Saturday, December 25, 2010


I apologize for disappearing again... a bit of tragedy has struck my household for the past few months.
My sweet kitty Tamara after 18 long years of being with our family has gone to that big litter-box in the sky.

Ever since I was a toddler, she has graced our household with her queenly presence and jumped me from the fridge to nibble on my scalp (and I would run away screaming every time). But for the last few years she reverted back to being a sweet kitty that would drool in happiness as I pet her and fed her snacks on my lap. For the last few months she suddenly aged drastically, not being able to climb into her bed and going blind in one eye. We were hoping she would get better and my parents took good care of her while I was far away at the university.
She passed very peacefully next to my mother and me on Christmas Eve while the other cats watched worriedly by the door of our bedroom.

There's a story in Japan how cats that age past 13 or so will be a nekomata, or a demon cat. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, a nekomata is supposedly a spirit cat that has two tails and can speak and walk on two feet. (kind of like the puss in boots story) My mom and I would joke that our cat Tamara is not a normal cat, being 17 and still in great shape and bossing around the other pets. It feels odd that she's gone, it feels like she's still wandering around our home like the queen she was.

Sorry for the sudden change of pace, but hopefully I'll be back to my old crafting self soon...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I'm back!

Sorry I've been so busy lately...! I've been straddling three art studio courses along with normal lectures and participating in two clubs at the university. I originally had a pretty important role in one of the clubs, but I've decided to step down from my position because it has been keeping me from creating the art that I've wanted to work on for so long.

But before I cut off ties with the groups, there were two big events that I really wanted to participate in! One was 'Cruise for Cancer' sponsored by the Illini Longboarding Club, and the other a fashion show hosted by the Japan Intercultural Network. Here's some videos from the two events! I'm only in the second video though...

Now that the events are over, all I have to do is work on final art projects and get back into crafting! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Moving In...

I just moved back to the dorm yesterday, and I'm so beat! I've finally met my new roommate as well and I'm glad to know she fit in just fine with my quirky friends. :) Most people are scared away by my friends' sugar-induced energetic explosions but she seems ok. I was surprised when she was able to keep up with us. I imagine a very tiring semester of foolishness ahead of me... Now I must tend to my V-shaped sunburn on my neck from wearing a yukata all day in the blistering sun. Quad Day at UIUC is a very draining event when you are the one handing out fliers for a club!

In other news I start school tomorrow morning. Somehow I ended up with classes from 9AM to 9:20 PM... I will either drop a class or sleep like a log on my off-days. There really is not much time to be fooling around!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

chiffon cake and raspberry jam

Remember the raspberry bush I mentioned a while back? I made a small batch of simple raspberry jam yesterday afternoon for some friends coming over for lunch today. The recipe itself is very simple, just use the same amount of sugar as you are using berries and a bit of lemon juice if you like a more tart flavor. To be honest I didn't bother to check how much of the raspberries I had and it turned out just fine; I'm thinking the ratio of ingredients is more important than how much you make at once.

家ではなるべくよけいな物を使わない料理をめざしています! まぁ、その方が意外と簡単に作れるんですけど。。。

For lunch we did a mini potluck. We had some tomato and basil pasta salad, grilled lamb, and a simple mussel dish simmered in white wine and various veggies. A friend brought some delicious breaded chicken and an Asian-style leek side-dish. For dessert my mom baked a chiffon cake which we had with fresh whipped cream and a spoonful of my raspberry jam. I must say, it was delicious with a nice cup of coffee.


Friday, July 23, 2010

It's storming outside like crazy right now, it was so sunny this afternoon though. Weather is not predictable these days. I do appreciate the rain though, it will help the plants in my garden but when it's stormy it gets so DARK in the house! My house gets a lot of natural light so we're not accustomed to turning on the lights until it's past 6PM. It was just fine while I was working at my desk, then it became visibly darker so I look up at the window and BOOM it's thundering. Crazy huh? I guess I'll be using my time tomorrow to pick up the fallen branches from my lawn from the giant willow tree by the edge of my yard...

