard to get it just right, and the perfect measurement and gluing is the only way to make the book WORK properly…but it did and I was cheering. I should build books more often than every two years–I’m sure it would get easier.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there–especially my own!

About

Japanese mailboxHi, I’m Kimberly and welcome to Kimberly At Home. I am married to Naoto and we have a cat, Presley. We live in a (mostly) remodeled 1970s apartment in Forest Park–a near-suburb of Chicago. I run a small handmade greeting card business, Galaxie Safari.  I enjoy drinking coffee and creating cocktails, crafting with paper and embroidery, writing letters (Letter Writers Alliance Member No. 876), taking naps, eating at old Italian delis (Freddy’s is my favorite), reading old novels, watching Chicago sports (the Cubs and Blackhawks in particular), gardening at the Forest Park Community Garden, traveling and antiquing.

Get in touch: adamihasegawa at gmail dot com or @adamihasegawa on Twitter & Instagram or leave a comment and check back for a response. Thanks for visiting!