Embroidery Designing

Embroidered (3) different colorways of an octopus design to decide which I prefer and found I love each equally so!

As I decide my future plans for these flower holding octopuses, I finished another piece for a completely different series in which I am working. It’s a portrait of my fibroid; originally a photo from the surgery which I photo edited and then had printed onto fabric. Finally, I French Knotted DMC 115 into 8cm of “Bloody Mess.”

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

What’s Next after Ark of the Unicorns Residency

Riding the wave of #NaNoWriMo I have resurrected a writing project I started in 2013 here in Japan. My non-fiction recipe book doesn’t exactly qualify but enough is the same to keep me encouraged each day.

Evernote has kept all of my notes safe, all 78 of them, exactly as I left them! Found the Evernote Moleskine with the gridded pages I love so much in which I had made a few sketches in colored pencil and ink.

Also found the box of example books, fabrics, yarns, and other paper notes.

I plan to complete a rough draft by the end of November then a proposal to send to publishers. Because every creative needs more rejection notices, hehe!

In addition to moving away from Japan, another reason I never completed the book is I didn’t have the food photography skills, nor the photo editing skills or familiar enough with a design program to create my vision for this recipe book as I saw it in my head.

My photography skills have improved, my photo editing skills have improved and putting the project in timeout has helped me streamline and solidify specific ideas within the book.

In whichever medium I play, eventually I need to put some aspect of it through Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom and as I continue to move forward with my work, more and more ideas pop up and can see I need to improve my computer skills to make them happen.

With Adobe Sketch using an iPad Pro I am digitizing those sketches, not just photographing the original sketch with a digital camera but re-sketching them. Using the photo of the sketch as a layer in itself to trace over. I feel like Adobe Sketch has been a gateway drug to seeing so many other possibilities for my work utilizing the Adobe Creative Cloud.

So I am starting an #adobe365challenge this Nov. There is a steep learning curve for some of the things I’d like to do so focusing on learning a bit each day for a year should give me a steadier learning path. Watch my progress through my Twitter: StudioDeanna

The lessons learned during my residency in Honolulu in how to create Crocheted Figure Sculptures will slowly continue during breaks. Additional projects in the works/proposals I started/continued during the residency, have notification dates in the next couple of months. A few more proposals will be sent and my work with Hawaii Craftsmen will also continue, including my inclusion in its 50th Annual Statewide Juried Exhibition continues through Nov 10.

Wish me Luck! – Instagram: StudioDeanna

Octopus Expression

This adorable Octopus was designed by me last fall but I just couldn’t decide which expression she wanted to wear.  Yesterday I finally embroidered her face and hope she likes it. IMG_0193She will be available as a pattern this summer along with several other Octopus-themed stitch designs.


Who knew I’d need a color scheme for my Tako Life Cookbook? Fun Tako sketch and colors jotted down in my trusty Evernote Moleskin: Burgundy/Dk Pink, Burnt Sienna, Mustard and warm yellow.



Now back to NaNonFiWriMo…

Creativity Powered by Tako 蛸

The amazing selection of delicious seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood in even the most mundane grocery store here in Japan has really peaked my interest in cooking. Of all the ingredients readily available, my respect for Octopus has continued to increase as I explore all the options available for cooking this nutrition packed Mollusk. Yes, technically it inhabits the same branch on the biological tree as clams.

3oz of Octopus contains 45% RDA of Iron, whereas 3oz of Beef contains only 8% of RDA of Iron.



AND Octopus contains 25g of protein in that same 3oz vs. Beef’s 23g of protein. These are just two of the many reasons Octopus, 蛸, Tako in Japanese, has become a common cooking ingredient in our household. The other day I sliced it up and made Teriyaki Tako along with the deliciously plump King Trumpet Mushrooms.

Compare for yourself, be sure the serving size for each is set to the same amount for best comparison:

Octopus Nutrition Data: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4252/2

Beef Nutrition Data: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/3793/2

Anyone else enjoy Octopus for dinner?