Maine, United States

No. 6 / COLOR - Sewing Happiness with Sanae Ishida

No. 6 / COLOR - Sewing Happiness with Sanae Ishida


I love hearing people’s stories, the journey, the deep and the not so deep. It’s the very reason I started the podcast back in 2014, because hearing someone’s story, their creative story, is inspiring and motivating. Sanae Ishida is a quiet force in this community, whether you’re familiar with her work or not, her story and message is so very powerful. She’s an incredible maker, designer, author and artist, in fact she painted the cover for our newest issue, COLOR and she’s had projects in nearly all of our past issues. I think you’re really going to enjoy what she has to share, so grab your project bag and settle in for an inspiring hour. You can find Sanae at and on Instagram @sanaeishida.

/ listen /


You can also and listen and subscribe on iTunes and Stitcher.

/ notes & resources /

Sanae Ishida / Guest site 

/ maker on the street /

Many of you listeners might be familiar with a segment I used to have on the Woolful podcast called Man on the Street, well we’re reintroducing this fun segment to the Making podcast and for this week’s “Maker on the Street” I asked the question, "Tell us what projects from No. 5 / COLOR you're most excited to dive into and what yarn or materials you're planning to use?”

/ giveaway /

This weeks giveaway is sponsored by Sanae and Making and we’re giving away a copy of Sanae’s book “Sewing Happiness” and a Secret Garden Scarf project kit created by Kristine of A Verb for Keeping Warm. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post. 

/ sponsors /

This episode is brought to you by our lovely sponsors.

A Verb For Keeping Warm - Oakland, CA @avfkw

The Net Loft in Cordova, Alaska. @thenetloft 



/ transcript /

No. 6 / COLOR - Sewing Happiness with Sanae Ishida

Ashley: [00:00:05] Welcome to Making a podcast for makers. I'm excited to share with you some incredible people I've had the opportunity to talk to in this community we love so much. From knitters and quilters to builders and painters. Here's where you get to listen to a little part of their making journey.

Sponsor: A Verb For Keeping Warm: [00:00:24] I want to thank our sponsors for this week's episode. Spinning, dying felting, knitting, weaving, and sewing are verbs to describe how communities have created cloth garments and other fiber based goods. Such acts embody connection and creativity and such objects provide shelter and keep us warm. A Verb For Keeping Warm honors these traditions by offering a wide range of raw materials to create textiles such as fiber, yarn, and fabric along with classes to cultivate the skill and practice of creating your own clothing and home goods. Located in Oakland, Verb's brick and mortar houses a store, an indoor outdoor classroom, an indoor outdoor natural dyeing studio where their passionate team produces their own line of naturally dyed yarn and fabric and a natural dyeing garden. If you're in the bay area make sure you check out and register for their upcoming classes including four design and so your own classes taught by Cal Patch during the first two weekends in May. There are many other classes including weaving, macrame sewing, natural dyeing, and leather sandal making. You can find all of a verb for keeping warm's naturally dyed yarn, notions, dye kits, tools, books, fabric, and select other yarn lines on their website and follow on Instagram @AVFKW. Make sure to check out verb's founder and owner Kristine Vejar in our newest issue No. 5 COLOR, with her naturally dyed and printed Secret Garden Scarf.

Ashley: [00:01:50] I love hearing people's stories, the journey, the deep, and the not so deep. It's the very reason I started this podcast back in 2014 because hearing someone's story, their creative story is inspiring and motivating. Sanae Ishida is a quiet force in this community. Whether you're familiar with her work or not her story and message are so powerful. She's an incredible maker, designer, author, and artist. In fact she painted the cover of our newest issue COLOR and she's had projects in nearly all of our past issues. I think you're really going to enjoy what she has to share. So grab your project bag and settle in. You can find Sanae at and on Instagram @sanaeishida. And with that here's Sanae.

