Sunday, December 21, 2008

My life so far

Hi, my name is Sachiko. "Sachiko" means "Happy child" or " Blessed one" in Japanese. Growing up, I didn't like my name at all. It was a very common name and I didn't think the name fit me very well. I was born with a disorder(actually, three rare conditions)and because of that I had my leg amputated at age two. Since this was not curable, I was in and out of the hospital all the time. My family was disfunctional too. After high school I started working to save up money for collage, then, my condition got worse, so I had to quit my job. That was a very dark time for me. I had no idea how I was going to support myself or how my life would turn out, and again I thought how ironic my name sounded.

I am sorry to write such a personal and heavy stuff, but there is a point to this.
It has been many years since I felt so sad and scared. Now I am married to the man of my dreams; I don't know what I did right to deserve him. We have three beautiful children who make my life so busy and full. I am doing what I love to do which is designing and sewing. I have been blessed with a wonderful extended family and friends!

Recently, I thought about my name and realized the true meaning of my name. Yes I had rough patches in my life growing up, but because of that, I am where I am now. I can appreciate more what I have been blessed with and share that with people around me. When I forget about my own hardships and try to make others happy, I ended up being happier.

I could not shake this thought of mine for a few days now; I just wanted to tell you who are so nice enough to take time to read my blog that "everything is going to be ok." If there is someone who is worried or sad and you feel like your rough patch of life is never going to end, I just want to say that you never know what kind of great blessing are in store for you unless you just hang in there and keep trying.
My life so far, is a great ride. When I look back at everything, both the ups and downs, I am happy and I can honestly say I am truly blessed in life.

These wonderful pictures were taken by our good friend and rising photographer Michelle Kemp over at Rusty Bucket Photography.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Quilt and Christmas Decorations

As a quilter I was slacking the last few years. My I used to compete several quilts a year. Now I've had to slow down on quilting to make room for other projects. This year I completed 1 quilt and this quilt top, which I love. A good friend of mine gave me the pattern of this quilt as a gift. I wanted to make this quilt so bad that I stretched 24 hous a day to 27 hours a day. Now I'm thinking about how I should quilt this top.

I love fabrics! When I see beautiful fabrics my heart dances and starts wondering "What can I do with this?" I don't think I'll ever stop making quilts.

Hopefully when I'm like 80 years old, I'll still be quilting.

I'm not big on holiday decorations but every now and then I'll see something that I like and add it to my collectiion. Here are some Christmas decorations around my house.

I love snowglobes. I think there is a magical feel to them. I was looking for the perfect snowglobe for my home; when I saw this one, I knew this was it. It's not too flashy or too modern for my taste. Just right. The white color is peaceful and a little bit dreamy.

I found this Santa Claus at a local gift shop a few years ago. There were white ones and red ones. It took me a long time to decide which one I should take home, because I liked them both.

This is the chandelier above our dining table. Every year I dress it up with garland and mistle toe and silver ribbon. I love the warm feeling this light provides. I even love looking at the beautiful pattern on the ceiling.

The last one is something I made last year. I bought a styrofoam cone and lots of mint candies and candy canes at the dollar store and used a glue gun to make this decoration. I started from the bottom and worked my way up. It was such a fun and easy project to do and one of the most beloved Christmas decoration by my kids. In fact, they love it so much that every now and then I see evidence of someone touching and attempts to remove the candies. If you are thinking of making some decorations I highly recommend this one. In our household, kids are counting the days til Christmas and that is what makes me happy and makes me enjoy this holiday season the even more.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christopher's Day

Today was a special day for my family. My oldest son, Christopher, was baptized today. We had talked to him about this for the last little while. He had been preparing himself for this day. Christopher had picked out the songs and who would say the opening and closing prayers.

The first song that he had picked was "If the Savior Stood Beside Me". Each word came so strong to me. Here are the words to the first verse of this wonderful song.

"If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do? Would I think of His commandments and try harder to be true? Would I follow His example? Would I live more righteously if I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?"

I was not prepared for the emotions that I would feel. I could not hold back the tears. I was thinking about the day he was born and how small he was and how it is our responsibility to teach him and raise him in the Gospel. The song he picked today taught me we can all ask these questions to ourselves daily. We can reach higher and live better each day. He definately was a good example to his younger siblings too.

