It is no secret that I love Sanae Ishida. Her elegant style, thoughtful prose and intense awareness are a constant source of inspiration for me. She is the kind of blogger that I visit in order to “draw from the well”, so to speak. So it is not an understatement to say that I am quite literally thrilled to be a part of the book launch tour for her new book Sewing Happiness*. (P.S. feel free to scroll to the bottom for giveaway information, there is no shame in that game!)
[Photo by Michelle Porter]
This book is more than a collection of projects. It’s the story of Sanae’s path back to health after a debilitating disease and work exhaustion and the role that sewing played in re-finding her balance and happiness. She honestly stitched her way back to health. The book is an open, honest, raw and vulnerable conversation about how making things can heal us. It also includes season by season projects that accompany Sanae’s journey. It’s so different from other craft books on the market. Of course, the photos are characteristically gorgeous and inspiring. I absorbed this book into my pores in a matter of days. This book speaks my language and my heart so happy.
There are so many great projects to pick from and in my standard overly-ambitious mode, I dog-eared most of them. I mean, I can make all the things. Right?! Of course, I only got around to making two of them and I’m already using the heck out of them. I made both a daily planner cover and a work apron adapted from Sanae’s pattern for a journal cover and kitchen apron. I love the original patterns and was so happy they fit exactly what I needed.
First, I made myself a messy-work apron. I made my apron in a durable black canvas and plan on wearing it for all of my grungy, dirty, painting projects. It has a crossover back, which means it covers so much of me and I can safely wipe a messy hand while I screen-print or mess around with ink. This sucker is a workhorse of an apron but still so pretty!
I adapted the pattern by attaching twill tape at the top hem instead of fabric. Not only do I love twill tape but it saved me from having to sew through a million layers of thick canvas. Also, I am holding and admiring paintbrushes. I know, it’s mildly confusing.
Guys. Here is the thing, I am getting into watercolor. I have always blown off watercoloring as either impossible or just overly-precious. My trip to Craftcation, however, completely flipped that on its head. And, I promise a larger conversation about Craftcation soon (talk about honest, raw, vulnerable conversation!) but let me just share that I did so much fabric painting, surface design and watercoloring and it was awesome. I’m digging it. Just an aside: watercoloring is ruined for us by those crappy, hard-to-use paints of our childhood! The ones where you have to rub and rub to get any color! Uck. It’s all about the paint in a tube. Amazing what you can do. Anyway, admire the slight goofy paintbrush pictures. These guys are my new friends.
My second project, a cover for my daily calendar, is another bit of beautiful genius in my life. I can’t function without a write-in-a-pen-so-I-remember daily calendar. We have a family google calendar but I need this paper calendar the way I need my left arm. Indispensable.
Sadly, the kind of calendar I like for its open pages, removable tabs, and weekly planning view doesn’t come with a very pretty cover. I was tolerating this calendar for months so it makes me so happy to now have it in gorgeous fabric! I would so much rather reach into my bag and touch amazing fabric, anyway.
And look at this fabric! It’s so delicious! It’s is Lei Nani from Nani Iro’s 2016 collection. I received it from the always amazing Miss Matatabi. I cannot get over the gorgeous watercolor-like blue background mixed with the white and metallic flowers. Plus, it is a soft double gauze. Such an indulgence for a daily planner, right?! I love it.
The pattern in book has a lovely elastic strap over the front and I added a second one so I can also easily access the current week. It was super easy but still makes me feel so smart.
One of the other projects in the book that I think is totally original is an origami pillow. I’m all set to make three or four of these soon. They are so cool and will look perfect in our living room. (This image is from the publisher, by the way. Taken by George Barberis).
Now for the giveaway! This is a good one. I’m so excited to be able to really spread the Sanae Ishida Sewing Happiness* love! They are letting me giveaway such good stuff:
+ One copy of Sewing Happiness by Sanae Ishida
+ $45 gift card for Miss Matatabi!! Choose from her spectacular selection of japanese fabric!
I’m pretty old school when it comes to giveaways so I’m going to keep it simple, leave a comment and share one of your favorite crafty bloggers. Sanae is one of mine, what is yours? I will leave it open for one week, ending at midnight April 28th. I’m sorry international friends but only US entrants can win. Curses international shipping rates! (If you aren’t able to leave a comment, I had some reports of difficulties, please email me at email@example.com and I will consider that a contest entry. Thanks!)
Good luck! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. RANDOM.ORG CHOSE COMMENT #5. Congratulations Gigi W.!! I will be in touch soon.
Now I can reply to everyone’s lovely comments, you guys wrote the nicest things and I’m excited to check out some wonderful new blogs. It was killing me to stay silent for a week. 🙂
*This link is an affiliate link. Thanks for your support! Please note: I was given a copy of the book and a yard and a half of fabric to use free of charge. My opinions, however, are always my own.