Posts Tagged 'creative life'

Zippered pouch, boxy pouch

July flew by like it never even was there. What a strange feeling to realize that August is here. And that we’re ten days in it at that. But here we are. The heat has finally hit Kyoto full force, which let me with the urge to stay inside, turn some cooling tunes on, and stick my head in the fridge (which I actually do sometimes). I try to keep my use of air conditioning sensible, but it is a struggle of every instant (I like to be dramatic sometimes,  I do).
Anyway, though time has been playing its usual trick on me, life has kept on happening. Some good and not so good things on the job front, some good and not so good news from friends and family. All in all, it’s been a rich few weeks, challenging and motivating, with a hint of major self questioning thrown in for good measure.
But some sewing also happened. Some beading too, but the beading is still on its way, so I’ll come back to it when I actually have something to show !


Back to the sewing : It seems a sudden need for pouches of various kind hit the house lately, and I decided to tackle it. The zippered pouch (above) has been requested by the Man of the house, and joins a few he already has. Once I started making them and he started using them, it seems he awoke to the infinite possibilities of  these little things .


The envelope-type boxy pouch (for lack of a better name !) was made to accommodate a little appliance (like a mini laptop but that can only be used to enter text) I carry in my bag quite often. This pouch is fully lined and except for the flap is slightly padded (I used fusible quilt batting) to protect the little machine it was meant for.


The outer fabrics for both pouches are from Ikea (insert big heart). The lining of the zipper pouch is a Japanese cotton I already used in this project. For the lining of the envelope pouch, I used a remnant of a Kaffe Fassett print I love, and for the back of the flap, a fabric from Ikea (the same as the outer fabric, but in a different color).
Sewing is still so new to me, I feel I’m learning many new things each time I make something. Which is really great !
I still have a few other pouch-like projects on the go that I hope to get done soon.

Beautiful day everyone !


In my own words

“What are you about right now?”

This is the question I found on Beth Hemmila’s blog, and I liked the idea of answering in the form of a word cloud so much that I was in the game almost immediately.


I’ve used Wordle before, mostly to make cards or…mm…as a major procrastination tool. It’s a very nice and simple application : input the words you want to use, chose the colors, layout, font, et voila ! You can even customize the color palette, which I found so useful when I made cards for friends, as it allows for so much more choices.

But let’s go back to the question : “What are you about right now?”. This is something I ask myself so often (too often ?) that i had a light chuckle when I read it. And instead of over thinking it, I just jolted down (on Wordle, in this case 🙂 ) the words that came to my mind as spontaneously as possible. I didn’t hold back and at the end was a bit surprised by a few of them. Which was nice. I have to admit that the first version of my answer was much longer than the version you see here…!

Doing this I thought it would actually be really nice to do this little exercise every once in a while. Not only in my head – that, I do rather too often, but leaving a trace, be it on Wordle and then printing it, or as a drawing/painting. I think it’d be nice to have these, as a reminder of who I am/was at a certain moment in time.

Just a few words about Beth, if you don’t know her yet. She is an amazing jewelry designer. Not only is her work (her hand sculpted silver charms are so lovely they make my heart ache) beautiful, but her words are so inspiring. If you have the chance, prepare a cup of your favorite beverage and go and spend a little while in her world, you wont regret it.

Good day everyone !

Handmade greeting card – colors in a package

Mother’s Day is long gone in the States and in Japan as well, but not yet in France, where my sweet mum is (insert lots of hearts). It will be celebrated this Sunday, and I prepared a little package to send her way for this special day, since sadly I won’t be there in person.

A little while ago, I wrote about a simple and pretty bracelet I had beaded. I really loved the color palette and even thought for a few minutes about keeping it for myself… but stuck to the original plan and sent it to her. I also sent another beaded bracelet, quite similar to this one, because I know she’ll love the colors and wearability of it.

These two bracelets were safely nestled into a little zipper pouch, handmade too. The front side is the sweetest linen print, while the back is just plan linen. The lining is a very soft green cotton.


But my package wouldn’t have been complete without a handmade greeting card ! I had a lot of ideas but decided to go with a style I’m not too familiar with. A lot of cutting (that, I’m used to !), corner-rounding, and gluing. I think my glue stick lost a lot of weight during the operation ! The flowers and the leaf motifs are hand carved eraser stamps that I made a few years ago and have been using since. I stamped the flowers in different shades of pink to give some depth to the “bouquet” and then used some color pencils to add more nuances here and there. I also used a little embossing (the transparent kind, with just a bit of sparkle inside. Love it).


I wanted to keep the card simple. I don’t know if I really did, but as long as the recipient is happy, I’ll be happy too ! (picture of the card – courtesy of the outside wall of my apartment. Uhum.)


If some of you are interested, I’ll upload the template for the card. Just let me know !

Have a good day !

From the train – 29.05.2009


I took the train back home in the afternoon, after a very busy-rich-interesting-motivating five days. I’m here, typing from my sofa, and though I am home now, I haven’t completely arrived yet. I need to readjust a little bit after the swirling days that just went by.

I had the opportunity to talk with a few persons, and the essence of some of these discussions boils down to “publish or perish”. I’m a part time lecturer and if I want to even think about applying for something more permanent, I have to publish papers, there is no way to escape this academic reality. Sigh. I wish I had the kind of healthy confidence that makes you try and go for it, instead of the “what-i-could-write-will-never-be-good-enough” paralysis. But I guess the time has come to power through this . Mmm.

What kind of weekend are you all planning ? Have a good one !

Self portrait of sorts – 28.05.2009


A lot of things today set me a little bit offtrack, a little bit off balance. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It led to questions such as “where am I heading ?” or more precisely “where do I really want to be heading ?”.

That’s when I started taking pictures of my eye(s). I don’t know exactly why I started. Somehow I did. And it was pretty fun. Not the obvious kind of fun, but fun nonetheless ! I like this partial self portrait. Probably because it is me, but not exactly/totally me. I think this is something I might like doing : trying to do some self portraits of sorts, all focusing on details.

So I still don’t know exactly where I’m heading, but I think I know what my next photo project is going to be !

The love of colors – 27.05.2009


Beautiful details.

Beautiful soft colors.

(happy sigh)


A bit of my world – 26.05.2009


As I thought it would, the day literally flew by. So good to take part in something bigger than yourself. So good to learn. So good to participate.

The hours went by so fast that I totally forgot to take my beloved camera out of my bag ! I could have used a photo I took another day, but it’s not really the point. So instead, I tried to find something in my room. The friend who is letting me stay with her this week put a small crystal “ball”  at my bedside. After taking a few pictures of my keyboard (because what’s better that macro photography, I’m asking you ?!), I decided to pay this strange mineral a little more attention. The picture above ensued.

I’m not thrilled with the result, but I’m pretty sure it will be a great reminder of my stay here each time I look at it. This friend I’m staying with is such an amazing woman. In so many respects.

I’m really happy that, at the end of the month, I’ll have a collection of details telling the story of this particular period of time. For me this is also what photography is all about. Because when I look at a picture I took, I usually remember the very precise moment it was taken, the atmosphere, my mood at the time, what I was thinking.

Good times.

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