Sanae Ishida: [00:02:37] My mom is an artist. She was born in Japan and she has been drawing since she was a baby basically and she went to a special art school and then through various circumstances she went to Germany then met my dad in New York and they planned to go back to Japan but ended up in L.A. which is where I was born. And there was something about seeing my mom painting every single day and instead of I always joke that instead of having just conversations or playing board games we just painted. And she taught me how to knit. She tried to teach me how to sew its very ironic that I never actually picked it up when I was a kid. I didn't like it and my dad wasn't really into the art thing.

Sanae Ishida: [00:03:16] But you know he did a little bit of architectural drafting and things like that. So there is definitely an element of creativity there too. So yeah. So I just can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing or painting and making stuff and my mom did everything. I mean she's an amazing cook. She sewed all her clothes. Both my brothers and my clothes. She knitted, she crocheted she did every type of mixed media art. So it was just you know supplies everywhere we used to jump over canvases and it was an amazing environment to grow up in. So that was the beginning. And you know I think because I watched my mom struggle with the career aspect of art. I mean I grew up you know I have a very very humble background so I felt like maybe this isn't a viable. I loved to do it and it was so second nature but I felt like maybe this wasn't a viable future for me. So I went to UCLA and I majored in business or I guess I was a double major. I was in Communications which also seemed more practical as a liberal arts I kept going for practical practical because art didn't seem very practical. But here I was on this trajectory and every which way turned it seemed like I was either asked to you know design a T-shirt here or do a poster there or even out of all my different jobs just people would randomly ask me to draw or do something creative even if it wasn't a creative job. And I never really questioned it. I just did it. And still in the forefront. I kept thinking OK I just have to be very practical you know realistic.

Sanae Ishida: [00:04:59] And I did I did well in school I did pretty well in the business world. I was in corporate America for a long time and there are different points that I looked back when I think of how I sort of continually shifted my whole trajectory or I don't like using the word journey for some reason. But in college I was in this, I don't know how to really desc- it was kind of a philanthropy group. I guess. The whole point was we did a lot of charity work and it was kind of cool because you know we got to go to these celebrity charity events and auctions and things like that but we had to make these good luck cards. I guess they're kind of like you know c'mon you can do it. Good luck on your next game for the UCLA football team. And I got so into it I would get all of the construction paper and all of my you know markers and pens. I went to town. People would be like. Wow. Those are really nice. Good luck cards. I was so proud of them. But you know I was still taking my business classes but that was sort of an inkling of like Oh that was when I felt really really happy. I wasn't very happy with the other stuff the business classes. And you know a communication classes were OK. And then once I started my corporate life I wasn't very happy doing that either. But sometimes people would say Oh did you want to try designing something in. And I really liked that.

Sanae Ishida: [00:06:31] So eventually I thought OK maybe I can fuse this this business side and you know what I obviously am naturally drawn to the creative side of things. And I remember seeing on Craigslist this job for gift product artist I believe and it was a basement studio and they had these like fly papers stuck on the ceiling, and there were these long tables and there were about six people at their stations and each station had these like foot pedals like a sewing machine foot pedal. And the foot pedal was attached to this this clear tube-like wire with a pen. And everyone was like drawing with these foot pedals. And what it was was this product that had words like love and you know happiness that this artist designed and then she was sort of mass-producing it by hiring local people. And I was actually hired to manage this team. And it seemed inconceivable to me that she could actually you know be creating something that she just made up and this is actually her business. But what had happened was one of Oprah's producers had found one of the stones that she was selling and the producer's child at the time had an illness and so she used the stone. It's kind of like almost like a prayer stone or you know focusing and believing in things like that. And the child got better. So you can imagine, I, I wasn't there when it happened. But apparently when the show aired the next day and this was before the Internet. So it was mostly like fax machine orders when they opened their office door faxes were just flying in all over the place just completely completely filling the room.