Christopher looked so handsome and mature in his new suite.

One more thing. A couple of nights ago while Aaron and I were working in our hobby room, Christopher came in and after a short while and out of the blue said, "So and so said that I'm the smallest person in the class." You can't sugar-coat the truth, he is the smallest one in his class. So, I said, "Yeah, you are the smallest, but you are the cutest."

He smiled a little and then Aaron turned around and said, "The next time so and so tells you that you are the smallest, you tell him; great things come in small packages." He started laughing so hard. We all laughed. As he was leaving the room, he was practicing Aaron's comeback so that he wouldn't forget. He seemed almost excited about it, like he couldn't wait for someone to tell him he was the smallest.

That's what I love about Aaron. He has a positive attitude and a great sense of humor. What would I do without him. Even on the toughest days he manages to make me laugh. Yes, I'm bragging, but I have an awesome husband!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Yes it is official!!

Aaron does not like listening to Christmas songs or watching Christmas movies and of course decorating the house for Christmas 'till Thanksgiving is over. I don't really care, so I decided to respect his opinion this time like every good wife would do. I waited to do all those things until the 28th, the day after Thanksgiving. While the boys and I decorated the tree, we were listning to Christmas songs. We were smiling and humming (eventhough Michael had a tonsilectomy the day before Thanksgiving, he was so happy to be able to decorate the tree; he loved helping so much!)

It is already December and official that Christmas is near!! I just love this season. Here are the list of things I love about the Christmas season.

1. Christmas music. My favorites are Josh Groban, Charlotte Church, Enya, and Frank Sinatra
2. Christmas movies. Every year I watch "While You Were Sleeping". That is my ultimate favorite movie. I also like "It's a Wonderful life". Some of my friends suggested that I watch "white Christmas" so that might become my favorite too!
3. Going to see the lights at Temple Square with hot chocolate and doughnuts! Sure I get cold but I can not stop smiling when I am there, lots of happy memories.
4. Wrapping Christmas gifts. It is exciting to imagine how the kids will be when they open up their presants. It makes me feel so appriciative to know that we will be able to do it.
5. I think more people are so nice and very generous towards one another. It is simply nice to know that people still care.
6. I am not going to lie.... yes some receiving is also exciting. Thanks honey!
7. I got baptized on Christmas day. I think more about our Savior, Jesus Christ in the month of December. I feel so blessed and grateful to know about the Gospel.

To make the cold nights a little bit warmer for movie watching, I made flannel pajama bottoms for the kids! (Old Navy made the tops) They were so excited.

I love December!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gratitude Journal

About six years or so ago, my friend introduced me to the idea of a gratitude journal. The idea is, I bring some empty scrapbook pages for family and friends to write down what they are most thankful for during Thanksgiving dinner.

Here is a picture of two of the pages from last year.

Here is a pictures of what some of this year's pages look like:

Here are some of the things the kids wrote over the years:

When I go through the previous pages, I can see how the children are growing up. Also, it's a great feeling to read about what other people are grateful for. It makes me realize how much we are blessed with so many things.

I appreciate all my friends and family. That means all of you!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tonight's Dessert

One of my favorite desserts is sauted apple with Breyer's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It is so easy to make and has gourmet taste to it. Here's how to make this dessert.

  1. 1 Apple

  2. 2 tablespoons butter

  3. 2 tablespoons sugar

  4. 2-3 tablespoons of water

  5. 1 teaspon lemon juice

Wash and slice the apple into 16ths. Melt butter in sauce pan, be careful you do not burn it. Once the butter is melted, add the apple slices, suger, and water. You can add more water if you want thinner carmel, slightly less for thicker carmel. If you want to make more carmel add more butter and sugar, if you want sweeter carmel, add a little more sugar.

When apple is soft and the butter and sugar are carmelized, stir in lemon juice, then turn the heat off. Lay out some apple slices on a plate, add a scoop of ice cream and drizzle the carmel over top. For a hint of color a mint leaf would look great.

I cheated and used a basil leaf. Tanya, I need some of your mint leaves!

