DIY Ironing Board Makeover ♪DIYアイロン台を張替えました♪

 It was about time to replace my old, stained, and burned ironing board cover to a new one. And you know what I mean if you see the below image...


Ewwww yuck! 


So I rummaged through my drawers to find my secret weapon: a staple gun!


So here's how I put together my DIY ironing board.  I cover a thick cork board with layers of fabrics and batting in this order: upcycled fleece, insulated batting, and the exterior fabric. The cork board is cut to fit the "baby changing" surface of our chest. (We used the chest top when our girls were babies).

私のアイロン台はもともと市販のものではなく、なんちゃって DIY で自己流に作ったものです。作り方はいたって簡単。厚手のコルクボードに→使い古したフリース→保温保冷シート→表布(カバー用)コットン生地、の順に重ねているだけの簡単仕立てです。 ちなみにコルクボードは我が家の娘たちの赤ちゃん時代に活躍した、チェストの「おむつ交換台」部分にぴったりフィットするサイズです。

Carefully stretch all three layers taut. Use staple gun to hold all layers to the back side of the board like this.


Ta-da! I'm so happy with the outcome!



Here's how my updated ironing area looks like in the corner of our kitchen/family room a.k.a. my crafting area!


***Love, Amy***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
Follow me on Instagram @chickchicksewing →★

Stitching crochet stars☆彡かぎ針編みで星のモチーフ

I couldn't sew a single thing this week (*sighs*)... but I managed to stitch a few crochet stars!


The pattern is from this awesome book filled with fab ideas!


As always, I stitch in my parked car while I wait for our girls' after school activities and such...


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Today, I'd like to introduce you to a talented Japanese artist and illustrator, Mr. Shuji Nishimura, who is based here in Southern California. 


He is the illustrator of this book cover!

Illustrator: Shuji Nishimura
 Author: Dr. Napoli Fiatro St. Croix 
Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform (2014)

He has won various titles as chalk artist, including this amazing piece of art, Beatles, which won the first place Best in Festival at 2014 Pasadena Chalk Festival.

It's exciting for me to see such impressive work of my fellow Japanese artists!

西村さんはほかにも、チョークアーティストとして様々なコンテストで優勝されています。上の作品「Beatles」も 2014パサデナチョークフェスティバルで見事最優秀作品に選ばれた作品です。チョークで描かれたとは思えない見事な作品ですね。


***Love, Amy***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
Follow me on Instagram @chickchicksewing →★

Zakka inspired Linen Bento Lunch Bag or Camera bag? リネンのお弁当バッグ?またはカメラバッグ?完成しました

I just ticked off this *Bento* lunch bag from my work-in-progress list of things to do... Yay!

リネンのお弁当バッグ完成しました。これで「やりかけ作品の数々」の中の一つはやっつけました(笑)   「やりかけ作品」についてはこちらから →★

As you may know, "bento" in Japanese is a home-cooked or takeout meal packed in a lunch box. Japanese bentos are typically carried in a bento bag - like this one.


For the outside pocket of this bag, I upcycled a pocket from these old shirts we had in our house. Love the gingham prints!


Boxy bottom of the bento bag. 


When not in use, the bag lays flat like this.


The bag has convenient drawstring opening with embellished balls added to the cord ends.


Inside out


 The bag exterior and straps are straight line machine quilted throughout.


After finishing the bag, I figured that this may be a perfect bag to carry my camera around? (I got my hubby's old Canon EOS several years back but didn't have the bag to place it).


Zakka inspired bento lunch bag or a camera bag? However I use it, I'm quite happy with how it turned out!

お弁当バッグとして使うか、またはカメラバッグとして使おうか。。。 どちらにしようかな?

If you are interested in making your own bento lunch bag (or a camera bag? lol), you can refer to my book for detailed instructions.  The size of the bag is slightly altered (it's smaller than the one in the book) but the instructions are basically the same.


***Love, Amy***
Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
Follow me on Instagram @chickchicksewing →★

Celebrating Halloween with patchwork fabric pumpkin❣ ハッピーハロウイーン♪ パッチワークの布かぼちゃ作りました

Happy Halloween! 


I don't carve jack-o-lanterns... but I stitched up a patchwork pumpkin last night! 


Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween! I will be busy chasing our girls and their friends around our neighborhood going trick or treating tonight! 

皆様も楽しいハロウイーンをお過ごしくださいね♪  例年通り、今夜も私は娘&その友達グループと一緒に近所を徘徊してお菓子をもらいに行く予定です ^^;

***Love, Amy***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
Follow me on Instagram @chickchicksewing →★

Around the World Blog Hop❣ 「世界1周ブログの旅」企画に参加しています❣

My original fabric stamps
(Check out my book to make these fun stamps from your scraps!)


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Hello everyone! My name is Amy Morinaka, author of Zakka Handmades. Today is my turn on Around the World Blog Hop to share a bit about myself and my recent creations by answering four questions.

Thanks to my talented crafty friend Jennifer of Sunny in Cal for inviting me♥ Check out her blog or IG account @sunnyincal for her latest fabulous creations... You'll find lots of loveliness!

今日はいつもと趣向をかえてQ&A方式でお届けします。 手芸仲間のジェニファーさんからバトンが回ってきたので「世界1周ブログの旅」という企画に参加して4つの設問にお答えする形で進めさせていただきますね♪

素敵な大作キルト作品などを数多く手掛けるジェニファーさんのブログはこちらから→★ インスタグラム(IG) をお持ちの方は @sunnyincal もチェックしてみてくださいね❣

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1. What am I working on? 

Oh my gosh, I have waaaay too many work-in-progress stuff going on around here! Here is a  glimpse of the wips that I'm working on right now...


Linen tote


Zipper pouch making with cute bow prints




Scrappy Log Cabin Quilt Making


Sashiko Embroidery 


Flower garden granny squares made from Hiromi's awesome tutorial

アメリカ在住の手芸家 Hiromi さんの手作りレシピを参考に編み始めたお花のモチーフ編み→★

Knitting neck warmer 


Entrelac wrist warmers


Crochet flower hot pad making


Actually I may have more... but it's getting a bit embarrassing to list so many unfinished projects so I better stop here!


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2. How does my work differ from others in its genre? 

I like to add that fresh, aesthetic and happy Japanese "zakka" touch to everything I create, whether it be tote bags, patchwork projects, crochet accessories, or embroidered items... It's my passion to create something that makes me smile... and hopefully to bring smile to others who make things from my patterns or to someone who receives handmade gifts that are made from my patterns!


 Crochet doily and linen pouches


Lots of "Bento" lunch bags (project from my book)



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3. Why do I create what I do? 

I'm sure many of you will agree with me with this. I create because it's my passion. Creating with my own hands brings me a huge pleasure in my heart after a long day at work, taking care of my family, and multitasking chores. Even when I don't have time to sit down and stitch, just daydreaming about my next project makes me so fulfilled and content!

手作りをするのはとにかく楽しい❣ この一言につきると思います。たとえ忙しくて手芸する時間がとれない時でも、頭の中で次の作品を妄想しているだけでウキウキしてくるから不思議です(笑)。

Hand-carved eraser stamps

My "Cat in the house" block



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4. How does my creating process work? 

Pinterest, Google images, craft magazines and books, fun tutorials, and definitely those beautiful fabrics and yarns out there are major source of inspiration. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by so many inspirations; all I need is more time to stitch and create! lol!  I like to carry a small notebook with me to jot down when I come up with any new ideas for my next project. Not just the outcome, but the process that comes with the crafting brings so much joy in me.


My original Airmail Zipper Pouch

 オリジナル作品 エアメールポーチ→★

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Oh and here's another wip project that I just started... I made a couple of fabric stamps recently to embellish handmade baby gifts for my newborn nephew! This is really a great way to fussy cut and use up your cute scraps (another reason to keep all your scraps!)


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Bird cage key cover


Now it's your turn❣ If you'd like to take part in this blog hop simply write a post answering these four questions:

   1. What am I working on?
     2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
     3. Why do I write/create what I do?
     4. How does my writing/creating process work?

Thank you all so much for stopping by and reading this looooong post! I had so much fun participating :)


***Love, Amy***

Find me on Facebook (Amy Morinaka) →☆
Follow me on Instagram @chickchicksewing →★


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