Sanae Ishida: [00:08:24] I mean that is the power of Oprah. But anyway this was like another sort of eye opening moment of like oh maybe I can do something. Like a creative business of some sort. But I felt like I just so been on this corporate route and then nonprofit and education different things. But just like always like trying to be practical like has to be practical and not to art or not to anything like truly creative. I don't know. I can't really describe it but it was definitely this weird focus that I had. And from that point I thought OK maybe I can do corporate but also something a little bit more creative. So then I managed to get myself a job at Pottery Barn and so a friend between the years 1990 eight or nine to 2002 I had worked on all the catalogs I had done the layout for pretty much every single one of them which was which was really fun as a production artist. And so I kept just kind of trying different versions of that I worked at a digital imaging and stock agency company and then eventually ended up at some other technology companies doing digital media. But I was still not feeling quite right. And I had this one job that basically ruined me and my health and I was trying to rehabilitate. I had been diagnosed with Graves disease so that meant that my thyroid was producing too many hormones. And it's sort of like being agitated and my heart would race all the time and I would have sleeping problems and breathing problems.

Sanae Ishida: [00:10:03] And you know it was getting to a point where my doctor was saying that I should get my thyroid removed. I should really be worried because I'm a numbers are so off the chart and my heart could basically pound so fast and hard and get over worked that it might stop. You know I guess the main point of the story was that I got fired from that job because I was ill and wasn't performing. I felt like I had failed. You know at that time. And all my life I kept thinking oh I need to be successful I need to achieve. I need to accomplish things you know I need to check off the list and cross off the items. And you know have this done by a certain age and all those things and have this amount of money and you know the whole nine yards. And I think when I was at that point where I did feel very vulnerable and just you know grateful when I could actually walk because I was having so much trouble breathing and I coughed so much all the time. So when I was able to actually take a walk around the block without coughing I was so happy. And I think that was when I really took stock and I tried to remember all the times when I was really happy. And when I was doing something that felt like Joy. And so that period when I used to make those good luck cards came back to me.

Sanae Ishida: [00:11:43] I remembered when my daughter was born. And I just suddenly had this urge to sew for her and at the same time I was sewing I was also experimenting with some watercolors because although I painted a lot with acrylic in you know mainly pen drawings for me but watercolor was a brand new thing and it was so fun learning that. And so I remember sitting and making a list of all the things that that I really really loved. And writing is also something that I knew it was something I wanted to do but I was very insecure about it and I think part of the insecurity is because I tried out for the college newspaper and I didn't get in. And then I thought oh no I must not be a very good writer then even though you know that's just only one kind of writing. But I had read this book by Natalie Goldberg I think and there was something that she said about she didn't know you could just write about ordinary things she just imagined writing was all about the great novelist. And when I read that I thought oh I didn't know that either. And she wrote that she decided to use writing as a sort of meditation for herself and that she would just no matter how bad it was. You know she wouldn't show it to anyone but that she would just write every day. And I thought I'm going to do that. You know no one has ever see. And I had started writing in college but it was it was more sporadic but then that was when I really really started to write every single day. And I didn't expect it to go anywhere. And then I discovered blogs and then I thought oh I can do this. This is kind of like my journal writing. And when I started my blog I just it was so fun.

Sanae Ishida: [00:13:39] And the blog was also what I had used to sort of document what I was making for my daughter and my watercolor illustrations and things like that. It was so liberating and it was so calming and very enjoyable. You know it felt like I was trying to get somewhere and you know and I still struggle with that idea of like oh it needs to become something. And I found that when I just did what I loved and it genuinely made me happy. It felt really. And I'm going to sound crazy but everything felt very magical being magical things kept happening. And I had been going to this bookstore in my neighborhood or a previous neighborhood for many many years and I had become friendly with one of the booksellers who is wonderful. And she it turned out and I had no idea, is a rockstar in the children's literature realm. And she was also she has about seven different jobs or something something crazy. She's incredibly incredibly accomplished and she had just gotten a job as editor at large at Sasquatch and we had just been friendly and she knew that I'd like to illustrate and just out of the blue I happened to be in the bookstore and she happened to be there. I was a customer she was the bookseller. She said Hey I was thinking of you. And I was wondering would you like to illustrate a book? And I kind of did a double take. And was like what'd you say? And she's like yeah I just got this job you know and I'm an editor for a publisher and blah blah blah.