I haven't accomplished much lately craft-wise, I've been busy making a plush roll-cake pincushion for my friend's 22nd birthday. I really want to get back into drawing soon though! :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

felt sweets

I've been having issues with my laptop overheating too easily lately, so I've been doing more crafting than anything else. I've been on a donut craze recently and I've made a bunch of big donuts for purse charms and keychains as well as mini donuts for cellphones. The donuts themselves are brown fleece (personally I think they are stronger this way) with felt frosting and seed bead sprinkles. The mini donuts are the same size as those tiny powdered donuts like Hostess Donettes, and they really remind me of my childhood when I would save my lunch money to buy them in the cafeteria at school.

I think I'll attempt to make life-size macarons next! And maybe cakes too, but not too complicated ones.

Monday, July 12, 2010

summer bracelet!

I've been experimenting with hemp lately and here's one that I came up with. It's up in my Etsy shop now! I hand-dyed the hemp to be a smokey gray to match the gunmetal of the rhinestones. I saw some macrame bracelets with rhinestones at American Eagle but I wanted one with a more natural look, so I made my own. :) This one has small orange and pink rhinestones but I think I'll make more with different colors.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Fireworks and Hydrangeas

I went over to a friend's place for fireworks and barbeque last night! I met some friends that I haven't seen in a long time. It feels nice to do something simple with friends for once, no going to restaurants or whatever but instead hanging out over a grill and just talking and eating... and throwing water balloons lol. Hotdogs burgers and s'mores in the yard are all I need to have a good time with friends, I don't need to go to nice restaurants and go shopping to have a good time. :)

One thing I like about summer is watching the hydrangeas bloom in my yard. At least all that rain came in handy, although it kept me immobile for a while the water definitely helped the flowers. It's also interesting how the flowers change colors, last year the flowers were more green-ish and they made good dry flowers, but this year they are pink!

Thursday, July 1, 2010


I went to pick some raspberries from a bush in my garden (showed above! it's my favorite plant in our yard lol) while the weather was nice. It's so sunny today but with such a cool wind! It's very refreshing. I plan to get enough berries to make some jam soon. They are also very good if you freeze them and drop them into some pancake batter for a quick berry pancake breakfast. Also good for baking too! I guess they don't have to be from your garden, I freeze fresh fruit to use in cooking all the time. This method works great with blueberries. :)



I've heard before that if you don't pick the berries often, you get a smaller harvest. I did notice that the last few years I rarely picked the raspberries except for quick snacks, and the number of berries this year is saddening. I remember in my childhood how every summer the branches of the huge bush would sag from the weight of the fruit and my dad had to put wire supports under them. I'm trying to pick more and take better care of the plant to ensure bigger harvests! When I move out of the house I'm definitely taking a sapling of this bush with me. I don't know if this will produce good fruit but it's the memories that count.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I apologize for not updating for so long! The weather here has been odd lately which is causing mini power outages, and that messes with my router. It's also been hot as well as rainy and my cats are trying their best to keep cool, like Panther here cooling his tummy off on the cold kitchen tiles. My family calls this his "Superman" pose. :) Not having a reliable internet connection is a bit of a pain, I've learned to prioritize what needs to be done first while my laptop stays usable.

Thanks to all the extra time spent away from my laptop, I've been doing lots of knitting. I've got plenty of hats and a few hair accessories done that will be up for sale in the September craft show! But until then I need more items for my Etsy shop as well.

Which brings big news! We will be welcoming a new member to Noraneko Alley, the new alley cat is Sam who makes wearable accessories out of those little paper lucky stars. Hopefully I'll do some collaborations with her to make cute little accessories soon.

With the time I had I managed to whip up a more colorful banner for my Etsy shop. I'm hoping to make similar pictures for each member of Noraneko Alley to use on the shop that says "Made by _member's name here_" etc. I hope the weather gets better soon...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

heart lockets

I found these adorable and super tiny heart-shaped lockets that were left over from when I bought them to make heart earrings for a friend's request, and I decided to make bracelets with them. Here is the result! A bangle bracelet with glass beads, hematite rounds, czech seed beads, and some silver-tone findings (I think they were pewter, I can't say for sure) They wrap around twice and are loose so they virtually will fit any wrist size.

