For the longest time I thought people just posted general photos of people, places and things on Instagram, with “things” being food pictures or interesting products, buildings, and so on. Then several months ago, I began stumbling across accounts with really great artwork–one after another! I thought I would share five creative Instagram accounts that I’ve been following and loving in case you’d like to share in the fun.
1. hellohappystudio – I love this artist’s sweet illustrations. Everything she posts feels so uplifting! She also has a lovely website and a “Happy Mail” newsletter with a free printable each month!
2. think.make.share.– This account features artists who work for Hallmark. Some creative projects are featured, as well as a lot of hand lettering.
3. oilikki– Like hellohappystudio, oilikki’s instagram has lots of really fun illustrations. She has some simple illustrations, but does more detailed work with really nice color as well. I think I first came across her art through theydrawandtravel.4. miyyahatkertas– I absolutely love this instagram account! Not only does she have amazing paper quilling, but she posts some of her art journaling/planner art and watercolor hand lettering as well.
5. martinalenhardt– This account shows gorgeous nature art–mostly watercolor. I just love how peaceful and pretty each picture is.
Which Instagram accounts have you been inspired by lately? I’d love to discover more to follow!
I’ve been so happy about the warmer, (sometimes) sunnier weather we’ve had recently! It seems like Japan this time of year can be quite gloomy, but no matter how cloudy and rainy the weather gets, the cherry blossoms always cheer me up! This year’s trees are due to start blossoming in Tokyo from today or tomorrow, so I can’t wait to get some cherry blossom viewing in with Chad and Lillian 🙂 In the meantime I’ve really been enjoying spotting fun gardens on our daily walks. (You may have seen some of the pictures I’ve been taking on Instagram.) Tokyo gardens are proof that you don’t need a yard (or much space at all) to create a lovely green space. I especially love the creativity employed in these delightful gardens, with touches of whimsy all around. Take this garden in the two pictures above, for example. See the garlands of small pine cones? And the miniature animal figurines and cute little pots? I’m feeling very inspired for making a little green space when we move back home! Oh, yes! Speaking of home, I should mention our exciting news: we’re officially moving back to Michigan in May! This isn’t the first time we’ve made this move, so who knows where life will take us next, but I’m very excited for Lillian to meet her family back home. In fact, there is so much that I’m looking forward to that I can hardly stand it!!
Yesterday we went to Asia’s largest Art Festival, Design Festa! There was a lot of interesting art filling every corner of the venue from paintings, to crafts, to live art and more. Both artists and people attending the event are encouraged to dress up, so there was a lot of cosplay and costuming to be seen.There were also several interactive exhibits. The one above we found especially strange: you could pay 3000 yen to have someone tie you up for about a half an hour. There were a couple booths like this… (To each his own? I guess?)
The booth above was a coloring booth where you colored pictures that would then be transferred to ceramic plates, cups, etc.
This was a sort of body painting booth.
Here is a super creepy caricature drawing we got done for 600 yen. We hung it in our bathroom.
These are watermelon carvings.
There was quite a bit of steampunk-themed art. I really liked this artist. He draws creatures with beards and mustaches called “Ohige no Pon.” I bought a couple postcards from him, pictured above with my ticket (which. bought in advance, was just 800 yen). Check out the Ohige no Pon website to see more of these fun illustrations!
I thought this illustrator’s work was pretty cute too, though on some level I actually found her art slightly disturbing.There were thousands of attendees, and so many artists that we didn’t even end up seeing everything. The event was actually a bit overwhelming, but fortunately we had a beer with our lunch to calm us down *winks*
I left the event feeling sleepy but inspired, and I’m really glad we decided to check it out!
Don’t you just love those days off where time actually seems to be going at a reasonable pace and you can really relax? Today has SO been one of those days, and after a crazy week, it’s been much needed! We woke up this morning at a lazy pace, had coffee and peanut butter toast, and then hung out reading all morning.We were going to go on a picnic today for lunch, but since it was raining we decided to go to an Indian restaurant for curry instead! I really liked the Kima Curry (left).
After lunch we decided to wander around, and I found some really fun stuff while window shopping!
I thought this bag was really cool, and I want to do some hand lettering with the quote.How fun is this coffee cup? I sat looking at it with puppy eyes for several minutes, thinking how much I love a good croissant with some quality coffee. The design is so simple, yet cute, with the little croissant inside peeking out like a delightful surprise. (I tried that technique when I made my Odd Side Ales mug last summer). Then I found this sweet kitty cat makeup bag, as well as a sloth-print hand towel.How amazing is this? Ojisan means middle-aged man. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I need to own this pouch! It just makes me smile.Do you know what else makes me smile? We got home and Chad made a French Press while I was cleaning. I was in a different room when he said, “I poured some coffee for you!” I came out to see that he had somehow bought me the cute cup I’d been looking at without me even noticing! What a sweety!!
After doing a bit more cleaning, I made a list on a new notepad I bought today!