Sanae Ishida: [00:15:22] And we're looking for some illustrators and she just casually tosses up unless you have a book idea. And I said I have about 15. This is what I've always wanted to do. And she said great let's meet. And so we talked and that was how Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl, my first book was born. Basically. It was so whirlwind I didn't. It's still is unreal to me. That it happened that way. So the sewing book was also one of those out of the blue things my editor emailed me saying hey another editor might be contacting you soon. And I didn't really think much of it. I said OK. And it turned out that Sasquatch had hired a new editor and I'm trying to remember what the timing was. But she was she had seen my blog and was interested in talking about doing a book for adults. And I was very excited of course. So we had a meeting and I came prepared with all these ideas because if nothing else I have a lot of ideas. So I completely attacked her with all these ideas that I had. Oh very. And a lot of it. Now that I think about it it was about Japanese culture or you know somehow blending in my Japanese-ness and a little bit of sewing. But all of that was very I don't know. Safe. They were really safe ideas. And so she listened to me and. And I love both my editors. I love all my editors I work with many editors. But she looked at me and said, Well I don't know. It's not really.

Sanae Ishida: [00:17:08] You know I'm not sure. It's like I'm liking the sewing. And then I told her sort of the cliff notes version of what had happened when I was sick and all that and she was like Would you be willing to write about that? And I had written a very condensed version on my blog. But this is going to be a book. So I thought about it and I thought you know what I have to lose. So I wrote it and you know what's surprising is that that part wasn't actually very difficult for me. It was emotional for sure. I mean I felt like I was re-living it again as I was trying to remember all the different aspects of that that time because we were trying to make the book into something that was both utilitarian with a memoir aspect to it. What I learned was that I am not a natural when it comes to creating patterns and designing projects. Or I wasn't at the time. Now I feel a lot more confident and comfortable. But that was my very first foray into that whole genre. So it was it was really challenging. And so it's funny as it was my editors first sewing book and it was my first time writing a sewing book and she asked me if I would be able to have it done in three months. And it took me two years. I had asked for two extensions and I was mortified because you know overachiever in me still still wanted to get everything done before a deadline. So I just felt like it was an intense labor of love.

Sanae Ishida: [00:18:48] But like I said when I every time I sort of let go. Things just fell into place you know a photographer appeared out of nowhere a stylist appeared, models appeared just different things happen that just made it amazing. And I I'm so glad. I'm so glad that I just had that opportunity. I still can't believe.. Every time. Every book. I still can't believe it. And I still get all teary eyed.

Ashley: [00:19:20] I love that you went a little deeper because I think Making in a lot of ways is part of the healing or the discovery from these things that we go through in our life whether they're a illness or a hardship of some sort. It's almost like you have to go through that in order like open up yourself to this amazing potential or future in making or art or whatever it is.

Sanae Ishida: [00:19:47] I agree. Yeah. And you know it's been interesting because ever since Sewing Happiness has been out in the wild I do meet you know a way more people than I thought. Who have shared similar stories of having gone through disappointments. You know health issues and the sort of repercussions of both then and finding ways to heal again. And I do feel like maybe it's because I have written so openly about my book but I have gotten so many e-mails or people coming to events telling me how healing it's been for them maybe was knitting for them more or what have you. But I do think there is an enormous healing aspect to making and the tactile ness of it and using your hands and accessing a different part of your mind and your body.

Sanae Ishida: [00:20:39] I feel like in some ways and like you said find and find ourselves more. And I think that's that's beautiful.