I love the heart locket! It's so tiny and cute, especially the little engravings. Although I'm not sure about putting a photo in there, its so small you wouldn't be able to tell who is in the photo...



Monday, June 14, 2010

candle wax and cotton yarn

I managed to fix my longboard problem today :) all it took was a little melted candle wax in the pivot cups and it was good as new. I took poor Hei-chan out to cruise around the neighborhood bike paths today while it was dry in the afternoon. The rainy weather is continuing here, it rained this morning but thank goodness the sidewalks were dry by evening. I'm planning on re-painting the walls in my kitchen and family room but the rain is making me delay my plans...

Since I can't do much I bought a few skeins of Lily "sugar 'n cream" cotton yarn. I love it so much, the colors they have are closer to my taste and it's very durable stuff. I'm attempting to make a market bag from a pattern on Lion Brand Yarn available here for free. Wish me luck!


使ったのはLily の「Sugar 'n Cream」!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

doodles and squeaks

It's been a while since I drew anything on Tegaki, it felt good lol. This time I was listening to "nazonazo" by RADWIMPS, which means "riddle" in Japanese. I love this band, it's one of my favorites. *u*

RADWIMPS の「謎謎」を聞いていたら何かこんな感じになりました。

I feel I've been neglecting my poor Hei-chan AKA my longboard. I was calling it Dubhán before but over time it also adopted the names "Hei-chan," "Shizu-chan" (as in Heiwajima Shizuo from Drrr!) and "Kohe" (as in Nanamatsu Koheita from Nintama Rantarou). I've gotten used to screaming "ikedo~~n!!!!" when speeding down a hill thanks to this name.

...I think these are pretty accurate names lol. Both male characters who go on random rampages and are difficult to stop. I love to speed but I'm bad at braking, and I've had experience where I almost ran over some drunk sorority girls on campus. My friends who come up with these names are amazing. :)


Lately I've been having issues with extremely loud squeaking from the trucks. I tried the soap in pivot cups method but it isn't working so far. Maybe I'm not using enough soap? I'll just keep trying I guess. Does anyone have problems like this or is it just me? I use Paris 150mm trucks...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thrift shop finds and cat naps

Last week was very busy with work, there were some visiting stores at the supermarket I work at with delicious Japanese treats! Some people from Rapopo (not sure about the spelling) and Kukuru came from Japan to make sweet potato desserts and takoyaki. I must say, it was very yummy! But it was a very busy week at work which kept me away from my laptop for a while. I'm still trying to recover and can't help myself from taking little cat-naps with my sweetie Panther during the recent rainy days.


A little before the week my job got busy, I went around some thrift shops with my mom to see if we could find any neat things to use at the upcoming craft show/goodbye party for a friend. I just happened to find this adorable little picture frame for $2.


簡単に作れて机の上も可愛く♥ 今度クラフトセールで手作りアクセのディスプレイに使う事にしました。

It's a little too 'sweet-lolita' for me but I still find it attractive. I took out the old glass and added some fabric and a plastic mesh used in windows. There's some rubber strips in-between the mesh and fabric. Why do all this? To make a display for earrings of course! Since there's space between the mesh and fabric, you can stick earring hooks in the holes and display your earrings while organizing them at the same time. It's easy to make and I have a larger one I made with a vintage pewter frame for my own earrings. It's better if there was nothing behind the mesh, that way you can put studs on there too, but small picture frames don't work that way. :( But who cares! I find these very helpful since I can choose and grab earrings quickly and the frame itself is a great accessory for your desk.

It really isn't hard to make, I suggest you try it out! :) Now I'm off to make more crafts and finish drawings that I owe some people.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

chouchou mishap?


Remember when I said I will make some chouchou's with a cute pink yarn I had left over from a different project? Apparently it didn't go as well as I planned. I guess I need some thinner yarn, this was way too thick and the scrunchie is hard to tie... So I decided to put the yarn to better use.

Ta-da! A little(?) flower coin purse/mini make-up bag! It's a tad bigger than expected but it still works pretty well. Considering I made-up the pattern as I went I like it a lot. I think I'll try it out in different yarns too.

