Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gift Wrapping Workshop at College of San Mateo

My third year teaching repurposed gift wrapping at San Mateo College Community Education.
This time I am scaling up with adjunct ideas of taking some of the basic ideas I've taught and enlarging them in size for those special big gifts and special occasions. As always, excited to show how the most mundane everyday materials around us can be made useful and artistic when utilized for gift wrapping and packaging!  Come join me.

Fabulous Gift Wrapping: The Art of Repurposing 
Saturday, November 1, 2014
San Mateo Community College
1700 W. Hillsdale Blvd 
San Mateo
Building 14  Room 213

** Walk in’s welcome 
For questions, please call 650-574-6149

Summer Wrapping @ Heath Ceramics

One of my wrapping highlights of the summer was being invited by HEATH Ceramics (Yeah! I'm a big fan) to collaborate with their visiting artist from KAMAWANU (manufacturer of beautiful hand dyed cotton cloths called Tenugui) to do a demonstration on how to wrap with Tenugui.  I am particularly drawn to the graphics (hand cut and designed templates) and the intricate traditional dyeing process. The simplicity and unpretentiousness of the cloths and its versatility (used as a hand towel, cleaning cloth, business card or simply as an art piece) is what appeals to me. The greatest challenge with Tenugui is the size and odd shape (35x 90cm) and the unfinished frayed edges. I felt particularly excited when I was able to figure out a few strategies to get around these challenges and share my tips.  It was an opportunity to talk about how even the most simple of objects like a lemon from your garden, a small plate or a bottle of olive oil, wrapped with cloth, can elevate the everyday by adding a layer of thoughtfulness behind gift giving.

Recommended reading:  I had a fateful meet up at Heath with another Gift Wrapper who happened to experience Scotch Brands Most Gifted Wrapper Contest experience like I did.  Nice to meet you Shasta Garcia!  Read (click below) her wonderfully summarized blog about the Tenugui demonstration.
Another recommendation is to read "A Rambling About Tenugui" (click below) found on the Kamawanu website for a history of Tenugui and the background behind the over 100 year old traditional dyeing technique.

A Heath Ceramic Platter revealed and wrapped with Tenugui 

Great working with you again Regina! 

Granola Box wrapped in Tenugui 

Olive Oil wrapped in Tenugui

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sweet Sixteen

My daughter Mel turned 16 in May.  An excuse for expressing love to my girl with
  handmade props to celebrate the occasion. 
Happy Birthday Mel! 

Happy Sweet 16 Mel
Love you ! 

A Valentines Tradition

A Valentines Tradition with this group of friends who we've known for 20+ years of lifes ups and downs. Everyone always brings such nice gifts for each other and this year I wanted to share my repurposed file folder bow in pink to celebrate the occasion- we all signed our names on the bow as a reminder and momento of our friendship and beloved tradition thanks to our host Bebe (owner of Le Cucina San Francisco) and her Big Heart!

Christa, Jodi, Laurie, Janet, Donna and Bebe
You are treasures! 

The lovely Bebe
Valentines was named in honor of you and your heart! 

Valentines with MUJI 2014

I've been a fan of MUJI since I discovered the store in Tokyo in the late 80's.  They are a retail company known of having a "no brand" minimalist design philosophy with emphasis on recycling and avoiding waste in production and packaging.  In many ways, they were ahead of their time conceiving of this idea when the concept of sustainability was not as well represented in the retail markets.  It had meaning for me especially to have an opportunity to do a Valentines gift wrapping workshop with my repurposed file folders at the Muji SF store showcasing how to wrap with minimal and repurposed materials.  Special thanks to Muji for the donation to Japan Society's Japan in the Schools program in connection with this workshop and for friends who came by!

Birthday Memories Captured in Cards Handmade

Love birthdays and especially love giving and receiving 
things handmade.   Made a wall in my studio to showcase the creations 
and meaningful words given to me for my birthday by friends and family. 

Inspiration in Santa Barbara

Reconnecting with my former work at Felissimo, I find myself in Santa Barbara working on a project bringing Master Artists from Japan in the field of Noh, Traditional Cuisine and Photograpy to UC Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.  Learned the value of upholding tradition and how culture is passed on from generation to generation through these very talented individuals.