Sponsor: The Net Loft: [00:20:52] The Net Loft originated in an actual net loft of a commercial fishing warehouse in 1984 and the rural fishing village of Cordova, Alaska and was founded by Dotty Widmann. The Net Loft carries a wide variety of yarn needlework scrapbook paper and hand-craft supplies. Many of the products reflect the incredible beauty of the natural setting of this coastal town. Dotty's hope and desire is to not only provide quality materials for creativity but to also create a welcoming environment for the collective learning and sharing of creative pursuits among friends. This year The Net Loft continues to host their ongoing projects. Birds by Hand and The Cordova Gansey Project. Anyone can be involved in the special projects whether you'd like to knit a gansey or a small bird to share as a part of the Copper River Shorebird Festival and coming June 22nd through the 28th. The Net Loft will be hosting a special retreat, Fisherfolk. Spend a week exploring learning and reveling in your craft and nature in Cordova. Dive deep into the history and making of Gansey sweaters, lace shawl design, field sketching, journaling and spend days in between exploring the landscape whether by kayak, hiking, or walking. Make sure to visit for the wonderfully curated selection of goods including some of our favorite yarns such as Brooklyn Tweed, Woolfolk and their own Land and Sea collection.

Ashley: [00:22:14] What kind of role does color play in your own making and design?

Sanae Ishida: [00:22:19] I always thought I was just the neutral person for a long time and I think in my day to day you know how I dress and what I like to surround myself with. It's very neutral. It's very gray. I'm a very gray person. And my mom is all about the bright colors. I mean fuchsia is her favorite favorite color. Hot pink. And you know I kind of shied away from my mom is very bright and dynamic in every way and I felt like I was just a quiet very you know subdued person next to her. And but as I've grown older I've really begun to love brighter colors more and more. You know when I work on my children's books and a lot of times when I'm just working on general sewing stuff. I love color. Just tons and tons of bright, bright color. I'm obsessed right now with all these watercolors I've been trying out every brand. And the brighter the better. I love it.

Ashley: [00:23:19] You're Japanese by heritage. And I know that that plays some role in your design and in your aesthetic. Will you tell me a little bit about that?

Sanae Ishida: [00:23:30] I do think that my general aesthetics. I mean I'm naturally drawn to Japanese aesthetics but you know Japanese aesthetics is really varied you get the Tokyo Harajuka girls to the very elegant or minimalistic design. So you've got the whole gamut and I have always felt like what I'm most drawn to a sort of combination of Japanese plus French plus Scandinavian. so very clean very simple very bright or sort of an airiness to things. So that's that's what I love.

Ashley: [00:24:07] Many of you listeners might be familiar with this segment. I used to have on the Woolful podcast called man on the street. Well we've reintroduced this fun segment to the Making Podcast and for this week's Maker On The Street I asked the question: Tell us what project from No. 5 COLOR you're most excited to dive into. And what yarn or materials you're planning on using? Here's what some of our maker on the street team members had to say.

Erin: [00:24:30] Hello this is Aaron from Blacksburg Virginia. You can find me on Instagram @cedarchestknits when I received the COLOR issue of Making Magazine I was immediately loved struck by the Summer fields quilt by Jessica Lewis Stevens. I've wanted to try quilting for many years now but I've just never gathered up the courage or set aside the time to learn. My plan is to use a large piece of white cotton yardage that I've had in my stash for ages and using food scraps and foraged plants as materials will allow me to try this new craft without investing any money in my first project. I know that even if my seems are crooked or if the squares don't line up perfectly the time and intention plus the sense of place that comes with coloring fabric from natural materials will still produce something meaningful that I will treasure for years to come.

Caroline: [00:25:20] Hi this is Caroline Vogl from Bellingham, Washington. You can find me on Instagram @sweetcarolineknits. I am most excited to start the boxet bag by Cal Patch because I work at a textile re-use nonprofit called The Ragfinery and I'm always trying to find beautiful ways to use little bits of yarn. And this looks perfect.

Jaime: [00:25:39] Hi this is Jaime from St. Louis Missouri. You can find me on Instagram @Jaimeks. The project that I am most excited about is the collaged pillow. It's so fun and vibrant and it seems like a great way to use leftover scraps of prints. I'm hoping to add a collage to a dress that I'm making to add some floral interest to the skirt. I'll be using a natural linen and I found a little local secondhand craft shop. I think this dress will be extra special.