Here's a side-view showing the zipper and pouch behind the flower. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

new layout!

My old layout seemed too stuffy for the summer so I decided to refresh with a more airy layout. The photo is of a small magnolia tree that is planted right outside my dorm. :) The whole campus is covered with magnolia and dogwood trees, they are very pretty in the spring!

My old layout may make a come-back in the winter. It gave me a nice cozy feeling~♥ but for now I'll keep it simple.


さすがに暑過ぎて編み物もちょっと諦め。毛糸を 手に持ってるだけで暑い!

イラストのリクエスト待ちの皆さんごめんなさい! お仕事はしばらくお休みと言うことで。。。

It's hot.

Too hot. TT___TT;; The temperature is fluctuating too much for me to handle.

It has been very cool, even cold at times for my first week back from college, and suddenly its 87 °F. I should have been ok with this since it's not strange for it to be this hot, but I think my body has gotten too used to the past week's chilliness. Thanks to that my laptop keeps over-heating and I haven't been very productive. I'm trying to work on commissions and such, I promise!

Is it just me but does it feel discouraging to some to knit in the summer heat? Just holding the yarn in my hands feels scorching to me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I've safely moved back from my dorm to my house! I'm surprised that there is such a drastic change in temperature, even though it's only a 3 hour drive, it's mostly a straight drive north from my college to my house. It's so much cooler and less humid near my house, I'm so happy!

Being near my pets is so different too, I really missed my little fuzz-balls! 5 cats and a tiny little dog running around my house... I guess one thing that I didn't miss was the fur all over the place. I've been vacuuming like crazy since I got back. >XD

So my summer is not very summery, it's cool and breezy and I have all the windows open while I clean. My first day of break seems to be a lot of housework lol.

I hope everyone enjoys their summer! :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Done with School!!!

:EDIT: sorry about all the edits guys, but I've been having some issues with the formatting. Argh! I hope you don't mind. ):

Ahhhh! Finally done with exams and school. Summer break, here I come! I plan to do a lot of art and crafts during break and update my etsy store more often. To kick it off, here's some doodles I did while I was trying to
de-stress from final exams:

Talking with some of my friends has brought up some really nostalgic things, like what TV show we watched as a kid. Out of the list someone mentioned Gensomaden Saiyuki and I squealed like the silly fangirl I am from remembering a pretty significant part of my childhood. After that we commenced sharing who was our favorite of the four protagonists (mine being Gojyo, he will always have a special place in my heart lol) and the fact that I apparently resemble Hakkai the most when it comes to my personality according to my friends. (vicious with a sweet smile! D8< ) The idea stuck with me and I sketched Hakkai on Tegaki-E first, then I couldn't leave the other 3 behind. I still have to clean up Hakkai's version though, since his drawing was a sketch and I took more time on the others.

I've found Tegaki-E to be a really good place to jot down ideas for future drawings and such. I think I'll be there more often now that I have the time... but I really need to make some more substantial things! I have a lot of leftover yarn from previous projects, and I'm thinking I'll make some scrunchies with them. Lacy and fluffy chouc
hou's (that's what they are referred to in Japan. Personally I think that's a much nicer name than "scrunchies") are popular in Japanese girl's fashion lately. Here's some that I found on Yahoo shopping that were just adorable!

I think my leftover cotton-candy-pink brushed yarn will make a nice one. :) I can't wait to start!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I have 3 final exams and the semester is over! While taking a little break from studying I started working on my unfinished drawing (also shown in my last update) on Tegaki again. I still have a little more until it's finished but I really should get back to studying. I guess I'll let it sit for a bit longer before it finally becomes a finished drawing. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Study Time

Whoa long time no update! Finals is coming up and all my final projects/essays are due... which is not the best time to be blogging but oh well. :)

I'm sitting at Panera, sipping my frozen mocha any typing my last essay for my comparative world literature class. I'm hoping I get it done by the time I run out of coffee and scones -____-;;

Enjoy some scribbles that I drew on Te
gaki while I took a break from studying! Drawing is such a good stress reliever ~~<3


