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#lacelitober 2023: week 1

My fourth year hosting #lacelitober is off to a slow and gentle start, which suits me just fine. I've loved seeing what folks are creating from the prompts, and so far, we've had a mix of illustration, collage, and poetry popping up in the challenge (take a peek at the hashtag while in the IG app to see).

With everything that's been going on for me this year (ICYMI, I shared a personal update on Patreon), and then supporting my dad through a scary hospital visit (grateful he's now home with next steps that we're following up on this week)... I'm quite literally taking each day one at a time and letting myself follow whatever curiosities pique my interest. I'm also putting the pen or scissors down when the spark (or energy) wanes, and letting that be enough.

This year, I'm enjoying a mash-up of Lacelitober prompts with those from Peachtober, Happytober, and Inktober whenever they align! I always love mixing prompts- it keeps me excited and pushes my imagination a little further. Here's a wrap-up of my first 7 days...

I couldn’t resist taking inspiration from coziest nap-takers and create a repeat pattern with a quiet palette so as not to wake them! 😉 Kitties always seem to find the coziest spots and sleep in the cutes poses.

Here's a fun mock-up for how it'd look as a wallpaper for your smart phone! I posted a poll over on IG, but am curious- where might you be most keen to see this pattern pop up in the future?

  • wallpaper/case for smart phone

  • tote bag or zipper pouch

  • wrapping/tissue paper

  • apparel (tee, cap)

  • tea towel

Combining prompts ‘polaroid’ + ‘cosmos’, an image of a cute jellyfish astronaut floating through space sparked the idea for a mixed media piece.

I started by photographing a polaroid I shot on Impossible instant film years ago (swipe left for the original). It was one of those “lost shots” that can happen with instant film, but it was too pretty to toss. ✨

I then brought it into Procreate to draw the jelly and outer space texture as new layers before playing around with color adjustments in Photoshop. I had so much fun and want to do more mixed media pieces with polaroids!

Sashiko (刺し子) is a type of hand-stitched embroidery that developed in Japan around the 19th century as wintertime women's work. It was a form of functional embroidery utilizing inexpensive white cotton thread and indigo-dyed fabric to reinforce points of wear or repair tears in garments. Its beautifully intricate geometric characteristics are now considered folk art, but at the time it was developed, it was merely a frugal necessity- and in the thoughtful words of @sashikostory, "a wisdom in daily life."

Sashiko means 'little stabs', and refers to the running stitches used to make repeating or interlocking patterns. The asanoha (麻の葉) pattern here resembles a hemp leaf believed to protect loved ones from evil spirits when worn, which is why it’s often used on children’s clothing. 🤍

Sometimes, it feels like we have to be everything all at once.

Do not worry about

becoming small

today is grand enough

On days when I’ve used up my last shred of energy caregiving or my last drop of creativity keeping Lacelit’s lights on for another week, it helps to remove all the layers that come with each role I fill. To become smaller for a little while and let that version of myself be sufficient. To nestle up in a lovely place, and let my eyes flutter to a close for a while. ☁️

watering the earth

sweet memories of mountain footpaths lined with brush and wild flowers and sprigs sprouting up looking for sunshine, welcoming rain.

In February, I created a collage for #februllage's prompt 'weep' , and today's prompt 'moth' paired perfectly with Peachtober's 'eye' for a chance to metamorphose it into something new.

For the background, I used Procreate's Concrete Block brush over a photograph I shot on Impossible instant film and adjusting the hue to incorporate a cooler blue tone. I then overlaid the hand-cut paper collage for this mixed media exploration.

Who's up for a space jaunt to the moon? This little orange tabby cat, that's who!

To see an animated GIF os the background changing, pop over to my IG post via the link above, and swipe left.

P.S. This piece is coming soon to the shop as a limited edition mini art print. Subscribe to my monthly newsletter for first dibs!


I'm thinking of offering some of these as art prints, postcards, or on other types of products in the future, so feel free to let me know if there are any you'd most like to see!

♡ Kimberly Kuniko

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P.S. To connect more regularly + early access to blogposts, join any tier (starting at $1/month) on Patreon.

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Words, Art + Photography by

© Kimberly Kuniko

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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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All blog content is copyright protected by © Kimberly K. Taylor-Pestell (unless otherwise noted) and may not be used, downloaded, or altered without written permission. Thank you! ♡

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