You can also use bananas instead of apples, its just as good.

Bon Appetite!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Custom Baby Memory Blanket

Sorry I'm a few days behind updating this blog. I've been sick the last few days.

Before I got sick, I took Rachel's old clothes (pictured below).

And made this blanket:

Rachel just adores her new blanket.

When I finished making this blanket a flood of emotions washed over me. Each square reminds me of what occasion she wore the clothes and how tiny she was. It has also reminded me of how fast she is growing up.

I thought this would be a great way for others to preserve their memories of their little ones and unclutter a few closets. So, I decided to post this service of making custom memory baby blankets on Etsy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween Pictures

Halloween day started at 6:30 AM. The boys had a Halloween parade at school. They wanted to dress up as soon as possible.

Both boys dressed as pirates.

Christopher was sooo into his role. He went the serous sroute. Michael went the suave debonair route.

He is so charming!!!

They both loved the beards I drew for them.

Rachel love the witch outfit.

She went around the house casting spells all over the place. She tried to turn her brothers into a frog.

It was busy and crazy, but I'm sad to see it end. Oh well, at least there will be next year. Here is Rachel's pumpkin.

Hope you had a happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh, so haunted

On the way home from school, Michael said," I can make more Halloween decorations you know."

I guess he doesn't think we have enough decorations for this occasion. So I said, "Oh, O.K. that would be nice why don't you make some."

After we got home he immediately started drawing. I love asking random questions to the children to see what they would say, so I sat down with him.

First, he cut a piece of paper into the shape of a house and said, "Mommy, this is a haunted house.". Than, he drew one window and looked at me and said," Mommy this is a haunted window." His eyes were wide open when he said it and the expression he used was so funny.

I tried so hard not to laugh and said, "Oh, really, that is horrible!". Then he added more haunted windows. When he started drawing the ghost I said, "Michael, that is such a cute ghost!"

He looked at me and said, "Mom, he looks cute, but he is really a haunted ghost. Really."

As you can see he drew some more haunted stuff if you look closely, it is little disturbing. He was pleased with his art work.

We carved pumpkins, tried on costumes for tommorrow, and they talked on and on about how much fun they are going to have on Halloween day. It is fun to see them being kids and enjoying the season.
Everyone, have a happy haunted Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One Fine Day

After I picked up Michael from school, I took him and Rachel to the park. It was a little chilly even though the sun was out. I packed a lunch and they were so happy that they got to play out in the park. Here are some pictures I took.

Look at the gorgeous colors!

I know you are not supposed to climb trees in a public park, but he looked so cute that I had to take a picture before I told him to get down.

Michael was posing like a professional model, I don't know what Rachel was doing!

We all had a great time this fine Autumn day.

A little chat in the car.

After I picked Christopher up from school, Christopher was telling Michael how he misses his best friend who moved away. So I asked my two boys, "Who do you think my best friend is?"

Michael said, "Aunt Toyomi?" (She's my sister.)
I said, "She's one of my best friends, but she's not the one I'm thinking of."
After a few guesses between the boys, they gave up and demanded to know the answer. So I said, "It's daddy."
They both said, "Huh?" and Michael said, "He can't be your best friend, he's your husband!"
So I tried to explain that it always best when mommy and daddy are best friends. They still didn't quite get it and went on with their joking around.

Someday when they are older they will understand how I enjoy Aaron's company and how grateful I am that we get along so well.

Yes I was playing again

I'm not very big on Halloween decorations, but I knew my children would love to have more than just pumpkins outside. I went through my outdated scrapbook papers and cut them up and taped them to a string and make a Fall banner. The children were so excited and loved it. There is something about paper, scissors, and glue that brings out the kid in me; oh wait... I don't need help to be childish.

Christopher took this picture:

Michael took this picture:

Where was Rachel? She was in timeout.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Old New Handbag

I made this clothing for Rachel while I was still pregnant with her. She wore this for a good two years. The last time she wore it, it was too tight. It is so hard to say good-bye to something so memerable...

So I decided not to say good-bye!

I made this into a handbag for Rachel. I just sowed the bottom, sowed the straps together and then ta da!

What was once old, is now new again.

