Hand-cut with love // Text Less Write More

The cut-paper window installation at RSVP in downtown Iowa City is up!!  YAY!

RSVP is a wonderful local shop, beautifully and thoughtfully curated by dear friend/owner Niki Neems.  Her deep love for writing with pen on paper (one may call old school, others may call the real deal) is what drives her selection of lovelies that she carries in her shop!  Double the treat for me because I happen to be lucky enough to work in her world a couple of days a week!!

Back in November, the RSVP elves had a low-key snowflake cutting eve down the street at wonderful Home Ec Workshop, followed by yummy pizza.  Slowly but surely, the snowflakes kept multiplying.  Some super intricately ornate, some simple and curvy others angular and geometric.  Not one is the same.

Many many thanks to Liz Munger for your wise insight/advise about working with paper; helpful friends over at Blick's, Emily Jalinsky for your wizard paper cutting help and encouragement!!

Challenge for you:  Can you find the cats sprinkling the letters!?!?  The two tofu monsters in love!? Come have a look at the window and say hi at the shop if you are near!  I shall be there all this weekend and Tues + Thurs afternoons!!  

The below images are for you lovelies too far away to visit!

Keep writing letters!



IT'S DUMPLING TIME // At Public Space One!

Saturday, Sept 19
$15-25(sliding scale)
Public Space One
120 N. Dubuque St.
Iowa City, IA 52245

When I was growing up, my family had a "dumpling night" at least once every month.
  It was one of our favorites.  About an hour before dinner time, we would all come together around the table, and start stuffing the dumplings, catching up on what happened at school.

One by one.

Long afterwards, in another town, another country, I still love having dumpling nights.

With friends.  With neighbors.  With family.

It's not just about the deliciousness, but it's about gathering and making things together.
  Everyone contributes.  That's the beauty of the dumpling time.

In this "it's Dumpling Time" workshop, participants will learn to make vegan dumplings from scratch, so you can have your own "dumpling nights" in the near future!  We will talk about different filling options, so you will be able to host your own dumpling cook-off!!  OH YEAH!!



To register, email kitchen@publicspaceone.com

Come over!

For more info about programming at Public Space One, visit



Our first IT'S BARNACLE TIME at Home Ec Workshop was a success!
THANKS ALL who participated!!

Frequently Asked Questions.  All things BARNACLE TIME!

Q:  What is a barnacle!?  Is it as cool as it sounds!?!?

A: That is a very good question, a very important one, in fact.  AND YES!  It is way cooler than it sounds!  A barnacle is a type of animal (anthropod, to be specific, family of crabs & lobsters), and they live specifically in the saltwater.  They live in clusters, or alone.  They love to cling onto surfaces, like backs of whales, turtles, buoys, rocks, concrete, docks, etc.  Apparently, according to the lovely wiki there are currently around 1,220 known barnacle species here on earth.

Q:  I have never made barnacles before.  Can I still come to the gatherings!?

A:  Yes, of course!  No barnacle making experience necessary!!  We will be hand-stitching pieces of felt together to make barnacles.  The stitching we will use is called blanket stitching.  If you haven't stitched before, it is very straight forward.  I will be able to show you!  Once you learn it and get a hang of it, you will find it very relaxing, as it will be a lot of repetitive motion!

Q: Mine doesn't quite look even, and it looks lopsided!!  Should I bother contributing!?!?

A:  Every barnacle is different, and that is the beauty of it!  Everyone has his/her own hand, and and I appreciate the unique personalities.  Of course, after repetition, your barnacle may look different, and that is good too!  Anything is something and there is no quality control, as I am not looking for 'perfection'.  Imperfections are perfect.

Q:  I am a boy and I have never stitched before, but very interested in this gathering.  Can I come!?

A:  First of all, everyone is welcome to the gathering, regardless of sex, age, race, gender, what not.    Scratch that concern off the list, pretty please!!  I will teach whatever needed to know about barnacle making, and it will be fun!!

Q: What are you going to do with the barnacles that the participants make!?  Do we have to reach a certain number of barnacles being made!?!?

A:  I will be stitching and connecting these individual pieces of barnacles that the community has made, and creating a community barnacle cluster installation.  The first destination will be at the URBAN AQUARIUM exhibit at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria for a little over a month in July/August, and then after that, I would like to keep having more barnacle gatherings to have traveling barnacle clusters, using cumulative clusters to create installations, similar to the idea of crochet coral reef project!  It will be my mission to exhibit them in as many public spaces as possible, as I feel like the cumulative cluster belongs to everyone involved!!

There is no specific number or goal of how many barnacles we are hoping or expecting, as this whole process is still experimental.  I think that is also the nature of work like this.  That being said, i think the more the merrier!!!   Wouldn't it be awesome if these clusters kept getting bigger and bigger!?!?!?!?

Q:  Why make barnacles!?  What is so special about them!?  Why would you want to hand-stitch them ... that seems like such tedious process. 

A: They are very intriguing animals both visually and just the way they live.  The way the cluster and how they are dependent on their surface really fascinates me.  On a philosophical / symbolic note, I feel like I am very influenced and supported by the surroundings that I live and the people around me.  To me, creating community clusters mean so many things on so many different levels.   And that is why it they are special and making community barnacle cluster is special.  Hand-stitching them means that not one is the same, made by many different real hands.  It may not be your cup-o-tea to those who are into mass-producing objects with 3d printer, but it means a whole lot about time, gathering, connecting, love of hand-made things, labor of love, and community.

