Announcing the Opening of the Artful Giving Shop!

Beautiful Handmade Artwork Represents a Childhood Dream Come True.

 

 

When I was a little girl, I dreamed of sharing my art with the world. Today, I’m excited to announce that my dream has come true with the launch of my online gift store, the Artful Giving Shop. Browse the handmade cards, original artwork, and prints to see what sparks joy in your soul. Each piece arose from a place in my heart where those sparks were truly needed.

Handmade art restores creators, givers, and receivers. 
Happy days were scarce while growing up in Japan during the bleak days following the end of World War II. My fondest memories, were making colorful hand-made items using paper, yarn and scraps of Japanese fabrics. I sold them to the neighborhood kids in exchange for play money. I still remember the expressions of joy on their faces as they carefully picked out their choices from the handmade tags, cloth bean bags and origami folded candy wrappers while visiting my make-believe store. It made me feel special when Mother marveled at the array of artwork and craft items I created and exclaimed, “Keiko, wait and see. When you grow up, you will have your own gift store!”

At the age of 11, when my mother brought me to America, I began the arduous task of learning English and acclimating to the American school system. It was often difficult and humiliating, but when things got a little bit too hard for me to take, I always brought out my watercolor set and painted. Art was the one thing that uplifted my spirit, no matter how bad things were.

Artful Giving Shop was created to bring some of those magical moments that I have experienced. I’d love to have you visit my new on-line store, click on the SHOP tab above or go to www.artfulgivingshop.com. While browsing, I hope you find the perfect something that will bring you the same joy that I experienced while creating it.

When you buy my art, you are giving a helping hand to abused animals.

A 10% of proceeds from every sale will be donated  to rescue and rehabilitate abused farm and domestic animals.

 

www.pasadosafehaven.org    www.olddoghaven.org

 

Season of Gratitude

There is so much to be thankful for and no time like the holidays to pause and reflect on what really matters. Many of you know how passionate I am about helping animal welfare organizations do their important work. Whether it’s Pasado’s Safe Haven rescuing neglected donkeys, Old Dog Haven finding homes for elderly pets, Ginger’s Pet Rescue saving dogs from death row at overcrowded shelters, or Precious Life Animal Sanctuary providing a home for abused and abandoned farm and companion animals, I’m so grateful that these organizations exist and do such important work decreasing animal suffering.

Hand painted glass ornaments

Being able to use my business to draw attention and raise money for this cause has meant so much to me. This year was our 10th Annual Angels for Animals event and it was bigger and better than ever. What a delight to see clients and friends come out to purchase handmade gifts, cards, ornaments and raffle tickets to win fun prizes. If you were able to be a part of this event, I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you couldn’t make it this year, don’t worry, we’ll host another big event next year to keep helping animals in need!

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My Favorite Holiday Ideas

You’re Invited! Be an Angel for Animals

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Those of you who know me are already aware of my deep commitment to helping animals in need. One of the ways that I do this is by holding an annual gift raffle and hosting a holiday fundraiser where we sell handmade items and all the proceeds go to small local animal-focused nonprofits. Read more

Happy 2016 Plus a Gift for You!

I like to start out every New Year with something cheerful, something that makes me appreciate small, pretty things expressed with beautiful colors. It is my wish to help you create a similar feeling.  Read more

Make Something Sweet for Valentines

Valentines Day gives me a reason to create small and colorful cards and craft items to sell in my salon and to give to people I love. I looked high and low in my craft room to find scraps of colorful papers and ribbons which were left from my previous projects. It was so much fun to get lost in cutting and pasting these papers. I was so happy with the end result that I decided to share them with you. Read more

How to Transform Grocery Bags into Beautiful Decorations

Do you want to create a beautiful and whimsical environment for the holidays?

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Who’d ever think that transforming plain brown paper bags into ornaments can be an affordable way to differentiate your business from others?

If you are a client of my hair salon, Studio 904, you’ve seen the unique ways in how I keep the facility fresh and pleasing to the eye by changing things up every season.

I put hours of time into making hand-made decorations for my salon because I believe seeing something fresh and new on a regular basis is stimulating and puts customers in a good mood. If it’s pleasing to our customers, just think how happy it makes our staff to come to a beautiful work environment daily.

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Many businesses make the mistake of becoming stagnated with lack of change in their environment and service offerings, a sure way for a slow death of your business.

So I say, “Change it Up!” Look around your business and come up with ways to refresh and invigorate your environment.

 

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I made these Owl Angels (more like Urban Angels) this year for the holidays. I love how these cute critters came out. They are not rustic looking like the owls I’ve seen. The white body and the glittered net wings give them a fresh and sophisticated look. So I wanted to share with you how I made them.

Oh, they are so cute. Nothing is more satisfying to me than looking at their cuteness every day.
Without a fail, these owls put a big smile on my face and helps me to have a happy day.

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How to make “Owl Angels” from paper bags.

 Cut bags into 6” x 8” pieces
Paint one side of each cut pieces with white gesso (it takes two pieces to make one owl)
Draw a simple shape of an owl on one of the pieces (this becomes the front of the owl)
Draw eyes, decorate the body using a black Sharpie marker
Sew the outline with a machine (leave an opening at the bottom)
Stuff with small amount of cotton (this will puff the owls up)
Sew and close the bottom opening (optional: insert feet made of black felt before sewing up the opening)
Cut out small wings (I used paper and ribbon netting)

Good luck with your decorations! I’d love to hear your ideas on affordable decorating ideas for the holidays which is right around the corner.

Halloween Decorations

I am not fond of the typical scary Halloween decorations. I wanted to decorate my salon, Studio 904 with items which represent the season… filled with bright colors, whimsey and humor. I racked my brain for a while and all of a sudden an idea came to me. Why not use my favorite staples, brown grocery bags and hand painted water color paper. So I went to town and made dozens of owls, skulls and houses to decorate the whole salon!

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I painted this skull with turquoise acrylic paint, sewed and stuffed them.

 

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I painted the branches with black paint and hung these adorable ornaments on the branches.

 

 

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I had fun making these houses… painted water color paper     with black gesso and folded them to look like a house. I especially like the shiny roof tops in different colors.

 

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I painted the brown paper bags with black acrylic paint, decorated the face and body and gave the bat sparkly wings made of craft paper.

 

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They can be displayed like this if you don’t want to do a tree.

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