It is so much fun thinking of new possiblities. The best part of this was seeing her smiling face as she sheepishly asked, "Is this mine?".

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Love Fall

I Love Fall!!! I love having four seasons. When I first moved to Utah, it seemed to me that there was no Fall. Summer ended and then all of a sudden, it was winter. In my opinion Utah's Fall is too short. If you are not careful, it will go by in the blink of an eye, and you will have missed it.

Now, I have been here long enough that my senses have become keen. I don't want to waste what little Fall we have.

There are several reasons I love fall...

  • Crisp cold air.

  • Red, yellow all around.

  • I can dress in layers -- Thinking about coordination is fun!

  • Boots, scarfs, hats

  • Children's excitement about all the Fall activities.

  • Hot apple cider and homemade donuts.

  • Reading in a semi-cold room wrapped in my favorite blanket.

  • Thanksgiving -- Getting together with Family and friends is a true treat.

  • Early Christmas shopping!

  • I bet everyone has their own favorites. If you would like to share them with me, please do. I will add to my list and enjoy the season even more.

    My procedure last week went well, I'm now on my normal busy schedule. I just want to say thankyou for all who helped us along the way. My family and I appreciate you all very much.

    Your Friendship warms my heart. Have a Happy Fall!!

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    My First Sale!!!

    A couple nights ago I started posting my baby bibs on my Etsy store. After I was about halfway through posting all of my bibs, I went to my store to make sure they were all there. I notice that the first bib I had posted wasn't there. Puzzled, I decided to keep going and later try to find out why.

    After I had entered all the bibs, I went to my store front and saw that I had 11 items for sale and 1 item sold. What?!

    Aaron was sitting next to me, and he asked, "Did you buy your own stuff?"

    I slapped him lightly and said, "No!"

    So we checked my email and sure enough, someone had bought my bib a few minutes after I had posted it. I was so excited. Yea!!!!! Aaron and I high-fived.
    It is an awesome feeling to know that someone I don't even know, saw what I had created and liked it enough to buy it.

    Here is a picture of the first thing I sold.

    It feels like things are progressing slowly, but I enjoy what I do and am having a blast. I always try to do something every day whether it is posting an item on my Etsy store, posting to this blog, or creating something new. Even though I enjoy being a mother and a wife, I want to keep that part of me alive.

    Tuesday, September 23, 2008

    Our Little Bodyguard

    A little over a year ago Christopher started taking Tae Kwon Do lessons. A few days ago he had a belt advancedment test. His grandma, aunt, cousins, and one of his uncles, along with dad, me, and his siblings of course, showed up to cheer him on.

    He did all the forms, blocks, kicks, and punches. At the end he had to break a board. Christopher didn't know if he could do it and he was nervous. My very talkative son was very quiet that day. Ok, here it comes:

    He did it!!!!

    Here he is posing with one of his two instructors. His instructors signed the broken pieces of wood for him. We were all so proud of him.

    This was one of several milestones he has passed, he has many more in front of him. This was certainly a special day for him, and me. He is growing up.

    Saturday, September 20, 2008

    Etsy Debut!!

    I have been busy! I have been sewing, crafting, and working on the computer along with my regular routine. I wanted to post my stuff on Etsy for long time but I guess I never had the courage to do it. With a few of my friends' encouraging words and Aaron's help, I finally opened my Etsy store!! Well, it is no where near perfect, but I am taking the baby steps. It is not easy to find time for this, but each night after the kids are in bed I am make some progress. Right now I am trying to find someone on Etsy to make a banner and avatar for me.

    First I posted some of my stitchery patterns and this Apron. It took me such a long time to decide what to do with the pocket.

    I had some left over fabrics, so I made tiny messanger style purse for Rachel.

    She loved it! What is in side? Candies! Of course.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    The lesson I learned

    In my last post I mentioned a little about my shortcomings and mistakes. Well, this is embarrassing to tell this story but it was such a humbling experience and from this mistake I learned great lesson so, I decided to share with you all.

