Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mothers Day 2015

"In a gentle way you can shake the world"
-Mahatma Gandhi 

To all the moms and women that inspire us everyday-
taking care of all the important often unnoticed details of life
ever so gently and powerfully making an imprint on the world..
This day is for YOU!  

paired with 

I collaborated with my very talented girlfriend's succulent floral design studio
 and packaged a mini succulent arrangement
repurposing sewing patterns as a gift package for Mothers Day. 

The heartfelt intention behind the idea for us was to offer something that generated life symbolizing
the role of moms and woman caretakers for this special occasion: 
succulents to replant and grow and wrapping that brought new life to something otherwise discarded. 
Here's to Mothers Day !

Head to WEST ELM in Strawberry Village Marin May 9th Saturday where Flourish will have a pop up sale featuring not only our work together but a variety of artistic creations of succulents combined with floral arrangements that are "must haves" for the Moms out there.  Her work is stunning! 

Together with Jodi at the Town Center Farmers Market in Marin
Flourish Boutique  

Pochibukuro "Little Bag" Revisited



中川政七商店 : めでたぽち袋 | Sumally (サマリー)
Pochibukuro in Japan is equivalent to the Chinese Red Envelope.  Its an envelope that is used to give money away often for celebratory occasions.  There are so many designs of envelopes sold in Japan for this purpose.

For my workshop in Japan, I introduced the idea of making one's own Pochibukuro imparting a special hand made quality to their money gift giving.  Using old sewing patterns and instruction sheets, we made envelopes with a floral accent.
Idea for a Hand Made Pochibukuro
Equally suitable for gifting a special note or gift card! 

Everyone loved working with old sewing patterns not often seen in Japan 

Feeling Spring "Wrapping" in Japan

"What is the use of a package if its shows no feelings?"
-Hideyuki Oka

In "How to Wrap Five Eggs", Hideyuki Oka poses this simple but profound question. This question both inspires and haunts me in the never ending quest to both recognize and execute packaging that provokes feeling.  

I recently returned from a trip to Japan where I had the wonderful opportunity to give a lecture and workshop on repurposing materials and gift wrapping in Japan through the 
Felissimo is one of the largest direct marketing/lifestyle goods companies in Japan.  It was through being hosted that I came upon the true meaning behind this quest.  Wrapping and packaging is an attention to detail. The quality of the details determines engagement and feeling: I was invited to a lunch and joining me were Japanese artists that were instructors in various art genres at the school. To my surprise, I came to the table with lunches gift wrapped in cherry blossom pink material!  This is truly a Japanese experience. It provoked a sense of joy and feeling of welcome that I will never forget. Thank you Felissimo! 

Luncheon inspired by the Cherry Blossom Season
Wrapped Lunch Boxes 

Meeting Japanese Artists 

Enjoying lunch in Kyoto 
Thank you for everything to Megumi Higashi
Head of Felissimo's Shiawase Gakko! 

Sushi that evokes both  "feeling" and culinary delight.
A visual and tasteful experience to be remembered!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gift Wrapping for Good Causes

GIVE BACK Gift Wrapping Workshop

Wrapping with Cavalleni Paper

I am participating in a Give Back Wrapping Workshop this year and would love if people can take the class, learn both basic and creative, not so ordinary techniques to wrap for the holidays and volunteer with me afterwards in 
wrapping the donated gifts for the homeless and foster youth of Larkin Street Youth Services.  
 (Please take the time to read about this wonderful organization- see above) 

Date:  December 18, Thursday 
Time:  5:30-8:00pm 
Place: 1150 Sutter Street 

Here's the link to sign up: 

Appreciation goes to Jess Shain of Fullosophie for her wonderful idea and inviting me to be part of
such a worthy cause in their lineup of wonderful, experience worthy workshops.  Happy to be part of this!  
Special thanks goes to Cavalleni for generously donating their beautiful papers!  Have always loved the beautifully designed and high quality papers of Cavalleni so what a treat to be wrapping all the donated gifts with them!  
Learn to make this Sleeve Gift Bag
and Floral Accent repurposing cupcake liners
at the Give Back Workshop.
Great for packing things on the Larkin Street Youth Wish List:
socks, scarves, undergarments, shirts

A shout out to Scotch for their donation of supplies and tape-- their generosity continuing beyond my
days participating in their 3M Scotch Most Gifted Wrapper Contest!  Can't do without the wrapping necessities.  THANK YOU ! 