Click the link and scroll down to see who he's fighting. :)

と言うより続きを描きたい。。。でも勉強がぁ!!! 涙
AAAHHH I want to finish this drawing so bad! But I have to study!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

picking a major

Right now I'm doing interviews with my school to see which art programs I can get into. It looks like I can get into painting and sculpture for sure, but I'm not too sure about art education (which is what I was planning on doing for the sake of getting a job OH NO) If worst comes to worst I'll major in painting for my BFA and declare a second major next spring? *sigh* that's so much waiting for me...
To be honest I think I could have gotten into Art ED easy but for some reason I couldn't find the place where they were doing the interview. I wrote down one room number where I was sure it was at but the advisor wasn't in the office and I grabbed the head person of the art foundations from his office to help me look for where the interview was being held and we still couldn't find them. WHAT.
But I only have till tomorrow till the program advisors decide what majors I will be allowed to pursue. OH GOSH I'm nervous.

Other than that the club that I'm in is hosting a Japanese style Hanami picnic this weekend and a Japanese festival the week after that. I'm in charge of bringing some snacks to the picnic and I'm manning the yakisoba stand! Woo!! I'll definitely post pictures for those!

Friday, April 2, 2010

more hemp!



More hemp bracelets. :) This time a simple bangle bracelet
Available in my etsy shop if you're interested.

There's a really sudden heat wave here on campus, I can't believe that it was snowing just a week ago during Spring Break! It's inspired me to make some summery things, and when I think summer I think hemp, leather, and worn metal on the beach. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

summer bracelets

I've gotten back into hemp recently, and I've been making bracelets like crazy for the upcoming summer. I plan to finally re-update my etsy store which I've been... neglecting for quite a while thanks to my schoolwork. Hmm... I wonder what I should make next?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Baby!

So I thought it was about time that I showed a photo of my board, so here it is! An Earthwing Superglider; it's really solid (well I guess all boards don't flex for me since I'm super lightweight) and I've been practicing on the bike paths around my dorm until I'm comfortable enough to go around campus where there's lots of people and cars. I get a lot of funny looks from passing people but I've only been on the thing 5 times so far and I've never skateboarded/surfed/snowboarded in my entire life. Give me a break!

I've decided to call my board Dubhán (pronounced DUV-an). Yes, I name all my precious things. My white macbook is called Kouki and my black bamboo fun tablet is Takeshi. :) But I've decided to call my board Dubhán after a black horse that appears in the story I am currently writing; stubborn, strong, and hard to tame, but reliable and well-worth the wait once you gain his trust. Let's hope that I can do that soon, it's getting warmer out and I want to take this baby out for a ride!



Friday, February 26, 2010

stop-motion animation!






Hmm, not much updating yet again. I'm finally not sick anymore! All of my free time has been used to go outside and practice longboarding for the last week or so. For some reason I'm not very good at pumping... but I guess I just need practice. I've actually only been outside maybe 4 times with my board, and it's always in the middle of the night where there aren't too many people to bump in to.

In other news, I've been busy making stop motion animations for my art class. Here's one of the finished products! It's hard to draw every panel, I can't imagine having to do all those drawings like in real animations...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!! :)

I didn't have a special someone to spend time with this Valentines Day (boohoo lol who cares. just have fun!!) but I helped my roommate with a surprise birthday party for her friend. I feel like I did almost all of the work getting our dorm room ready though... she wasn't even home till noon. Oh well there was good chocolate cake so it's ok. The ganache we made did not work out properly since my roommate put in too much cream when I wasn't looking, so it's more of a glaze now. I swear I told her we're only making 2/3 of the recipe... but she never listens to me when it comes to following directions. But we figured out it goes great with clementines/tangerines whatever those little oranges are called. (I seriously can't tell the difference between them) Interesting combo that we will enjoy for a few more days.

I have a lot of homework left now that I finished most of the cleaning up afterwards. Time to cram for exams!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I recently bought myself a new longboard for cruising around campus and such (who knows, I might learn some tricks when the weather gets nice) and I can't wait for it to come in the mail!!!!! I'm a complete beginner when it comes to skateboarding in general but hopefully longboarding will be more forgiving. The head of the longboarding club at my college was nice enough to help me choose my first board. He really is a great guy, he's been so patient with me asking so many questions.

