Needle Felted Baby Penguin – Christmas ornament #2

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This adorable needle felted baby penguin was made for a Christmas decoration.  It’s so adorable with its present and its knitted red hat. I also made the penguin so that it can have a string attached to its head so that it can be made into a Christmas tree ornament.

 

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https://www.etsy.com/shop/kokobiyori

Baby Snow Monkey – Christmas ornament #1

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I made a needle felted baby snow monkey for a Christmas ornament.  It is a perfect ornament for a Christmas tree with a string.  This baby monkey wears a green scarf and plays in the snow.  He made a snowball and I put an “M” on the snowball because “M” is for Monkey! https://www.etsy.com/shop/kokobiyori

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https://www.etsy.com/shop/kokobiyori

An Early Morning Hike

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Sunday mornings are one of the only times that I can sleep late and eat a big breakfast.  I like to stay at home and spend the day crafting.  However, my daughter wanted to go hiking because it was going to be another beautiful sunny day.  The forecast predicted a 90 F day so we decided to go hiking early in the morning , when the air would still be cool and crisp and we could be able to avoid the crowds.

We headed to the Twin Falls trail, located about 45 minutes drive east from Seattle.  It was around 9 am when we started to hike and there weren’t many people on the trail.  As we expected, the morning air was cool and fresh.  It was a perfectly sunny day but the trail was in the shade and the sun beams that came down from in between the tree branches were beautiful.

imageWe saw a few chipmunks during the hike.  They are so tiny and cute, and they were moving so fast but somehow my husband managed to take a few pictures of them.

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At the end of the trail we could see two waterfalls that were very beautiful.

At first, I was reluctant to give up my lazy Sunday routine and go hiking, but it was very refreshing and energizing!

 

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I Opened an Etsy Shop! -Kokobiyori

Hello!

If you have visited my blog before, then you know that crafting is not just a hobby, but a huge passion of mine. For a while now I have wanted to open a shop on Etsy, which is an online marketplace for artists to sell their work. After much researching and planning, I have decided to open and to hopefully physically share my crafts with people around the States, and later with the world. I am starting out my shop, called Kokobiyori with only needle felted crafts, but hope to add some of my other crafts later on as well. I will link my shop in this post, so if you have a little time, please check it out!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/kokobiyori

Here are some of the products that I am selling.

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Gifts from My Students

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Last Saturday was the last day of my Japanese language school for the 2014/15 school year.  It has been 8 years since I started teaching Japanese to children.  Every year the students in my class are different and each class is unique.  Over the year I get to know my class by communicating, studying together, playing games, and doing activities, and by the end we have formed a bond. On the last day I had mixed feelings, because I was happy to finish another year and to send the students off to the next level class but I was sad to say good bye and not see them in my class anymore.  But I know that the next year holds new students and a different teaching adventure.

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Each year students have given me very special gifts; handmade thank you cards, paper cranes, animals made with origami paper, drawings, handmade stuffed animals, etc.  I love to see their short, handwritten  messages in the Japanese I taught.  I love to see pretty drawings with their names in Japanese characters.  Those are very special gifts from my students that I keep in a box.  But most of all, I love to hear how much they enjoyed my class and that they look forward to coming back to school next year.  I am fortunate to be able to receive these priceless gifts from my students.

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2 Years with Haru

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It has been almost 2 years since Haru(Koharu) came into our lives and became the youngest member of our family. She is a miniature dachshund with shaded cream long hair.  Unlike Cocoa, our first dog, she has a very strong personality.  She is very carefree and doesn’t usually pay attention to what we say. I have probably spoiled her too much because she is my baby.

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Every morning and late afternoon, Haru sits on top of the couch which is placed against a big window, and she watches people and dogs walking on the street.  She often barks when she sees people and other dogs, as if she is reporting somebody suspicious.  Even in the early morning when it is dark outside, she sticks her face out to watch between two curtain panels.

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One time, Haru injured her paw on the escalator.  One of her toe nails got stuck and she got a bloody paw.  Her vet treated her paw with a truck patterned blue bandage.  I wished that she could have gotten a pink bandage.

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Flying Haru.                                                                                                               Cool down by swiming

It has been a joy to spend time with Haru walking, playing, and sleeping together.  We love her as much as we do Cocoa, and I love when Cocoa and Haru come to me excitedly every day after I come home.  We look forward to having more adventures with them in the years to come.

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We can see how much Haru has grown by the stuffed bear.

 

 

 

Home Again – Vol. 3 Pretty Zakka

 

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While I stayed in Japan, I visited many stores that sell “zakka”.  “Zakka” are small household and interior design items in categories such as  the kitchen, bathroom, stationary,  crafts, fashion, etc.  They are all so pretty, of good quality and design, and very functional.  Just looking at them makes me happy and always inspires my own crafts.

The pictures above and below are a lunch box from  a store called Afternoon Tea in Nagoya, Japan.  Each container has small partitions , and the three boxes can be stacked and tied with a belt.  I can’t wait to go on a picnic with Cocoa and Haru with this lunch box full of food in the summer.

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I found another pretty shop called “On and Off” at Odawara in Japan.  I bought two pairs of chopsticks.

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These are cup cake holders with pink and blue polka dots.  Another one has a Paris themed design. I bought them to use for my needle felt crafts.

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This schedule notebook with a buffalo check cover was a gift from my friend.  There are all kinds of cover designs and are very popular in Japan.

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Finally, this small pouch with a metal frame and a strap was found in a small shop in Kyoto, close to the Kiyomizu temple. There were many pretty items in the store but I picked this pouch.  I think it is very simple, but colorful and elegant at the same time.

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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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