Travels, Art, and the Mundane

What I see in Nice, France…

It has been a very busy year for me and I find myself with an amazing set of photographs showing that while I’m not a great photographer I enjoy simply taking photographs of random inspirational bits along the way.
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My Neighbor’s Ajisai flowers in full bloom

In my lovely little neighborhood, around the corner, there is a spindly little ajisai plant. It minds its own business, tucked next to a wall between homes, never being noticed.

When the days become long and warm, the sun is reaching through the clouds, the little neighborhood ajisai bursts forth with the loveliest bunches of lavender, periwinkle, blues, and purple shades of hydrangea.

Posing for the camera with fresh droplets of rain still adorning her petals; my neighborhood ajisai says hello:

Plans, New Plans, and a Round-the-World Trip!

It was all planned out. Since the beginning of the year, in a color-coded Gantt Chart on big 100yen calendar pages taped to my studio walls. Big ideas broken down to easy bite-sized steps to completion.

There were pinky swears & check-in promises.

Of course, you’re laughing, you know where this is going. You’re right, I’m completly off track!

We’ve all been there, that smooth road ahead suddenly curves in an unexpected direction and we find ourselves riding a screaming fast roller coaster!

In late June, my husband earned a spot to compete in a World Championship Race!!!




Bucket List Trip!

Coming up quick in only 6 weeks time, this needed a lot of planning, reservations, and smart packing. Neat, organized lists were quickly made. Adding to the difficulty of coordinating this trip is he already had another race in the US only 1 week before the World Championship competition! He needed to attend that race as other family members were competing together, along with his coach, who is not local to us in Japan. So this was really a big, planned family get-together, in a great vacation spot w/a rented family home to house all of the crazy racers and us supporters.

I had no plans to attend the initial race in the US but he really wanted me to and especially to help him & all his equipment get to South Africa. So as I’m booking flights and booking places to stay I am still looking at my colorful calendar mulling over how can I re-arrange my work so my art life can still move forward.

For one show I went with a secondary idea that I could have the final product printed and shipped to it’s destination instead of completing the original beautifully crafted sculpture idea. The idea is still viable for other shows. Nor was I able to complete the second sculpture in the series for another show.

I am so very, very disappointed I have not been able to do the wirework sculptures I know will feed that unique part of my creative soul. The complications of going through the multitudes of international airports worrying it would get damaged or lost just wasn’t worth pushing through on this aspect of my schedule. I crossed it off =( Both pieces I had started were set aside.

Super excited that when I booked the flights, it checked a Bucket List item of a Round-the-World Trip!! Not the relaxing, retiree-style travelling as I had originally envisioned, but amazing nonetheless!

Literally, the very next day after booking all of the airline tickets, I received a call from a family member that I needed to return to the US to help after they got out of the hospital. Luckily it was minor concerns and all is well, but it added two weeks onto the front of the already surprise World Tour. So that left only 4 weeks before I needed to leave.

I had almost 4 months worth of work plans I wanted to edit, organize, complete, and pack before my trip. Pushing past my disappointment and focusing on the elephants awaiting my arrival, I meticulously re-worked my custom fabric orders, strategically packed certain embroidery works, thread colors, and that one special knitting project I pinky swore I would complete this year.

By the end of the trip I could feel my bag weighted down with multi-country coinage.

Add in epic jet lag brain and I am full.

My heart is full.

My soul is full.

Full of amazement.

Full of wonder.

South Africa is an amazing country full of layers; beautiful people, delicious food, and epic wildlife.

South Africa knew what my soul needed before I realized there was anything missing!

Thank You, South Africa!!

Less than 48 hours after landing back home in Japan, I’m was at a beautiful sayonara lunch in Omotesando, devastated an amazing friend is moving to Europe.

I’m tired, but

I can get back on track, right?

Follow my day-to-day art adventures on Instagram: Studio Deanna

Long-stitch Bookbinding Workshop

Thanks to Launch Pad Gallery in Yokohama, Japan, I have the opportunity to teach a fun bookbinding workshop!

On Sun, Sept 30 from 2 – 5PM I’ll be at the gallery with all the materials necessary for visitors to begin creating their own small art books. I found the long-stitch bookbinding technique to be beautifully decorative, very functional, and reasonably easy to complete. Each of my map paged journals were constructed using the long-stitch bookbinding design.

There is no charge for this workshop,

”Reading Between the Lines” Book Arts Exhibition is a wonderful collaborative show combining artists from St Helens, England and those of us in Art Byte Critique in the Tokyo Bay area. Come see the amazing variety of artbooks and stay for the workshop!

Looking forward to seeing you on the 30th!

Miya Kaneko at The Container Gallery

“In search of the juncture of three coincidental sites,” the latest exhibition by Miya Kaneko, explores her, “…preoccupation with cities and mapping joins personal, historical and cultural recollections to flesh out a collective memory, and to remind us that places are more than a pin on the ubiquitous GPS-controlled digital maps we have grown so accustomed to…”

Currently at The Container, inside Bross Hair Salon halfway between Meguro & Daikanyama Stns in Tokyo, her show will only be available through Aug 26, 2018:

I’ve enjoyed seeing Miya Kaneko’s work since my friend and I first discovered, by accident, her studio in Yokohama back in 2016. She’s always on my ‘must see’ list when I find her showing work somewhere, whether in Japan or Hawai’i.

Different places evoke different results, each of the aluminum plates shown below represent different areas. I was able to see maps she created for places, such as; Kuala Lumpur, Japan, Hawai’i, and more!

The intricate hanging piece is a unique representation of post-war Tokyo:

Some maps are extremely crowded:

Sitting in the Container Gallery, I took photos from the bottom of the 3D map of Tokyo. Then I chose to change the photo into a black & white as it really highlighted the old city street patterns:

In Nakameguro, after the sakura petals have fallen and the ohanami crowds have faded away, the cherry trees continue their seasonal progression. The leaves come out, the hot summer breezes gently dance through the branches, and the semi (cicadas) are incessant.

As I was searching for a typical, large shipping using my, “…ubiquitous GPS-controlled digital map…” I still had a hard time finding the gallery!

It is camouflaged within the Bross hair salon, having been painted white, same as all the walls and other elements within the salon. The personnel at the salon were welcoming so do stop by to check out the work by Miya Kaneko!

Follow my day to day adventures via Instagram: studiodeanna

The Latest from the Studio

Sunday was the last day of CAF at Setagaya Art Museum’s Taiji Kiyokawa Gallery. Enjoyed the opportunity to present my AmiNETworks ghost net installation in a new space! Would love to see it in an ocean setting soon.


Due to unforeseen circumstances the remainder of my 2018 has drastically changed from its original quiet schedule of artwork construction, to a World Tour possibly including, but not limited to lobsters & lions!

The adventures will be amazing and my artwork construction schedule is receiving a major revamp. Unfortunately, I need to stop working on my largest wire sculpture pieces. Their size will make it too difficult to take on Tour.


Focusing on a couple of my fiber artwork series,’ which are lightweight and easily transportable, has me almost looking forward to the massive hours of travel time. Almost. In the meantime, I am testing out various textures on various fabrics. Some failures, some successes, lots of fun.

A friend and I are putting the last steps together to have a great show in Shibuya towards the end of January

Super excited that I will be organizing my fiber work for travel using project bags with my photography!


Find more items by visiting my shop >>

Follow my day-to-day adventures on Instagram: StudioDeanna

It’s been in the 30s (90sF) here in Tokyo with the heat index into the 40s! Stay cool, Stay hydrated everyone!!