I am constantly inspired by the amazing craft books that come form Japan. We carry many of these books online and in our stores and even though I can't read Japanese I still find them endlessly fascinating. I know that it's possible to sew the patterns from these books using just their well drawn instructions but I've never had the courage to try. (Mari however did a great tutorial on how to figure out Japanese sewing patterns that you can see by clicking here.)
Entries in Molly's Sketchbook (98)
Besides being adorable, these little puppets are a snap to make. You could make the whole set of five (or more) in one evening with time to spare. I think little handmade touches like these really make something like an Easter basket all the more special. --Molly
Sashiko is a Japanese embroidery technique that is simple to learn and beautiful to look at. Even though it's a craft that's been around for a very long time, the traditional designs are very clean and graphic, and I love how modern they seem. Sashiko combines the quick, hands-on creativity of embroidery with a calming, meditative quality as well. I learned about Sashiko and how to do it last year by reading Mari's helpful Sashiko Tutorial on The Purl Bee and I've been wanting to do more ever since!
Christmas can be stressful, but taking some time to bake with my friends and family is one of the great joys of the season for me. I use leftover yarn and fabric from Christmas projects to wrap up my goodies. I love transforming simple things like paper lunch bags and leftover yarn and fabric scraps to create charming gift packages almost as much as I love turning flour, butter, sugar, and eggs into cookies! It's a fun and inexpensive way to spread some delicious holiday cheer. Happy Holidays! --Molly
Even since we got the Inazuma Antique Gold handles in the store I have been wanting to make a coin purse. There there was just one (big) problem.... the instructions were in Japanese! Usually I pride myself in being able to figure things out from pictures but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't make heads or tails of the simple pattern included with the handles. Luckily for me the very talented Mari was willing to help me out. She and her mom translated the pattern and answered my clueless questions.
Once I knew what the pattern was saying the construction of the purse was fun and easy. I can't think of a better quick gift than this fully lined, darling little pouch. I have a feeling I will be making many more! -Molly