New Spring Sashiko Kit

Spring has taken hold of me. I ate two sakura-flavored mochi today. No lie.

Every year I put out a sakura-themed sashiko kit because I think sakura and sashiko are such as lovely little pair. And they are fun to say. Go ahead and try it: sakura sashiko sakura sashiko sakura sashiko. Catchy, right?sakura sashiko embroidery kitThis year I designed a pouch kit. These metal squeeze clasps are a new discovery for me and they are great. Easy to use, the metal clasp stays closed tightly and makes such an interesting and unexpected detail.squeeze! sakura sashiko pouchThis sashiko kit is easy to assemble in an afternoon and can be sewn entirely by hand. It is a great kit for beginner embroiderers, too. The finished pouch is 5″ by 6 1/2″ (125 mm by 165 mm), perfect for cosmetics, jewelry, small toys or treasures. Both small and large sakura patterns are included so you can design the layout yourself, and the pouch can be made with flat or boxed corners, your choice!

You can find the kits here. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!sakura sashiko diy embroidered pouch kitsakura trio DIY sashiko pouch

Sashiko Picnic

Today the weather was beautiful. I packed a lunch, hopped on my bike and peddled out for an impromptu picnic.sashiko bentospring sakura sashikoMy neighborhood has a take-away karaage (fried chicken) shop which proves irresistible at lunchtime when they stack bentos in the front window. Next door is a sweets shop, so into my bike’s basket went a sakura-shaped sugar cookie for dessert.springtime picnic lunchsakura wasanbonThe sakura trees are just starting to bloom in Tokyo. I found a few over-achieving blossoms that had already fallen and scooped them up to take along. The wasanbon cookie was stuffed with azuki red bean paste and much too sweet for my liking. It looked pretty anyway.sakura trioThe footpath that runs through Setagaya is lined with small gardens, play areas, and occasionally a small stream. As I ate my lunch I dropped the blossoms into the water. They meandered about 5 or 6 meters before getting caught on a rock. A bit later a small girl noticed them and plucked one out, very proud of her find.floating sakuraAh, spring.

Hanami Lunch

A friend and I stopped into Shinjuku Gyoen for lunch yesterday. We found a spot under a tree with big draping branches, so it felt like we were inside a sakura-lined fort. Every so often, someone would duck in, say hello, wander by. We ate sakura mochi and drank tea like two civilized ladies.

[husband editor’s note: While Ang was being a fancy lady, she used her hanami placemat – coincidentally, on sale now on Esty – while her doting husband dined on two-day-old sushi at home.]

This is probably the cutest thing I have ever made. I am both ashamed and proud.

Hopefully we’ll get to hanami again. It’s fleeting!

A Hanami Lunch

A friend and I stopped into Shinjuku Gyoen for lunch yesterday. We found a perfect spot under a tree with big draping branches, so it felt like we were inside a sakura-lined fort. Every so often, someone would duck in, say hello, wander by. We ate sakura mochi and drank tea like two civilized ladies. [husband editor’s note: she tried out her hanami placemat – coincidentally on sale now at Etsy – for the first time, while her doting husband dined at home on two-day-old sushi.]

This is probably the cutest thing I have ever made. I am both ashamed and proud.

Hopefully we’ll get to hanami again. It’s fleeting!

Spring Sashiko Giveaway — We have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who left comments — it was great fun reading them all! I dumped the numbers in to the random number generator, and (drumroll please!) dadadadada…

Congrats to Liz! And to everyone else, thanks again for participating. ヾ(@⌒ー⌒@)ノ

If you are still interested in getting your itchy-stitchy fingers on the Spring Hanami Sashiko Kit, you can keep an eye on my Etsy shop where it will be available soon or pre-order one by sending me a message at sakepuppets@gmail.com. Want to learn more about sashiko? You can check out my online tutorial here, or stay tuned for how-to videos, coming soon.

The 2012 Spring Hanami Sashiko Kit, $35  – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Happy stitching, and happy Spring!

A Springtime Sashiko Giveaway!

* This giveaway is no longer accepting entries. Thanks! *

It’s almost hanami time! Yipskip!

I love hanami, the glorious time of year when people lay blankets and tarps in every park and available green space, spread their picnics, and enjoy the scenery. This year, I was inspired to make a new sashiko kit to celebrate.

Meet the Spring Hanami Sashiko Kit. Set yourself up with a classy picnic, or perhaps bring some hanami indoors.

And, I want to share the hanami love! One lucky reader will receive a Spring Hanami Sashiko Kit, and perhaps some other sakura styled treats from Tokyo. So tell me, what is your favorite thing about spring? Leave a comment by Tuesday, March 20th to enter the giveaway. One commenter will be selected at random (one entry per person, please).

The Spring Hanami Sashiko Kit is a limited edition kit for the spring season and will be available in my Etsy shop beginning next week. Though, if you’re really excited about it — like I know you are! — you can pre-order by sending me a message at sakepuppets@gmail.com. I can accept payments via PayPal, and orders will ship next week.

The 2012 Spring Hanami Sashiko Kit, $35

This design was inspired by the fluttering of petals as they fall from sakura trees on a breezy day. I love to stand underneath the trees and watch them swirl around me. The design is stitched using high quality, 100% cotton sashiko thread in pinks and white onto a gradated blue cotton fabric. It may look like just the lighting in the photos, but the fabric actually changes from dark blue to light. Sometimes this shading reminds me of the sky, and sometimes a stream. I’ll let you decide.

This kit includes everything you need to make one 16″ by 18″ (40 cm by 46 cm) table mat, including front and back fabric, pattern, materials for transferring the pattern to the fabric, needle, thread, and illustrated instructions. All materials included in the kit are of the highest quality and have been made in Japan. You will need to supply your own scissors, pins, and needle and thread. A sewing machine isn’t required, but it might be nice.

Want to learn more about sashiko? You can check out my online tutorial here, or stay tuned for how-to videos, coming soon!

Happy Spring!