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Spring Tote Bag

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Spring has come, at least in the Pacific Northwest!  For my next project I searched for brightly colored, elaborately patterned fabrics to mix and match.  I found two blue patterned fabrics and made a tote bag.  The bag is big enough to carry a purse, a phone, as well as many other things.  In Seattle, we need to bring our own bag  for shopping, so I can carry this bag to go to the grocery store, farmer’s market, or boutique.  There are two small pockets and a magnet clasp inside.

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Crochet Pillows

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For my next crafting project, I made pillow cases which have fabric pattern on one side and crochet on the other side. I learned how to knit before crochet, but I always thought that crochet was very pretty.  I started making simple scarfs and small bags with crochet.  For the crocheted side, I matched a white yarn with pink, blue, or yellow yarn.  I made 25 motifs and stitched them together.  For the  fabric side, I picked a patterned fabric that matched the crochet color.  I also attached a zipper so that I can remove and wash the pillow case.

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Yellow crochet and pig patterned fabric

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Pink crochet and pig patterned fabric

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Blue crochet and patterned fabric

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Blue Birds Coin Case

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This is another coin case that I made using the same fabric for the pot holders and the triangle shaped pouches from posts in the past.  The inside is lined with a blue bird colored fabric. The weather in Seattle recently, has been beautiful, and I can tell that springtime is approaching; the leaves are growing back on the trees, and the cherry blossoms are blooming. This coin case, with its sky blue, and bird pattern, is the epitome of spring.

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Favorite Place for Brunch

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Portage Bay is one of my favorite restaurants for breakfast and brunch.  This restaurant is in the Eastlake area located north of downtown Seattle and is close to Lake Union.  It is in a developing area, with new office buildings, apartments, and restaurants.  Portage Bay is a very popular restaurant and we had to wait approximately 30 minutes for a table.

To escape our busy and stressful work schedules, my husband and I took a day off in the middle of the week and decided to have a nice brunch at Portage Bay.  As we expected, the restaurant on a weekday was not as crowded as the weekend.  We were able to pick a table by the window where we could enjoy both our food and the street view.

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My husband had a sandwich with Como bread, scrambled eggs, organic arugula, prosciutto, and fig jam.  The harmony of salty prosciutto, sweet fig jam, and the slight bitterness of arugula was delicious.

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I ordered classic French toast with challah bread.  This order included access to the breakfast bar which has a variety of selections such as fruits, nuts, and organic maple syrup to top my meal. My husband and I typically order one sweet dish and one savory dish, so we can appreciate both sides of the flavor scale.

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http://www.portagebaycafe.com/

 

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Piggy Coin Case!

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This adorable fabric with little colorful pigs all over it, is extremely versatile, and this time, I decided to make a coin purse with it. The outside is covered with the little pig fabric, while the inside is lined with a red polka dot fabric. I think that this coin case is not only useful for small amounts of pocket change, but is charming and eye catching as well.

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Hinamatsuri – A Celebration for Young Girls

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Spring is just around the corner and March 3rd is Hinamatsuri – Girl’s day in which people celebrate and pray for young girl’s growth and happiness in Japan.  When a baby girl is born, her family buys Hina dolls which are displayed with  five or seven tiers where on the top step are the Emperor and Empress.  The dolls in the pictures were given to me by my aunt.  When I was a child, most of my friends had a big set of dolls which even reached six feet tall, and I remember I wanted a bigger one like my friend’s.  Mine is a miniature set of dolls that can be placed on a table.  However, as I got older, I thought the intricate details of the dolls and accessories like the pink cheeks, lanterns, and musical instruments were unique and special and I came to like my Hina dolls very much.

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When my daughter was born, I passed my Hina Dolls on to her.  As March 3rd approaches, I display these dolls with spring flowers to symbolize good health and happiness for my daughter.

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This year, I also made Hina dolls with origami paper, with design instructions that I found on the internet.  The dolls are very beautiful and simplistic, but were actually very difficult to fold.

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I hope that girls around the world enjoy good health and happiness.

 

 

 

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Tea Time Decor

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A few years ago, my friend gave me a set of beautiful tea cups.  We have enjoyed everything from green tea to black tea, to coffee in those cups.  For me, it is quite enjoyable to have tea in such a beautiful cup because it relaxes me from a stressful day.  To make tea time more rich and fun, I made some coasters to match those cups.  I picked dark blue, red, green, and brown fabrics and stitched a geometrical pattern on it.  This is called “Sashiko” in Japan.

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Even an understated thing like a coaster, can make an everyday cup of tea delightful and elegant!

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Happy Birthday, Cocoa!

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Cocoa turned eight today!  He was a very cute puppy, but a very naughty puppy as well.  Cocoa destroyed several electrical cords, several pairs of shoes,  and my daughter’s toys.  While he was playing with my husband’s sweatshirt, he even ended up stuck in the sleeve.

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Cocoa loves to snuggle in clothes just out of the dryer, sleep by the heater, and sit on my husband’s lap. But most of all he loves his squeaky toys!  He plays and plays with them until they are broken and no sound comes out at all.

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When baby Haru came, Cocoa was a very good big brother and tolerated her, even when she played with his toys and woke him up at night. He even protects her outside.

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Cocoa’s once beautiful black and tan colors are now speckled with gray and his soft fur has hardened a bit, but Cocoa is still a beautiful dog, inside and out.  We love you, Cocoa and Happy birthday!

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Hana, Totoro, and Friends!

 

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I made a needle felted dog named Hana.  I made a dress for her with green lace trim and yellow shoes with hearts on them.  On her back, I attached a flower shaped button.

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These three needle felted creatures are the famous Totoro and friends.  They were created by my daughter’s friend as a Christmas gift.  The three of them together makes for an adorable trio.

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