Linda: [00:26:04] Hi. This is Linda Lencovic from Hastings in the United Kingdom. You can find me on Instagram @kettleyarnco. I'm absolutely loving the designs and the new Making No. 5 COLOR. I am planning to make a mint leaves by Hoki Locatelli and I'm going to be using my Beyul DK which I hand dye here in the UK. Beyul is a baby yak silk and ethically farmed Merino blend that is quite round and so it will make those stunning leaf details pop right out.

Sanae Ishida: [00:26:42] So I'm working on my next book that's going to come out in 2020 which I can't talk much about yet. But it's it's been insane these last I guess five years almost six years since the debacle. And I tell people this sometimes. And I always feel a little weird when I say it, but um, when I was making the list of things I loved to do. I also made a sort of dream list you know all the things I would love to do one day that seemed so pie in the sky and publishing a book was one of them.

Sanae Ishida: [00:27:19] But what's very interesting is that on my list I had written I would love to write and illustrate a children's book and then I also wrote I would love to write or create a craft book. And so those were my first two books of Little Kunoichi I got to write and illustrate and then Sewing Happiness was a craft book. And yet another crazy ridiculous thing I had on my list was I think I'd like to translate Japanese craft books because that was how I was learning how to sew clothes for my daughter. I love the aesthetics of Japanese craft books. But at the time very few of them had been translated into English. And I can read. OK I can speak fluently in Japanese but my reading level is probably I don't know, elementary school. And I had to decipher a lot and trying to figure out most of it out through the illustrations I thought. You know I bet you with Google Translate I could I could translate this into English or I don't know what I was thinking I was just thinking my Japanese level wasn't that great anyway. But I thought oh maybe I could translate this into English. Then a publisher contacted me asking if I would translate you know Japanese craft books into English and these things kept happening over and over and over. And it was every time I let go of that whole try to get somewhere mentality and just enjoyed myself and did it really for the just pure joy of things. And it didn't make any sense. I stopped trying to understand it but it still keeps happening.

Sanae Ishida: [00:29:00] So one of the other ones was to contribute to a very beautiful magazine. I saw Making on I believe it was Alicia Paulson's blog. I think for your very very first issue and I remember stopping. Hold on. What is this beautiful magazine? And I immediately went to the making zine website and and I wanted to see if I could contribute somehow. But then in your submissions section it says we're not accepting submissions at this time. And I felt a little sad about it. But I thought oh Well you know not meant to be. And then literally that same week Carrie contacted me and said I just bought your book Sewing Happiness. And I'd like you to contribute to Making Magazine. And I I freaked out.

Ashley: [00:29:54] We definitely feel like you're part of the Making family and you've been in almost every issue. Now you're in FAUNA and DOTS and LINES and then now COLOR. And so let's talk a little bit about the cover of Making. We thought it would be fun to depart a little bit from the photography covers and integrate some more artwork in having the watercolor done by you was just so awesome because it was a visual representation of what we were trying to accomplish.

Sanae Ishida: [00:30:27] I immediately thought of just like splashes of colors everywhere but I think the first sort of brief or directive was abstract florals. So I had done a bunch of abstract florals but it I think there was one that I liked and I submitted it and then I think I had a couple of abstract abstracts of there or something and you guys had liked that. And then that was really fun I love just you know throwing on the different colors all over and then and then I showed my daughter.

Sanae Ishida: [00:30:59] And you know we were wrong and we thought you would choose this other version I done. I think it looked more like mountains or rocks kind of on top of each other. That was our favorite. But I loved what you did. Actually you combined a couple together. I thought that was. That looked great.

Ashley: [00:31:16] One of the other really neat things about COLOR is that you have an Asian bookbinding tutorial in there. Well you tell me a little bit about that?

Sanae Ishida: [00:31:24] I just think they look really cool and I was surprised by how easy to make. And I wanted to. Traditionally they're usually either fabric or you know paper for the covers with just I dunno thinner paper between the front and back covers. But I thought it would be fun to add a little faux leather. And I wanted to actually include a lot more. But I know with space constraints that I chose the two, one that seemed really really simple and very applicable to different sorts of applications and one that was a little more decorative. And you know, I like to keep things simple so I thought that the white with a bright thread bright colored thread was nice. And you know I had made so many different samples or prototypes of the books. So for one of them I ended up. Every year I make an advent calendar for my daughter. And it's her favorite thing. And we're not afilliated, we don't associate ourselves with any particular religious doctrine or group or anything like that. But the advent calendar is really fun so every year I challenge myself to come up with something different.

