ballet cuteness


One of my dearest loves in life is ballet, and I still remember how giddy I was when I discovered Clara magazine on one of my first trips to Japan. It is a magazine aimed at young girls that does an excellent job of blending the fairytale dream world of ballet with the discipline and hard work of its reality. coverclaramagcoverclaramag2mangaclaramaggiselleclaramag

The ballet illustrations are always adorable.


Eek! I love looking at ballet goods. Maybe for my birthday I can get an Odette/Odile thermos? A girl can dream…


For a while now, I have been searching for ballet-themed fabrics, and it is not surprising that most of my finds have come from Japan. I don’t have enough to make a ballet quilt yet, but I hope to one day.

I have two classifications of ballet fabric so far- “Cute Ballet” and “Pretty Ballet.” Given ballet’s popularity with young girls, the cute variety has been easier to find. I’ve made a few bags with some of these patterns, but am still holding out for the perfect project to come along. I am saving the “Pretties” for a quilt.

The Cuties:





The Pretties:



lavender ribbon

Being in a ballet mood, I decided to whip up some bows using a few of my favorite materials–lace, tulle, and chiffon. If you  want more ballet love, take a look at some of my Pinterest boards.


a bit of bunting


I have a tradition to make a little fabric banner for each member of my family on their birthday. If their party has a particular theme, I try to get fabrics to coordinate. If not, I just find fabrics that illustrate the person’s likes and hobbies. It can be a fun hunt, particularly if I give myself enough time to search ebay, etsy, and local fabric shops beforehand. I’ve made banners with dinosaurs, bicycles, postage stamps, musical notes, sudoku puzzles, basketball teams, as well as my favorite florals and lace. I’m a bit picky about fabrics, and some of the novelty prints can be a bit, well garish, so it’s worth really combing the internet to find fabrics that fit your theme, but are still cute.

There is no shortage of bunting tutorials out there either, but I’ve always liked this one. My favorite embellishment is doily lace.




Sometimes I just make the whole banner lace…


I also make bunting for the holidays.


This one is hanging in my sewing room these days.



Of course, I enjoyed my niece’s Hello Kitty theme.

scrabble tile birthday

We have a lot of Scrabble fans in my family.

I’m currently compiling some fabrics for a slightly different style of banner. I hope to have enough to share the finished product by next month.

On a side note, today was one of the first days where it really felt like fall. On my walks it was just chilly enough to wear jeans and a sweater. When I came back home I made a cinnamon spice tea latte and lit my pumpkin buttercream candle.  It truly is my favorite season.


teddy bear day

Apparently, it is National Teddy Bear Day! And I couldn’t let such an occasion pass without commemorating it somewhat. If I had really been on my game, I would have prepared a teddy bear tea party for my niece and nephew, but as it is, I think I’ll curl up with a tale of Paddington or Pooh and plan a new sewing project for a certain bear. is always an inspiration for amazing Duffy and Shellie May outfits. Recently I made a little dress for one of my bears using this pattern. As with all the website’s patterns, it is in Japanese, but easy enough to follow using the photos. I didn’t have any of that beautiful lace fabric, but I tried to make it work with the scraps I had on hand. The nice thing about making bear outfits is, you don’t have to be as concerned with durability and practicality as you do with making baby garments. It’s all about being cute.

bear dress

The subject of teddy bears reminded me of one of my favorite early photo projects. Aloooooong time ago– in 2000 or so, I became enamored with a French “web-cam” called Nounours-Cam. It is still around, and as adorable as ever. Back then, I staged my own Nonours in tribute to the original. I remember also being quite influenced by The Lonely Doll books around that time, and loved the idea of creating quiet worlds for toys.


I hope to revive my own nounours-cam once I have sewn a few new items for the bears. Why not? In the meantime, give your favorite bear a cuddle. Happy Teddy Bear Day!

pretty sugars

Even though I drink both my tea and coffee black, I still have a fondness for cute and dainty sugars. There is something so charming about a tiny cube of sugar to accompany your tea set. On one of my trips to Japan, I first encountered these cute heart-shaped sugars by Marie Shion. I think this is where my love of pretty sugar originated.

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Yesterday, I had a tiny little tea party, and was excited to share some sweet treats that I recently purchased from Chambre de Sucre. They have quite a nice blog and website, which always put me in the mood to have a proper tea.  I had been waiting for Chambre de Sucre to return to the Gilt sale site, and luckily they did. I ordered a box of the floral squares and a container of little sugar flowers in pink and white. The delicate sugars arrived artfully packaged, with no breakage. However, they are almost too pretty to use! I would say they are definitely a “special occasion” purchase, even at the Gilt price, but they would really add beauty to a shower or birthday tea party.






I think these Angel Wings are so adorable, but too expensive for me. I wish they were available in a small packet. Wouldn’t they would just perfect, resting on a cloud of steamed milk?


Well that’s all for now. Have a sweet day!

return to coziness


Although it is quite hot and humid now, I have already begun to quietly prepare for autumn. I try not to rush the seasons too much, but I love the fall, and always look forward to cozy times.


A few days ago I purchased a couple of Cabbages and Roses charm packs, and knew that I wanted to make a small and simple quilt for my den. I have never used charm packs before, and I must say, compared to the usual tedium of cutting all those squares, it was like taking a vacation! The quilt came together so quickly and everything was smooth and accurate. I just added a border of some linen, and found some suitable backing material at the fabric shop. I had envisioned backing this little quilt in flannel, but I couldn’t find just what I was looking for, so I settled for a calico. I used this pattern as a guide.



I took my inspiration from the Cabbages and Roses online lookbook, and spent a long time gazing at pictures of the windswept English seaside. Clean simplicity is truly a hallmark of the brand. The images have a pure and tranquil beauty that is quite unique. And how lovely to be ensconced in all those airy florals!






The shops look lovely too, like this one in Tokyo. Perhaps you caught C&R’s recent collaboration with UNIQLO? I picked up a few soft scarves, and am hoping for another such collection.


So now I am patiently waiting for the first rainy day in a long time, and the temperatures to drop. I’ll be ready with my favorite slippers, to snuggle under my new quilt.