    My sons Christopher and Michael go to a charter school two cities away. Michael started kindergarten almost 2 weeks ago. Since their pick up time is different I have to stick around the area or come home and leave again in less than two hours to pick my other son up. During the week they have other activity to go to on top of the homework and reading. As a Mother we have more responsibilities (as most of you know), and my micro business to take care of. I was trying to do it all even though the past 2 weeks have been so crazy, I think I did fairly well starting to adjust to the schedule, but today I spaced it big time.

    I went to the school to get Michael at 11:30, I was there 15 minutes early waiting; I was the first in line. Nobody showed up. This is weird, I thought. I waited till 11:45 and decided to go inside the school and parked the car in front of the building. As I was getting the stroller out for Rachel, My sweet husband Aaron and Michael came out from the school and at that moment everything clicked. I made a huge mistake! The pick up time was 10:30, instead of 11:30. I was one hour late!! Friday is a half day, I was supposed to get him earlier, and I knew that. I just spaced it. They were so worried about me because I am a pretty responsible person, something like this never happens. I felt horrible for both Aaron and my little boy who had been waiting for me in the front office by himself until Aaron came from his work. As I was saying "I am sorry" tears came down on my cheeks and I could not stop them. Thank goodness no one was in the parking lot, yes, I was having an emotional break down. I have been too busy.... Michael was walking circles around us at the time but as soon as I started crying he came over and gave me a big hug and said "It’s O.K. mommy. I'm not mad, It's O.K. Just don't do it again".

    This little boy, my son, whose head just barely reaches my chest (and I am not a very tall person either), saw that I was very sad and showed great compassion. He never complained that I was late; instead he forgave me, instantly. How amazing is that. Could I act the same way if I were in his shoes? His kindness touched my heart so deeply it made me cry even more.

    As much as I love being a mom, some days are harder than others. When they are having a difficult day I often wonder if they are going to be ok and become nice, good people when they grow up, you know usual mom stuff. Today, my 5 year old boy taught me a great lesson: How to be kind and compassionate through his acts and words. I am extremely grateful for that. Thank you Michael and I love you very much. I am proud to be your mom.

    Michael on the morning of his first day at Kindergarten. September 2, 2008


    I'm happily married with three beautiful children. I love to design, sew, work with beads, and restore old items. This blog is a slice of my life of things that are close to my heart. I love to hear from you all! Thanks for stopping by!


    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Growing up too fast

    Here is a picture of Rachel, happily eating her snack in the afrernoon.

    I made this dress while I was pregnant with her. After I finished making it, I thought it would be a long time until she could start wearing it. Boy I was wrong. She just turned 3 years old and is about to grow out of this outfit. I am so happy to see her growing and turning into a cute little girl, but at the same time I am sad to see this stage go. I don't know if I have been the best mom for her and I don't know if I ever will be; I just hope that despite my short comings and mistakes that she will always know that I love her very much. Please don't grow up too fast and remember that you will always be mommy's little girl!

    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    Basket style bags

    One of my favorite things to do is to go to second hand stores or garage sales and find something that will stimulate my ideas. These are the three basket style handbags I had fun recreating and making.

    Originally, this was a deeper basket and had a long handle. At first I couldn't decide if I liked it or not, but since I liked the color, I decided to take it home. Usually it takes a few days for me to make up my mind and decide what to do with my new project, unless a good idea hits me rigth away; I don't want to mess it up. I cut off the old handle and a few inches off the top and added a new handle. I used the same fabric as the new handle to finish the top too. This bag is so soft and one of my favorite bags for this summer.

    This one had a dome shaped lid with latch but it was broken. So I brought it home and took the broken part off, added new lining and a new top. For the finishing touch I used a glue gun to put decotive trim around the edges. Since the handle is so delicate I don't use this basket as often as I would like to, but every now and then when I go out by myself I take it with me.

    The last one, I actually crocheted it. Call me crazy but the material I used to make this was so tough on my hands that I thought I developed arthritis the next morning. I will never do this again. Althouth, I love the result I got. I used table cloth to finish off the bag. I love this bag because it has the primitive/shabby chic charactor I was after.

    I think it is a great feeling to take the ideas in your head and actually create something you can see and feel. It is a sense of accomplishment. I am always looking for new projects I can put my heart and hands on.
    Everybody, happy creating!

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