Sanae Ishida: [00:32:35] And I always try to include something where she would have to give something back or do something that would foster a appreciation of some sort. And so last year I took one of the books I made with the Asian Bookbinding. And so she got something small everyday or we did an activity. And but she used the book to actually write something she was grateful for every day that turned out really lovely. I loved it I have it actually right here by me and I look at it from time to time. It's so cute she's wrote things like I'm grateful for unicorns. My daughter came home from school the other day and said Mommy, they were talking about your favorite concept today. They were talking about wavisavi. You know about finding beauty in imperfection which I love. I think that's such an amazing way to view the world and especially this world that that tries to make you believe that you have to be perfect. And that's it's a very ingrained part of Japanese culture that appreciation of the humble the quiet the imperfect the transitional quality of life and and all that is is just it just makes me happy.

Ashley: [00:33:56] What are some of the gate checks that you put in your life or help you identify. Like what keeps you at your healthiest or what is more balance in your life.

Sanae Ishida: [00:34:08] The fact that I keep a daily journal is huge for me. I mean that has been my anchor my source of just balanced or not even balance but it helps me keep my sense of self. I mean I think I am such a mystery to myself a lot of times. And you know trying to figure out what am I feeling right now. What's going on. Why did I react that way to so and so or you know what is the point of my being here. All of the things the existential questions to the very mundane. I write it all out. And I think what's really great about the journal for me is it's the page is non-judgemental you know no one's going to see it. I hope. And I also have sort of this, what did my friend call it? Did she say not a code of conduct but sort of my tenents where I always remind myself that my only job is to be myself. That is all I have to do. And somehow things have worked out. When I when I am myself it's when I try to be someone else and that's when I'm listening to what other people say when it doesn't feel right for me or you know what the media might be flashing at me that I should do or even my upbringing and certain pressures I felt from feeling like I needed to overachieve in certain areas and what have you. When I am myself. And if I'm able to listen to it sort of I think I wrote it in my book I said it was it's sort of like a pixie and a Sherpa and they say pixpa but it's very shy and playful but very quiet and very wise and it's guiding you all the time. And I know I have that voice inside of me or a presence or whatever it is. And when I can just listen to that it's OK.

Sanae Ishida: [00:36:12] And so I try really hard to to listen to my pixpa and I can always tell when I'm getting off track because I start to feel bad. And I'm a ritualistic person and I like to start my day with writing out these these tenents. It's about a page long. And it describes all the ways that I actually want my life to be like. So they are feelings they're not really concrete things like oh I want to you know make X amount of dollars or do this or do that. It's it's more what sort of qualities do I want in my life. And I remind myself every day. You know my priorities are my health and my relationships and creating something enthusiastically. You know it's not about whether it's great or it's you know what I think of it. But if I am enthusiastically enjoying the creation of it then that's a good thing. So I try to go back to those three. Am I taking care of my health? Am I taking care of my relationships? And am I creating enthusiastically?

Ashley: [00:37:37] This week's giveaway is sponsored by Sanae and Making and we're giving away a copy of Sanae's book Sewing Happiness and a Secret Garden scarf project kit created by Kristine of A Verb for Keeping Warm. To enter this giveaway leave a comment on today's episode's blog post at

Ashley: [00:37:55] The biggest of thanks to everyone involved in this week's episode: A Verb for Keeping Warm, The Net Loft, Sanae, and our producer Alice Anderson.

Ashley: [00:38:03] I hope you'll join me each week as we talk and learn from more fascinating makers for podcast notes and transcription visit if you're interested in being a part of this podcast as an episode or giveaways sponsor. Shoot us an email at a wonderful week.