• June 19, 2018

    Facebook Giveaway

    Win a $20 Japanese Creations Gift Card


  • May 21, 2018

    Artist Barbara Harmer "Paints with Paper"

    No Paint Used

    The first thing that artist Barbara Harmer says about her work is there is absolutely no paint in any of it — no acrylics, oil, or watercolor. “And that stops [people] cold,” she says.

    Incredulously, admirers of her art ask what she’s using.

    Her medium is called washi —traditional Japanese handmade and hand-dyed paper. By tearing and collaging washi paper of different colors, weights, and textures, Barbara creates art known as Chigiri-e. In Japanese, “chigiri” means to tear or shred, and “e” means picture.

    Barbara learned this art form in the 1990s while teaching English as a second language in Japan. There, she happened upon a flier for Chigiri-e lessons. There was only one problem: the instructor didn’t speak English, and she didn’t speak Japanese. Barbara learned by watching.

    As she started dabbling in the technique, she was continually amazed by the beautiful washi and the long process to create and dye it. She saw first-hand how painstakingly the papermakers processed the fibers, purified the pulp, and hung the sheets to dry. She began collecting washi paper, and colleagues gave her more as a gift.

    Washi quickly became Barbara’s obsession. “Oh my god, I’m in love, are you kidding me?,” she beams. “I’m addicted to paper. I can’t stop spending money on washi paper. I mean, I’ve got paper that I haven’t touched yet because it’s so beautiful. But I wanted it, I needed it, I had to have it!”


  • May 15, 2018

    A Guide to Sumi Ink

    The Bottled Sumi Ink

    Etegami is a simple, in-the-moment inspired freehand painting. It is only Etegami when the painting is first outlined by Sumi Ink then colored in with water color, finally accompanied by a short, simple message.


  • May 3, 2018

    Event Report

    Pinners Conference & Expo in San Diego, CA

    On April 13 and 14, we attended Pinners Conference & Expo at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 30 minutes outside of San Diego, CA.


  • April 25, 2018

    Learn Hand Sewing Techniques - Part 4

    Thread Loop

    In this post, we are going to demonstrate how to sew a thread loop. A thread loop (in Japan it has a pretty name of caterpillar stitch, “mushi-kagari”) is a strand of thread that is stitched together to create a single loop. Normally you see this loop when you need a button loop or belt loop for very fine fabrics, such as Chirimen, silk, or sheers. It looks sophisticated but is very functional too, and you can create it with a simple, repeating process!