Monday, June 30, 2008


Things I've sold in my etsy shop

These are the things I've ever sold in my etsy shop. Looking at these items I made with love and knowing that they are being loved by the people who were so nice to purchase them make me simply smile big time. It's even therapeutic. I knew about Etsy from a long time ago but it took me a lot of courage to start opening my store there, just because I wasn't confident if anybody would be interested in my handmade items. But I can really tell that it was an absolutely right decision to open up my store. I really enjoy making things for sale as well as encountering people there who value "Handmade" as much as I do.


little drawstring bag

This idea came across my head last night... "another tutorial?!" I had a go at making it very quickly, being excited to see how it would turn out, but hmmm... probably it's not worth making a tutorial, I thought.

little drawstring bag

The fun part is the bottom which is a square consisting of 4 triangles all touching each other. The slanted piecing parts are interesting too, but something about this little bag doesn't allow me to fully approve. Well, it's ok. It was just an experiment..;)

I'd been working on small projects a lot recently, so I am now feeling like trying something big. Quilt? A big bag? A big toy..? Sewing is so much fun!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Little Pink Bag

Little Pink Patchwork Bag

I've been aggressive enough in terms of looking for inspiration for my sewing projects by browsing almost all the quilting books at the library and occasionally thrifting vintage fabrics at secondhand stores, but I have been a little slacking off on producing part. Some ideas are floating around in my head but I'm being too lazy to take an action to make those things realistic. Ugh, I don't enjoy this unproductiveness, but I'm happy I got finished with this little bag today;)

Little Pink Patchwork Bag

I snatched this basic idea from a Japanese book. I thought it's interesting how the piecing parts come out slanted. I really enjoyed the patchwork and love it.
It will be in my etsy shop tomorrow, Monday.


Inspiration from old sewing books

What catches my eyes has been pretty much vintage/retro styles of everything. The red patchwork apron and the pillow case are from this book Creative Patchwork. I love the square patchwork on the apron and the tote bag. The pillow is super cute too. The other two images come from Patchwork & Quilting. "What is a quilt?" one is such an adorable idea. I like quilts that bring warm messages with love like this.
Retro styles rock!!!!!


ginseng has arrived

Something I was really looking forward to finally arrived yesterday;) Woo hoo!!
There are so many ideas I can think of that I wanna do with this collection. One of them is a sewing machine cover! I'm sure I'll be happy being around my sewing space if such cute fabric like this is covering my precious sewing machine. Oh, Good news for us! Alison of this nice fabric store on etsy, Starlit Nest, was so kind to tell me that readers of my blog and I can get 10% off on the order of any Ginseng fabrics. The only thing we need to do is write "10% off Ginseng for Pink Penguin and Friends" in the note to seller. Then she will send refunds via paypal. Great opportunity, isn't it?! Thanks, Alison!!


Lots of fabric baskets!!

heartFabric Basket by Daisy Path

heartBolso Patchwork by zigazaga

heartFabric Basket by Multiflora Textilius

Thanks for using my tutorial and sharing your beautiful work!
Thanks for Karen who e-mailed me pictures of her fabulous fabric baskets too;)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

S.F. / Cool Photo Editing Website

I spent an entire day in San Francisco again yesterday with a different group of friends this time. We explored around the BART Powel station's area. Good friends, fun shopping, good weather, yummy was fun!

I never get bored of walking in San Francisco, because everywhere I go, there is something worth taking a picture of. My friends made fun of me taking a bunch of pictures = being a stereotype of a Japanese tourist but I impressed them by telling them I hate sushi. Yay!

My second time at Chinatown in S.F. We stumbled upon a tea store where we sat on the counter and had many kinds of free fresh tea. I forgot what the store was called, but it was a really fun experience, just because the performance of the people working there were really entertaining, and the quality of their tea was just excellent!

Me and three monkeys. My friend Jennifer took this picture and I kinda like this one. I wish I could show you guys many more pictures from yesterday, but I put up so many pics from S.F. just a few days ago that I guess I shall move on to crafty talk now.


There is a blog that I really want you guys to stumble upon, if you thought the vintage patterns I showed last time were cute. And I know a lot of you did. This very sweet seamstress, Pam from have it all was so super nice to look for a picture of herself in the dress she made using one of the patterns in 1970 and share the beautiful shot on her blog. Take a look!!! There is nothing else that could encourage you to have a go at making the dress more, is there? I was absolutely stunned at the perfectly made dress and now am really feeling like making the same dress, before this summer is over. Thanks a lot, Pam, for inspirations!


Pink, Pink, and Pink. I am working on something, hoping it will turn nice..
I'll show you once I'm done with it.


Oh, there is one more place online I want to recommend.
I found this Japanese photo editing website a while ago and thought it's just amazing. We know the power of what great pictures contribute to any blog. But not everybody has a photoshop software nor knows ways to edit pictures on photoshop. Then how about letting this site help you out?

From this page, choose the one you're interested in trying and click on the left link in Japanese words. The rule is that any picture for editing has to be within 30 to 500 pixels in both height and width and the format needs to be either gif、jpg、or png. Also, the size of your picture needs to be smaller than 500KB. And I just found that it has be on Internet Explore 6.0 (not I.E.7.0 or Firefox) AND has to be used with Windows XP. A little too much restriction..I know.. but it does look interesting to play along, doesn't it? If you have everything needed, you might explore using the options given and this translation site might help if you really need to know what it says.

I used Internet Explore 7.0, so not all the features worked for me, but some did like....

The original picture.

Pink tapes on it using this!

Made it in just green and black using this!

With the same one, me and monkeys..

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Patchwork Placemat

Patchwork Placemat

Thanks a million for warm & sweet comments that you guys have given me and are possibly going to leave for me in the future. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate every single comment on this blog and e-mail and how much joy that brings me. Your comments do make my day! Thank you!!

By the way, this is the placemat I finished this morning. Most of the fabric I used for this comes from my precious stash of vintage fabrics. I really wanted to make a placemat that is super retro so I got this pattern from this old book, Patchwork & Quilting. This book has got extremely charming vintagish ideas for patchwork and quilt. I often find this book at thrift stores.
Patchwork Placemat

Now I think about it, I think this was my very first time to work on this kind of very traditional patchwork pattern that has been given a name from old times. This pattern is called "King's Cross". I love the pattern and adore how it turned out with my choice of fabrics.

Patchwork Placemat

"Oba-chan(Grandma in Japanese)!" I don't know why, but looking at this mat I keep having flashbacks of times I spent with my grandma in Japan when I was a little. The little store we often went to to pick up snacks, (which I'd even forgotten about for many years), the origami she bought for me, how I cut out it into small pieces and stored in a plastic bag....Oba-chan's smile..... I miss her!!!!!!!!!!!! Why this placemat? I really don't know. Anyways, I feel nostalgic. I think colors, patterns, music, and all sorts of other things that you see, hear, and sense encodes you with such unforgettable feelings. I smile looking at this placemat. I really can't wait to see my oba-chan this summer.

Patchwork Placemat

This placemat is now in my etsy shop


Patchwork Placemat

Another showoff of a thrifted item;) One Pillowcase, front and back! Isn't it super pretty? I love vintage stuff!!!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thrift & Grocery Sack

I'm still obsessed with thrift. I love finding vintage/retro fabrics for good prices and thinking what I can make out of them. It was a few days ago when I knew that this Vintage Sheet Patchwork Swap was going on. Too late. I'd love to join in though for the next round now that I've got enough fabrics!

Found this basket too. Carrying this big basket and another huge bag from the thrift store on the way home embarrassed me a little just because it's a quite trip. Walking, taking a bus, taking a train....but I just couldn't wait to see how it would look under my sewing table. (by the way, I got a better table!) I love it!

This laminated place mat is one of the things I found at Thrift Town in S.F. Super duper cute! This got me thinking that I want to make a vintagish place mat and I am working in progress.

I'll show you the pics of the finished project tomorrow. I'm loving it quite bit.

Another great find: Vintage pattern from 1969! I've been always scared of working on a big project like a dress based on a pattern, but these cute dresses make me feel like I wanna give a shot.