Q: I missed your BARNACLE TIME gathering last weekend!  BUMMER TO THE MAX!! Are there any others scheduled!?!?

A:  No worries!!  My next BARNACLE TIME gathering will be this Saturday, June 20 4-6pm at Public Space One.  

Upcoming BARNACLE TIME gathering times are:

Saturday, June 20 4-6pm at Public Space One
Tuesday, June 23, 6-8pm at Home Ec Workshop
Tuesday, June 30  6-8pm at Public Space One
Friday, July 10, 6-8pm at Contemporary Art Center of Peoria

hope to see you!

THANK YOU and Happy Barnacle Time!



It's BARNACLE TIME!!!! // YES, it is!

It's time to stitch barnacles together, folks!

I am getting ready for an URBAN AQUARIUM exhibit in Peoria in July, and want to get you involved!   In these series of barnacle making gatherings as a community involvement component to the exhibit, we will be blanket-stitching felt pieces together to create "community barnacle clusters" !

No barnacle making experience necessary!
FREE! Materials provided.

Here are the important BARNACLE TIME times/dates/venues!!
Mark your calendars!  I would love for you to join!

Saturday, June 13,  1-3pm  Home Ec Workshop, Iowa City
Saturday June 20,  4-6pm Public Space One, Iowa City
Tuesday, June 23, 6-8pm Home Ec Workshop, Iowa City
Tuesday, June 30, 6-8pm Public Space One,  Iowa City
Friday, July 10, 6-8pm, Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, Peoria, IL.

Special thanks to dearest Home Ec Workshop, Public Space One, and Contemporary Art Center of Peoria for providing me with the space and time to make community barnacle making gatherings a reality!  You are the best!

Come and make barnacles!  Become a part of the large barnacle cluster!

gather x stitch x connect = infinite fun

Looking forward to seeing you soon!


Curious Mediums Exhibit // California Dreamin'

I will be exhibiting a few small mixed media works in the upcoming show, Curious Mediums:  Peculiar and Surprising Works of Art at City of Brea Art Gallery in Brea, CA!  So sad I won't be able to go see it myself, but if you are around in the area, please go check it out!

//OPENING RECEPTION//  Saturday, May 30, 7-9pm!

Details below:
Curious Mediums: Peculiar and Surprising Works of Art
May 30-July 12, 2015
City of Brea Art Gallery,
Brea, CA

Gallery Hours: Wed- Sun noon-5pm


Where shimmering lights dance like flying fish

four years ago today,

your spirits were released from your own body.

me, looking west, following the sun.

you, carefree.  free to adventure.

somewhere in the middle, we must have crossed each other

on the golden horizon line, perhaps, where the sky touches the sea

where shimmering lights dance

like flying fish.



KYOTO CRAFT FAIR // 百万遍さんの手作り市



場所:京都市左京区田中門前町 知恩寺境内


I will be participating in a handmade craft fair in Kyoto on January 15th!
It will be my first handmade fair in Japan!!  Please wish me luck!!  I am excited to check out the scene!  I am preparing myself for some inspiration overload by Japanese makers!!

Disclaimer:  When it is a rainy day or when my sister Ayumi's baby decides to join us that very day, I will not be participating in the show.  I will be updating the info on my facebook page on the day regarding this.  Thank you for your understanding in advance. 

February Workshops // Felting at Home Ec.

One of my long long list of new year's resolution is to teach more workshops to share what I know.  In return, I treat myself by taking other workshop taught by others.  This way, we get to connect and learn from each other while developing a new perspective into materiality.  There is something so special about learning hands on and the interaction that it creates. 

I am excited to announce that I will be teaching a couple of felting workshops at Home Ec. Workshop in February!!!  Take a look at their exciting line-up of workshop offered here, and sign up by calling  (319) 337 – 4775.  

Another thing I will be doing is to have a slideshow survey of diverse use of felt in contemporary art, craft and design.  This will be free and open to public. 

See below for dates, and click here on Home Ec. Workshop's page for more details!


  Wednesday, February 4, 6-7pm. Free.
An introductory slideshow discussing the diverse range of contemporary uses + techniques of felt-making.

FELTING: FANTABULOUS FLOWERS  Saturday, February 7, 1-4pm

FELTING: SEAMLESS JAR COZIES!!  Sunday, February 22, 1-4:30pm


Happy felting!


Published // Little Village Magazine Artists Issue

Greetings from Japan.
Exciting news!!!

My first editorial illustration work has been just published in Iowa's Little Village Magazine's January Artists Issue along with 4 other local talented artists, Jarrett Mitchell, Zoe Brown, Candida Pagan + Donnie Bandy.   We were given a free + open prompt to create our own prediction/interpretation of what is to come in the year 2015. 

 I just got to see the digital version of the magazine (click here) now and I am so so so in love.
 I feel honored and inspired to be able to participate in this issue.

Snatch one if you are in Iowa City now before Brien(my hubby) takes the whole pile!  (I asked him, as I can't physically see the printed edition until I get back from Japan!).

If you are not fortunate enough to snatch one yourself, here is a link to the digital issue!

Little Village is a "free alternative magazine covering Iowa City culture from refreshing perspectives, reflecting a town that is complex, often contradictory, and always extraordinary".

I am happy that this magazine exists.

Happy Sheep Year!!