Then I wrote some letters, did some art journaling, and relaxed a bit. Talk about a nice day, and it’s not even over yet! Next up: grocery shopping so I can make chicken salad croissants and deviled eggs for a nice spring dinner. I might hit up the 100 yen store and see if anything strikes my fancy, too. Then tonight we’re going to watch Hector and the Search for Happiness. Have you seen it yet? What have you been up to this weekend?
Today is a rather fun holiday in Japan called Setsubun, in which you throw beans at ogres and eat large sushi rolls. That’s a pretty basic explanation, but more can be found in a post I did all the way back in 2011 on my former blog. Pretty amazing how different I look now from then!
Sadly, I haven’t been able to get the videos to work from that post. It’s really a bummer, because I remember them being quite clever (at least in my opinion), and now they may be lost for all time.At the very least, I’ve got an Asahi to drown my sorrows, and I had a pretty delicious dinner. Also, I had fun watching my students at school. We made several fun crafts for the day: Chad made cute ogre hats for the kids to wear, one of our teaching partners helped students make little ogre cups to hold the beans, and our other partner helped the kids make Eho-Maki, the special Setstubun sushi. We had Eho-Maki for dinner
I hope we were able to drive out the oni, or ogres, today with our bean throwing, and that good fortune is on its way! Have a happy day!
P.S. Isn’t the clipart in this post freaking ADORABLE!? It also happens to be free, which is amazing. Find the pictures in this post and more on fumira.jp (it’s in Japanese, but if all else fails, I think the google translate version should be able to help you if necessary)!
It’s been a rather chilly start to summer here in Michigan, and to top it off, Chad and I have both been battered down by an evil, relentless cold. Today when I woke up I decided to look for all of the orange, yellow and gold I could find to help me focus on the bright sunshine instead of our sniffly, mouth-breathing disposition. I took pictures at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market, and at Saugatuck Brewing company where we had a Father’s Day lunch. Unfortunately after lunch we both passed out for several hours at home with exhaustion, and I lost my voice. We even had to cancel our evening plans 😦 Still feeling like crap, but at least I took some fun pictures!
Someone was selling rubber duckies…!
We bought some of this awesome honey.
Totoro Birdhouses made out of gourds!
A sculpture near the market entrance.
Lunch! A yummy portobello burger.
Chad got a French dip. I was happy to find my colors in our lunch!
Chad took this cool picture with my brother in the background.
He also took this one, which I think turned out to look kind of like a painting!
Last, but certainly not least…
Well lovelies, I am off to get some more sleep. I hate being sick *cries*
I love ashow with Ze Frank. I was trying to find one of his old videos that talked about how sometimes the things that make us feel the most alone are surprisingly the things that most connect us to each other. I felt like his point was really powerful, and so true. For some reason I couldn’t pull up his website today (it’s under construction, I guess?), but I did stumble across another video that really resonated with me, which you can watch below.
It’s a beautiful, sunny day in Michigan, and I’m thinking about how connected we all are, and how connected we have the potential to be. I’m thinking about courage and about being worthy. I’m thinking that YOU are worthy. And I’m going to get out of the house and go for a walk.
It may still be cold, but I’ve been finding bits of springtime (or creating bits of it!) all around me 🙂 Firstly, I’ve been spying it outdoors…
Is that water? Oh my gosh, that’s water! THE ICE IS MELTING in Grand Haven! HURRAH!
This ice was melting from the inside out, creating a little cave!
Bright skies = happy days
Secondly, I’ve been creating a springtime atmosphere to “spy” indoors…!
Nothing like whipping up some Lemon Poppy Seed Scones for a nice spring day. I made my first-ever batch with a nice (cute!) mug of coffee nearby.
The recipe said to cut the scones into twelve triangles, but I chose to cut the twelve in half again because they were so big. The scones were fantastic!
I may not be able to start a garden just yet, but I was able to make a cute radish needle felting craft with one of my Whimsey Box kits. I had never heard of needle felting before, but now I’m in love with it. I can’t wait to show you a tutorial featuring the other needle felt cutie I made!
There was invigorating spring lemon scent in another of my Whimsey Box kits: homemade lotion and hand scrub.
I also decided to make some Vanilla Pistachio Cream Puffs because I thought the bright, pastel green color created a nice, light spring feel.
The cream puffs were yummy, too, so I decided it would be best to get them out of the house and bring them to work 🙂
This week was one filled with lovely nature, marketplace excursions, culinary delights (such as that jambalaya we tried for Fat Tuesday!), and a pattern search in and around our house. (Anything to keep us busy and keep our spirits up 😉 )
Today I got to see the frozen lake at the Grand Haven beach first-hand. We walked from downtown all the way to the pier, and then walked straight out onto the ice. It was so amazing to see the way the lake froze, especially when we took a chance to look over at the lighthouse and see how far out on the water we actually were (admittedly, it was also a little scary!).
The sunset was gorgeous. Nature so often leaves me in awe.