This is really cool too, although if I actually make one, the bottom of the skirt will probably be way below my knees. haha. I'm only 5 foot 1 inch.

Grocery sack I made for my friend's birthday. To tell the truth 'purple' has been the most difficult color for me to deal with, but I learned that with radiant, bright color like orange, deep pink, or green, purple can contribute a vintagish design that I can really enjoy. yay!

The pattern for the bag is from one of Japanese craft magazines (Cotton Time). When I saw it for the first time, I simply thought "Wow! it looks super easy! I can probably make it in an hour!" But, no way! That was a big underestimation. This bag is a lot more complicated than it looks!! I give a big credit for someone who came up with the pattern. I think it's genius, absolutely creative. I would never be able to come up with a pattern like this.

A good thing about a handmade grocery bag is that it can be folded neatly so that it fits in your small purse whenever you go grocery shopping. And of course, by using it you are "going green"! This bag makes me feel like going to a farmer's market and grab some fresh tomatoes.

Did I subconsciously copy the colors?!


I have some great crafts to show you guys! Check this out!! Woo hoo!!

heartFabric Basket and Pen Cases by Mamalife
(She's made a lot of things using my tutorials and this is my first time to see my pen case's sisters! So happy!!)

heartCamera Case by Eve

heartCamera Case by thucnghi

And thank you for Luciana who's kindly sent me a picture of her camera case;)

I love, love, and love looking at what creative people make with my tutes!
I promise more tutorials are coming!

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

San Francisco

Looking through all the pictures I've taken after moving to this sunshine state makes me realize that my heart belongs to San Francisco deeply. I find the city to be the most beautiful, interesting, attractive place I've ever been to in my entire life. Every time I go there, there are always fun discoveries waiting for me and I know it will keep entertaining me forever with much more new attractions. San Francisco is like a mix of Seattle and Tokyo. Nice breeze from the near ocean and the atmosphere of 'freedom' makes me think of Seattle and the unlimited attraction and lots of people on the streets and in subways remind me of Tokyo. I love these places so that San Francisco is like my treasure city where lots of my favorite things being squeezed into. Anyway, I spent all day there yesterday with my friends and am going to share some pics here!

It was so nice to go there with someone who knows a lot about San Francisco. The crazy transportation system there always bums me out, but with the girl who goes to school there, I was pretty much just following with an empty head, throughly relying on her just like Joe in Japan with me. The first place we headed out was Haight street. It was a really nice shopping area!

I found this Discount Fabric store there! I always feel hesitant to stop by fabric stores when I'm with friends who are not into sewing but it was irresistible this time..and I got some inexpensive fabrics! Yay!

Not much use of ribbons in my crafting spree usually, but I love looking at ribbons and grabbing some when I see super cute ones.

And on my goodness. I found another fabric store near by! These many kinds of oil cloth I'd never seen drove me nut and I got 4 kinds of them. What do I make for these? Place matts, coasters and lunch bags are the only options so far. Any suggestions?

We stopped by Buffalo Exchange, a used clothing store with vintage taste. I fell in love with these shoes, but they are so big for me that I bought different pair of shoes.

Lunch at CHA CHA CHA. It was an extremely delicious meal especially...

this desert: homemade flan. I LOOOOOOOVED it!! Remembering the taste makes me drool. I'm going to look for a recipe online and will make it tonight!!

First time at Castro street! My friend in Texas who's coming to visit me next month wants to go to this place, so it was cool to learn how to get there and look around.

I sure would love to live in San Francisco. I don't even mind staying there for decades! I'm so jealous walking around beautiful houses there.

And this is the place I was dying to go. Thrift town! I can't even describe how much excitement I feel from exploring a new thrift store. This place had a really good linen section, in which I usually spend 80% of my time at a secondhand store. Yes! I got many goodies!! Tomorrow I'll be back with pics of my recent thrifted items and (finally/hopefully) a grocery sack that I am finishing up.

It's 95 degrees here. It's been a scorcher..!
Have a great weekend, guys!

Thanks for reading!