Here's what I'm expecting to get!! An Earthwing Superglider ! Now the thing is there's a little story behind me choosing this board. At first I really wanted a Bigfish V-lam, but it was way out of my price range. I really loved looking through the boards, and giving up on the Bigfish was a bit of a dilemma for a poor college kid like me. I eventually chose the superglider and ordered it, but the guy from the longboarding club came back with an offer with some people selling a used Bigfish for a great price.
:[ I think you can imagine my surprise. My Superglider had already shipped at that point, and I've decided to take that as a sign that maybe the Bigfish just wasn't meant for me. Goodbye v-lam, we just weren't meant for each other right now. Maybe in the future when I have a few hundred bucks to spend I'll see you again. lol

So... I'm a bit broke at the moment as you can tell. I'm still sick, and I SHOULD be typing my essay. But my professors don't need to know that. I may upload photos of me falling off while practicing on my new board once it arrives. It's scheduled to come next week.

I'm having a very hard time being patient right now. ;)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

From my Tegaki account. It's really relaxing to doodle every now and then. :)

Wow, I feel like I've been neglecting a lot of things lately. I started having an itchy throat a few days ago and now it's a fully-developed cold. I think I'll be down in bed for a while longer. My headache is not getting better with the partying neighbors in my dorm slamming the doors so often. (and screaming happy birthday, that doesn't help either)

I've decided I want to try and get a skateboard when I can afford it to ride to class. I don't think I can afford a bike and leave it outside in the snow, but skateboards are allowed to be stored in the dorm rooms. I can't wait!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Moved in!

Okay, so all my stuff is in my new room now. (well, not quite lol I noticed I forgot some things like my umbrella so I'll have to have them sent later...) I'd love to share photos but I haven't met my roommate yet (weird, huh?) and I think she probably won't appreciate me taking pictures without her being here.

SO here's a partial pic of my bed with my new Snoopy plushie that a friend gave me for Christmas. ^^

Ah, I miss my little Petey... I'm too used to having him wake me up in the morning. I hope he's doing well with my parents back at home.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Missing my kitties...

引っ越しの日まであと三日! あぁ~、出来れば猫たちも連れて行きたい! 大学の寮に入って一番寂しいのはペットがいないこと。 クラフトの材料も持っていくか迷ってます。 夏にはまた荷物を全部まとめて家に持って返らなきゃいけないのがちょっと問題。 無理やりでも毛糸は少し持っていくつもりです。 荷物が多すぎる~!!!
Ah, only a few more days till I move to my new dorm room. I'm already missing my house with all my little fuzzballs running around. If I could afford an apartment I would definitely take one or two of my cats with me. I'm also having issues with what craft supplies to bring. I'm giving up on my jewelry supplies but I'll try to bring some yarn and my crochet needles with me along with my art supplies.

「オイラの左フックを食らってみろ! エイッ!エイッ!」 水遊びに目覚めたパンサー君。 水とボクシングしても勝てないぞ☆
My cat Panther playing with the faucet again. He never quits!

I was looking through some clothes my sister-in-law gave me. I think Panther likes her fashion-sense lol.

愛犬クッキーです!黒いモコモコがいろんなところから飛び出す毎日。 パンサーは今Victoria's Secretの袋がお気に入り。
Panther loves Victoria's Secret! My dog cookie does not approve...

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year everyone!!! Sorry for not uploading anything lately, but I've been a tad busy.

I'll be moving to my new dorm later this month and starting classes at a whole new university. I'm so excited but anxious at the same time. I'll be shopping next week for a few things that I'll need. One of my friends was thoughtful enough to get me an adorable new shoulder bag for books and such for my Christmas present. (Now if only it was about an inch wider it would have fit my laptop lol but of course I shouldn't be picky.) I don't know how my friend figured out I love owls in a vintage style illustration, because that was the pattern on the bag! I'll post a photo soon for all to see. :)