I just know this project was meant to be because of the immediate and kind support from everyone.

Know its a busy time for everyone but if by chance you are free and want to take part in a worthy cause, please come and join me!   Would love and actually need the support of everyone on this one! 

For those who cannot make it to San Francisco, there are also other ways to support the 
Larkin Street Youth Services during the holidays.
Here's the link for more information:


                                                         GIFT WRAPPING to support Ruth's Table

Join me for a relaxing afternoon learning different ways to wrap presents including how to repurpose your everyday materials into artistic wrapping creations.  Ruth's Table is a Creative Learning Center named in the spirit of renowned artist Ruth Asawa.  It's a place where people of all generations come together to explore their creativity. 

It's fitting that just last week, as I was getting out my holiday boxes, I came upon origami ornaments I made together with Ruth years ago, just sitting around a table and talking.  It brings back such nice memories. It's this same feeling I know Community Programs Director Lola Fraknoi hopes to capture at the Center ("as a hearth for creativity" as was Ruth's wish" in bringing artists and creators to the Center-- interacting with the seniors and the community together creating, sharing artistic visions and discovering a sense of purpose.  My friends Monica Lee is the Artist in Residence there and Dorothy Yuki is a regular Volunteer Artist as well as Artist Aiko Cuneo are all an integral part of Ruth's Table.  Program Director Lola's son and my daughter Maddie went to the same High Schol and share the same circle of friends so its a small world that brings us all together.  

Please come join me in this warm gathering of friendship, creativity and learning. 

Here's the link to sign up for the workshop at Ruth's Table 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014: Wrapping Gratitude

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
-William Arthur Ward-

Thanksgiving this year was about both feeling gratitude and expressing it, wrapping thoughts and 
sharing.  As a lover of gift wrapping, one would think my favorite holiday is Christmas but actually I love Thanksgiving.  It's a day about being together with family, cooking and eating together and often not done enough, voicing gratefulness to the blessings in our lives.  This Thanksgiving I walked the talk wholeheartedly of my saying gift wrapping is my vehicle of expression, of a thought, an intention, a sense of gratefulness to share with those we care about. 

My photos of wrapping  "A Note of Thanks" 
placed at the table for my family to share their thoughts of gratitude. 
Unexpectedly it became a moving moment for us all.  

My daughter Mel's note of gratitude.
Touched us all! 
Love this scene of my kids cooking Thanksgiving Day.
Michael made an awesome stuffing. Maddie is our ultimate baker!
Mel is all about the Louisiana Yams. 
Here's to packaging and honoring the gift of words.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Holiday Bonanza Special: Free Classes on Creativebug

I usually like to honor Thanksgiving before jumping into the winter holiday mode but this deal is too good not to share.  Creativebug is hosting a Holiday Bonanza- a line up of FREE CLASSES from how to make your own marshmallows to painted holiday gift wrap.  My favorite at the moment is the class on how to arm knit a cowl.  My friend Tracy made me an arm knitted scarf for my birthday and I've been wanting to learn how to make it ever since.  I'm already dreaming of post Thanksgiving, making myself hot chocolate with home made marshmallow and arm knitting with friends.

 FREE CLASSES (take them all-enjoy!)

Annual SCRAP WRAP Workshop

One of my favorite workshop venues is SCRAP where their mission is to promote creative reuse of materials traditionally discarded as waste.  My love of course is to apply this mission to wrapping and packaging.  Together with my reuse crafter, friend and artist Monica Lee, we're going to give a workshop to help everyone be ahead of the holiday game this year with not only teaching “how to” techniques but we'll all be making lots of boxes, bags and bows made from Scrap materials for the holidays. It’s be a fun and productive time for everyone so hope whoever is in the town around the Bay Area can join us. 

Scrap Wrap: Bags, Boxes and Bows 
Saturday November 22, 2014
801 Toland (entrance on Newcomb) 
Sign Up Here: